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Old 08-19-09, 10:09 AM   #1
semsd
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Do you ride at night? What lights? Front & rear?

Do you ride at night? What lights? Front & rear?

I commute to work and leave my house at 0500. In the winter itís dark when I return home. I use Niterider Minewt 400 Dual and a CherryBomb in the rear. Also a cheaper flashing LED on the back of my helmet.
I like a lot of lights, makes it easy for the drunk drivers to track me.

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Old 08-19-09, 10:12 AM   #2
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For commuting, I use two Dinotte 200L headlights in front. Dinotte tail-light in the back. In the winter I'm commuting in the dark, both ways, 20 miles round trip. Most of my trip has no streetlights so it's in total darkness, part of it on a windy road with poor visibility. The super-bright Dinotte tail light makes me feel very safe.

There is plenty of info on the Dinottes at Bikeforums - one of the things I like about them is the rubber-o-ring mounting system makes them very easy to move around from bike to bike. I also can change the aim of them quite easily during my commute...part of my commute is on a bike path, when I want to keep them from blinding other riders, and part of my commute is on the road, when I need a lot more visibility.

Most of the rest of the year I have a Planet Bike Superflash that I can put on my bike or bike bag if it gets rainy ,foggy or gloomy. On some rides during the day I may also take my Dinotte tail light if I think visiblity is going to be poor.

Last edited by BengeBoy; 08-19-09 at 10:48 AM.
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Old 08-19-09, 10:19 AM   #3
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I don't ride road bikes after dusk but I do have rear blinker lights in my road bikes that I turn on as dusk approaches. I have one MTB with headlights to see the trail so I don't run into Bambi when I ride a trail after dusk.
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Old 08-19-09, 10:33 AM   #4
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I only ride off road after dark, mostly on fire roads with a few connector trails. When I do, I use two Dinotte 200L lights on the bar and one 400L on my helmet. I have a flashing or solid red blinky for the rear but nothing too bright because I don't expect to see cars.
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Old 08-19-09, 10:43 AM   #5
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Yes, I ride at night (sometimes because it's the coolest part of the day, sometimes to commute, sometimes just because it switches things up a bit). I ride with a Cygolite DualCross Pro and a couple of Princeton Tech Swerve rear lights.
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Old 08-19-09, 11:02 AM   #6
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Cygolite MityCross 350. One terrific light. Planetbike Superflash
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Old 08-19-09, 11:12 AM   #7
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I like to start mountain rides early in the morning. I have a Light and Motion Seca 700 for the front, and a DiNotte 400R taillight. Both work well. The DiNotte is an especially elegant unit: small, light and very effective.
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Old 08-19-09, 11:26 AM   #8
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I use those 60X brighter LED flashlights(great distance and really bright) at Lowes with some bike store blinkies in back.

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Old 08-19-09, 11:27 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
For commuting, I use two Dinotte 200L headlights in front. Dinotte tail-light in the back.
This is my setup as well, with the addition of secondary taillight.

If I didn't ride at night, I'd never get home from work for half the year.
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Old 08-19-09, 11:32 AM   #10
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I do group rides through the winter and some days the entire ride is in the dark. I'll also start some daytime rides early before the sun comes up. For a front light I use a Niterider Minute 2 and have a blinker attached to the seat bag and wear a small blinker on the back of my helmet. Late last year one of the riding buddies got lights for his wheels. They really looked cool and probably provided some safety from the side.
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Old 08-19-09, 11:54 AM   #11
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Used to go offroad and one thing we learnt very quickly is that you can only ride to the capabilities of your lights. Offroad downhills with our lights were limited to about 25mph till we got a more powerfull lamp. On the flat and not too bad and as I found out- you can even turn the lights off on the uphill sections to save batteries.

Doesn't matter what light you have- how expensive- how powerfull or how good a reputation it has. Lamps can run out of battery or even fail. I still fit a "Spare" front lamp to the bike when night riding and it can come in usefull towards the end of a long ride. Rear lamps and always fit two. You can't see them and if one falls off or fails- and you only have one- you have no rear lamp.

But by far the best lamp you will ever get is a helmet lamp. May not be legal for road use but invluable for seeing round corners- looking at direction signs or notes and for repairing the bike if necessary.

My main lamp is good- probably too good for the road but it does have a low- medium and high setting. It is a twin 5w luxion LED lamp and LED's are the way to go for on road- providing you get the right type. If you just want to be seen- then one with a flashing mode will work. If you want to see- then get at Least 3w. If talking about the "Old" Halogen- then 10w and you can see well enough but more will be better.
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Old 08-19-09, 12:20 PM   #12
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I like to get out on the road at 4:30 or 5 am, so most of the year I'm out in the dark. I use two Fenix LD2 flashlights. These are Q5 LED's and put out a fair amount of light. I like the fact that they run on AA batteries, and I have a set on the charger virtually all the time. I don't like the short run time which makes it necessary to have a set on the charger virtually all the time.

This was taken about nine months ago and shows how I have them:



On the back - PB Superflash blinkie.
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Old 08-19-09, 12:23 PM   #13
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Front: L&M arc
Rear: cateye TL1000
Front forks: blinking safety lights

In pack, flashing and bungee for front light if emergency. Never had to use thought, just paranoid.

Occasionally, I will have a driver blink headlights at me, but generally they don't as I have it aimed about
150' down the road.

My schedule has changed and I miss the fun night riding.
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Old 08-19-09, 12:28 PM   #14
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Yes, I ride at night. Sometimes I ride ALL night. As a randonneur, I'm not fast enuf not to. I use a B&M IQ Fly headlight powered by a Shimano DH-3N71 dynamo front hub, two Planet Ultra Superflash blinkies, and reflective tape galore: front back and sides. Everything works just fine. If money were no object, I'd replace the Shimano dynohub with a Schmide SON20R, and the headlight w/ a Schmidt Edeluxe. But money IS an object (else why would I be at work right now?), so I'll keep what I've got until it poops out or my ship comes in (in which case, I'll probably be at the airport).

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Old 08-19-09, 01:19 PM   #15
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I have a DiNotte 200L on the front and another on my helmet. I've got 2 Planet Bike SuperFlashes on the back and a regular blinker on the back of my helmet. I've also got a purple dual-tube Down Low Glow for side visibility. When I remember to put batteries in them, I've also got firefly lights on my valve stems.

My commute is 18 miles each way, partially on path but mostly on roads. Visibility is very important to me.

One cool thing is that the Down Low Glow really spreads light out to the sides. I've got my own little pool of light moving with me as I ride. Very cool on the path when I'm all alone.
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Old 08-19-09, 03:48 PM   #16
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Dinotte 600L on the bars, 200L on the helmet, 140L rear light. Reflective Zinglet and reflective bands on wrists and ankles. I feel safer at night than in the daylight.
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Old 08-19-09, 06:20 PM   #17
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I ride at night mostly on double centuries. On the recent Mt. Tam double we were in the dark for about an hour and a half in both the morning and the night segments.

I started with a Planet Bike Beemer on the front and Planet Bike flashing light on the back. I had my Princeton Tech Switchback sent to the light drop; so put that on in Petaluma, about 35 miles from the finish. Put the Beemer in my pocket, just in case.

The Beemer is adequate, but no more, whilst the Princeton Tech is quite bright, safe on fast descents and while not quite as bright as my Nite-Rider Blow-Torch, the battery and light on the Princeton Tech are significantly lighter than the Nite-Rider.

Also at the light drop I added another small flashing light (Cat-Eye) to my Camelback (in addiiton to the still-fitted Planet Bike flasher). If there is a light-transfer (usually taking your lights from the first checkpoint to the last), then I'll use the Princeton Tech for both early morning (we started Mt. Tam at 4:00 AM) and night portions (we finished at 9:45 PM).

Back when I used to be a Ranndoneur I used a Sanyo (rear tire drive) generator to power head (Union Halogen) and tail-lights, but that was the late 80's and early 90's. Lights have improved so much since then!

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Old 08-19-09, 07:27 PM   #18
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I ride in the evening all winter and use a Cygolite Trion. Self contained SUPER bright 600 lumens light. Battery it integratred into light so no dangling battery pack. Planet bike super flasher for the rr.
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Old 08-19-09, 08:33 PM   #19
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I have one or two Planet Bike Superflash on the back. I'm still working on an ideal light for the front; the one I now have is bright enough to be seen and illuminate some areas, but not bright enough for very dark areas.

I'd also like to get a helmet light.
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Old 08-19-09, 09:42 PM   #20
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So whats more important to you, To see or be seen?
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Old 08-19-09, 10:48 PM   #21
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So whats more important to you, To see or be seen?
If you can use the lights to see, you will be seen.
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Old 08-20-09, 12:16 AM   #22
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I only ride at night if I get caught away from home when it gets dark. I use a small LED light front and a blinky in the back. Both will easily fit in my jersey so if I am going to be out in the afternoon and I might get back towards dusk I can pop the light on and get home. I have only tried night riding one time on purpose and I simply didn’t enjoy the experience so I don’t plan night rides.
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Old 08-20-09, 06:33 AM   #23
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I love to ride at night. I am not a commuter, so I can pick my evenings and time. That said....

I have a Trustfire P7 on the front that is always turned on whenever the bike moves, day or night. I have a Vetta on the back use a Vetta helmet light with some spoke lights front and rear. At night I will wear a vest as well.

I believe I am very safe at night in my small community of 15K. I use alternative routes whenever possible.
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Old 08-20-09, 06:44 AM   #24
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Quote:
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This was taken about nine months ago and shows how I have them:
Hey Zoste,
I understand redundant lights, but what's with the redundant computers?
Enquiring minds want to know...
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Old 08-20-09, 06:56 AM   #25
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Quote:
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So whats more important to you, To see or be seen?
I've always felt it was more important to be seen. You can adapt your riding speed and technique to ambient conditions, but you have no control over the guy who is just like you, except he's behind a wheel. EVERYBODY in a cage is in their own little world - even cyclists. ("Cage" is biker for 4-wheeled motorized conveyance.) Therefore, whatever it takes to get their attention is worth doing. Back in the day I rode with a day-glo yellow vest and an orange flag. If they were laughing at me - it meant they had noticed me!

In some ways we may be more safe riding at night, as long as the batteries hold out, since even if the bicycle and rider aren't immediately recognized, the moving and blinking lights stand out against the dark.

So, bright enough to light your path AND be visible over the ambient glow serves both purposes.

Now I'm going to run a search on the Dinotte lights that so many of you tout. I've never seen them, but with the days growing shorter our early morning rides could use a little more illumination.
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