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Old 06-08-13, 09:12 PM   #1
lungimsam
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Better to have headlight on helmet, bars, or rack, front forks?

I am talking hi power headlights so I can both see and be seen.

I have seen mounts for helmets, bars, forks and front racks randonneur style.

Which makes you the most seen by motorists?

I would like to mount mine on the front forks, but will that make me pretty invisible to drivers who are turning onto the road with my light so low to the ground?
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Old 06-08-13, 10:40 PM   #2
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I'm thinking that if your headlight doesn't light up enough ground to be visible from the side regardless of what height you mount it at - it probably won't do you much good as a light for you to see by either.

The most traffic friendly light mounting is LOW!! Truck lights are higher than automobile lights and can be very annoying in spite of having beam cutoffs. If you've ever had an 18-wheeler follow you - you've already been clued in.

I use lights mounted below the bars but above the fork. Ocassionally rack mounted. Regardless - unless your light has a wide beam and a cutoff - it probably won't cover enough area to be as effective as a helmet mount, which you can move around easily.
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Old 06-08-13, 11:22 PM   #3
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For urban riding, I always want a good helmet mounted light. You can always add a $30 flashing light to the bars or fork for extra attention.

But some motorist will still just ignore your lights and try to pull out in front of you. If they do this, you can get them to stop before they cut you off by shining the helmet light at them. By the same token, the helmet light can be shined away from oncoming traffic as a courtesy to them, especially on country roads. But if the oncoming traffic is blinding you with high beams, putting your helmet light at them will solve such problems.
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Old 06-08-13, 11:29 PM   #4
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I have a headlight I put on the bars and one on the helmet.
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Old 06-09-13, 12:09 AM   #5
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.. mine are on the fork crown, slightly above.. wired to hub dynamo.
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Old 06-09-13, 12:54 AM   #6
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it doesn't matter as long as it's blinking
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Old 06-09-13, 02:07 AM   #7
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Most dynamo-powered lights are on the fork crown, this is the std mount supplied with quality lamps. Some people mount them on the fork legs on a special braze-on or an adapter bracket. Fork crown is the optimum location for protecting the lamp from everyday damage, the illumination pattern and bar-bag compatibility.

A blinking LED is not always better than solid, esp at lower frequencies. Drivers can look during the off phase and then turn away. It is much harder to judge distance with a blinking LED than a solid one.
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Old 06-09-13, 02:34 AM   #8
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it doesn't matter as long as it's blinking
So you only ride during daylight hours!
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Old 06-09-13, 04:28 AM   #9
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it doesn't matter as long as it's blinking
No! A headlight should not blink.

A taillight might blink, if you're cycling alone.
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Old 06-09-13, 04:30 AM   #10
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Better to have headlight on helmet, bars, or rack, front forks?


1. Don't depend on a helmet light as a headlight. However, a helmet light is a good backup light and good choice if you've got to follow a route sheet after dark.

2. Not on the handlebars, except maybe as an emergency backup (i.e. your main light fails, and you pull your LED flashlight out of your handlebar bag and strap it to the bars)

3. I don't use a front rack ... I tried once, and it gave me hand issues

4. Yeah, the forks will work, or fork crown, or somewhere in that vicinity.

Last edited by Machka; 06-09-13 at 04:36 AM.
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Old 06-09-13, 06:21 AM   #11
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Permanently mounted to the fork or rack on my bikes.

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Old 06-09-13, 12:03 PM   #12
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All of the Above.
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Old 06-09-13, 12:16 PM   #13
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Having tried all the above, I prefer rack mounted w/another on the helmet. Never been impressed with handlebar mounted lights.
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Old 06-09-13, 12:22 PM   #14
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A truly high-powered light on the helmet offers the opportunity of blinding a motorist just by looking at them.
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Old 06-09-13, 12:23 PM   #15
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Removable, the battery lights come assuming a Bar Mount. because the hardware is for a round tube.
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Old 06-09-13, 12:45 PM   #16
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A helmet light with no bar or fork light can be confusing to oncoming traffic, because it's unusually high off the ground. It's harder to judge the distance to the bike then.

Most rechargeable lights have bar mounts. A second light on the helmet is good, but I quit using one because I was always having to hold my head steady to aim the light.

One of the newer high lumen lights, maybe 600 lumens or more, will certainly be bright enough even if mounted on the fork. My bar mounted 1000 lumen Dinotte creates a very big bright spot on the road, even on urban streets. (I use 1000 lumens in the city, and usually dial it back to 500 lumens on dark country roads)

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Old 06-09-13, 12:47 PM   #17
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Old 06-09-13, 02:23 PM   #18
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My $.02;head/helmet mounted high-power lights should be illegal except for dirt riding. I've been blinded too many times on local trails by idiots who don't realize that by mounting their lazar beemsz on their head,they blind on-coming cyclists. After about the third jerk doing this,I get the urge to see if I can still do a proper polo-check. Also not a good idea to blind on-coming cars,and blinding someone who's about to pull out on you is a bad idea;no guarantee they won't still pull out,and if they don't you now have a ticked off driver on your six.
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Old 06-09-13, 03:02 PM   #19
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Quote:
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No! A headlight should not blink.

A taillight might blink, if you're cycling alone.
Yeah I think it's actually illegal in some places for your headlight to blink.
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Old 06-09-13, 03:54 PM   #20
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If it's truly dark, I use a solid beam. Less dark, I use a flashing beam. Sometimes I use both if it is dark.
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Old 06-09-13, 04:01 PM   #21
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I've got a moderately bright light on my bars, it flashes and does solid. i use solid when it's really dark, and flashing when it's more light and during the day.

i'm contemplating getting some of the small lights that strap to your front fork though and flash just for some extra visibility.
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