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Are taillights necessary for daytime riding?

Old 04-10-20, 06:48 PM
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Imperatore
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Are taillights necessary for daytime riding?

Picking up my FX 3 Disc in a couple days and trying to get a good idea what are necessary accessory purchases. This is my first real bike purchase ever, so I'm still figuring this out.

Are tail lights a must for my daytime riding? I'm looking at the Planet Bike SuperFlash, but I wouldn't mind spending in the $50-$60 range for a better one if it's worth it and you have recommendations.
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Old 04-10-20, 07:09 PM
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I started riding with both front and rear lights during the day about three years ago and will never go back to commuting without them. I am so much more visible to sleepy morning drivers now - including those who might think about checking texts as they approach me. A bright flashing light makes it almost impossible for drivers to miss or ignore you. YES! Spend whatever you need to get a powerful rear blinkie AND a good, blinking headlight, too!
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Old 04-10-20, 07:11 PM
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Not necessary, but I think they're a good idea. As a driver, I see cyclists much sooner when they have taillights. The super flash type work well under many conditions, but they tend to disappear in bright sun.
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Old 04-10-20, 07:15 PM
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All useful information, thank you.

This may sound like a dumb question, but I'm concerned about the super bright blinking, flashing taillight. Is this not a risk for epileptics? I'm a teacher and I have a student who's extremely sensitive to this, has a condition and faints to any strobe/flashing lights. So, obviously there will be others like this. Just a bit concerned about this. I suppose I don't have to use the blinking lights and just keep on the steady bright light and that should be fine.
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Old 04-10-20, 07:21 PM
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Bah. Lights are only desirable if you want to maximize your chance of being seen by drivers. The rear light is a no brainer. A front light is handy sometimes if you see a car in the oncoming lane. He'll probably stay in his lane, but the guy behind him trying to pass him is guaranteed to use your lane to get around him. Unless he sees your blinking headlight. At least, that's my analysis, and I went to college.
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Old 04-10-20, 08:41 PM
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I never ride without a rear blinking light and almost always use a front blinking light, as well.
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Old 04-10-20, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Imperatore View Post
Are tail lights a must for my daytime riding? I'm looking at the Planet Bike SuperFlash, but I wouldn't mind spending in the $50-$60 range for a better one if it's worth it and you have recommendations.
Yes, I believe they are.

In my area, there's a particular quality of the light that combines with the background colors and hues, such that it can be incredibly common to see a cyclist seemingly blend in with the background. Until getting quite close. I haven't seen that everywhere I've ever been, but it sure occurs where I live.

Cyclists who have two or more "daytime" flashing lights end up vastly more visible (to me) than otherwise. Granted, those are just my own observations from seeing hundreds of cyclists on various roads, but it sure seems to help. With brightly-colored (ie, DayGlo Green) jersey or jacket, visibility is improved further.

I also frequently see that the cyclists with two or three exceptionally-bright "daytime" flashers also get a wider berth from following vehicles.

If riding frequently on roadways with lots of following vehicular traffic, my own preference is for: one very bright flasher on the back of the rack or saddle; one very bright flasher on the seat stay, down lower, flashing a different pattern; and a flasher on the rear of the helmet. Pretty darned visible, by comparison to having none or even one.

I suppose the benefits in your own area would depend on conditions and lighting. But I can't see how it could hurt to have as much high-viz rear lighting as possible.

While there are some brighter ones on the market, I've used this one and have been impressed with the visibility: Bontrager Flare R rear light.

Here's a useful website of reviews: Reviews @ BikeLightDatabase.
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Old 04-11-20, 06:36 AM
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What Papa Tom said...Also in the morning and afternoon when the sun is low and in driver's eyes, having a flashing light really helps with visibility.

I recently replaced my helmet light with one that has a bright strobe. I started using it along with my front/rear flashers during the day...and I have noticed a favorable difference in how cars behave around me.
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Old 04-11-20, 06:42 AM
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Using lights in a daytime is optional and it isn't a necessity. Personally I don't use lights in the daytime
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Old 04-11-20, 07:16 AM
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I used the Planet Bike Super Flash for many years, then switched to the Super Flash Turbo when it came out which is twice as bright. I've received many compliments from motorists regarding my visibility.

I only use them when in heavy or higher speed traffic. Quiet neighborhood rides or rides to the local store don't need 'em.
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Old 04-11-20, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Clyde1820 View Post
Yes, I believe they are.

In my area, there's a particular quality of the light that combines with the background colors and hues, such that it can be incredibly common to see a cyclist seemingly blend in with the background. Until getting quite close. I haven't seen that everywhere I've ever been, but it sure occurs where I live.

Cyclists who have two or more "daytime" flashing lights end up vastly more visible (to me) than otherwise. Granted, those are just my own observations from seeing hundreds of cyclists on various roads, but it sure seems to help. With brightly-colored (ie, DayGlo Green) jersey or jacket, visibility is improved further.

I also frequently see that the cyclists with two or three exceptionally-bright "daytime" flashers also get a wider berth from following vehicles.

If riding frequently on roadways with lots of following vehicular traffic, my own preference is for: one very bright flasher on the back of the rack or saddle; one very bright flasher on the seat stay, down lower, flashing a different pattern; and a flasher on the rear of the helmet. Pretty darned visible, by comparison to having none or even one.

I suppose the benefits in your own area would depend on conditions and lighting. But I can't see how it could hurt to have as much high-viz rear lighting as possible.

While there are some brighter ones on the market, I've used this one and have been impressed with the visibility: Bontrager Flare R rear light.

Here's a useful website of reviews: Reviews @ BikeLightDatabase.
Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
What Papa Tom said...Also in the morning and afternoon when the sun is low and in driver's eyes, having a flashing light really helps with visibility.

I recently replaced my helmet light with one that has a bright strobe. I started using it along with my front/rear flashers during the day...and I have noticed a favorable difference in how cars behave around me.
Awesome, thanks for your replies. I purchased the Portland Design Works Danger Zone tail-light. I tried the get the Bontrager that Clyde linked, but it's out of stock at Trek and at my local bike shop. I'm sure the Portland Design Works will do the trick.
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Old 04-11-20, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Imperatore View Post
but I'm concerned about the super bright blinking, flashing taillight. Is this not a risk for epileptics?
Someone with such severe epilepsy is likely not allowed to drive a car...And a passenger can look away from the light.

I agree with some others that a blinking (and bright) taillight is nearly essential for even daytime riding if there is any motor vehicle traffic.
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Old 04-11-20, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Using lights in a daytime is optional and it isn't a necessity. Personally I don't use lights in the daytime
I agree and even at night both motor vehicles and bicycles are in constant arms race of ever brighter lights that I find counter productive and blinding. I feel like 'normal' lighting on newer motor vehicles are more blinding than high beams on older models, particularly on raised vehicles.
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Old 04-11-20, 07:49 AM
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I use both head and tail lights during the day in the hopes that they make me a little more visible to drivers. High visibility clothing and helmets also contribute an extra edge in safety. Bicyclists lose in almost every encounter with a motor vehicle, so every little bit helps.
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Old 04-11-20, 08:36 AM
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Are taillights necessary for daytime riding?
Originally Posted by RonE View Post
I use both head and tail lights during the day in the hopes that they make me a little more visible to drivers. High visibility clothing and helmets also contribute an extra edge in safety.

Bicyclists lose in almost every encounter with a motor vehicle, so every little bit helps.
10+ to the advantages, even “after the fact.”
Originally Posted by Milton Keynes View Post
What I mean is, a distracted driver shouldn't be able to use "I didn't see him" when the cyclist has brightly colored clothing and bright flashing lights.

I hope my daytime lights attract the attention of drivers so they know I'm there, but we all know that all too often "I didn't see him" is what they say because they weren't looking.

So I would hope that a cop would ask the driver, "WHY didn't you see them? What were you looking at which made you not see them?"
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
… I was also in a cycling accident three six years ago, that kept me off work for three months and off the bike for five…
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I have had the experience of being hit-and-run, presumably not intentionally, but by a distracted (?inebriated) driver. The police filed charges.
The police were great, and their report at the subsequent trial was spot on and particularly noted my details for visibility, including lights and high vis vest.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I think the police testimony in my accident about lights was favorable to my case, though was in the situation of a rear hit-and-run at night.

Nonetheless, I think that any safety practice, including daytime (front and rear) lights, helmets, FRAP, even if unproved by studies, would be favorably considered by even the non-cyling public, including judges and juries.

The driver got a year in jail.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
and we did get a rather hefty settlement from his insurance agency. I even had two different lawyers offer their services to litigate.
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Old 04-11-20, 09:32 AM
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A bright blinking rear light would be good. I feel it is also important to wear bright colors upper body. The neon yellow and green chartreuse jump out in a city of concrete . If Huston is plentiful in bright colors wear drab concrete colors. lol. Just be seen! Wish you safe travels in the street jungles.
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Old 04-11-20, 10:32 AM
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Yes, flashing lights front and rear. But the rear needs to be intense. I would recommend a Cygolite hotshot 150 lumen or better for the taillight.
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Old 04-11-20, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Imperatore View Post
Picking up my FX 3 Disc in a couple days and trying to get a good idea what are necessary accessory purchases. This is my first real bike purchase ever, so I'm still figuring this out.

Are tail lights a must for my daytime riding? I'm looking at the Planet Bike SuperFlash, but I wouldn't mind spending in the $50-$60 range for a better one if it's worth it and you have recommendations.
I nearly always use them, along with a front flashing light, and cameras. I also nearly always wear a helmet.
I also don't think any of these things should be "necessary".

They don't hurt to have.

Ultimately, safety depends on motorists paying attention.
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Old 04-12-20, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Olefeller77 View Post
A bright blinking rear light would be good. I feel it is also important to wear bright colors upper body.
Oh, yeah. I forgot to mention that. Artists' supply stores often sell very inexpensive (like 3 for $10) neon yellow or orange t-shirts that are excellent for commuting. I find that, if I wear the same bright color every day, drivers start to recognize and look for me on the road.
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Old 04-12-20, 10:32 AM
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I have one with 250 lumens attached to my helmet. For daytime with sunlight I wouldn't go less.

At night I choose a lower setting.
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Old 04-12-20, 10:35 AM
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I don't, when it's sunny but I wear a bright top / jacket and my bike is a bright color and riding a bit in the road so you're not hidden in the side.

I do when it's cloudy, overcast, rainy, dark or the sun is low.

I also carry a spare light if it's a usb charged one and for my rear I have battery powered backup and I'll test my lights the night before

In pitch black riding I also add a fluorescent tabard with sliver reflective strips on
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Old 04-12-20, 11:56 AM
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What's the harm in having one? It will increase your chances of being seen. I run rear and front lights day and night. It's a no-brainer.
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Old 04-12-20, 01:19 PM
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In Germany, bikes are required to have a taillight. In general, I think the Germans are better at surface transportation than we are.
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Old 04-12-20, 01:39 PM
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I have a tail light on the back of my helmet and it's always on. My tail light at the back of my bike is always on. I also wear reflector bands on my ankles and wrists as well as a reflector vest.

On two occasions, motorists waiting at intersections told me they appreciate how I'm lit up like a Christmas tree.
If anybody were to remind me how my lights were on, I'd reply "Good, you can see me."
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Old 04-12-20, 03:23 PM
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I'd have said no. My prejudice earned when motorcycling tells me drivers don't see anything anyhow. But now I've got some peer pressure telling me otherwise
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