Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Commuting
Reload this Page >

How many Rear Lights Do you Have?

Notices
Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

How many Rear Lights Do you Have?

Old 04-13-20, 07:26 AM
  #1  
Colorado Kid
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 482
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 139 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 14 Times in 8 Posts
How many Rear Lights Do you Have?

A friend has four (in a row) of red blinking lights. Isn't that too much? How many do you have on your bike?
Colorado Kid is offline  
Old 04-13-20, 07:32 AM
  #2  
DrIsotope
Non omnino gravis
 
DrIsotope's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: SoCal, USA!
Posts: 8,343

Bikes: Nekobasu, Pandicorn, Lakitu

Mentioned: 118 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4730 Post(s)
Liked 1,401 Times in 815 Posts
Just the one. But it also has radar in it, which is most excellent. I can't realistically see a need for more than two rear lights, and you would want them far apart-- say one on the seatpost and one on the helmet.
__________________
DrIsotope is offline  
Likes For DrIsotope:
Old 04-13-20, 07:46 AM
  #3  
alo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 429
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 191 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 92 Times in 70 Posts
I used to have two when I was using tail lights with rechargeable batteries, so if the battery in one went flat I could use the other.

Now that I use a solar tail light, I only use one. The battery has never gone flat. I normally don't ride for long periods of time after dark.

If a tail light did fail, people from behind could see the headlight shining on things in front.

I normally don't ride in busy city traffic.
alo is offline  
Old 04-13-20, 08:03 AM
  #4  
BobbyG
Senior Member
 
BobbyG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 4,928

Bikes: 2015 Charge Plug, 1997 Nishiki Blazer, 1984 Nishiki International

Mentioned: 51 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1048 Post(s)
Liked 589 Times in 305 Posts
Two...helmet and bike. Although for the dark winter commutes home I wear LED shoes and a reflective vest and other stuff...a lot of other stuff...probably overkill...

BobbyG is offline  
Likes For BobbyG:
Old 04-13-20, 08:06 AM
  #5  
pdlamb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: northern Deep South
Posts: 5,948

Bikes: Fuji Touring, Novara Randonee

Mentioned: 29 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1211 Post(s)
Liked 291 Times in 205 Posts
Dyno lights on both my most-regular-riders, so I'm pretty certain I have a light while rolling.

In case a connection comes loose (has happened!), I've got a blinky on one bike and two on the other. On winter commutes they're (a) flashing and (b) backups. Two is redundant for the redundant -- if the dyno connection comes loose and the batteries on one blinky die on a winter commute, I've still got a light.
pdlamb is offline  
Old 04-13-20, 08:11 AM
  #6  
flangehead
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 367

Bikes: 2017 Co-op ADV 1.1; ~1991 Novara Arriba; 1990 Fuji Palisade; mid-90's Moots Tandem

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 145 Post(s)
Liked 208 Times in 118 Posts
Context is suburban commute with some 4-lane 45 mph posted (designated bike route with sharrows) and 40 mph posted with 3 foot shoulder that pinches out in places.

At night, 2 Planet Bike Superflash on panniers and a Cygolite Hotshot on the seatpost, all on solid red plus a Serfas TL-something (very bright) on my helmet in blinking mode.

During daylight I have a minimum of one on solid. I turn on the helmet blinker when I take the lane or if I don’t like the situation forming up behind me.

Last edited by flangehead; 04-13-20 at 08:12 AM. Reason: Spelling
flangehead is offline  
Likes For flangehead:
Old 04-13-20, 08:13 AM
  #7  
rseeker
Senior Member
 
rseeker's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Southeast US
Posts: 936
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 317 Post(s)
Liked 147 Times in 103 Posts
One blinking red one, but I was also thinking about some blinking yellow ones like slow-moving vehicles have, which I definitely am on uphills relative to car speeds (and to turtle speeds). And a solid red one.
rseeker is offline  
Old 04-13-20, 12:19 PM
  #8  
squirtdad
Senior Member
 
squirtdad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: San Jose (Willow Glen) Ca
Posts: 7,025

Bikes: 85 team Miyata (modern 5800 105) , '84 Team Miyata,(dura ace old school) '82 nishiski,

Mentioned: 70 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1162 Post(s)
Liked 368 Times in 283 Posts
I have 3 all cygolite and rechargeable. I like redundancy and angle 2 of them on seat stays such that there is more side visibility.
__________________
Looking for more time to ride what I have
squirtdad is offline  
Likes For squirtdad:
Old 04-13-20, 09:45 PM
  #9  
ooga-booga
lead on, macduff!
 
ooga-booga's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: san diego (uni/normal heights), california
Posts: 5,011

Bikes: 85 pinarello treviso steel, 88 nishiki olympic steel. 95 look kg 131 carbon, 11 trek madone 5.2 carbon

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 645 Post(s)
Liked 503 Times in 269 Posts
four rechargeable lights in flashing mode regardless of time of day/night. one on each side of the handlebars (the knog "stick" ones that run about $20 apiece
that extend out approx two inches from the outside of the handlebars) in the middle of the hooks so i can climb in the hoods or drop down (rare for me) to the hooks.
two wraparound lights on the seat tube underneath the top tube since i normally use a saddle bag which would obscure most lights mounted to the seat post.
ooga-booga is offline  
Old 04-14-20, 07:45 AM
  #10  
alan s 
Senior Member
 
alan s's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 6,915
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1464 Post(s)
Liked 147 Times in 103 Posts
I run one on my helmet, but that’s because my route is almost entirely bike paths. I’ll add one to the bike if my commute is on the road.
alan s is offline  
Old 04-14-20, 07:57 AM
  #11  
Moe Zhoost
Half way there
 
Moe Zhoost's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Durham, NC
Posts: 2,059

Bikes: Many, and the list changes frequently

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 630 Post(s)
Liked 362 Times in 221 Posts
When I commuted in the dark, I had 4. A rack mounted dyno powered light, 2 belt-mounted lights (port and starboard) on solid, and a helmet mounted solar light in blink mode. Distance between the lights aids others in gauging your distance and speed.
Moe Zhoost is offline  
Old 04-14-20, 08:43 AM
  #12  
sdmc530
Heft On Wheels
 
sdmc530's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 2,718

Bikes: Specialized,Cannondale,Argon 18

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 728 Post(s)
Liked 300 Times in 220 Posts
2, that way if one dies I still have one. I turn them both on all the time but they don't usually die at the same time.

I am working on getting the Garmin rear light with radar deal, looks pretty awesome.
sdmc530 is offline  
Old 04-14-20, 10:20 AM
  #13  
JaccoW
Tinkerer
 
JaccoW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Posts: 1,477

Bikes: Batavus Randonneur GL, Gazelle Orange Excellent, Gazelle Super Licht, Gazelle Grand Tourist

Mentioned: 28 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 465 Post(s)
Liked 346 Times in 220 Posts
Just one, a dynamo driven B+M Secula Plus. One of the more visible lights without being blinding and plenty of light for around here.





(Different bike, but same light. This is the standlight)
JaccoW is offline  
Likes For JaccoW:
Old 04-14-20, 05:34 PM
  #14  
Digger Goreman
Quidam Bike Super Hero
 
Digger Goreman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Decatur, GA (Metro Atlanta, East)
Posts: 864

Bikes: 1995 Trek 800 Sport, aka, "Frankentrek"/"Camel-Trek"

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 251 Post(s)
Liked 252 Times in 176 Posts
One cygolight hotshot, flanked by two old style reflectors.
Digger Goreman is offline  
Old 04-14-20, 05:35 PM
  #15  
wgscott
Occam's Rotor
 
wgscott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 6,165
Mentioned: 61 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2366 Post(s)
Liked 1,243 Times in 654 Posts
One fewer than yesterday.
wgscott is offline  
Old 04-14-20, 06:07 PM
  #16  
GeneO
Senior Member
 
GeneO's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: midwest
Posts: 2,443

Bikes: 2018 Roubaix Expert Di2, 2016 Diverge Expert X1

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 459 Post(s)
Liked 99 Times in 69 Posts
One hotshot that I use on two bikes. So is that 1/2?
GeneO is offline  
Old 04-14-20, 06:26 PM
  #17  
But its me
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Memphis, TN
Posts: 127

Bikes: A few older US made Cannondales and one Modern Soma Saga. Never enough.

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
Liked 12 Times in 8 Posts
Three: a Busch and Mueller dynamo tail light (toplight line brake plus) on rear rack, a 2nd gen Cycliq Fly6 series cam/light combo on seatpost, and a Light and Motion 360+ on the helmet. The latter is the older, better designed, more visible, built in reflector version, not the new one. Not sure what they were thinking when “improving” it, but I digress. My commute is 75% MUP and I turn off all but the dynamo light for those stretches. For traffic, day or night all three are in use. Overkill, perhaps.
But its me is offline  
Old 04-15-20, 01:14 PM
  #18  
pdlamb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: northern Deep South
Posts: 5,948

Bikes: Fuji Touring, Novara Randonee

Mentioned: 29 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1211 Post(s)
Liked 291 Times in 205 Posts
Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
One fewer than yesterday.
So what happened to the other one?
pdlamb is offline  
Old 04-16-20, 09:49 AM
  #19  
Koyote
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 1,684
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 919 Post(s)
Liked 787 Times in 389 Posts
There is some evidence to suggest that a flashing light is more visible to motorists, but a steady beam makes it easier for motorists to gauge distance. So, on my commuter bike, I run one of each - and I have them spread as far apart as possible, with one on the seatpost and one on the non-drive side seatstay.
Koyote is offline  
Likes For Koyote:
Old 04-17-20, 08:14 AM
  #20  
stevel610 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Valley Forge: Birthplace of Freedom
Posts: 691

Bikes: Novara Safari

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 164 Post(s)
Liked 57 Times in 34 Posts
Carry 2 taillights and headlights. Use 1 and have 1 as a backup. I use them day and evening.
__________________
Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.
stevel610 is offline  
Old 04-17-20, 06:17 PM
  #21  
RidingMatthew 
Let's Ride!
 
RidingMatthew's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Triad, NC USA
Posts: 2,514

Bikes: --2010 Jamis 650b1-- 2016 Cervelo R2-- 2018 Salsa Journeyman 650B

Mentioned: 22 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 314 Post(s)
Liked 21 Times in 13 Posts
Originally Posted by Colorado Kid View Post
A friend has four (in a row) of red blinking lights. Isn't that too much? How many do you have on your bike?
​​i have two lights on the rear of my commuting bike. One a Cygoliite hotshot 150 and Orphos flare pro rear. The hotshot gives me a beam for far down the road but not much side visibility. The Orphos has great side visibility and shines 240° and when it is as bright as it can go it is 400 lumens. The cygolite has the shortest battery life but it has been great to have some duplication.
My rack also has a rear reflector. I bought a new winter helmet that has the spot for a light but I did not use one on it last season.
RidingMatthew is offline  
Old 04-18-20, 05:26 PM
  #22  
noglider 
aka Tom Reingold
 
noglider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: High Falls, NY, USA
Posts: 38,962

Bikes: 1962 Rudge Sports, 1971 Raleigh Super Course, 1971 Raleigh Pro Track, 1974 Raleigh International, 1975 Viscount Fixie, 1982 McLean, 1996 Lemond (Ti), 2002 Burley Zydeco tandem

Mentioned: 471 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6403 Post(s)
Liked 953 Times in 625 Posts
Occasionally, I see someone with more than two taillights. I notice it's a good attention getter. I don't think there is a number of too many lights, because bikes are so much narrower than other vehicles. It's too many when you can't manage the batteries or when the cost is prohibitive. I haven't reattached the dynamo lights on my bike, but I do plan to. When I run dynamo lights, I have a steady dynamo-powered taillight plus a flashing battery-powered one. I also have a spoke-mounted light in my rear wheel which has been observed (by others) to be good at grabbing attention.
__________________
Tom Reingold, tom@noglider.com
New York City and High Falls, NY
Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

“When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments.” — Elizabeth West, US author

Please email me rather than PM'ing me. Thanks.
noglider is offline  
Old 04-18-20, 05:29 PM
  #23  
wgscott
Occam's Rotor
 
wgscott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 6,165
Mentioned: 61 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2366 Post(s)
Liked 1,243 Times in 654 Posts
Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
So what happened to the other one?
I put it on my kid's bike at the beginning of a ride. It was not there at the half-way point. We searched 20 miles of road, but never found it.
wgscott is offline  
Old 04-18-20, 05:39 PM
  #24  
westrid_dad
Senior Member
 
westrid_dad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Idaho
Posts: 141

Bikes: Surly Ogre, Cannondale Topstone 105

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Liked 16 Times in 11 Posts
Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
There is some evidence to suggest that a flashing light is more visible to motorists, but a steady beam makes it easier for motorists to gauge distance. So, on my commuter bike, I run one of each - and I have them spread as far apart as possible, with one on the seatpost and one on the non-drive side seatstay.
I follow this same approach on each of my bikes. A bright (but not dangerously bright blinky/pulse light) with a bright solid light.
westrid_dad is offline  
Old 04-18-20, 09:10 PM
  #25  
greatscott
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Indiana
Posts: 532

Bikes: 1984 Fuji Club, Suntour ARX; 2013 Lynskey Peloton, mostly 105 with Ultegra rear derailleur, Enve 2.0 fork; 2020 Masi Giramondo 700c, full Deore with TRP dual piston mech disk brakes

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 283 Post(s)
Liked 51 Times in 48 Posts
Two, I have a NiteRider Omega 300 on the saddle bag loop, and a NiteRider Sentry Aero 269 on my helmet at night on.

What Koyote said is what I've done for quite a few years and said that on various forums. Canadian studies have shown that a flashing light attracts attention better than a solid light; but European studies said that with blinking lights motorists had difficulty ascertaining their distance from the light, so they outlawed flashing lights. Knowing that when I ride at night I run my brightest light which is the Omega 300 on solid but the Aero 260 is on alternating flash; but during the day I run the Omega on strobe.
greatscott is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.