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What rear lighting do you recommend?

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What rear lighting do you recommend?

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Old 10-27-04, 02:07 PM
  #1  
HiYoSilver
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What rear lighting do you recommend?

I have a 6 mile commute. [ bike is 6, car is 10. go figure. ]

Most of the commute is great, but one mile section is narrow 2 lane road with only a couple street lights. Traffic is using flying about 50 along this stretch. The first part of it is uphill, so like most bikers speed is estimated to be between 5 and 10 mph. I am concerned about noodle brains missing a cyclist, so want a good visibility system for vehicles overtaking me.

Here is what I am considering:
Handle bar light:
http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=4322
Reasoning, 3 spots of light vs 1 should be more visible.

Taillight:
http://www.rei.com/product/47843639....HP_CYCLING_TOC
Reasoning: 2 AA batteries for better life in cold and 50 hour run time on steady.

QUESTIONS:
1. Would you be comfortable with this setup?

2. Is there a better alternative I should consider?

Thanks for your wisdom.

Huff
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Old 10-27-04, 02:10 PM
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slvoid
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Hill? Definitely get a light on your helmet then lights on the sides of your handle bars.
Planetbike.com has a nice one that attaches to your helmet and self levels.
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Old 10-27-04, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by slvoid
Hill? Definitely get a light on your helmet then lights on the sides of your handle bars.
Planetbike.com has a nice one that attaches to your helmet and self levels.
What he said. Helmet light.
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Old 10-27-04, 02:21 PM
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Never thought of a helmet light. THANKS!!!!

Do I need lights on handlebars with helmet light?

It definitely sounds better to have 2 rear lights instead ofone, as eventually one will go out at the worst possible time.

Huff
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Old 10-27-04, 02:22 PM
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Oh, where or where is the Beam me up light to go with a front and rear helmet light?

;-))
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Old 10-27-04, 02:37 PM
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You definitely should have multiple lights.
If I were you, I'd spend $15 on the helmet light (cause it mounts up high), $20 on lights at each end of the handle bar, and $20 on a rear seatpost light. With 4 lights, 2 vertical, 2 horizontal, it's much easier for a motorist to not only spot you but determine your size and how fast he's approaching you. Set at least the center light on solid, blinking lights are hard to fix on.
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Old 10-27-04, 02:48 PM
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Good points. Going up hill I am definitely upright and not leaning into it.

Guess I will have to get used to light on the head, ugh change is so painful.

I would not use blinking mode as I don't think it is safe but just a sop manufacturers add to make their lights seem a better buy. Problems with blinking/running lights are: 1_ harder for glancing look to acurately guess distance and speed, 2_ call too much attention to biker and driver might forget to drive, and 3_ drunk magnet. They lock into blinking lights like a moth to a light and don't stop to think until they hit the light source. There is a good reason patrol cars no longer just have one set of rear flashing lights. They mix colors and location to attempt to touch the drunken brain.

Merton,
Sounds like you need to go to saddlebags.

Huff
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Old 10-27-04, 03:04 PM
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I don't like blinkers.
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Old 10-27-04, 08:31 PM
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http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=68186
this is a great tail light that can be seen from the side.
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Old 10-27-04, 09:09 PM
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While it seems a good idea, for some reason handlebar lights by comcept seem to not trigger good things in my head.

I use this cateye myself, with pretty good results http://www.rei.com/product/11068458....HP_CYCLING_TOC

Definately get a helmet light if you can. I jsut took a promotional blinky I got somehwere, rubbed the logogs off it, and used zipties to mount it. Couldnt use it anymore when I got my new helmet though, due to the rear countouring
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Old 10-27-04, 09:15 PM
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Huffy, definitely get this light:
http://www.rei.com/product/47843639....HP_CYCLING_TOC
it's VERY bright. Plus u can use standard AA rechargeble's in it so you keep it solid all the time.
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Old 10-27-04, 09:26 PM
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Either of the blinking taillights mentioned should do fine. Be sure to use one of the blinking modes so the light attracts attention. There are many competing lights in a driver's field of view and at dark it's sometimes hard to sort them out. Depth perception degrades in the dark as well so a small bike taillight could be mistaken for a larger auto light further away if used in non-blinking mode.
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Old 10-27-04, 09:44 PM
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The taillight from REI looks awesome, especially the side lights. It's better than the one I have, and I am perfectly comfortable with my generic 5-LED taillight.

I don't use a helmet light. In fact I never see anyone else using one, either. Oh well, the more lights, the better.

Blinking mode is definitely the ticket. It is the default signature of a bicycle in the dark.

Lastly, is there any way you could choose an alternate route to eliminate the narrow one mile stretch with 50 mph traffic? Taking a wider, less travelled road would be 10 times safer than buying lots of lights.

Tom
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Old 10-27-04, 09:59 PM
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Or this crazy cluster from Niterider.
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Old 10-27-04, 10:34 PM
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I put 2 of these on the back of my my helmet ...
http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=4322
ALong with various other blinkin' LEDs all over the place!
ALSO-
I recommend Reflective Ankle Straps!!!
Movement + Light is ALWAYS better!!!
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Old 10-27-04, 10:37 PM
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I know all my cycling shoes have retro reflective material sewn into the heals.
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Old 10-27-04, 10:42 PM
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my shoes do too, but noone sees them due to my baggy jeans.
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Old 10-27-04, 10:57 PM
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You can always get the shorts.
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Old 10-27-04, 11:03 PM
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Oh Yeah - Rechargeables...
NiMH is the way to go...costly at first,
MUCH better in the long run, I always have an extra charged set.
also, look at getting a "conditioning" charger to extend battery life.
Check 'em out at this place:
http://www.mahaenergy.com
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Old 10-28-04, 05:49 AM
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The setup I use is to have 2 rear facing red lights. A cateye multi LED unit (TL AU100) fixed to the bike and set to continuous output operation. This unit has a good wide angle output and is nice and bright. The second is a flashing light attached to my backpack. This is intended to ba a "best of both worlds" in the steady vs blink debate and also ensures that I'm unlikely to be completely without rear lighting in case of battery exhaustion. Both sets are powered with rechargeable batteries.

I have also taken to adding reflective tape to my wheel rims. I figure that a fast moving reflector should have additional "eye catching" potential.

Hope that is useful

Cheers,

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Old 10-28-04, 06:21 AM
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Two big LED rears so you've got redundancy on flat-battery / soaked innards days. It happens. Run them on steady mode so you look like a vehicle, and then gonzo's hindbrain autopilot will navigate around you without him having to actually think. Thinking is when they screw up.

Reflective on your shoes or pedals. Maybe a FireFlute (http://www.withingtoncycles.co.uk/pr...0&node_id=2546) across your back or strapped to your bag, for body viz.
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Old 10-28-04, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by steveknight
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=68186
this is a great tail light that can be seen from the side.
That is the same light model as in my link.
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Old 10-28-04, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by JavaMan

Lastly, is there any way you could choose an alternate route to eliminate the narrow one mile stretch with 50 mph traffic? Taking a wider, less travelled road would be 10 times safer than buying lots of lights.

Tom
I wish. There are only 2 routes. One is across a 4 lane , 2 lanes/open gap/2 lanes, bridge that is very very heavily traveled and has a fair share of accidents.

The other route is a bike underpass under a 4 lane divided highway. The only paved option is going 1/8 to 1/4 mile up a moderate hill. Once up the hill I'm fine as it's sightly downhill and the traffic slows to about 40. Not as much speed differential between 20 and 40 as there is between 10 and 50. The problem is this is the "short cut" for those who don't want to wait for traffic on the main route across the 4 lane highway.

There is a third option, but I don't trust it in winter darkness. It is to cross the 2 lane highway and follow a trail across the RR tracks and then on a less traveled combo 2 lane road/bike path. With winter close and the risk of flats because of things called goatheads. I figured 2 lane was safest.

Thanks for asking.

Huff
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Old 10-28-04, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by huffypuffy
I wish. There are only 2 routes. One is across a 4 lane , 2 lanes/open gap/2 lanes, bridge that is very very heavily traveled and has a fair share of accidents.

The other route is a bike underpass under a 4 lane divided highway. The only paved option is going 1/8 to 1/4 mile up a moderate hill. Once up the hill I'm fine as it's sightly downhill and the traffic slows to about 40. Not as much speed differential between 20 and 40 as there is between 10 and 50. The problem is this is the "short cut" for those who don't want to wait for traffic on the main route across the 4 lane highway.

There is a third option, but I don't trust it in winter darkness. It is to cross the 2 lane highway and follow a trail across the RR tracks and then on a less traveled combo 2 lane road/bike path. With winter close and the risk of flats because of things called goatheads. I figured 2 lane was safest.

Thanks for asking.

Huff
Get a strong front light and some armadillo tires and take the road less traveled.
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Old 10-28-04, 08:38 AM
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I just bought a pair of those bar-end lights you're looking at. I've only done one ride with them so far, but they seem nice and bright.

I also recommend reflective tape to supplement lights. Lights will only give you a few points of illumination, but reflective tape can light up your whole bike (as long as you're in somebody's headlights). Some good places to apply it are:
Helmet
Fenders (esp. the rear)
Fork and seat stays (or rack stays if you have a rack)
Rims (if you can fit it without taping over the braking surface)
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