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Bike lights!!

Old 04-16-14, 07:48 PM
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Archery_Queen
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Bike lights!!

So I have a front light that's pretty bright, two back lights, ones bright ones so so. I wanted to add spoke lights, but am not sure of the worth. What kind of lights dose everyone else use?
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Old 04-16-14, 07:59 PM
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LED


I use the "see em" lights. Very noticeably at night and cheap
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Old 04-16-14, 08:15 PM
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Janky cheapo ones from Target, to be honest.

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Old 04-16-14, 08:33 PM
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If you already have front and rear lights, then why not put strips of reflective tape on the frame and fork, for more visibility ??... Reflective tape is highly visible.
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Old 04-16-14, 08:53 PM
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I have powerful blinkies for the front and back. But now I'm experimenting with a third light mounted on the front but directed backwards towards me, the rider. The idea being to illuminate the rider. I switch this light on to solid and low power (so that it does not distract me too much). I believe it has much improved my visibility to other road users.
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Old 04-16-14, 10:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Shahmatt View Post
I have powerful blinkies for the front and back. But now I'm experimenting with a third light mounted on the front but directed backwards towards me, the rider. The idea being to illuminate the rider. I switch this light on to solid and low power (so that it does not distract me too much). I believe it has much improved my visibility to other road users.
I think the opposite. I want to be bright enough on both the front and the rear so that tomb drivers are not blinded, but don't know what I am. In my experience, if they don't know you're a bicycle/bicyclist when they first see you they are more careful. As far as they're concerned, it may be a car with one headlight burned out, or a motorcycle, and they respond differently. I wouldn't want them to know (at first, anyway) that I'm just a guy on a bike.
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Old 04-16-14, 10:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Archery_Queen View Post
So I have a front light that's pretty bright, two back lights, ones bright ones so so. I wanted to add spoke lights, but am not sure of the worth. What kind of lights dose everyone else use?
Add some reflective tape...







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Old 04-16-14, 10:26 PM
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I can't put reflective tape on my bike. It's so clean and send.


I did contemplate putting lead wire lights on my panniers when I used to ride at night more. I was going to hot glue it around the edges
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Old 04-16-14, 10:33 PM
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Well, my next bike has OEM dyno powered front and rear lights, but i plan to add single or twin steady whites to the lower front fork (one per side). Then i may pop one on the front tube so i get light high, low, pointing where my wheel is going, and pointing to where the rest of the bike is pointed. I also plan to get some reflective tape, but unsure of exactly what color(s) and where i'm going to apply it. I never use anything that flashes quickly, as it can cause "draw", and that's the last thing any cyclist wants!

One thing i will say, is that the options for lights have really increased quite a bit in the last few years. You now have some that you charge via USB, some that have integrated reflectors, some have their own charging station that plugs into wall socket... Then you have all different sizes and layouts, and a few that have red AND white in the same unit, and ones that detach & can be used as a flashlight, the list goes on!

I personally believe that all bicycles meant for riding on road should come with some kind of front & rear light. Not only does this address legal requirements where applicable, but it also could allow better physical integration into the design of the bike itself.

- Andy
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Old 04-17-14, 12:21 AM
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I recently posted a thread on my own favorite "to see with" light, the Ixon IQ Premium (the battery powered version of the Lumotec Cyo Premium, which is a dynamo light) -
http://www.bikeforums.net/commuting/...e-ranking.html

It uses a highly shaped beam with even light distribution and a cutoff at the horizon like a car headlight -

In the first pic it's not aimed right but it demonstrates the cutoff -


In this second pic it demonstrates more what you see when it's aimed right -


The picture isn't quite a perfect representation of the light - it's not quite that bright, but the sides in real life are not quite that dark either (I could still see them with my eyeball, whereas they look to dark to see in this pic). But notice the lack of a distracting hotspot, and how everything that's lit up is lit up fairly evenly.

Attached Images
File Type: jpg
IxonIqShadowsBrightened.jpg (105.1 KB, 112 views)

Last edited by PaulRivers; 04-17-14 at 12:36 AM.
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Old 04-17-14, 01:21 AM
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So bright I'm afraid it would push me backwards.

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Old 04-17-14, 04:43 AM
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Originally Posted by tractorlegs View Post
I think the opposite. I want to be bright enough on both the front and the rear so that tomb drivers are not blinded, but don't know what I am. In my experience, if they don't know you're a bicycle/bicyclist when they first see you they are more careful. As far as they're concerned, it may be a car with one headlight burned out, or a motorcycle, and they respond differently. I wouldn't want them to know (at first, anyway) that I'm just a guy on a bike.
In the city where I live there is a high risk of vehicles pulling out from side roads right into my path or just whacking me on the side.

For my case blinkers are not enough, because the short break between "blinks" is long enough to make an impatient driver decide that there's no one there and pull out. So a solid light, in addition to a blinker, is necessary to get attention.

Trouble is with all the street lights and lit up shops even solid lights aren't easy to identify. This is why I illuminate myself. Since the illuminating light I use is red I appear as a glowing red moving thing. It seems to work well as I can see that drivers notice me earlier on my approach compared to before.

In city environments side on collision is more of a risk. Maybe where you are the risks are different. Lighting should be customized to the environment I think.
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Old 04-17-14, 06:02 AM
  #13  
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I used a combination of front lights depending on the situation and two rear lights - a CygoLite Hotshot mounted on the fender and a Blackburn Flea on the tool bag under the seat. I would agree that reflective tape is a good addition. I've taken thin strips and wrapped them around 12 spokes on 36 spoke wheel. My neighbors tell me when I pull in at night they know who it is from a block away by the "circus" wheels, as they call them.
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Old 04-17-14, 06:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Shahmatt View Post
Since the illuminating light I use is red I appear as a glowing red moving thing.
Not unlike a zombie movie lol . . .
Lighting should be customized to the environment I think.
I agree, and also customized to ridiing style.
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Old 04-17-14, 06:39 AM
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Personally, I think that a good set of front and rear lights is all you need in terms of lights, although I can see the benefit of helmet-mounted lights for full-dark, non-illuminated rides (or portions thereof) such as along MUPs/paths/street-light-free zones. Spoke lights can really only be seen from the side and only suggest the circular shape of wheels when in motion. Personally, I would recommend moving on to reflective additions such as (as other have) on the rims and also on yourself such as pant clips/wraps and a reflective vest or jacket with reflective portions (a rainshell with reflective patches is particularly beneficial because, during rain, illumination and visibility is reduced so a reflective rainshell serves 2 purposes).

Also, but maybe not now with a limited budget, there are many good commuting tires with reflective sidewalls which eliminates the need to add reflective tape to your rims.
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Old 04-17-14, 07:38 AM
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For my tail lights I'm using a couple of cheap red blinkies from Target affixed to my backpack.
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Old 04-17-14, 09:22 AM
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I really like the amber side panel lighting on the light and motion 360 viz. I bought night ize spoke lights and hate them. They're cheap, but you get what you pay for...they aren't very visible and they constantly come lose and shift, or fall off.
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Old 04-17-14, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
If you already have front and rear lights, then why not put strips of reflective tape on the frame and fork, for more visibility ??... Reflective tape is highly visible.
This is a great idea. No batteries required.
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Old 04-17-14, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
I really like the amber side panel lighting on the light and motion 360 viz. I bought night ize spoke lights and hate them. They're cheap, but you get what you pay for...they aren't very visible and they constantly come lose and shift, or fall off.
I have to second the Light and Motion VIZ 360. I have a Vis 360+ in addition to a handlebar and tail light on my bike and I think it is great for visibility as

1) you get the amber lights for side visibility - many of the brightest tail lights and head lights are very narrow directional lights, offering poor side visibility. The L&M lights with these amber lights solve that and give people an idea of what direction the bike is facing based on different color lights.

2) THe light is higher up then on your bike, making it easier for large SUVs, etc to see you.

I strongly recommend one of these in addition to lights on your bike if you are willing to spend the money.

I have also seen a number of riders with the Light & Motion urban headlights and taillights on thier bike. these also have the amber lights and they seem very effective. I am planing to use these for my new bike.

I also saw a biker in day recently using the L&M VIS 180 tail light. It was day and as I pulled out to turn I immediately noticed him while looking as this tail light was very bright. Reminded me of the advantage of a good quality, bright tail light in the day.
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Old 04-17-14, 11:58 AM
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the Schwalbe, and other EU tires are coming with a reflective band on the sidewall these days ..

decades ago from a shop in NL I bought a pack of 2 rings of reflective tube ,

SIZED like you'd have as the sleeve in the cable housing, with a wire through it.

it laced in amongst the spokes , being above the rim it didn't get cloudy
from road dirt and aluminum off the rim, wet braking

like the strip in the tire sidewall does . so, now, the sides of the tire need cleaning occasionally .
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