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Ankle lights

Old 01-10-24, 10:14 AM
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Ankle lights

Biomotion (i.e. moving lights suggesting that the wearer is a human) is arguably best to promote early detection.

Several arm/ankle models available, mostly for joggers. My use case is extended bike touring. I am looking for:
  • something durable, reliable and waterproof
  • running on CR2032 (batteries can be swapped in the middle of the night if needed)
  • comfortable to wear around the ankle
Comments, tips and suggestions appreciated.
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Old 01-10-24, 11:53 AM
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I'm in agreement with you on the motion of the light. In the '70's and on into the early '90's I used to have this light. This is not mine, I happened to find a picture of a similar one.


I now have a leg band that will glow green when I turn it on and I also have pants clips with reflective tape. One other advantage of these type of lights is that the are not married or mounted to the bike.

As for advice on what is good nowadays, I don't know. Perhaps the glowy band.
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Old 01-10-24, 02:08 PM
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I assume you want this for daytime when reflective bands would be mostly ineffective. If at night, I would just suggest good reflective material.
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Old 01-10-24, 02:44 PM
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I keep at least two 40cm Reflective Pop Straps on each of my bikes. They offer very good visibility in dark conditions. Be sure to order the 40cm length.

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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
...I would just suggest good reflective material.
I have noted that nothing beats that reflective vest! I found a very light weight mesh reflective vest that I can compress and store with my little tool kit.
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Old 01-10-24, 02:51 PM
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I've thought about ankle lights, but my night-time riding is generally commuting. I figure the ankle lights and reflective stripes will be blocked by panniers, and therefore ineffective.

I still keep reflective bands in my randonneuring gear, though.
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Old 01-10-24, 02:55 PM
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zandoval Good point. I already use something quite similar. Perhaps sufficient, actually. And excellent battery life
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Old 01-10-24, 03:12 PM
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I still have a leg light. Should put an led in there.
But I use SOLAS ankle bands. They don't go bad or stop reflecting in the wet like a lot of ankle bands do. On the downside, they are a tiny bit clunkier.
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Old 01-10-24, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb
...I figure the ankle lights and reflective stripes will be blocked by panniers, and therefore ineffective.
....
That was a good point to mention here. On my last tour, my touring partner had some reflective ankle bands. I told him that they were mostly blocked by his panniers.

I occasionally saw a bit of ankle band, but not often.

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Old 01-10-24, 04:46 PM
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I remember riding with cats that used these:



I was never much impressed. The lamps so often wiggled&squiggled around and uncomfortably dropped and/or pointed in an ineffective direction.

Today there are lighted pedals. AFAIK the too-clever-by-half Pedalite, with its internal belt-driven dynamo, is no more. The USB-charged RedShift lighted pedals are available.

You'd think in this age of miniature LED lights someone would offer an add-on pedal light. (Maybe it's just my Google foo but...) I can't find one, but you can add reflectors to most pedals, or purchase a functionally similar pedal that comes with built-in reflectors.
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Old 01-10-24, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs
I remember riding with cats that used these:



I was never much impressed. The lamps so often wiggled&squiggled around and uncomfortably dropped and/or pointed in an ineffective direction...
Yep... I get ya. I wrapped reflective tape around the base. I also used a Head Lamp powered by a 6 volt Dry Cell on my belt. The things we did. Flexible reflective clothing was around but out of reach till the late 70's. One of the guys I rode with had a Reflective Jacket from the airport. Wow... It was really trick...
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Old 01-10-24, 09:23 PM
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I used those light for decades. They work very well. Car driver response is excellent. I find cars in general giver me more clearance with those than with far brighter flashers that are stationary on me or the bike.

Several comments. 1) thankfully much lighter and more comfortable options exist now. At high pedaling RPMs the ankle takes a real beating with those 2 C-cell batteries. And, thank you, DuraCell and alkaline batteries and now better! The pre-alkaline days of lead batteries meant a lot of rides home in the dark..

2) For less bone battering and also visibility in front of panniers, strap the light below your knee. Same vertical movement effect, very little pannier screening. (I never rode with rear panniers so that simply wasn't an issue for me but the constant bone bruising on my ankle was.)
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Old 01-10-24, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs
Today there are lighted pedals. AFAIK the too-clever-by-half Pedalite, with its internal belt-driven dynamo, is no more. The USB-charged RedShift lighted pedals are available.

You'd think in this age of miniature LED lights someone would offer an add-on pedal light. (Maybe it's just my Google foo but...) I can't find one, but you can add reflectors to most pedals, or purchase a functionally similar pedal that comes with built-in reflectors.
I have the Redshift pedals for my son’s bike, and they’re excellent by all the reckoning I’ve done. IMO they are the best solution if foot retention is not needed.

To your second point, Specialized Stix lights offer bright, lightweight rechargeable lights which can be mounted virtually anywhere— I use velcro or DuoTec to mount them to headtubes— including to the ankles with the optional ankle strap. They’re my favorite USB rechargeable lights, being lightweight, bright, low-profile, long running, versatile and stylish.
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Old 01-12-24, 10:46 AM
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I've used them. I got some cheap ones from one of those Chinese web sites. They are terrific attention-grabbers. I've even received compliments from them. But mine were not stretchy, and they were uncomfortable. I stopped using them. Maybe I should make my own.

But there are so many accessories involved in commuting, I have limits. Maybe a reflective vest would help, but I just can't bother with some of these things. One thing that has helped a lot is a dynamo-powered headlight. It's theft-resistant, so I leave it on the bike, and I never ask myself if it's time to charge the battery, since there is none.
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Old 01-12-24, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen
But I use SOLAS ankle bands. They don't go bad or stop reflecting in the wet like a lot of ankle bands do. On the downside, they are a tiny bit clunkier.
My I ask which brand? (SOLAS is a certification -- lots of variants out there)
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Old 01-12-24, 01:31 PM
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Nite Ize Slap It straps- https://niteize.com/slaplit-rechargeable-led-slap-wrap

They can be set on steady or flashing.
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Old 01-12-24, 01:33 PM
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They also do this one which I have. https://niteize.com/bike-fitness/run...-led-slap-wrap
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Old 01-12-24, 10:57 PM
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I do believe in using good lights, not airplane landing lights, but decent lights. I also supplement my lights with reflective stuff, and one of the ways I use reflective stuff is on my ankles when riding at night, I don't do the lights down there because I already use 3 taillights at night, so I don't see the need to add more.
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Old 02-25-24, 01:26 AM
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You can attach these to platform pedals:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/295970308524?var=594142282221

Can't go wrong on the price, just don't expect overnight delivery!
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Old 02-25-24, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by liwhitehat
You can attach these to platform pedals:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/295970308524?var=594142282221

Can't go wrong on the price, just don't expect overnight delivery!
$1.83? hmmm, of course they show a picture of them bright as heck, but I seriously doubt for that kind of money they're not even as bright as a candle...but I could be wrong, but I've seen more expensive glowing arm bands that were barely visible, while another person's reflective arm bands showed up better?! But for $4 plus shipping what the heck, try them, if you don't like them fasten them onto your dog's collar!
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Old 02-25-24, 05:38 PM
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Lights mounted on your ankles or wheels don't need to be bright. People notice them.
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Old 02-27-24, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider
Lights mounted on your ankles or wheels don't need to be bright. People notice them.
Depends on how bright they are, I saw some of those ankle lights that were far less visible than reflector bands would have been.
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Old 02-27-24, 09:18 PM
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From riding behind others, I can see that pedal reflectors are effective. However, manufacturers often omit them, especially on the higher-end pedals, and customers do not seem to care either. Myself, I do not buy pedals without them.
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Old 02-27-24, 10:53 PM
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I used to do 15-20 mile rides before work; usually around 4AM. Someone had given me one of those slap lights that I wore on my left ankle and thought it was pretty effective. It weighs next to nothing and it wasn't uncomfortable at all. Of course I also had two taillights (one on the seat post and one on the seat stay) as well as reflective gear. As far as I'm concerned, the more the better when riding in traffic in the dark.

I don't recall how long the batteries lasted but I don't recall having to change them that often.
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Old 02-28-24, 05:42 AM
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Originally Posted by 2_i
From riding behind others, I can see that pedal reflectors are effective. However, manufacturers often omit them, especially on the higher-end pedals, and customers do not seem to care either. Myself, I do not buy pedals without them.
Hybrid SPD/platform is not a style of pedal that is to everyone's taste, but I give Shimano credit for having reflectors integrated into the design of the PD-T8000 pedals.

A number of the single-sided Shimano pedal models - even higher-end SPD-SL - have reflector options that can in some cases be not widely available, at least in the U.S. market. I would guess that demand is limited.
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Old 02-28-24, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by John Valuk
Hybrid SPD/platform is not a style of pedal that is to everyone's taste, but I give Shimano credit for having reflectors integrated into the design of the PD-T8000 pedals.

A number of the single-sided Shimano pedal models - even higher-end SPD-SL - have reflector options that can in some cases be not widely available, at least in the U.S. market. I would guess that demand is limited.
These are likely the foreign markets, more focused on practical safety and utility, that encourage or even enforce, by regulations, such designs. In my recollection, I managed to get Shimano Saint platform pedals equipped with reflectors for myself in the US, but when my wife wanted the same, only the ones without the reflectors were available. I ordered the reflectors separately from Germany.
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