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Recumbent What IS that thing?! Recumbents may be odd looking, but they have many advantages over a "wedgie" bicycle. Discuss the in's and out's recumbent lifestyle in the recumbent forum.

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Old 10-25-11, 07:06 AM   #1
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How do y'all mount your lights?

OK, this has content for Advocacy & Safety, Electronics and bents, so not sure where to post it. Thought I'd give it a shout here first.

Every now and then I see this guy on a low rider bent with a very bright battery powered light attached in the front, below the fairing. It seems the light is just barely above the road surface. He keeps the light on even during daytime. On earlier occasions I've just thought, "cool, he has a magicshine or something similar, making sure he's visible, good for him".

The other night we met again, it was dark and raining and we were riding towards each other on a grade separated bike lane. His light is apparently pointed nearly straight forward (low mounting point). Flashlight type conical beam, retina searing amount of lumens going everywhere except on the road surface, no cut-off. Looking at his general direction, I couldn't see anything past the light and halo. I could tell he was stopped at the intersection I was approaching, but I couldn't see why. I couldn't tell if he was signalling a turn himself or maybe anticipating a turning car to hook him or what.

Turns out he probably just reacted late to the green light. But had there been any hassle going on in the intersection, I wouldn't have been able to see it. This is the first time I actually felt there's some truth in people complaining about too bright bike lights, and in this case I think part of the blame lies in the low mounting point of the light.

So, what kind of lights do you use and where do they attach in your 'bents? Is it difficult to get a good illumination of the road surface?

To err is human. To moo is bovine.

Who is this General Failure anyway, and why is he reading my drive?

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Old 10-25-11, 08:38 AM   #2
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I don't ride at night.
Sometimes my enthusiasm for riding keeps me going after sundown, however.
My light is mounted on my Sofriders' handlebars, so it's about waist height above the road.

Normally the lights, both front and tail, are set to blinking mode and are on strictly to make me more visible to my fellow road users.

To answer your question, I have never ridden on the road at night.
I don't know how well my light illuminates the road!

The low-mounted light you described, mounted on the lowrider 'bent sounds like it's conveniently but ineffectively mounted.
The rider of the lowrider would see the road better if it were illuminated better -with the light mounted higher up.
The rest of us get to see his light... but with it being mounted low like that, where drivers tend to look (that's where the road is, low!) well,
then, when drivers look for the road and see that lowriders' light glaring up at them from the road?
That can't be good.
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Old 10-25-11, 10:36 AM   #3
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I have a pair of 12V MR16 lights up front. 406 wheel and I mount the lights on top of a piece of angle iron just at the top of the headset. I point one almost horizontal but biased to the right so it centers more on the curb if I'm riding the fog line, and I point the other one straight ahead but biased downward so the beam center is about 15 feet in front of my eyes. No cutoff. No strobing or blinking on the front. Currently using 5W LED although I still kind of prefer 20W halogen.

On the back I have one of those rear window brake lights from a car, always on, mounted above rack level (559 wheel) about where my shoulders are, and on top of that an amber xenon strobe that runs at about 2 Hz.

I run all of them day or night. Battery size is 10 A-hr, but I think it really only makes 7 A-hr once we get into winter, and that's all I count on. Gives me about 3 hours plus, and my commute is 60-70 minutes each way in winter. I just plug in when I get home each night and unplug in the morning when I take off.
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Old 10-25-11, 12:32 PM   #4
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My 'bent currently uses a Dinotte 600L headlight mounted on the bars, so it's up high and angled downward. I intend to replace that with a dyno-powered B&M IQ Cyo at some point. I'll mount that at the fork-crown (low due to 20" front wheel), but it has a shaped beam.
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Old 10-25-11, 02:44 PM   #5
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Going out on a limb here, but maybe the reason that he mounted the light where he did is so that he wouldn't experience glare off of that fairing from a light mounted higher (like on the helmet/head).
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Old 10-25-11, 07:51 PM   #6
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Mounting points depend both on the particular recumbent and ride choice. My bike headlight is conventionally mounted on my bars but my trike light is just above the front derailleur post right between my feet.

My guess is the rider adjusted his/her light for max daytime attention. Low mount points don't have to leave others blinded.
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Old 10-25-11, 10:28 PM   #7
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I have a Schmidt dynohub and a B&M IQ CYO light, which is mounted on a Terracycle mount in front of my Gold Rush's fairing. Works great, lights up the road, never have to worry about batteries.

Here's the previous setup, with a Shimano hub and Planet Bike light. I put it on my wife's bike:

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