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Night Lights Front and Rear

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Night Lights Front and Rear

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Old 07-09-18, 08:52 PM
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ionlydrinkbud
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Night Lights Front and Rear

I'm in the market for some lights for night road cycling. I'm in Florida and the drivers here suck so I need to be seen. I'm not going to be doing any midnight riding but some nice evening rides. Any suggestions? I'll spend what I need to spend I just don't want unnecessary overkill but I also don't want to die.
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Old 07-09-18, 08:54 PM
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I have a Bontrager Flare R rear and Ion from strobe. They have day and night modes with steady and blink options. Both are USB rechargeable.
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Old 07-09-18, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by oldnslow2 View Post
Both are USB rechargeable.
Oh yeah! USB would be a big plus!
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Old 07-09-18, 09:18 PM
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Light & Motion Urban series.

They are incredibly well made and the best beam pattern of any light I have seen. 1.5 hour runtime on high but I can get 3 hours out of it by turning it down while climbing and in areas where full brightness is not needed. Also USB rechargeable.

The Urban 900 is $69 at REI.
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Old 07-10-18, 07:58 AM
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Up front I've been really happy with the Niterider Lumina 650 or 750.
In the back I like the Niterider Solas (I have both the 40 and the 100) but I think my favorite is the Planet Bike SuperFlash USB.
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Old 07-10-18, 08:27 AM
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Whatever lights you choose please hard-mount the rear light on a seat stay or seat post so the led's point straight back towards on-coming traffic. It's a pet peeve with me to see lights that only warn overtaking aircraft or speedy small dogs because the light is clipped onto a jersey pocket, a cloth loop on a saddle bag or rubber-banded onto a seat stay at a 45 degree angle.
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Old 07-10-18, 02:41 PM
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I second the Niterider Lumina and Solas. They work well for me.
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Old 07-10-18, 02:49 PM
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DiNotte lights are great. I've had drivers compliment me on my lighting. They're expensive but last forever and seem indestructible. Excellent bracket assortment, too.

I burn lights at both ends in daytime, too. Mottled shade is extremely dangerous.
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Old 07-10-18, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by oldnslow2 View Post
I have a Bontrager Flare R rear and Ion from strobe. They have day and night modes with steady and blink options. Both are USB rechargeable.
This is what I have too and have been very happy. However, I don't ride at night on purpose. I do, however, sometimes get caught in the dark when riding in the winter after work. Having these lights has definitely saved me from having to call for a lift :-)
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Old 07-10-18, 04:31 PM
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Flare R is one of the best rear lights out there IMO. It's almost too bright for night time, though it does automatically change the light output depending on ambient light. The thing is a laser beam in daytime, I actually use a different light for night riding (Cateye Rapid X 2). Flare R is a very focused light, whereas the Cateye is more diffuse, which is better for night, when all I want is a blob of red light emanating from my bike. The focused beam of the Flare R is great for daytime riding, to pierce through bright sunlight. Both are USB.
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Old 07-12-18, 05:48 PM
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Big fan of the Flare R here. Since I started using it, drivers give me noticeably more room even in the sunlight. Up front I use a Light and Motion Urban 800. It's got a good variety of intensities, and a decent daytime pulse pattern, too.
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Old 07-12-18, 10:06 PM
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I'm a Cygolite fan - I've been using the Expilion series for years (currently on the 850). I usually use it on steady on the third lowest setting (unless out in the country at night), and it also has a less offensive than usual night pulse mode that I like around sunset. The Hotshot 100 rear light is great on steady at night, with several good daytime visibility modes (though they are honestly a bit too much for group rides). The 80 would probably be sufficient, and I think the 150 might be overkill. Both are USB rechargeable.

The downside to the Expilion is that it is not especially light, or aero, if you are interested in such things.
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Old 07-20-18, 04:37 PM
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My choices, and I've ridden at night a fair bit and will again, are these:

More are better!

My wife is always in back (we never ride abreast), and she has a flashing strobe (red), on the bottom of her luggage rack, on the bottom of her seat post, and build into her helmet. They blink at different rates, and I don't know HOW you could not see her. Floridians? Well, maybe

I ride in front, and I run one flashing tail in back and one in front.

Both bikes have two LED flashlights in the front bars, with 65550 batteries. On public roads one is set down to a "low" position and on bright, and one is set to strobe. On back roads and bike paths the more tightly focused beam (I installed different reflectors in the lights) is aimed slightly higher and used as a high beam.

We're putting out a LOT of light, we're not going to be missed, and since the weight isn't rotating weight I don't really care.

Hope this helps,
D

Last edited by dfischer; 07-20-18 at 04:50 PM.
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Old 07-20-18, 09:42 PM
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Florida is statistically the deadliest state for cyclists, with nearly double the fatalities per capita of other states. You need all the help you can get.

I'd strongly advise two lights front and back. Two points of light help drivers quickly estimate your distance, orientation, direction and speed. Separation between lights helps. Easiest way to do that on a bike is mount at least one light on the bike and one on the helmet, front and rear.

After seeing another cyclist use that technique I could easily see how visible he was compared with other cyclists, especially in traffic. Even when his bike was blocked by vehicles I could still see his helmet lights above the rooflines of ordinary cars. What really grabs attention is when the cyclist turns his/her head -- it really pops out amid the clutter of most urban lights, which are usually either static or moving in one direction.

That's when I began using helmet lights myself. On the few rides when I didn't mount lights on my helmet I'd mount two headlights and two taillights on the bike. To get some separation I'll mount a headlight on the handlebar and another on the head tube or fork. On the back I'll mount one on the seat post and a second on the rear rack or seat bag. It's not as effective as the helmet lights, but better than single lights.
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Old 07-20-18, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
DiNotte lights are great. I've had drivers compliment me on my lighting. They're expensive but last forever and seem indestructible. Excellent bracket assortment, too.

I burn lights at both ends in daytime, too. Mottled shade is extremely dangerous.
I agree with the DiNotte Quad Tail Light. I've had mine for almost four years, and it works like I just got it. I've had drivers compliment me as well and even had a cyclist ask me to turn it down during group rides. I will when asked, but I usually keep it as bright as possible, day or night. I want that texting driver to notice that flash of light out of the top corner of his/her eye and look up to see me.
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Old 07-20-18, 10:03 PM
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I like Cateye lights. Various people levels to choose from and the minutes with well for me
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Old 07-21-18, 02:53 AM
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I'm a fan of Cygolite. For front lights, one on the bar, one on the helmet. I have become a fan of daytime lights, so I like the 650+ for daytime flashing front and 200 lumens for rear flasher. Most single batter lights max out at 1.5 hour of runtime on high. If you like long after dark rides, consider getting a 900 lumen light and running it on medium; you get longer run time. Also two lights for the rear, with different flashing patterns. I aim them at slightly different angles to increase coverage.
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Old 07-21-18, 04:58 AM
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You want to be seen but you don't want to blind anyone. That's doesn't get cyclist any brownie points with motorists, not to mention dangerous and illegal. I used a store front after hours to make sure my light is angled down enough so that its not blinding. You really need to back off about a block to get the best view to determine this angle.

I always set mine at Level III flash/strobe which I feel works best for after sunset city riding. During day riding I angle it up which gives motorist a direct view but is not blinding during daylight.
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