Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Guest Quimbob

Bike Lighting Advice

Recommended Posts

Anybody have any suggestions on bike lighting products?

It's changed a lot since I was a kid & we just carried around oil lamps & torches.

thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a high beam mounted LED on my front handlebars which I think is a Nikko(?).  That has worked out well.  I have another which annoyingly rattles when I ride.  I'll try to remember to check tonight to see which brand each light is.

 

What I really love which I have on my bike (in addition to the LED) are these - http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/product/index.jsp?productId=11223248&cp=4406646.4413993.4418012.12855724  They are not nearly as bright as the LED (which is actually too bright IMO for oncoming traffic, causing me to tilt it at a 45 degree angle down toward the ground), but are great for riding at dusk and dawn, or on cloudy days.  They won't illuminate much in front of you, but they are much better than reflectors in terms of warning oncoming traffic that you are on the road.  They have a blinking option, which is nice.  Very easy to put on and take off given that the strap just stretches out and hooks on to the latch.  No added weight either.

 

**Friendly reminder that when you want to search products at Dick's Sporting Goods to use the FULL name (not the just the generic "Dick's") in the web address ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Following up on my earlier post, both of the LED lights I have are "NiteRider" or "NR" products.  The one I like is the Ultrafazer 5.0.  http://bicycling.about.com/od/equipmentreviews/gr/ultrafazer.htm  The one that rattles is the Mako.  http://www.jetblackproducts.com/products/NR5043  The rattling doesn't have anything to do with the way it is mounted on my handlebars, either.  It comes from the loose connection between the light and the mount it came with.  Maybe I just got a dud.  The Ultrafazer is lighter and you only have to flick a switch to turn it on while with the Mako you have to push a button, but the one feature I do like about the Mako is that it has two different settings for brightness and the 'high-beam' covers more of an area than the Ultrafazer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This PlanetBike red strobe is super bright, I have been using it all year.  It clips to my helmet occipital band:

http://www.performancebike.com/bikes/Product_10052_10551_1064923_-1___400159

 

40-3956-NCL-ANGLE.jpg

 

The Lightman xenon strobe is incredibly bright and has a wide angle.  I used this for six years or more: http://www.lightmanstrobes.com/

 

111100_re_crop_257x107.tif.jpg

 

Performance Bike has rechargeable LED headlamps that you charge with a USB connector from your PC.

http://www.performancebike.com/bikes/Product_10052_10551_1119419_-1___400158

 

40-0057-NCL-ANGLE.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dude at the bike shop I always go to lost a lot of money when he tipped me off on Dollar Stores carrying those LED lights. That'll save you $30 easily. Of course they won't be as good of quality I suppose... If you just wouldn't mind some extra lighting or visibility, the Dollar Store (Dollar Tree in particular) is definitely where it's at.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks

I am more interested in being seen than in seeing and, since I don't live in a crime free environment, being able to mount & dismount the lights quickly is important.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dude at the bike shop I always go to lost a lot of money when he tipped me off on Dollar Stores carrying those LED lights. That'll save you $30 easily. Of course they won't be as good of quality I suppose... If you just wouldn't mind some extra lighting or visibility, the Dollar Store (Dollar Tree in particular) is definitely where it's at.

Agreed. And when they break (and they will) it's not a big deal to replace them. The same if someone steals them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks

I am more interested in being seen than in seeing and, since I don't live in a crime free environment, being able to mount & dismount the lights quickly is important.

 

Then I would definitely and strongly recommend the set I linked above from Dick's Sporting Goods.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you guys bike in the winter? What adjustments do you make in terms of maintenance/prep or clothing? I plan on oiling the drive-train a lot more frequently and plan on buying a good pair of gloves and a face mask, maybe something like the one Under-Armour makes. My bike doesn't have fenders, perhaps that would be a wise idea. I'm not used to riding in the winter but I'm going to do it to help me stay in shape.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I ride in temperatures below 35oF, my breath fogs up my eyeglasses or sunglasses.  I will wear a balaclava over my nose and mouth while I am riding, but when I stop I have to quickly pull the balaclava down and purposefully huff out of my mouth to carry my humid breath away from my face.  Defogging compounds on my eyeglasses do make a bit of a difference, but not enough.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

HTS121 - what you linked to looks pretty good - thanks

David - when I was young & strong I'd ride down to 20 & below. Nowadays it's more like 30.

layers

I just tie an old T-shirt over my nose & mouth to do what Boreas was describing.

cheap work gloves

Glasses can be handy, riding down a hill at 35 without 'em, you'll be blind at the bottom as you tear up.

& last but not least, putting a sheet of newspaper under your shirt can block the wind against your chest pretty nicely.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My workout regimen changes in the winter.  I have a stationary bike and a rower, and use the time to catch up on some weight training.  In the warmer months, I rely almost exclusively on my bike.  I still will ride if it is somewhere close to 50 or above.  When it is that cold, it really is the first 5-10 minutes which you have to deal with.  Once you warm up, your body can take the cold.  But that first bit of wind can sting on a cold day.  I bought some decent layering from costco for both top and bottom and it is much, much cheaper than anything you will find in a bike shop.  I think it is this - http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00512YCT2/ref=asc_df_B00512YCT22217004?smid=A2CX5V5K94P1V&tag=dealtmp52139-20&linkCode=asn&creative=395105&creativeASIN=B00512YCT2  So, on the coldest days I ride, I will wear sweatshorts over a baselayer over spandex or wool tights over bike shorts.  On top, I'll wear a windbreaker over the baselayer over a dry-fit shirt over a wife beater or two. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dude at the bike shop I always go to lost a lot of money when he tipped me off on Dollar Stores carrying those LED lights. That'll save you $30 easily. Of course they won't be as good of quality I suppose... If you just wouldn't mind some extra lighting or visibility, the Dollar Store (Dollar Tree in particular) is definitely where it's at.

Agreed. And when they break (and they will) it's not a big deal to replace them. The same if someone steals them.

 

Harbor Freight has some budget-conscious LED light sets that work well enough for town riding, too.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

HTS121 - what you linked to looks pretty good - thanks

David - when I was young & strong I'd ride down to 20 & below. Nowadays it's more like 30.

layers

I just tie an old T-shirt over my nose & mouth to do what Boreas was describing.

cheap work gloves

Glasses can be handy, riding down a hill at 35 without 'em, you'll be blind at the bottom as you tear up.

& last but not least, putting a sheet of newspaper under your shirt can block the wind against your chest pretty nicely.

 

People around here are already too safety-concious, I'm having a hard time finding a mask online that wouldn't scare the sh!t out of people and doesn't make me look like a ninja-assasin or a home invader, lol!

 

If I put a T-Shirt around my nose & mouth, people around here would REALLY think I looked suspect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't get little lights that are just make tiny "blips": they're barely visible even to cyclists in good weather particularly when the battery dies down. Get a charger with rechargeable batteries and some bright ass lights. You can usually test them if you're in the store and a lot say "try me!" anyway. I'd also recommend wheel lights (although I still need to get some) which make you visible from the side. I've had enough instances where despite my bright front and rear lights a handful of drivers still don't see you somehow and I had to predict them being blind idiots and maneuver accordingly. These are more expensive than the pair I saw for $20, but 8-bit fireballs look cool and certainly get you noticed.

 

Not light related, but I've biked through winters in Columbus and last winter in Mpls and really as long as it's just cold you're dealing with, not lots of falling snow or sleet/icy rain, biking in the coldest months is a pretty mundane daily activity that's just part of the routine. I've done bike-only winters just to say I've done it, but if the main roads aren't clear and all you have are snowy/icy side roads it ain't fun and a bus really is the way to go, so you can feel good about biking in the winter and supporting your local transit system too. While sleet/snow add discomfort to you as a cyclist I worry more about the decreased visibility factor for both motorists and cyclists, especially turning at intersections where the crappy iced slush is spread out into the intersecting street making for slow cautious turns while communicating with the motorist that you're slowing down and turning. Anyhoo.

 

Serious winter wear from head to toe: a hat or cap before the balaclava unless it's a thick one or wear two balaclavas (here's a USA flag design, they also have a UK one), scarf is always good or something covering the neck, a thermal top with another rather thick long-sleeved shirt, coat on top, great pair of gloves because good isn't enough unless you have two other pairs you can fit into that one (I've heard good things about the heavily insulted lobster claw glove which might or might not require a thin pair underneath), dense thermal bottom and whatever pants on top is enough (thin thermals mean you need to double up if it's around 20 or less),  and real socks with perhaps two pairs on before slipping those on last. For those single-digit or less days: just add an extra layer with extra attention for your head,hands, and feet, which of course are the most vulnerable to the cold.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dude at the bike shop I always go to lost a lot of money when he tipped me off on Dollar Stores carrying those LED lights. That'll save you $30 easily. Of course they won't be as good of quality I suppose... If you just wouldn't mind some extra lighting or visibility, the Dollar Store (Dollar Tree in particular) is definitely where it's at.

 

I headed over to the Weinland Park Dollar Tree but they didn't have any ones that seemed suitable for bikes. Dollar Tree seems like its selecten varies widely with the seasons, so the bike lights might have gotten pushed out for flimsy Christmas stuff already. I'll hit up Harbor Freight like Robert suggested.

 

Here's some pretty funny Harbor Frieght ads. My favorite is "Some Kind of Gauge"  http://www.rzrd500.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=9001

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...