's Forum Archives - General

Archive Home >> General(1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 )

Night riding - lighting(10 posts)

Night riding - lightingnn23
Nov 7, 2001 7:36 PM
What is a good amt of light for night riding. There are tons of choices out there with anywhere from 1.2 W to 12 W. Of course, the brighter the better, but I was looking for something that does not start comparing to the price my bike itself! The roads I ride at night usually have street lighting, bright enough to read the headlines on a newspaper, so my primary concern was being visible to traffic rather than being able to see the road ahead.

Any link to where I can find a good armband light? Saw someone wearing one with a BRIGHT white strobe light yesterday. Something like that and I'd feel a lot safer.
re: Night riding - lightingMJ
Nov 8, 2001 1:48 AM
if the object is to be seen rather than to see - then a cheap Cateye front and rear LED shoudl sort you right out
re: Night riding - lightingJohn-d
Nov 8, 2001 1:49 AM
Assuming your bike is already well lit, the main hazard seems to be drivers pulling out from side roads, who don't see the bike lights. A helmet light is a handy addition, It shines where you look, so, look at the driver and the light shines directly at him/her, bringing him/her/it back into this world from where-ever drivers drift off to.

An addition is that, if you puncture it illuminates the repair job leaving both hands free.
re: Night riding - lightingAndy M-S
Nov 8, 2001 4:20 PM has a Cateye helmetmount (2.4w Halogen) for sale for around $30. I bought one and like it a lot...I used to use a Vistalite 6w bar-mount light with an SLA battery, but I like the ability to scan with the Cateye, which is, of course, not nearly as bright, but quite sufficient for the city/suburban commute. The battery pack fits nicely in a jersey pocket.

My only complaint is that the battery (5 C cells) isn't rechargeable (but I should get 8 hours out of a set). I'm working on adapting a 2.5AHour SLA battery...
Personal Safety StrobePoulidor
Nov 8, 2001 6:08 AM
You might want to consider a personal safety strobe. I believe they were originally developed to be attached to a life vest. These things weigh just a few ounces and are about 5 inches tall. They use a single D cell battery and are extremely bright (like a strobe flash on a camera). I put one in my bottle cage, fastened with a velcro strap. In the cage, it greatly improves the lateral visibility greatly, it even provides some forward visibility as well. It does not give you any useable light but it sure makes you visible. They cost about $20 and you can get them from places like or other places that sell outdoor and safety equipment. Cheers.
Personal Safety Strobedzrider
Nov 8, 2001 8:12 AM
Blinking lights are fine on quiet roads with few side streets, but I prefer a steady light in the city. I came very close to a collision with a car turning right because the driver saw my blinking light and though I was turning as well.
what about these?fred!
Nov 8, 2001 6:33 AM
re: Night riding - lightingCliff Oates
Nov 8, 2001 9:11 AM
If you need to be seen more than seen, the other poster's suggestion for a Cateye (or equivalent) headlight and taillight is right. If you need to be able to see too, then you're talking about an expensive headlight.

No one is mentioning reflectors, and these are vital. The panniers on my commuter have reflective strips on the sides and back, my jacket has reflective strips on the sleeves and back, and I wear reflective bands around my ankles that are about 3-4 inches wide and real attention getters. Lights are important, but reflective stuff will make you glow in the dark.
Nov 8, 2001 12:41 PM
Thanks to all you folks. I was a little concerned about visibility, but feel a lot more reassured now that I have more info. The strobe light looks a little non elegant (for lack of a better word), but seems to address side and diagonal visibility the best. I think I’ll check that out, along with a Cateye headlight and some reflective tape. Already have a binky for the rear.
Recently got a VistaLite Code 15 ...Humma Hah
Nov 8, 2001 5:16 PM
My LBS carries this model for about $80, and it is also available online from It uses a nickle-metal-hydride battery to drive two lights, a 5W and a 10W, which can be run together or seperately. The 10W will burn for something like 1.5 hours. I find it very effective at my speeds.

Really fast riders who need long burns and lots of light may opt for even higher-tech lights with xenon bulbs, etc, for much more money.