Cycling equipment for visibility

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Ceribee, Jun 21, 2018.

?

When do you usually go for a ride?

  1. before 9AM

    3 vote(s)
    50.0%
  2. between 9AM-12PM

    1 vote(s)
    16.7%
  3. Afternoons

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Evenings

    2 vote(s)
    33.3%
  5. between 8PM-12AM

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Ceribee

    Ceribee New Member

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    Hi all!


    I'm doing a bit of research on runners/cyclists who exercise at night or in the early morning where there is not much sunlight. I was wondering if I could get some feedback on:


    -what kind of equipment you use to be seen

    -what you like and don't like about your equipment

    -any improvements you want to for your equipment

    -injuries/stories you've had highlighting the difficulties of being seen by vehicles, pedestrians, etc.

    -anything else you'd like to talk about


    Any feedback would be awesome!
     


  2. Corzhens

    Corzhens Well-Known Member

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    I bike mainly for exercise and secondarily for socializing and enjoying the sights inside our village. It's nice to ride in the early morning since in this tropical country, the sun becomes too hot by 9 am. There are times, especially during summer, that I wear sunblock lotion to lessen the tan on my skin. Even in summer, the early morning ride is enjoyable with the cool weather.
     
  3. EfficientNinja

    EfficientNinja New Member

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    Bright colored clothes should work well when cycling at night or late afternoon. Some reflectors in the bicycle itself would be helpful to make yourself visible to cars and trucks at night.
     
  4. treecko142

    treecko142 Active Member

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    I prefer biking early morning, around 5-6 am for a leisurely ride, not much traffic, people awake are mostly joggers which mind their own business, and a cool breeze and not much sunlight for a nice, relaxing workout. I just wear brighter clothes since it's not really that much dark during this time where I'm from, but I use reflectors when I go for night rides.
     
  5. Chuckabutty

    Chuckabutty Active Member

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    I ride every day but occasionally I take 20-mile rides, sometimes more. I start out around 6 a.m. My longer rides I take during the Florida winter months because it's cooler, so I wear a fluorescent yellow safety jacket with reflective stripes around the arms and across the front and back. I also use bright lights, a rechargeable LED one on the front, and flashing LED one on the back. If anyone can't see me in the dark, they shouldn't be driving. Reflectors on the wheels do a really great job, too. I have them on my regular bike but can't fit them on my fat bike. I see some riders around here, with no lights, and they're wearing dark clothing. Just asking to get hit.
     
  6. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Obviously to be seen equipment would be lights and reflectors. I don't put a whole lot of faith in reflectors though I do use them when I ride at night as an added benefit.

    As far as lights go I usually use two tail lights, one of the seat tube and one on the helmet but I broke the helmet one a couple of days ago so I need another. My main tail light is a Light & Motion Vis 180 that puts out 70 Lumens, I'm probably going to buy a Lezyne Zecto Max Drive Rear 250, it seems to be the best deal for the lumens output, then the Lezyne will become my main light and the L & M will be my helmet light. How I use these is a bit weird but there a reason for my insanity. I run the main light during the day on flash to attract attention, and the other is off; but at night I run the main light on steady mode and the helmet one is flashing. So why do I use one on steady and the other flashing at night? Because studies in Europe have shown that a steady light enable motorists to ascertain how far away they are from the light source more accurately so in Europe you can't even buy a flashing rear light; but studies in Canada have shown that a flashing light is better! So I simply combine the two studies!

    I also use two headlights, the main and brightest one is on the bar, it's a Philips Saferide, and the other is on the helmet, it's a Cygolite 480 OSP. I do not use head lights during the day unless it's raining then I use the Cygolite because it has a flash mode that the other one does not. Even though that Philips is now considered old it's still the brightest on the road when I see others at night due to the aimed optics. Too bad Philips decided to stop making it because it was a very well made and bright light.

    The only other thing I add when riding at night is a neon green mesh vest with wide reflective bands running across it. I got mine for cheap from Home Depot for $12. It looks really nerdy so if looks is important to you well you may want to skip this vest, but I think since workers use these things at night it must have some value to it. Other reflectors I have simply come with the seat bag, the shoes, the jacket etc, I don't buy anything to specifically add to reflectively other than the vest.

    I'm not saying I have the best lighting, I'm sure if I was to spend a great deal more I could get better lighting but what I do have I like, and in fact where I live it's difficult to find anyone even using lights front or rear, so I'm the odd duck!

    Improvement wise, the only thing I use to do which I don't do anymore simply because I'm down to one and hopefully two tail lights, but I liked the idea, was that I use to have a tail light on each rear seat stay PLUS one on my helmet, at night this formed sort of a triangle, I just don't know how effective that was vs just two in row.

    I haven't had any lighting difficulties.

    What I would like to add is I use rechargeable battery systems of course. Modern batteries are not as good as the older NiCad's but they are smaller, the problem with the new crap is that the battery themselves won't recharge as many times as the NiCads did, NiCads could be recharged from dead to full at least a 1000 times, the new stuff you MUST charge after every use no matter how little you used it, if you completely drain the new bats you will dramatically shorten it's ability to charge over and over. The new bats are only capable of lasting about 3 years to 4 years, it may be the quality of the battery being used by light manufactures or it could just simply be that the small ones just don't last. I know that Shimano says that their battery for their electric derailleur system will only last 2 years on average, which for the price of that battery I think it's rather stupid, I also think it's stupid that we pay $50 some odd dollars for a light and that battery is not replaceable so you throw it away and get another. For some reason the Cygolite that I have is going on 6 or 7 years and the battery is still good, but it may be using a different chemical makeup the the newer stuff, but my L & M is not lasting as long as it use to on run time and it's 2 to 3 years old. The Philips is 5 to 6 years old but it uses rechargeable AA NiMhs batteries, which I had to replace the original ones earlier this year because they wouldn't hold a charge for more than 15 minutes on high. So anyway, if you want your batteries to last you have to keep them fully charged after every use, and you cannot store them in temps below 36 degrees or above 90 degrees, and never let them stand around in direct sunlight. You also need to make sure the battery is cool before you recharge them, and make sure they cooled down after charging before you use them. I practiced this stuff so maybe that's why all mine stuff is lasting a year or two longer than average. Anyway in my opinion these new batteries suck.
     
    Fang likes this.
  7. Marako0406

    Marako0406 New Member

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    Back then I usually go for a ride in the morning where the sun is not yet that shining like 7 am or 8 am and you can still see the road of course. I am planning to buy reflective strips for wheels and body, safety reflective vest and bike lights.
     
  8. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Watch this video, keep in mind that cameras do work as good as the human eye and this video is on the dark side spectrum but it does get the point across:

    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZRXlrJ3Mi0


    There is no need to get expensive reflective material because they all work pretty much the same. One of the best places to put something reflective is on the ankles; there was a European study that showed that older people didn't notice static reflective stuff, but if the reflective stuff was moving up and down they noticed it; so simply go to your LBS and buy what they recommend.

    Your LBS should have reflective stickers to put on your wheels but I'm not so sure a motorist would see that before they hit you, but I think they're inexpensive for a sheet of the stuff so why not. My touring bike I bought Schwalbe Marathon tires because I wanted a bullet proof tire and as a bonus the tires have a reflective strip going around the tire, I would have bought the tire regardless if they came with the strip or not.

    As far as a safety vest goes, but something cheap, not the cheapest but no where near the most expensive, get a mesh style so on warm days the air will blow right through; see: https://www.homedepot.com/p/ERB-S15Z-6X-Hi-Viz-Lime-Poly-Mesh-Safety-Vest-14632/301857797

    For a bike front light you need at least 700 lumens and that should be the middle range, the reason for that is the high range will burn up the battery too fast, but you need the high range for dark rainy nights, but most of the time you'll only run the mid range and sometimes the lower range. Here are a couple of good comparsion sites so you can look for a light that is bright enough for your needs and money, keep in mind these are on high settings: http://road.cc/content/buyers-guide...s-cycling-—-55-light-beam-comparison-plus-how

    Here is another: https://www.bikelightdatabase.com/b...ght]=boomer&right[mode]=100&right[light]=bc30 I think the Fenix BC30 is great deal, but you need to make that decision based on your budget.

    Tail light wise my nod goes to the Lezyne Zecto Drive Max, this thing puts out a whopping 250 lumens, and on Amazon it's only $49. There is no competitor out there that has a tail light this bright for that amount of money, the only one that I know of that puts out that much power cost $125!!

    Now for a weird but fun question, why is headlight spelled that way instead of head light, yet tail light is spelled with a separation instead of taillight? I would think that since two L's in a row would be a bit perhaps confusing so I might understand that but since tail is the opposite of head then it should follow suit that the spelling should be head light!
     
  9. Marako0406

    Marako0406 New Member

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    Hey thanks for these tips I really appreciate this. Now I have a complete list to have to start cycling. Actually I was thinking of the pedals and ankle reflective strips because I have read that it also somehow lights a little on the lower part of the bike when pedaling. Definitely will take your suggestions on what's really needed and right gears to use. Bless you more!
     
  10. reighn

    reighn Member

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    I live in tropical country, and I'm just usually use my bike at night, when the weather is already cold, and I'm using some reflector lights and flash light to be safe somehow.
     
  11. treecko142

    treecko142 Active Member

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    Great post, very comprehensive and haven't really thought about putting anything reflective on the ankles, come to think of it, that really soounds like a good location to place reflective stuff.
     
  12. Fang

    Fang New Member

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    I usually ride a bicycle at night, because I like the sunset, Bright colored clothes should work well when cycling at night and use reflectors when I go for night rides.
     
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