Helmet lights

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Claire Petersky, Nov 25, 2003.

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  1. Last night I cleaned my bike, and so took off the light and the cyclocomputer. I forgot to put them
    back on, such that I rode into work without a headlight. Not wanting to ride home entirely with only
    my rear blinkies, I put a flashlight on my helmet with strapping tape, which I thought was pretty
    resourceful of me.

    I was wondering how people do it who regularly only use helmet lights. It seemed like I only
    illuminated the road when I was in the drops. When I was on the tops or the hoods, I felt like I was
    visible to cars, but the light wasn't aimed at the road at all. I can imagine having a helmet light
    as a supplement, but as one's only front headlight, it seemed inadequate.

    Comments?

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  2. Tom Keats

    Tom Keats Guest

    In article <[email protected]_s51>, "Claire Petersky"
    <[email protected]> writes:
    > Last night I cleaned my bike, and so took off the light and the cyclocomputer. I forgot to put
    > them back on, such that I rode into work without a headlight. Not wanting to ride home entirely
    > with only my rear blinkies, I put a flashlight on my helmet with strapping tape, which I thought
    > was pretty resourceful of me.

    It was resourceful of you. You did yourself proud. Your approach is reminiscent of the "No Excuse
    Headlight" described at: http://www.bikexprt.com/streetsmarts/usa/chapter8a.htm

    > I was wondering how people do it who regularly only use helmet lights. It seemed like I only
    > illuminated the road when I was in the drops. When I was on the tops or the hoods, I felt like I
    > was visible to cars, but the light wasn't aimed at the road at all. I can imagine having a helmet
    > light as a supplement, but as one's only front headlight, it seemed inadequate.
    >
    > Comments?

    I guess store-bought helmet lights are more swivelably aimable than a taped-on dofernow.

    But I figure the mounting height of a headlight is critical for illuminating the road. I think even
    most handlebar-mounted lights are typically too high up for casting enough shadow to see in 3-D.

    cheers, Tom

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  3. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    "Tom Keats" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...

    > In article <[email protected]_s51>,

    > "Claire Petersky" <[email protected]> writes:

    > > Last night I cleaned my bike, and so took off the light and the cyclocomputer. I forgot to put
    > > them back on, such that I rode into work without a headlight. Not wanting to ride home entirely
    > > with only my rear blinkies, I put a flashlight on my helmet with strapping tape, which I thought
    > > was pretty resourceful of me.
    >
    > It was resourceful of you. You did yourself proud. Your approach is reminiscent of the "No Excuse
    > Headlight" described at: http://www.bikexprt.com/streetsmarts/usa/chapter8a.htm
    >
    > > I was wondering how people do it who regularly only use helmet lights. It seemed like I only
    > > illuminated the road when I was in the drops. When I was on the tops or the hoods, I felt like I
    > > was visible to cars, but the light wasn't aimed at the road at all. I can imagine having a
    > > helmet light as a supplement, but as one's only front headlight, it seemed inadequate.
    > >
    > > Comments?
    >
    > I guess store-bought helmet lights are more swivelably aimable than a taped-on dofernow.

    Yup. And some are more swivelly than others. My Sunsport is brilliant -- easily aimable, but it
    holds its aim too. I can reach up and tweak it at any time. I think this is very important for a
    helmet light, especially one with a narrow beam. Some are only adjustable via a ratchet-type thing,
    which is not convenient or fine grained enough -- practically useless.

    Also, helmet lights have grown popular with mountain bikers, who tend to ride in one position, not
    two or three. The Sunsport works fine for me without having to re-aim for the tops or the drops, but
    this may depend on your personal riding position(s).

    > But I figure the mounting height of a headlight is critical for illuminating the road. I
    > think even most handlebar-mounted lights are typically too high up for casting enough shadow
    > to see in 3-D.

    The handlebar vs. helmet light issue gets debated to death in MTB circles, with some people
    convinced they need at least one of each at all times. I do have one of each, and I can choose
    freely between them. It doesn't make a whit of difference, as long as there are enough watts aimed
    in the right place.

    > > I can imagine having a helmet light as a supplement, but as one's only front headlight, it
    > > seemed inadequate.

    For me, a good helmet light is plenty to see by, in fact I prefer it. However, I think a handlebar
    light is necessary for riding in traffic, to present the "light signature" of a bicycle. It's also
    legally required in many states. Mostly, I use a Sunsport on the helmet, and a Cateye Micro on the
    handlebars. The Sunsport is to see by, the Cateye is to be seen, and be legal.

    Matt O.
     
  4. franklen

    franklen New Member

    Joined:
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    As this being my first year commuting in the dark I didnt have a handlebar mounted light to start off, so when night started creeping in I just resorted to my backpacking headlamps and they worked fine, but not enough to see the road in front of me. That wasn't a concern though as I have a fairly well-lit urban route. When I finally made a purchase of a Cateye EL-300 and used it soley, I noticed a huge difference, mainly I didn't feel confident in being able to get drivers attention as I could by swiveling my head with a headlamp. I think I like having both!
     
  5. franklen <[email protected]> wrote:
    : purchase of a Cateye EL-300 and used it soley, I noticed a huge difference, mainly I didn't feel
    : confident in being able to get drivers attention as I could by swiveling my head with a headlamp.
    : I think I like having both!

    Dual lights seem attractive because of the overkill and the redundancy.

    Remember the same for rear lights and don't forget about reflectors just to be on the safe side.
    Sometimes I encountered people riding completely without lights and it was the reflectors in their
    pedals which really helped me to see them.

    --
    Risto Varanka | http://www.helsinki.fi/~rvaranka/hpv/hpv.html varis at no spam please iki fi
     
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