How to increase the safety factor of outdoor riding at night

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Shrely, Mar 20, 2018.

  1. Shrely

    Shrely New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2017
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    1
    Since bicycles are usually not equipped with lights, accidents can easily occur because other vehicles cannot judge the distance and the direction of travel of the bicycle.
    So i think it is necessary to install a light for our bicycle that can prompt steering.In this way, we can explain our trajectory in advance to the rear vehicles.
     


  2. treecko142

    treecko142 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2018
    Messages:
    419
    Likes Received:
    24
    Of course, if you're planning to ride your bike at night, you need to have lights not only for you to see clearly in the night but also to alert other people in their cars about your presence. Blinkers would also help in adding a layer of safety to your biking experience.
     
  3. Corzhens

    Corzhens Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2015
    Messages:
    1,287
    Likes Received:
    122
    The headlight is imperative when you are riding at night especially here where roads can have potholes when it rains. And aside from the headlight which can be attached to the bike or the light that is on the helmet, the back light is also needed so the vehicles behind you can clearly see that you are a biker. Especially for speeding vehicles, the driver may not notice the rider if there is no back light. I am speaking based on the accident reports in the news.
     
  4. reighn

    reighn Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2018
    Messages:
    371
    Likes Received:
    18
    I think the reflector vest will help a lot. I'm using this vest when I'm riding my motorcycle at night, and if we have a long travel with my friends, and this one is gonna be useful also when riding our bike at night. Bike is not easy to recognize by other drivers at night because it's too small and we don't have a light. but there's some blinking light in the market, that can easily install to our bike, it will help a lot also. But I think this reflector vest is much more applicable to us.
     
  5. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2004
    Messages:
    4,653
    Likes Received:
    371
    You can go to any home improvement place and buy a safety neon orange, yellow, or green vest with wide bands of reflective material for less then $14, get the mesh design if it's hot where you live so the air can pass through it easily. The vest can be worn anytime because the neon will show up in certain lighting conditions, if you have a lot of greenery around you go with the neon Orange, otherwise in the city yellow and green neons stand out the best. Also a reflective ankle bands are very effective, the up and down motion attracts the attention of older motorists better than one that doesn't move for some reason. Other then that I don't buy any additional reflectors, a lot stuff I buy comes with it built in but I don't add anything else, I count mostly on active lighting.

    There are some blinking vests as mentioned in the above post but the ones that I've see so far are quite dim compared to even cheap tail lights. The only one I ever saw which I just saw recently at night on a jogger (who I actually stopped my car and asked who made the thing she was wearing!) was a new item called the Noxgear Tracer360, this thing is not a vest so it would be a bit cooler then a vest, but it's like wearing a strip LED light on you and it was highly noticeable with it's constant flashing and changing of colors, quite cool but expensive. You can see it here: https://www.noxgear.com/tracer360 I'm not sure if I'm going to buy one or not, I'm still contemplating it, but it sure attracted my attention which is what I'm weighing in my decision.
     
  6. Mr. Beanz

    Mr. Beanz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2015
    Messages:
    1,706
    Likes Received:
    455
    I've not seen good results with cycling vests. Yeah the ugly construction type but I refuse to wear one of those things ha ha!

    I place a red blinkie on the rear of my seat post. A second red blinkie to the back of my helmet. No way is anyone missing me.

    I also use 2 headlights. One aimed down for road hazards and one straight ahead to be seen. If I turn ONE on bright, some cars will flash their lights at me! :D

    Cygolites, about $70 for front and rear but well worth it. USB rehcargeable, had great luck with these and they are not even the most powerful from Cygolite.

    The red light pic does not do them justice as they are on strobe and very noticeable. Just showing the image to show how I have placed them on the helmet and post. DSCN5412.JPG 06.jpg
     
  7. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2004
    Messages:
    4,653
    Likes Received:
    371
    I wear a neon vest when I'm commuting in the daytime because the only way to get to work is on surface streets which are quite busy, I think it offers a small measure of added visibility. Of course I also use two tail lights, but during a sunny day I've found that a headlight on the front has been useless, I can respond with cross traffic by reading traffic better then anything a light can do which I found out from experience, at least for me, I had as many people trying to cross in front of me whether or not the light was on strobing, all a lot of motorists care about is beating you to the turn, the don't care how close they cut it or whether you have a light or not or even a neon vest.
     
  8. Mr. Beanz

    Mr. Beanz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2015
    Messages:
    1,706
    Likes Received:
    455
    Yes, a neon vest during the day is great, I wear neon colors to ride in daytime. But at night, I don't think a neon vest does much.
     
  9. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2004
    Messages:
    4,653
    Likes Received:
    371
    No at night neon anything is useless, but the 2 inch wide reflective stripes they put in on some of the vest does have an effect. This is the type of vest I use: https://www.homedepot.com/p/3M-High...ve-Personal-Safety-Vest-94616-80030/202080177 But you do have to make sure the reflective qualities of a vest meets the ANSI 107 level 2 brightness compliance safety standards, and as far as I can tell 3M is the only one that makes the brightest silver stripes in safety vests, anything else and the stripes will appear as grey instead of strips of light. This next video shows reflective gear but the best part begins at 0.38 into the short video when the fun begins at total darkness;

    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LpQz_gMX9k
    And here is another one:

    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DFiT0IG0q8


    Again I'm in no way advocating not to use lights, just the opposite, active lighting is far superior over passive reflective light, all the reflective thing does is give you an added layer of visibility and give you form to the viewer.
     
  10. Mr. Beanz

    Mr. Beanz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2015
    Messages:
    1,706
    Likes Received:
    455
    I also wear tricolor ankle bands. Just feel it gives me that side view visibility I want.
     
  11. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2004
    Messages:
    4,653
    Likes Received:
    371
    The crazy thing is that cycling jackets and jerseys (or even jogging clothes) have very little in reflective stuff sewn into the fabric, they may put in what's called a piping which is only about 1/8 th inch wide, or they'll put a small patch usually with the companies logo that reflects, saddlebags often come with a reflective strip but it's not the good stuff, same is true with shoes which will put a small 1/2 size thing on the back, these are nowhere near adequate. I would have thought after all these years of cycling safety being promoted they all would have done a far better job, there is only one maybe two brands of jackets that the whole jacket reflects and reflects very well, but there are no jerseys that do that that I know of.
     
  12. vc cycle

    vc cycle New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2020
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    The front light is making more lumens currently, 1600lumens, 1800 lumens and more. And some are combining other function. There is one 1800 lumen combining GPS, very interesting.
     
  13. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2004
    Messages:
    4,653
    Likes Received:
    371
    Again, you do not need that many lumens on a road bike, once again a car/motorcycle only puts out 700 lumens on low beams and use those beams on highways, and since bicycles travel at a much slower speed than a car we don't need really anything over 1000 lumens. Off road riding on fast single track riding you might have a point, but even then I think that many lumens is too much. The other thing to consider is when you put out 1600 to 1800 or more L's is the reflective glare of the beam striking you in the eyes making your pupils smaller and creating complete night blindness of anything around you that isn't lit by the beam.
     
  14. vc cycle

    vc cycle New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2020
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree with you:). What should be a good lumen choice on front lights, in order to make good balance about the performance and price? I see that more lumens also higher price.
     
  15. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2004
    Messages:
    4,653
    Likes Received:
    371
    That will depend on how much YOU want to spend. Personally, and I have done this, is to buy a really nice main light like the Raveman PR900 (meaning 900 lumens max) for around $75 on Amazon, or the PR 1200 for around $90 on Amazon. Those two lights are the best for the money as of 2019. Those used aimed optics as well, similar to a car headlight, so it has a cut off on the top portion of the beam as not to blind motorists as much, this was a feature that Phillips invented and had the first bicycle light made with that feature that I use to this day called the Philips Saferide 80. This video compares the Raveman PR1200 to the Philips Saferide 80, please watch this carefully: https://www.bing.com/videos/search?...300EBA56A098B4ACA5C6300EBA56A098B4A&FORM=VIRE From this video I think the PR1200 is too much light unless you plan on doing off road gravel or single track riding, I think I would save the $250 and get the PR900 because even with my old 66 year old eyes my Saferide 80 is plenty bright for me, in fact most of the time I run it in low mode.

    The Saferide 80 is no longer in production which is unfortunate, it was a very solidly built light made of thick aluminium, and it ran on 4 AA rechargeable batteries, this was good and bad, the good was that batteries could be bought at any store, and you could even use non rechargeable bats, the bad news was the runtime on rechargeable bats was about 6 hours on low and 2 on high, but that was plenty of time for me. Also what confused buyers was that it only put out 220 lumens according to the box, however being a cut off beam the beam looked like 900 to 1000 lumens, it was WAY brighter than my old Cygolite that put out 400 lumens.

    Now here is the second thing I've done and it works really well, and that is to buy a small light with 400 or so lumens and attach it to your helmet, this way you can aim the light anywhere you want including into the window of a car trying to pull out in front of you. For this I got a Lezyne Mini Drive 400XL which costs just around $30, these are real small and lightweight and can be put on a helmet with the optional Universal LED Helmet Mount that cost $10. Run time is a bit short with the Mini due to size constraints, it will only burn for about a hour on 400 lumens but most of the time I run mine on strobe mode they call Day Flash which flashes at full power for as long as 7 hours, but in reality it's closer to 5 hours.

    Not sure what you have done about your rear lighting but I also use 2 rear lights, I use a NightRider (NR) Omega 300 as my main light, that thing is intensely bright, that's 300 lumens! it cost around $55 which I think is a great deal considering the brightness of it. The other light I use is the NR Sentry Aero 260, this light has a really nice side lighting feature that is extremely attention attracting, but the 260 lumens is way overrated, it's probably closer to 150! but it does work good just not very good in the daytime like the Omega 300 can do. I also noticed that cobb LEDs, like those in the Sentry Aero 260, washes out in direct sunlight, something I wasn't expecting, so I only use that light now at night, that light costs $45. The only place you can buy the NR lights is on the NR website.

    If money is short I would buy the brightest light first, then when you can afford it add the second dimmer light. I do seriously believe from seeing cyclist at night while either riding or motoring in my car that a cyclist with more than one headlight and or tail light attracts more attention then a single light and that's why I suggest buying two. I also suggest if you have or get two lights that you have the brightest one on steady and the other on strobe, this includes the tail lights too. The Sentry Aero 260 doesn't have a strobe function, it does have the ability to alternate between the rear facing light and the side facing lights which is pretty attention grabbing.

    Anyway those are my suggestions, others will have other suggestions and that's fine, you'll have to do your own research and see what might work best for you.
     
    #15 Froze, Mar 5, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2020
Loading...
Loading...