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Light up!

by Richard Masoner

Reflector

With Daylight savings time having ended on Sunday, that leaves a lot of commuters riding in the dark. There’s a misconception that reflectors, which are mandatory in most states, are enough for us to be seen. I usually turn to www.sheldonbrown.com, one of the most complete websites about bikes and cycling for information. He has an interesting article on why riding with reflectors alone can be hazardous to your health. (Click here for the article).

As for me, I ride with a Lightman rear blinkie

Lightman blinkie

AND a Cateye LED Safety Light attached to my helmet.

Rear blinkie

On the front, I ride with the Princeton Tec Corona Extreme

Princeton Tec Corona Extreme

and a Cateye EL410 safety light.
Cateye EL410

Do I look like a geek with all them lights? If it gets me home safe, who cares…

 
Burley nomad 229

12 Responses to “Light up!”

  1. Nevetti says:

    I just got the sweetest new bike lights. They were $1.69 a piece. They’re halloween safety lights, their a 1.5 inch orange reflector with a blinking red LED on them. And they’re xtra cool because they come with a cool jack-o-lantern decal on them. They have a plastic clip on the back and I can attach them to my panniers or on the bag clips of my brooks seat. They weigh next to nothing and you can see them for about a thousand feet. Btw I have 2 headlights and i haven’t been hit yet with almost 2 years of daily riding.

  2. Steve says:

    How did you attach the Lightman below the saddle? A u-clamp attached to the post? I don’t see the mounting hardware on their website.

  3. Moe says:

    The lightman came with mounting hardware for the seatpost and to attach to a backpack, panniers, and helmet.

  4. Marshall says:

    This reminds me to buy new batteries for my lights, they both happened to die at about the same time. Night riding now requires me to be even more forward looking and alert!

    Does anyone have any recommendations for a front light thats easy to install on two bikes? One that just clips into something thats wrapped around the handlebars, instead of the whole unit wrapping around. The Serfas light I have now is bright enough, but it’s a pain to take on and off my bike.

  5. JiMCi says:

    Marshall, Check the beamer from PlanetBike. A quick-release bracket attaches to the bars, allowing you to attach the light in the same fashion as a bike computer. http://www.planetbike.com/frontlights.html#
    That’s what I use in the front, with red LEDs in the back.

    You may want to build your own lights. Check how others have done it: do a search for “bike light” on http://www.instructables.com !

  6. JiMCi says:

    Marshall, check the Beamer headlight on planetbike.com. If you want to build your own light. See how others have done it: do a search for “bike light” on instructables.com

  7. [...] -Lastly, my light up post brings DIY ideas on rear and front lights. As long as you are lit, I mean, safe, who cares if you look like a Christmas tree? [...]

  8. Monax says:

    That Cateye EL410 is a good one for switching from bike to bike. It attaches with a rubber strap and a clip, so it’s the right size for all different sizes of handlebar, and can also attach on a helmet.

  9. Moe says:

    Monax: Not to mention that its waterproof to 50 meters!

  10. Motley says:

    Best front light would be the Fenix L2D Premium Q5. It utilities Cree Q5 bulb, has 6 modes and a maximum output of the 3 watt LED at 180 lumens lasting for 2.5 hours. The circuit is regulated for the 2.5 hours so the output does not diminish throughout the course of its run. It operates on 2AA batteries and can accept Alkaline, Lithium and Nickel Metal hydride. IThe body is made from HAIII aluminium body and is waterproof. I’m no fanboy but this light kicks ass. I’ve given up on bike specific lights because they are expensive and dim. A guy who bought one of the Cateye’s opti-cube lights that cost the as the Fenix doesn’t even come close.

    As for rear light, get the Planetbike Superflash. It has a 0.5 watt led and is, well, super bright. The brightest bang-for -your-buck rear light. Cateye is no match.

  11. Fritz says:

    How weird: the article is credited to me but I didn’t write it.

    Note that it’s nearly two years old and newer products are now available (as Motley notes). I heartily endorse the SuperFlash.

    The Fenix flashlight is very good for many (most?) applications, but I personally like a little more light and a larger beam spread.

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