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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, I was just wondering; with some of the high end lights they make for bikes, how effective (AND SAFE :eek:) is night riding. I sometimes see cyclists on the road at night and my first thought is they must be crazy! But then again, that's what I used to say when I saw road bikes during the day.

Does anyone here do this type of riding regularly? Can you really see well enough with the better head lights. Some of the night riders I see, I think are just commuting. But I wonder if you can do 16 to 20 mph with a good head light.

Your thoughts, Please

Mike
 

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I ride every morning before daylight it's the only time I have to ride. The head light I have is more for cars to see me although I can see pretty well with it. I have a red flashing light in the rear. I ahve had a driver pull up beside me and tell me how well the flashing light works before so I gues it works good enough. As far as being safe it's not but I am not on a major road or anything thing like that so I just take extra care in watching out for myself. I ride a motorcycle as well so I am use to watching out for the other guy. NEVER asume that any driver is going to not pull out or run over you have to be on your toes all the time.
 

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I know in my area, I am more concerned with our crappy roads then I am with vehicles. There are roads that are so bad, I have a problem handling my bike during the day. For that reason, I very rarely ride at night. My thought is, if you have good enough roads, and good lights on your bike; why not ride at night. I wish I could, because as the days get shorter, it gets tougher and tougher to get on the road during the day.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I ride a motorcycle as well so I am use to watching out for the other guy. NEVER asume that any driver is going to not pull out or run over you have to be on your toes all the time.
I ride a motorcycle too, and I have to say it's a LOT safer than being on a bicycle. What I'm worried about most, is not being seen from behind and hit from the rear. That's been discussed on a few theads on safety and I still fell there's not much you can do about during the day, never mind at night. I guess just like I got use to riding on the road during the day, I would get used to riding at night. MAYBE
 

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A Red Headed Stepchild
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164 Posts
Mike, if you want to ride at night (and it doesn't sound like you are convinced yet) I have one suggestion. Save you sheckles and buy the very best headlight/taillight you possibly afford. There is an amazing difference these days in the quantity and quality that a good light puts out.

I am often flashed by oncoming cars to dim my lights, I smile and ride past.

I currently use the MagicShine 1200 system combined with a Vetta TSL-1 taillight and have never felt like I couldn't be seen.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Wow! What a price difference in the MagicShine System! Not that I have a lot of money, but I tend to think that you get what you pay for. Just looking at the price I would think it was junk, but after reading some reveiws it sounds like a good system.

The main problem I have is that I'm the only one in my circle of fam/freinds that rides. Many of them thinks I'm nuts just to be on the road in the day time. If I start riding at night, I think they will all try to have me committed! Time will tell.
 

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I regularly ride pre-daylight. I was a little concerned the first few times cars were passing me, but so far, they seem to be giving me more room than in the day.

I use a road-specific headlight from Exposure Lights. The model is Strada. I love that is is all self-contained. The battery and light are all one unit. This really came in handy for a roadside repair one morning. It has an external switch that you can mount over by your shifter to easily change the mode between high and low. Though high lumen/lux numbers sound good, the last thing you want to do is blind a driver that's coming at you. The Strada allows you to remotely switch to a low setting that is not only less output, but angle down. I notice at that time of day on the back roads I ride, most drivers drive with their highbeams on. When I dim my light, they then dim their's. Even when they are a significant distance away. Also, since Exposure realizes that beam width is more important on a road than on a relatively narrow off-road trail, the beam is very wide. There have been more than one time when the light showed me a racoon on the side of the road ready to dart. I have recently bought the Flare rear taillight from Exposure as well. 75 lumens and 180 degrees of visibility. If I'm not seen, somebody's not paying attention, and in that case, it really wouldn't matter if it's day or night.

I can easily and confidently go just as fast with my headlights as I would in daylight. Also, I'm loving "night" riding so much, I'm actually dreading the earlier daylight when Daylight Savings ends. There's something quite relaxing and peaceful about that time of day for me.

Here's an earlier review of mine on the Strada: http://www.twospoke.com/forum/f87/exposure-lights-4812/index2.html
 

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Eocyclist
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Good reflective material on you and on your bike will also help you to be more visible in the dark.

Reflective ankle straps are particularly good because the up and down motion lets drivers know they're approaching a bicycle. Here is one from REI. Jogalite Wide Leg Band 1.5 Inches at REI.com

Reflective vests, like those worn by construction workers are good. So are runner's vests: Amphipod Xinglet at REI.com

And reflective triangles show up very well at night, as well as making you stand out more in daylight. Here's one from REI, Yield Symbol Belt at REI.com or if REI is out, from Adventure Cycling:
Cyclist's Safety Triangle
 

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Helmet up, wheels down.
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45 Posts
I am with Larry - two parts to the game...lighting and reflective.
For lighting I use the planet bike lights and the knog lights. One of the knog frogs goes on the back of my helmet to blink red and move a bit. Then planet bike rear and front.

For reflective I ordered a whole bunch of tape from Gaffers Tape, Double-Sided Tape and More from FindTape.com (list below). Neatly applied it makes for quite an effect.

JVCC REF-7 Engineering Grade Reflective Tape
Size: 1/2 in. x 10 yds. (12mm x 9m), Color: Silver-White
Quantity: 1 roll $4.95 ($4.95 per roll)
JVCC REF-7 Engineering Grade Reflective Tape
Size: 1/2 in. x 10 yds. (12mm x 9m), Color: Red
Quantity: 1 roll $4.95 ($4.95 per roll)
 

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Banned
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613 Posts
Knight Rider!

I found a few items that have some advantages-enhancements over previous recommendations!

The tail feature uses 5 leds and also has flashing modes.


14 LED Tail-Turn-Brake Light + Horn!

$6.29

The Light:

Uses 18650 size rechargeable Li-ion cells (or 3 AAA) and is actually brighter than the higher rated red-ring light.

Zooms from very wide to small, bright "spot".

Has high, low and strobe modes. 3 hours on high 9 on low and 6 on strobe.
I recommend strobe during daylight!

O-ringed - weather proof!


200 Lumen Zoomable light

$8.39
Unbelievably good price for Li-ion cells w/charger!

$7.49 Charger Batteries

$7.35 Charger Batteries

18650 Batteries w/charge - Now $8.98

$6.67 Oops! now $8.98

$1.47 Light Mount


$2.98 Light Mount



Yes ... one of the tail light modes is the Knight Rider sweep!
 

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Rat Biker
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432 Posts
I have ridden a few times at night. I am as a couple others said more worried bout crappy roads plus another thing that scares me where I live is deer they literally come out of no where. My biggest reason I don't ride so much at night while I have good night vision for the most part cars coming head on get me. I can't see well after that specially these new cars with the bright white headlights they are killer on eyes.
 

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Had a deer run out in front of me in the dark this morning. I was going uphill, so it wasn't a big deal. That being said, the closest I have ever come to hitting a deer was in broad daylight on a 45 mph descent. That wouldn't have ended up good for me.

The bigger obstacle this morning on the ride were these suicidal rabbits that kept running in front of me. One required full lock-up to avoid. Things like this are a real reason I like my lights so much. They cast a very wide beam that lights up both lanes and both ditches. I can usually see animals before they bolt, but those dang rabbits are quick!
 

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Rat Biker
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432 Posts
Had a deer run out in front of me in the dark this morning. I was going uphill, so it wasn't a big deal. That being said, the closest I have ever come to hitting a deer was in broad daylight on a 45 mph descent. That wouldn't have ended up good for me.

The bigger obstacle this morning on the ride were these suicidal rabbits that kept running in front of me. One required full lock-up to avoid. Things like this are a real reason I like my lights so much. They cast a very wide beam that lights up both lanes and both ditches. I can usually see animals before they bolt, but those dang rabbits are quick!

I hear ya there squirrels are another not so bright animal they dart out in front of ya see ya and seem to go oh crap what do I do now? LOL :D
 

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I hear ya there squirrels are another not so bright animal they dart out in front of ya see ya and seem to go oh crap what do I do now? LOL :D
I think I might have posted this on here before, but it was a while back. I was riding at lunch and I heard a sound like my tire rapidly deflating. I looked down and it was a squirrel sliding across the pavement trying to reverse his direction. He slid into my front wheel sideways, then scurried off the other way. Seemed to be unhurt. If I see a squirrel, I usually just slow down assuming they are going to run in front of me.
 

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Rat Biker
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432 Posts
I think I might have posted this on here before, but it was a while back. I was riding at lunch and I heard a sound like my tire rapidly deflating. I looked down and it was a squirrel sliding across the pavement trying to reverse his direction. He slid into my front wheel sideways, then scurried off the other way. Seemed to be unhurt. If I see a squirrel, I usually just slow down assuming they are going to run in front of me.

That made me chuckle. They are amusing little creatures for sure long as they don't get in my way LOL.
 

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The coolest part about today's ride to work in the dark (besides the literal coolness of it being 30 degrees) was the kids waiting on a school bus that said as I went by: "Whoa, that's a guy on a bike. Cool lights, dude!"
 

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Cycling for life
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We have been doing group rides that start at dusk and run into the dark. Mostly on lighted streets. We have headlights and flashing tail lights. We also run backup flasher white on the front, red on the back. Very light and just installs with a silicone band I think its called Ladybug. We discovered through trial and error some very bright lights that are light. We velcro to our helmets. When you look at something its iluminated. Best of all if a car is pulling out of a cross street you can freeze them if necessary for safety.
 
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