Saw a post in another thread from Wild about lights for emergency situations (rain, getting caught out after dark, etc). I keep a few of these in my saddle bag for just those situations. I keep one Frog with the red LED and one with the white LED in my bag. Super small and light, yet pretty bright, especially for emergency situations. Also, they will attach to almost anything (tubes, post, bars, helmet vents, etc). Plus, they're fairly cheap. I didn't want to pay a lot for something I was just going to use every once in a while.
I just wanted to follow-up on my first posting and clarify some things. I have since used the Knog Beetle 2 LED light as well. These lights are primarily for being seen, especially in the flashing modes. Neither is adequate for actually lighting your path. They only light up a few feet in front of your wheel, and the area of light is quite small.
If you're looking for some serious headlights, check out the thread on Exposure Lights. I'm super-happy with their product.
The reason drivers can't judge distance is because from the back is because a flashing red light is confusing since cars tailights don't flash. Also most bikes rear lights are small and or dim causing an optical illusion that your further away then you really are. Not much of answer for that accept try multiable lights in the rear. I run a Blackburn Mars 4 on the rear which is not only brighter then the Planet Bike SuperFlash, but it looks larger from the rear, not to mention far better side (amber) lighting and more reliable. Then I also have barend lights. I leave the Blackburn on steady and the end lights on flash, then couple that with bright wide reflective leg bands and so far I have no issues with cars from behind, in fact if anything they give me more space at night then during the day!
For the front your dealing with the same sort of problem; no matter how bright your headlight is it's still a small diameter light that makes drivers think your further away then you really are. So you need to attrack their attention to you, you do this by adding a front amber or white flasher. My bike light is just a 15 watt dual beam (looks bigger then a single beam) halogen. Then I also ride with a helmet light, not the brightest helmet light, just a 3AAA BLT Super Dopler flood, but with it I can take the light and move it right into a drivers eyes if I want to make sure they saw me.
I don't ride at night very much, but when I do, it is on dark or rural roads. I want a headlight that is bright enough to enable me to see the road as well as to be seen by other traffic. I also want the back of the bike lit up so it's visible from a long way off.
A triangle is always on the bike. The lights and vest are packed only when on a trip, of if there is a chance of getting caught out after dark.
I used to have a pair of reflective ankle bands, but lost them last year. This thread is a good reminder for me to pick up a new set. I'll probably buy 2 pair ... one set for ankles and one set for wrists.
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