Optimum Headlight Mounting Height?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Optimum Headlight Mounting Height?

    What are your opinions about the optimum height for bicycle mounted headlights?

    Do you believe that the optimum mounting height for long throw lights is any different than for a short throw wide angle light?

    What about mounting height versus different weather conditions such as fog, rain, sleet, or snow.

    What about different road or ground conditions such as wet roads, snow covered, ice covered, black ice covered, covered with that nasty winter road slop mix of snow, sand, oil, and anti-freeze, or gravel, mud, grass, tall weeds, etc.?

    On my Surly Troll, the top of the handlebar is 42.75" above ground with the bike unloaded. Unfortunately, loads that I carry on the front rack can sometimes interfere with the headlight. Also, taller parking bike racks can sometimes interfere with handlebar mounted lights when you are locking up your bicycle.

    Optimum Headlight Mounting Height?-troll-loaded-front-headlight.jpg

    I'm considering mounting a headlight to the underside of the front rack, which is 27" above the ground.

    Scott Novak
    Last edited by Scott Novak; 02-14-2018 at 05:39 PM.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Sep 2017


    Optimum is mounting it on the handle bar.
    To reduce blinding, the angle should be more greater than less.

    Weather conditions aren't such a big inluence like color temperature, beam shape and of course the Illuminance on the surface. Which is influenced by the luminous flux of the light and the beam angle and shape.

    More about fog and mounting positions:

  3. #3
    Reputation: Flamingtaco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Agreed. Handlebar height provides enough separation from your eyes to shadow surface objects, but not so low as to create long shadows that hide the surface.

    For road riding, one does need to take into account opposing traffic and not mount a light at a shallower angle than what is required for vehicles as this results in increased glare. If the light has a flashlight style beam with no upper cutoff, the angle needs to be considerably steeper.

    I would shoot for having a mount at the front of the rack that lets me mount a light in line with where the beam on the handlebar is aimed. Something that might work well is making a large plate with rubber feet, and using bungees to strap it to whatever cargo is on the rack at the time. Can also have a go-pro style mount attached to the rear of said plate, so when no cargo is in use, you can securely attach the light to the rack (or just use bungees).

    If you mount soft bags to the rack, might take two pieces of aluminum stock, bend them into a quarter moon shape to straddle smaller bags, and placing rubber feet at the ends along with holes for the bungees. Can mount to both rounded and flat surfaces.
    I will suffer no butt-hurt fools!

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