commuting, lighting/safety- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1

    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    153

    commuting, lighting/safety

    I have been riding in to work as much as possible when weather allows. It is only .7 miles, half is my neighborhood, only one short section of a busy road, and the rest is trail that has one rough, hilly section. It only takes about 5 minutes. The problem is I don't get off until after 6 pm and it's too dark. Yesterday I rode in to work in the morning and home at lunch. It was sunny and in the 60's and I was so annoyed that I had to drive a STUPID CAR back to work! Soon it will be dark when I leave in the mornings too. Do I just need good lights? I haven't ever used them before and just want to know if it seems safe and if any specific light recommendations are given. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Displaced Southerner
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    231
    Yeah, lights would solve your problem. For commuting I use a bar mount light and a rear blinkie red light. I don't have any trail on mine, so for me it isn't as much about navigating rough terrain, but about people in their stupid cars seeing me.

    For your front lights, I guess it depends on how much light you need for the trail section, and how much you're willing to spend. The light that I use for commuting is a $40 Cateye LED light, which serves its purpose of allowing me to be seen...but trying to use that thing on a mtb night ride is a joke. I've used the lights (hand me downs) that are halogen, I think from Performance or a bike retailer like them. Since I didn't buy them I'm not sure what they run, but I used them as my mtb night ride lights for almost a year, so they worked well for me. I recently upgraded to the high dollar HID light, and sh!t howdy, that thing is a beacon. I love it...but it might be a little much for a commute.

    Happy commuting!
    ca
    Whatever you can do or dream you can do, do it now. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.
    ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

  3. #3
    L1MEY
    Reputation: mahgnillig's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    1,487
    The key to commuting safely is to be seen. Blinkie lights are great because they can be seen from a long distance. If you need to see where you are pointing your wheels on the trail part of the ride then you'll need a bar light of some description, but even the old 'C' battery operated halogen lights provide enough light if you're not going fast and the trail is smooth, and you can pick up a cheapie CatEye bar light for about $10.

    Reflective things are very important. If you took the reflectors off your bike (or they fell off on the trail), get a roll of reflective tape and stick little bits of it to your bike, helmet etc. Also, you can get reflective ankle bands which are good because they move with your leg and the movement attracts drivers' attention. Any clothing that is bright and refelective is good too... consider getting a bright coloured windbreaker that has some reflective piping or patches on it (I think Performance sells some Illuminite jackets and vests).

    Of course if you really don't want to ride at night, you can always walk instead. 0.7 miles should take about 10-15mins, but it's not as fun as riding.

    - Jen.
    Ride like a girl! :cornut:

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: sandan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    7,698

    Good job!

    Bar lights are good, but, I like a helmet light a bit better. That's because you can see not onle where you are going but where you want to go. Bar lights have a hard time lighting up corners. You can never have too many blinkies. I put 3 of them on my backpack and one on the frame.
    I have one firm belief about the American political system, God is a Republican and Santa Claus is a Democrat P.J. O'Rourke





  5. #5
    pillage! plunder! 4 parts
    Reputation: pedaling pyrate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    253

    These are more on the pricey side but...

    http://www.mtbr.com/spotlight/lightshootout/

    this is a great way to see the comparisons of beam width, length, color etc.
    don't question why you ride but rather why you don't ride more.

  6. #6
    Hairy man
    Reputation: Dwight Moody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    4,923
    I use a cheap Cateye front light and it's fine for the paved bikepath I'm riding most of my commute, though I wish it would throw light about 15 feet further up than it does. However, it's no use whatsoever on a trail.

    Now people with their fancyschmancy HID lights and the bikepath definitely have it better, I can't really sprint in the unlit sections of the path because I'd be outrunning my light. Plus I get kinda Highbeamed by the bright lights.

    One person I've crossed paths with puts his hand over his light as he's approaching, definitely a great courtesy.
    We all get it in the end.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,816
    I have about a 3.1 mile commute from my front door to the office door. Lately I've been getting in before 6 am so that makes for some dark commutes. Have also commuted to my second job (about 15 miles one way) and rode home at night. I do this on a Trek 1000 Roadie.

    My advice is blinky lights!! I have one large light on my seat pouch that can be seen for more than a mile away according to my coworkers. Nothing fancy, just one that you can pick up for about $15.00. I also have bar end lights that blink. So that's 3 blinking lights facing the rear. In addition I use a couple valve stem lights that blink as the wheel spins them around to activate them. As long as you're going more than a few MPH they come on. You can get a set of these in some dept. store's cycle department or most auto retailers outlets like Advance or Auto Zone. Or order them on line. I like them so people perpendicular to me can see me coming up the street. For a headlight I use a Niterider Trail Rat. Simple, dependable, bright, 10Watt light that hasn't failed me yet. Have had it for about 2 yrs I think. Have to charge it about once every month and a half.

    The Officers at the gate say I look like a circus riding in. GOOD!!!! That's exactly what I want because my route is along a highway where people typically go about 50-60 mph.

    Some people I know even wear an orange vest. Technically it's a requirement on base here, but so is long sleeves and long pants for ANY two wheeled vehicle on base here. Luckily they only enforce those rules for motorcycles. Would HATE to commute all summer in jeans and long sleeve shirt.

  8. #8
    pillage! plunder! 4 parts
    Reputation: pedaling pyrate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    253

    available in presta?

    [QUOTE=crashedandburned] In addition I use a couple valve stem lights that blink as the wheel spins them around to activate them. As long as you're going more than a few MPH they come on. You can get a set of these in some dept. store's cycle department or most auto retailers outlets like Advance or Auto Zone. QUOTE]
    don't question why you ride but rather why you don't ride more.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,816
    [QUOTE=pedaling pyrate]
    Quote Originally Posted by crashedandburned
    In addition I use a couple valve stem lights that blink as the wheel spins them around to activate them. As long as you're going more than a few MPH they come on. You can get a set of these in some dept. store's cycle department or most auto retailers outlets like Advance or Auto Zone. QUOTE]
    Nope. Sorry, forgot to mention that. But a couple of the little brass valve adapters from the LBS or online are cheap.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: alaskarider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    388

    Be sure to check state laws

    Quote Originally Posted by sandan
    Bar lights are good, but, I like a helmet light a bit better. That's because you can see not onle where you are going but where you want to go. Bar lights have a hard time lighting up corners. You can never have too many blinkies. I put 3 of them on my backpack and one on the frame.
    Here in Colorado, you're required by law to have a bar light when riding on roads after dark (helmet lights are fine in addition, but not as a replacement). Check your state laws before going with a helmet light only option.

    If the trail portion of your ride is rough, you'll probably have to go with one of the more expensive bar-mounted light systems (they're often a couple hundred dollars). Or, as mahgillig suggested, you could always walk that portion and just have a (relatively) inexpensive headlight so cars can see you on the road.

    Good luck!

  11. #11

    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    153

    thanks!

    I will get going on the blinkie tail light and double check on reflectors. I have a really dorky orange safety vest with reflective stripes that are battery powered and light up in addition to being reflective. Just have to decide on a headlight. It looks like one of the 10w halogen types is about right, like the trail rat one mentioned above. Hopefully I'll be ready to go by next week. Thanks for all the help!

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Becky Thatcher's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    120

    not spam I promise

    Quote Originally Posted by beegirl
    I will get going on the blinkie tail light and double check on reflectors. I have a really dorky orange safety vest with reflective stripes that are battery powered and light up in addition to being reflective. Just have to decide on a headlight. It looks like one of the 10w halogen types is about right, like the trail rat one mentioned above. Hopefully I'll be ready to go by next week. Thanks for all the help!
    I just bought a niterider trailrat $90.00 and a niterider tail light $54.00 from pricepoint. The tail light shines more brightly than a car or motorcycle tail light and the headlight (bar mounted) provides enough light for me to ride in complete darkness on a rural road and see all the potholes in the road in front of me with time enough to miss them. I feel safe with these light.

    I highly recommend them.
    "Walter, the chinaman who peed on my rug, I can't go give him a bill!"

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    602

    Night Riding

    Hello, If you want to do more technical trail rides at night, the day before a Full Moon is the best. The moon rises an hour earlier than true full moon day and you will see more even with a 10 watt light. Happy trails.

  14. #14

    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    28
    I use a blinky light on my backpack and I also have blinky light built into my KED helmet (which is really cool). I use a HID Niterider Storm helmet mounted light and it works awesome. I like the ability to turn my head and light up peoples faces in cars that are about to turn into me.....

  15. #15
    L1MEY
    Reputation: mahgnillig's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    1,487
    Quote Originally Posted by SSchick
    I like the ability to turn my head and light up peoples faces in cars that are about to turn into me.....
    LOL, that alone must be worth the price of buying a HID for commuting
    Ride like a girl! :cornut:

Members who have read this thread: 0

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2020 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.