Adventure Cycling Association Forum

Bicycle Travel => Gear Talk => Topic started by: Gus on July 10, 2018, 07:12:05 pm

 
Title: Front and rear lights
Post by: Gus on July 10, 2018, 07:12:05 pm
I'm looking for a front and rear light so I can be seen during daytime as well as evening. I see some use recharging battery packs or just alkaline battery? With rechargeable ones when your on long tours how do you go about recharging? trying to set up a new touring bike. Anyone with first hand experience? Are these charging packs good to use on a GPS or cell phone? Thanks.
Title: Re: Front and rear lights
Post by: Old Guy New Hobby on July 11, 2018, 06:49:50 am
Kudos for using lights.

There are lots of ways to recharge lights. I used a hub, which charged a battery back, which provided USB power. I could also charge the battery pack from a standard wall outlet. I had a GPS, lights, and a phone to keep charged. The hub provided about 6 Watts. It wasn't enough on its own to keep everything charged.

I prefer devices that use standard AA or AAA batteries. I use Eneloop batteries with a high quality charger. I have a 110V charger and a USB charger. Eneloop batteries last about 3 years. If I can't keep them charged, I have the option of stopping at a convenience store to pick up some alkaline batteries.
Title: Re: Front and rear lights
Post by: canalligators on July 20, 2018, 07:10:43 pm
I'm not convinced that lights are that important in daylight.  You must use good lane placement, wear bright colors, look like a cyclist, be aware of when motorists might not see you such as looking into low sun, and be predictable.  After those steps, a light certainly wouldn't hurt - but it must be an extremely bright one to be noticed.
Title: Re: Front and rear lights
Post by: Pat Lamb on July 20, 2018, 09:01:18 pm
I have to agree with canalligators.  To illustrate his point...

On a group tour a few years ago, I was climbing through light rain and fog when I noticed the high-vis raincoat of the cyclist a quarter mile or more in front of me.  I eventually caught up to him.  When I got to within perhaps 75 feet, I noticed -- this was the guy on the tour who had eight or ten of the brightest flashers on the market, mounted up and down both seatstays, and running even in daylight.  The important point to note is that I noticed him (in his bright green) long before I saw the flashers.
Title: Re: Front and rear lights
Post by: fahrrad on July 21, 2018, 06:27:43 pm
  It's all about those Lumens I reckon. I had two rechargeable tail lights on my last tour (along with a headlight I sent home early on) that, combined with my phone and battery pack, became such a chore to keep charged. Every cafe stop entailed searching the walls to 'top up', every older budget motel had maybe one outlet, involving hourly shift changes for all the units. Using the high function got me maybe 1.5-3 hours of flash, often leaving me dark, more often finding me saving their use until I found myself on dicey roads. If i was on a wide shoulder I left it off to save power. I had an Iphone that didn't like interchanging cords and plugs with non-Apple gear.  I guess I just don't like complicating my fun. If you feel you want a tail lamp, buy the brightest beast you can afford- so many are just too feeble to make a difference in direct sunlight. I swore my next tail light would be a AAA battery type, just to make the ride that much simpler. You won't want to be squatting outside a thrift store power outlet in Spigot, Kansas waiting for a $14 light to recharge...
Title: Re: Front and rear lights
Post by: hikerjer on July 26, 2018, 10:52:24 pm
I go with both a very bright jersey - a hunter orange one and a hi-vis yellow one one - and a highly visible tail light. In fact, I carry two rear lights - a USB recharable one and a battery powered one.  When the USB runs out of charge, I switch to the battery one and wait unit an appropriate time to recharge the USB one.  Maybe it's all psychological ,but I feel much better riding with a bright rear tailight.
Title: Re: Front and rear lights
Post by: canalligators on July 29, 2018, 08:15:02 pm
The light has to be really, really bright to be of any use.  And it still won't help if the driver is looking at the phone in his lap, checking a map or messing with his sound system.  A mirror would be a much more useful accessory.  Get one, any type, and use that sucker.  Watch every vehicle that is about to pass you.   Every one.
Title: Re: Front and rear lights
Post by: hikerjer on July 29, 2018, 10:53:18 pm
Totally agree.  I never ride without one
Title: Re: Front and rear lights
Post by: David W Pratt on August 21, 2018, 08:55:34 pm
Having only rarely ridden with lights and considering them for night/fog, I am changing my opinion.  The other day out for a ride on a very low traffic dirt road in bright, dry conditions, I realized that going from sunlight to a shaded portion, I couldn't see much.  My guess is neither could a driver, who would also be expecting little, if any traffic.  Running lights may be in my future
Title: Re: Front and rear lights
Post by: canalligators on August 21, 2018, 11:36:50 pm
One of those situations where you must be aware that the motorist might not see you.  I still say a mirror should come first.