Author Topic: Recommendation for front light?  (Read 9218 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline jwrushman

Recommendation for front light?
« on: November 27, 2016, 05:55:32 pm »
I have a Planet Bike Blaze 140 light which is okay - more for being seen than for me to see the road.  But it is blocked by my handlebar bag.  If I move the light  out to the side on the handlebar, it takes up space I'd rather have for my hands.  Thoughts?  Attach it to the helmet?

Offline walks.in2.trees

Re: Recommendation for front light?
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2016, 06:43:21 pm »
I have a Planet Bike Blaze 140 light which is okay - more for being seen than for me to see the road.  But it is blocked by my handlebar bag.  If I move the light  out to the side on the handlebar, it takes up space I'd rather have for my hands.  Thoughts?  Attach it to the helmet?
If you can. I've never had one from bike planet, but that's how I prefer my front light. I use a long wide Velcro strip, used as a strap, to hold my Petzel on. When I buy new helmets I'm careful about looking for a place to seat it.

What I prefer though is two. One on the bar, one on my helmet.
This way, the one on the bar always faces where the wheel is going, and the one on my helmet always faces where I'm looking.

When I come to an intersection at night, if someone arrives from the side in a car, I shine my helmet light at the driver to try to make sure they see me.

A reason to keep a light up front is so if you're watching something else... A dog, or a car... You can hopefully spot that pothole, that storm drain, that gas line cover where the pavement is all broken out around it... in your peripheral vision before you hit it and bend your rim, or worse.

Sent from my SM-T817V using Tapatalk


Offline jwrushman

Re: Recommendation for front light?
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2016, 07:18:40 pm »
I think I'll have to experiment attaching the light to my helmet.  I like the idea of having one light focused in front of my bike, but I don't want to lose the handlebar space.

Offline walks.in2.trees

Re: Recommendation for front light?
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2016, 08:16:52 pm »
One idea I considered (but never tried) is those LED light strips they make for cars ...put one down each side of the front fork and it should illuminate in front and it would be distinctive enough to catch drivers attention. It might also put a cone of shadow in front too which would be worse than no light at all LOL.

Another option is to get a front rack with a shelf and ditch the bar bag and mount the light on on the front of the shelf which will put it more out front, and closer to the road. but whether that's be worth the weight cost or not depends on how you use your bike.

Sent from my SM-T817V using Tapatalk


Offline walks.in2.trees

Re: Recommendation for front light?
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2016, 08:25:27 pm »
On my winter (ski) helmet I use a tarp bungee (the kind that's a loop with a ball on it). The vent holes don't line up on my winter helmet like they do on my normal helmet, but there is one vent hole that's dead center and the distance just happened to work out where I could loop it through the mount of the light, through the helmet, under the padding and out through a hole further back, and loop around the ball to secure it tightly

Sent from my SM-T817V using Tapatalk


Offline John Nelson

Re: Recommendation for front light?
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2016, 09:15:26 pm »
Unless you are planning to ride at night on your tour, I recommend you don't take a light at all. If you take a headlamp for camping and if you will only occasionally ride at night, wrap the strap of your headlamp around your handlebar bag.

You might consider an accessory bar for your handlebars. This would get your light above your handlebar bag and save handlebar space. Something like this:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Road-Bicycle-Bike-Handlebar-Extension-Extender-Holder-Tool-for-GPS-Lights-CS352-/172349435688

There are various lights you can mount to your front rack, depending on what rack you have.

For a be-seen light, almost anything will do. For a light you can see by in complete darkness on unfamiliar roads, I recommend at least 800 lumens. If you have young eyes, you can probably do with less. Modern LED lights can obtain this level of illumination in a small package at a reasonable price.

Offline jwrushman

Re: Recommendation for front light?
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2016, 12:16:54 am »
Thanks, everyone, for the feedback. I now have several options to check out. But it's after midnight in NJ, so it will have to wait until morning.

Offline Old Guy New Hobby

Re: Recommendation for front light?
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2016, 09:12:48 am »
Quote
I recommend you don't take a light at al

John - I hope I misunderstood you. Most drivers drive by "mental auto-pilot" at least part of the time. That part of the brain responds well to common situations, and poorly to unusual ones. Cyclists are still in the unusual category. We need "be seen" lights to draw the attention of drivers who are thinking about something other than their driving.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Recommendation for front light?
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2016, 10:13:11 am »
I'm with John on this one.  Bright clothes -- yellow, blaze orange, high-vis green, or a bright red -- are going to be noticed well before a puny light.  (And be-seen lights are generally pretty puny!)

The exceptions might include riding in fog, rain, or heavy overcast.  Even there, bright clothes beat a be-seen light in my experience.

Note that you need to beware of confirmation bias if you're judging how soon other drivers can see you.  (When you decide to test out flashing lights, you'll weight drivers slowing down much more than drivers that don't.)  It's much better to note how soon you see other riders under those adverse conditions.  My experience is that bright clothing and/or panniers beat lights during daytime, period.  Often I'll see the bright clothes two or three times further than even the best flashing lights.

Offline canalligators

Re: Recommendation for front light?
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2016, 12:10:58 pm »
I disagree with not bringing a light.  There will be times when you choose or need to ride in moderate or heavier rain, and the visibility will be important.  Ditto with a tail light.  I bring a small (but high quality) detachable LED headlight for these times, and for use in camp as a flashlight.

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Recommendation for front light?
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2016, 01:05:25 pm »
I  have a Tubus Tara front rack, and I hose clamped a piece of PVC pipe to the top of the hoop in the rack.  I can provide a picture later.

By all means take a light.  I like one in blink mode on overcast days, or very early/late in the day.
Danno

indyfabz

  • Guest
Re: Recommendation for front light?
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2016, 01:31:35 pm »
For a light you can see by in complete darkness on unfamiliar roads, I recommend at least 800 lumens. If you have young eyes, you can probably do with less. Modern LED lights can obtain this level of illumination in a small package at a reasonable price.

Yeah. The OP states that he has a Planet bike Blaze 140. Just last night I used my Planet Bike Blaze 750 for the first time. Darn thing is pretty damn bright. In flash mode the light reflects brightly off street signs more than a city block away. Picked it up for about $48 during REI's recent sale.

Only thing for me is that it charges through a USB cable. I don't take any electronics with USB ports so I would never take it on tour unless there is some sort of adaptor I can get that will allow me to charge it through a regular outlet.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Recommendation for front light?
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2016, 01:52:20 pm »
Only thing for me is that it charges through a USB cable. I don't take any electronics with USB ports so I would never take it on tour unless there is some sort of adaptor I can get that will allow me to charge it through a regular outlet.

Last time I was in Walgreen's there was a bucket of AC-USB adapters near the front counter for $5.

Offline walks.in2.trees

Re: Recommendation for front light?
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2016, 02:09:42 pm »
I'm with John on this one.  Bright clothes -- yellow, blaze orange, high-vis green, or a bright red -- are going to be noticed well before a puny light.  (And be-seen lights are generally pretty puny!)

The exceptions might include riding in fog, rain, or heavy overcast.  Even there, bright clothes beat a be-seen light in my experience.

Note that you need to beware of confirmation bias if you're judging how soon other drivers can see you.  (When you decide to test out flashing lights, you'll weight drivers slowing down much more than drivers that don't.)  It's much better to note how soon you see other riders under those adverse conditions.  My experience is that bright clothing and/or panniers beat lights during daytime, period.  Often I'll see the bright clothes two or three times further than even the best flashing lights.
Not true, I've been saved plenty of times by my light, but mostly because it's mounted on my helmet and I can shine it back and forth directly over the drivers face.

At night you can't really make eye contact, and if they're entering the street you're on from a side street, their headlights don't pick up your reflectors or bright clothing colors until it's too late, but if you make a point of shining a light at them, the odds are much better that they'll notice.

I know this because they start to go but stop when the beam of light hits them. A blinking rear light does draw attention, and so does the reflective safety vest... The difference is that drivers have come to associate that blinking red tail light with cyclists, whereas there's all kinds of reflective things along the road. The blinky light also is visible whether or not a car's headlights are shining on you or not, whereas a reflector DEPENDS on being shined on by the headlights.

Even so, the blinky lights I've gotten seen to always break or disappear and and so do rear mounted and pedal reflectors. So I count on my reflective safety vest and the headlamp the most. I figure, from the rear, as long as I'm where I'm supposed to be, and the driver of the rear-approaching vehicle is paying attention, I won't get hit. If they AREN'T paying attention and drift onto the shoulder, I'm toast anyway, and having had a light won't have helped prevent that at all. From this perspective, I concentrate primarily on the main source of danger that I can prevent, which is cars entering the roadway from the side.

As pointed out, for any of this to work at all, the driver has to be paying attention.
I can't tell you how many times, even with my bright safety vest during the day, I've almost been hit because even though they were looking, and I thought I made direct eye contact, they still didn't SEE me.

I think, primarily, it's because they're looking for cars, not bikes, so their brain skips over a bike. Especially somewhere or at a time of day, where bikes aren't commonly seen, like a busy traffic circle.

Light or not, I ALWAYS err on the side of them NOT seeing me... Slow down to see what they do, prepared to brake or go behind them if they go, or, I time when I pass the intersection to coincide with when a car does, counting on the fact that they will see the car, even if they don't see me.

Safety aside, there's plenty of uses for a light on a tour. I also carry a little keychain light, but its not very bright if I need a light for anything serious

Sent from my SM-T817V using Tapatalk


Offline walks.in2.trees

Re: Recommendation for front light?
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2016, 03:11:32 pm »


Only thing for me is that it charges through a USB cable. I don't take any electronics with USB ports so I would never take it on tour unless there is some sort of adaptor I can get that will allow me to charge it through a regular outlet.

Last time I was in Walgreen's there was a bucket of AC-USB adapters near the front counter for $5.

Generally those are cheap junk though... The ones you get at a Verizon/Sprint store will hold up much better, though more expensive. 

What happens with those cheap ones is they overheat and de-solder themselves. I had one that lasted a long time but that was because I realized that the circuit board was mounted on one side, so if I plugged it in with the circuit board to the bottom, the heat would rise away from the board. This only helped so much though.

It's only by accident that I found out the ones at Verizon were actually better. My tablet can't use those cheap ones, they don't have the capacity for quick-charge devices, so I went to Verizon to see if they had any of the power bricks intended for it (I bought it there) she said "I don't, but I have these" and when I compare the specs, I saw that their aftermarket dual USB was rated for over triple the output of my original was.

Now, its only been a few weeks, and I could find out that heat de-solders this one as well after heavy use, but power-wise it definitely is performing, charging my tablet and my Venture30 simultaneously, and it doesn't feel hot to the touch like the other ones always did.

Sent from my SM-T817V using Tapatalk