Author Topic: Biking: pants clips? Lights?  (Read 7341 times)

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Biking: pants clips? Lights?
« on: August 26, 2014, 08:38:13 PM »
I have two questions about bike equipment: 1. What do people do about their pants, when biking in regular pants? Do they still make those clips that, my mother tells me, she used to wear with her bell bottoms?

2. Any recommendations about lights? What kind to get, where to buy? Sometimes it gets dark on us!

TheDude

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Re: Biking: pants clips? Lights?
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2014, 09:01:23 PM »
I use something similar to this  http://tinyurl.com/n87u6ck

As for light that really matters I have a niterider lumina 600. You could use something cheaper like the 250 but I would spend some decent money on something good front light if you plan on doing an real riding after night. The cheaper ones are good for being seen but not really for seeing.

I also use a niterider cherrybomb rear light. Its a good option. There are a ton of good options out there.

sol

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Re: Biking: pants clips? Lights?
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2014, 10:45:33 PM »
You can buy reflective pants things at walmart for like $5 that work great. You only need one because only your right pant leg is exposed to the chain.  Some of them are velcro and some are the slap-bracelet style.  Or you can rock the oldschool look and just tuck your pants into your socks like a boss.

Or you could go dutch style and just get a chainguard and never worry about your pant legs again.  Like this one for $11.

As for lights, pretty much any front/back LED combo that costs more than about $50 will be a huge step up from the $15 versions you see at Walmart.  I run a Cygolight front/back combo set supplemented with a superflash blinky for the back, because I really want two rear flashers in different locations for riding in traffic at night.  I'm not thrilled with the front light, because even though it's very bright it's a pretty narrow beam and I want to be more visible from off-axis rather than just blinding the people directly in front of me.

My bike is also covered in several feet of retroreflective tape (cheap at walmart or amazon) and in my front wheel I run a little LED spoke light for side visibility, though I only use it when it's really dark out as it's not that bright.  The other lights I commonly run in the daytime.

And of course, make sure you have all of your original reflectors (front, back, both wheels, and all four pedal reflectors) and that they are unobscured.  Sometimes the front/back ones get hidden behind racks or bags or cables.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2014, 10:48:11 PM by sol »

Tieke

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Re: Biking: pants clips? Lights?
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2014, 03:58:57 AM »
I use something similar to this  http://tinyurl.com/n87u6ck

As for light that really matters I have a niterider lumina 600. You could use something cheaper like the 250 but I would spend some decent money on something good front light if you plan on doing an real riding after night. The cheaper ones are good for being seen but not really for seeing.

I also use a niterider cherrybomb rear light. Its a good option. There are a ton of good options out there.

Agree with Sol and TheDude!  MMM already did a great post on bike lights that you might find useful - http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/09/26/lighting-up-the-bikes-for-the-darker-half-of-the-year/  I'm using the Niterider Mako / Cherrybomb combo and it's awesome - cars leave me way more space when I have it turned on.

For pants, I vastly prefer a set of elasticated velcro straps over the bracelets (which are less comfortable and can still allow fabric to escape).  I was going to make my own, but it wasn't worth it - you can buy a pair of the straps at aliexpress.com for about $2 or so including shipping.  (Be warned it's a rubbish website, but worth persevering with if your priority is low cost.)

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Biking: pants clips? Lights?
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2014, 04:41:59 AM »
The only pants I've ever had catch in the chain are jeans. In the colder months I wear sweatpants or rain pants, both of which fit my legs snugly enough that I haven't needed extra straps.

For lights, I still haven't gotten around to adding additional lights or reflective tape, but the Cygolite Metro 360+Hotshot combo for $80 is great. Very bright, USB rechargeable, and (most important) good mounting system.

If you're just occasionally riding at night, cheaper sets like the Bell Radian 5 LED throw off more than enough light to be safe, just not enough light in front to ride very fast without street lights.

Hannah

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Re: Biking: pants clips? Lights?
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2014, 06:14:07 AM »
Or you can rock the oldschool look and just tuck your pants into your socks like a boss.

It's best to do this if you are wearing white gym socks with your dark brown or black work slacks.

If you are asking for yourself, the only real pants that I will wear while biking are skinny jeans, and then only if I'm biking less than 2 miles because I sweat a ton! Other than that, I just change at my destination or wear workout clothes, same with my husband, although he owns velcro straps from snowboarding which he uses with his rain pants. These seem to do the trick just fine.

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nicoli20

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Re: Biking: pants clips? Lights?
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2014, 06:50:41 AM »
I like this baby! 3800 lummens it's like a motorcycle head light. It can be blinding... so don't shine it at people... and its cheap

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009QX8B2Q/ref=s9_simh_gw_p200_d9_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-7&pf_rd_r=1V0WQ0BX74ENW4N5ZG3J&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1630072282&pf_rd_i=507846

fallstoclimb

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Re: Biking: pants clips? Lights?
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2014, 06:55:04 AM »
Or you could go dutch style and just get a chainguard and never worry about your pant legs again.  Like this one for $11.

Hey Sol do you use a chainguard?  Do they stay in place off-road (easy trails) and are they a pain when it comes to maintenance?  I often get grease all over my legs while riding the road bike, it hasn't really happened with the hybrid but when biking in normal clothes I am super careful as to which pants I wear (since I've gotten grease on my skin I worry even with tight pants and just wear black ones).  This would open up a world of possibilities!

sol

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Re: Biking: pants clips? Lights?
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2014, 07:40:41 AM »
Hey Sol do you use a chainguard?

No, I'm too much of a fiddler to get away with a chainguard.  They're really a better option for bikes with a single front chain ring.  I run a front triple to help with heavy loads in our very hilly city, and I leave my chain exposed so I can see what ring I'm on and fix the occasional derailment due to shifting under tension.

So I can't really recommend them from experience, sorry.  I just know that some nations have used them to solve the pants problem.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Biking: pants clips? Lights?
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2014, 07:57:54 AM »
The Alchemist's Giant Escape has a front triple crank with an extra lip outboard so that the chain isn't directly exposed. 99% of the time this would prevent leg touching chain contact, since it's usually when you lean at intersections and catch your calf on the front chainring that you get grease contact.

I can take a picture if my explanation isn't clear.

fallstoclimb

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Re: Biking: pants clips? Lights?
« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2014, 08:16:32 AM »
The Alchemist's Giant Escape has a front triple crank with an extra lip outboard so that the chain isn't directly exposed. 99% of the time this would prevent leg touching chain contact, since it's usually when you lean at intersections and catch your calf on the front chainring that you get grease contact.

I can take a picture if my explanation isn't clear.

Yeah I don't know what that means at all. 

sol

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Re: Biking: pants clips? Lights?
« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2014, 08:18:26 AM »
I like this baby! 3800 lummens it's like a motorcycle head light. It can be blinding... so don't shine it at people... and its cheap

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009QX8B2Q/ref=s9_simh_gw_p200_d9_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-7&pf_rd_r=1V0WQ0BX74ENW4N5ZG3J&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1630072282&pf_rd_i=507846

Just for the record, there is no way that light is really 3800 lumens.  Chinese manufacturers tend to play fast and loose with their lumen and output ratings.

That light uses the CREE XM-L T6 emitter, which is only rated by the manufacturer to generate a maximum of 1000 lumens, and that only very briefly with a good heat sink and at a huge current draw that portable batteries are unlikely to provide for very long.  And most of the cheap LEDs on amazon are factory seconds that didn't meet the output requirements for the T6 bin, so they're probably a little less bright than that.

It's not just bike lights.  Headlamps and flashlights have the same problem.  If you're seeing a ridiculous amount of lumens for a miniscule price, and the product is shipping generic from China, then you probably shouldn't believe the claimed numbers.

Nancy

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Re: Biking: pants clips? Lights?
« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2014, 08:29:56 AM »
For a helmet light, I use NiteRider Mako 200 Light. It has worked well for me. I'm going to get another brighter light for my handlebars. I'm getting a Portland Design Works Danger Zone Tail Light. I have a Planet Bike Blinky "3" 3-Led Rear Bicycle Light that I think is pretty useless, but I'll use them both.

For pant protection, I use the reflective velcro straps. They work well for me. My office pants definitely hit my bike while riding, so I have to use both. I also wear a reflective vest while biking at night in the winter.

nicoli20

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Re: Biking: pants clips? Lights?
« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2014, 09:01:55 AM »
I like this baby! 3800 lummens it's like a motorcycle head light. It can be blinding... so don't shine it at people... and its cheap

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009QX8B2Q/ref=s9_simh_gw_p200_d9_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-7&pf_rd_r=1V0WQ0BX74ENW4N5ZG3J&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1630072282&pf_rd_i=507846

Just for the record, there is no way that light is really 3800 lumens.  Chinese manufacturers tend to play fast and loose with their lumen and output ratings.

That light uses the CREE XM-L T6 emitter, which is only rated by the manufacturer to generate a maximum of 1000 lumens, and that only very briefly with a good heat sink and at a huge current draw that portable batteries are unlikely to provide for very long.  And most of the cheap LEDs on amazon are factory seconds that didn't meet the output requirements for the T6 bin, so they're probably a little less bright than that.

It's not just bike lights.  Headlamps and flashlights have the same problem.  If you're seeing a ridiculous amount of lumens for a miniscule price, and the product is shipping generic from China, then you probably shouldn't believe the claimed numbers.

Hi Sol,

I am not an expert on Lumens and I wouldn't be surprised if this isn't actually 3800 lumens, you make some good points, but this light is still amazing. It is often pitch black on my rides to work and this light makes it look like I am a motorcycle riding down the road. For the price it was worth it for me. I ride about 45 min to work and I normally charge it every night just for good measure.

-Nicoli20

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Re: Biking: pants clips? Lights?
« Reply #15 on: August 27, 2014, 09:37:42 AM »
I use a rubber band.

Eric

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Re: Biking: pants clips? Lights?
« Reply #16 on: August 27, 2014, 10:38:04 AM »
I use a rubber band.

Me too!  Free and plentiful.  I can't imagine paying actual money for a strap to put around my ankle.

GuitarStv

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Re: Biking: pants clips? Lights?
« Reply #17 on: August 27, 2014, 06:23:24 PM »
I'll throw in a vote for reflective velcro straps on the pants.  Especially at night in the winter it's a good idea to do anything you can to be more visible.  Thicker pants like ski pants move around all over the place with elastic bands.  The sock trick will work in a pinch, but absolutely won't hold over my 10 mile commute.  Reflective straps can be had for a couple bucks, and your legs are always moving so they're very visible from cars behind you.

I'm a very big fan of the Superflash turbo rear bike light.  They're not too expensive, very bright, and take rechargable AAA batteries well.

hyla

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Re: Biking: pants clips? Lights?
« Reply #18 on: August 27, 2014, 07:30:27 PM »
Or you could go dutch style and just get a chainguard and never worry about your pant legs again.  Like this one for $11.

Hey Sol do you use a chainguard?  Do they stay in place off-road (easy trails) and are they a pain when it comes to maintenance?  I often get grease all over my legs while riding the road bike, it hasn't really happened with the hybrid but when biking in normal clothes I am super careful as to which pants I wear (since I've gotten grease on my skin I worry even with tight pants and just wear black ones).  This would open up a world of possibilities!

I have a chainguard on my commuter bike and it's great - never get grease on my pants, never get baggy pants caught, and I can still get my back wheel off easily if I need to change the tire.  I ride some on very mellow trails (old railroad trails) and no problems with it staying on and not rattleing.  Of course, mine was original with the bike so I'm not sure if aftermarket options would fit as well.


hyla

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Re: Biking: pants clips? Lights?
« Reply #19 on: August 27, 2014, 07:38:29 PM »
And for lights, I highly recommend dynamo lights that run off a hub generator.  They're bright enough to illuminate the road well.  Never need to worry about batteries dying cause there are no batteries - your motion powers the lights!  And they are bolted to the bike so theft is not an issue.

I don't know where you are - they are tricky to find in North America, and outside of larger cities with commuter oriented shops local shops probably won't carry them, but there are a few US distributors that sell them online and will give you good installation instructions when you call them.

They are not cheap - I think I spent $300 on a new wheel with a dynohub and the lights - but when I think of how much more often I ride my bike, partly because I have really good lights, instead of driving my car it's worth it to me.