Author Topic: Really good bike lights?  (Read 1273 times)

shelivesthedream

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Really good bike lights?
« on: October 03, 2016, 10:24:34 AM »
My birthday is coming up and my mother has asked me what I would like. I have decided that what I could really do with are some better bike lights. She knows nothing about bikes and I know very little compared to the ocean of knowledge on this forum. What are your opinions on:

1. How bright is good to be seen in city streets without being like some kind of dazzling searchlight?
2. Are rechargeable lights any good? I like the idea, but how long do they last and are they reliable?
3. Are there any particular brands which are very reliable? My current cheapo ones have a loose battery connection.
4. Ideally I'd like ones without a bajillion different blinking settings to cycle through every time I turn them on or off, and ones which are easy to detach from the mount so I remember to take them off and they don't get nicked.

Obviously it's a birthday present and my mother likes to buy me things so do feel free to recommend something flashier than necessary.

The Guru

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Re: Really good bike lights?
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2016, 06:23:33 PM »

sol

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Re: Really good bike lights?
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2016, 06:41:00 PM »
I've become a fan of the cygolite brand.  Their Hotshot Pro rear blinky is clearly superior to what used to be industry standard (the Planet Bike superflash), and their cygo 400 is now my standard (and only) forward light.

Beyond about 500 lumens, bike lights become a hazard to drivers if they're not adjusted properly to avoid direct lines to eyeballs.  They're just blinding.  I want to be annoyingly visible, but I don't want to be causing accidents, and I feel like the 400 is about the right compromise for riding at night under city streetlights.  If I was riding dark country roads, I'd want something brighter.

I run two rear blinkies, one on the seat post and one one the rear rack, because one or the other is sometimes blocked by panniers or cargo. 

These days I also run at least one sidelight.  There are some fancy ones that mount under your frame, but I've had good luck with the little ones that wedge into your spokes.  My front and rear lights are bright enough that people avoid me, but I've had a few close calls with cars approaching from side.  Spoke lights are basically like super-reflectors that go in your wheels, and they make it REALLY obvious that you're a bicycle.  I basically treat them as disposable items, and buy a new one ever fall.