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Be Bright | Be Safe


Do I Need A Light?

Simply put... Yes!

Ohio Department of Transportation

4511.56 Bicycle signal devices.

(A) Every bicycle when in use [between sunset and sunrise and when visibility is less than 1000 feet] shall be equipped with the following:

(1) A lamp on the front … that shall emit a white light visible from a distance of at least five hundred feet to the front and three hundred feet to the sides. A generator powered lamp… may be used to meet this requirement.

(2) A red reflector on the rear that shall be visible from all distances from one hundred feet to six hundred feet to the rear.

(3) A lamp emitting either flashing or steady red light visible from a distance of five hundred feet to the rear… If the red lamp performs as a reflector… a separate reflector is not required.

(B) Additional lamps and reflectors may be used… except that red lamps or reflectors shall not be used on the front and white lamps and reflectors shall not be used on the rear of the bicycle.

(C) Every bicycle shall be equipped with an adequate brake.



Let There Be Light

Lights are a key piece of gear that help you see the road ahead and allow other travelers to see you from behind. Using simple strobe or flash settings on your rear light can help drivers see you both coming and going, day or night.

Buyer's Guide To Rechargeable Bicycle Lighting Systems

You know this trail as well as you know your TV remote, yet you flinch with every rogue shadow that passes under your wheels. Blasting through the trees and navigating the rock gardens with focused tunnel vision, you wonder how close that drop-off to the left really is.

Yes, you know this trail. But under the dim moonlight, you're riding it again for the first time and enjoying it in a completely different way.

Welcome to the world of night riding! Besides great fun, and a unique and exciting experience, night cycling is a great way to fit your passion into a busy schedule.

With the right light, you can can head out before dawn or after dusk. And, by riding at these times you'll enjoy a wonderful escape from the scorching sun and crowded trails.

A Good Bike Lighting System Turns Night Into Day.

For this type of riding, you need one of our powerful and reliable rechargeable lighting systems. These have the oomph to turn night into day and make even technical trail riding possible after dark.

They boast a powerful beams and a rechargeable battery that fuels the light for a couple of hours, at least. These are sophisticated systems with many features and a wide price range. In this article, we explain some of the differences to help you choose the right light.

A Word About Taillights.

While some high-tech rechargeable lighting systems offer taillights, most come with a headlight only. That's because the most common use for these lights is off-road bicycling where a taillight is unnecessary (assuming you don't ride the road to get to the trail, in which case you do need a taillight).

If you're using your superlight for road riding, either select a model with a taillight, or do what most people do and get an LED taillight to use with your rechargeable lighting system. These LED flashers (they usually come with flashing and constant modes) are plenty bright, affordable, lightweight, easy to mount and reliable. Plus, when used in flashing mode, the batteries last a long time.

Brightness

When considering bicycle lights, wattage is the most common unit used to describe a light's power and it's one way to gauge how much brightness a system offers. However, technically speaking, wattage is actually a measure of a light's power consumption, not really the amount of light that it produces. A lumen is the international unit for the actual amount of light that's produced, equal to the amount of light given out by one candle radiating equally in all directions.

Batteries

Li-ion batteries are the most popular type found in bicycle lights (and consumer electronics) because they boast one of the best energy-to-weight ratios, low maintenance, and no memory effect. Even better, they offer a higher power density, which means longer run times from a super-light battery (lithium is the lightest of all metals).

Another great advantage is that Li-ion batteries cannot be overcharged. Plus, they lose only 5% of their charge a month, so they're ready to go when you (or your buddies) are.

Night-Riding Tips


Basics

  • Don't ride alone at night. If you absolutely have to go solo, tell someone when and where you're riding, and when you expect to be back.
  • Setup your lights and go for a test ride around the neighborhood so you can adjust the beam angles, power controls and make sure everything is secure.
  • For your first night excursions, ride conservatively on familiar trails so you can adjust to the conditions and avoid getting lost.

Essentials

  • Consider the burn time of your lighting system when choosing a trail to ride and leave yourself with enough battery power to get home.
  • Wear eye protection. Branches or anything coming from the periphery is impossible to see until it's too late. Eyewear with clear lenses is perfect.
  • If you don't use two lights, at least carry a backup flashlight.

Look out!

  • Don't be tricked by beam angles. Shadows from handlebar lights can make a 4-inch log look like a 4-foot drop-off. Likewise, the lack of shadows from a helmet light can make obstacles look more flat than they are.
  • When following another rider keep an eye on the trail in front of them using their light. Try not to follow their bike so you don't follow them into a bad line.
  • Out of sight, out of mind—is not a good approach to night riding! Be careful out there, stay safe and have fun!
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