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Lights. How FN bright and why the F do they flash?

Jan. 10, 2014, 10:55 a.m.
Posts: 255
Joined: Jan. 8, 2013

lol @ OP. I agree with darth 100% you need to be bright to distract from the idiots on cells (LOTS) and even that's not enough.

I tend to have multiple flashing lights at lower power instead of one big bright one. If the batteries conk out on one light, I'm not ninja (in the dark).

Jan. 10, 2014, 11:01 a.m.
Posts: 9084
Joined: Dec. 23, 2003

headlight envy?

bft!

Jan. 10, 2014, 11:36 a.m.
Posts: 1178
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

The amount of times I have nearly been killed riding in bike lanes, with high vis gear in broad daylight is the reason I have high lumen strobes. It sucks that it will annoy some people, but if it gets the attention of the dimwits diddling their cell phones, I get to stay alive another day.

then i'd ask the question how vigilant are you in watching approaching drivers and intersections?

i've run into this debate before where my prevailing opinion is not well received by many others here on nsmb, but as the cyclists, we're the ones at risk in a collision with a vehicle. i try to be as hyper vigilant as possible when communting and am constantly scanning side streetks, laneways, driveways - basically any place a car can pop out - for danger. things like looking through back windows to see if there's a body in the driver's seat that may fling a door open are important too.

yes, it's a hell of a lot of work and requires constant processing, but commuting on a bike, especially in city traffic, requires far different riding technique than going for a sunday stroll on a gravel path thru a park. in an ideal world we wouldn't have to worry about these things as all other road users would be following the rules and doing exactly what their supposed to, but we all know that doesn't happen.from my observations on some of the busiest bike routes in the city, too many cyclists are not doing enough of the right things that will keep them safe.

i guess the debate here comes down to weighing the risk of easily being seen vs creating confusion and hostility and weighing that against one's own riding technique and actions. personally i think we're all better off in the long run to to do things that don't piss drivers off or create animosity, not trust other road users and depend only upon ourselves for our own safety.

edit - the same can be said for pedestrian activity as well.

context is everything

Jan. 10, 2014, 11:41 a.m.
Posts: 0
Joined: Oct. 2, 2003

I've definitely seen a few people riding around with what appears to be a small sun or star or something strapped to their bar (I'm not sure which as I couldn't actually look directly at them). To me, that's overkill and annoying.

I've got a fairly bright bar light that I set on flashing and aim somewhat downward (focal pts is probably 15-20 ft in front of me). It seems to do the trick. knocks of head

I think the angle of the light is pretty key. I think a lot of people don't angle them down enough. I've been blinded to the point of almost crashing on off-road bike paths from people's lights. If you're riding along and seeing people you pass shielding their eyes as you go, you're probably doing something wrong…

I've also go an order of these coming to help visibility: http://www.ridewithfiks.com/collections/products

Jan. 10, 2014, noon
Posts: 9084
Joined: Dec. 23, 2003

The amount of times I have nearly been killed riding in bike lanes, with high vis gear in broad daylight is the reason I have high lumen strobes. It sucks that it will annoy some people, but if it gets the attention of the dimwits diddling their cell phones, I get to stay alive another day.

personally i think you could cause an accident by blinding oncoming drivers. they might not hit you, but somebody else because of those nuisance lites… i drive a small car in f950 territory, i guess i should drive around w my hi beams on?

Jan. 10, 2014, 12:08 p.m.
Posts: 351
Joined: March 4, 2013

DARTH said she had a 500 lumen light. if I am not mistaken that is less than a car headlight on low beam. i don't see an issue with that if properly aimed.

but this will become more of an issue as LED technology improves and gets cheaper. single lamps in the 2000-3000 lumen range are available and these can be brighter than an average small car's headlights on high beam. right now they are obviously too expensive for most people to justify.

Jan. 10, 2014, 12:19 p.m.
Posts: 9084
Joined: Dec. 23, 2003

too be honest I'm not a real lumens guy..if thats less than my car then darth is not operating the lites I'm bitching about….:)

Jan. 10, 2014, 12:22 p.m.
Posts: 1178
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

DARTH said she had a 500 lumen light. if I am not mistaken that is less than a car headlight on low beam. i don't see an issue with that if properly aimed.

but this will become more of an issue as LED technology improves and gets cheaper. single lamps in the 2000-3000 lumen range are available and these can be brighter than an average small car's headlights on high beam. right now they are obviously too expensive for most people to justify.

tbh it's more the FU attitude Darth is displaying about it - at least in the post anyway.

context is everything

Jan. 10, 2014, 1:57 p.m.
Posts: 1876
Joined: March 2, 2006

I put a huge effort into being aware when commuting. No headphones, always keeping and eye on traffic around me and making sure I communicate while in traffic. I do have an FU attitude because I am essentially a naked little worm surround by metal death cans running at 60 kph withing 2 feet of me. If the people driving them don't see me, it doesn't matter how diligent I am, they will hit me.
I am pretty sure there are more recorded cases of " I didn't see the cyclist" vs " His lights blinded me and I hit him".

Grumpy Trail Builder in Training

Jan. 10, 2014, 1:58 p.m.
Posts: 4300
Joined: June 24, 2010

DARTH said she had a 500 lumen light. if I am not mistaken that is less than a car headlight on low beam. i don't see an issue with that if properly aimed.

Properly aimed being the key point here. Are there any bike lights out there that have a cutoff on the beam pattern to keep light below a certain level? In my experience they are mostly all round beam patterns varying from narrowly focused to very wide.

Given that a couple degrees too high on car headlights will have people high beaming you thinking you've got your brights on, I think it would be very difficult to get cyclists aiming lights properly.

flickr

Jan. 10, 2014, 2:11 p.m.
Posts: 1178
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

I put a huge effort into being aware when commuting. No headphones, always keeping and eye on traffic around me and making sure I communicate while in traffic. I do have an FU attitude because I am essentially a naked little worm surround by metal death cans running at 60 kph withing 2 feet of me. If the people driving them don't see me, it doesn't matter how diligent I am, they will hit me.
I am pretty sure there are more recorded cases of " I didn't see the cyclist" vs " His lights blinded me and I hit him".

if you're diligent you'll spot those people and avoid them before they hit you. i know, i've done it numerous times myself as well as witnessing other cyclists avoid taking these precautions and as a result getting into accidents.

maybe if the traffic is a huge concern it might be worthwhile investigating other possible routes? the thing is a significant number of motorists do not like cyclists on the road because of the ass-hat behaviour of many cyclists. i don't like the behaviour i see of a lot of cyclists when i'm driving around. so as individual cyclists we should ask ourselves what's easier to change, the attitudes of many car drivers or my own actions?

dropping the angle of your lamp a few degrees probably isn't going to affect your visibility and it may just piss off a few less drivers. fewer drivers pissed off at annoying cyclists is a good thing for everyone that rides a bike.

context is everything

Jan. 10, 2014, 2:47 p.m.
Posts: 1876
Joined: March 2, 2006

Its getting to be bloody CKNW in here some days.

Grumpy Trail Builder in Training

Jan. 10, 2014, 2:50 p.m.
Posts: 1178
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

Its getting to be bloody CKNW in here some days.

i'm just trying to offer you a different perspective. i've been in your shoes before, i've thought who cares if i temporarily blind other road users as long as i'm seen and i've had conversations with people over how annoying it can be.

nobody's suggesting for you to get rid of the light altogether, but to maybe drop the angle a bit so you're not annoying other road users.

context is everything

Jan. 10, 2014, 3 p.m.
Posts: 1876
Joined: March 2, 2006

Waaaah, I got light in my eyes.

Grumpy Trail Builder in Training

Jan. 10, 2014, 3:25 p.m.
Posts: 0
Joined: Oct. 2, 2003

Children, children…

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