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Do you always operate tail lights?

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:38 am
by thecaptn
Hi all,

I live in the country and always have my tail lights switched on when I ride which is generaly during the day. I suppose it's due to the my assumtion that:

a, fewer bikes on the road mean that they're less likely to be anticipated.

b, although there are less cars they are traveling faster.

and the main reason I have my lights on during the day:
c, I'm paranoid, I don't wish to be run down and I'll use anything at my disposal to be seen.

I'm currently running two Cateye Cherry Bomb's on my commuter on flash mode and have set up something similar but better on my wifes bike, am I being over cautious?
Am I being under cautious?
What do other people do?
Is there any statistical advantage to using your tail lights during the day?
Should i be using my front light aswell?

Any opinions will be appretiated ta,
Pete

Re: Do you always operate tail lights?

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:55 am
by high_tea
Yes. I don't know that it does any good, but I'm convinced there's no harm in it. If it's overcast or raining, maybe, but I can't see them helping visibility much in broad daylight. Visible clothing and good road positioning are going to help a lot more, for mine.

I have dynamo-powered LEDs, so neither battery life nor bulb life is an issue for me.

Re: Do you always operate tail lights?

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:01 am
by RonK
On my touring bike, both dynamo-powered lights are always on and the rear is supplemented by a Cateye TL-LD1000 in low light conditions. Roadie I just use a flasher when it's gloomy.

Re: Do you always operate tail lights?

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:07 am
by twizzle
Yes. I have a Planet Bike "Superflash", it's bloody bright. I recharge the batteries every 8 - 10 hours, it's a cheap way to reduce risk.

Re: Do you always operate tail lights?

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:27 am
by westab
Pete,
While my riding situation is poles apart from yours I understand what you are doing and why. I ride mainly along shared pathways that are mainly well lit at night and through back streets in Sydney. I tend to turn on at least my flashing tail and headlights in low light or wet conditions to give me the best chance of being seen. When it is dark I have all my lights on (Two of both tail and head lights and a helmet light). When it is light I don't put on my lights but I do wear a bright orange fluro vest or brightly coloured shirt. The other vital (IMHO) safety equipment is a mirror I have riden with for at least 5 years - this gives me more confidence about approaching traffic from behind.

I have found that wearing brightly coloured shirts are more visible than lights on bright sunny days (have had my wife check what is easier to see when she has been following in the car) - but the lights should help. And no I don't think you are being parnoid or over cautious - it is important that you are comfortable that you have been seen. I would invest in rechageable batteries if you have not already.

Hope this helps - Andrew

Re: Do you always operate tail lights?

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:29 am
by Mrfenejeans
Yep, not so much out of paranoia more from "Why the heck not, it cant hurt", especially now that I've forked out the cash for USB rechargeable lights saving batteries isn't a concern.

Re: Do you always operate tail lights?

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:32 am
by Nobody
When driving up Lane Cove Rd/Ryde Rd/Mona Vale Rd early in the morning, I see good rear flashing lights twice as far away as no lights. So I believe the drunk/drug affected/tired/phoning/texting/playing with electronic devices/distracted drivers may just see you in time with flashing lights.

And to those riders who ride up there on an early weekend morning when it is just light. If you're not using good flashing lights, get some! Are you such weight weenies that you can't even carry lights? You may think you are quite visible, but drivers (like me going to work) mainly notice you by the absence of light. You just look like a dark patch on the road.

These days I don't leave the house for a day road ride without front and rear flashing lights.

Re: Do you always operate tail lights?

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:35 am
by jasonc
rear light is always on - it's a PDW radbot 1000. i use that fast low-high-low mode.

Re: Do you always operate tail lights?

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:31 pm
by hannos
Always, front and back.
2 on the back in low light / darkness.

Re: Do you always operate tail lights?

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:37 pm
by thecaptn
Awesome thanks all,

that reasures me. I do use a mirror and it does make me more confortable. I will wear my flouro more regularly from now on :oops: and I will use my front light more often.
I lost one of my new Cherrybombs this morning :cry: will have too secure them better.

Thanks again,
Pete

Re: Do you always operate tail lights?

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 5:01 pm
by shann
I always ride with lights on, but I like shiny things in general and my MTB has a 'monkey light' on its front wheel that makes patterns as it spins.

On my roadie, I have these: http://www.wiggle.co.uk/fibre-flare-shorty-rear-light/ and they are quite noticeable, especially when flashing.

Re: Do you always operate tail lights?

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 5:17 pm
by tomness
During the day I always have my Dinotte 140 on slow flash. When it gets dark I put it on fast flash mode and use a secondary superflash. The Dinotte is awesome and I have had bus drivers thank me for being so visible.

I only use a front light in low light or dark situations.

Re: Do you always operate tail lights?

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:01 pm
by Howzat
You're not being over-cautious. All new vehicles in Europe and all GM vehicles in the US for many years have come with Daylight running lamps as standard - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daytime_running_lamp. These were introduced following studies showing safety benefits.

If it improves visibility for cars, you'd think it's got to be a good idea for bikes.

Re: Do you always operate tail lights?

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:15 pm
by grimbo
I have recently started to run with front and back lights on all the time as well. A couple of times I have missed seeing bikes, I think because of the viewing angle and busy backgrounds. I haven't been close to having an accident, but it made me realise that we can be easy to miss sometimes. A bright light just seems to up your chances of being noticed on first glance.

Re: Do you always operate tail lights?

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:20 pm
by darkelf921
Ever since I started keeping my front and rear lights on during the day, cars seem to be giving me a lot more clearance. So they go on religiously now.

Re: Do you always operate tail lights?

Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:13 am
by elStado
I've got a dyno hub on my VWR with B&M Toplight on the rear.. so yes I pretty much always have front/rear lights on.

I also have a Planet Bike Superflash on my other bike that I have on strobe during low light conditions.

Re: Do you always operate tail lights?

Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:10 pm
by MattyK
Only on in poor light here. Daytime it's off. It has a big ass reflector in the middle as backup.

I haven't noticed any difference in how drivers treat me

Re: Do you always operate tail lights?

Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:53 pm
by find_bruce
I run flashing lights front & rear & have noticed a small number of people suddenly stop when they were about to cut across the intersection in front of me.

Of course it doesn't help those people who see you but think you are nothing more than a mobile speed bump

Re: Do you always operate tail lights?

Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:21 pm
by Mulger bill
MattyK wrote:Only on in poor light here. Daytime it's off. It has a big ass reflector in the middle as backup.

I haven't noticed any difference in how drivers treat me


Same here. I ride BIG so I'm sitting where they expect to see something. Still a touch paranoid tho'. I'm trying hard to wear out me mirror by overuse...

Re: Do you always operate tail lights?

Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:48 pm
by gdt
I ride with them on, mainly because of a stretch where the shadows under the roadside trees are deep. When I drive I notice that cyclists are lost in the shadows.

Re: Do you always operate tail lights?

Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:48 pm
by clackers
In commuter traffic, I have a rear blinky on the helmet in the morning, boosted by a Cygolight Hotshot on the bike itself at night.

On overcast days between country towns I use one of those MTB-style Magicshines attached to the seatpost, battery hanging off the top tube.

A driver would have to be texting or nodding off not to see me.

Re: Do you always operate tail lights?

Posted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 6:51 am
by Reman
darkelf921 wrote:Ever since I started keeping my front and rear lights on during the day, cars seem to be giving me a lot more clearance. So they go on religiously now.


+1

However the bogan's ute force must be stronger than my lights as they are still intent to overtake me illegally with cm's to spare :x

Re: Do you always operate tail lights?

Posted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 6:56 am
by darkelf921
Reman wrote:
darkelf921 wrote:Ever since I started keeping my front and rear lights on during the day, cars seem to be giving me a lot more clearance. So they go on religiously now.


+1

However the bogan's ute force must be stronger than my lights as they are still intent to overtake me illegally with cm's to spare :x


Yes, the lights do not deter this action. That is what my GoPro is for :-)

Re: Do you always operate tail lights?

Posted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:56 am
by Marty Moose
No only in low light.All my mates at the coffee shop would laugh at me not aero, too heavy, don't match you're nicks etc etc

Sent from my MB526 using Tapatalk 2

Re: Do you always operate tail lights?

Posted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 6:20 pm
by clackers
Yep, it's not going to impress the fashionistas.

However, I might be imagining this, but with lights on while commuting I seem to seize the lane with less complaints from motorists, as if I'm wearing a "You'll have to forgive me, because I'm a safety obsessed tool" T-shirt.