Backpacks obscure tail lights mounted on helmets

Equipment and On Road Behaviour, Laws and Rules. Cycling Promotion and Advocacy

Backpacks obscure tail lights mounted on helmets

Postby Easy rider » Thu Jan 31, 2013 5:05 pm

Just wanted to alert people to this issue I notice regularly - riders with dark or neutral clothing and backpack, trying to increase their visibility with a tail light mounted on the back of the helmet. In almost every case when I'm riding behind someone with this setup I can't see the light at all, because the rider is leaning forward and the bottom of the helmet is lower than the top of backpack. I imagine it's even less visible from the lower position in the driver's seat of a normal car.

Obviously since we can't see the backs of ourselves these riders must be unaware that the light is hidden, because if they were aware they would change the setup and clip the light higher up or on the backpack/bike instead. If you think you are as visible as someone with a light drivers can see, it seems more dangerous than riding more cautiously with no light and knowing you're invisible.

Similarly I often see Hi Vis shirts or vests almost completely obscured by a dark backpack when viewed from behind. I'd suggest a Hi Vis rain cover for the backpack would provide the level of visibility they might be aiming for with the vest - as well as rain protection for the pack.
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by BNA » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:47 am

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Re: Backpacks obscure tail lights mounted on helmets

Postby Saturnstarzz » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:47 am

Easy rider wrote:Just wanted to alert people to this issue I notice regularly - riders with dark or neutral clothing and backpack, trying to increase their visibility with a tail light mounted on the back of the helmet. In almost every case when I'm riding behind someone with this setup I can't see the light at all, because the rider is leaning forward and the bottom of the helmet is lower than the top of backpack. I imagine it's even less visible from the lower position in the driver's seat of a normal car.

Obviously since we can't see the backs of ourselves these riders must be unaware that the light is hidden, because if they were aware they would change the setup and clip the light higher up or on the backpack/bike instead. If you think you are as visible as someone with a light drivers can see, it seems more dangerous than riding more cautiously with no light and knowing you're invisible.

Similarly I often see Hi Vis shirts or vests almost completely obscured by a dark backpack when viewed from behind. I'd suggest a Hi Vis rain cover for the backpack would provide the level of visibility they might be aiming for with the vest - as well as rain protection for the pack.


Thats why i have two on my bike or have one on my backpack.
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Re: Backpacks obscure tail lights mounted on helmets

Postby Summernight » Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:03 pm

Might be an idea to politely inform any fellow cyclist when you see them that this is occurring in relation to their light. I was told by a fellow cyclist when my back light on my seat stay was barely visible and it was very helpful (got another one, replaced the batteries and now have two on the back - one on the seat stay and the other on the rear fork just to make sure).

I don't have an opinion on hi-vis stuff though. Not sure you should be telling people about their black backpack and hi-vis clothing... Might incite a hi-vis war.
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Re: Backpacks obscure tail lights mounted on helmets

Postby cp123 » Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:13 pm

maybe i'm on overkill but i have one on my lid, one on my backpack, a dinotte retina burner under my seat (pointing slightly downwards) and one on a rear seat stay. But i do a lot of Knight Riding..... (lol) :lol: if i'm just creeping around the suburbs i only use 2 out of the 4. But 4 is for the faster traffic on big roads.

NOBODY is going to have the chance to say SMIDSY to be in the dark.... :P
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Re: Backpacks obscure tail lights mounted on helmets

Postby Mulger bill » Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:33 pm

Hmmm, better check mine...
It's only an extra to go with the Redzone4 on the post, the Radbot 1000 on the RH stay and the 500 on the LH stay. Not to mention the various reflectives...
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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