Do you always operate tail lights?

Beating the system - the cycling commuting section

Re: Do you always operate tail lights?

Postby clackers » Thu Sep 13, 2012 6:20 pm

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.
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by BNA » Tue Sep 18, 2012 2:01 pm

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Re: Do you always operate tail lights?

Postby warthog1 » Tue Sep 18, 2012 2:01 pm

I see the result of some incredibly incompetent driving in my work so I use mine out of objective realism :x . I tend to wear bright colured clothing and take the lane where required. I have modified my commute to include more climbing :D and wide, less congested roads.
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Re: Do you always operate tail lights?

Postby jasonc » Tue Sep 18, 2012 2:50 pm

my cheap Dealextreme tail light turned up last night, so I now run 2 tail lights.
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Re: Do you always operate tail lights?

Postby silverine » Tue Sep 18, 2012 4:55 pm

No harm in running the tail light daytime although I run it only when it's dark.. same goes with my front light
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Re: Do you always operate tail lights?

Postby Howzat » Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:30 am

MattyK wrote: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.

+1 on the front lights. Drivers often check with fraction-of-a-second glances to see if something is coming down the road. That glance is long enough, mostly, for the brain to visually register the presence of car-size objects.

A hundred-odd lumens announcing your presence might help avoid a dreaded SMIDSY incident.

Give 'em all the help you can.
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Re: Do you always operate tail lights?

Postby duncanm » Fri Sep 21, 2012 4:22 pm

Howzat wrote:
MattyK wrote: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.

+1 on the front lights. Drivers often check with fraction-of-a-second glances to see if something is coming down the road. That glance is long enough, mostly, for the brain to visually register the presence of car-size objects.

A hundred-odd lumens announcing your presence might help avoid a dreaded SMIDSY incident.

Give 'em all the help you can.


Agree completely..

I've found my SMIDSY's have almost dropped to zero since I've been running a front flasher during daylight hours... and I believe the rear has also lowered the incidence of 'near passes' on multi-lane roads, as traffic can see me from far back enough that they have time to think about changing lanes before coming up behind me.
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Re: Do you always operate tail lights?

Postby MREJ » Fri Sep 21, 2012 5:48 pm

I use a rear flasher in daylight for two reasons. Firstly, more likely that people will notice me. Secondly, even if they would have noticed me anyway, I think it sends a message to drivers to take care.
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Re: Do you always operate tail lights?

Postby KonaCommuter » Sun Sep 23, 2012 2:14 pm

On my Oppy I have my front and rear flashers running whenever I'm on my bike.

On my Gazelle E-Bike I do not have flashers at all. I've only been rolling on the Gazelle for about 5 weeks now (commute to work 7 days a week... It's an awesome life working 7 days :roll: ). Anyways when I'm commuting I'm in my work clothes high vis shirt and I"m sitting upright. I don't have anything to back this up but I feel that perhaps motorists recognise me as a human being. Also the speed I commute at on the Gazelle is less than what I'm capable of on my road bike so maybe that's got something to do with it?
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Re: Do you always operate tail lights?

Postby Chris249 » Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:19 pm

Interesting; my wife and I both felt that we are safer in our daily commutes now that we use cyclocross bikes instead of flat bars as rain/cargo bikes. We have independently decided that the superior ability to quickly accelerate close to traffic speed, and perhaps some driver perception, leads to less aggro from drivers than when we used flatties.

Obviously perceptions differ! :D
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Re: Do you always operate tail lights?

Postby podoco » Fri Sep 28, 2012 10:15 pm

So the next question is HOW MANY tail lights do you operate?

Me, only one when on the road but seriously considering getting another - I'm paranoid that my tail light may not be working (or as recently experienced, fallen off!)
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Re: Do you always operate tail lights?

Postby Mulger bill » Fri Sep 28, 2012 11:47 pm

podoco wrote:So the next question is HOW MANY tail lights do you operate?

Me, only one when on the road but seriously considering getting another - I'm paranoid that my tail light may not be working (or as recently experienced, fallen off!)


Four on the commuter: Niteflux Redzone4 ghettomount on the seatpost, Radbot 1000 on the RH stay, Radbot 500 on the LH stay and a Kathmandu 2led blinkie on the back of the lid. The roadie and the MTB each have a single PB Superflash on the post.
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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Re: Do you always operate tail lights?

Postby thecaptn » Sat Sep 29, 2012 10:59 am

podoco wrote:So the next question is HOW MANY tail lights do you operate?

Me, only one when on the road but seriously considering getting another - I'm paranoid that my tail light may not be working (or as recently experienced, fallen off!)

The two Cateye Cherrybombs I use are the 1 watt variety, although they suck the AAA's dry fairly quick I'm overall very satisfied with them. They conveniently clip neatly and securely straight on to the back of my Cannondale brand rear rack.
I also have an old PB super Flash on my seat bag, she's been following me around for a long time now and it wouldn't seem fair to leave her home after the years of dedicated service she's provided me.
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Re: Do you always operate tail lights?

Postby jasonc » Sat Sep 29, 2012 11:13 am

podoco wrote:So the next question is HOW MANY tail lights do you operate?


just upgraded to 2.

my main is a radbot 1000
my second is a dealextreme $5 cheapy
if one fails, I still have one (plus the radbot also has the integrated reflector)
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Re: Do you always operate tail lights?

Postby familyguy » Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:39 am

Dropping back from 4 to 3, or possibly even 2 soon. I was fortunate enough to test one of these: http://www.bicycles.net.au/2012/10/knog ... ike-light/

I reckon you only need the one. They are very intense, in a good way. I run the Knog, plus a couple of little single-LED blinkies on seat stay and helmet, which gives me fail-safes (albeit lesser intensity) and offset patterns of flashing, which aids in visibility. I might just use the Knog plus a helmet blinkie for height awareness.

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Re: Do you always operate tail lights?

Postby rdp_au » Thu Oct 04, 2012 10:23 am

jasonc wrote:
podoco wrote:So the next question is HOW MANY tail lights do you operate?


just upgraded to 2.

my main is a radbot 1000
my second is a dealextreme $5 cheapy
if one fails, I still have one (plus the radbot also has the integrated reflector)


I have a very similar setup - Radbot 1000 on rear rack and a cheapy (although it cost me a whole $7 from Torpedo) on the back of my helmet. When it's dark, I have them both on, during daylight hours I just have the Radbot on. Use rechargeable batteries in both.
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Re: Do you always operate tail lights?

Postby pacra » Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:46 pm

Always a rear light
In daylight an electron rechargeable and in duller conditions an additional Smart (8 years old believe it or not)

On the front a white electron in the am and dull conditions and a Smart Citylight in rain and murk.

I'm convinced that most cars give you comfortable clearance with lights blinking (on major and arterials anyway)
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Re: Do you always operate tail lights?

Postby dude18 » Sat Oct 27, 2012 9:27 pm

Radbot 1000 on saddle bag, steady mode so that cars can estimate distance easier.
Cherrybomb 1W strapped to my helmet, blinking for more visibility.
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Re: Do you always operate tail lights?

Postby InTheWoods » Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:43 pm

Zebralight H51r on seat post (this is as bright or brighter than even the dinoittes mentioned on here).

Radbot 1000 also on seat post. It *pales* in comparison to the zebralight (at night the zebralight can light up my entire back yard in red).

At night, things change. H51r goes onto 1/8th power or gets aimed straight up at some reflective foil under my seat so that I have a nice red glow all over the rear of the bike and my legs, and I add a 2nd radbot 1000.

Cannot have too much power during the day :) IME, I'm more scared of not being seen during the day than at night. However the zebralight does help rearward visibility a lot during the day (as does fluoro shirt), and from watching rear facing videos, it helps drivers recognise a bike ahead a lot earlier, which gives them a lot more time to plan a lane change or whatever. Except for the psycho ones...

Obviously I have coverage to the front as well - 500 lumens handlebar + 200 lumens helmet of daytime blinkiness... The 200 lumens helmet mount is actually useful at night because I usually have the most incidents with cars approaching me from the side at intersections, which is not covered well by forward facing lights when you are travelling fast.
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Re: Do you always operate tail lights?

Postby Aushiker » Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:21 pm

InTheWoods wrote:Zebralight H51r on seat post (this is as bright or brighter than even the dinoittes mentioned on here)


Is this what you are referring to?

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Re: Do you always operate tail lights?

Postby InTheWoods » Mon Oct 29, 2012 2:27 pm

Aushiker wrote:
InTheWoods wrote:Zebralight H51r on seat post (this is as bright or brighter than even the dinoittes mentioned on here)


Is this what you are referring to?

Image

Andrew


Yep. Well, there's lots of different models that all look identical until you turn them on, but it looks like that. H51r is red. H51Fr is floody red. H51 is cool white. H51w is warm white. SC51 is same as H51 except the light comes out the end like a torch instead of the side like a headlamp.

I mount it either using its clip straight onto my radbot mount, or in a twofish lockblock when its under the saddle.

Waterproof to 2 meters.
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Re: Do you always operate tail lights?

Postby Walst » Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:05 pm

clackers wrote: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.


I feel the same way with regards to your last point. In the perfect world all riders would be treated the same but something like a light on during the day is still a good visual reminder to drivers that we care about our safety.
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