Night Swimming

Last night, I had to ride home from campus in the dark. I had forgotten what a wonderful experience that is. (Of course, I don’t particular look forward to riding to and fro in the dark and cold when we switch the clocks back.)

Jeff recently posted this to the Hadrian on a Bicycle Facebook page:

Any suggestions for a good head light. I’ve looked at cordless or frame-mounted battery, and even checked sites for do-it-yourself systems. I’m a commuter rider. The Cateye light I have now doesn’t throw enough light on the road. What sort of lumens/wattage would you recommend? Do you prefer LED or halogen? I’d prefer to not spend $300 if I don’t have to.

For my headlight, I use a light by Cateye. The model appears no longer to be available, but it’s similar to the HL-EL450. When I’m on public streets, where visibility is decent and provided by street lamps, I use the flash mode for the purposes of being seen rather than for seeing. When I’m on the bike path in the dark, however, I leave it on full. It’s certainly not the best headlight available (among other things, I wish it were rechargeable), but it does illuminate the path of travel fairly well, probably up to a distance of around twenty feet.

On the back, I have a Planet Bike Superflash Taillight. When I use it (primarily whenever on public streets, and in dusk or dawn conditions), I leave it in flash mode.

Does anyone else have anything to suggest?


4 responses to “Night Swimming

  1. CORRECTION: I use a NiteRider UltraFazer 5.0 headlight. There are certainly better (and in most cases more expensive) options, but this has suited me fine for commuting use.

  2. I rubber band two 3xAAA cell(i use rechargable batteries) multi led bulb flashlights to my bars. I work 3rd shift so use them at night always and mornings 1/2 the year. I point one about 60 degrees down to shine the ground in front of me and the other straight out to catch on coming drivers with the intesity. Have never had a problem with this and its cheap. Flashlights are 10-15 dollars for the bright ones. They are small and add relatively little mass to the bars and light things up plenty for me to see what I need.

  3. Jeff writes: “In my searching found this website that has some good information. Scroll down past the ads/pictures and the site provides good basic information about bike lights. If you scroll down to the ‘I’m confused by all the…’ section, look for the link ‘most popular bicycle lights in action.’ It will take you to a page where there are pictures showing loads of different lights in action at night. It’s very helpful in seeing the intensity and spread of different lights.”