Do you do most of your riding in the mornings and evenings? Then making sure that you pick the right bike lights and setting them up correctly is super important – especially in the darker winter months.
Having the right lighting setup can make riding in dark or low light conditions much safer and give you the peace of mind to get out there and keep racking up the miles when the sun goes down!
Here are some top tips to help you achieve this.
- Look ahead
Are you going to be riding in areas without street lights? If so, you’ll need something powerful enough to light the road or track ahead.
Look for a light that exceeds 50 lumens, but also has a good beam pattern that will let you see to the sides of the road – without blinding oncoming drivers!
Whereas, if you are sticking to a heavily lit road, you probably won’t need ones that carry a higher number of lumens.
- Make sure you’re seen
When it comes to finding the right lights to make sure that you’re seen, you’ll need a red rear light and a white one on the front of your bike.
A good idea is to have a constant light and a flashing one (one of each type at the front and rear) to help catch the eye and make sure everyone knows where you are.
- Consider time
There’s nothing worse than being out in the dark and having your batteries run out. If you’re not prepared, it can either mean a taxi ride or a very long walk.
Before you set off, check that your lights have enough battery life to last as long as you’re planning to go out – you never know when you might have to stop for a puncture or diversion.
As a backup, carry some extra small lights, just in case. They don’t take up much room and can really get you out of a pinch.
- Go the extra mile
Once you’ve got your front and rear lights sorted, have a think about other ways you can be seen. How about from the side? Use some reflective tape, tyres with reflective sidewalls or lights that shine to the side to help out here.
Reflective areas on your hands and feet can also make a big difference when it comes to being seen out on the road!
- Think wider
If you’re planning on going off-road, there are a few other challenges. You’ll probably need more light with a wider spread at the front, to light the trail ahead and any obstacles.
Lots of riders also attach a light to their helmets, so that they can still see if they’re looking in a different direction to where the handlebars are pointing!