What Commute Lights?

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  • What Commute Lights?
  • Premier Icon Flash
    Subscriber

    Now I’m emerging from my winter hibernation, I’ve decided I need some small lights for my commute.

    I don’t need to be able to see where I’m going but I do what to be seen and easily removable.

    What do you recommend? F and R’s

    Cheers

    AndyP
    Member

    if you’re on the road, I’d recommend more than you’d use offroad. I use a L&M ARC helmet mounted, a P7 bar mounted, 2 Holy Hand Grenades on the back and 2 helmet mounted red LEDs. And lots of reflectives.
    Don’t give anyone a chance to say they didn’t see you…

    Premier Icon Flash
    Subscriber

    That’s a serious bit of kit, I’ve got my Lumicycles but I was thinking something a little more compact.

    I understand where you’re coming from though.

    Premier Icon BoardinBob
    Subscriber

    Given that it’s light at 6am and doesn’t get dark till 7pm, do you really need lights at this time of year unless your on shift work?

    Premier Icon Flash
    Subscriber

    Day to day no, but work sometimes runs over and I do. Hence small and easy to put on/take off.

    bishbashbosh
    Member

    I’ve just got a Joystick Maxx 2. I have to cover 16 miles one way. Half in the city, half in dark country lanes. Its very good if expensive.

    Premier Icon giantjason
    Subscriber

    +1 for a Joystick Maxx……seriously bright light for its small size and good battery life. plus you get all the above without the hassle of cables.

    CountZero
    Member

    The Knog Toad and Bulfrog lights are perfect for this, and just so easy to take on and off, as they have their ‘brackets’ built in. More than bright enough, and the fast strobe is very, er, eye-catching. Love them to bits, ideal when there’s a choice of bike to ride, and you don’t have to pfaff with brackets, they make Twofish lockblocks look clumsy. A P7 is still a good choice if there’s no street lighting, however.

    barca
    Member

    I really don’t get the need for £80 front and £40 rear lights for on road commuting. It all seems a bit excessive to me. I’ve been using these all winter on the bike with only the need for one battery change http://www.wiggle.co.uk/p/Cycle/7/Cateye_EL135_And_LD130_Light_Set/5360025775/ two of the red version of these on the back of my helmet http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Models.aspx?ModelID=8510 and one of the white versions on my handlebar as a back up to the front light. Bike commuted everyday through winter. No problems. It’s not an attempt to be all “no need for daft bright light” macho stuff but even you know Flash (waves again), your Lumi’s or the like will be way OTT for riding on the road round here in even the darkest of the dark.

    Oooh, just seen Count Zero’s comment re: Knogs. I’ve got a front one you can have just for being you.Brand new. I’ll drop it off at your house for you. As the count says, they’re ace and will appeal to your whacky design tastes as well.

    grumm
    Member

    The smart bspoke light set from wiggle is pretty good – both very bright.

    Premier Icon Flash
    Subscriber

    Thanks for the advice everyone.

    Waves back to Barca – sorry for not getting back in touch, I can’t get to grips with this new forum. I’ve taken the plunge and bought a LeMond Fillamore. What a laugh – I’ve started looking for the long way into work

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Subscriber

    Depends on your commute – mine is all on roads, all with street lights, admitedly few and far between in the more rural stretches, so I’m more interested in being seen rather than seeing.

    Up front, all I use is a Smart 3LED light on flash. If I had space on my bars I’d probably run another.

    At the back I have a couple of Smart 1/2w LEDs – one flashing, one constant.

    No one has hit me in four years of commuting 8-10 miles each way into the centre of Nottingham, so I’m figuring my lighting is adequate to be seen.

    STATO
    Member

    If youve got a set of lumis already just get a glow ring for one of the cans. Ive got a lumi bolted onto my commuter with a power lead to the rack so i can keep the battery in my pannier. The glow ring means you can be seen from the side much better than any of the mtb light suggestions given so far. For the rear lights id agree with above that you need more than one and they need to be big flashy buggers!

    here is mine…
    DSC_0028

    IMG_0262

    i just used these
    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/p/Cycle/7/Cateye_EL135_And_LD130_Light_Set/5360025775/

    small and light, easy to remove, and if you’re nipping down the pub they’re easy to stash in your pockets.

    barca
    Member

    Filmore? Nice! You’ll be needing tweed plus fours for riding that :-). We should go for a ride. Fancy a trip out to Jodrell Bank?

    smurf
    Member

    I don’t commute (yet) but do ride locally on the road in the dark. I use a Dinotte 200L on the front (a bargain from the classifieds) and a smart 1/2 watt jobby on the back.

    If I was commuting I’d probably run a second 200L and another rear light on my back / helmet. London traffic is a little busy!

    smurf

    Premier Icon Flash
    Subscriber

    Barca – sounds like a good idea, you could answer all my un-answered questions about these road road bikes.

    You’ll not go too fast will you?

    Plus-fours and Dear Stalker are on back order from CRC.

    stealthcat
    Member

    I’d second the glow-ring for the Lumi; my current setup is a single Lumi with a glow ring and a Knog on the front, with a Smart rear LED.
    Personally I won’t use Cateyes; I’ve had two or three, and the failure mode, after almost exactly a year each time, has been that they start out OK, then, mid-ride, go very dim. It isn’t a battery issue, because hitting them hard usually restores them to full brightness, and it makes me feel a little insecure, given that some stretches of my route are actually pretty dark for London (that’s where the Lumi can come in really handy!).

    Premier Icon kiwijohn
    Subscriber

    Knog!
    & they do, er, interesting stickers.

    barca
    Member

    What is this thing “fast” to which you refer? Are we going fixed or free?

    Premier Icon Del
    Subscriber

    the cateye tld 1100 ( the ‘holy hand grenade’ referred to above ) is very good, as is the smart 1/2 watt for the rear. the smart is probably more effective when viewed from the rear more directly, the cateye gives better all round visibility. they make a good combination.
    for the front then the lumi with glow ring is your best bet if you already have a set i’d say.
    knog lights seem like yesterdays tech wrapped up in a well designed clamping method and nice marketing. they’re a good design for sure, but the actual lighting would appear to be the same as LED lights from about 4 or 5 years ago, and things have moved on a lot..

    Gary_M
    Member

    I use 2 cateye tld 1100 on the back – on on flashing modes and one on constant. And an cateye el530 on the front and a £2 flasher for tesco. Thats for the lit bits – I use brighter lights for the unlit bit. I love this time of year though, time to strip off the main lights and carry a couple of emergency lights for the commute.

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    My ride’s all urban, and I’ve been using http://www.wiggle.co.uk/p/Cycle/7/Cateye_EL410_Front_Light/5360025760/ for a couple of years. Great if you swap bikes a lot.

    I also got the http://www.wiggle.co.uk/p/Cycle/7/Cateye_EL530_And_LD1100_Light_Set/5360025771/ set. Never used the front that much, because I broke the mount, but the rear is brilliant.

    I’m not convince that you really need to overboard on lights if you’re on lit roads. Riding position and attitude is just as important.

    owenfackrell
    Member

    I had the same light as miketually till i forgot to tighten up the bracket properly and it wnet under a lorry.
    I run 2 lights on constant on my bars and a flashing straped to my forks.
    I have one rear on constant and another on flashing.
    I have these
    plus the front one of that rear one my others are no longer made it seems but they are still serving me well.
    I use both flashing and constant as i feel that the flashing draws the attention where as the constant ones allows people to gage how far away you are.

    nbt
    Member

    Lumi with glow ring upfront, holy hand grenade on the back for me. Road on the way in, off road on the way home. Done me all winter. Alsom have some of the little Knightlights clipped to my helmet on flashing mode

    Gary_M
    Member

    Also meant to say that I’ve been running the cateye tld 1100 through the last 3 winters with no problems at all, and thats with around 10 hours use a week.

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    Does it not take the people with 100s of lights on their bike ages to take them all off when they stop to buy beer on the way home?

    Gary_M
    Member

    Lights are zip-tied on, stops them rattling, stops them being easily stolen. And the beer is in the fridge, not the shop.

    barca
    Member

    My lights (although only two small ones on the front, one small on the back), are put on the bike in September and taken off again in March. They don’t budge an inch in between unless I change the batteries. Why would a person take their lights off to go in a shop? Nobody has nicked any of my lights and the bike sits outside work all day in a not very nice area all day long.

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    Gary and Barca – do you have expensive off-roading lights on your bikes?

    I’ve left my rear cateye on, as I broke the little lever thiny on the clamp. Even managed to change the batteries by laying the bike onits side 🙂

    The bike I’m riding at the moment has a hub dynamo connected to a halogen lamp bolted onto the fork crown, and a red rear LED with battery back up built into the rack. It’s brilliant as I never need to think about batteries or taking lights.

    AndyP
    Member

    it takes about 40 seconds for me when I get to somewhere where I would worry about the safety of my lights. Which isn’t very often. No need to take them off at our beer shop.

    Gary_M
    Member

    do you have expensive off-roading lights on your bikes

    Yes but it takes about a nano second to take the head unit off the bike.

    Premier Icon Flash
    Subscriber

    Barca – I’ve mailed you gmail account.

    Thanks every one, I’ve gone for a pair of Knog’s. They look compact and a little bit stylish. My commute is just a normal urban ride, no long dark roads and to be honest I’m so soft once the cold dark nights start again the bike will probably go back into hibernation.

    Bloody hell I’m talking about winter on the first day of spring, someone take me outside and shoot me.

    Premier Icon ourmaninthenorth
    Subscriber

    Does it not take the people with 100s of lights on their bike ages to take them all off when they stop to buy beer on the way home?

    Front is a L&M Vega, which is quick release (slides onto the mounting bracket)

    Rear is LD1100 in quick release clip on the back of my pannier rack.

    The small LED on the back of my lid comes with me..!

    Premier Icon ourmaninthenorth
    Subscriber

    someone take me outside and shoot me.

    Gladly, sir. Will that be a cut price job where some child finds your bloodied body in Reddish Vale on Sunday morning, or the premium service in full “I’m king of the worl” regalia?

    Premier Icon Flash
    Subscriber

    I’d like the premium “I’m the king of the world” regalia please.

    It’ll sit nicely with my own sense of over importance.

    barca
    Member

    I said you’d like the Knogs didn’t I? I do actually think I am the Oracle. Bizzarely, i’ve just got myself lost on Reddish Vale and found myself again in Denton on the wrong side of that horrible hill toward Bredbury . I was trying tp get to Portwood.

    Premier Icon Flash
    Subscriber

    You are indeed “The One” now, how can we bring about World Peace and end the credit crunch?

    I got lost around there once once, I dearn’t stop

    OurManInTheNorth – do I know you or is it some strange fluke of geography that you know Reddish Vale?

    barca
    Member

    Forget World Peace. Let them fight, kill each other and then there’s no need for credit and consequently, nobody around to crunch it.
    You have email by the way. Eeeh, it’s just like the olden days.

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