Forum home Commuter cycling forum Commuting chat

night time commuting - visibilty

mcowan77mcowan77 Posts: 560
edited April 2010 in Commuting chat
folks

newbie to the commuting forum!!!

currently doing a 14 mile each way commute (on mtb with slicks), mostly cycle track, but also on the road at points..shift work so travelling home after midnight

apart from the obvious ( yellow jacket, lights), any other ways to be more visible ?

cheers
«1

Posts

  • sharm1969casharm1969ca Posts: 136
    mcowan77, welcome and hi. What about reflective bike stickers! i got mine from a LBS at only a few quid. Just dot them all over your bike i.e forks and frame, ive also got mine on the wheel rims as ive got disk brakes, so maybe try that mate.
  • jedsterjedster Posts: 2,004
    cateye hi-viz vest with 10 LEDs like this

    http://www.on-one-shop.co.uk/acatalog/info_1_LIVE.html

    seriously takes any "sorry I didnt see you" excuses away!
  • jthefjthef Posts: 226
    lights.
    Lots of them! 8)
    Don't skimp on them either.

    also some good reflectors

    Depends for me whether in town or not as well.

    I have panniers on mine so I have a reflector on the mud guard, a combined reflector/light on the rack and a second is a led light but a good cateye one as well and one under the saddle.
    others are available for the handlebars and helmet but a but more unreliable.
    As for the front flashing but also enough power to see where you are going if no street lights and have more than one. I bought a toruch with a p7 led from Hong Kong which is mega for flashing and brightness when no street lights and only £38 complete.
  • fnegronifnegroni Posts: 794
    I am contemplating LED wheel reflectors.
    It seems there is a particular roundabout no matter how many light front and back I have, and hi viz, they just can't see me. Maybe those will make it easier for silly drivers to pay attention where they are going.
  • JameyJamey Posts: 2,152
    Whatever you decide to put on your bike remember that if you place it lower down it'll get covered with mud (reducing any reflective or visible properties it may have) so place everything higher up if you can, where it will stay clean and keep working properly.
  • hooliohoolio Posts: 139
    Reflective tape. They have small rolls in halfords, silver, red, orange. You can cut it thin (say 3mm) and add pin striping to you rear stays (red), front forks (silver) and your frame. It can make a significant difference without transforming your bike into a hi-viz dorkmobile. A couple of strong lights on the front, two on the back (I favour the Blackburn Mars 3) and I also use a Ronhill LED on my ruck as a flasher. The Ronhill is low intensity so it won't annoy the hell out of the driver behind you.
    Also, I've got a red and white MET crash helmet which I've used the reflective tape on.
  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 18,700
    Scotchlite, scotchlite and more scotchlite. You can get sheets of self-adhesive stickers and if you are more craftily inclined, iron-on patches for adding to clothing.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    Pinnacle Monzonite

    Liberal metropolitan, remoaner, traitor, "sympathiser", etc.
  • atticaattica Posts: 2,362
    When I drive the car there are two things that really stand out on cyclists:-

    1 reflective pedals or ankle reflectors
    2 reflective tyre sidewalls or those nasty inserts you get on the wheels of a new bike.

    Stupidly I only have the ankle reflectors from that list!
    "Impressive break"

    "Thanks...

    ...I can taste blood"
  • snailracersnailracer Posts: 968
    Jamey wrote:
    Whatever you decide to put on your bike remember that if you place it lower down it'll get covered with mud (reducing any reflective or visible properties it may have) so place everything higher up if you can, where it will stay clean and keep working properly.

    The counterargument is that reflectors work better mounted low down, because car headlights are angled down. Have you noticed that newer cars have reflectors on the bottom edge of the rear bumper?

    Keeping items clean is more to do with keeping them out of the spray zone of the tyres - loads of bike have a reflector/light on the seatpost, which is high up but still ends up covered in mud if the bike does not have mudguards.

    I would agree that a rear light (not reflector) is better off mounted high. A high-mounted front light stays cleaner and is more easily seen by other traffic (especially when filtering), but a low-mounted front light picks out potholes more easily.
  • cyberknightcyberknight Posts: 1,238
    Yup

    Plenty of lights + reflectives help a lot .
    Have you got your front light sorted yet? a lot of people like the hope vision 1 , i think a big beam of light coming out of your front helps in all round visibility as well as it can be seen more when using unlit areas at night (if that makes sense? )

    I use on the back;
    1 smart 1/2 watt lunar ,1 5 led flasher with built in reflector,1 helmet mounted mini flasher and a standard smart flasher on the back of each pannier.

    reflective wise i used a big sticker on the back of the helmet,hi viz windproof with reflective trim,wrist slaps and my panniers have reflective trim as well.

    On the front i use;

    2 x 1 watt led lights
    1x200 lumen torch on a torch mount


    Now its getting lighter on my commutes i have reined back as appropriate but when it was still dark that was my set up
    FCN 3/5/9
  • hillrephillrep Posts: 46
    I agree with most of what is above.
    The main things, in order or importance, are:

    Lights (2 front, 2 rear in case of light or battery failure)

    Reflective ankle bands/pedal reflectors (the up/down movement is very distinctive)

    Hi Viz jacket/waistcoat (building suppliers or people like http://www.hivis.net/ are cheaper and better than cycling specific stuff - but they tend to have a generous fit!)

    Other reflectives on the bike. I'm a great fan of stick on reflective sheets or tape for the bike.
  • Clever PunClever Pun Posts: 6,778
    instead of two lights you can always carry spare batteries.. depending on budget
    Purveyor of sonic doom

    Very Hairy Roadie - FCN 4
    Fixed Pista- FCN 5
    Beared Bromptonite - FCN 14
  • Clever Pun wrote:
    instead of two lights you can always carry spare batteries.. depending on budget

    Actually, two on the back makes sense no matter what, you can't see when the batteries go.

    I also liked my Spokelit wheel lights for night-time, they looked cool, and people pulling out from junctions saw me very well.

    Also, Hi-viz jackets are next to useless when you're using them with a plain dark backpack. Sounds obvious, but sooo many cyclists seem to do it. My dark backpack is festooned with reflective teeth.
  • snailracersnailracer Posts: 968
    ...My dark backpack is festooned with reflective teeth.
    :shock:
  • snailracer wrote:
    ...My dark backpack is festooned with reflective teeth.
    :shock:

    I should explain, it's dark, shaped quite flat and rounded, has a light on it so the teeth kinda make it look like so...

    finding_nemo_dory_marlin_angler_fish.jpg

    I quite like frightening drivers. :D
  • ride_wheneverride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    douse yourself in petrol and cycle home on fire?
  • I also travel in the dead of night/v early morning and my arsenal to maintain visibility goes like this: Frame, forks, bars & mudguards covered in 3M black relective tape, so during the daylight hours you don't see it (bike is black) but when hit with light, reflective central.

    Tyres are Schwalbe Marathon Plus with reflective sidewall, lighting includes up front, bar mounted Hope Vision 4 LED with spare battery in bag, Helmet mounted Hope vision 1. Rear lighting includes Small helmet mounted flasher that I got in Tesco, on the seatpost - Cateye LD1100, Smart 1/2 watt superflash & Reelight SL500 rear for rear visibility day or night for free!

    Clothing wise I wear Altura Night Vision EVO jacket in black with matching Night Vision overtrousers, Reflective strips also on overshoes. Backpack is a Ortielb Messenger bag with more 3M black tape on bag & it has reflective side bits as well.

    In my opinion make yourself as visible as possible at night, you only have to get hit once for it to spoil your day/life!
    I LOVE THE SMELL OF GT85 IN THE MORNING!
  • jedsterjedster Posts: 2,004
    Philly,

    Just to point out that in the dodgy morning evening twilight or on dull winter's days when drivers should have their lights on but won't necessarily, all that black reflective stuff will be utterly useless.

    Personally I find those conditions more dangerous than full dark when my lights really do their stuff and all reflectives are going to work well.

    J
  • iPeteiPete Posts: 6,076
    If I wasn't replacing my wheels soon, I'd deffo get some of these...


    http://roseversand.com/output/controlle ... ail2=10181
  • shouldbeinbedshouldbeinbed Posts: 2,732
    attica wrote:
    When I drive the car there are two things that really stand out on cyclists:-

    1 reflective pedals or ankle reflectors
    2 reflective tyre sidewalls or those nasty inserts you get on the wheels of a new bike.

    Stupidly I only have the ankle reflectors from that list!

    +1 (and smugly I've got the lot) depending on your pedals, but I'd suggets investing all of a few quid in some bolt on pedal reflectors rather than push in ones - I've had the same ones on my pedals for years (only cost a couple of quid for 4)

    If you get bike specific shoes, they've often got a reflective heel piece.

    A Sam Browne belt is another cyclist give away too - Hi Viz is getting a bit ubiquitous for workmen, dog walkers, people on pavements nowadays and whilst a hi viz top is still essential kit (IMO) it may not say Bike as immediately as a Sam Browne does.

    flashing and steady lights go together nicely & I'd suggest that all of the lights are much the same power, one bright one and one dull one may look like two people some distance apart and could split the drivers attention (this is what puts me off the flashy Hi Viz belts & braces style things - little LED's in these sort are invariably a lower output than a decent bike specific light.
  • rf6rf6 Posts: 323
    Howies Chevron if you want to use a messenger type bag. lots of reflecitivity (if that's a word!!) and a few places to put lights.

    Lots of other good advice on here tho.
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    Another vote for:

    1. ankle reflectors;
    2. reflective strips on your frame - I have some on my headtube, top tube, stays and forks, the back of my helmet and, before I broke it, the rear-facing section of my saddle bag; and
    3. even overshoes with reflective strips on the heels/achilles area.

    You can also buy reflectie tags to hang off your backpack.

    Where's Vorsprung? He's got some fantastic 3M wheel reflectors.
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • MithrasMithras Posts: 428
    Like the cateye vest LED Wear do a great Jacket...I've got the older version of the one they do now...Certailnly feel safer wearing it..If you use a back pack they also do a cover... Awsome bit of kit...
    http://www.ledwear.co.uk/products/ledbackpackcover
    I can afford to talk softly!....................I carry a big stick!
  • jimmypippajimmypippa Posts: 1,712
    I agree with most of the previous comments, especially Jedster's point about reflectives being no use in dull conditions when drivers *should* have their lights on, but many woun't/

    Nobody has mentioned bike positioning yet.

    I find it easier to see a bike that is not "hiding" in the gutter. Especially near hedges etc.
  • TonymufcTonymufc Posts: 1,016
    Not sure if anyone has mentioned this, but I find that its important to have lights set at different height levels. Seat post, back pack, helmet. The slim straight line projection should indicate to a driver that its a cyclists in front.
  • wyadvdwyadvd Posts: 590
    Jamey wrote:
    Whatever you decide to put on your bike remember that if you place it lower down it'll get covered with mud (reducing any reflective or visible properties it may have) so place everything higher up if you can, where it will stay clean and keep working properly.

    flip side of that is that a dipped headlight is pointing down, so lower level reflectors (particularly the ones that move like ankle bands and cranks) will get seen by the majority of motorists. keep them clean?

    Just an opinion.
  • wyadvdwyadvd Posts: 590
    theres a good "dont" in cyclecraft.....if you put two rear lights on some distance apart l;aterally.......(wheel stays) an approaching mortorist might mistake you for a car some distance away. If John Franklin says something its probably because he came across one or two people who died that way! as suggested by someone else . you must be recognisable as a bike and nothing else.
  • wyadvdwyadvd Posts: 590
    one last thing ...... those garlandy led light vest thingys....... they seem to have red leds on the front...... not sure thats sensible on the road i think white on the front and red on the back is sensible!
  • mcowan77mcowan77 Posts: 560
    cheers for all the replys folks

    bought some reflective stickers todays, will stick them on the bike later

    also bought a front bracket for my led surefire torch, that should give great light to the front, got cateye for the back and my yellow jacket!!!, shud be pretty visible

    cheers
  • Wallace1492Wallace1492 Posts: 3,707
    douse yourself in petrol and cycle home on fire?

    This is how I get seen:

    tim1.jpg
    "Encyclopaedia is a fetish for very small bicycles"
Sign In or Register to comment.