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Mounting lights

SMESME Posts: 348
edited May 2016 in Road general
Sorry if this seems a daft question, but it's nagging me.

When I was a kid bikes came with standard mounting points on the forks for 'D' cell (HP2 's!) battery powered lamps, and the back lights normally had an angled bracket on them that scratched the seat stay when the two nuts holding the oval metal bit got loose and spun around!

I have some Moon Comet II front and back lights for commuting but have wondered lately where to mount them for best visibility. The front one I used to mount horizontally on the bar but it required tape over the top (side?) of the light to stop glare. The back light I put on the right seat stay just above the caliper.

I saw a GCN video recently where the lights were mounted centrally, the rear on the seatpost and the front on the steerer tube. From the side you can see both lights. I've often wondered how visible my lights are - on the bars my hands and the hoods would be in the way of side view but otherwise is clearly seen. But on the stem wouldn't cables get in the way?

At the back the light on the seat stay is probably obscured by the caliper pull mechanism (never gave this thought before!), but I use a saddle bag which could also interfere with visibility on the seatpost.

Not a heavy discussion, but I am curious as to what works for others - any thoughts?

Steve

Posts

  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    For the rear - put the lights on the bike and then walk back 30 feet and see what it looks like ?

    I'm amazed at some people who put lights on and don't realise their saddle bag is obscuring, or in one wonderful case - his work jacket was coming so low over the saddle that it covered the rear light completely.

    I'd never rely on just one light at night. You never know when it would fail or fall or whatever. So I have two - one steady and one flashing.

    One on the seatpost and one where you have yours.

    As to the front - just on the bars normally.

    Not keen on having them mounted low as the wheel will always block them to an extent.

    If you do a lot of cycling in the dark - get some tyreflys and put them on your valves for great visibility from the side.
    Less than a fiver.
  • drlodgedrlodge Posts: 4,826
    Mounting lights can be a pain.

    My leyzene front light has a plastic mount, but it fouls the cables a bit. Newer lights tend to have rubber straps that are better, they're thinner.

    On the rear, my seat posts generally aren't long enough to mount a rear light with a saddle bag too, so I mount them at the top of the right seat stay - but bracket size is marginal.
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  • SMESME Posts: 348
    Thanks for the replies

    I normally have those silicon moulded strapped lights as a back-up in my bag, but am unsure of the longevity of the battery for 'usual' use.

    I might try steerer tube and seapost mounting and get my son to check them from a decent distance.

    Yep, my lights have rubber straps on, and cut-out on the back rubber to allow for cables.

    Thanks, both.
  • mrb123mrb123 Posts: 3,733
    Two rear lights for me. One on the seat post (I don't use a saddle bag) and one on the right hand seat stay. I usually run one on constant and one on flash.

    Two front lights, both on the bars. A more powerful one on constant and a smaller backup light on pulse.
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 25,292 Lives Here
    Does the saddle bag have a loop that a light can be clipped onto? As mentioned above turn your lights on and walk away to check for visibility from a variety of angles. I have seen a woman on a bike so small that the light mounted to her seatpost was lower than the top of the back wheel so couldn't be seen from directly behind. Probably not a problem for you but I have seen many people with baskets on the handlebars, the contents of which were lit up by the light on their handlebars. But completely invisible from the front. Two lights is also a good idea as mentioned above.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    My Topeak seat pack has a loop that takes the clip on my Cateye TL1100. It's central, pointing horizontally and visible from the side.

    In contrast the loop on the Carradice saddle bag is pretty well useless; the light is pointing down at the road so I can't use it at night. Unless I get round to fitting the rack on the winter bike; then I have a bracket to mount the light on the rear of the rack in the perfect orientation.

    At the front I have a B&M Ixon IQ Premium mounted on a fork crown bracket so it's out of the way of the bars / cables / hands.

    I really must buy a second rear light though...
  • SMESME Posts: 348
    I went out last night and tried various combinations.

    I tried the front light on the steerer tube but the drops slightly obscure it from the side, so probably just a slight improvement from mounting it on the bar and having the hoods obscure it. Surprisingly, the gear cables didn't affect the lights visibility much at all.

    The loop on my saddle bag is pretty floppy too. So I'm happy with my current arrangement - London is well lit, and I do use my 'emergency light's as extras in inclemental weather.

    I just wondered if different mounting positions gave better visibility... think I will move the front from the bar to the stem though.

    Cheers all.
    Steve
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 10,153
    SME wrote:
    I went out last night and tried various combinations.

    I tried the front light on the steerer tube but the drops slightly obscure it from the side, so probably just a slight improvement from mounting it on the bar and having the hoods obscure it. Surprisingly, the gear cables didn't affect the lights visibility much at all.

    The loop on my saddle bag is pretty floppy too. So I'm happy with my current arrangement - London is well lit, and I do use my 'emergency light's as extras in inclemental weather.

    I just wondered if different mounting positions gave better visibility... think I will move the front from the bar to the stem though.

    Cheers all.
    Steve

    I have a See Sense Icon, and bought the additional 'strap' pack which comes with a longer strap, and now enables me to mount it on the headtube - if that makes sense?
    So the strap goes below the top tube, and above the downtube - near the place where they meet basically.
    I run it upside down, so it is level.

    Other than that, saddle bag, and or seatpost.
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