Unlit roads commute

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ChippyK
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Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2012 21:00 pm

Unlit roads commute

Postby ChippyK » Fri Jul 12, 2019 08:39 am

My commute is about 20 miles, the first/last half is unlit roads, I can pick my route a bit to stay off the faster roads and go down some very lightly used roads. This time of year it’s daylight obviously, but I’d like to do a few days a week in winter, when it’s dark.

I’m thinking Exposure Diablo and a strong flashing light to see/be seen at the front and a Proviz type jacket and rucksack. Some advice on the best lighting would be appreciated please.

What other advice would you give?

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essex-commuter
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Re: Unlit roads commute

Postby essex-commuter » Fri Jul 12, 2019 09:01 am

I commute on unlit roads. I don't wear anything hi-viz.

Exposure Toro on the front (4 years old, still gives amazing battery life) which I use on low power until I get to the unlit miles then it goes on medium or occasionally high (unless it's misty, then it's low because anything higher just lights up the mist!) Exposure TraceR (pulse mode) on the rear along with a small unknown light that I have there just in case the battery fails on the TraceR or the light falls off without me knowing. It never has but it stops me being paranoid and keep checking for the light being there between my legs.

Since being knocked off head-on in broad daylight by a Mum picking her Daughter up from school I now use both lights in daylight as well. I run the Toro in pulse mode and it lasts for many weeks during the Summer months.
The older I get, the faster I was.

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essex-commuter
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Re: Unlit roads commute

Postby essex-commuter » Fri Jul 12, 2019 09:02 am

Should also mention that I feel safer commuting unlit roads in the dark than I do in broad daylight.
The older I get, the faster I was.

ChippyK
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Re: Unlit roads commute

Postby ChippyK » Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:35 am

Thank you very much.

oxoman
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Re: Unlit roads commute

Postby oxoman » Sun Jul 14, 2019 14:33 pm

Commute all year round with exposure joystick mk12 and a moon xpower 300 with 2 rear lights on bike plus a small blink thing on helmet. Approx 10mile unlit country road and 3 mile lit town road. Always have 1 on flash when on town roads when dark or dull. Have a few reflective straws on my wheels plus if overshoes on they have reflective stripes. I have a proviz gillete thing that's for really dark and cold conditions. I always have 2 lights front and back just in case of failure or loss. No excuse on not being seen either.
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cougie
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Re: Unlit roads commute

Postby cougie » Sun Jul 14, 2019 15:56 pm

Two rear lights just in case.

A decent named front light and back it up with an eBay nitestorm light on the front too.

If you have reflectives they're best on your lower legs as the movement tells drivers you're a cyclist from way off.

I'd ride the route in daylight First so you know the Dodgy pothole bits.

thecycleclinic
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Re: Unlit roads commute

Postby thecycleclinic » Sun Jul 14, 2019 18:47 pm

I never wear high viz. If you cant sè my lights then you wont see my high viz either. High viz means you maybe more visible but that does not mean you are noticed.
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ChippyK
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Re: Unlit roads commute

Postby ChippyK » Sun Jul 14, 2019 21:21 pm

Top tips thank you

Grahamcp
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Re: Unlit roads commute

Postby Grahamcp » Tue Jul 16, 2019 14:27 pm

the Proviz stuff is really good - I have the gilet and wouldn't be without it.

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Wolfsbane2k
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Re: Unlit roads commute

Postby Wolfsbane2k » Wed Jul 17, 2019 12:16 pm

I second much of the comments above. I have 2 options to get to work - busy urban streets/highway through , or unlit, rural roads. I pick the rural roads any day of the week, and as Essex-commuter says, I feel safter riding the rural roads at night over daytime as others can see your lights casting ahead of you well before they see you - and they oftencan't tell if its' a car or a cyclist, so they default to slowing down in case they have to pass a car.
My typical commute is about 10 miles each way.

I don't wear hi-vis, but do wear reflectives, especially in winter - normally overshoes have a reflective strip at the back, which really help grab attention, especially if you're using clipless pedals without reflectors on.

I have 3 front lights - 2 seeing lights ( a Halfords 1600 lumens bike light, does 400 lumens for 4 hours without a problem, and a very old cateye nanoshot+) and a aldi be seen moon comet knock off, which runs for about 16 hours on low flash.
I can always slow down if I run out of battery on my main lights - but I'd rather not be without anything at all.

3 Rears - a moon shield, and 2 aldi flashers (1 normally off)

In my view, it's essential that you run with 2 rears, as you'll never know if one goes caput while you're riding until someone says they can't see you....

I looked at the Exposure Strada a lot last year, as the shaped beam is, personally, really important to avoid blinding oncoming drivers/cyclists/other road users - and while I didn't buy it (I couldn't justify to the other half a £300 light), I've modified my seeing lights with Fresnel lenses to give a similar, cut off, beam shape.
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Slowbike
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Re: Unlit roads commute

Postby Slowbike » Wed Jul 17, 2019 12:44 pm

Unless the road surface is wet, you don't need high power front lights - especially not on flashing - it'll ruin your night vision and wee-wee off the drivers coming towards you. So - like WolfsB - I use a good front light on low power - I'll usually back that up with another light (cheap Cree torch for me) just incase the main one packs up - but expect to leave it off most of the time.
On the back is at least 2 rear lights - one on flash the other on steady.
I do have a Pro-vis 360 jacket (phew it's warm!) as they were on special offer last autumn. but prior to that, just normal clothing with the reflectives - mostly in the overshoes.
I've generally found that I get more space in the winter - because people can't tell exactly where you are.

I've also toyed with mounting lights on the lid - forward facing - for my own benefit as I find they're confusing to a driver (lights not steady, darting about all over & glaring) - but only use those if it's a narrow lane/path that I'm going along quite quickly and there are bends the normal light doesn't shine around - it's not essential though.

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schlepcycling
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Re: Unlit roads commute

Postby schlepcycling » Wed Jul 17, 2019 15:30 pm

Wolfsbane2k wrote:I second much of the comments above. I have 2 options to get to work - busy urban streets/highway through , or unlit, rural roads. I pick the rural roads any day of the week, and as Essex-commuter says, I feel safter riding the rural roads at night over daytime as others can see your lights casting ahead of you well before they see you - and they oftencan't tell if its' a car or a cyclist, so they default to slowing down in case they have to pass a car.
My typical commute is about 10 miles each way.

I don't wear hi-vis, but do wear reflectives, especially in winter - normally overshoes have a reflective strip at the back, which really help grab attention, especially if you're using clipless pedals without reflectors on.

I have 3 front lights - 2 seeing lights ( a Halfords 1600 lumens bike light, does 400 lumens for 4 hours without a problem, and a very old cateye nanoshot+) and a aldi be seen moon comet knock off, which runs for about 16 hours on low flash.
I can always slow down if I run out of battery on my main lights - but I'd rather not be without anything at all.

3 Rears - a moon shield, and 2 aldi flashers (1 normally off)

In my view, it's essential that you run with 2 rears, as you'll never know if one goes caput while you're riding until someone says they can't see you....

I looked at the Exposure Strada a lot last year, as the shaped beam is, personally, really important to avoid blinding oncoming drivers/cyclists/other road users - and while I didn't buy it (I couldn't justify to the other half a £300 light), I've modified my seeing lights with Fresnel lenses to give a similar, cut off, beam shape.

Winstanley's have the Strada RS at £164.99 https://winstanleysbikes.co.uk/exposure-strada-mk9-rs-daybright-front-light
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