What this blog is about

Bicycle commuting, bicycle touring, bicycle racing; bicycle ADVENTURING.
To the grocery store, up a mountain, across the country or to the finish line--
it's all an adventure.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Bicycle Light Comparison

Light Comparison from Rebecca Jensen on Vimeo.

Here is a light comparison of my bike with:

  1. No lights
  2. Cheap lights
  3. Good lights

"Cheap lights" = one red Blackburn Mars 3.0 light and a Blackburn front light that runs on AAA batteries. 

"Good lights" =  adds a Planet Bike SuperFlash to the Blackburn rear and uses a Light & Motion Stella 300 Dual (rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery) on the front. 

Other lights featured are the Planet Bike BRT Strap and an amber Down Low Glow from Rock the Bike.

Conclusions from this demo:

  • Cheap lights work okay (so long as you keep feeding them batteries) front and rear, but have basically no side visibility.
  • Cheap front lights drown in headlights.
  • Good lights work great front and rear and provide some side visibility.
  • Good lights continue to be seen even when flooded by headlights or competing with sign lights, etc.
  • The Down Low Glow provides some flippin' AWESOME side-vis and a wide spot beneath you, discouraging cars from getting too close.
  • Also note that I wore dark blue jeans and a black jacket for this demo. While I do own neon cycling clothing, I don't rely on it as my (only) source of visibility. It's best to have your BIKE always be visible so that you can wear whatever you fancy.

Notes on reflective parts (which I didn't include in the video, oops!):
  • Reflective sidewalls on front tire (Schwalbe Marathon)
  • Reflective/light-up ankle strap
  • Orange reflective tape on frame
  • Blue reflective "slap bracelets" on head tube
  • Reflective detail on trunk bag
  • Reflective rear triangle (with a dowel slid in to hold its shape)
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