Off or On road riding can be fun and necessary for some but it does come with a few dangers which need to be addressed, so don’t let the dark but you off read on and be a safe and satisfied night rider.
A Comprehensive Guide
Riding a bicycle at night could be as interesting and adventurous as riding it in the day if well-prepared for. The key to a hassle-free ride at night is to have good lighting. By choosing the perfect lights either for a road ride or an off-road trail, the absence of daylight cannot rob of your adventure. This post is a guide to help you know all about bicycle lights for riding at night while.
Types of Lights for a Night Trail
There are basically two major lightning types for your bicycle. They are the primary and the secondary light sources. The primary lightning is where the light source is either from the rider or the bicycle itself while the secondary lightning is from the reflection of other light sources by the cyclist’s reflective clothing. The two are important, and as you read further, you see how they can help you have a safe night ride on your bike.
Primary Light Source
Now you know that the primary lightning of a bicycle comes from either the cyclist or the bike. In some cases, both sources could be used at once. Primary lightning is very important when it comes to riding your bicycle at night, and these lights include front lights, rear lights and head mounted lights. An important factor to consider when choosing a primary light source is whether it would be used for either commuting or an off-road ride. Also, other necessary factors to consider are the power of the light, power source or battery life, and the lightning mode.
As a cyclist, you can choose the type of light you want based on the intensity or brightness of the light – if you need bright lights, go for powerful LED lights. If the battery life is more important to you, choose less powerful light because the brighter the light, the more energy it consumes unless you install an extra battery pack on your bike. Modern lights are usually rechargeable which makes it easy to charge them while not in use and are more economical than disposable packs.
Lightning for Night Road Riding
Commuting is the everyday movement where you use your bicycle for going to work, school, groceries and any other form of movement on the road. For riding your bike on the road at night, it is necessary to have a set of front light and rear light. These are important to make other road users see you and register the awareness of your bicycle. In a typical setting, there would be other light sources in the environment like streetlights, other motorists and buildings to guide movement, so you might not need very bright light with high lumens rating (light is rated in lumens). Also, the light could help you navigate through dark avenues. A blinking, reflective red light would be helpful as you ride at night – the rear light is usually not for illumination but draw the attention of other motorists to the bicycle.
Lightning for Night Off-road or Mountain Riding
If you are up for some adrenaline pumping adventure like an off-road ride or mountain trail, then you need lightning more than that of a typical road ride. Off-road riding is often characterized by sharp bends, undulating terrains, and dangerous paths. Coupled with the fact that there is low visibility at night you would need powerful front lights to help you see ahead as you speed off on such uncharted territories. Preferably, you can go for light between the range of 1000 – 2500 lumens. Also, make sure the light has a good beam spread to give you better coverage of what is front of you. Another essential tip is to set your front light to point a little downward to see the path clearly. A rear light might not be necessary since you might be the only one on such path but for safety reasons, always have one installed. Likewise, in a group ride or a track where people frequent a rear light is of utmost importance.
The energy life of your light source for an off-road is a necessity. When installing your light, choose lights with a good battery life that can last hours after a charge. You might have to install an extra power pack if you would be riding for a very long time. Always make sure you give your batteries a full charge before an off-road trail and carry extra light should there be a case of a glitch or failure. Similarly, you should use a helmet-mounted light for this adventure. This gives you perfect visibility to see well especially when you have to look at a corner or somewhere different from the direction of your front light.
Secondary Light Sources
It was stated earlier that reflected light from a cyclist’s clothing is a secondary source of light. Not only do reflective clothing make you visible, but it is also a proper safety measure. As bike rider both on and off the road, always wear your reflective jacket especially at night. Should in case you do not a reflective jersey, make sure you wear bright colors while cycling. Another night riding hack is to add a reflective material like a reflective tape to your clothing. You can add them to your bike and helmets too. Another source of lighting for your bike at night is to adorn it colorful bike light. You can add some glitz and style to your bike by purchasing and installing such lights on your wheels and bicycle frame. It makes your bike beautiful, unique and gives it a signature look. It also makes other road users spot you quickly because the colors would be very attracting.
So you have no excuse not to ride your bike because by following these tips, you are safe to commute at night without a problem. Remember that lights are important – light up yourself and your bike, go out there to have fun with your bike.