Tips and advice on lights

As the weather slowly but surely cools, and the days get shorter, the need for good lights on your bike quickly becomes apparent to the new commuter.

Ride On magazine does an annual test of the best commuting lights. While we wait for the 2016 version, here’s a link to last year’s, which still gives excellent coverage of what’s available.

While USB-rechargeable lights are great value and work very well, we recommend having a low-cost backup set of lights, as rechargeable lights can dim very quickly when the battery runs low.

On bikeways and on roads, the primary purpose of both your front and rear lights is to be seen by other road and path users. On some bikeways, there’s an additional purpose of lighting the path surface so you can see where you’re going. Although helmet-mounted lights are perhaps the best solution for lighting up paths (these lights were developed for mountain bike riders riding single track trails at night), the disadvantage is that your helmet-mounted light can shine directly in the eyes of oncoming bike riders.

Research conducted by CARR-Q (QUT) points clearly to the benefits of having a reflector on your body’s “moving parts” such as pedal and ankles. The movement of your ankle produces a stronger visual presence to drivers than a static bike light alone.

So visit your local bike shop or Bicycle Queensland’s online shop and get geared up now for the winter commuting.

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