Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

riding with lights without despoiling bike

Notices
Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

riding with lights without despoiling bike

Old 01-15-21, 10:42 AM
  #1  
profjmb
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Evanston, IL
Posts: 334

Bikes: Mosaic RT-1, Trek Boone, Cervelo R3 Team, Surly Cross Check, Bike Friday Pocket Rocket

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 67 Post(s)
Liked 4 Times in 2 Posts
riding with lights without despoiling bike

I have had 2 bad accidents in my riding career (ambulance and broken bones, insurance settlements). Although 25 years apart, both involved an incoming driver turning left directly in front of me (because they didn't see me). After the second (2012), I resolved to always ride with good flashing lights, even in the daytime. (BTW, I ride by myself almost exclusively.) I currently use the Bontrager Ion Pro front light and the Bontrager Flare rear. The rear light isn't too obvious, but the front light is.

I have a beautiful bike, a Mosaic RT-1. If possible, I'd prefer a smaller and less conspicuous front light. If I can't achieve this without sacrificing most of the Ion's effectiveness, I'll suffer through. (I also ride with a saddlebag, because my jersey pockets are already fairly full. So I don't sacrifice that much for pure beauty.)

Suggestions welcome.
profjmb is offline  
Old 01-15-21, 10:49 AM
  #2  
bruce19
Senior Member
 
bruce19's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Lebanon (Liberty Hill), CT
Posts: 7,621

Bikes: CAAD 12, MASI Gran Criterium S, Colnago World Cup CX & Guru steel

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1371 Post(s)
Liked 748 Times in 449 Posts
I just went to these. Small and unobtrusive IMO.

https://www.blackburndesign.com/p/2f...ike-light-set/
bruce19 is offline  
Likes For bruce19:
Old 01-15-21, 11:04 AM
  #3  
ClydeClydeson
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 426
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 137 Post(s)
Liked 151 Times in 111 Posts
Just mount the light upside down so it is mostly invisible from the sides or above.

The smaller lights I am thinking of are going to be much less effective. Think of it this way: Will your bike look better with a slightly bulky light, or will it look better under the wheels of a dump truck?

What I'm trying to say, and you alluded to, is that this is a very small compromise to make for your safety.

One other suggestion - find or make a light-mount that is fastened under the front brake caliper. A light down low by the front tire looks neater than a light on the handlebars... in my opinion, anyways, but I also think that bike would look better with full wrap fenders


Edit:
Here is an example of the type of thing I am suggesting. With this one, which I believe is made for a particular dynamo powered light, you could adapt for any bar-mounted light by cutting a narrow piece of wooden dowel and drilling a hole through it to act as a 'handlebar' on which you can mount your light. Making your own out of a bit of sheet metal or an old rack bracket would also not be too difficult.
https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/.../rp-prod202150
ClydeClydeson is offline  
Likes For ClydeClydeson:
Old 01-15-21, 11:12 AM
  #4  
blakcloud 
Senior Member
 
blakcloud's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 2,418

Bikes: Trek Domane SL7, Rivendell Sam Hillborne, Brompton S/M3L (modified)

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 518 Post(s)
Liked 233 Times in 156 Posts
If you don't want to ruin the lines of your very nice Mosiac then how about a helmet light to compliment what you already have? The Light and Motion VIS 360 is one to consider. Another option would be the Lumos helmet with the built in lights. As said I would use these as an adjunct to what you already have. There is no such thing as being to lit up on the road (within reason). Multiple light sources always helps.
blakcloud is offline  
Old 01-15-21, 11:27 AM
  #5  
Litespud
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Chapel Hill NC
Posts: 1,189

Bikes: 2000 Litespeed Vortex Chorus 10, 1995 DeBernardi Cromor S/S, Nashbar 3sp commuter

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 447 Post(s)
Liked 439 Times in 248 Posts
Originally Posted by profjmb View Post
I have had 2 bad accidents in my riding career (ambulance and broken bones, insurance settlements). Although 25 years apart, both involved an incoming driver turning left directly in front of me (because they didn't see me). After the second (2012), I resolved to always ride with good flashing lights, even in the daytime. (BTW, I ride by myself almost exclusively.) I currently use the Bontrager Ion Pro front light and the Bontrager Flare rear. The rear light isn't too obvious, but the front light is.

I have a beautiful bike, a Mosaic RT-1. If possible, I'd prefer a smaller and less conspicuous front light. If I can't achieve this without sacrificing most of the Ion's effectiveness, I'll suffer through. (I also ride with a saddlebag, because my jersey pockets are already fairly full. So I don't sacrifice that much for pure beauty.)

Suggestions welcome.
I feel your pain - I hate things sticking up on top of the bars. I did a couple of things - first I bought some Go-Pro coupler sets (I look on these as the industry standard) and attached a "male" coupler to the underside of my Garmin mount. I then epoxied some "female" couplers to some LED blinkers and to the top of an (I think) 600 lumen rechargeable light. Any of these lights with now attach pretty unobtrusively under the Garmin mount. I also bought what I think is a "handlebar accessory mount", attached a male Go-Pro coupler, so I can mount the big light slung under the handlebar, if I want to run both the blinker and main light. Everything cheapo from Amazon


Litespud is offline  
Likes For Litespud:
Old 01-15-21, 11:28 AM
  #6  
WhyFi
Senior Member
 
WhyFi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: TC, MN
Posts: 32,998

Bikes: R3 Disc, Haanjo

Mentioned: 342 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15468 Post(s)
Liked 4,313 Times in 2,269 Posts
I think that the best way to go about it is to go with a good out-front combo mount (assuming that you're also using a computer) that's stem mounted. They tuck the light under the computer, which makes it unobtrusive/invisible from the saddle and it keeps the front view clean and symmetrical. I have an inexpensive one bought on Amazon and my light is also a camera, so much larger than typical; something smaller would look more tidy.



WhyFi is online now  
Old 01-15-21, 11:44 AM
  #7  
caloso
Senior Member
 
caloso's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Sacramento, California, USA
Posts: 39,741

Bikes: Ridley Excalibur, Gazelle Champion Mondial, On-One Pompino, Specialized Rock Hopper

Mentioned: 63 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2493 Post(s)
Liked 1,614 Times in 812 Posts
I have this same setup with my Fly12. Very clean and unobtrusive.
caloso is offline  
Old 01-15-21, 11:50 AM
  #8  
Iride01
Hits [ENTER] b4 thinking
 
Iride01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 5,699

Bikes: '20 Tarmac Disc Comp '91 Schwinn Paramount '78 Raleigh Competition GS

Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2213 Post(s)
Liked 947 Times in 710 Posts
Don't leave it all to lights alone. Make sure to wear colors that stand out. Make sure to be seen. Make sure you ride in a manner that makes your intentions known and doesn't leave others wondering what you might do.

For that last part, it's sort of hard to describe, but when ever I'm out on the road, whether as a motorist or cyclist, I'm assessing the way others are driving or cycling. The ones that throw me the most are those that are overly polite yielding their right-of-way or those that are so cautiously timid that you have no idea what they might do if you get near them.

It's certainly not a cure-all view. But it is one of many that I think help.

At night, reflectors and reflective clothing also go a long way too along with lights. There are times reflective strips on clothing or vehicle caught my attention more to identify what I was encountering than the lights on it.

Last edited by Iride01; 01-15-21 at 11:53 AM.
Iride01 is offline  
Likes For Iride01:
Old 01-15-21, 01:04 PM
  #9  
crazyravr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Mississauga ON
Posts: 247

Bikes: 2013 Giant TCR Comp. 0, 2015 Giant TCX SLR 1 (sold), 2019 Trek FX2

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 99 Post(s)
Liked 20 Times in 17 Posts
Could you guys link me the gopro mount to slip on light adapter? I am having hard time finding something that will work with my Cygolite.
crazyravr is offline  
Old 01-15-21, 01:06 PM
  #10  
Carbonfiberboy 
just another gosling
 
Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 17,241

Bikes: CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004

Mentioned: 106 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2846 Post(s)
Liked 757 Times in 566 Posts
Originally Posted by Mojo31 View Post
I have the ION 200 RT in front with the Flare RT in back. Small in size, but effective. Both are controlled by my Garmin head unit.

Over the holidays, I was out on a solo ride on some country roads. While waiting for a stop light to turn, a motorcycle pulled up next to me and said that I completely blended with the trees on the other side of the t-intersection, and the only thing he saw was my flashing rear light. And, I was wearing hi-vis yellow gloves and sleeves. Had to pay attention to that.
I've observed the same thing myself on group rides and events. Can't see yellow in the shade at all on a sunny day. I think part of it is that everyone, including me, is wearing sunglasses. I run a 300 lumen flashing rear light.in daytime. It really needs to be brighter than what one might find adequate at night. A very frustrating thing is that so many good rear lights are only available with seatpost mounts, and I use a saddle bag, no exposed post below it.
__________________
Results matter
Carbonfiberboy is offline  
Old 01-15-21, 01:29 PM
  #11  
mack_turtle
n00b
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 1,397

Bikes: Surly Karate Monkey, Twin Six Standard Rando

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 422 Post(s)
Liked 449 Times in 270 Posts
flashing light in daylight is useful to get attention but won't blind a driver. a flashing light in the dark, however, is just confusing. use a steady beam at night.
mack_turtle is offline  
Likes For mack_turtle:
Old 01-15-21, 01:40 PM
  #12  
mstateglfr 
Sunshine
 
mstateglfr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Des Moines, IA
Posts: 12,039

Bikes: '18 class built steel roadbike, '19 Fairlight Secan, '88 Schwinn Premis , Black Mountain Cycles Monstercross V4, '89 Novara Trionfo

Mentioned: 97 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4892 Post(s)
Liked 2,139 Times in 1,274 Posts
If you dont want to not spoil your bike's look, then get one of those magicshine things with an external battery pack that can apparently be seen from orbit. All the wires and whatnot will really muck up the look.
Now if you dont want to spoil your bike's look, just get an out front mount as has been shown and mentioned.

And if you dont want to mount a light with a firm mount, then buy one with a rubber clamp and just hook it on upside down so the light is under the bars instead of perched atop the bars.
mstateglfr is offline  
Likes For mstateglfr:
Old 01-15-21, 06:23 PM
  #13  
cubewheels
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Manila, Philippines
Posts: 1,540

Bikes: A really old BMX bike, Phantom 20 kid's MTB, Jackal Mio Gravel Bike

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 677 Post(s)
Liked 288 Times in 231 Posts
Sadly, lights alone won't save you from even attentive drivers.

Many drivers underestimate the speed of cyclists especially with faster cyclists (non-commuters).

I won't be surprised if drivers will say they didn't see you when they actually did see you and underestimated your speed - the latter will make them more accountable.

I had plenty of near-hits despite having flashing lights front and back in daytime. These motorists did see me as we have glanced each other.

I always have a finger on the brakes at all times and prepped to brake hard in the emergency braking posture when approaching intersections. Helped a lot.
cubewheels is offline  
Likes For cubewheels:
Old 01-15-21, 09:10 PM
  #14  
chaadster
Thread Killer
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 9,929

Bikes: '15 Kinesis Racelight 4S, '76 Motebecane Gran Jubilée, '17 Dedacciai Gladiatore2, '12 Breezer Venturi, '09 Dahon Mariner, '05 Novara Big Buzz, '12 Mercier Nano, '95 DeKerf Team SL, '19 Tern Rally, ‘21 Breezer Doppler Cafe+, ‘19 T Lab X3

Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1307 Post(s)
Liked 288 Times in 183 Posts
I’d suggest a Specialized Flux 1250 as an option. You’ll get a styled, dual-lens, underbar unit that runs parallel to the handlebar (i.e it’s wider than longer), so better looking and more discreet, and at 1250 lumens, you’re not sacrificing but 50 lumens compared to the Ion Pro. The Fluz has a bar mount, but you can also get a GoPro mount if you want to mount it in a different way; you could get a slim aluminum mount to place it close and directly in front of the bar if you have the space, for example.

https://www.specialized.com/us/en/fl...ext=49121-1610

Personally, I love the styling of the Knog Blinder Road 600, but it’s a step down, in terms of max lumens, from the Ion Pro.

https://www.knog.com/product/blinder-road-600/
chaadster is offline  
Old 01-15-21, 09:18 PM
  #15  
jaxgtr
Senior Member
 
jaxgtr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 4,759

Bikes: Trek Domane SLR 7, Trek ALR 6, Trek CrossRip, Trek X-Caliber 8

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 93 Post(s)
Liked 190 Times in 114 Posts
I use the Bontrager Ion 700, it has a flash option that can not be missed...it is almost blinding at times....but people see me. I used it as my commuter light, so I can also see
__________________
Brian | 2021 Trek Domane SLR 7 | 2016 Trek Emonda ALR 6 | 2016 Trek X-Caliber 8 | 2014 Trek CrossRip Comp
Originally Posted by AEO View Post
you should learn to embrace change, and mock it's failings every step of the way.







jaxgtr is offline  
Old 01-16-21, 01:23 AM
  #16  
Branko D
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 249
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 85 Post(s)
Liked 87 Times in 56 Posts
Specialized Stix does it for me, you can place it on the bars so the light goes in front of the stem faceplate which is rather aesthetically pleasing. The Elite 2 version of the light has a pretty decent runtime, too.
Branko D is offline  
Old 01-16-21, 08:26 AM
  #17  
Koyote
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 3,086
Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2224 Post(s)
Liked 2,871 Times in 1,290 Posts
Busch and Muller makes many rechargeable headlights and offers a fork crown mount as suggested by ClydeClydeson in post #4.

Even though I have a very powerful light which mounts to the handlebar, I have thought about buying a B&M just to free up some handlebar space.
Koyote is offline  
Old 01-16-21, 10:13 AM
  #18  
waters60
Senior Member
 
waters60's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 425
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 122 Post(s)
Liked 60 Times in 32 Posts
Originally Posted by crazyravr View Post
Could you guys link me the gopro mount to slip on light adapter? I am having hard time finding something that will work with my Cygolite.
K Edge
waters60 is offline  
Old 01-16-21, 10:31 AM
  #19  
waters60
Senior Member
 
waters60's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 425
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 122 Post(s)
Liked 60 Times in 32 Posts

K Edge
waters60 is offline  
Likes For waters60:
Old 01-16-21, 05:21 PM
  #20  
chaadster
Thread Killer
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 9,929

Bikes: '15 Kinesis Racelight 4S, '76 Motebecane Gran Jubilée, '17 Dedacciai Gladiatore2, '12 Breezer Venturi, '09 Dahon Mariner, '05 Novara Big Buzz, '12 Mercier Nano, '95 DeKerf Team SL, '19 Tern Rally, ‘21 Breezer Doppler Cafe+, ‘19 T Lab X3

Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1307 Post(s)
Liked 288 Times in 183 Posts
Originally Posted by crazyravr View Post
Could you guys link me the gopro mount to slip on light adapter? I am having hard time finding something that will work with my Cygolite.
I got one of these for my Cygolite Expilion:



https://www.amazon.com/Cygolite-Adap.../dp/B07TFL29D6

If you’re talking about a combo computer mount with GoPro fitting, KOM Cycling make an affordable alternative to the K-Edge:



https://komcycling.com/collections/f...oo-gopro-mount
chaadster is offline  
Old 01-16-21, 05:23 PM
  #21  
chaadster
Thread Killer
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 9,929

Bikes: '15 Kinesis Racelight 4S, '76 Motebecane Gran Jubilée, '17 Dedacciai Gladiatore2, '12 Breezer Venturi, '09 Dahon Mariner, '05 Novara Big Buzz, '12 Mercier Nano, '95 DeKerf Team SL, '19 Tern Rally, ‘21 Breezer Doppler Cafe+, ‘19 T Lab X3

Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1307 Post(s)
Liked 288 Times in 183 Posts
Originally Posted by Branko D View Post
Specialized Stix does it for me, you can place it on the bars so the light goes in front of the stem faceplate which is rather aesthetically pleasing. The Elite 2 version of the light has a pretty decent runtime, too.
I love Stix! I have a front one affixed with velcro to the head tube on one of my bikes. Superstealth housing and mount forms with those Stix!

Not a great pic for illustrative purposes, but that you can hardly see it is kind of the point:



Last edited by chaadster; 01-16-21 at 05:29 PM.
chaadster is offline  
Likes For chaadster:
Old 01-17-21, 02:35 AM
  #22  
OldTryGuy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: SW Fl.
Posts: 5,035

Bikes: 1981 Custom Touring Paramount, 1983 Road Paramount, 2013 Giant Propel Advanced SL3, 2018 Specialized Red Roubaix Expert mech., 2002 Magna 7sp hybrid, 1976 Bassett Racing 45sp Cruiser

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 860 Post(s)
Liked 350 Times in 234 Posts
Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
flashing light in daylight is useful to get attention but won't blind a driver. a flashing light in the dark, however, is just confusing. use a steady beam at night.

80%+ of my riding (7,000+ miles last year) is midnight to 6AM up to 100 miles with 3 red lights flashing rear and 1 clear front flashing plus front solid for road illumination. Rear lights are mounted under seat, on handlebar end and on helmet. TRIANGULATION of rear lights seems to work wonderfully since cars move over even 1/2 mile before they come to passing me on longer straight roads.


side bar note -- drivers in Pick-Up Trucks hold a substantial lead in the comparison study of close passing instead of moving over for more side clearance. Side mirrors extending out from body of the vehicle are of greatest concern.
OldTryGuy is offline  
Old 01-17-21, 07:22 AM
  #23  
GlennR
On Your Left
 
GlennR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Long Island, New York, USA
Posts: 7,737

Bikes: Trek Emonda SLR, Sram eTap, Zipp 303

Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2569 Post(s)
Liked 1,687 Times in 866 Posts
I have a Flare R in the rear and a Ion 100 in the front. The Ion 100 in not a headlight so it will not illuminate the road at night. But it is a strobe and will let drivers know you're there. Its very good this time of year when the sun is low in the sky and looking south has a lot of glare.



GlennR is offline  
Old 01-17-21, 08:25 AM
  #24  
robbyville
Senior Member
 
robbyville's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Palm Desert, CA
Posts: 2,355

Bikes: Speedvagen Steel

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 370 Post(s)
Liked 146 Times in 98 Posts
Seems like you have a lot of options but I’ll just throw in my setup which like you I wanted to keep clean. This was my old garmin and Bontrager light. Has since been replaced with a newer Bontrager Ion and Garmin. Mount is a K Spoon for one piece bar/stem combos with the holes on the underside. The adjustment knob that sticks out has also been removed and replaced with a nut so it’s cleaner along with color matched leather bar tape from Busyman Cycles.


robbyville is offline  
Likes For robbyville:
Old 01-17-21, 11:06 AM
  #25  
caloso
Senior Member
 
caloso's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Sacramento, California, USA
Posts: 39,741

Bikes: Ridley Excalibur, Gazelle Champion Mondial, On-One Pompino, Specialized Rock Hopper

Mentioned: 63 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2493 Post(s)
Liked 1,614 Times in 812 Posts
Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
If you dont want to not spoil your bike's look, then get one of those magicshine things with an external battery pack that can apparently be seen from orbit. All the wires and whatnot will really muck up the look.
Now if you dont want to spoil your bike's look, just get an out front mount as has been shown and mentioned.

And if you dont want to mount a light with a firm mount, then buy one with a rubber clamp and just hook it on upside down so the light is under the bars instead of perched atop the bars.
Before I got my Fly12, I did exactly like that:


caloso is offline  
Likes For caloso:

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.