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Cyclist v Cyclist on bike lights

By Deckard - 21 June 2012 46

After having several hundred cyclist v motorist threads over the years on here I thought I’d start up a Cyclist v Cyclist debate.

Given it’s almost the shortest day of the year and all of us are riding home in the dark, I thought I’d ask why do some people think it’s necessary to light their path like they’re trying to spot bombers coming in over the English Channel? Almost every night now I get blinded by one of these spotlights stuck to a helmet passing you within a metre at eye level. Sometimes they’re so bright you literally can’t see anything in front of you. It’s even worse when they’ve got the thing stuck on strobe

So for all of you who insist on wearing these lights on your evening commute can you please dip them to the ground or put your head off to the side when you pass rather than shine the thing right in my face. Thanks.

What’s Your opinion?


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Cyclist v Cyclist on bike lights
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Henry82 9:07 pm 22 Jun 12

The number of lumens written on packaging is vastly different from reality. Even more so if the light has been bought for cheap off ebay

parle 8:53 pm 22 Jun 12

Grrrr said :

Hardly. By way of comparison, cars have thousands of lumens of headlamp. The bike light is dimmer, unless perhaps you consider a unit with a very concentrated centre spot that’s then shone directly at the eyes .. but then it wouldn’t be pointing at the ground where it’s actually needed.

600 lumens is about double the brightness of a good torch, in low light and having that shined into the eyes, hurts.

lumens is a measurement of the total volume of light, a car output is so high because headlights cover a very large area, your comparison with a car cannot be made as lumens is not a comparable measure of ‘brightness’ between different types of light sources.

you can’t point a bright bike light at the ground, what happens is that your eyes adjust to the bright spot on the path and the contrast kills your night vision for everything forward of that spot. bike lights need to be aimed well down the road.

wildturkeycanoe 8:22 pm 22 Jun 12

LOL, it’s great to see that the problems faced by motorists have now become a bugbear of the cycling world. Next it’ll be all the potholes and roadworks on cycleways [oh yes, already done on Centenary trail thread] , bikes with trailers not letting faster bikes pass on two way paths and all the un-roadworthy bikes out there [oh, that’s already mentioned here too, sorry].
Don’t mind me, get back to your squabble.

Kath 8:20 pm 22 Jun 12

loosebrown said :

If you’ve got an extremely bright light ‘for cars’ then chuck it away and get a hi-vis vest.

Only if it’s got great reflectors – so many people put on fluoro tops forgetting that they’re only going to show up in sunlight.

I like to see bikes with flashy white lights in front. Even though they’re weird and distracting, it immediately screams “BIKE” rather than “car with a broken headlight” and gets your attention. (I don’t use one, but I take a crazy-complex series of detours to avoid roads after dark.)

Grrrr 5:25 pm 22 Jun 12

PoQ said :

There’s enough streetlights about – even in the remote darkness of Queanbeyan – that anyone with decent night vision doesn’t need them.

Lies. Canberra streetlights in lots of town are virtually useless because they’re very dim, and located above the footpaths in the middle of trees which block the light. Also, the older light networks are unreliable and sometimes streets are unlit for days. Perhaps in streets established in the last decade or 2 your statement would be true.

parle said :

what model is it?, if it’s 600 actual you would be causing physical pain to others coming toward you.

Hardly. By way of comparison, cars have thousands of lumens of headlamp. The bike light is dimmer, unless perhaps you consider a unit with a very concentrated centre spot that’s then shone directly at the eyes .. but then it wouldn’t be pointing at the ground where it’s actually needed.

shauno 1:36 pm 22 Jun 12

Mine goes from 500 lumen to 375 to 250 and then 125 and then 500 strobe if you have a bright enough one on the bars you don’t need a helmet mount light as some spread the beam fairly wide.

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