Light up your bike: how to see and be seen at night
With daylight savings right around the corner, there’s no time better than now to get your ride ready for nighttime visibility. When you bike as much as we do, visibility is the name of the game.
Doing all you can to ensure that you are seen makes night riding safer and can really give you the confidence you need to hit the streets after dark, especially if you’re taking the lane with kiddos in tow or riding by your side. Here is some of the gear that helps us light up the night.
Dynamo hub front wheel and Busch & Muller Luxos U light
Do you ever find yourself ready to head out for a ride only to realize you forgot to charge your lights again? Yeah, us to. Like, all the time.
With a dynamo hub light, you never have to worry about charging that headlight because you’ll always have a charger with you. Forgot to charge the phone or bluetooth speaker, too? No worries: the Luxos U headlight has a handlebar-mounted switch with a USB outlet for charging devices. It also has a cache battery for those devices that might switch off if the dynamo’s voltage drops, like when standing at a stop light. Check out the awesome light spread, as illustrated by our friends at Peter White Cycles!
What’s a dynamo hub, you ask? This type of hub is a small electrical generator built into the hub of a bicycle wheel (the hub is the axle part, that all the spokes attach to). A dynamo can power lights and other devices. The Xtracycle dynamo hub wheel comes with the Biologic Joule 3 hub, the lightest, most-efficient hub dynamo on the market. Ride off into the sunset with confidence knowing your hub’s got your back.
WheelBrightz (yes, Brightz with a ‘z’)
These lights are low cost and super fun. Wrap them inside your front wheel rim to make your ride look like a Tron Lightcycle of the future or around the Hooptie to increase visibility of the back deck and passengers. Since the rear wheel is covered by bags, one on the back wheel isn’t totally necessary. The one thing I love most about these lights is how positively other people respond to them.
When riding around the city at night, kids are oohing and ahhing while adults will shout out “Awesome bike!” I feel like they do a great job at getting people excited about biking because they see how much fun we are having, and they want a piece of the pie.
Vests, leg bands and other clothing with hi-viz reflective tape does wonders for making sure you’re seen in low light. I’ve spotted riders’ vests well before I can make them out on their bikes! These are easy to find in any bike shop, are relatively low cost and super quick to throw on or in your bike bag.
IKEA makes a perfect child sized one. The Hi-Viz lids (compatible with X3 CargoBays) are another great way to add visibility to the back end of the bike while also giving any gear an added layer of protection from the elements when in the CargoBays.
Red bar tail lights on the Hooptie rails
Installing some red bar tail lights like the Cygo Lite Hot Rod pointed down on the Hooptie (like the picture up top) does a stellar job of letting motorists see your whole bike. Small, cheap and if you get USB rechargeable ones, they can be plenty bright enough.
SuperNova light set for Bosch powered bikes
Not good about charging your lights and riding a Bosch powered EdgeRunner 8, 9 or 10e? The SuperNova headlight and rear light set that can be integrated with your system to run off your battery. You’ll never get stranded without lights as long as that bike battery is juiced up! The E3 V6S headlight is a super bright 165 lumens and is visible during day and night rides. The E3 rear light is can mount to the FlightDeck or V-racks and will make sure you’re always visible from behind.
With all these options out there available to shine bright, your rides this winter are sure to be fun, safe and illuminating so ride on!