Wednesday, 16 January 2013
Reply to a letter on flashing lights...
In response to Mr L Stroud of Blackfield, as a cyclist who uses flashing and steady lamps on my bike I have to say they are VERY effective at warning others that there is a bike in the vicinity.
I find it slightly worrying that he complains about their brightness. Most that I see are underpowered compared to the lights on cars (excluding the Xenon lights and DRLs - those are in a league of their own).
I have ridden with lights on steady-only before and it does lead to issues with the batteries running out more quickly (especially in the cold) and drivers taking more of a risk (I'm not sure why). My experience is that cyclists are best to arm themselves with 4 lights - one front and back on flash, and the others on steady. Also aim for between 40 to 100 lumens in brightness so that you're not drowned out by other traffic lighting.
Lastly after kitting your bike out take it out in the dark and test it. Have a friend hold the bike, walk a few metres and look back to make sure the light is angled correctly and doesn't blind out any hand signals you will need to make.