Cyclists - your experiences on the road

Bletchleyite

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That's a fair point. I think the problem is that lights tend to just clip onto the handlebars, unlike car headlights which are carefully designed and positioned on the vehicle by the manufacturer. But short of selling bikes with integrated lights - which would substantially increase the price and thus the steal-ability - it's not clear to me how you could solve this.

Yes, true. Mine are dynamo lights so are fixed - I think it'd help if more bikes were sold with these, which are very suitable for urban hybrids. They aren't very nickable as they aren't any use on their own. But I think awareness would also help - I don't think every cyclist is actually aware they are blinding people, much like a car driver with a misaligned headlamp often has no idea unless the police stop them and tell them, at least until it fails the MoT (which could take 3 years if it's a new vehicle with a manufacturing defect). It would also help if they came with a thumb trigger to dim them a bit - the Lezyne ones I used to have do have a dim-bright mode but it's awkward to set it while riding.
 
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JohnMcL7

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I feel the people with blinding light just don't care as it's easy enough to avoid blinding drivers and you've lights powerful enough to light up the road it's reasonable to understand those lights could blind others. The powerful lights I used to have a trigger you can use with your thumb to change the light mode although I don't use it because the light is aimed straight ahead to do what I need it for so even in a low power setting it's still bright for oncoming road users. Instead I ride with an additional set of 'to be seen' lights as do most people I ride with, a low power basic LED light that's easily visible but doesn't risk blinding anyone and don't need to be carefully positioned.

It's a handy feature on some e-bikes that they have integrated lights running off the main battery so are ready to go whenever needed.
 

ashkeba

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That's a fair point. I think the problem is that lights tend to just clip onto the handlebars, unlike car headlights which are carefully designed and positioned on the vehicle by the manufacturer. But short of selling bikes with integrated lights - which would substantially increase the price and thus the steal-ability - it's not clear to me how you could solve this.
1. Self-levelling lights, but I do not know if any are on sale and I think no-one would buy because cyclists in this country are obsessed with cheap or meaningless lumens numbers.
2. Fine cyclists using dazzling lights. I understand the law already forbids them. But the police do not seem to have enough time to fine all the cyclists and motorists using no lights at night so any crackdown to do with would probably be seen as diverting police from fining motorists using dazzlng or no lights who are much more dangerous.
3. More use of bolted-on lights which are set up correctly with a sprit level and then rarely move. Same problem as 1 because it means you have to buy a light for each bike and not one cheap or high-lumen light that you use on all bikes. Almost no-one steals a £10 bolt-on light. If they have the tools and time to undo bolts, things like gears or disk brakes are worth much more.

I guess I can also not clearly see how to solve it!
 

ExRes

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I'd be interested to know more about the cyclist I came across a few nights ago, no rear red light but instead four blue and white flashing lights, is this legal? whether it was purchased or a home made bodge job I don't know but in my opinion totally insufficient and illegal
 

Bletchleyite

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I'd be interested to know more about the cyclist I came across a few nights ago, no rear red light but instead four blue and white flashing lights, is this legal? whether it was purchased or a home made bodge job I don't know but in my opinion totally insufficient and illegal

Blue is not legal on any road vehicle other than an emergency vehicle responding to an emergency, so no, that is not legal.
 

py_megapixel

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I'd be interested to know more about the cyclist I came across a few nights ago, no rear red light but instead four blue and white flashing lights, is this legal? whether it was purchased or a home made bodge job I don't know but in my opinion totally insufficient and illegal
I believe only emergency service vehicles are allowed to display blue lights.
 

Techniquest

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So we have issues with lights, clearly, but does anyone have recommendations on lights they use? Where to get them, ease of fixing to the handlebars/saddle post, that sort of thing.

I need better lights for my bike, the ones I have are OK but totally inadequate for anything other than twilight 'be seen' kind of thing.
 

AndrewE

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Blue is not legal on any road vehicle other than an emergency vehicle responding to an emergency, so no, that is not legal.
so it's a shame that lorry cabs with big blue Saltires behind the driver, and lots of other blue illuminated cab decorations, aren't stamped down on. Quite often when we have been out after dark (in the car, I must admit) we have behaved in a way that woud be seen as irrational by the vehicle behind us after catching a glimpse of blue lights ahead.
 

ashkeba

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So we have issues with lights, clearly, but does anyone have recommendations on lights they use? Where to get them, ease of fixing to the handlebars/saddle post, that sort of thing.

I need better lights for my bike, the ones I have are OK but totally inadequate for anything other than twilight 'be seen' kind of thing.
I have Axa lights bolted on my front fork crown and rear rack back. I think Busch und Müller are good too. I think I bought them from bike-discount or SJS, but bike-discount are in the EU so might no longer sell here.
 

JamesT

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So we have issues with lights, clearly, but does anyone have recommendations on lights they use? Where to get them, ease of fixing to the handlebars/saddle post, that sort of thing.

I need better lights for my bike, the ones I have are OK but totally inadequate for anything other than twilight 'be seen' kind of thing.
I’ve been using CatEye for a while. FlexTight on the front handlebar which was easy enough to tighten, then a mount that screws into holes on the back of my pannier rack for the rear, less likely to be obscured than the seat post.
I got a new AMPP800 front light for Christmas, but haven’t been out yet to see how it fares on the poorly lit paths I use.
 

SCH117X

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I add a Halfords Advanced 1000 lumen front light to my ebike; the ebikes own lights are fine on lit streets but an unlit NCN along an old railway line is a trip into darkness without an extra light of some brightness. Those Halfords lights have an optional "remote control"; a cabled control lever added to the handlebars so you can switch on the ultra bright light when needed and off when not. The cable fits the usb charge socket on the light and the light fits Go Pro mounts so it can be securely bolted in place.

On my road bike I use a 450 lumen Izone ARC which can be angled as desired - I have it slightly both to the left side and downwards.
 

Non Multi

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My front lights:
Cateye HL-EL500 LED (4xAA) (meets BS 6102/3), discontinued.

Lezyne XL power drive, previous generation model (uses 1 removable 18650 li-ion protected battery). £50 in 2014. Brilliant for unlit Sustrans paths. Both use rigid plastic handlebar mounts, which I favour.

My hand torch for walking in winter nights is an XTAR Darkwalker, this also uses 1 18650. I carry a spare battery in a cylindrical case. Both torch and the Lezyne are also 18650 USB battery chargers.

So I have the benefit of always having spare charged batteries, and I only need to carry one type of li-ion cell.
 

TheBigD

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Used Cateye lights for years, both front and rear. Though last year I picked up a bargain by getting a Serfas 1600 lumems front light, with 4 lower settings, reduced to just £49! Only lasts for1.5 hours on the full setting though, but up to 6.5 hours on the lowest. If you're one of those that has uses the flashing function then it lasts up to 35 hours. Don't know if the reduced price was a mistake on the shop's part, but it was an absolute bargain for me!

Incidentally, if you go on to the cataye website there is a guide for how many lumens your lights need to be...

 
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ashkeba

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Cateye should sell their street-legal GVolt lights here and stop dumping their lumens junk on you clueless Brits!
 

Non Multi

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GVolt = CatEye's German market lights, designed to comply with Germany's overly fussy rules on beam shape.
 

Ediswan

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GVolt = CatEye's German market lights, designed to comply with Germany's overly fussy rules on beam shape.
I looked those up. Interesting that they state performance in lux rather than lumens. There are numerous online descriptions of the difference between lux and lumens. Some are better than others.
 

Non Multi

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I can only recall one instance of being dazzled by a bright cycle front light in the last ten years.

Busch + Müller sell StVZO compliant lights over here, and you can always import over German market lights.

More info on German market lights:
 

Bletchleyite

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Lighting the road and not blinding other cyclists is not really overly fussy.

Agreed 100%, this becomes a bigger problem all the time as more cyclists get these and don't ensure their proper alignment. And I say that as a cyclist - a dark Redway is not an ideal place to be blinded!

Maybe the UK should be equally "fussy".

I can only recall one instance of being dazzled by a bright cycle front light in the last ten years.

Happens to me a lot. I am also developing a dislike for automatic car headlamps which the car only dims for other cars.
 

LSWR Cavalier

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I had a note in my diary, new highway code 'rules' are now valid. Rules is the wrong word perhaps, most are phrased with 'should' / 'should not', compliance seems to be completely voluntary, and you sure should not reckon on others complying with the gentle recommendations.

Another case of 'do next to nothing, and talk about it (quietly)'.
 

Bald Rick

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I made a point on my ride yesterday of cycling in the middle of the road. To be fair, most drivers respected it.
 

SCH117X

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Both! ;)

Middle of lane where there was more than one, middle of the road where it was a single track road.
Not all of the time though ?
Rule 72 (taken from https://www.gov.uk/government/consu...hway-code#rules-for-drivers-and-motorcyclists which ovearll is coherent than anything the press have come up with);
When riding on the roads, there are two basic road positions you should adopt, depending on the situation.


1/ Ride in the centre of your lane, to make yourself as clearly visible as possible, in the following situations:


─ on quiet roads or streets – if a faster vehicle comes up behind you, move to the left to enable them to overtake, if you can do so safely


─ in slower-moving traffic move over to the left if you can do so safely so that faster vehicles behind you can overtake when the traffic around you starts to flow more freely


─ at the approach to junctions or road narrowings where it would be unsafe for drivers to overtake you


2/ When riding on busy roads, with vehicles moving faster than you, allow them to overtake where it is safe to do so whilst keeping at least 0.5m away from the kerb edge. Remember that traffic on most dual carriageways moves quickly. Take extra care crossing slip roads.
 

AM9

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Both! ;)

Middle of lane where there was more than one, middle of the road where it was a single track road.
Among the cycling community, 'taking the prime position' has been widely practiced for many years, and in respect of preventing motor vehicles squeezing cyclists into the kerb, the Highway Code has never said anything that discourages it.
What has changed is that motorists who until now think the HC is just a document that is read when taking a driving test just don't know what it says in that respect. Regular reference to the HC has been recommended for all road users since it was first published, but now it is freely available online as well as in public libraries, there is no excuse for not being up to date with the rules and recommendations for all highway users. Maybe a few prosecutions (with high profile reporting) will help persuade those who really do need to understand their position to read, put brain in gear and then manoeuvre.
 

adamedwards

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Lots of cyclists on Twitter pointing out the controversy stoked by the poor reporting in some newspapers does at least mean lots of people are realising there are these rules (which are mostly not new, just Highway Code saying things better).
 

GB

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Among the cycling community, 'taking the prime position' has been widely practiced for many years, and in respect of preventing motor vehicles squeezing cyclists into the kerb, the Highway Code has never said anything that discourages it.
What has changed is that motorists who until now think the HC is just a document that is read when taking a driving test just don't know what it says in that respect. Regular reference to the HC has been recommended for all road users since it was first published, but now it is freely available online as well as in public libraries, there is no excuse for not being up to date with the rules and recommendations for all highway users. Maybe a few prosecutions (with high profile reporting) will help persuade those who really do need to understand their position to read, put brain in gear and then manoeuvre.

ironic that cyclists are harping on about the Highway Code when they are the least likely to read or adhere to it.
 

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