Night Cycling Tips And How To Drive Safely With Bike Lights

Christmas Stocking Stuffer - LED Wheel Lights for Bike - CopyNight cycling is a popular activity among young people these days. It is considered a stress buster and a healthy habit for increased fitness. From casual night rides to adventurous long biking trails, cycling enthusiasts prefer cycling post sundown due to favorable temperatures, less heat, and less traffic.

Cycling also offers to vanquish the need for speed without compromising the cyclist’s daily routines. People generally opt-in for cycling socially with friends or a group ride to enjoy. Fathers prefer to pick this as their favorite gift for boys too.

While day cycling comes with its own pros and cons, night cycling requires some precautions and safety tips to be taken care of.

Here’s What You Need When Riding A Cycle In The Night

For ensuring safety gear, you need three things:

#1. Proper Front And Rear Lights

#2. Appropriate LED Wheel Lights

#3. Excellent Reflective On Cycle

Let’s See The Importance Of Each One Step-By-Step:

#1. Add Funky LED Bike Wheel Lights

The best part of night cycling is that you can always jazz up your bikes as per your preferences. It doesn’t need to be a special occasion to rock multi-colored lights or try out different light frames. The more lights you add to the bike, the more you will be seen by other road users, helping you conquer the darkness.

What Can You Do?

Choose Blinky Lights

Always opt for blinky LED wheel lights which ensure better visibility to conquer the darkness.

Be Cautious Of The Color

A ‘red’ light in the back and a ‘white’ light in the front of the bike wheel are ideal for night cycling bike accessories. Blinking lights attract more attention as compared to solid white or red lights.

Try different lights custom-made for wheels

The LED wheel lights can be customized as per your wheel size and frames. These are generally available at affordable prices. The only caution with being funky with the lights is to secure the lights carefully so that they do not interfere while moving the bike parts themselves. Use small zip ties to ensure the lights on your bike.

#2. Use Proper Bike Lights

The essential gear for night cycling is to have appropriate bike lights. While riding the bike at night, you must be visible on the road, even in low traffic. Proper lights help you avoid accidents and mishaps due to improper lightning on different trails/roads.

Although there are a lot of varieties available in the market for biking enthusiasts for different needs, the best feature remains exceptional lighting for visibility.

Tips For Selecting Bike Lights For Night Cycling On The Road:

Install Rear Lights For Longer Sessions

If you are going for a more extended bike riding session on the road, you must have a severe rear light as you cannot avoid vehicles coming from behind.

Don’t Ignore Having Bright Headlights

Headlights also play a crucial role in lighting your way and cueing the oncoming vehicles of your presence on the road as a biker. It becomes challenging to identify bumps and curbs on the road at night. Hence, a headlight helps you avoid the same on the road.

Headlights with varying brightness can cater to bikers’ needs, but any headlight with 700+ lumens would suffice for night cycling. Alternatively, you can double up the headlights and use two small headlights on each handlebar.

#3. Add Reflectives To Your Bike

Reflections like red, white, and pedal reflectors are necessary parts of a cyclist’s kit. These are majorly used to make you stand out on the trail or the road. It helps with visibility for other road users to see you from the side-on.

The most basic ones are:

  1. Red flashing on the rear
  2. White in the front

Whether you are cycling in the day or night, you can always check whether reflective detailing is included in the same or not while buying bike lights.

Reflections are not just restricted to the bike lights but for you too! Check out what you can do:

Wear A Reflective Jersey Or Jacket

There are cycling-specific jerseys and jackets available on the market with reflective accents. These help you to be seen in the dark. You can also offer them a Christmas stocking stuffer to your friends and ensure they enjoy safe rides.

Add Reflective Detailing To The Gloves

It will help other road users to see your hand signals. You can add reflective to the helmet as well. This will safeguard you when you ride at night.

Wear Bright Color Outfits

If you are not interested in buying separate reflective jerseys or jackets, you must wear anything bright in color. For better visibility to others, white and neon colors will serve the purpose.

White enhances visibility when the lights of an oncoming vehicle hit you. Alternatively, you can ask your friend to give the reflective tape to you as an Easter stocking stuffer. Reflective tapes are readily available at any hardware store for lower prices too, which you can choose for your jacket/jersey.

Avoid Black

Avoid wearing anything black for night cycling as it almost disappears on your body at night.

Pro Tips For Riding In The Night Safely

For a great night cycling session, the following tips can surely help:

Charge Your Bike Wheel Lights

Always make it a practice to charge your bike lights a day before the night to avoid any goof-ups. If you do not charge them beforehand or charge them right before your planned bike ride, it won’t turn out to be safe. Chances are you will be riding some of the distance in the dark without any lights, which could lead to any mishap.

Rely On High Beam Lights

Most of the lights have different brightness levels available. Remember to use the high beam level sparingly. This can help you prevent draining of the charging and save it for the last leg of the bike ride.

Avoid Beam Shaped Bike Lights

Some high-powered front lights have brighter beams than car headlights. Avoid using beam pattern-shaped bike lights as they might dazzle the oncoming vehicles. Instead, switch to flashing mode — this will help signify other road users of your actions and save some battery life.

Ensure To Be Seen With LED Wheel Lights

You must ride where you can be seen. Upping the visibility with the addition of bike lights does help. But you should be riding the bike in the field of vision of other drivers. Ensure to have wheel lights as they are broadly visible from far and save you from any misfortune.

Watch Out For Riding Trails

It is essential to notice that different riding trails require different lighting setups. If you plan to ride on both roads and mountain trails, you may need to have a mix of bike lights.

Selecting bike lights for riding mountain trails would require increasing the brightness of the headlight up to 2500 lumens. Watch out for battery life for these high brightness headlights. Because they mostly come up with limited battery life. If you consider pulling an all-nighter, it is recommended to invest in extra battery backup.

Try Remote Switches For Your Handlebars

Remote switches help control the brightness of the lights without having to remove your hand from the handlebar itself. Also, note that a mountain trail does not require a rear headlight.

Use Helmet-Mounted Lights As Well!

A helmet-mounted light is preferable to a handle-mounted light for a mountain bike ride. It illuminates the line of vision of the cyclist. At times, you are looking in a different direction to watch out for corners than what the light is pointing to.

But keep in mind to have a lightweight helmet-mounted light as it may move when you move, which could be dangerous on mountain trails. An even better combination is to have both helmet-mounted and handle-mounted lights to gain the best visibility in the darkness.

Make sure your helmet-mounted light is pointing farther ahead of the trail on a mountain trail. While riding at higher speeds down the track, you should have a more comprehensive line of vision to avoid bumps and holes.

Pro-tip: If available, do demo a bike light. This helps you determine which bike lights will be the best option for you and you can ask your queries to the professionals themselves before buying.

Wrap Up

Night cycling is a great way to chase the breeze and enjoy the long summer nights or the chilly winter season. You can enjoy the best of trails within your city with friends or family or may even take it up as a healthy habit without compromising your complicated day routine.

Just be extremely cautious with the bike checks, checking every component of the bike — brakes, tires, bike chain, bike wheel lights. Leave nothing unchecked before starting on any route.

Make sure to take necessary precautions and gear up with safety measures as mentioned above to enjoy the best of night cycling.

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