Why Ultra-Bright Rear Bike Lights Matter

author : Team BT
comments : 4

Daytime running lights on bikes and the difference it makes

Some cyclists are mountain bikers and some are commuters, but a great many more are simply out training on the roads in the middle of the day. These cyclists, who may never ride in the dark, often think bike lights are not necessary.

This article is here to convince you otherwise.

Drivers these days are battling more distractions than ever, and the pillars at the corners of the car (which block the driver's view of cyclists and pedestrians along the edge of the road) are thicker than ever. Even the most pedestrian-friendly, bicycle-friendly driver can pose a hazard on today's roads.

That's why it makes such a difference if you make your presence known earlier. With a blazing red light blinking like a police strobe during the daytime, you're more likely to catch the attention of a driver well in advance. You'll also be noticed by a driver three or four cars back in a line of traffic. This is important for two reasons:

  1. With more time to react, a driver is less likely to make an erratic move and more likely to plan ahead to give you more space. They may be able to time things so they aren't passing you when there's oncoming traffic, enabling them to cross the center line and give you more breathing room. They are less likely to be making a last-minute decision.

  2. When people notice you when they are several cars back in traffic, they are less likely to blow their horn at the driver who is closest to you, or try to pass that driver who may be slowing down for you. Imagine if a whole line of cars knows there is a cyclist ahead instead of just the car immediately behind you. It's a better situation, by far.

If you are riding in the first two hours after sunrise or the last two hours before sunset, the sun is low in the sky and can cause glare on a driver's windshield, making it very hard to see you, even if you are wearing bright colors.

Now that you understand the importance of a very bright daytime taillight, make sure you look for a few characteristics.

  • High lumens

  • Visible from a wide angle

  • A lower setting for after dark (The brightness we're talking about is so bright it's painfully destructive after dark. Look for a dimmer setting for riding at night.)

Compared to other items of cycling gear, this one is cheap and might save your life. If you're looking to spend more, consider rear lights with radar or rear view cameras that send information to a handlebar-mounted display, letting you know the amount and distance of traffic behind you. There are also rear lights with turn signals integrated.

But if your bike doesn't lend itself to a mounted display, or you aren't looking to spend that kind of coin, a $20 extra bright tail light is well worth the money and the time you might spend figuring out how to mount it on an aero seatpost with a double carbon water bottle cage. Comment below if you've found a setup that works well for a triathlon bike.


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date: October 31, 2019

Team BT