Do I need bicycle lights?
The short answer is yes! Keep reading for a more detailed and through answer as we dive into the ins and outs of bicycle lights for new riders. What you need to know. What you need to watch out for. Why lights are such a critical component overall. Many of us have reflectors on our bicycles - they come standard on most new bikes. And we also may know that in our state, county and/or city there may be laws mandating them. A reflector is a piece of glass, metal, or other material for reflecting light in a required direction. Some are made out of a bunch of little mirrors to concentrate the light - others can be in the form of something as thin as a sticker. Reflectors are usually mounted on the rear under the saddle (red) on the front on the handlebars or headset ( white ) and on the pedals ( yellow ). Additional reflectors can be found/added in the spokes or on the tire rims. Having reflectors is better than nothing but they really are not really visible from cars. Specifically when biking youre moving slow enough to notice them getting hit by your own bike light. However in a car thats moving faster than a bicycle thats not always so - especially when coming at the bike from the side because the beam is concentrated straight and reflectors dont get activated until light hits them. Therefore it is strongly recommended for basic safety to always ride at night with front and rear bicycle lights! At the lower tier cheap lights are meant predominantly for being seen by cars and not to see with. And even in this group not everything will do because believe it or not there are lights made so cheaply they dive off the handlebars at every opportunity. For best results spend a little more to purchase lights you can also see obstacles with. Such lights are USB rechargeable and are usually +300 lumens. Some of my favorites are Night Rider and Portland Design Works and there are plenty more awesome brands out there. These lights can also be purchased in starter-pack options where they come as a discount bundled with a rear light. Finally look for lights that are easily detachable so that you can pocket them when parking your bicycle outside so that they do not get stolen. Other safety options that can be considered in addition ( not as a replacement ! ) are reflectorized jackets/helmets or sticker helmets. A. particular favorite only recently available is light up helmets - that is helmets with built in front/rear lights. The cool thing here is that the lights are at the highest vantage point which makes them easy to see without getting obscured by parked cars and other visual obstacles. Lastly consider looking into wheel lights which can really light up the night in an entertaining way and draw tons of attention to your presence. Some recommendations here are MonkeyLectric and RevoLiights although there are plenty of really cheap options on Amazon and other online stores that will do great as well. The MonkeyLectric lights are trippy in particular because they can draw mesmerizing lightshows in the spokes, with the higher end ones capable of rendering complex animations that maintain an upright orientation! To reiterate again - get yourself some lights because no one will see you without them. It is not only cars that cant see you in the dark, other cyclists have trouble too. There have been many near collisions in the dark because bicycles dont make a lot of noise and not every street is well enough lit to see them. Additionally a great many injuries are caused by road obstacles such as curbs/potholes which are hard to see during the day - let alone at night! Anyway hope you learned why lights are essential for night riding If youre looking for a great deal on a bicycle or looking for a replacement bike check out the Sprocket bike app on Play Store or App Store Happy riding!