It’s getting cold, dark, and you’ve realised the bike you bought in May doesn’t have any lights. Here is a selection of lights to consider this winter.
If you’re cycling well-lit urban roads, you only need blinkers – so I can’t recommend Knog blinders for both front and rear enough. They’re great value for money and the LEDs are bright enough that cars can see you from a distance, and they’re USB rechargeable. But Knog have found room for improvement.
I always felt the weak link in Knog lights were the elasticated straps. They worked well until they broke with all the repeated pulling on and off the frame. This new magnetic system is clearly designed to bypass this fault, and improve the convenience which, if you own Knogs, you’ll know is quite an achievement.
Light the way
I recently rediscovered the value of Cateyes on holiday in rural Vermont. Street lighting is not a given thing in comparison to my home in England, so I quickly learned to appreciate the ability to see where I was going on roads that suffer the extremities of New England weather.
The Cateye Volt 6000 is capable of outshining regular car headlights at up to 6000 lumens, but even at lower settings, it’s going to show you potholes or tree roots at enough distance for you to be prepared. Just be considerate of oncoming traffic and be prepared to dip them.
See.Sense are lights so smart, they’ve been displayed at the London Design Museum and are endorsed by British Cycling. The Northern Ireland company that produced them is also smart – in Manchester UK they reduced the price from £79.99 to £10 for trial participants to help map the city.
Smart lights can figure out how fast you’re going and adjust their brightness and blink pattern accordingly. They adjust to light levels, and even modulate their output based on the type of terrain you’re travelling on. They’re even waterproof to a 1-metre column – useful for night-time tri-athletes I guess.
Customise your spokes and forks
There’s nothing wrong with a bit of bling and customisation when you want to be seen. Just make sure you understand your country’s laws when it comes to lights – in Germany, for example, your front light mustn’t blink. I quite like the growing trend for fork lights on both MTBs and roadies.
You can really bump up your sideways visibility with a set of spoke lights and MonkeyLectric are the leaders in this field. As we head into winter, it’s reassuring to know that they’ve tested their hardware in liquid nitrogen, down to -321°F. Suffice to say these bad boys are snow and waterproof.