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Oh riding at night is probably inevitable for most of us during our cycling years but equally you can actually really good fun and its own right whether it's the increased feeling of speed the quieter roads or indeed it's a different perspective you get on otherwise familiar roads either way it's not something to shy away from no nor is it something which is particularly difficult so coming up are a few tips which will help everyone right the way through from new urban knight riders to you off-road trailblazers there are two parts to safe and enjoyable night riding the first is the ability to see where you're going quite obviously and the second is the ability for others to be able to see you now this doesn't just mean motorist but also pedestrians and other cyclists as well let's start with that second one first shall we because it applies to all cyclists not just those of us riding away from streetlights now the ability to be seen on your bike at night relies on having a really good set of lights now it's also the law in most countries I say most because not 100% sure it's all but I suspect it is now as well as being the law common sense should also tell you first and foremost you need a good set of lights on your bike now as far as I'm aware there are no minimum requirements for lights but again common sense will tell you but not all lights I was visible as each other there are good ones and bad ones yeah a small well-made flashing light is invaluable as is it ability to be able to put it on and take it off your bike easily for example you want to lock your bike up somewhere outside and it's also quite nice if they look fairly discreet as well now if you're riding low light conditions and some like sighs got on here are going to work really well for you however if you're riding at night you're going to once increase the size somewhat for something like I've got on which is the design strip drive at the rear combined with the micro Drive up front now visibility from the side is also really really important so again Dan's lights there will give you quite a bit because of meet night white beam pattern and we've all been there where we've almost not seen a cyclist when we've been out on our bike because we've missed that front light and only just caught them anytime and you have a good visibility from the side really helps to guard against that it's not just about emitting light when it comes to being seen whilst you're out riding bright and reflective clothing is really important as well and that doesn't necessarily mean it needs to go out and buy a super high vis jacket because small patches a really effective reflective fabric will shot vividly when they caught in the beam of the headlight yeah and while fluoro is really really visible in low-light conditions especially not all that good when it's completely dark and it has to be said as well that neither of these things that will replace having good lights on your bike they're additions effective additions but additions nevertheless right well sigh and I are now litter like Christmas trees which is great for riding around in the dark what we don't have yet is lights with which we can see the road in front of us this is when we bring the big guns out boom well not actually big these are still pretty small light and easy to take on and off your bike but what they are doing is giving us enough light to illuminate even the darkest of roads and also giving us time to react that giant pothole they've just illuminated now light output is measured in lumens so as a handy guide for you you should look for something which has at least 400 louvers that you're comfortable riding down dark but familiar roads however if you go up to 800 or above you don't have something which is bright enough to be able to ride with confidence at speed down unfamiliar roads you can go even bigger still which is great for riding fast on really tricky terrain but it does bring with it something you an issue that you need to bear in mind and that are blinding other road users so just like in a car and these instances you have to be able to adjust the beam on the fly so you need to get familiar with the modes on your lights so you can swap between a high and a low bleep and now these design lights have a really great setting called overdrive mode what it does is it reduces the number of modes available to Jess super-bright and then economy mode when you can toggle both quickly between the two as the need arises without having to scroll through all the flashing options and throbbing and pulsing and whatever else yeah it's also worth noting that you should have your light angled ever so slightly downwards just as you would see on your car another excellent additional light is the helmet-mounted light for two reasons at least in fact firstly is that it's directional it obviously points where you're looking which is really really useful when you want to see stuff in your periphery and then secondly it really stands out as well because it's up high it's very separate from things like car headlights and then also because you're turning your head it really increases that arc of visibility so great for safety of junctions and things now you obviously don't want anything too heavy on top there and you also might want to take off anything else like a helmet can but something like a 400 lumen light paired with a 900 lumen light on your bars is pretty much the ultimate riding Cabo riding off-road at night and in whole extra dimension the need to differentiate between a multitude of different surfaces and obstacles and although your speed is going to be lower there are more things to trip you up literally but riding at night is mega fun so even when it's long got dark by the time you leave work there's no need to miss out on those evening rides we word again recommend having a helmet-mounted light if nothing else it can help you fix a puncture at the side of the trail and then also a light on your handlebars that is at least 1200 lumens or above now something that I hadn't actually considered until I read it just the other day there's also the warmth of your light so you see two white and you're going to struggle with depth perception out on the trail so while more lumens is generally a good thing it's not necessarily always a good thing so with the basics of lighting and visibility car but it's now time for us give you some tips to get more out of your night time riding firstly familiarity with your environment is really really important nitriding already feels quite alien so there's no need to stray from well-trodden paths as well as meaning that you're less like to get lost you're also less like to wander into harm's way and it should unforeseen happen you're also find it easier to get home and for that reason as well budding up is a good plan and then you have someone to laugh at you and you stumble around in the bushes yeah well you will often find too is that if you do your riding at night you pretty much have the road and the trail way to yourself well that means that you can get a great ride in about straying outside of urban areas now this is particularly applicable to group riding because it can be quite disorienting staying on the wheel in front of you no matter how many lights that are in the group these are strange shadows which appear from some weird places so plan a loop which is well lit and you should find that you can keep your fast group ride going all the way through the winter yeah you also find as well but even the crappiest urban trails take on a new character when riding at night so you can probably plan really great off-road routes even within your city limits you've just got to be prepared think about things slightly differently so that the two basic principles and fundamentals of lighting C and BC with those two boxes ticks you can embrace the adventure that it's nitriding or that B and quiet roads in the countryside or in urban areas and the extra time that makes available to you for riding now if you want to see another video with some more tips on riding at night we've got a very interesting piece where we compare different brightnesses of lights and different reflective items of clothing and get through to that video just up there or for another video where you perhaps see the world slightly differently from your bike where we take road bikes perhaps where they shouldn't go off-road we've got a video explaining exactly how to do that just down there yeah and subscribe to the channel GCM it's free all you got to do is click on our very high vis and well lit bike and kick our missus my way don't see that guy

James Carver

39 Replies to “How To Ride Your Bike At Night – Guide To Lighting + Reflective Clothing”

  1. Hi I have a quick question, I was reading that UK bike law states you need to have reflectors on your pedals and 1 rear reflector..Don't really see allot of people with these. Do/Should I do do this – I mean I have bike lights front and back. Don't have no pedal reflectors either.

  2. I would imagine that the rear light would be the more important one. Ok, both are important, but its likely to be a car from behind hitting you as you are able to see whats ahead of you

  3. Bugs bugs bugs. Face mask or deer Hunter bug net over hat with brim is the best. I loathe restricted breathing. Never trust a drunk driver. Pull over get off the road. Night is the best for calm cool weather all summer long.

  4. Work colleagues : "Are you mad, cycling home after an 8 hour shift?" Me : " Well as long as my brakes are okay, I get no punctures and there's no morons out I'm fine", in fact I enjoy it in the cooler weather if it's not raining after the night in the warehouse – it clears the mind and the cobwebs allowing me to sleep soundly. I also plan new bike rides and possible YT content for my channel for the future. I bought 3 light sets, 2 cheap ones and one fancy usb charging jobs. Well, £3 light pack won out, brighter, better definition, fixtures and the point that if I'm daft and don't remember to take them off if i need to pop into Asda on the way and get them nicked it was £3 and not £12. I keep spares in my bag. Plus I get an extra 30 – 65 km every shift which includes at least 3 hills, i'm in the Pennines.

  5. You guys forgot to mention the UK Legal requirement for Rear reflector – this is required. It must be coloured red and marked as complying with BS6102/2 (or equivalent).
    And also.
    Pedal reflectors – these must be amber in colour, marked as meeting BS6102/2 (or equivalent) and positioned so that one is visible to the front and another to the rear of each pedal.

  6. I had someone today when i was riding my bike. It was about 4:10 so it was still pretty light, id stopped in front of a parket car right to the very edge of the road let a few cars go past me and some chap stopped lowered his window and complaned about me not having lights on? Even though you could easily see everything without them. Is there a set light level where you should turn your lights on or was it him having bad eyesight and being a prick?

  7. Good video again guys 🤘 I use exposure front and back..just a thought..I don't think its a law in uk because of the number of idiots I go past without lights on their bikes. And the police just drive past them..personally I think they should start fining people without lights 🤘😂

  8. I know how much safer it feels to have lightning-strobe-flash pattern lights on every angle of you bike but please remeber that that can be very distracting to everyone else and possibly blinding if pointing 90 degrees or upwards

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