With the recent change of the clocks to daylight saving time and the resultant long winter evenings it is time to look at purchasing some lights. With the earth tilting ever further away from the sun (until the winter solstice) a good pair of lights is a must for any cyclist wanted to ride in the early morning or dark evening.
Being seen on a bike at night is the number one priority for your decision to buy a pair of lights. Not only to adhere to road laws, but also to make sure that you are safe. We all know that it is a war out there on the roads, and riding during weekday evenings is the period when drivers are at their most pressed. So rather than face the embarrassment of being pulled over by a police officer, PBK stock a wide selection of lights so that you can ride a bike which is visible to all car drivers and road legal so you can use your money for other means then paying fines.
Lights can be classified into two categories; to be seen with, and to see with. The “to be seen with” type lights tend to be smaller, less bright and their function is to warn other road users of your presence, they also tend not to cost much money, whilst the “to see with” category tend to be larger and a lot more powerful so you can see the road, and cost more.
“To be seen with” lights are perfect for those who are riding in towns. Their lower power than “to see with” type lights mean that you have to have the warm, orange sodium glow of street lights to see where you are riding. “To be seen with” lights are good investment for all riders in the winter months. With the grey days it is prudent to have a set of these lightweight lights for when the weather comes in.
Best “To be seen with” light: Knog Frog Strobe LED Light set
These lightweight, small, easy to install and simple to maintain lights are a must for all cyclists. Knog have been making quality products for many years now and their lights continue to be very popular. Their soft and flexible silicone body means that they can be installed or removed from your bike in a flash. With one LED light (white for the front, red rear) they are bright enough to catch the attentions of all car drivers. They function with one simple button choosing between their numerous flashing modes. For those wanting a slightly more powerful light there are higher grade versions available from PBK.
The “to see with” lights are for those who want to take back the night. Those who invest in one of these lights will have the ability to be able to ride in the country lanes during the darkest of winter evenings. They have much brighter outputs (measure in Lumens) which allow the rider to see the texture of the road, and any hazards which it might hold. They tend to be a lot heavier than their smaller brother (the “to be seen with” lights) because they need a separate battery pack to power them. All of PBK’s “to see with” lights have all the information you need to know about burn times, how long their batteries will last at different outputs. With this information you can buy the light with the best burn time for your riding needs. Please note: It will be necessary to purchase a rear light with these types of lights because you still need to be seen from behind.
Best “To see with” light: Gemini Olympia LED Bright light 6 Cell
This is the light for those wanting to stop riding in the lanes by something as trivial as a lack of light. Attaching this light to your bike will allow you to take back the night. At its highest output the Olympia gives out 1700 lumen. What does that mean in real terms? That the Olympia light is a very bright light which allows you to see the road texture at a distance far enough ahead to ride safely at a normal, day light, pace. At this maximum setting, your burn time (the time you have before the battery is flat) is 3 hours 40. Enough for even the most ambitious and motivated night ride! Coming with a separate battery means it is somewhat more bulky than other lights, but it is this very battery pack which allows it to last so long.
Like the lovely public information videos of the 1970’s with the chatty cat called Charlie (of Prodigy remix fame!), PBK say “Spending time to select the right set of lights for your winter training needs, and investing in them will allow you to take back the night, plus be safe out there on the dark roads!”