Where to put your rear light depends a lot on your bike, and on anything attached to your bike (seat bag, panniers/side bags).
I always use a seat bag, which is a small bag that attaches to you seat. I use it for my spare tube, tire change kit, rag, and multi-tool.
Every good seat bag has a reflective strap on the back of the bag that you can clip a light to.
The Spot bike I ride during winter (when it’s always dark) does not have a rack or panniers, so the only light I have on my bike is on my seat bag.
My TriCross has panniers/side bags with reflective prints, but, unfortunately, doesn’t have straps for lights. The reflectors work nearly as well as a light though (!!!).
So the only rear light on either bike is on the seat bag.
Most of the cyclists I see commuting have back packs. I sincerely wish more packs had reflective backs (even for pedestrians – especially children). Mine has two reflective strips I know help.
But what I really like about my MEC pack is the multiple straps for lights. We need to make sure we have lights up high where drivers (and other cyclists) can see them. I run two MEC lights on each side of the rear of my pack. They can be run as blinkies, but I usually run them solid, with the seat bag one as a blinkie.
So I run three (rechargeable battery) lights on the back – all MEC. I think they’re about $12 ea. The rechargeable batteries cost more.
I did have a CatEye 1100 that is, without even being close, the best rear light I’ve come across. It’s unbelievably bright, and even does the job in the daytime. Unfortunately I broke it in a little wipe out. I broke a part, and I need to order it from Western Cycle. When I get it, it’s going on the seat bag.
Even more than in the front, it’s good to have a backup rear light for when the batteries die, you lose one, one gets stolen, etc.
Make sure it’s visible to drivers. After all, that’s the point. I’ve seen more than a few comfort bikes with rear light/reflector on the seat post. The bike design puts the seat post very low, so the light gets blocked by the rear fender or rack.
Maybe the fender or rack was an aftermarket attachment (and a good one), but the light/reflector never gets moved. Give it some thought and find good places on your bike and body where drivers will see it.
Keeping lights on your pack keeps them from being stolen, and as an added bonus,, are great when walking at night, whether on a path, or crossing the street. Good idea all around – cyclist, or pedestrian.
Filed under: Bike Safety |