Front Light Mount Method

Discussion in 'Race Series (V1.x, V2.x, V20)' started by Dan_Texas, Oct 1, 2016.

  1. NeaL

    NeaL Well-Known Member

    I just thought I'd chime in with an agreement about width, light spacing helping with speed & distance perception.

    Back in the late 1990s when GM started making daytime running lights (DRL) a mandatory feature on all of their cars, they came out with a few, like the Saturn, which had those lights set inward very closely. I thought that was an awful design and that they should've positioned those lights more out to the corners. And sure enough, I later personally witnessed at least two near-collisions involving those exact same cars coming out of a tunnel or out from the shadows of an overpass when someone pulling into traffic seemingly had misjudged how close those cars actually were. Having those DRLs close together creates the illusion that the car is further away than it actually is.

    I spent some time Googling to see if I could find anything in the way of accident reports or studies on the topic but didn't come across anything.

    Currently, I position two Cygolites (a Dash 460 and a Dash 600) as far apart on my handlebars as much as possible just for visibility, with a 3rd light dedicated for illuminating my path. Similar thing with my trike, I put two blinking rear lights out to the sides just to emphasize that this is something wider than a bicycle to pass. I plan on fabricating and mounting a length of pipe behind the seat my Cruzbike for the same purpose. It's also a great redundancy over having just one light in the front or back in case the battery dies, or something.

    Front & back, having two or more widely-spaced lights can aid the perception of your speed and heading for others in traffic around you.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018 at 8:07 AM
    super slim and Bruce B like this.
  2. Lief

    Lief Guru Schmuru

    This came up again recently and I'll have to modify my original stance.
    On a Silvio 1.0, probably also an S40/Quest/T50 and *maybe* an S30...a high, boom mounted light would still be my preference for balance of visibility and not much/any backwash
    BUT...2 things to note
    1) it works very well in a well-lit situation (city riding) and I would still argue is the best-case-lighting scenario. Better than many/most/perhaps all other approaches (again because I think drivers seeing a recognizable body part instantly scales the rider for distance in their mind)
    2) on a V20, ESPECIALLY, with a near flat boom and ESPECIALLY in dimly lit situations, there is likely too much backwash. If I ever need to take this sort of riding on seriously (dim/long-nights/with cars and track cleaners on the course) I may light my legs from underneath lightly but then put your 'to see stuff' light out where ya'll are putting it.
    super slim likes this.
  3. GetBent

    GetBent Active Member

    Now for the cheapo method....


    Many of the cheap AAA powered LED flashlights are amazingly bright, but do not have enough "umph" to last a ride. My solution was to substitute a 3.6V lithium ion protected rechargeable battery for the three AAA batteries (3.6 v vs 4.5v). The Stanley (top) has a longer body tube, so it can accommodate a larger, more commonly available battery, 18650 (18 - 18 mm dia, 65 - 65 mm long, 0 - cylindrical form factor). At full power, after 12 hours, the battery voltage was 3.0, cutoff voltage is listed as 2.8 v. The battery is rated at 3500 mAh.

    Many of the cheapo flashlights have shorter body tubes (lower two lights), but can accommodate a shorter, less commonly available battery, 18500. After 8 hours run time, the voltage was 2.87 v, with the cut off voltage listed as 2.8 v. The battery is rated at 1700 mAh.

    Surprisingly, the run time results were the same when the lights (all three) were tested in strobe mode. I was expecting a longer run time using strobe mode.

    For mounting, I used a Night Stick, which I got online from Optics Planet.


    Mounting to the front required drilling a hole to accommodate an M5 hex head cap screw, and making a small plastic spacer (cut from an old plastic cutting board - do not rat me out!)

    front from top.jpg

    I think this looks pretty good. It matches the bike frame, and at first glance, looks like a "real" bike light.

    front light.jpg

    This view shows the spacer and cap screw for mounting to the flange on the bottom bracket shell.

    For mounting on the rear, no spacer required. Just just drill a hole and attach to the disk brake mount.

    rear light.jpg

    I also clip another light to the head rest, the lower light in the top photo. (It came with a mount that just happens to fit, which was the sole justification for blowing $5.00). It is not as bright as the Stanley.

    These are my "Day Time Running Lights". I try to avoid riding at night.
    jond and Mathew Fy like this.
  4. tiltmaniac

    tiltmaniac Guru

    IMG_20180217_112152-01.jpeg IMG_20180217_112215-01.jpeg IMG_20180217_112157-01.jpeg

    I use a front-of-boom mounted headlight and a flashy linear blinker below on the frame under the crank/bb.

    On the rear, I have an incredibly bright light pointed down mostly at the road as well as another linear flashy on the rear triangle angled stay and my fly6 on the origin8 light mount near the qr.

    I also have retroreflective tape on the bike. Yellow and white (looks black in daylight) in front, and red on the rear.

    I can see just fine, and it seems like people can see me without issue.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2018 at 1:15 PM
  5. GetBent

    GetBent Active Member

    Just got back from a short ride down a dark street in the rain. Yup, I could see with my set up. However, I would not recommend going more than about 15 mph.
  6. NeaL

    NeaL Well-Known Member

    Anyone familiar with the Lightweights brand of reflective tape? They also have dots, fabric strips, and spoke reflectors.

    Their tape is available in 100" roles in black (reflects white), blue, green, red, white, yellow, orange, and lime. I picked up one of each. Once I get my kids' three T50s built up, we're going to go nuts with giving them "pinstripes" of colors. I just wish they had purple.
    ChaleJake likes this.
  7. Eric Winn

    Eric Winn Zen MBB Master

    I mount my bright one under the bottom bracket:

  8. super slim

    super slim Zen MBB Master

    How high is the light off the ground?

    Eric, could you post a photo of the whole bike front a front quarter view to show how high your BB is!

    __Magicshine with 45 deg lense.jpg

    The filter on the front changes the light pattern from +- 40 degrees in all directions, to +- 10 deg vertical, and +- 40 deg horiz, which spreads the light where you want, with much less dazzling of on coming car drivers!
  9. tiltmaniac

    tiltmaniac Guru

    Ideally the light is on a vector different from that starting at your eyeball.

    Translation: when the light is close to your eyes, you don't get shadows to help you see potholes, etc. You want the light to come from a different direction so you do see potholes and other road features.

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