Adrenaline-pumping mountain bike rides on the weekend, carbon-conscious city commuting every day, or casual exploration now and then — there may be different reasons we bike, but there is one thing that connects us, and that is, the cyclist’s motto, “see and be seen”.
Okay, it’s not an official motto, but it conveys the point. A true biking enthusiast prioritizes safety, and one of the most effective ways to do this is to use bike lights.
Primarily, there are three types of bike lights that you can use to improve visibility and make your rides safer and more enjoyable.
- Handlebar Lights: These provide consistent, forward-facing light directly in the path of your bike.
- Tail Lights: These lights are mounted to the rear of your bike and are useful for motorists and others approaching you from the rear to see you ahead of them.
- Helmet Lights: As the name suggests, these lights can be attached to your bike helmet. They shine light directly where you turn your head, allowing you to see around corners and highlight road signs.
The right kind of illumination combined with properly mounted bike lights is vital to a good ride. From installing bike lights, to positioning them correctly, to using the right accessories, this guide will tell you the things you should consider before installing your bike lights.
Mounting the Handlebar Light
The first step to mounting handlebar bike lights is to make sure your light is equipped with a secure clamping system. If the light loosens or shifts during your ride, you could find yourself riding at high speeds with little or no visibility. Bike lights such as the rechargeable Fenix BC30R, BC26R, and BC30 V2.0, are mounted to handlebars using a secure clamp that is tightened with a set screw, ensuring you can tackle the toughest terrain with confidence.
Before you attach your chosen bike light to your handlebars, be sure to identify a spot where the light won’t pinch cables, affect your ability to shift gears, or prevent you from gripping your handlebars comfortably. If you use any other attachments, such as a GPS unit, on your handlebars, check to make sure these items don’t obstruct your light’s beam.
If you want to use only one forward-facing light attached to the handlebars, be sure to angle your light so that it illuminates the ground 50-65 feet in front of you. That way, you have plenty of time to react to anything that might be in your path. This is also enough distance to ensure you won’t overrun your light if you decide to pick up the pace too.
On the other hand, if you’re leaning more toward a dual-lighting system, such as a helmet light paired with a handlebar-mounted headlight, or even two handlebar lights, try to angle one light so that it lights up the ground 5-10 feet in front of you. This way, you can see the exact terrain of the ground you’re riding over as well as any oncoming obstacles.
Not only do Fenix bike lights make your rides more comfortable, but they can also be easily removed from the clamp by releasing the locking mechanism and lifting the light free. When you’re ready to reattach the light to the clamp, the light will slide into place and lock securely. It’s a great feature for easy recharging and makes for a convenient handheld light.
Mounting the Taillight
Tail bike lights can be notoriously easy to forget about! Saddlebags, rear wheels, mudguards, and other accessories can all hide a bike taillight.
When you mount your taillight, try to place it as high as possible to your bike’s seat post. This way, your taillight won’t be hidden by your rear tire. You might want a light that is attached with a high-strength magnet, or you might prefer the flexibility of taillights that can be clipped to backpacks and saddlebags, just in case a seat post attachment isn’t very visible.
The Fenix BC05R V2.0 Rechargeable Bike Taillight uses a high-elasticity silicone strap to attach the taillight securely to your seat post. The strap fits seat posts that are 20-35mm in diameter, perfect for the most common post sizes on the market. If you’d like to attach it to a bag or piece of clothing, the body clip makes it easy to do.
Mounting the Helmet Light
Helmets are a safety must-use when riding a bike. Not only will they protect your head in case of a fall, but they’re also a great place to mount a light that’s always directed right where you need it.
If you’re the sort of rider who prefers to use only one forward-facing light in your lighting setup, a helmet mounted light is your best bet for maximum visibility. This will help you see around corners before making a turn, spotlight road signs, and add movement to your light. Moving lights are much easier for motorists to spot — which may be why athletic brands design clothing with reflector patches on wrists and ankles.
To find the right beam position for your helmet light, try to find an angle that lights up the path 20-40 feet in front of you. This should give you plenty of time and distance to react to turns and changing terrain.
You can choose a headlamp for your helmet light, or you could even clamp your favorite flashlight to your helmet. If you’re a Fenix bike light fan and want to use your Fenix bike light as a helmet light, the Fenix ALD-08 Helmet Bike Light Holder has you covered. This helmet mount is compatible with all Fenix bike lights and is securely attached to your helmet using the included zip ties, which makes it easy to mount the light to a different helmet if you’d like. And removing the light from the mount is as simple as a push and a pull!
If you’re already a dedicated Fenix bike light user who wants to upgrade to the newest Fenix handlebar or tail bike light, why say goodbye to the trusted tool that’s gotten you through so many rides? The ALD-08 Helmet Bike Light Holder will let you transition your old Fenix bike light to your helmet for increased visibility and a safer ride.No matter where and how you ride, see more clearly and ride more safely with Fenix’s collection of durable bike lights.