When the days get shorter and the weather starts to turn it’s time to evaluate your bike light strategy.
Most people know that bike lights are essential for cyclists, especially when riding at night. However, what many people don’t realize is that you need different types of lights in different conditions.
The bike lights that worked for summer night rides won’t be sufficient when darkness falls quicker than you expect, or the weather turns dark, rainy, cold, or snowy. What’s more, batteries tend to drain faster as temperatures drop, so if you plan to ride in the cold it’s important to have long-lasting bike lights that charge quickly and alert you when the battery starts to run low.
This doesn’t mean you have to buy a different bike light for every season. The safest and best bike lights have different modes designed for a variety of conditions. To stay safe year-round, invest in high-quality lights built for every type of weather.
Bike Lights for Every Season – Features to Look For
Here’s a guide to the most important features to look for when cycling in every season.
When biking in the fog, brighter isn’t necessarily better. In foggy conditions use the lowest beam setting, similar to fog lights on your car. Be sure to adjust the bike light slightly downward so the glare doesn’t reflect back. You can also use flashing bike lights in foggy conditions. The Fenix BC05R V2.0 is a taillight with six modes, including different speeds of flash. It’s a versatile taillight that works in almost any weather and will last two months on a single charge, even if you ride two hours a day.
In steady rain, switch to a continuous light (not flashing), so it’s not lost in the raindrops. The Fenix BC21R V3.0 is waterproof with a maximum of 1200 lumens of light, allowing you to see 466 ft (50m) ahead in Turbo mode. With four brightness levels, you can pick the ideal light for your ride, whatever the conditions.
Depending on the setting, you will need different levels of brightness on your bike light. One thing you don’t want to happen is for your light to die on you. It’s essential to make sure your lights are fully charged and ready to go before heading out. The Fenix BC26R has a battery level indicator and low-voltage warning so you always know if you have enough juice before you ride.
For serious night riders, the Fenix BC30R includes a dual distance beam system so you can see in front of you and in the distance. This light is made for longer rides — it’s the first Fenix light with a digital display screen that provides exact runtime readings, output modes, and the remaining battery life.
At twilight, you may want to shift your lighting to a flashing mode, especially when there are other drivers on the road. This will keep them alert to your presence.
Fenix bike lights like the BC21R V3.0 and the BC26R have Flash modes that can be easily turned on while riding.
More Bike Light Strategies to Stay Safe Year-Round
The placement of your bike lights and correct mounting can make a big difference. How and where you mount the light will dictate how precise your vision is and if other drivers on the road can see you.
In addition to focusing on your own safety, be mindful of others on the road and adjust the brightness of your lights depending on the conditions so you don’t blind others. The Fenix BC30R has a remote that allows you to adjust the brightness of your lights while riding. The remote also comes in handy if you need to alert distracted drivers or pedestrians to your presence. The burst feature, also available on the Fenix BC30R, offers a burst of light to give added light for short periods of time as needed.
Finally, just like it’s important to keep your bike well-maintained, always make sure your lights are charged. All Fenix bike lights charge quickly and display your battery status so it’s easy to stay charged and ready to ride, whatever the weather.
It’s also important to think about maximizing your visibility beyond bike lights by wearing reflective gear for added visibility, especially in bad weather.
Investing in a high-quality and long-lasting bike light is essential for your safety when cycling, especially at night and during bad weather. Studies show cyclists who use lights (even in the day) have a 19% lower incidence of personal injury.
When shopping for a year-round bike light, look for versatility and durability. Upgrading your bike light will keep you safe and visible to drivers, pedestrians, and other cyclists.
Now let’s get out there and ride!