Shining Through the Night: Bike Lights for any Rider
Buying a good bike light seems like it is not such a difficult thing; buy a light, strap it on and go. Yet a bike light is an extremely important purchase if you ride at night. It is also a legal requirement in most jurisdictions. What headlight you buy largely depends upon your needs. A casual rider who just rides around town only needs a light that makes them visible. Hardcore commuters or those who ride dark trails will need very powerful models that can cast light far. You will notice we left off dynamo light and hubs. These were omitted due to the complexity of installing a dynamo light in addition we feel most cyclist would be better served by a simple detachable battery powered light. What ever you choose just make sure that you know the laws and safety guidelines for wherever you ride.
- Trek Ion 6: Having had the ION 6 as our main headlight, we can safely say it is one of the better values out there. It is bright enough for city and slow trail riding, and also has a great strobe feature (all of the lights do, the Trek’s is just annoyingly attention grabbing). For its $35.00 price, a lot of piece of mind can be had in a rugged, simple little light.
- Planet Bike Beamer 1 & Blinky 3: The Planet Bike set is a basic light set that will equip you for night riding. Efficient LEDs will illumiate enough to keep you safe and hopefully let automobile drivers know you are out for a ride. We do not recommend these lights if you are riding in extremely dark areas as the throw of the headlight will not be sufficient enough if you travel more than 10 mph.
- Cateye Uno: The Cateye Uno is a solid, basic light that has more throw than the Planet Bike light. It is powered by a single 3 watt LED and normal alkaline batteries. If you ride darker streets, we would recommend it to help you navigate at higher speed.
- Cygolite Expilion 250: Cygolight is in our minds the gold standard of bicycle lights. Not only are their lower end lights brighter than our Surefire, their durability and rechargeable batteries make them a real winner for those who commute or ride extremely dark trails. While their prices are high, if you ride often in the dark, the price is worth it for their durability and reliability.