The Better to See You!
We all want to be seen whilst riding our bicycles here in Hawai’i. We know that an “invisible” cyclist is an unsafe cyclist, and that lights are one of the biggest deterrents against car-bike collisions, but there are so many lights on the market that it might be hard for one to choose the right one(s). Not only are lights on your bike smart, but they are the law! Hawai’i state law requires bicyclists riding 30-minutes after sunset to 30-minutes before sunrise to have at least a front white light and rear red reflector affixed to your bicycle (brush up on your bike laws at HBL.org/BikeLaws). Here’s what your friends at the Hawaii Bicycling League have tested and recommend for you to see, and to be seen!
Malia’s Light Picks:
- Halo Belts. These illuminated LED belts give you 360 degrees of visibility, and 100% coolness. Utilizing fiber optic technology, this lightweight belt buckles around your waist/bag/body and features bright LEDs and 3M Reflective Adjustable Elastic so that you are lit up at any angle. Their site claims you can see the belt from 1/4th of a mile away! They come in many different colours (you can even get a matching pet collar for your furry friend), and are water-resistant and USB rechargeable for many more night ventures to come. Buy it locally for $45 at: McCully Bicycle & Sporting Goods, or directly from LED Systems Hawaii. Halo Belt online store: HaloBelt.com
- NiteRider Solas Tail Light. This little back light packs a crazy bright punch! USB rechargeable and able to withstand any downpour (this has been tested, and tested again!), the Solas blasts 2 Watts of bright red light with four different flash-settings, with the “low-steady” setting lasting up to 36-hours! I like this light because is shines powerful and eye-catching light in 180-degrees, and comes with a seat post mount that makes it super easy to detach it with a flick of a finger if you’re locking up your bike. Buy it locally for $40 at The Bike Shop or Island Triathlon & Bike. NiteRider Tail Light online store: NiteRider.com/taillights/
- BikeGlow Safety Light. Though this fun light accessory for your bike won’t help you see, it will help people see you while giving your bike that unique flare while riding a night! The 10-feet of durable, waterproof, glowing wire comes in eight different colours and is made so you can get creative with how you attach it to your bicycle. I suggest this for parades, Halloween, or if you just want to feel like you’re in Tron. Buy it online for $30 at: BikeGlow.com/#shop
- Monkey Light. Want to be seen, turn head’s, and be super RAD while riding your bike?! Look no further than the Monkey Light. This waterproof, dustproof, and crazy exciting light party attaches to your spokes and creates over 40 different custom patterns. Choose a scheme that fits your mood and style: fireballs, paw prints, lightening bolts, rocket ships, and over 30 more! It claims to give you 360 degrees of visibility but I’ve noted that it is really great for side-visibility, which is helpful since I usually just run a front and back light. Buy it locally for $60 at Eki Cyclery. There’s more basic models starting at $30 as well! Monkey Light online store: Monkeylectric.com/
- NiteRider Lumina. Oh man, this front light is BRIGHT! While a little on the pricey side for the casual commuter, I would completely recommend this super powerful white light to everyone and anyone. Seriously, don’t skimp on lights! Especially this one that is extremely tough, intense, and illuminates everything in your path on the road or on the trails. It has 5 different light modes and a handlebar mount with quick release feature so you can take off your light in a snap. Buy it locally for $55 (450 lumens), $80 (750 lumens) at The Bike Shop and Island Triathlon & Bike. NiteRider Bike Lights online store: NiteRider.com/road/
Travis’ Light Picks:
Lumos Helmet. The two bicycling accessories we say to never skimp on – the helmet and the lights – now combined into one beautiful (and safe) product. The Lumos helmet creators raised over $800k through their Kickstarter campaign to fund this super futuristic and awesome illuminated helmet, complete with turn signals, automatic motion-activated brake lights, an app to control your personal settings, and visibility like no other. Buy it online for $170 at: LumosHelmet.co/
General Staff Picks:
Reflectors! We know that lights are great to have, but what’s not so great is that sometimes they run out of juice. By adding reflectors to your gear you can ensure that you will always have something to shine bright. Reflectors can be great accessories for visibility if they are placed correctly, and often are seen at further distances than normal lights. Reflectors work by reflecting light straight back at the source. Pick up a free set of reflective anklets from HBL by swinging by the HBL office or coming out to one of our free workshops! You can stock up on other reflective gear, from shoes, socks, jackets, and tops, to reflective paint, stickers, pedals, bags, and more!
Have your own recommendations for light or reflector gear that keeps you seen and safe? Email Malia at Malia@HBL.org to share your picks!