I’ve had the handlebar man-purse now for a couple of years, so it was only a matter of time before I bought a rear light. After spending more time shopping for this than on my last car, I settled on the Lezyne Stick 30.
If you are reading this from a place that isn’t France, you’ll probably have a little chuckle because having a flashing safety light seems to be de-rigueur in many countries these days. I wasn’t resisting the trend, but the other day I saw a guy half a kilometer in front of my on the road, flashing away in bright sunlight, and thought that it might be a small price to pay. I can only think of one road that I ride on here that has a shoulder, so anything helps.
So I turned this sucker on this morning and blinded myself temporarily trying to determine which setting would be best for riding during the day here. The max is only 30 lumens, but I can still see the red strip in front of me as I type this. As one reviewer suggested about serious back lights that have 100 lumens or more, they could be downright anti-social to utilize on a group ride.
Do any of you ride with these things? All of you? Only in tunnels? Tell us about your lumens.
23 thoughts on “Blinded by the Light”
We’ve ridden with them in France for the past couple of years and they’re very popular, not just because of the tunnels.
The Côte d’Azur riders are trend setters. It hasn’t reach across the Rhone yet!
I try to remember to use them. Now that there’s so many cyclists in Paris, even as a pedestrian I do notice how much easier it is to spot those cyclists with lights.
And as a cyclist, I know how hard it can be to cut through the visual clutter Paris streets (such as Rivoli) as you roll along, so can only imagine how much harder it is for drivers.
But my biggest incentive for a rear light is the ubiquity of phones and distracted driving.
Absolutely agree about the distracted drivers comment, especially after my recent ‘recupération des points stage’! There were a couple of young girls in the class who say they are always fiddling with their phones. One of them watches TicTok videos while driving.
I’m amazed I haven’t been rear ended yet.
Lights flashing front and back on every ride and always have done. I mostly ride alone so my rear light is pretty bright
That IS bright! I did see that the blinding 30 lumens weren’t so bright when I got the bike outside in the sunshine. Still, probably sufficient.
Been riding with lights for years, every little bit helps? I also use a cycliq bike camera and have reported several wrong doing drivers + adorning my Strava posts with photos/ videos.
Had a near-hit yesterday. Maybe I should invest in one of those cameras.
Using rear lights. Not flashing, when in group rides
That’s socially acceptable.
Agree with Carsten. Don’t flash the group. Especially around dawn/dusk rides. Several years ago an older gentleman waved me down and said if it weren’t for my “blinky” light he probably would not have seen me at all. Been using religiously ever since. Bontrager Flare front & back. Also use a small rearview mirror attached to sunglasses. SO not cool. Am I still allowed to ride HRC with you??
You won’t be the first with the rearview mirrors in the Cevennes on a 44|5 tour, Sam. Others have smoothed that road for you!
I remember you observing very soberly – obviously treading a line between not alienating a customer and being aesthetically appalled – as I attached my little bar-end mirror: “We don’t usually do that around here.” Well, I got over not being one of the cool kids 55 years ago.
I don’t recall that, Tony, but you weren’t the first and won’t be the last! I’ve actually had some pretty hard sells on those mirrors by customers. When my neck no longer turns enough to looks backwards, I know who to call.
I’ve been using the Garmin Varia for the last 3 or 4 years and love it. I’ve never had any comments about the flashing light when riding with others. The thing I like the most about the Varia though is that it alerts me when a car is approaching and shows me with little dots on the screen how many cars will be passing by. Love it.
That’s some hi-tech right there! The number of cars could be pretty useful.
I have a combined back and forward one attached to my helmet so it works on any bike that I am on.
I have a similar light and will light it ahead of tunnels but that’s about it. I hate riding in a group with someone flashing though – it bothers my eyes…
Yeah, those suckers are bright, not to mention that your eyes are drawn to the light!
I can’t remember the last time that I didn’t ride with a rear light! These days I mostly use a Garmin Varia light/radar combo.
It’s catching on over here, but I’d say slowly.