Front light positition

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
francovendee
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Front light positition

Postby francovendee » 25 Sep 2019, 9:16am

With winter coming we've decided to get ourselves some lights so we're not tied by daylight hours for our rides.

Where is the best place to mount the front light, forks or handlebars?

I last had lights on an old Raleigh that had a mount brazed to the fork. With the bulbs of the time running from a hub dynamo it was just about OK.

tatanab
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Re: Front light positition

Postby tatanab » 25 Sep 2019, 9:23am

For regular night time riding I use a dynamo light mounted to the fork crown. For occasional night riding I use a battery light on the handlebars. I favour the fork crown to get the light out of way.

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Mick F
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Re: Front light positition

Postby Mick F » 25 Sep 2019, 9:25am

From experience, I don't think it matters much.

No doubt the best light would be better fitted high up to get best range, but if it's low dow, you get better contrast and can see the bumps in the road.

It also depends on what you want the light for.
Dark deserted roads, or main roads with street lights.

Many years of commuting through dark lanes as well as streetlit roads, my front lights were on the RH fork blade on a special boss and was absolutely fine.

These days, on one bike I have a detachable front light for the handlebars. The other, the light is on the front brake boss .......... and that is a 20" wheel Moulton. Still absolutely fine there too.
Mick F. Cornwall

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mjr
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Re: Front light positition

Postby mjr » 25 Sep 2019, 10:16am

I favour fork crown and back of the rack, but right handlebar and seat stay are also OK.

Legally, I think it has to be between a foot and six up (so no hub mounted lights on Bromptons) and centre or right hand side of the cycle.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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Norman H
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Re: Front light positition

Postby Norman H » 25 Sep 2019, 11:22am

I have mostly fork crown mounted hub dynamo front lights. I seem to remember reading that lights with the B&M designed reflector are optimised for mounting at fork crown height.

With a mixture of crosstop levers, bar bags, computers etc. on a number of different bikes, handlebar space is at a premium. SJS do a good variety of front light mounts to solve most issues.

https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/front-light-brackets/

axel_knutt
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Re: Front light positition

Postby axel_knutt » 25 Sep 2019, 11:31am

I used to have my lamp mounted on the offside fork leg.
At the time I was knocked off by a driver pulling out from a side road on the left it occurred to me that his view of the lamp might have been obscured by the rim/tyre.
Nowadays it's mounted on the mapholder bracket.
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francovendee
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Re: Front light positition

Postby francovendee » 25 Sep 2019, 11:46am

I use a lot of tracks so does a fork mounted light show up the potholes more clearly? I have cycled in the dark without lights for about a mile along a farm track and not seeing the holes was quite dangerous. :oops:

Brucey
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Re: Front light positition

Postby Brucey » 25 Sep 2019, 11:49am

axel_knutt wrote:I used to have my lamp mounted on the offside fork leg.
At the time I was knocked off by a driver pulling out from a side road on the left it occurred to me that his view of the lamp might have been obscured by the rim/tyre..


I have had exactly the same concerns about this lamp position, and I've therefore avoided using it. As someone else comes towards a junction, the relative movement of them and you may mean that your light can remain obscured for much longer than you might expect, certainly long enough to mean that it basically can't be seen if they take a normal look. [In seafaring parlance, they might be 'on a constant bearing' which means that, as described, they can't necessarily see your light, and you are going to have a collision if speeds are maintained.]

I'd also comment that when I have used that lamp position, I found the shadow cast by the wheel/tyre to be incredibly distracting.

My preference is for a fork crown mount; this shows up potholes well enough.

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rjb
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Re: Front light positition

Postby rjb » 25 Sep 2019, 11:52am

Anyone have these lights coming on sale in Aldi?
https://aldi.co.uk/p/017096282743300
At the last count:- Focus Variado, Peugeot 531 pro, Dawes Discovery Tandem, Dawes Kingpin, Raleigh 20, Falcon K2 MTB dropped bar tourer, Longstaff trike conversion on a Falcon corsa. :D

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mjr
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Re: Front light positition

Postby mjr » 25 Sep 2019, 11:56am

Even if they can't see the lamp, they can see the light it casts, so I wouldn't worry about using a fork mount. If it worries you, put reflective tape on the other leg to reflect the light.

A light mounted lower casts longer shadows which can make holes easier to spot, but it's also good to slow a bit where holes are expected because humans err and you might miss spotting one.
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francovendee
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Re: Front light positition

Postby francovendee » 25 Sep 2019, 12:11pm

rjb wrote:Anyone have these lights coming on sale in Aldi?
https://aldi.co.uk/p/017096282743300

I'd be interested also. Seems very cheap but are they any good?

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: Front light positition

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 25 Sep 2019, 12:42pm

Hi,
Same capacity front battery as the LIDL, actually lidl is 1300 aldi is 1200.
Lidl is dipped beam aldi is a spot with two leds and multi flashing modes.
Lidl has no front flashing modes.

I am constantly being blinded by spot from lamps on cycle paths :evil:

Handle bar mounted for me, though it can get a bit crowded.
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rotavator
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Re: Front light positition

Postby rotavator » 25 Sep 2019, 12:47pm

francovendee wrote:
rjb wrote:Anyone have these lights coming on sale in Aldi?
https://aldi.co.uk/p/017096282743300

I'd be interested also. Seems very cheap but are they any good?

I have tried neither but from past experience with cheap Aldi lights I would advise you that:
1. the front light could well be prone to dazzling oncoming traffic because I doubt that it has a distinct cut-off at the top of the beam, as required by German regs.
2. If you let the battery run down completely it is likely to be curtains for it, i.e. in the bin, although I do note that they have low battery warnings.

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Re: Front light positition

Postby Brucey » 25 Sep 2019, 12:50pm

mjr wrote:Even if they can't see the lamp, they can see the light it casts, so I wouldn't worry about using a fork mount.


typical road users will be looking for a bright light, like a car headlight. They are not definitely going to see the miserable puddle of light cast by a typical bike light, for one thing it won't be well reflected off the road surface. They (quite obviously) won't see it because of dazzle if there is a car headlight in the distance, it is simply beyond the bounds of most people's eyesight.

If it worries you, put reflective tape on the other leg to reflect the light.


IMHO it should worry you. FWIW Reflective tape doesn't work like that; the only light usefully reflected by it will be the light from the person in the side turning, and those lights are simply not pointed in the right direction.

FWIW most motorcyclists live in fear of being SMIDSY'd and they are lit up like a christmas tree. In an urban situation a cyclist may be travelling not far below the speed limit and is at similar risk. Riding around with only a fork-mounted lamp that is definitely obscured from certain angles is not going to improve your life expectancy. You may have no choice, in which case at the very least you should back it up with a flashing LED or something mounted higher up if you want to be seen.

cheers
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brooksby
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Re: Front light positition

Postby brooksby » 25 Sep 2019, 1:27pm

mjr wrote:I favour fork crown and back of the rack, but right handlebar and seat stay are also OK.

Legally, I think it has to be between a foot and six up (so no hub mounted lights on Bromptons) and centre or right hand side of the cycle.


Can you point at chapter-and-verse for that? I didn't know.