“Headlight”: OLIGHT WM 2 Tactical Torch 1750 Lumens Rechargeable LED Torch
I cycle a lot at night in winter, so having a good light matters to me. I tried many lights sold specifically for bicycles on Amazon and they were crap. They were great initially, but after being recharged numerous times, I was getting barely 15 minutes before the battery went flat. Such lights are a bit pointless- even for short rides. The Olight flashlight however is not only *VERY* bright, but gets around the issue of limited battery life with a very practical feature not found in other lights: it be powered directly from a USB power brick. It has a USB cable you plug into the brick and join the other end’s magnetic cap to the back of the flashlight. It has a fast-blink mode too.
OLIGHT FB-1 Universal Bike Mount for Flashlight
I use this to mount my Olight flashlight to my Penny-Farthing’s handle bars.
Blinxi Electronic Helmet Turn Signals:
Some clever French folks created adjunct electronic turn signals you can add to a standard cycling helmet. Setup: You just stick a metal plate to your helmet and attach the magnetic Blinxi USB-charged turn signals to it. Voila! You now have a helmet with bright electronic turn signals activated by a button on the handlebars. Key Features: 1) In addition to providing electronic turn signals, the Blinxi also flashes red intermittently to enhance visibility when cycling on dark, ugly winter evenings. 2) Audible Feedback: The Blinxi beeps so you know it’s working. With the Livall helmet, you can activate the signals unaware the battery has gone flat. 3) The Blinxi is waterproof: I’ve used it several times this winter in freezing rain pissing down sideways. 4) Turn signals can be cancelled: If you’re turning right in a roundabout, you can issue a left turn signal at your exit. This is not currently possible with signals on Livall helmets where the signal flashes for a fixed period of time and a new signal cannot be issued. Downsides: Potential for inadvertent loss at a rest stop: If you toss your lid on the ground or otherwise knock your helmet at a break it could come loose; check before moving out again that it’s still attached. But if you don’t hear the Blinxi beep when signalling a turn, you should be aware something might just b wrong… 😉. I mount my Blinxi on a Specialized “Mode” model helmet.
Here’s a link to a 30% discounted Blinxi that Overade- the manufacturer- sent me: But not that the discount is passed via a cookie so you need to accept cookies or the discounted price will not show: Blinxi
These are excellent visibility enhancements. If you’re cycling in the early evening or dark- which is most likely when you cycle during winter– a few of these when combined with a High-Vis jacket will significantly improve your safety. They have (4) modes from quick flashing to continuously on. Fitting: Ensure that the thicker part faces towards the inside of the wheel and use (2) small ratchet ties attaching each to a different spoke in opposite directions to create tension forcing the “flanges”wings” of the device against the spokes to prevent them from poking out and catching on the forks. Note in the picture the button is facing the opposite side of the forks. (2) Spoke Lights are positioned opposite each other on the wheel are optimal, but you could just use a single one. Pictured on a unicycle.com Penny-Farthing. Mountain Warehouse sells these HERE
Red Flashing Rear Lights:
Avoid USB charged lights: it’s a common complaint that after charging a numerous times the charge doesn’t last longer than 30 minutes. Having lights you believe are working but aren’t is probably more dangerous than having no lights at all.
Buy signal lights that use standard AA or AAA batteries: they last for absolutely ages before the batteries require changing. And I have used the ones picture on the right on countless cycles in pouring rain and the rubber gasket protects them from water damage.
I wear these on the band of my waist-bag and also fasten one on the spine of my Penney-Farthing using e a silicone band. I bought the “Sport Direct” model lights- which have a rubber gasket to keep water out in even torrential rain- pictured at right from HERE
I bought silicone bands to mount the above Red flashing signal lights to my PF. Since they’re infinitely flexible, there is no worries about them snapping off as I read many complaints from cyclists losing their signal lights with plastic mounts which shear cycling over bumpy terrain.
One note on these: When removing the signal light to change the batteries, CHANGE THE BAND ALSO! Over time the bands are subjected to extreme weather and stretching and will snap at some point. I reused a band several times after removing the light to change batteries and it eventually snapped and I lost the signal light at some point in the ride.
You can buy them HERE
So far every one I’ve tried has been crap. The latest one I’ve bought has had the return spring break, so I now must manually move the lever back-and-forth to alert pedestrians of my approach.
Given my luck trying to find a quality bell, may I suggest SHOUTING as an audible alert. This method is FREE and indeed VERY effective! However, generally it should be used it in conjunction with the bell, but not in lieu of one 😉. If the pedestrian hazard doesn’t hear your bicycle bell, then shouting “CYCLIST!!!!” generally works well as an attention-getter to the clueless who step out into the travelled way without looking.