Bike lights for winter
OK, it’s time to finally admit it - the sun has now well and truly set on the year. Jack Frost is here to stay, settling in for another long winter along with his mates. But rather than shut the door, draw the curtains and give up on riding, we’ve learned over the years to embrace the colder months. To appreciate the little things you spot on winter rides, appreciate the peace and quiet of empty trail centres and savour the joy of a warming brew at the end of a chilly spin.
Last week we had a good look at how to get kitted up for the season. Another vital element of riding through the winter is getting your light setup dialled, whether that’s to ensure you’re visible to other road users or to light your way as you blast through deserted woods and explore the empty lanes. As you’d expect from us, we’ve got everything you’re going to need so you can keep feeding that urge to ride all winter long.
Lights to be seen
The urban jungle can be a dangerous place, awash with pedestrians (with or without their eyes glued to their phones), cars, buses, taxis, lorries, other cyclists, lions, tigers….OK, maybe we’re getting a little carried away there. But our busy streets, with numerous distractions and distracted people crawling over them, are not the place to be riding without a reliable set of lights, front and rear, to ensure you stand out from the crowd.
To ride legally in the UK in the hours of darkness you must have a white front and red rear light attached to your bike. Clipping a little blinker to your rucksack isn’t enough neither in the eyes of the law nor the driver too busy to notice you. Grab a pair of our Flash combo sets, throw them in your bag and you can nip for those after-work drinks safe in the knowledge that you’ll be seen on your ride home.
If your rides take you away from well-lit areas or along unlit canal towpaths, our Stix Elite 2 lights are just the ticket. The Elite 2 Headlight has six different modes, ranging from ‘solid and bright’ for those times when the streetlights end to a ‘blink’ effect so that you stand out in town. Simply recharged through a USB connection, with run times up to staggering 112 hours from a single charge, you’ll never be caught short. With secondary LEDs providing wide-angle visibility this tiny package delivers up to 200 lumens-worth of ‘see me now’ light, making it a beacon for all road users.
“Lumens?”. Yep, lumens. Put simply, lumens are a measure of visible light – the greater the lumens the more light emitted by the bulb. A common mistake is to buy a light way too powerful for you, so drop in or give us a call to chat about how bright you need your lights to be.
The rear light is no less important. The Stix Elite 2 Taillight has a spherical lens and its 100 lumens output is visible from more than half a mile away even in bright daylight. It’s all about peace of mind really and knowing Specialized have got your back should do the job. Again, charged up by USB connection and with a ‘worry ye not’ 77-hour runtime, there’s nothing we’d rather have behind our behinds.
Lights to see
For riding on roads where there are streetlights the front lights above will provide all the oomph you need. But if you’re heading into the woods or out into the countryside where the lanes will be pitch black once the sun goes down, you’re going to need more illumination at your disposal.
Out here lumens are your friend, and anything between 800 and 1200 will provide you with plenty to see where you’re going. The two premium LEDs in the Flux 1200 provide class-leading output and the sculpted double-beam pattern puts light exactly where you need it.
What’s more, the super high-capacity USB-rechargeable battery ensures extra-long runtimes – up to five hours in the brightest settings. Depending on the mode, up to an additional three hours of super-low output are available when the listed runtimes expire. Trust us, someday you're going to need this!
A secondary light on your helmet like the Flux 800 Headlight can add to your winter rides, allowing you to illuminate right where you’re looking – handy when you’re nailing those technical sections in the pitch black. This light has been tested and approved for use with our Ambush, Ambush Comp, Tactic, Prevail 2 and Propero helmets, but remember what we said earlier about fixed lights on your bike if you’ll be riding on any public roads. A helmet light alone is not enough.
Pop down and we’ll get you kitted out for the winter. Like us, once you see the light, you’ll agree winter can still be a great time to get out there and ride.
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