Whether you ride your bike during the day, after sunset, or in the wee hours of the morning, some good-quality bike lights are indispensable. Needless to say, bike lights are essential when cycling at night and it would be incredulous to ride without at least one. Moreover, they are also necessary when cycling during the day and should not be ignored. Bike lights not only allow you to see clearly but also ensure that you can be seen by other motorists on the road.
Research has proven that using front and rear bike lights on every ride increases your visibility as well as decreases the chances of accidents. Thus, a pair of good-quality bike lights should be on the top of your list when shopping for cycling accessories. Now, there are several ways to mount bike lights and even more brands of bike lights available in the market. Fortunately, most companies sell bike light kits that allow customers to easily and quickly mount their bike lights by themselves.
However, it is important to mount the bike lights properly and in the right places to get the most benefit. In this article, we will talk about the different ways to mount your bike lights and give you tips on how to improve the visibility of your bike lights by mounting them cleverly. Follow the steps given below to install your bike lights and enjoy a safe bike ride.
- Mounting your rear light
The two popular places to install your rear bike light are the seat post and the bike rack. You can either use a hard-mount bracket that can be adjusted or a quick connect bracket for easy mounting. When attaching the rear light to your seat post, make sure that the light sits near the top of the seat post but low enough so that it does not get obstructed by bags or other belongings kept on the seat rack. If your seat bag prevents you from mounting a rear light, you can use a light mount with an attached clip and attach the clip to the straps of your bag.
The role of rear bike lights is to make you visible to other motorists or cyclists on the road. Thus, your rear lights should be powerful enough that you are visible from a distance but not so bright as to blind the people behind you. They need to have durable batteries to last you the whole trip and should have decent brightness but not as bright as the front lights. Since its purpose is to alert other riders or drivers of your presence, rear lights should have a broad range instead of a focused beam. Choose a rear light that offers peripheral illumination so that you can be seen by approaching cars from different angles.
- Mounting your front light
The front bike light is arguably more important than the rear light and will usually be the one with greater luminous intensity to fulfill its role of illuminating cycle paths and dark roads. You should choose a front bike light based on your cycling needs, including the range of activities, time of cycling, and areas you mostly cycle. The position of the front light is important and should be duly considered before mounting. A front bike light should be mounted at the right height to increase visibility and decrease the shadows of ground objects.
While the handlebar of your bike is the foremost choice of area to mount a front bike light, you can also mount front lights on the steerer, the eyelet, or the axle of your bike. If you cannot mount the light on the bike’s handlebar, install a stem cap light mount on the steerer to mount your front lights. If your bike has a front rack or fork eyelets, you can mount the front lights on the eyelets with the help of an eyelet stub and a light mount. For light-weight lights, you can use a quick-connect bracket made of rubber. An adjustable hard-mount bracket is a better choice for heavier lights.
- How to remove your lights for charging and cleaning
Bike lights need to be frequently removed for cleaning or charging. You may also want to remove the lights for safekeeping or to install it on another bike. Either way, select a light mount that is easy to install, operate, and remove. While most modern light mount brackets use clips to stay attached to the bike as well as to snap the light into its place, older models may use physical mechanisms to secure the light in its place. If you have to remove a light from an older light mount, carefully remove the screws that hold the light in the bracket with the help of a screwdriver.
Most modern bike lights are mounted on light mounts that are attached to parts of your bike. Thus, you do not need to remove the bracket itself to clean or charge your lights. Press down the release lever on the bracket to slide the light off the mount. Once you have cleaned and/or charged the light, slide it back into the bracket till you hear it click into place. Once you have reattached the lights, ensure to securely close the USB port cover to keep any dust, debris, or water from entering and damaging the light.
- Handlebar Mounts
Handlebar mounts are possibly the most common type of front light mounts for bikes as they offer adequate height for the front light to sufficiently illuminate the path. Additionally, it is much easier to mount front lights on handlebars. Front handlebar lights tend to project a uniform beam of light without any obstruction. Handlebar mounts are usually of two types, namely adjustable hard-mount brackets and rubber quick-connect brackets. Rubber handlebar mounts are sturdy and can be easily transferred between bikes.
For adjustable hard mounts, ensure that the bracket fits the circumference of your bike’s handlebar. Once you have unscrewed the bracket and installed it around the handlebar, mount the light and position it parallel to the ground. Secure the light and make sure the mount stays in its place. Adjustable mounts are versatile and can be used on handlebars of various thicknesses.
If you have a quick connect bracket made of rubber, attach it to your bike’s handlebar with the strap in a way that the light will be parallel to the ground when mounted. To secure the mount, stretch the straps around the handlebar and hook it through the notch on the strap. When using quick-connect brackets to mount front lights, make sure that you securely mount the light and that it stays in place while cycling.
The necessity of front and rear bike lights cannot be stressed enough. While there is no dearth of bright and durable bike lights in the market, a high-quality bike light serves no value unless mounted accurately. When mounting bike lights, it is important to mount them securely and at the right places of your bike to improve its functionality. Vertical distribution of your front and rear bike lights ensures that your bike is visible to other people on the road regardless of the height of your bike or their vehicles. Hence, you must ensure there is an even and unobstructed distribution of your bike lights. If you still cannot mount a bike light by yourself do not be shy to seek help from local cycling enthusiasts.