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Tag Archives: night

CycleAware Beamer Reflective Saddle Bag

The CycleAware Beamer Reflective Saddle Bag has something I’ve always though other bags should have, i.e., a highly reflective case. I have several saddle bags with small reflective strips, but this bag is made entirely from reflective material.

CycleAware Beamer Reflective Saddle Bag

CycleAware Beamer Reflective Saddle Bag

I put the CycleAware Beamer Reflective Saddle Bag on the road bike I use for night rides and riding in the rain. The bag is small (6″ X 3 1/4″ X 2 1/2″) and is just big enough to hold a spare road tube, patch kit, two tire levers, a CO2 inflator nozzle with two cartridges, and a Topeak 9 Mini Pro tool. This bag attaches under the saddle itself with a sturdy strap, but is not attached to the seat post with Velcro straps like most saddle bags.

While this bag is perfect for a road bike it would be too small for a mountain bikes because there would not be enough room for the larger mountain bike tube (I tried). I really wish CycleAware offered a slightly larger bag. My only complaint with this bag is that it does not have a loop so you can clip on a reflector or flasher. However, since this bag fits tightly under the saddle you should have room to attach a flasher on your seat post.

The CycleAware Beamer Reflective Saddle Bag has a retail price of around $25. If your local bike shop does hot carry it you can always find one at Amazon.com.

 

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JetLites A-51 Bicycle Headlight

Have you ever purchased an item for your bike and after a few months wondered, “Why doesn’t everyone have one of these?” That is exactly how I feel about the A-51 LED Headlight from JetLites. I purchased my A-51 late last September when it first came out and I have not regretted it one bit!

JetLite A-51 LED Bicycle Light

JetLite A-51 LED Bicycle Light

This LED bicycle headlight puts out 720 lumens of beautiful light and runs for over three hours on a full charge. The JetLite Website only claims a three-hour battery life, but I have been about to get three and a half hours out of it on when running on maximum brightness. You can also run the light in low mode and should get five and a half hours of light from it, or get twelve hours in the strobe mode. The connector between the battery and the headlight is threaded and waterproof. I carry the 9 ounce Li-Ion battery in my jersey pocket.

The “smart charger” for the A-51 LED Headlight is the best I have ever seen. Once you plug-in the 7.4 volt Lithium Ion battery into the charger it quickly determines how much of a charge it needs and once the battery reaches full the charger goes to sleep. The charger also wakes up every twelve hours to keep your battery topped off.

You can buy the A-51 LED Headlight with either a helmet mount or a bar mount. I chose the helmet mount since I like to have my brightest light on my helmet and a secondary light on the handlebars. The first time I rode an off-road trail with this light I noticed that some bikes ahead of me were pulling off to the side of the trail when I got close—they thought I was a car or motorcycle. When I caught up with them everyone wanted to know where I purchased the light!

You will probably never see a JetLite product in your local bicycle shop. You are going to have to either visit the JetLite Website and buy one online or find one of their few certified dealers to buy one of their lights. I bought mine online for $249, but I noticed on their Web site the price for the light, charger and helmet mount is now only $229.00 (folks, this is a steal).

This light comes with a one year warranty and it is made in the USA. If you ride at night you really need one of these lights!

 

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Planet Bike Blinky 3H Tail Light

I do not think it is possible to be too well seen at night. In my opinion, being seen falls into two categories: passive (reflective gear) and active (lighting). I am amazed that so many cyclists are willing to put their lives at risk by not making a better effort to be seen by motor vehicles at night.

Planet Bike Blinky 3H Tail Light

Planet Bike Blinky 3H Tail Light

In addition a good tail light on my saddle bag (and a lot of reflective clothing) I also use a Planet Bike Blinky 3H Tail Light mounted on my helmet. The helmet mount is self-leveling which means it will always be visible to traffic directly behind you, regardless of whether you (and your helmet) are looking up or down. This light has three bright LEDs and a built-in parabolic reflector. In flash mode the light should run for about 100 hours on a single AAA battery. You can also run the light in continuous mode, but I think a blinking light draws a lot more attention. The Planet Bike web site claims the Blinky 3H can be seen from up to a mile away.

The Blinky 3H comes with both a helmet mount and a seat post mount. The helmet mount is Velcro and you can attach it to your helmet in under a minute. The list price is $23.00, but I got mine from Amazon.com for $18.00.

 

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