RSS

Category Archives: Bicycle Safety

Safety tips for cycling in snow, ice, rain, mud and at night

Bontrager Solstice Cycling Helmet

This past spring one of my sons decided to take up cycling and in the process of getting him ready for hitting the road I gave him my favorite cycling helmet (a beautiful Giro road helmet). He liked the Giro helmet because it was so lightweight (certainly lighter than the Kevlar helmet he wore in Iraq). Since I have several other helmets for special uses (night, rain, MTB) I decided to replace the Giro with an inexpensive Bontrager Solstice Cycling Helmet.

Bontrager Solstice Cycling Helmet

Bontrager Solstice Cycling Helmet

The Bontrager Solsctice is a durable, lightweight helmet that provides excellent airflow due to the large air vents. This helmet is a “one size fits most” and unless you are either very petite or have a large head it should fit you well. Bontrager’s propriety “Micro-Manager Fit System” make this helmet very easy to adjust.

Since I planned on using this helmet for riding on the road I took off the “removable snap-on visor” that comes pre-installed on the helmet. Unfortunately, the plastic pins that hold the visor on place broke while I was taking it off the first time—which means I will never be able to put it back on the helmet. Several “wicking pads” on the inside of the helmet not only make the helmet comfortable, but dry as well. These wicking pads are held in place with Velcro and are both removable and washable.

The Bontrager Solstice cycling helmet comes in four different color combinations and retails for $45. You should be available to find this helmet at any bike shop that carries Trek or Bontrager products. If you can’t find a dealer in your area, you can always buy it online from the Trek Store. If you are looking for a helmet that will make it easier for motorists to see you, please see the review I wrote for the Hardnutz Hi-Vis Yellow Bicycle Helmet.

 
5 Comments

Posted by on October 24, 2012 in Bicycle Safety, Product Reviews

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Glo Glov Reflective Sport Glove

Some us of ride our bikes at night because it is fun, others do it because they have no other choice. Regardless of why you are cycling at night you want to get back home safely—and that means proper lighting and reflectors. One of the greatest pieces of safety equipment I’ve ever bought was a pair of Glo Glov Reflective Sport Gloves and I never ride at night without them.

Glo Glov Reflective Sport Glove for cyclists

Glo Glov Reflective Sport Glove

Glo Glov Reflective Sport Gloves are lightweight gloves that have several pieces of yellow retro-reflective vinyl sewn onto the back (and a red piece on the wrist). These gloves are specially designed for outdoor sports and are great for cyclists, runners, walkers or anyone who has to exercise near road traffic—the reflective strips can easily be seen from 1/4 of a mile away. While a reflective vest and taillight will allow motorists to see you, these gloves will allow them to see you signal for turns (or for a stop if you point the red reflective strip towards the back). These gloves work so well that I’ve had several motorists pull up beside me at a stoplight and ask about them.

These gloves have a padded grip palm and you can wear them alone or over your regular cycling gloves. These lightweight (only 1.5 ounces per pair) gloves are highly breathable and made of a non-fraying fabric (80% nylon, 20% spandex). As for sizing, these gloves are advertised as “one size fits all.” Incredibly, this is one of the few times that a claim like this is actually true—the gloves should fit any size hand from Medium to XXL. I wear XL cycling gloves and the Glo Glov fits of them without any trouble (and they come off just as easy).

Glo Glovs are made in the USA and sell for $20 on the Glo Glov Website (price includes shipping). I would highly recommend this product to anyone who cycles or runs at night.

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Cateye TL-LD610 Rear Bicycle Light

The long days of summer have passed and a lot of us now find ourselves still out on the road when the sun has gone down. Without a good taillight it is hard for motorists to see cyclists on the road (and it doesn’t help that some cyclists ride in black gear at night). Fortunately, there are many good bicycle taillights on the market and Cateye, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of cycling products, has several great taillights and they are available at almost any bike shop in America. The Cateye LD610 Taillight is an affordable taillight that should suit the needs of most cyclists.

Cateye TL-LD610 Rear Bicycle Light

Cateye TL-LD610 Rear Bicycle Light

The Cateye LD610 Taillight has five bright LED lights and is powered by two AAA batteries. This taillight has four different operating modes (constant on, flashing, random, and side-to-side). Cateye claims the batteries will last up to 30 hours in constant mode or 60 hours in flashing mode—I have found this to be accurate in warm weather, but battery life in cold weather always suffers.

There are three things that make the Cateye LD610 worthy of your consideration. First, it has a tool-free universal bracket that should fit on just about any bike. Second, the mounting bracket allows for either horizontal or vertical mounting. Third, the side-to-side light pattern is one of the most effective light patterns I’ve seen on a taillight.

The Cateye LD610 is well-built and the batteries are easy to change (some taillights make changing batteries a real pain). I need to point out that when I ride at night I always use two taillights. Batteries die, mounting brackets break and anything attached to your bike can fall off.

The Cateye LD610 Taillight retails for $25, but it appears as though the LD610 has now been replaced by the LD650 so you might have to look for it on Amazon.com. Since I have not used the LD650 myself I can’t recommend it (yet), but after looking at the tech specs I have to believe it is even better than the LD610.

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Trek Beacon Bar End Lights

I enjoy riding my bike at night and as a result I have a lot of cool lights, reflectors and assorted gizmos to keep me from getting hit (I don’t use them all at the same time). This past winter I bought a pair of Trek Beacon Bar End Lights for the road bike I usually use at night and while the product looked great at the bike shop it failed to live up to its potential.

Trek Beacon Bar End Lights

Trek Beacon Bar End Lights

As the name suggests, Trek Beacon Bar End Lights are lights that slip into the ends of your handlebar, and Trek offers models for both dropbars and flatbars. The flatbar model for mountain bikes has two rear facing LEDs, while the dropbar model for road bikes only has one LED. These lights operate in either a steady or a flashing mode. These lights run on a single AAA battery (per light) and Trek claims you should be able to get 30 hours of run time per battery (I only got about 25 hours, but cold weather hurts battery life). To install these bar end lights you just have to remove the caps on both ends of your handlebars and slide the Beacon Bar End Lights into the ends of the handlebar.

Trek Beacon Bar End Lights

Trek Beacon Bar End Lights

In my opinion, there are three main problems with these lights. First, they are not very bright—they might be good for 1,000 feet or so, but not much more. Second, on most road bikes the rider is going to be in the way and make it impossible for cars coming up behind them to see the lights (unless you are a really skinny cyclist). And third, these lights self-destruct the first time you take them out of your bar ends.

When I get new products that include batteries I usually toss the batteries out and never use them because more often than not they are old, off-brand batteries. I am not sure why, but I decided the install the batteries that Trek included with the Beacon Bar End Lights—and as expected they only lasted about ten hours. When I tried to remove the lights from my bar ends to replace the batteries the rubber seal around the lights simply shredded. The folks at the local bike shop kindly replaced the lights, but the second pair also ripped the first time I tried to replace the batteries. While these lights were a great idea, they are poorly designed. Therefore, I can’t recommend these lights unless you buy them with the understanding that they are disposable after the first use.

Trek Beacon Bar End Lights retail for $20 a pair and should be available at your local bike shop. However, you would be a lot better off buying a good taillight like the Plant Bike Superflash Turbo or the Portland Design Works RADBOT 1000. Another great option is the Fire Eye 2.0 Helmet Light from Illuminated Cycling.

 

Tags: , , , , ,

BikeWrappers Removable Reflective System

If you ride your bike at night you already know how important it is to have a good headlight so you can see where you are going and a taillight be keep cars from running over you. However, many cycling accidents happen when a car runs into a cyclist from the side—usually because they couldn’t see the bike even though it was directly in front of them. BikeWrappers are the best way I’ve found to protect yourself from a side-impact collision while on a bike (in fact, they work from all directions).

BikeWrappers Removable Reflective System

BikeWrappers Reflective System For Bicycles

BikeWrappers are a set of highly reflective bands of spandex and Lycra that wrap around the top tube, down tube and seat tube of your bike and they make your bike nearly impossible to miss at night. When the headlights from a car hit the reflective BikeWrappers your bike will be visible at least 1/4 of a mile away. In addition, these reflective bands are reversible and you can choose from over 30 different styles for the non-reflective side. You can choose from many bright colors or interesting patterns, such as leopard print, camouflage, plaid, stripes, etc. I chose a bright yellow color for the reverse side of my BikeWrappers and use it for rides in daylight when it is raining. By the way, riding in the rain will make you BikeWrappers look pretty bad after a few hours—fortunately, they are machine washable.

BikeWrappers attach to your bike in under a minute using the Velcro fasteners that are sewn into the material. They will easily fit on just about any size adult bike. Since these wrappers are so easy to put on or take off you really one need one set of BikeWrappers regardless of how many bikes you own. However, since they are so inexpensive you might want to buy several sets just to dress up your bike.

BikeWrappers Removable Reflective System

BikeWrappers Are Reversible

When I ordered my set of BikeWrappers last year I assumed I was going to have to cut a hole in the down tube wrapper since the bike I wanted to use it on has three water bottle cages. However, when my order arrived I was pleasantly surprised to see that BikeWrapers were designed to accommodate the extra bottle cage (see photo above).

The only downside to using BikeWrappers is that if you ride through a busy neighborhood at night you are probably going to have people ask you to stop so they can see what you have on your bike (yep, it happens nearly every time I use them). People always want to know “what type of battery does it use?” They are amazed when I tell them it doesn’t use any batteries—it is just highly reflective.

BikeWrappers retail for $45 for a three-piece set and they are available directly from the BikeWrappers Website. There are very few cycling products that I recommend as highly as I do BikeWrappers. The photos above do not do justice to how bright the reflective material is. If you ride your bike at night you need to get a set of these wrappers before your next ride! This product comes with a “100% Money Back Satisfaction Guarantee!” (see company Website for details).

 

Tags: , , , ,

Performance Radial II Multi-Lens Eyewear

Protective eyewear is an absolute necessity for any bike ride—they protect your eyes from rocks and road debris that often gets kicked by passing cars and trucks (and sometimes from junk thrown by mischievous teenagers). Performance Bicycle often puts their Radial II Multi-Lens Eyewear on sale at unbelievably low prices, and last fall I was able to pick up a pair for around $20 at a local Performance bike shop.

Performance Bicycle Radial II Multi-Lens Sunglasses

Performance Radial II Multi-Lens Eyewear

The Performance Radial II Multi-Lens Eyewear will give you 100% UVA/UVB protection and they are not the worst looking pair of cycling sunglasses you can buy (how’s that for a compliment?). The polycarbonate lenses on these glasses provide excellent optical clarity and are fairly scratch resistant. The lenses also have upper vents that do an excellent job of keeping fog from building up. The frame is made of forged nylon and appears to be very rugged.

Like most of the eyewear sold by Performance Bicycle, these glasses come with a carrying case, cleaning cloth, and three interchangeable lenses (Clear, Grey and Orange). The grey lenses work best in sunlight, while the orange lenses work best on overcast days. Obviously the clear lenses are for riding at night or in the rain.

The only problem I had with these glasses is the hard plastic nose piece—if you change you lenses often you are probably going to break the nose piece. It appears like Performance decided to supply three lenses but hoped that you would not have to change them very often.

The Performance Radial II Multi-Lens Eyewear retails for around $50, but as I mentioned earlier, they are often on sale for as little as $20 both online and at Performance Bicycle brick-and-motor stores. These glasses also have an optional Rx insert that turns your Radial II Eyewear into prescription cycling sunglasses.

While I still occasionally wear these glasses, they are not my favorite pair. If you are looking for great cycling sunglasses I have two suggestions. First, the Ryders Eyewear Hex Polar/Photochromic Sunglasses are the best I’ve ever seen for cycling. However, if you sometimes reading glasses (but don’t want people to know you need reading glasses), then I would strongly suggest the Dual Power Eyewear Dual SL2 Sunglasses.

 
 

Tags: , , , ,

Reflective Sleeves From Nathan Performance Gear

The more years that you have been cycling the more likely you are to have acquired a lot of specialty gear, i.e., clothing that you might not need all the time but are glad to have when the occasion arises. Reflective Sleeves from Nathan Performance Gear are an item every cyclist needs to have on hand. These Reflective Sleeves look like traditional arm warmers, but they are not—they are intended to make you visible to motorists at night and they keep your arms from getting sunburned during daylight hours.

Reflective Running Sleeves From Nathan Performance Gear

Reflective Sleeves From Nathan Performance Gear

Nathan Performance Gear Reflective Sleeves are made with a form-fitting, ultra-stretchy synthetic fabric. They have a long 3M Scotchlite reflective strip on each arm and when the headlights from a car hit it they can be seen from up to 1,200 feet away. These sleeves also offer UV SPF 50+ protection.

I often use these sleeves on nighttime rides—they make it a lot easier for cars to see my arms when I signal for a turn. One day last summer I forgot to wear my sunscreen and got a nasty sunburn on both arms. The following day I used these Reflective Sleeves to protect my arms from further damage and the sleeves worked perfectly. They are very lightweight and did not warm my arms up at all (they are actually made for runners and at a slow speed they probably do increase body warmth a bit).

On one of the sleeves there is a small pocket (about 2″x3″), but the only thing I found it useful for is to carry is a tube of Chapstick. There is also a silicone grip at the top of each sleeve to keep them from sliding down your arm.

Nathan Reflective Sleeves come in three colors (Grey, Yellow, and Black) and two sizes (S/M, L/X-L) and they run a bit small. The sleeves retail for about $25 a pair and I doubt if you find them in any bike shop. I purchased mine from a brick-and-mortar Dick’s Sporting Goods Store. If you cannot find them at a store in your area then you should check Amazon.com.

 

Tags: , , , , ,

 
TDuncan

My view, my style

Israel's Good Name

Voyages and Experiences in Israel

The Shameful Sheep

shit storms, shame, and stories that make you cringe

Grow With Me, Child.

My Journey of Being a Stay-At-Home-Mom

Les Posen's Presentation Magic

It's time for a paradigm shift in how presentations are performed. One presenter's blog on how to present as if all your audience members had a brain.

Mommyfriend

...finding perfection in imperfection daily.

road|THEORY

Just ride...

Bike Like Crazy

whatever the weather

Ferrell's Travel Blog

Commenting on biblical studies, archaeology, travel and photography

ἐκλεκτικός

Steve Wolfgang's view of the world from suburban Chicago -- or wherever he may be on any given day

It's A Marathon AND A Sprint

And a 10K and a 200 Mile Bike Ride and an Obstacle Race and Anything Else We Find!

Shannon E. Williams

Gather. Discover. Cultivate.

BikeHikeSafari

Thru Hiking and Bicycle Touring the worlds best trails

the drunken cyclist

I have three passions: wine, cycling, travel, family, and math.

Cyclerist

Cycling and weightlifting, mostly

Long Distance Cycling Cleveland

We host a series of long distance preparation rides each weekend from January - June in the Cleveland, Ohio area

Kerrie Is Running*

*trying to run

foodbod

healthy tasty food that I love to make and eat and share

grayfeathersblog

Diabetes, Cancer Survivor, Cycling, Photographer, Exercise, College Parent, Twins, Boy Scout Leader, Life

Travel Tales of Life

Travelers. Adventurers. Storytellers.

Kite*Surf*Bike*Rambling

KITESURFING, CYCLING, SUP: ramblings, idiocy and not much more

Fatbike Brigade

Exploring the world on fatbikes

A Sierra Fatty

A Dyslexic Journalism journal about downhill, fatbike, cyclocross, dual slalom, snowbike, adventure, bikepacking, xc, dh, enduro, ridebikeswithfriends, paddleboard, snowboard, ski, cross-country ski

PaleoHikerMD

REAL FOOD, REAL HEALTH, REAL ADVENTURE, REAL FAMILY

The HSD

What happens when a medical doctor becomes a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom

Raising Jordans

Eat. Play. Learn.

FueledByLOLZ

Running and Laughing through the Garden State

Tinkadventures

Inspiring Your Outdoor Adventures

The Bro Code

Putting The Hero Back In Action

Fat Girl to Ironman

My five year journey to awesomeness...

MPLS MAMA BEAR

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Christov_Tenn

Always Thinking, Reading About, and Up To Something

35,000 Miles of Experiences, Adventures and Thoughts

Thoughts, views and opinions of a northwest cyclist and adventurer

Sports Bras And Sippy Cups

This Mama Lifts More Than Just Babies!

A Promise to Dad

"You don't have anything if you don't have your health"

Triathlon Obsession

Triathlon, Sport and Healthy Living

The Chatter Blog

Living: All Day Every Day: Then Chattering About It

chasingmailboxes.wordpress.com/

ride your heart out. washington d.c.

Fit Recovery

Stay Clean Get Fit

Chatter Gets Fit

From Couch Potato to Triathlete to Ultrarunner... My Journey

%d bloggers like this: