When it comes to biking, you can never be too apparent to drivers on the road, especially at night. Reflectors, bike lights, and bright, high-visibility colors should all be no-brainers, but what if you want to announce your presence with an even more striking display? Here are three options to consider.
Spin hypnotic color
There's one big drawback to bike
lights and front and rear reflectors--they tend to only be visible to
drivers approaching you from the front or back. Reflectors in your
spokes can help illuminate your presence to drivers from the side (as
can reflective bands on your lower legs or a biking jacket), but these
options have nothing on the MonkeyLectric Monkey Light (80 lumens, $37.99; 200 lumens, $56.99).
it into the spokes and you've got a blazing color wheel that is hard to
miss. It's so eye-catching, in fact, that you may risk distracting
drivers from the road with its mesmerizing display. You can explore the
full kaleidoscope with 19 themes and 16 colors to make the light
combination uniquely your own. Runs on three AA batteries for up to 40
hours of light (20 hours for 200 lumens version).
Beam your own bike lane
It's remarkable how much difference a simple line on the road makes. Drivers generally steer clear of lines that define a dedicated bike lane, but what if you ride in a busy area at night that lacks these potentially life-saving markers? Why not create your own bike lane that travels with you?
To do so, you can attach a rear light to your bike that also beams out two parallel lines on either side behind you. This visually expands the space around you and creates a larger pocket of safety that drivers are more likely to avoid. Several options are available, including inexpensive models from ThorFire and LingsFire (both are only $7.99).
Channel your inner Tron with some laser bike lane markers.
Honk like a car
Don't just make yourself visible. Make some serious noise as well. A simple ring-a-ding-ding bell may be useful for alerting pedestrians, but when it comes to drivers you're going to need some more serious sound.
Enter the Loud Bicycle Horn, which pumps out 125 decibels of thumb-activated honk that closely mimics the volume and sound of a car horn. Produced by a Boston-based startup, the horn recharges via a mini-USB port and comes in two styles: the Loud Classic ($109, 1.6 pounds) and the newer, lighter Loud Mini ($149, 0.9 pound).
The Loud Mini turns your bike into a honking machine. Photo: Loud Bicycle Horn