The Case For Daytime Running Lights On Bikes | Bontrager Flare RT & Ion RT First Look

The Case For Daytime Running Lights On Bikes | Bontrager Flare RT & Ion RT First Look

– Now hopefully it’s clear to all cyclists that it’s really really
important to use good lights when riding at night to make sure that you can be seen by other road users, especially cars, and avoid being run into. – What isn’t immediately
so obvious though, is that bike lights can
also reduce accidents in the daylight. – But how’s that? I mean, surely if it’s daylight using bike lights won’t
add to your visibility. Well this is why. (relaxing electronic music) Bontrager have asked us to take a look at their brand new
flare and ion RT lights. And to be honest, we were
perfectly happy to do so because having looked at the research we agree that daylight running lights really do make us safer on the road. – Bontrager have been pushing really hard to make cyclists realize there is a merit in using at all times. These have been thoughtfully designed to increase cyclists
visibility both day and night. – Now safety and visibility are actually quite hard to illustrate, so what we thought we’d do is take a look at the research, and then do some science. – Can we test for light visibility at daytime and nighttime? Sounds a little bit dangerous Emma. (percussive electronic music) Okay, the research. One project carried out in daylight showed that daytime running lights, or lights used all the time, do indeed reduce accident
rate by up to 19%. For their new range of lights, Bontrager drew upon research carried out at the Clemson University over four years. The researchers showed
that flashing lights significantly increase visibility. In other words, the
distance at which cyclists are seen by other road users. – This was a properly
controlled experiment on a statistically significant
number of cyclists. 3,845 to be precise, of which 1,845 had
permanent running lights mount into their bikes, and the accident rate for
both groups of cyclists was monitored over 12 months. They then studied in real detail exactly what kind of flash pattern is most rapidly recognized
by other road users. And they found that it is actually an interrupted flash pattern. That means an irregular pattern, and in the case of the flare RT, it has a more powerful, initial flash-pop that comes into the pattern. Now the way that the researchers at Clemson University
tested the visibility of cyclists with different lights or no light set ups, was the drive volunteers around a secure, closed, road loop at constant speed and measure the distance at which the volunteer saw the cyclist. – Now unfortunately, we don’t have 200 plus volunteers. Nor do we have the time to conduct a statistically valid experiment. – No. So instead, what we’re gonna do, is we’re gonna try and
see if we can measure the light emitted from
an approaching cyclist using this exciting, hand
held digital light meter, which measured from zero to 200,000 lux to an accuracy of 3%. So in terms of methodology, what we’re gonna do is that one of us is gonna stand with the light meter, looking over our shoulder and trying to see if we
can see on the screen in terms of lux measurements when the other person is approaching with their lights on. Only slight problem is that my swanky light meter has
stopped working already, and I swear it was working
just a little while ago. We tried to change the batteries, and I just don’t know what to do. Really? What, you can use an app on your phone? You mean I didn’t need this? Typical. Well that’s great. The day is saved. (exotic electronic music) – Once we prepared the experiment, how about we take a
closer look at the lights? And more specifically, what is it in a daytime running light
that you should look for if we use these flare and
ion lights as an example, and following on from what
we learned with the research, we know that the lights need to be bright, and flash in a disruptive pattern. The standard measurement for the brightness of a light is lumens. However, don’t be fooled into thinking that more lumens are better, as that actually refers to
the total amount of light. And Bontrager say that
these lights are visible at up to two kilometers
in daytime flash mode, in addition to their nighttime settings. Now, I’ll be honest. As well as increasing my visibility, the vanity of having a light
on my bike at all times is also a consideration. And while this won’t
matter for some of you, for those of us who do care, it should be small,
discreet, and light weight. Like this one for example,
which weighs 23 grams. It’s lighter and smaller
than it’s predecessor, while being brighter and
with a longer battery life, which is also a big consideration. In fact, ease of use is a good thing. With that in mind, these lights feature AT&T Plus, and Bluetooth, so they connect
to your on bike computer. Which means, that the
second you start riding, they turn and you’ll be able to see your battery life that’s
left in the lights. The next feature they have is really cool. They have an in-built
ambient light sensor, which means they’re able to adjust to the lighting conditions
that you find yourself in to make you safer. So if you ride into a dark tunnel, or it all of the sudden becomes dusk, you’ll still be visible
whilst out on the road. I’m all for making things
as easy as possible, so that really is a bonus to me. Right then. Let’s get back to the sign, shall we? (ornate chimes) – I really don’t understand it, I mean the lights are so bright, I can see them from ages away, and yet I don’t really get
a change in measurement until Chris gets pretty close. – Well, allow me to
shed some light on that for you Emma. It’s not so much to do with the total amount of light, but more to do with recognition and the way our brains process the information that they’re seeing. – That’s a good point Chris, and that’s actually what the researchers at Clemson University showed
in the research they did, which Bontrager based
their light design on, that flashing lights
are far more easy to see than steady lights. Further research also
shows that lights mounted on moving parts of your body, like your knees or your ankles, can be seen at greater
distances than lights mounted on static parts of your bike. – And it’s part of the growing body of evidence that supports
the concept of bio-motion. Human perception that is
sensitive to joint movement. Basically, we’re all
looking out for each other. – Yeah. In fact, they’ve shown that
if you have a flashing light mounted in your knees or your ankles, it’s seen at 5.5 times the distance than a steady light
mounted on your seat post. 5.5 times more stopping distance, that is not a number I would ignore. – [Man] That is considerable. – I hope this video has helped to convince you how to
be more visible and safe on the road. We cyclists do have a
right to use the roads, but the more visible we are and the safer we are, the better. – Let us know in the comments if this video has helped convince you to use daytime running lights. And of course, don’t forget to
share this with your friends. – If you’d like to see more videos on road safety, why not click down here. – And if you’d like to get your hands on some of this kit, why not click on the shop down here. – Give us a like.

100 thoughts on “The Case For Daytime Running Lights On Bikes | Bontrager Flare RT & Ion RT First Look

  1. Yes all the time I am on the road day and night. Having a very bright on the front have made pedestrians and drivers look at me and gets their attention. I also have two red flashing lights, one set low left side near the axle and one just above my rear brakes on my Cevelo soloist. I feel it’s made a difference for me after years of riding without them!

  2. I use strobe lights front and rear on every ride. I’ve seen many times drivers spot my light in their mirror and not throw their car open or pull away from the kerb into me. Rear lights work on the bendy roads where cars fly around the corners blindly. They see the light before they see me. The roads are dangerous not like those wonderful empty safe looking GCN videos roads 😏 I just don’t believe all this should be regulated by law just personal preference. Read the German and Dutch laws prohibiting flashing lights, amazing for such cycling friendly places(unlike Canada). Perhaps there it’s so safe other considerations such as being annoyed by them can take precedence. I would think not
    in non cycling paradises like everywhere else in the World though.

  3. I use the Exposure Flares (F&R) with the day bright setting and motorists seem more likely to slow up and give me a little bit extra room when approaching and passing… which is nice

  4. Iuse lights ever since I was knocked off on a round about, the guy hit me to my left. He slowed down on the give way and then set off again directly into me. His excuse was I didn't see you I was looking for a car. Oh and Gopro is running now too.


  6. I ride 2-3000 miles a year. Probably 1000 of that is on a boris bike in central London so daytime lights aren't as necessary. Where lights make the most impact for me are the roads further out towards surrey and box hill..especially in summer with a lot of greenery and dappled light meaning people approaching at 50 -60 have minimum time to react. I already use a four4th scorpion on the rear and think I'll try these out too..anything that makes you more visible can only be a good thing, right?

  7. For me it's helmet and flashing lights all the time, just like I use headlights and seat belt all the time in the car. As for distraction, they sort of need to be, otherwise they don't attract attention, which equals other road users not seeing you. There does need to be some balance but I'd rather cause some distraction than blend into my surroundings!

  8. I use lights everytime I ride, day or night. However I keep them set to constantly on instead of a flashing pattern. As an automobile driver I get distracted by the flashing light of cyclists. I feel like I loose the rest of the road and other nearby cars/trucks when I come upon a biker with flashing lights.

  9. Love to own a pair of these but I’m struggling to find them in the uk. Where did gcn get them from please?
    Thank you

  10. The content is helpful but please give up the dialog used through much of GCN's productions that purports one presenter to be uninformed and then moments later has them speaking with authority about the matter they just feigned ignorance. It is clumsy and ineffective, especially when coupled with untrained actors. I suspect it is no fault of the presenters, Emma, Chris, and the others that it is employed. More likely it is the mistaken choice of the producers. Think about it.

  11. Super important topic, thanks GCN folks. I've been thinking about adding bike lights, day or night, after few fellow cyclists got into nasty incidents. Noticed more and more riders are using lights recently, nothing bad in my opinion, just get yourself more visible. Side note, same or similar lights on a tri/TT bike should be no problem?

  12. We need high intensity retina burning flashing lights pointed at eye level of oncoming traffic to make sure we are visible /s

  13. I personally use front ( Cateye volt800) and rear light on all my rides mostly daytime,set on flashing mode and I really can see the difference from drivers when I am about to engage my self in an intersection. For the opposite traffic my front light can be seen almost 1/2 mile away it is F….g bright I am very please with the results on the the roads. Anything it better then nothing brother. Keep it safe

  14. please also tell your fellow cyclists to point those bright forward facing lights slightly facing downwards, you may not realize how dangerous to the cyclist and the driver blinded by these super bright white lights. Cyclists must share the roads responsively and expect drivers to yield or stop moving because of your bright lights and high speed passing in their blind spots (now drivers' eyes are also momentary blinded).

  15. I've been cycling for more than 30 years and in this time I have always kitted my bikes with the latest technology available (going back to the original Cat Eye with 6v globe and 2xC Batteries) in head lights and tail lights unless I'm racing. If one is a road user then it is a no brainier to set yourself up to the nearest standards of a motor vehicle. Safety first, looks second. Every time I buy a new bike it gets setup at the same time with head lights and taillights. I also find if you tuck a rear flashing light in behind the drops (U-Bend) "behind the brake levers" it increases your width from behind and you then have double rear flashing lights. Just be aware you cannot use that brake lever to easily in the low down drop position. So left side paving (GB) then right side of handle bars, and ride side paving (FR) left side of handle bars.

  16. I always found that having lights strobing front and rear during the day led to motorists giving me more room when they passed and being generally more cautious as they approached me. Not enough to stop the rabid, zombie crazed, psychopathic nutter drivers, who are far too many in number, but enough for me to notice the difference…
    These days I mainly use a smart trainer indoors – you only need to be hit once by a bus/lorry or car and it may be game over – perhaps I'm overly risk averse but I've had too many near misses…

  17. I like being alive so I always use lights, day and night. There is no argument, daytime lights make you more visible to vehicles. If you think otherwise, you are either blind or a fucking idiot.

  18. I have lights and I never used them during the day. You have changed my mind on this. I'm sold. From now on I'm using them during the day. Thanks! Great video!

  19. As a Dutchie, grown up the country with the most bike-paths in the world, i couldn't really be bothered to have lights on my bike. When out riding on my road bike in Holland i have never used bike lights. 3 years ago i moved to Australia and now i never go out riding without lights on my bike; i genuinely feel unsafe without lights. Night or day. Really nice video !! One thing; Although Holland has lots more bike paths than Australia, the main reason why i feel unsafe is that Australian drivers have absolutely no respect for cyclists. The road rage is of a unbelievable and unimaginable level. there is no "sharing the road". The lack of respect is my main reason for feeling unsafe and im not convinced you can solve that with a bike light. (Yes, im a big fan of using bike lights )

  20. I’m sold. The Ant+ integration turning on and off with battery indicator is enough.

    I have been running full-time lights for about a year having gotten over the vanity and distrust in battery life and have found the response from motorists has been extremely positive. Cars seem to pause when crossing traffic or coming in from side streets and driveways. As the video says, you can’t measure the safety but comparing to traffic approaching from behind, there seems to be a big difference. Rear approaching motorists are just as discourteous and dismissive as ever.

  21. I have been using daytime running lights for a couple years now. On my daily commute I have definitely seen the difference that a flashing light is simply more visible to drivers. When cars attempt to pull onto the main road they recognize me much sooner than when I had the light on steady. I understand where I live (Seattle, USA) flashing lights are illegal but if questioned by Police I will use the argument that I feel much safer with them.

  22. by using lights in the day we would be adding to the idea that cycling is dangerous, that it's easy to miss cyclists, that it's the cyclist's reponsibility to go out of their way to become a human flashing sign just so we don't get run down. And then some motorists will become even lazier with looking out for other road users. no no no way

  23. Yes – was hit by a car that I am convinced couldn't see me
    Car was crossing highway as I was riding on shoulder in the shadow of trees – they slow rolled across HW into parking lot and drove right into me. I never go out for ride without my lights on again.

  24. I always use daytime running lights on quick flash. In Australia daytime lights are quite normal for serious cyclists and I get no comments at all but when cycling in Indonesia I regularly get comments that "my lights are on" to which I reply – "so you saw me then?" – point made ( maybe). I can see that irregular flashing mode may be better – so I'll look for that next time I need to change my lights . The "Moon" lights I have front and rear are very reliable though so not sure when I'll need to change them..

  25. strobe lights are so annoying! I have to look away from them when i drive because they are so bright! I dont use the flash on my bike lights for this reason.

  26. I ride early, so for part of the year it's dark. Found a nice rechargeable headlight with 3 brightness levels and a pulse mode. Don't ride without it and I haven't had anyone pull in front of me. Do use a rear light as well.

  27. I ride in suburban, extra-urban and rural areas – no cities. While I agree that many drivers need to up their game and pay attention, I also think that if you have lights, using them can only help. At dawn & dusk, when the sun is low (much longer periods during winter, I use them as blinky attention-getters. As it gets darker I'll switch to pulsing/ steady rather than flashing. Obnoxious strobing for daylight; the farther away drivers can spot you, realise why other drivers are (hopefully) altering road position in order to pass, and plan their own overtake, the better.

  28. In certain countries (e.g. in Switzerland) it is mandatory to ride with steady lights… not sure now if only at night or also in daytime…
    You can add flashing lights if you want but one of your lights needs to be steady on each end of the bike.

  29. I've been using flashing lights during the day since a number of cars and even other cyclists have pulled out in front of me after apparently not seeing me and touch wood (no rude comments please 😉) I haven't had an incident since

  30. The problem is battery life, if you are cycling like 10+ hours a week you end up having to charge these fucking things all the damn time. Someone needs to come up with an integrated system whereby you store a battery inside the frame like Di2 so you can get like a weeks worth on a charge.

  31. Really disappointed to see Emma passing kid so close, approx 3'. How can we ask cars to give us room when we can't even give kids obviously learning to ride their bikes room.

  32. I only got back to cycling last year after a good 20 years and the first thing I did when I got my new bike home, was fit hi intensity flashing led lights front and rear. I always use them in day time, in spite of the occasional well meaning (I'm sure?) clown telling me my "lights are flashing!". I find it hard to believe that anyone would argue against daytime lights on bikes other than for the sake of arguing.

  33. From personal experience. I drive for a living and most cyclists lights' are drowned out by even the most overcast day. I'll be driving along and I'll see a cyclist ahead (a long distance ahead) and only when I get really close will I notice that there is a tiny little red LED flashing at the back. During the day you absolutely need more powerful lights (if you intend to use them as DRLs). I'm not saying that the smaller weaker lights are entirely useless just that the range of scenarios in which they will be actually be noticeably visible is far fewer. I think they were aware of this as most of the video was filmed under fairly dense wood cover. So I'd rather use a more powerful light during the day with the intermittent patterning for more versatility.

  34. I've just received my new bontrager flare rt rear light and i'm a bit dissapointed. While with the old model was a lot more easier to toggle between modes this one has 2 flash daylight models that looks virtually the same,you have no idea wich one is max output of 90 lumens vs the 45 lumens bontrager calls " all day flash". Maybe they jusy want you to buy their Transmtr remote control but they won't have me on that,sorry. The light itself looks cool and it's smaller that its predecessor,but if I had the chance to test it first I would have bought the old one again. Note : after 4 years with the old one I had to buy one because the battery was of course dying..

  35. Won't ride without lights. Been using Bontrager Flair R for years. Bright, exceptional battery life, recharges quickly. Also use Lezyne 1100XL macro drive (front) and Lezyne 180 micro drive (rear) lights when doing rides longer than 4 hours duration so I can switch from the first pair when they run low on power to a fresh pair of light. That means I've visible for up to 8 hours which covers most century rides for me. USB rechargeable lights are the only way to go.

  36. I’ve used daytime running lights ever since I got knocked off almost 4 years ago. To me as a motorist as well as a cyclist seeing a flashing light attracts you attention.

  37. I can get behind, no pun intended, with the rear flashing light, but the bright flashing headlight seems overkill on a road bike, or any bike that is on a bicycle path- all you are doing is flashing other cyclists. Pretty rare when a car crosses the centreline to hit you happily cycling on the other side of the road.

  38. No brainer here. Lights today are so lightweight that there really isn't a reason not to use them during the day. They make you much more visible, especially if you're not seen or a driver isn't paying attention. I use them for the same reason I use disc brakes. The difference in stopping by a few feet, or a hundredth of a second sooner of being seen, can make all the difference.

  39. that flickering / strobe is freaking annoying. i am usually on bike or by foot, but ihat kind of lights disturb me kind of. a sready but very vissuble light would be far better imo.

  40. Was this video sponsored by Bontrager? It was a great video, don't get me wrong, but it really seemed like it was sponsored, yet I didn't notice any information about that, nor anything in the description. I really like GCN, but when mixing sponsored material (what is in effect advertisement) and editorial content, I think it's very important that you are completely transparent about what parts you are being paid for, and by whom – not just for the benefit of us viewers, but for your own credibility as well.

  41. Please don't encourage people to use flashing lights. While they are especially disturbing in the dark, they annoy and blind other road users also during daytime. I got a nauseous feeling by just watching this video. Steady lights are visible enough, and they also make it easier to estimate the speed and direction of the cyclist.

  42. To prevent the offset light drama, pull the rubber bontrager mount, turn it 90* and mount it under your bars under your stem.. centered and unseen. head unit turns it on.

  43. I don't want to sound like an arse, but Bontrager's DON't say the Biometric is wearing lights on moving parts of the body, instead, wearing bright clothing/shoes on moving part of the body. It's part of the ABC (Always on. Biometrics. Contrast.) safety awareness they advertise on their website. Worth a read for anyone who cares about safety.

  44. So, there’s an argument for attaching flashing lights to our shoes or pedals rather than handlebars. Does any manufacturer?

  45. the first thing you always see on a on coming car are the headlights (day or night). it's just that simple. it's exactly the same for bicycles.

  46. I use them when I ride on the countryside, roads in forests and generally where theres hardly any traffic and car drivers tend to cut a curve or speed. I can see how those lights might be a distraction in city traffic though.

  47. Yes! flashing lights on every ride, night or day. and as a driver i always appreciate cyclists who run lights…can see them so much better around corners, shade, and when they disappear into the background

  48. I use my flashing lights on my rides during the day as it has made me more visible to cars and other road users and on more than one occasion the flashing light on my bike has been the reason I avoided an accident because the driver saw my flashing light.

  49. I bought nice lights, just because it was time to replace, I wanted to run them ASAP so put them on during a day ride. I felt immediately safer, I really think I am more visible to cars and I get less confrontation and more space from drivers for being more visible. I ride with lights every time any time of day.

  50. 1:15 notice that? A little wave just to acknowledge a fellow cyclist. I’m fed up waving to cyclist and not even getting a simple nod. We all do the same sport!

  51. It is another type of pollution, when I see cars with their lights on and its a nice sunny day I think whats the point, and the same thinking to a lesser degree applys to cyclists. It turns day into night.

  52. Motorists have become accustomed to cars having running lights. When they are yielding at a junction they look to see if a car is coming, not to see if anything is coming. If I need a daytime running light to attract the attention of a lazy bad driver so be it

  53. I swear you must always have daytime running lights some cars do give you more space but it's the igrant one's that don't just to save them self 5 seconds but I do feel more confident riding with them it's like helmet or no helmet.

  54. I was always in two minds about the advantages of using daytime running lights on my bike but after seeing this video I'm utterly convinced.

  55. I thought bright colors should be enough…..Now that I have started riding I realize they are not. I will be purchasing these Bontrager lights asap, for my daytime riding even though I am mostly riding on bike trails.

  56. This is something that I have never thought of. I have been driving a car for almost 20 years and use to having DRL's on my car, never would have figured for a bike. Now, on my bike I have a headlight and a tailight. I've never used both during the day because again, didn't think about it. After watching this video I am going to be doing that. My new rear light should be in today and I am going to be using it on flash mode. I find that people can't see me it seems when I am walking, couldn't imagine how bad it's going to be with me being an moving object during the day light.

  57. I started using a daytime back light a year ago and right away noticed vehicles giving me more space when they passed me. I don’t know if it was because they saw me sooner or I gained more respect.

  58. Hmm I do not dispute the idea of daytime running lights, but I'd like to know if this video was funded by Bontrager. I know the research was, but was the video?

  59. Looking out for each other or for the glint of light reflecting off the sharp claws of a predator such as a lion?

  60. Remarkable Assessment! I Managed to get this exact model at a very affordable price from newfyre. com (it’s on sale) and I highly recommend it.

  61. I feel safer riding at night bc drivers are conditioned to detect tail lights at night. During the day,riders can blend themselves with other objects becoming camouflaged and unrecognizable to drivers till is too late. At night when the rider is properly lighted with a strong tail like, drivers will automatically will shift they attentions to obstruction ahead and according. Unless some drunk or otherwise not paying attention to the road. This is why when you see a car at night without tail lights, is a shock to your otherwise night driving conditioning behavior

  62. On the road? Absolutely! … along with bright clothing and some "distance wobble" (see a vehicle well back in your rear view add a bit of movement to your line)

  63. I've also been using daytime lights. Have been ever since I started cycling on the road again. Recently got new Trek bikes for wife and I and I was sure to outfit both with these lights!! I feel better knowing we can be seen in all conditions.

  64. I don’t ALWAYS use daytime lights. I use them 50% of the time but if on main roads 100%.

    On my bike at any time I have an Azur flashing tail light onto seat post, cheapy McCheap (better than the Azur) flashing taillight on my helmet, cheapy McCheap spare headlight on the bars and a Raveman 500 on the bars (on low beam with a secondary strobe; best of both worlds) and a valve stem mounted orange light on both rims. Doesn’t exactly look cool in the daylight but I’m visible at night!

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