How to avoid paying for expensive bike lights

night cycling

Bicycle lights are essential, especially in winter. Most bike lights are designed for you to be seen by other road users. What if you ride along unlit city roads or rural lanes? Have you ever fancied a night ride on rough tracks? Conventional bike lights often fall short of illuminating your way.

This is when you start looking for ‘proper’ bicycle lights. Then you realise that off road illumination is not cheap. A few examples are:

If you only want to try night riding, not make a career of it, these may not be the best solution. I use torches attached to my handlebars. Even these come in a range of prices:

Handlebar torch mounts come in many designs and prices:

I have been using two generic, waterproof, cree led, 300 lumen torches, attached to my handlebars by two generic rubber blocks. So far they have served me well, lighting up the road and track ahead for less than £15.00. They do, of course, have their problems. Occasionally the block slips on the bar and I end up with spotlights on my front wheel. The solution to this is to make sure the Velcro straps are tight and roughen the rubber block with some course sandpaper.

Light Mount

When you are cycling on the road with such powerful lights please be aware of the danger of dazzling oncoming traffic. Be courteous: reduce the power, tilt the torch down a little or put them into flashing mode. If the driver of the Landrover coming toward you cannot see, you could easily become the victim.

As I get older (some would say old) I am becoming more ambitious. I want to tackle longer, rougher night rides. I am off to order two Kinddom cree 2200 torches. That is a total of 4400 lumen. More than enough for an amateur who likes playing in the mud!


* Lumen – Lumen is the SI Unit which is a measure of the ‘amount’ of light emitted from a source.
* Prices – All prices are correct at the time of writing.
* Cree – Cree Inc is a manufacturer of semi-conductor light-emitting diodes (LED). Their product emits more light, uses less power and last longer than conventional LEDs.

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