As temperatures rise and days last longer, many cyclists opt to head out on the road well before sunrise or after sunset. Whether it's their one time of the year to commute to work, or they just love the quiet of a dark, open road, summer night riding can be incredibly rewarding.
However, like any sports activity done without light, there are risks involved. Having the proper safety gear to keep you visible to cars and objects on the road visible to you is paramount. From reflective clothing to headlights, here is some gear to keep you safe on your night ride.
CatEye Volt 7001 of 8
Whether you're commuting or putting in some serious pre-sunrise mileage, a dependable headlight is a must. Mounted on your helmet or handlebars (ideally both), headlights offer a steady source of LED light that allow you to see potholes, animals and other road debris easily. The Cateye Volt 700 is a solid, albeit pricey, choice. This headlight produces more than 700 lumen of light for a solid two hours at its highest setting, and is packaged in a sleek, ultra-light casing that's easy to mount. If you're looking for a solid all-around light for commuting, road riding and even mountain biking, this is a great choice.
Planet Bike Blaze 2 Watt Headlight2 of 8
If you're in the market for a dependable headlight but don't have a ton of cash to spend, the Blaze 2 is a great option. While it only produces 150 Lumens with its Cree two-watt LED light, its ease of use and affordability make it a great deal. The lack of lumens makes it a poor choice for off-road riding, but it's ideal for commutes of any length. The QuickCam bracket makes mounting easy, and it offers three different light outputs (high, low and flashing). Powered by 2 AA Batteries, expect this light to last for roughly 5 hours at its highest setting and up to 18 hours while flashing.
Lezyne Zecto Auto3 of 8
While you need headlights to see the road, safety lights make it possible for others to see you. The Lezyne Zecto Auto is the Rolls Royce of safety lights and, at $50, a worthwhile purchase for lasting road safety. Its compact design offers three rear LEDs that deliver a highly visible 20 Lumens in Daytime Flash Mode. The USB rechargeable battery lasts between 3.5 and 10 hours depending on the setting. Its Auto Flash system, which triggers an automatic shutoff after three minutes of inactivity, saves you valuable battery life. And thanks to its simple clip-on rubber straps, the safety lights couldn't be easier to mount. You can also check and see how much power you have left with the touch of a button, a rare feature in safety lights.
CatEye LD610 Tail Light4 of 8
A more economical safety light option is the LD610. Offering five LEDs you can mount vertically or horizontally, this slim and bright design offers a lot of bang for your buck. With a run time of up to 30 hours, the super slim design fits most bike frames and snaps on anywhere you need it. While not as bright as the Lezyne, this light's economical pricing, long battery life and ease of use make it a great option to keep you safe on the roads at any time of day.
Nathan Cyclotier Reflective Vest5 of 8
If you plan on making night riding part of your regular routine, a reflective vest is an economical way to stay visible and safe. Many cycling kits have some type of reflective material built in, but if you're riding at night you can't depend on a few slivers of reflective tape. The slim, minimal design of the Cyclotier makes it easy to put on and head out the door no matter the time of day. Offering 360-degree visibility and a zippered pocket for your cash, phone and ID, this vest is like a suit of armor for serious night commuters.
Amphipod Micro-Light Flashing Reflective Armband6 of 8
A great option to keep in your commuter bag for those nights you head home later than you expected, you can attach the Amphipod flashing reflective armband anywhere for a dose of much-needed light. Offering four ultra-bright LEDs for 360-degree visibility, this band comes in green, pink and orange.
Specialized Propero II Helmet7 of 8
While it should go without saying, you should always wear a helmet while riding outdoors. If you're in the market for a new helmet and plan on doing evening or early morning riding, this helmet is a great option. Reasonably priced and extremely well-ventilated, the Propero II offers outstanding safety protection for serious and recreational riders alike. In addition to the brain-protecting qualities we all expect from a helmet, this lid's exterior is lined with stealthy reflective decals for added nighttime visibility. With four height positions and a micro-adjustable dial, it's easy to get a good, comfortable fit before you head out the door.