The Eye of Sauron

Aside from wheels staying in one piece and the frame holding together, the thing we take most for granted when riding a bike is how our bodies instinctively respond to and absorb bumps. The human body is, in fact, an incredible shock-absorber; our arms and legs are capable of flexing and shifting in ways that no mechanical suspension is capable of and reacts at near-instantaneous speed to the intelligence streaming in from the ocular system. Remove the power of sight from the equation and the effect is staggering.

My first encounter with night riding was during a 24-hour mountainbike race in Minnesota. Until that race, I had taken care to always ride during the day, partly because I couldn’t afford a reasonable headlight and partly because I could always arrange my training to take place during daylight. A 24-hour race, however, held distinct implications for nighttime riding.

I never bothered practicing riding at night, and I didn’t bother with buying a proper headlamp. Instead, I recommissioned my semi-reliable headlight which I used for nordic ski training in the dark winter months. The week before had also seen the decommissioning of my first-generation Rock Shox which had always graced the front-end of my beloved Schwinn mountainbike, made of what I assume were sand-filled tubes. I didn’t maintain the shock the way a shock should be maintained, and with its death came the rebirth of the fixed fork that had originally steered the machine.

I don’t need to go into detail on the race, but suffice to say that my headlamp stopped functioning within minutes on the first nighttime lap and that I rode the remainder of the race by the light of the moon and my insufficient instincts. Climbing was unpleasant, flats were uncomfortable, and descents were a blend of suicide and anarchy. Each bump the front wheel found blew through my unprepared arms and cascaded through my body, usually focussed on the saddle which ungracefully found its way to my crotch whether I was sitting on it at the time or not.

With this induction into the dark art of night riding, it has been something I’ve typically done with some reluctance. In other words, I’ve avoided it like the plague. Living in Seattle and having the privilege of a fulltime job does have certain ramifications on riding in daylight hours in Winter; namely that it isn’t possible. With the introduction of a good headlight comes the surreal solidarity of riding cocooned in a cone of  light. The shorted line of sight together with the elimination of one’s peripheral vision has an inexplicable calming effect despite the sense that you can’t properly judge the bumps in the road as your headlight briefly illuminates them, and that every puddle looks like a small lake whose depth cannot be judged until you’re on top of it.

I’ve ridden with a Mammut Zoom headlamp and a Lezyne Super Drive, both of which served the purpose of making nighttime riding slightly less terrifying. But with my new 45km commute, I moved to the Lezyne Mega Drive, which is basically a car headlight refactored to fit on a handlebar. I heard that the lights in small villages dim when I turn it to full power and I’ve noticed that deer come running towards it when I ride by with the mistaken belief that it signals the arrival of a deity.

Never one for half-measures, I still mount the Super Drive on the helmet and the Mega Drive on the bars; its like riding with the Eye of Sauron on your bike. Oh, and I have three different red flashers on the back of the bike and another white flasher on the front. You know, just in case.

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132 Replies to “The Eye of Sauron”

  1. @brett

    Although I have never interfered with a sheep, I may indeed have been lurking in a dress on Oli’s night ride. Nothing sus.

    Agree with Marcus, flashers on the front and too much lumenage is worse than not enough, it is distracting to drivers and can impair distance perception. 350 lumens is more than enough for a road bike. Same out back, super bright flashers can be almost blinding to drivers (not to mention riders when in a bunch)… we ride through winter at night on the road, and most of us run one up front and two out back max. I always have one of these mounted permanently now, un-noticeable and there if needed…

    I love those little back lights for sure, except I’ve found they fill up with sand and stop working (oh, I can feel the mudguard convo coming back already!)

    Those lights are perfect for dryer conditions so they stay in one piece longer. Such a great design, though, to reuse the clip in the saddle. God, I love fizik.

    Frank; a shock is on the back of the bike, a fork up front.

    Not in the 90’s it wasn’t.

  2. @frank

    Wow, I found a picture of me in 1993 with my old Schwinn with the Rock Shox. Merckx, I loved that bike.

    I know its a grainy photo but jeez you don’t have to show off that you hang to the right!!!

  3. @frank

    @Skip

    Wow. I see that and raise you this:

    Where to start?  Aside from all of the crazy stuff going on with the bike itself (look at that saddle tilt!) what makes the scene for me is the full face downhill helmet. Did you not get a picture of that beast in motion?

  4. @the Engine

    My dad sent me in to action with one of these on the lamp bracket on the front fork of my Raleigh Shadow in 1977. It was like cycling with a candle in a horn lamp. The battery (unrechargeable) theoretically lasted for 24 hours (well it only had to light a lamp with the intensity of those they used to use on telephone switchboards) but it would start to brown out after half an hour or so.

    The rear right used big torch batteries that you couldn’t swap with the front and was equally useless.

    Tweed and wool are not reflective at night and there are no reflective strips on brogues either.

    At best they were warning lights because you could see fuck all even when they worked (which they often didn’t because the contacts would work loose or the bulb would expire). Once they’d gone out you had to try and fix them in the dark – hilarious.

    Obviously they bounced off their mounts and self destructed when you went over cobbles too.

    You’re only a wee bit older than me. I started with the BIG Every Ready (boy, was that not true) lights. Two D batteries and they were crap. Almost all bikes back then came with either a headset mounted lamp bracket or one brazed on the fork. This was considered a selling point! I remember when Wonder lights appeared in the 80s with their plastic clips and decent clamps for the light. Compared to the Ever Readys, they were great! Still the same shitty bulb scenario though . . . Thanks to LEDs, you can light yourself up like a Christmas tree for less bulk and weight than any old Every Ready lamp. Don’t get me started on generator lights either . . .

  5. @Skip

    @frank

    @Skip

    Wow. I see that and raise you this:

    Where to start? Aside from all of the crazy stuff going on with the bike itself (look at that saddle tilt!) what makes the scene for me is the full face downhill helmet. Did you not get a picture of that beast in motion?

    I don’t have the pic, but the Times printed a pic of Wiggo going on his first training ride after his wee accident. One pic showed an EPMS, which, given his Euro-roots is understandable. What was unforgiveable was the big-ass clip-on fender thing on the back. There are all kinds of sweet skinny fenders (mudguards) available, but this was awful.

  6. @wiscot The pic already got posted but I know what you mean it was a seatpost clip on stolen off a Grifter or Chopper from the 80’s I reckon his Dad lent it to him…ffs you would have thought the team would have given him a fully dressed up rain bike for his winter miles!

  7. @Oli

    @frank Seeing you seem so interested you’ll have to ask Marcus for your ovine romance tips. As I say, I’ve never dated one.

    I just put on a kiwi eccent

  8. @Skip

    @the Engine

    @frank

    In Scotland we prefer to have multiple hand holds just like on the bike…

    Does your MTB look like this?

    No but it is fucked.

    Just back from an evening in the woods with the club (fnarr) as it happens and frightened the little Engines when I got home with my Flandrian Facial – cow shit with a hint of sheep poop. Brakes are completely shot so off to the LBS in the morning to sort it all out so I can do it all again tomorrow night.

  9. @wiscot

    @the Engine

    My dad sent me in to action with one of these on the lamp bracket on the front fork of my Raleigh Shadow in 1977. It was like cycling with a candle in a horn lamp. The battery (unrechargeable) theoretically lasted for 24 hours (well it only had to light a lamp with the intensity of those they used to use on telephone switchboards) but it would start to brown out after half an hour or so.

    The rear right used big torch batteries that you couldn’t swap with the front and was equally useless.

    Tweed and wool are not reflective at night and there are no reflective strips on brogues either.

    At best they were warning lights because you could see fuck all even when they worked (which they often didn’t because the contacts would work loose or the bulb would expire). Once they’d gone out you had to try and fix them in the dark – hilarious.

    Obviously they bounced off their mounts and self destructed when you went over cobbles too.

    You’re only a wee bit older than me. I started with the BIG Every Ready (boy, was that not true) lights. Two D batteries and they were crap. Almost all bikes back then came with either a headset mounted lamp bracket or one brazed on the fork. This was considered a selling point! I remember when Wonder lights appeared in the 80s with their plastic clips and decent clamps for the light. Compared to the Ever Readys, they were great! Still the same shitty bulb scenario though . . . Thanks to LEDs, you can light yourself up like a Christmas tree for less bulk and weight than any old Every Ready lamp. Don’t get me started on generator lights either . . .

    Ooh – my dad had a dyno hub on his #2 bike  – never worked – but he was too tight/poor to put a new front wheel on so rode around with the extra weight for decades.

  10. @brett

    Although I have never interfered with a sheep, I may indeed have been lurking in a dress on Oli’s night ride. Nothing sus.

    Agree with Marcus, flashers on the front and too much lumenage is worse than not enough, it is distracting to drivers and can impair distance perception. 350 lumens is more than enough for a road bike. Same out back, super bright flashers can be almost blinding to drivers (not to mention riders when in a bunch)… we ride through winter at night on the road, and most of us run one up front and two out back max. I always have one of these mounted permanently now, un-noticeable and there if needed…

    Riding singletrack at night is probably the most fun to be had on any bike anytime… but you’ll need some bigger lumenage for max effect. Though back in the early 90s we had some pretty basic set ups, which were state of the art back then… heavy bid on batteries and quick-fade halogen lamps. Then HiD came along and changed the game, and now the LED technology and tiny Li Ion batteries is so affordable that everyone can ride fast on trails without wearing a diaper.

    Frank; a shock is on the back of the bike, a fork up front.

    OK now you got me thinking…I was eyeing up the lezyne mega drive, light up the way ahead like those night shift road crews on the motorway (read freeway for you guys over in the states).  I have one requirement for my front light and that is…..LIGHT!….my night rides are going to be on country lanes…expect zero or very little traffic in the pitch black.  My logic was something that will light up the whole fucking ball park..i,e, cars can see me coming over the rise of a hill (like you see with car lights) and that 1000 lumens looked like just the job…you saying that 350 lumens is enough….we are not talking commuter rides here on main roads with street lights or much oncoming traffic….if a car sees me coming I want him to shit himself and slow down?

  11. @Deakus

    I can’t understand this business about headlights being too bright or some arbitrary level of lumens being enough. So long as there are cars on the road the bike will never be the thing with the brightest lights blinding people, and so long as there are potholes and other objects to worry about anywhere in the vicinity of the cyclist, you will want absolutely as much lighting as possible for safely sake.

    Unless you’re a gambling man and you don’t have anyone around who cares if you make it back in once piece: if you are interested in actually training that means you will be going fast and that means you need a big, bright fucker on your bike and one on your head for looking outside the Cone of Awesome.

  12. @Chris

    @the Engine

    @frank

    @Marcus

    @frank by telling me to go back to New Zealand (a country I have never visited) are you trying to underhandedly call me Minion? If so, that really hurts.

    Try not to get too turned on:

    In Scotland we prefer to have multiple hand holds just like on the bike…

    The ladies at the top are for riding in a group with your friends or club while the lass in the second photo is for solo efforts against the clock or those Rule #42 defining moments when you are going to have to dip your mount of choice first and then make a quick exit afterwards.

    This is some confusing shit! Are the “ladies” being dipped to prevent infestation or are you mounting the Big Horn?  And since when does SIDI make sheep boots?

  13. @The Pressure Dipping, shearing, isn’t that what they call sport down under?

    @frank & @Deakus I’m in the bright is right camp. As long as the lights are pointing down a bit and not straight into the eyes of oncoming traffic, 1000 lumens isn’t overkill.

    I could do with a properly strong light with a full beam function o that when cars fail to dip their lights I could return the favour briefly.

  14. @Chris

    @frank

    1000 lumens on a road bike is stupid. Blinding an oncoming car and having it run you down isn’t good sense really. Cars have a high/low beam for a reason, and if a bike is putting out more than a car, drivers are gonna get pissed off. They hate us enough already. And shining a helmet light into their face isn’t exactly bright either (boom-tish).

    @Deakus

    The Mega Drive is enough (450l). Easy to mount, lightweight and plenty of power.

  15. @frank @Oli  @brett
    Whilst I hesitate to agree with Brett’s agreement with me, I do not mind disagreeing with you other two who can never agree with each other. It is not just about lumens – its is about how a light is focused. And if you have a bright light that is very focused – like Fronk’s 1000 lumen bike light – you end up temporarily blinding cunts who look directly into the light.

    People need to use their judgement – I say that light strength assisting one to be seen will plateau at some point – even on unlit country roads. Any stronger than that and you are putting other road users at risk. And you are being a rude cunt.

    Rather than increasing lumens on the front, you would probably improve your safety by putting lights in your spokes – they look cool from side on – and by wearing a YJA.

    This argument – which has no way of anyone being found correct – could go on for weeks. I am in.

    For what its worth I go with an Xposure that is about 4 years old that allegedly kicks out 720 lumens max that I only ever run on half power.

  16. In the winter here in NZ I do a lot of training at night on the road in the forest so it gets pitch black. I use a 900 lumen light and under 30kph you can see everything. Over 30kph you can see the road fine but can’t see the potholes in time so I stick to roads that I know well. I have clocked over 75kph on descents with this and if I could I would go brighter. 900 lumen is still not close to the brightness of car lights and when I get back onto lit roads amongst traffic I switch to flashing as you sometimes get lost amongst the rest of the traffic. Get the brightest lights you can afford.

  17. Cars run about 2 x 700 lumens on low beam and up to 2 x 3000 lumens on high beam. Some HID systems run to 2 x 5000 lumens. Try beating that.

  18. I have 2 or 3 Korg flasher clones on the back, and one on the front.

    I also have a “Trustfire 1800” as a main light on the front. The 1800 is supposed to mean 1800 lumens – not sure it really is that much, but it does have a XPE-R2 main lamp AND two Cree XML-T6 outrigger lamps. It’s brighter than a car light.

  19. @Paul riding at speed in dark has just as much to do with light strength than it does about spread – I am betting that you actually “see” potholes at 75k but you only see them when you are about to hit (due to the much more focused and closer spread of a bike light versus a car light). The greater the beam is spread the lesser the “brightness” in a specific spot. Hence a 1000 lumen bike light can be a lot more blinding than a car light with greater lumens. Am very close to speaking out of my arse here (even closer than usual) but I believe this is the way it goes.

  20. @Paul

    In the winter here in NZ I do a lot of training at night on the road in the forest so it gets pitch black. I use a 900 lumen light and under 30kph you can see everything. Over 30kph you can see the road fine but can’t see the potholes in time so I stick to roads that I know well. I have clocked over 75kph on descents with this and if I could I would go brighter. 900 lumen is still not close to the brightness of car lights and when I get back onto lit roads amongst traffic I switch to flashing as you sometimes get lost amongst the rest of the traffic. Get the brightest lights you can afford.

    Intrigued by the conversation I did some experimentation on the ride home. Helmet light only was fine in the city at low speed. As soon as the speed kicked up, the Mega was mandatory to see the road and what was coming in the way of debris. (It’s been storming here.) on the country roads, the two lights together were like high beams on the car, the Mega pointed low and wide, the helmet out far for breadth. Amazing

    It also appears that Lezyne added a notch into the helmet mount which lets you snap it into low-beam mode to keep from blinding others.

    Here are the priorities as I see them:

    1. Be visible from behind

    2. Be able to see adequately for personal safety

    3. Be considerate of those on the road with you and doubt point your light at the moon

    Oh, and when the heavens opened up and the animals started lining up in pairs, I would have mounted six Megas and four super drives if I could have.

  21. @frank

    @Paul

    In the winter here in NZ I do a lot of training at night on the road in the forest so it gets pitch black. I use a 900 lumen light and under 30kph you can see everything. Over 30kph you can see the road fine but can’t see the potholes in time so I stick to roads that I know well. I have clocked over 75kph on descents with this and if I could I would go brighter. 900 lumen is still not close to the brightness of car lights and when I get back onto lit roads amongst traffic I switch to flashing as you sometimes get lost amongst the rest of the traffic. Get the brightest lights you can afford.

    Intrigued by the conversation I did some experimentation on the ride home. Helmet light only was fine in the city at low speed. As soon as the speed kicked up, the Mega was mandatory to see the road and what was coming in the way of debris. (It’s been storming here.) on the country roads, the two lights together were like high beams on the car, the Mega pointed low and wide, the helmet out far for breadth. Amazing

    It also appears that Lezyne added a notch into the helmet mount which lets you snap it into low-beam mode to keep from blinding others.

    Here are the priorities as I see them:

    1. Be visible from behind

    2. Be able to see adequately for personal safety

    3. Be considerate of those on the road with you and doubt point your light at the moon

    Oh, and when the heavens opened up and the animals started lining up in pairs, I would have mounted six Megas and four super drives if I could have.

    Seems logical.  OK I’m going to big on light, the main reason being that my riding will be night on country lanes little or no traffic at all so consideration for others is probably a minor issue, I already have smaller lights for riding round lit streets and open roads in the moonlight, I am really looking for something akin to an Arc Light so that I can see the road ahead for some distance…particularly seeing as country lanes here tend to have pretty poor surfaces.

    I like the functionality of the megadrive but probably need to invest in helmet light too which I don’t have…

  22. @brett I’m not advocating setting out with my lights angled in such a way that I’m going to be shining them straight into the faces of oncoming drivers. I tend to get rather fucked off with cars with poorly adjusted headlights and I make sure that my lights are angled down in such a way that they are going to light up the area of road in front of me that will allow me to pick out and avoid any hazard in good time at 30mph. I’m certainly not lighting up more road ahead of me than a car on low beam would. Set up like that I can’t see how my lights are any more offensive than a car’s.

    Riding on the road I don’t use a helmet mounted light but if there is a lot of traffic or the visibility is very poor I will use a flashing light on the front – a constant light in those conditions is too easily lost in the background clutter.

    On the back, I use a Hope light that, on it’s highest output, causes drivers to crash long before they get anywhere near me. it’s always fun watching them explode in my helmet mirror.

  23. @Nate

    There was a brand new fairly rural rails-to-trails path out behind my college campus. It was a fun place to ride on a moonlight night, especially under the influence of certain chemicals. Don’t think I used a light, either.

    YES! I like this story from the past. I’m guessing you are alluding to Gu, that wacky stuff?

  24. Does the Eye of Sauron now hold my nice usb headlight cap?

    I took the darn thing off the other night to charge it and was rushing around all over the place doing far too many things. Now I can’t find it and it’s driving me mad. I’m blaming the cats at this point, since why else would I take the cap off to charge it and put it somewhere stupid? (considering how much I was doing at once…it might just be in my tool box top, in a pocket, on a mantel, etc.)

  25. @frank

    Wow, I found a picture of me in 1993 with my old Schwinn with the Rock Shox. Merckx, I loved that bike.

    I hope to the God of Sauron that you still have that awesome matching outfit! I’m guessing the poofiness allowed Full Awesomeness to be put out while bombing the trails?

  26. @Ron

    @frank

    Wow, I found a picture of me in 1993 with my old Schwinn with the Rock Shox. Merckx, I loved that bike.

    I hope to the God of Sauron that you still have that awesome matching outfit! I’m guessing the poofiness allowed Full Awesomeness to be put out while bombing the trails?

    Had the 3pt system going even way back then. Sweet.

  27. @scaler911

    @Ron

    @frank

    Wow, I found a picture of me in 1993 with my old Schwinn with the Rock Shox. Merckx, I loved that bike.

    I hope to the God of Sauron that you still have that awesome matching outfit! I’m guessing the poofiness allowed Full Awesomeness to be put out while bombing the trails?

    Had the 3pt system going even way back then. Sweet.

    What’s that yellow thing behind the saddle? How big is that bottle in the seat tube cage? Looks like a couple of liters to me . . . What is the red and white thing located under your left armpit? Is it some kind of colossal fanny pack? I think we should be told.

  28. @wiscot

    I don’t have the pic, but the Times printed a pic of Wiggo going on his first training ride after his wee accident. One pic showed an EPMS, which, given his Euro-roots is understandable. What was unforgiveable was the big-ass clip-on fender thing on the back. There are all kinds of sweet skinny fenders (mudguards) available, but this was awful.

    oh you mean like this?

    gotta love it.  clip-on fender, EPMS, long tights, balaclava, AND in the little ring no less.  worst part is, i read he had a follow car right behind him when he crashed!  wtf do you need an EPMS for if you’ve got a follow car?

    regarding the conversation about lights shining in the eyes of other riders…  i mainly have this problem with pedestrians.  during the winter, i’ll try to set out as early as possible when the darkness is coming, hit the roads first and then hit the bike trails (rails to trails, paved, shared) for the majority of the darkness.  i love riding out there, actually.  but in the winter darkness, you see a lot more people running or walking dogs than you do riding.  my solution is to simply turn my light to the side.  i have the lezyne super drive (although the mount is similar to many others) and you can just swivel it about 30 degrees to the side as you pass each other.  this is enough to not completely destroy your view of the path ahead but also give the oncoming pedestrian a break.  i love riding out there with two people side-by-side though; pedestrians jump off the trail and yell “i though you were a car!”

    also, i know touring cyclists swear by mounting the headlight as low as possible.  allegedly it helps to illuminate potholes and road imperfections in a more 3D manner, so you can see their depth and not just the existence of them.  i’ve seen a couple devices that allow you to do this, such as a paul components gino (mounts to a fender boss on the fork, though) or the problem solvers quick release mount.  both basically just add a little tube sticking out of your fork to mount the light onto.  probably serves its purpose, but i just can’t bring myself to mount the damn things to my bike!  it’s bad enough having all the lights on there.

  29. @chiasticon I know he’s coming back from a major accident but it kinda looks like Wiggo’s carrying an extra tubular around the waist.  Suppose it could be the layers of stuff he has on.

  30. @chiasticon

    @wiscot

    I don’t have the pic, but the Times printed a pic of Wiggo going on his first training ride after his wee accident. One pic showed an EPMS, which, given his Euro-roots is understandable. What was unforgiveable was the big-ass clip-on fender thing on the back. There are all kinds of sweet skinny fenders (mudguards) available, but this was awful.

    oh you mean like this?

    gotta love it. clip-on fender, EPMS, long tights, balaclava, AND in the little ring no less. worst part is, i read he had a follow car right behind him when he crashed! wtf do you need an EPMS for if you’ve got a follow car?

    regarding the conversation about lights shining in the eyes of other riders… i mainly have this problem with pedestrians. during the winter, i’ll try to set out as early as possible when the darkness is coming, hit the roads first and then hit the bike trails (rails to trails, paved, shared) for the majority of the darkness. i love riding out there, actually. but in the winter darkness, you see a lot more people running or walking dogs than you do riding. my solution is to simply turn my light to the side. i have the Lezyne super drive (although the mount is similar to many others) and you can just swivel it about 30 degrees to the side as you pass each other. this is enough to not completely destroy your view of the path ahead but also give the oncoming pedestrian a break. i love riding out there with two people side-by-side though; pedestrians jump off the trail and yell “i though you were a car!”

    also, i know touring cyclists swear by mounting the headlight as low as possible. allegedly it helps to illuminate potholes and road imperfections in a more 3D manner, so you can see their depth and not just the existence of them. i’ve seen a couple devices that allow you to do this, such as a paul components gino (mounts to a fender boss on the fork, though) or the problem solvers quick release mount. both basically just add a little tube sticking out of your fork to mount the light onto. probably serves its purpose, but i just can’t bring myself to mount the damn things to my bike! it’s bad enough having all the lights on there.

    Yup, that’s the one! I don’t get it. I as in the UK when Wiggo crashed – it was not that cold. High 40s, low 50s easy. Probably warmer in England than it was in Scotland. He’s all bundled up like it’s in the 30s and yet has no overshoes on. WTF? Also, while the EPMS is forgiveable, that fender is most certainly not. For a guy who has a particular sense of style, he must have had a mental block o the fender.

  31. @frank as @marcus says, much of the issue is angle- part of my commuting route is the flagship “10,000th mile” of the UK National Cycle Network- a busy, two and a half metre wide two way shared use trail. Even with the level of lights I’m running, I’ve seen people flinch as I approach. The only reason I use the route is that it’s rather shorter  than the alternative and doesn’t have aresholes in steel cages trying to kill me.

  32. @wiscot

    Yup, that’s the one! I don’t get it. I as in the UK when Wiggo crashed – it was not that cold. High 40s, low 50s easy. Probably warmer in England than it was in Scotland. He’s all bundled up like it’s in the 30s and yet has no overshoes on. WTF? Also, while the EPMS is forgiveable, that fender is most certainly not. For a guy who has a particular sense of style, he must have had a mental block o the fender.

    yea i wouldn’t do high 40’s/low 50’s with full leggings. there is, however, the theory that having your legs covered means you have to deal with cold feet less.  i.e. don’t bitch about cold feet when you’re wearing knicks.  i’ve yet to confirm this theory, as i wear full leggings as seldom as possible.  but maybe that’s why he’s rolling that way?

    regardless, yeah that fender’s atrocious.  and i run full fenders!  at least they’re not on a $10K race bike, though.  they’re way less noticeable (and more effective) than that ungodly butt blade he’s got going.

    all of this does back up my theory though, that pros are just as fredly as anyone else when they’re off-season training: function before appearance.

  33. @Ron

    @Nate

    There was a brand new fairly rural rails-to-trails path out behind my college campus. It was a fun place to ride on a moonlight night, especially under the influence of certain chemicals. Don’t think I used a light, either.

    YES! I like this story from the past. I’m guessing you are alluding to Gu, that wacky stuff?

    More like bong hits and beer.

  34. @chiasticon

    @wiscot

    Yup, that’s the one! I don’t get it. I as in the UK when Wiggo crashed – it was not that cold. High 40s, low 50s easy. Probably warmer in England than it was in Scotland. He’s all bundled up like it’s in the 30s and yet has no overshoes on. WTF? Also, while the EPMS is forgiveable, that fender is most certainly not. For a guy who has a particular sense of style, he must have had a mental block o the fender.

    yea i wouldn’t do high 40″²s/low 50″²s with full leggings. there is, however, the theory that having your legs covered means you have to deal with cold feet less. i.e. don’t bitch about cold feet when you’re wearing knicks. i’ve yet to confirm this theory, as i wear full leggings as seldom as possible. but maybe that’s why he’s rolling that way?

    regardless, yeah that fender’s atrocious. and i run full fenders! at least they’re not on a $10K race bike, though. they’re way less noticeable (and more effective) than that ungodly butt blade he’s got going.

    all of this does back up my theory though, that pros are just as fredly as anyone else when they’re off-season training: function before appearance.

    And what’s with his 10 gallon water bottle too? Thumbs down!

  35. Excellent timing for this article. Lights have been on my mind since I found myself at 3:45 yesterday looking out my office window at the quickly darkening skies, then at my lightless bike leaning against the office wall, then back at the darkening skies…

  36. @Duende I had the same thing. Looked out the window, “Ok, great. I’ve got time to take the long way home.” Sent a couple more emails, looked out again. “Crap, it’s pitch black outside!”

    I’m running Leyzne Femto front (under the stem) and rear (seatpost) on my Fango SS commuting mo-sheen for a discreet, low lumen blinking “Eye of Sam” set-up.

  37. I commute mostly on mixed use paths. I run around 400 lumens on my helmet and 300 on my handlebars. As to the pedestrians, maybe only 1 in 20 at best have any lights or even reflective gear.  Often they’re walking multiple dogs off leash, so I figure if my lights are two bright for them, they can at least be thankful I had lighting and didn’t run into them.  Don’t even get me started on the other “cyclists” who ride in the pitch dark with no lighting or reflective gear at all. It boggles my mind.

  38. @Colorado Nate agreed, can spend 10 grand on a bike but won’t shell out another 100 bucks for a half decent light?? Lot of that round here.

    WRT to Wiggo, that yellow lid is just a little ostentatious for me. I know he’s the only man on the planet to be entitled to wear it, but he looks like a belisha beacon. So off the bike something like springs to mind:

  39. @Giles

    @Colorado Nate agreed, can spend 10 grand on a bike but won’t shell out another 100 bucks for a half decent light?? Lot of that round here.

    WRT to Wiggo, that yellow lid is just a little ostentatious for me. I know he’s the only man on the planet to be entitled to wear it, but he looks like a belisha beacon. So off the bike something like springs to mind:

    The yellow helmet is a a privilege offered to the team leading the points classification during the Tour. Most teams don’t take advantage, with Sky being a notable exception during part of 2012’s race. Given that Team Radio Shack won, it’s odd to see him in it anyway, but I doubt anyone from TRS is shouting about Wiggo wearing yellow anywhere on his body.

    With all that said, he looks like his mother dressed him to make snow angels in a field with large rocks in it, not like a PRO. Yikes.

  40. Can recommend Ay-Ups as others have said …..   had mine for 6 months and have enabled me to get on the bike more due to having a young family.

    Great addition to my “kit” …..

  41. @Enoch

    With all that said, he looks like his mother dressed him to make snow angels in a field with large rocks in it, not like a PRO. Yikes.

    My goodness my guinness, if ever there was proof of the reason we seek to Look Fantastic and that while to Look Pro has an intersection in that set, there is no Set Eclipse going on between the two.

    Merckx.

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