Allowing cyclists to ride after the sun goes down, bicycle headlights are a necessity for anyone who plans to spend a lot of time on two wheels. With the ability to produce huge amounts of light with minimal added weight, headlights allow riders to see the road or trail ahead and makes them more visible to motorists at night.
The Bright Light
The NiteRider Pro 1200 LED headlight ($589.99 as of 2010) pumps out 1,200 lumens out of two LEDs for an intense "spot" beam combined with a "flood" beam to optimize a rider's vision at night. Powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery with a run time ranging from 2.5 hours to up to 64 hours, the Pro1200 won't leave you in the dark. A "low battery" indicator will let you know when it needs to be recharged and handlebar- or helmet-mounting options will have you riding at night in no time.
Few things are as disconcerting as having your headlight's battery die in the middle of a night ride. Ravx has found a solution with the Opti-Bar X1 long-lasting headlight ($21.74 as of 2010). Five bright LED lights manage to pull 150 hours of life from four AAA batteries. Add a tool-free mounting bracket for easy installation and adjustment and a weather-resistant exterior and you have a dependable, long-lasting headlight.
The Green Light
It's generally considered an environmentally sound choice to ride a bicycle instead of driving, but if you really want to take things to the next level, go for the Cat Eye HL-EL020 Hybrid Headlight ($54.99 as of 2010). The Hybrid is a solar-powered headlight that produces 400+ candlepower for up to 2.5 hours on an 8-hour charge in bright sunlight, keeping riders on trails, and a few more batteries out of landfills. And for those who live in a less-than-tropical environment-you won't get left in the dark if you ride in overcast weather or outrun your solar charge because the Hybrid also has a backup AA battery to keep you going.
Article Written By Billy Brown
Billy Brown is an outdoor sports writer living in Northern California.
An avid rock climber and trail runner, he's been writing about outdoor activities, fitness and gear since 2005. He regularly contributes to "The Record Searchlight," uncooped.com, and Trails.com, as well as other print and online publications. Brown holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Simpson University and is a NASM-certified personal trainer.