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Recently, we were driving for the first time on a winding country road we’d ridden countless times on a bike. It’s the kind of road with breathtaking vistas coupled with technical descents that attracts every self-respecting cyclist within a 50-mile radius. Unfortunately, the winding roads that make this such a blast on a bike also mean blind turns on a two-lane highway with little-to-no shoulder, which locals have a tendency to fly around with abandon like they’re racing the Monaco Grand Prix. As cyclists, we always yield plenty of space to bikes while driving. Yet, there are times behind the wheel when it can be hard to see a cyclist, even in the daytime. Luckily, so many of the riders out that day were using daytime lights which demanded our attention far down the road and in tight corners. Before that drive, like many cyclists, we had just passively assumed we were visible during the day. But the low-visibility, technical nature of the best roads and increasingly distracted drivers, all make the case for using lights on every ride.
No sooner had we gone on that drive than the new Ion 200 RT / Flare RT light set from Bontrager arrived at the PELOTON office. The folks at Bontrager lights have managed to pack a prison yard spotlight into a package the size of an ice cube, by using focused optics to direct an LED with an output of up to 200 lumens far down the tarmac. You would expect there to be no room left for a battery, yet these lights provide 12+ hours of daytime flash use while being easily recharged with a micro usb cable. Big punch, small package.
Bontrager has determined drivers need 400m of runway to react, so they’ve gone ahead and designed these lights to be visible from over 2km away in day flash mode for both the front and rear. A steady light blends in with everything else competing for drivers’ attention so Bontrager has specially developed varied flash patterns for optimal visibility both day and night. And, unlike many low-powered lights on the market, the option to switch into a high-powered steady light mode lets you actually see at night too–not just be seen.
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With the amount of time it takes just to get kitted up and ready for a ride, you might be hesitant to add another thing to remember to turn on to your pre-ride routine. Luckily these lights connect to ANT+ enabled devices like your GPS and automatically turn on to one of your preferred five light settings so you can set them and forget them. (just remember to check the battery level on your Bontrager lights occasionally!) Unobtrusive and powerful, these lights will help keep you safe and provide a little more peace of mind out on the road. trekbikes.com; $115