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Thread: New rules for German bicycle lights..

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* Martin's Avatar
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    Default New rules for German bicycle lights..

    ..are coming into effect on 29.Nov:

    Headlights must achieve at least 10 Lux. Until now, headlights had to achieve 4 Lux / 7 Lux (standard incan / halogen incan).

    Dynamos now have to achieve a min efficiency of 30%.

    Dynamos must contain overvoltage protection (in the case of dynamo hubs, this may be external).

    Anything below this standard may no longer be manufactured or imported, while shops may still sell whatever stock they have.

    I've received this info from Busch & Mueller today.

  2. #2
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    Rolleye11 Re: New rules for German bicycle lights..

    So everyone who has less than ten lux has to buy new headlights for their bikes. Nannystatism at its finest!

  3. #3

    Default Re: New rules for German bicycle lights..

    4 lux... thats low

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* Coop's Avatar
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    Default Re: New rules for German bicycle lights..

    hmmmm.... I'll be keeping an eye on roseversand.de maybe they'll have some nice closeoutsales on dynamo hubs or sweet deals on lightingsystems...
    ... Never underestimate the power of human stupidity ...

  5. #5
    Flashaholic Biker Bear's Avatar
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    Default Re: New rules for German bicycle lights..

    Quote Originally Posted by InfidelCastro
    So everyone who has less than ten lux has to buy new headlights for their bikes. Nannystatism at its finest!
    Since he says shops can sell existing stock, I doubt that's the case.

    Considering how oblivious cars are to me on a (relatively) big motorcycle, I can only imagine what it's like to be in traffic on a bicycle; if mandating brighter lights will help keep clueless cagers from running down bicyclists, I'm all for it.

    If people would pay attention to their driving, maybe such mandates wouldn't be needed....
    Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent. -- Salvor Hardin
    Censorship is telling a man he canít have a steak just because a baby canít chew it. -- Mark Twain

  6. #6
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    Default Re: New rules for German bicycle lights..

    The following is a joke:
    In recent news the United Kingdom now requires at least a 1 million candlepower spotlight on bicycles to up the ante against Germany in nannystateism.
    The preceding was a JOKE!

    Seriously, the more visible a bike is to a car at night the better. I don't think we have any standards here in the states.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: New rules for German bicycle lights..

    My observations of drivers, other than myself , confirms Biker Bear's concern. I don't believe enough drivers pay enough attention to the task at hand coupled with the fact many behind the wheel (can't call them drivers) DON'T HAVE A CLUE! We auto, mini-van & pickemup truck drivers don't even notice each other, much less a Harley or other big bike. A pitiful little bicycle hasn't got a chance.

    Sometimes traffic is congested and drivers are paying attention to lots of visual input. At those times a brighter light might be better.
    I'm absolutely certain that I need another flashlight.

  8. #8
    Administrator Size15's's Avatar
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    Default Re: New rules for German bicycle lights..

    Studies in the UK have found that drivers give bi-cyclists more space if they are NOT wearing helmets. Further, although you are more likely to sustain a more serious injury if you not correctly wearing a suitable helmet, you are much less likely to be involved in an accident compared to if you are wearing one.

    Now that the nights have drawn in it is obvious that some pedestrians and cyclists using the roads take no regard for how easy (or not) they can be see by motor vehicle drivers.
    Having been a pedestrian and cyclist for most of my life so-far I tend to afford such people the sort of room I'd like to have been given myself.
    Still, most all of the bicyclist lights I've seen this year have been tragically poor quality and low output. I think it's a good idea to make sure that there is a minimum level of light output from the cycle lights you can purchase [rather than relying on the customer to select one of suitable output from a selection.

    Further, whilst I think that 'flashing' front and rear lights used by cyclists is okay in principle I also believe they should not be used in isolation (the law in the UK is for constant-on lights).

    I see quite a few children wearing those shoes which flash as they walk. If only they made a pair in size 15!

    Al

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    Flashaholic* Trashman's Avatar
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    Default Re: New rules for German bicycle lights..

    Quote Originally Posted by Size15's
    Studies in the UK have found that drivers give bi-cyclists more space if they are NOT wearing helmets.
    Al
    I JUST read that exact same thing about 2 minutes ago (bathroom read)!

    Here's what I read (taken from Men's Health, December 2006):

    WHEN HELMETS AREN'T SAFE

    Strange but true: Wearing a bicycle helmet doubles your risk of being hit by a car, according to new research in the journal Accident Analysis & Prevention. When motorists see a helmet, they think the cyclist is more predictable--so they don't give him as wide a berth. Ian Walker, Ph.D., a traffic psychologist at England's University of Bath, studied 2,500 motorists and found that drivers passing helmeted riders came 3.3 inches closer than to those without protection. Walker was even struck--by a bus and a truck--while doing his research (Yes, he had a helmet on.) The less space a cyclist has, the narrower his safety margin when "dealing with obstacles in the road like potholes," he says. Consider a helmet-mounted rearview mirror. Not stylish, but smart.
    Last edited by Trashman; 11-22-2006 at 07:04 PM.

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    Default Re: New rules for German bicycle lights..

    Quote Originally Posted by Biker Bear
    Since he says shops can sell existing stock, I doubt that's the case.

    Considering how oblivious cars are to me on a (relatively) big motorcycle, I can only imagine what it's like to be in traffic on a bicycle; if mandating brighter lights will help keep clueless cagers from running down bicyclists, I'm all for it.

    If people would pay attention to their driving, maybe such mandates wouldn't be needed....


    If it's that bad for bicyclists in traffic, I would imagine they will get a brighter light on their own, without the government mandating it.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic Ikonomi's Avatar
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    Default Re: New rules for German bicycle lights..

    10 lux? Guess I'll strap a bare Nichia to my handlebars and call it a day.
    "There's nothing amazing, just the norm."

  12. #12

    Default Re: New rules for German bicycle lights..

    Quote Originally Posted by Size15's
    Studies in the UK have found that drivers give bi-cyclists more space if they are NOT wearing helmets.

    Al
    I found that having a big blinking red light mounted on your helmet gives you this safety distance back. At least at night. I have one of these cheapo 4 LED light, running on 2 AA (the batteries were half the price of the light). After mounting that on my helmet I was very surprised how careful the cars were passing me.

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* greenlight's Avatar
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    Default Re: New rules for German bicycle lights..

    I never wear a helmet. The cars give me a lot of room when they pass. Maybe it's because I ride upright with no hands...

    Having a headlight for a bike is a great idea to spot dogs or other obstacles while racing thru the dark. A light that shines on the rider might also be a good idea, to make the rider more visible.

  14. #14

    Default Re: New rules for German bicycle lights..

    Quote Originally Posted by greenlight
    I never wear a helmet. The cars give me a lot of room when they pass. Maybe it's because I ride upright with no hands...

    Having a headlight for a bike is a great idea to spot dogs or other obstacles while racing thru the dark. A light that shines on the rider might also be a good idea, to make the rider more visible.
    In our town, there are POTHOLES and rails to lookout for. Those friggin' train tracks by the business services/surplus on SW 13th did a serious damage to my rear rim a while back.

    And also, no headlight means you have a fairly good chance of getting stopped by them friggin' DPS.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: New rules for German bicycle lights..

    Quote Originally Posted by Size15's
    Studies in the UK have found that drivers give bi-cyclists more space if they are NOT wearing helmets. Further, although you are more likely to sustain a more serious injury if you not correctly wearing a suitable helmet, you are much less likely to be involved in an accident compared to if you are wearing one.

    Now that the nights have drawn in it is obvious that some pedestrians and cyclists using the roads take no regard for how easy (or not) they can be see by motor vehicle drivers.
    Having been a pedestrian and cyclist for most of my life so-far I tend to afford such people the sort of room I'd like to have been given myself.
    Still, most all of the bicyclist lights I've seen this year have been tragically poor quality and low output. I think it's a good idea to make sure that there is a minimum level of light output from the cycle lights you can purchase [rather than relying on the customer to select one of suitable output from a selection.

    Further, whilst I think that 'flashing' front and rear lights used by cyclists is okay in principle I also believe they should not be used in isolation (the law in the UK is for constant-on lights).

    I see quite a few children wearing those shoes which flash as they walk. If only they made a pair in size 15!

    Al
    This puts me in a bit of a quandary. I wear a helmet because I care about my safety and, living in the South of the U.S., most drivers either don't see you, or if they do see you, see you as sport. I think I'd like to see a similar study done in the States, especially in the South to see if drivers here do react the same. I guess the only way for me to resolve the helmet/non helmet conundrum is to purchase a huge wig and place it on top of my helmet.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: New rules for German bicycle lights..

    Quote Originally Posted by Dadof6
    I guess the only way for me to resolve the helmet/non helmet conundrum is to purchase a huge wig and place it on top of my helmet.
    so we get to see this...




    ... on a bike?

  17. #17
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    Default Re: New rules for German bicycle lights..

    Bad news I'm affraid! The other bit of the study was the researcher wore a long wig to see if there was any difference in reaction between men and women.
    The worst (closest) combination was femail wig and helmet.

    N

  18. #18
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    Default Re: New rules for German bicycle lights..

    Quote Originally Posted by Trashman
    WHEN HELMETS AREN'T SAFE

    Strange but true: Wearing a bicycle helmet doubles your risk of being hit by a car, according to new research in the journal Accident Analysis & Prevention. When motorists see a helmet, they think the cyclist is more predictable--so they don't give him as wide a berth.
    I'll also add that cyclists in helmets are more likely to take risks because they feel more protected, and hence are involved in more accidents for that reason. I've seen so much of this it isn't even funny anymore.

    While I respect anyone's decision to wear a helmet, and feel it's a good idea for novices who are very likely to have a lot of falls until they get some experience under their belt, I personally don't wear one. All the studies I've seen show that they're not very effective in accidents much over 10 mph. At the 20 to 25 mph I normally ride at on the level (and occasionally in excess of 50 mph on long downhills) a helmet might as well be made of tissue paper for all the protection it would offer. Besides, in all the years I've cycled I never had a fall where I actually hit my head on the ground. Statistically such falls are exceedingly rare. The endovers commonly shown in helmet ads are actually very difficult to replicate in real life. You either need a sewer grate with openings parallel to the direction of travel (these don't exist in NYC any more), or a very deep pothole which would easily be seen and avoided from half a block away, or very strong front brakes (I purposely make sure mine can't lock the front wheel for that reason). In the falls I've had, one of which involved hitting a pothole at 37 mph, the bike kind of just fell out from under me. I reacting by going limp, outstretching my arms, resting my head on my outstretched arms, and sliding to a stop. In all cases all I ended up with was ruined pants and road rash.

    BTW, the new 10 lux requirement is a joke. That's a single Nichia CS running at around 10 mA. My rear flasher is about 10 times brighter, my headlight about 40 times brighter. Even then cars often don't see me.

  19. #19

    Default Re: New rules for German bicycle lights..

    The following is a joke as well...

    Hello Duitsers. Wij willen onze fietsen achter.










    (It's Dutch for "Hello Germans. We want our bicycles back.")

  20. #20
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    Default Re: New rules for German bicycle lights..

    I wonder how much room motorists would give a cyclist if the cyclist was packing heat on their hips?

    People can come up with all sorts of rationales about why they should not wear a helmet while cycling. I've personally been saved from a very serious head injury when a large dog jumped in front of me and sent me flying. The helmet had an impressive dent in it, while I just saw stars for 30 seconds (the dog got a bloody nose, BTW).

    Motorists can do a pretty good job of ignoring even bright bicycle lights. I often ride with a headlight in addition to a handlebar light. More then once a car has seemed oblivious to me until I put the helmet light beam in their face.

  21. #21
    Flashaholic Brum's Avatar
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    Default Re: New rules for German bicycle lights..

    Quote Originally Posted by JnC
    Hello Duitsers. Wij willen onze fietsen achter.
    Vertaalmachine? Dat is in ieder geval geen Nederlands.
    Klopt geen kneup van.
    Terug = back
    Maar back = terug, achter, rug
    Dus.

    Translate that!



    But, on topic. Would this increase sales of Lupine lights? They should get 10lux, won't be easy but they'll manage.
    In Holland the biggest issue isnt the brightness of the lights, but the pure fact of having a light, or putting it on. But with all the cyclingpaths and highest bicycle-to-person (probalby more then 1) ratio it's quite safe.

  22. #22
    Flashaholic* AndyTiedye's Avatar
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    Default Re: New rules for German bicycle lights..

    Quote Originally Posted by Size15's
    Studies in the UK have found that drivers give bi-cyclists more space if they are NOT wearing helmets. Further, although you are more likely to sustain a more serious injury if you not correctly wearing a suitable helmet, you are much less likely to be involved in an accident compared to if you are wearing one.
    So the ideal would be an invisible helmet, or one that is disguised as
    something else.

    Further, whilst I think that 'flashing' front and rear lights used by cyclists is okay in principle I also believe they should not be used in isolation
    Flashing lights may help during the day (solid ones are worthless then).
    Obviously, one needs a solid-on headlight at night, but I don't see anything
    wrong with a flashing taillight. That's what everybody uses on bikes around here.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: New rules for German bicycle lights..

    Quote Originally Posted by AndyTiedye
    Flashing lights may help during the day (solid ones are worthless then).
    Obviously, one needs a solid-on headlight at night, but I don't see anything
    wrong with a flashing taillight. That's what everybody uses on bikes around here.
    My point was that a flashing taillight should not be the only taillight you have. It should be additional to the constant-on taillight.

  24. #24
    Flashaholic* Martin's Avatar
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    Default Re: New rules for German bicycle lights..

    Talking from a motorist's standpoint, both 4 Lux and 10 Lux lights are good enough to see a cyclist.
    My elderly neighbor she rides a 1970 bike with the original light system, lens of headlight has gone yellow, 2.4 W wolfram filament bulb, absolutely no problem seeing her.
    Then there are young shots riding mountainbikes with no lights or depleted battery lights. I had several near misses. I just hope they always see my car and get out of my way.

    From a cyclist's perspective, 10 Lux are just OK to go 20 km/h on a smooth road or trail. More light is always better.

    I assume the upgrade of the German requirements has been made because more is generally better and with the advance of technology, it's affordable. Quality lights have been better than this for years, so we will just see the real bad products disappear.

    Quote Originally Posted by InfidelCastro
    So everyone who has less than ten lux has to buy new headlights for their bikes. Nannystatism at its finest!
    No need to upgrade existing installations.
    Last edited by Martin; 11-23-2006 at 03:07 PM.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: New rules for German bicycle lights..

    From a car drivers point of view, among the myriad light sources all around urban roads a feeble bike light hardly stands out - I'm strongly in favour of the latest flashing LED arrays FRONT and BACK. As usual laws that ban flashing lights on bikes are too narrow minded and don't help anyone.
    As a cyclist I take my own advice and more importantly ride smack bang in the middle of my lane. If anyone wants to pass me, they have to wait for a gap and overtake properly not think that they can squeeze past at full speed. That's called defensive riding. In town a bike's near as fast as a car anyway so this sort of assertive attitude has a lot of benefit for the rider with very little real inconvenience to motor traffic.
    Cheers,
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  26. #26
    Flashaholic* Martin's Avatar
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    Default Re: New rules for German bicycle lights..

    Quote Originally Posted by vandrecken
    As a cyclist I take my own advice and more importantly ride smack bang in the middle of my lane.
    That is indeed the best way to do it. Worked very well for me during several years spent in Bangkok (except when blocking a vehicle with a pressure horn).

    Germany has a rule that a motorist must pass a bike at a min distance of 2m ! If not possible, stay behind.

  27. #27
    Flashaholic* Coop's Avatar
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    Default Re: New rules for German bicycle lights..

    Quote Originally Posted by Brum
    Vertaalmachine? Dat is in ieder geval geen Nederlands.
    Klopt geen kneup van.
    Terug = back
    Maar back = terug, achter, rug
    Dus.

    Translate that!
    whatever the translation is, it's a lame joke...

    And for those who don't have a lot of knowledge of dutch history: It's a reference to WW2 when german invaders confiscated a lot of bicycles (and other means of transportation) in the netherlands...
    ... Never underestimate the power of human stupidity ...

  28. #28

    Default Re: New rules for German bicycle lights..

    The law in the UK says you may only, and must have, a static incan on your bike, front and back, for riding after lighting up time. Anyone with a clue has that plus a flasher on a headband. Sadly, kids round here think it cool to remove even the reflectors from the front and back of the bike, and often all you see is the pedal edges!

    The police should simply confiscate those bikes without the mandatory reflectors on the spot, for crushing if the fine isn't paid. Make the fine £50, (and actually bother enforcing it!) then they would get lights!

    I often feel like getting a load of D cell lights, and throwing them *really hard* at the little T"£%$, especially when they nearly kill themselves under my wheels.
    4.5mW 532nm, 45mW 532nm, 3mW 670nm + dozens of HeNe tubes of many colours, and the LightRat!
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  29. #29
    Flashaholic* AndyTiedye's Avatar
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    Default Re: New rules for German bicycle lights..

    Quote Originally Posted by Dadof6
    This puts me in a bit of a quandary. I wear a helmet because I care about my safety and, living in the South of the U.S., most drivers either don't see you, or if they do see you, see you as sport...
    Maybe hide the helmet under a cowboy hat.

  30. #30

    Default Re: New rules for German bicycle lights..

    Alternating red/blue (in the states) LED arrays on each side of the bike, front and back... ignoring legality, and it wouldn't do much in the day, at night you'd probably get a wide berth and much slowing down until they were passing the "police motorcycle" and realized what was up...

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