Bontrager encourages daytime running lights for bikes

They’ve been on motorcycles forever, and more recently cars have adopted them too, so why not bikes?

Daytime running lights can significantly improve your visibility on the road, Bontrager says, and the brand is touting its new line of front and rear bike lights as specifically designed for both day and night use. Bontrager says it is just the first step in a sweeping line of products to make cycling safer. Since safety concerns are the number one impediment to get new cyclists out on a bike, we think it’s a great move.


Bontrager says the data it has collected show accidents decreased 25 percent after automobiles adopted daytime running lights, and cycling accidents could be reduced by a third. Because 80 percent of bicycle accidents occur during daylight hours, the brand feels there is a big opportunity for positive change. Just a few days ago I was driving on a twisty mountain road and the cyclists on the road were extremely hard to see as we went from bight sunlight into dark shadows and back again through the trees. A bright light really would have helped.


Optimizing visibility is more than just raw lumens, Bontrager says. The key difference is being seen versus being noticed. It says its line of taillights have blink patterns that are specially designed to be more conspicuous during the day than just a steady blink. It says some are visible from up to two kilometers away.

The lineup


Flare RT tail light

  • 65 lumens and 270 degree visibility.
  • Wirelessly controlled on/off, mode selection and more.
  • Visible from 2 kilometers
  • Two daylight modes, two night modes and turn signal compatible.
  • $80


Flare R tail light

  • 65 lumens and 270 degree visibility.
  • Visible from 2 kilometers
  • Two daylight modes, two night modes.
  • $60


Flare R City

  • 35 lumens
  • Visible from 400 meters.
  • Two daylight modes, two night modes.
  • $40


Ion 800 RT

  • Wirelessly controlled on/off, mode selection and more.
  • 800 lumens and 270 degrees of visibility.
  • High, Medium, Low, Day Flash and Night Flash modes.
  • $120


Ion 800 R

  • 800 lumens and 270 degrees of visibility.
  • High, Medium, Low, Day Flash and Night Flash modes.
  • $100


Ion 350 RT

  • Wirelessly controlled on/off, mode selection and more.
  • 350 lumens.
  • High, Medium, Low, Day Flash and Night Flash modes. 
  • $80


Ion 350 R

  • 350 lumens.
  • High, Medium, Low, Day Flash and Night Flash modes.
  • $60


Ion 100 R

  • 100 lumens.
  • High, Medium, Low, Day Flash and Night Flash modes.
  • $40

bontrager-daytime-running-lights-11 bontrager-daytime-running-lights-10

Ion 100 R / Flare R City set

  • Both models sold as a package deal.
  • $70



Review: Lupine Rotlicht taillight

Let’s get the initial reaction out of the way:

Holy Toledo, $125 is a lotta cash for a taillight!!! OMG, LOL, SMH, etc.


OK, now shake off the bad attitude and read on. Or don’t. I know I was curious what a $125 taillight offers.

The most interesting feature of this light is an accelerometer activated “brake light”. The light senses rapid deceleration and ups the brightness, much like the brake lights on your car or your 1983 RZ350. I’m pretty curious what drivers thought about the brake light feature, if anything at all. I didn’t notice a difference in drivers’ behavior, but without a real scientific study, it would be pretty hard to make a definitive statement about this. I can say with some authority that I don’t think the brake light makes me any less safe, and my gut feeling it that it is a great feature and one we’ll see on more taillights in the future. I rarely ride in groups, but can image this feature being a nice safety feature for those dudes (it is always dudes) who hop, uninvited, into your draft for a free pull down the bike path.

The Rotlight also has an ambient light sensor. As the night gets darker, the light drops its brightness down a few notches, but cranks it back up when it senses brighter lights, such as headlights. Pretty slick, and a good way to conserve battery life on long rides while keeping the safety factor high.


There are four modes to chose from: steady, flash, pulse, and steady-pulse. Steady and flash are self explanatory. Pulse is a less abrupt flash mode and steady-pulse adds the pulse (not flash) mode to a steady beam of light. I’ve quickly become a fan of the steady-pulse mode. It seems to be a great middle ground between the calmer steady mode and the attention-getting (and blood pressure-raising) flash modes of most lights.

And finally, the light can be adjusted to one of four brightness settings in each mode. At the brightest 2 watt mode you get 160 lumens of red light, the lowest 0.1 watts  is 10 lumens. Run times are below. Changing all these setting with a single button interface isn’t the most intuitive thing. Day-to-day operation is fine, but digging deeper to adjust brightness or turn the light sensor or brake light features on and off requires the owners manual nearby. I just kept the pdf saved in my phone for reference.

Mode       Steady        Blink      Pulse      Wave+Pulse

0.1W          30h          60h          —                  25h
0.25W        12h          24h          24h               10h
0.5W          6h            12h          12h                 5h
1W              3h              6h           6h               2:30h
2W             1:30h         3h           3h                  —

The light includes rubber straps in two lengths for any tube between 22 and 55 mm. The back of the light is angled to keep it straight on most common seat tube angles, but it isn’t adjustable for alternate mounting locations like seat stays. Lupine sent along a seat rail mount for the light as well, a $20 option. There are also options for blue or red light bodies, or a red lens instead of the stock clear.

I’ve been lucky enough to review quite a few Lupine products and each time I’ve come away impressed. For riders that are shopping for sturdy but feature-laden lights, Lupine is perhaps the best place to start looking. If price is the number one shopping concern, obviously there are plenty of less expensive options out there. Once set up as I wanted, the Rotlicht was no harder to operate than anything else on the market, but offers a level of customization second to none.

Lupine continues to release class-leading lights to the market, and the Rotlicht is no different. If you love riding with the latest technology, the Rotlicht is your huckleberry.

For U.S. buyers, leads the way. The rest of the world can check out



Cycling isn’t dangerous, people are dangerous

His name is Mark Angeles.

He was 22.

Mark’s name shouldn’t be worth a mention in Bicycle Times, not because he wasn’t worthy of recognition—in fact he was recognized as one of the most distinguished students in his class at Reed College—but because he should be just another happy cyclist celebrating his graduation last week and the onset of summer.

Instead Mark is yet another cyclist killed by a driver in broad daylight. He has become something no cyclist wants to be: a statistic.

The ghost bike placed at the scene of Mark

The ghost bike placed at the scene of Mark Angeles’ death.

In what has been a particularly disheartening month for cyclists here in Portland, Mark was killed May 27 by a tow truck driver turning left in front of him, the third such “left hook” in the past few weeks.

On May 10, Alistair Corkett, a bike shop employee and budding racer had his leg severed when he was hit by a driver turning in front of him, and on May 22 David Garcia received a critical head injury when a driver turned left in front of him.

After Mark’s death on Wednesday of this week, two other cyclists were seriously injured later that same day, another Thursday, and another today in the same intersection where Alistair lost his leg.

In a twisted turn of irony, Mark’s death came less than 24 hours after the mayor of Portland, Charlie Hales, hosted a Twitter “town hall” to answer questions about bicycle safety and infrastructure in the most “bike friendly” city in America, a title that has come into some well-deserved criticism in the past few months.

On its face the city seems to be at least trying to stem the bloodshed. It has adopted the Vision Zero project, an international effort to create road networks with zero fatalities or serious injuries. It was created in Sweden in 1997 and became popularized after New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio embraced it in 2014.

The Vision Zero program is simple: “No loss of life is acceptable.” At least that is a universal truth that we can all agree on, right?

Maybe not.

Mayor de Blasio’s steadfast dedication to safe streets in New York has been vilified by the local transit union, who has made it more than clear that they are unhappy that city bus drivers have been prosecuted for hitting and killing pedestrians. Since last year Six bus drivers have been arrested for violating a right-of-way law, but the Transit Workers Union Local 100 says they should be exempt from the law that makes it a crime to fail to yield and strike pedestrians or cyclists who are rightfully crossing a street with a signal.

“Bus operators should not be held accountable,” TWU 100 President John Samuelsen told CBS New York. Five of the six incidents that warrant arrest under this “unfair” law resulted in a pedestrian death. Talk about unfair.

Now never mind that the very existence of such a law seems outrageously unnecessary—how can it be that hitting a pedestrian who has the right of way isn’t already a crime?!—the union believes bus schedules are more important than safety, and has gone so far as to file a class action lawsuit against the mayor and city to revoke it.

While that nonsense works its way through the system, some folks are taking a stand against it. A couple here in Portland have decided to fight fire with fire by forming a political action committee to take an active role in fighting what they describe as “traffic violence apologists.” Instead of working within the system, Chris Anderson and Amy Subach say they will use any means available to expose and even replace politicians and other public figures that they believe are making streets unsafe for cyclists and pedestrians.

The self-appointed Vision Zero PAC will work nationally to challenge legislation, expose hypocrisy and debunk victim blaming. On its website it has a form that allows users to “nominate a future loser,” and it is offering a $200 reward for a photo of any New York City council members who oppose Vision Zero texting or talking on the phone while driving, which both violate New York state law.

So where does that leave us? Will cities embrace safety measures to allow its citizens to move about without the risk of loss of life? Hopefully. Will cars continue to hit and kill cyclists and pedestrians? Absolutely. Is there anything you or I can do about it? I don’t know.

I’m not afraid to admit that I feel unsafe nearly every time I ride a bike. It’s rare that I can make it from A to B without a car brushing past me too closely or even worse, deliberately swerving, honking, or harrassing me in some way. I hardly ever ride road bikes recreationally any more because of it, and even transportation riding has become less enjoyable. I’m sure I’m not the only one that feels this way.

Within 24 hours of Mark’s death a ghost bike had been placed at the intersection where he died with a growing collection of flowers, photos and handwritten notes. I went to visit it yesterday and left feeling heartbroken and terrified. Not a quarter mile away I stopped at a four-way stop—much to the dismay of the men in a truck going the opposite way who had waited, assuming I would run the stop sign. After they waved me through I waved back and their reply succinctly summed up the attitude that is leading to injury and death.


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