Last Updated 2021.01.30
Long Riders! Considering the headlight mania of Aoi Aragaki in episode 11
Long Riders! Do you remember that in episode 11 of Aoi Aragaki, who is usually retired and thoughtful, appeared with headlights in a hurry because it was a night run practice?
It was often called light pollution by my friends, but in reality, do you need such headlights like Aoi Aragaki? In response to the question, I would like to explain what the author wanted to convey in episode 11 with my own interpretation.
How Bright Do Road Bike Headlights Need?
I think there are headlights and taillights as parts to buy when you first buy a road bike.
Since road bikes are mainly used in the daytime, I think that most people just need to put on a headlight that is cheap and not so bright (about 50 to 100 lumens) for the time being.
It is often not a problem when driving on bright urban roads with street lights, but I have experience of driving all night on long-distance touring overnight runs, Brevet, etc., and on dark roads without street lights in the countryside or suburbs. I think people will be dissatisfied with the brightness of the headlights in the first place.
With the development of LED technology and the miniaturization and large capacity of rechargeable batteries, LED headlights that illuminate with the brightness of motorcycles have recently come out from various companies, and the choice of headlights has increased considerably. So how bright should you actually choose the headlights?
In my opinion, if you want to safely enjoy cycling all night long, you need a headlight that can provide a brightness of at least 200 lumens. Moreover, assuming an overnight run, it is necessary to have a sustainability that can irradiate a brightness of 200 lumens or more from sunset to dawn.
Is Aoi Aragaki’s headlight equipment overkill?
It is a headlight equipped on Aoi Aragaki’s road bike, but as far as I saw the broadcast image, two on the left and right of the steering wheel, two on the left and right with additional extension bars, and an extension bar on the tip of the front fork I was irradiating one helmet and one helmet at the same time for a total of about six.
As expected, 6 simultaneous irradiation is overkill, but in fact, for long-distance cycling such as 600km and 1200km brevet, there are quite a few riders who have 3 or 4 headlights around the handlebars. If you search for the keyword “brevet-equipped headlights” on Google’s image search, you will find photos with four or five headlights around the handlebars in a metamorphic way.
To actually use the headlights, turn on one or two headlights with a brightness of about 200 lumens, and run while preserving the rest or charging with a mobile battery. In the case of dry battery type headlights, run with a replacement rechargeable battery in a saddle bag or the like. If the rechargeable battery is a cartridge type and replaceable LED headlight, you may run with a fully charged cartridge battery.
The real purpose of having multiple headlights is to rotate them when the headlights are depleted and not turn off the lights overnight or overnight.
How to choose headlights for overnight runs
As mentioned above, we needed a brightness of around 200 lumens as a standard for driving safely on a road bike at night.
If 200 lumens is enough for the headlights, then a maximum of 200 lumens is enough for the headlights, which in turn raises the issue of duration.
Most headlights complain about maximum light, but most sacrifice duration at maximum light. For example, headlights that can produce a maximum brightness of 200 lumens are usually designed to run out of charge in about 1.5 to 3 hours. This is a calculation that requires at least three when doing an overnight run. If you irradiate two 200 lumen modes to drive safely, you will need about six including rotation. This is inefficient, isn’t it?
Choose headlights by brightness and duration
As an example, I would like to compare with the following CatEye headlights.
CATEYE VOLT 400 / VOLT 800 / VOLT 1700
|VOLT 400||VOLT 800||VOLT 1700|
|High mode||400 lumens: 3 hours||800 lumens: 2 hours||1700 lumens: 2 hours|
|Middle mode||100 lumens: 8 hours||400 lumens: 3.5 hours||500 lumens: 5 hours|
|Low mode||50 lumens: 18 hours||200 lumens: 8 hours||200 lumens: 15 hours|
Can you see it by looking at the headlight comparison table above?
High mode is bright but has a short duration, so it can’t be used for overnight runs.
And if you look at the low mode of the high spec VOLT 800 and VOLT 1700, even with the necessary and sufficient brightness of 200 lumens, the duration is 8 hours and 15 hours, and even the overnight run has enough duration.
This is the real reason why people who run overnight, such as long-distance cycling and brevets, choose high-spec headlights.
What happens when you actually attach a headlight to a road bike
This is a picture of the headlights of my road bike.
CATEYE VOLT 800 and VOLT 400 are installed on the left and right.
The VOLT 400 is attached when I first bought the road bike, and if it is true, it is ideal to buy another VOLT 800 and rotate it with the two lights of the VOLT 800. I think I will probably buy more VOLT 800 in the future.
The headlights are installed under the steering wheel, assuming that when the upper part of the steering wheel is refreshed and you actually participate in the brevet, a guide map of the route called a cue sheet will be attached around the upper part of the steering wheel.
The headlights on my road bike are still under-equipped for Brevet experts and long-distance cyclists. I also think that this is the minimum equipment for completing the 200km brevet, and if you participate in 300km, you will need another VOLT 800.
Did you understand that the headlights like Aoi Aragaki of Long Riders are inevitably increased when participating in overnight runs, long-distance touring, and brevets?
I wrote an article about what the author of Long Riders! Miyake wanted to convey in episode 11 was something like this, but was it helpful?
If you’re wondering how to choose a road bike headlight, this article is for you.