In the autumn and winter months, the shorter days and longer nights mean that you’re more likely to find yourself cycling in the dark. Cycling at night can be great fun but comes with many additional safety concerns that you should consider.

 

Below are some of our essential tips for staying safe while cycling in the dark.

 

Good quality, compliant lights!

There’s no doubt that good-quality, law-abiding lights are essential to riding at night. In the UK, you are legally required to have both lights and reflectors fitted to your bike if you’re on the road in the dark. This includes: 

  • A white front light with 110-degree visibility
  • A rear red light
  • A red rear reflector
  • BS6102/2 amber reflectors on the front and rear of each pedal

 

This might sound like a lot, but there are plenty of great-value light and reflector sets which provide you with everything you need. Here are some of our favourites:

 

Raleigh Firefly Twinpack:

 

 

Smart Front & Rear 3 LED Light Set: 

 

Raleigh RX 4.0 Front & Rear LED Lights Set: 

If nothing here tickles your fancy, you can shop our full collection of light sets by visiting our website or your local Cycle King & Hawk Cycles store!

It’s not just about fitting the lights, though. It’s key that before each bike ride, you check that they are in full working order and not running low. You don’t want to be caught out, away from home in the dark!

 

Hi-visibility clothing

It’s not just your bike that needs to be visible in the dark, you need to be too! Reflective, hi-visibility clothing is key to helping other road users see you at night. Generally, the more reflective your clothing is the better, so try to think about how you’re dressing each part of your body.

Reflective jackets are the most obvious choice, we’ve got a great range on our website at the moment which will keep you warm, dry, and visible. However, you should also think about the lower half of your body. When cycling, your legs are doing most of the work and the up and down motion is more likely to catch the light, increasing your visibility. Therefore, we’d recommend investing in some reflective trousers, pedal covers or shoes.

We’ve covered your lower body, but don’t forget about your face and head too! You should always wear a helmet when cycling, night or day. However, at night we’d recommend one with some additional reflectors or lights. This Ammaco LED helmet has got you covered!

 

 

Keep your route short and sweet

For experienced night-cyclists, a long, more adventurous bike ride might be on the cards. However, if you’re new to cycling at night, we’d recommend opting for a shorter ride. Navigating new areas at night can be difficult. Stay relatively close to home or an area that you know well.

We’d also advise you to plan your route based on the roads you’ll be riding on. Wide, well-lit roads are preferable. You should also try to avoid poorly surfaced roads with lots of potholes as there’s a higher chance you’ll miss these in the dark!

Don’t forget to tell a friend or family member where you’re going and always pack a fully-charged phone.

 

Check your bike’s condition

As with any bike ride, you should ensure that your bike is fit for purpose before cycling. If you’re using it for the first time in a while, check out our guide to cleaning up an old bike. If you’d like to be sure that it’s working correctly, our in-store servicing and repair options are here to help. We’ll take a look over your bike and let you know what might need replacing or repairing!

Once your bike is in great condition, you’re ready to go! But, don’t forget to pack some essential tools that can fix any failures. Our maintenance category has everything you need to fix your bike on the go!

 

Safety in numbers

By following the tips above, you’re already becoming a safer cyclist! To go that extra mile, why not round up a group of friends to go cycling with, or join a cycling club to ensure that you’re not riding alone.

A larger group of cyclists gives safety in numbers with better visibility and more hands-on deck should any incidents occur!