Lights and Signals

Communication on a group ride is crucial. But on a night ride, you can't see arm signals!


Here are the main vocal call-out signals used on the FNRttC. We go over these (and others peculiar to the night's route) during the interactive safety talk before every ride. Learn them ahead of time so you can join in!


Lights generally fall into two categories: Those that enable you to see, and those that allow you to be seen by other road users. You probably already have lights in the "be seen" category. For night riding, your usual "be seen" rear light will do the job. But your front light should go a step further and let you see the road. Out on dark country lanes, lights that let you see potholes before you hit them will make your ride more enjoyable and less nerve-wracking.

Here are some of the most popular choices of lights amongst regular FNRttCers.

Front lights

Hope Vision - available in several models. The Hope Vision 1 is perfectly adequate and a popular choice at a cost of about £80. [Note: On sale for £62.99 in March 2017 from Freeborn Bikes.]

Rear lights

Smart Lunar R2 - a 2 and a half watt clip-on light with a range of mounting brackets for affixing to seat posts, seat packs, saddle bags, racks, seat stays, etc. It has several light pattern modes. For night rides, pulse or steady modes work best to avoid blinding riders behind you. It runs on two AAA batteries and costs about £20 from, although it can pay to shop around for better deals. 

Ditch the batteries and go Dyno!

Installing a front-wheel dynamo hub saves a lot of fiddling about with batteries and the risk of finding yourself without lights at all in the middle of the night. 

A few of the best regarded dynamo hubs are the Son deluxe, the SP-PV8, Shimano's N80 and USE's Revo. You will need to get a wheel built round the hub and then purchase a front light that runs off the power generated by the hub.

Front dyno-powered lights

One highly recommended front light is the Edelux II (approx £100) which is not only extremely bright, but also has a best-in-class reflector.

Rear dyno-powered lights

The Secula Plus by Busch and Müller comes in versions with different mounts, such as on the seat post or on the rear mudguard. The mudguard-mounted version can currently be had for £18 from SJS Cycles. Another competitive outlet for B&M lights is Rose Bikes in Germany, see below.

However, you don't necessarily need to run a dynamo-powered rear light; you could just stick with battery-powered ones, as it is not so important to run rear lights at maximum brightness without loss of power as it is with front lights.

Where to buy? 

Spa Cycles in Harrogate (which specialise in gear for touring cyclists) sell the hubs and lights mentioned above and also offer a SP PV-8/Cyo IQ Dynamo Wheel & Light bundle, excellent value at just £195.  They also offer a highly regarded wheel-building service, which lets you have wheels built to your exact needs, to which you can add dynamo lights.

Rose Bikes in Germany also have a good range and fairly competitive prices (even with sterling's post-EU Referendum slump against the €uro). Look under 'Bike Components - Lighting'. 

(The above links are not "Affiliate" links. We have no relationship with Spa, Rose, Amazon or Evans nor indeed with the manufacturers of any of the products mentioned above. These are real-life recommendations from our members, nothing more, nothing less.)

Leader's Lights © Tim Hall 2010. 
Prices in external links are up to date as at 26 September 2016.