nifty LED pedals

Anyone ever use something like this on their uni? The owner of the local bike shop I frequent gave me a similar pair, and they’re awesome on the street at night. Just watch out for cars swerving when the drivers rubber neck. :wink:

uhh, i would, but ah, i don’t like the beartrap pedals too much…

i have used one of those flashing valvecaps, though…

Those could be useful if you lived in town and rode at night. But they may not be worth having if you live out in the sticks and the nearest house is a quarter of a mile away. :slight_smile:

No but I have had a red white and blue flashing tirefly as my valve cap from time to time- Those look really cool. A Guy I saw the other night coulda used them, since the only reflectors on his bike were on the pedals, and he was riding on Route 6 (a highway) on Cape Cod at about 2 in the morning, somewhere between exits 1 and 2!

Trap pedals are not as bad as people say they are. If your not grinding on them, there not bad.

I’ve never seen those pefals. They look cool. But how do they not use batteries? And how do they turn on? The tireflys are neat, but you literally have to hop up and down just to turn them on.

They probably have a little generator in the pedal (look at the picture and you can almost tell). It probably turns on whenever you ride and it doesn’t matter if it turns on in daytime because LEDs last forever.

I put a pair on my uni, and took them off after about month, the bearings are crap, and they soon developed HUGE amounts of play. There is a rather large bulge on the inside of the pedal where all the generator / dynamo gubbins site and make them a little uncormfortable. but they do look cool at night

I have some on my Coker and they’re doing fine. They do indeed have a small generator in each pedal and start flashing when you ride, no need for batteries.

The generator does get in the way a bit when you mount but is OK when your riding, they are plastic so you can guess what the grip is like and as Andy has found out they’re not strong, but they do look nifty in the dark. They are no good, in my opinion, for anything other than normal riding – trials, Muni, freestyle, hockey etc. are out of the question - use them for road riding where you want to be seen it’s what they’re designed for.

I saw some in Halfords today. The spindles turned in quite a notchy way. Either cheap bearings, or the slightly uneven resistance of the little dynamo that’s built into them.

On a “grown up” point, these are not designed as an alternative to proper lighting. Indeed, strictly speaking, they are not legal for road use in the UK, even if you have proper lights.

As a very bike friendly motorist (I have ridden bicycles, tandems, unicycles, motorbikes and scooters on the road for many years) I have sometimes been momentarily disorientated by flashing LEDs on bikes. They can make it difficult for you to judge distance and speed, compared to a fixed light.

On a less grown up point, they look quite fun and I could imagine fitting some to my 20 which is sometimes used in dusk and darkness for performances with the Morris.

Sounds like they would be fun on my big wheel (45", not the Coker) for the occasional nighttime parades I ride in. Or for my Excessory Cycle, if I ever restore the pieces and put it back together…

It’s funny you should say that Mike. My opinion is the exact opposite - I always run my rear bike lights in flashing mode (even though it’s strictly illegal, but I’ve never been pulled over for it) because when I’m driving a car I find a flashing bike light MUCH more visible than a steady one. Also, if I see a flashing red light I know it’s a bicycle (so slow-moving) rather than a motorbike, or a car with one dead lamp.


I think the general consensus is that a flashing light catches the eye easier, but is much harder to localise than a steady light. People can see that there is a cyclist out there somewhere, but can’t easily tell how far away he actually is.

When out on the bike after dark I just use the steady mode, in conjunction with the European Reflective Sticky Tape Mountain (which is blummin’ great stuff, by the way).

Technically I think you are legally only allowed a maximum of 2.5W of light at the front of a bike; I feel that lights on cycles is a matter of common sense rather than the letter of the law.


Which reminds me of a mini-rant… why do rear LED lights need to have so many different flashing combinations, most of which are utterly useless? The light I have has five different modes, with one button to cycle between them… so as I only use steady mode, it takes two presses to turn it on and four to turn it off.

One of them does a night-rider style thingy with only one LED lit at once, out of six… what good is that?



They have several modes because it can be done cheaply, and iy is then presented as a “feature” to help the uninformed purchaser choose that product from among several similar ones.

On a much smaller scale, it’s similar to poor quality front and rear suspension, and 21 badly chosen gears on a cheap mountain bike. “Look, it’s got 21 gears and front and rear suspension - and it’s only £99!” Person buys it, and never uses it enough to realise that it’s no good. Worse still, they don’t enjoy using it ebcause it’s so poor, and they give up on cycling as a bad job.

I agree that flashing lights are more immediately visible. they catch the eye. They also identify you as a cyclist. The problem comes with judging distance and speed.

I remember once in my car driving along an unlit main road, and being totally flummoxed by the reflectors on the pedals of a bicycle ahead of me. It had no other lights or reflectors (on a dark 60 mph road!) and all I could see was two orange things oscillating and occasionally flashing. For a second or two, I had no ide whether the bike was 50 metres away or 200 metres away, or which way it was travelling.

Most motorists are not very bicycle-friendly, or even bicycle-aware. Anyhting that makes it easier for the motorist thas to be good. That’s clear bright fixed lights at an appropriate height on the bicycle. These may be supplemented with reflectors, flashing LEDs etc., but not replaced by these things.

For nearly 25 years, I have read several motor accident reports a day. Trust me on this - most motorists believe that when the car in front stopped, it caused them to run into the back of it.

Re: nifty LED pedals

phil wrote:
> When out on the bike after dark I just use the steady mode, in
> conjunction with the European Reflective Sticky Tape Mountain (which is
> blummin’ great stuff, by the way).

I’m with you and Mike on this. I particularly dislike being stuck
behind a fast flashing light when I’m cycling.

I /do/ use a strobing light (Knight Rider style), but that is in
addition to 3 steady lights.

> Technically I think you are legally only allowed a maximum of 2.5W of
> light at the front of a bike;

That’s nearly right, but not quite. The lighting regs include 2 sets of
requirements for cycle lights - one set for mandatory lights, another
set for optional lights.

You must have lights that meet the mandatory lighting requirements.
One of these requirements is that the lights must meet British
Standards, or some equivalent foreign standard (my dynamo lights meet
German standards, for example, and are thus acceptable as my mandatory
lights). I don’t know about current British Standards (they were
updated a few years ago), but AIUI the old standard used to specify a
maximum power of 2.4W. I think this was to maximise battery life, the
standards having been written at a time when battery technology was not
what it is today.

Any additional lights only have to meet the less stringent requirements
for optional lights. So it is legal for me to use my 10 & 20W
Lumicycles on the public highway, as long as I also use my 2.4W dynamo
light (and as long as I don’t dazzle anyone).

> I feel that lights on cycles is a matter
> of common sense rather than the letter of the law.

Can you imagine the field day the press would have if the police
insisted on the letter of the law being followed? “Cyclist prosecuted
for being too well lit”.

There /was/ a story a couple of years ago about a motorist who killed
two cyclists and blamed it on one of the cyclists’ lights. A group of
cyclists (well, POBs really) was riding home from the pub. On the
pavement (US - sidewalk). On the wrong side of the road. One of them
was displaying what, from the descriptions I read at the time, were
probably Smart or CatEye 2.5W + 10W twin lights. A speeding motorist
came round a bend, was dazzled and confused by the oncoming lights and
drove onto the pavement, into the cyclists.

Danny Colyer (my reply address is valid but checked infrequently)
“He who dares not offend cannot be honest.” - Thomas Paine

Re: Re: nifty LED pedals

My point entirely, and I write as someone who has investigated too many motor accidents over too many years, and spoken to too many drivers who accept no responsibility for their own actions.

A genuine example of an accident description, which is by no means atypical:
“The car in front of the car in front of me stopped, causing the car in front of me to brake, causing me to run into the back of it.”

Other common expreessions: “The other car came from nowhere” (i.e. I didn’t see it) or, “He must have been speeding…” (i.e. I didn’t see him).

The most annoying example of all: a motorcyclist riding along Douglas sea front on the Isle of Man in TT week. His story: I was overtaking slow moving traffic when another motorcyclist pulled out from a parked position on my left, and facing towards me. At the moment of collision, he was still on my side of the road."

What our policyholder didn’t mention was that he had been found guilty of dangerous driving (riding) on the day after the accident (a week or more before he filled in the form) after 6 witnesses had given evidence that he had been doing a high speed power wheelie whislt overtaking on the wrong side of the road.

So, boys and girls, if you want to ride your unicycle on the public highway, assume that all motorists are blind, stupid or actively hostile until proven otherwise.

Re: Re: Re: nifty LED pedals

Are you required to remain impartial in cases like this, or are you allow to ooze sarcasm and mockery from every pore?


OK, so I seem to be outnumbered here - but I cycle every day all through the year and have only been hit twice by cars ever, both in daylight, and neither because they couldn’t see me. My winter lights, front and rear, are chosen for practicality and safety rather than legality, and are all strictly illegal on the road in this country. I have two LED rear lights (plus a load of relective stuff on shorts, panniers bar tape, etc), which are much brighter and more visible than any BS-approved filament lamps (there’s a reason it’s called BS), and I tend to leave one on flashing and the backup on steady (I’ve got two so if one konks out I’ll have time to notice without having no lights). In the summer I use a bright LED front light, which is good for being seen in mist and rain but no good for seeing in the dark. In the winter I use two powerful lamps, one 5W aimed down and left at the edge of the road and a 15W flood pointed straight ahead. When anything comes the other way I turn off the 15W (or more usually cover it with my hand), so as not to dazzle people - but I find many motorists don’t bother dipping their lights for a cyclist. These lights are intended for off-roading and are not really legal for road use, but without them I would have to ride slowly home from work (I don’t do slowly) or risk hitting sheep or black cows. I often pass the police and they have no problem with my lights.

I still reckon when I’m a motorist that the flashing bike lights are way safer.

Anyway, enough of the ranting - getting a bit off topic.


I’m intrigued by the assumptions implied by the word “only”.

On a bicycle or a unicycle, you present an obstacle between 5 feet and six feet tall, and about 2 foot 6 inches wide, clearly visible, and moving in a predictable way at a steady speed - and with the ability to take evasive action in some circumstances.

How many times would it be reasonable to expect such an obstacle to be hit by cars when drivers have to pass a statutory driving test before being allowed to drive?

The assumption implied by the word “only” is that twice is reasonable and acceptable. :astonished:

Phil wrote: <<Are you required to remain impartial in cases like this, or are you allow to ooze sarcasm and mockery from every pore? >>

A certain amount of sarcasm is not unknown.:wink: Someimes being very direct works better. My letter to him referred to “a fellow motorcyclist” whose “legitimate claim for compensation for serious injuries caused by your dangerous driding has been unnecessarily delayed as a result of you withholding the full facts from us.” (I paraphrase - but I like to think that reading the letter spoiled his breakfast.):smiley:

I’m not taking the bait any more - didn’t come here for an argument :confused: