Is cycling good at night

See and seen become


In the darker months of the year, functioning lighting on the bike is essential. Light and reflectors increase your own view and also your own safety. With good lighting and light clothing, you can cycle towards the short days in a relaxed manner. The RadKULTUR initiative gives tips for light inspection.

Other road users, such as car, bus or truck drivers, often only recognize cyclists without lights at the very last moment. Therefore, according to StVZO, Paragraph 67, bicycles that take part in public road traffic must have sufficient lighting. As a cyclist, you also have a much better view yourself. Pedestrians, potholes or obstacles on the way are recognized in good time on a well-lit route.

Check the light

In order to be able to enjoy the dark season on the saddle, the bicycle lighting must therefore work perfectly and should be checked briefly before every ride: Exactly eight places on the bicycle should glow in the dark. This happens on the one hand actively by LEDs, incandescent or halogen lamps, on the other hand passively by reflective surfaces that light up when they are illuminated. During the light check, it makes sense to walk the wheel from front to back so as not to forget any light spots.

Checklist for the light check


1. Front headlights:In addition to the alternator, the so-called dynamo, batteries and rechargeable batteries are also approved for the operation of the front headlight and the tail light. The nominal voltage of the energy source must be compatible with the voltage of the active lighting equipment used. The specialist trade offers competent advice on this. A test run with the wheels turning and the dynamo attached shows whether the lamps are working.


2. White front reflector: Some headlights have already integrated reflectors. If this is not the case, an additional reflector should be attached.


3rd and 4th reflectors on the front and rear wheels:It is important to attach two yellow spoke reflectors each to the front and rear wheel or white reflective material on the spoke so that side visibility is guaranteed.


5. Reflectors on the pedals: Yellow reflectors are prescribed on the pedals, each acting forwards and backwards.


6. Taillight: The rear light should be at least 25 centimeters above the ground and ideally on the luggage rack.


7. Red reflector: In addition to the rear light on the luggage rack, a red reflector should also be mounted on the mudguard. Modern LED lights also have a parking light function. Although this is not yet mandatory according to the law in Germany, it does increase road safety.


Cyclists who are traveling with a trailer must also equip them with a functional lighting system. If the trailer covers the red reflector, the bike must also be equipped with a tail light.

Those who pass dark sections on their bike course can gain additional driving safety with a helmet light. This brings light exactly where the eye looks. With a quick sideways glance, you can also make out pedestrians or dogs better.