Riding City Bikes at Night: How to Stay Safe

Riding City Bikes at Night: How to Stay Safe

Visibility is a big issue for bikers even during the day, so learning how to bike at night is extra important. Here are the best ways we've found to be seen and stay safe on our city bikes!

RELATED: Safe Riding Guide

Outfit Your Bicycle

Lights & Reflectors

Make sure your bicycle is properly equipped. In most states, bicyclists are required by law to have BOTH a white light on the front and a red light on the back of their bicycle.  Many lights are relatively inexpensive (sub $15), but consider paying a few dollars more for rechargeable ones. (Our city bikes are all outfitted with our Uptown USB-powered lights for charging while we work!)

Similarly, most states require a bicycle to be outfitted with a white reflector in front, and a red in back. Under federal law, all new bikes come with reflectors, but if you're buying used, make sure you check before you decide to bike at night.


It's also important to note that when visibility is decreased (like at night, or in the rain), you'll do well to get noticed in other ways--especially by making noise. New York law requires every bicycle to be equipped with a bell, but just because that might not be the case in your state, doesn't mean it's not a good idea. A clear sounding bell will help you communicate your whereabouts to pedestrians and drivers who might not have seen you in the dark. (Now might be a good time to check out the bell and light options for city bikes.)

Outfit Yourself

Reflective Clothing

The more of you is visible when you bike at night, the safer you'll be, and adding reflective strips to your clothes & gear--or even purchasing garments specifically designed to be reflective--is a great way to make this happen.

Lose the Earbud

We all love to spend summer days on our city bikes cruising to some awesome tunes.  But at night, it's a different story.  Here in Brooklyn, it's legal to ride with one earbud in--but that doesn't mean it's advisable at night, when you need to be able to rely on your other senses--specifically your hearing. If you do want to listen to music, consider a small speaker. It will keep you in the groove and actually help you stand out to drivers who might not see you.

Change Your Behavior

Choose a Route with a Bike Path

While riding in traffic isn't dangerous per se, it certainly gets more dangerous at night, when drivers who probably aren't expecting you may now also be unable to see you. Making sure you stay in a bike lane for the duration of your commute is a great way to limit the dangers of riding at night.

Use Crosswalks Instead of the Turn Lane

There are usually at least two ways to make a turn when riding. The first way is to ride across the intersection, stop at the crosswalk, wait for the light, cross with the pedestrians, then merge back into traffic and continue on your way. The second is to wait in the turn lane (i.e. in the middle of the street) with all the other cars.  The former can be a time suck, but it's definitely the safer choice when visibility is decreased, and waiting in the middle of the street to turn becomes a dangerous choice.


Have other strategies that help you bike at night?  We'd love to hear them! Send us a DM or contact us another way.

We build bikes for vivid lives—for taking adventures, reconnecting with old friends, discovering new neighborhoods and exploring hidden gems. Inspired by the streets of Brooklyn, our bikes are built for style, comfort, and durability. Made with top quality parts, crafted with care, and sold at an affordable price, your bike is yours for life. We scrutinize every component for maximum sustainability and performance, and every millimeter of the frame for ultimate comfort and style. We take pride in our process, in our products, and in the people who sell them.