The topic of the proper placement of a taillight can be a bit of a charged topic, believe it or not, in a group setting.
First of all, an avid enthusiast roadie (such as me, not to put too fine a point on it) knows the best way to be visible is not just to wear a bunch of neon green or yellow stuff (no offense, Tinkoff) when you’re on your bike. Now, after seeing a guy, barely seeing I should say, riding in a forest green jacket, possibly the worst color to wear on a bike, one must know the trick is to be loud and proud. Err… Anyway, bright red works great. Bright orange too… Yellows, even some of the blues – and white is a sure winner. Brown, gray, black (how I wish this weren’t so! I love black!), dark green… these are all bad. The additional trick, however, to really sticking out, is to look awesome. The more impressive one looks on a bike, the more you stick out. If you doubt me, you’d better check your awesome.
There are those times, however, where you just wanna wear black. For these days, I like to fly a light, just to make sure I give myself the best chance to pull into the driveway with the rubber the right side down. Also, while I absolutely will not ride in pea soup-thick fog, I will ride in less than perfectly clear conditions… For those days I want the brightest light I can get and the Serfas Thunderbolt is it.
My friends and I all use a Serfas Thunderbolt taillight. All of us. Rather than drone on about how bright it is, I’ll simply say this, a police officer once pulled over a friend of mine on his bike to compliment him on his choice of lights because the officer could “literally see [him] a mile away”. He had it on “low blink”.
It’s a bright frickin’ light.
Anyway, the normal placement for a taillight is either on the seat post or on the saddlebag, right?
Not if you use a Thunderbolt, you’ll blind the $#!+ out of anyone riding behind you.
This is the proper place for it in a group setting:
On the left seat stay, just above the dropout.
See, the norm for a group ride is not to look at the wheel but over the shoulder of the person in front of you and up the road, with maybe a glance down every now and again to make sure your wheel spacing is right… With a Thunderbolt on the seat post, even though it’ll be pointing down a little bit, it can be distracting at best, blinding in the worst cases.
Now, because you’ll be checking the wheel in front of you from time to time, the seat stay placement might seem worse, because it will shine up into one’s face, but it’s not. We all ride with our light there and we never have problems.
So please, think of the person on your wheel. Don’t blind them, dude.
If you like using a light, I would like to recommend the Thunderbolt. In my opinion, it’s the best bicycle taillight on the market, by a long shot. I bought mine, minus my club discount at the local bike shop, and Serfas has no idea that I’m giving their light a review.
Ride hard, my friends. Or ride your approximation of hard. That works too. Just ride.
UPDATE: My brother from another cycling mother, Titanium Henry chimed in down in the comments section to suggest going with the full-time on position rather than the blink to avoid blasting your brothers and sisters in chain rings with a strobe light show…