Night vision on bikes

The bicycle is one of the most popular means of transportation. It is used in different countries for skiing, training, competitions, and trips. In some cases, you have to ride a bike at night. In such a situation, the cyclist will need different night vision optics. They will make the dark road visible and help avoid unpleasant problems.

How night vision works

Night vision (NV) is a young direction that is actively developing. Every year it becomes more and more perfect, opening up new user opportunities. In the entire history of the formation of NV, three generations of night optics were released, which have a common principle of operation. It is simple to understand, so everyone should understand it.

The most popular NVDs are those with an image intensifier tube. Their work begins with the objective lens collecting the available light and then sending it to the photocathode. Hits of photons lead to the release of a large number of electrons. With the help of a magnetic field, their flux is amplified many times over. Then the electrons get to the luminescent anode, where they are converted into photons. The eyepiece lenses focus on the latter, and a clear image of the examined area appears before the user’s eyes.

Another type of NVDs is digital devices. Their principle of operation is to focus the light collected by the lens onto the matrix. Getting on it, photons leave certain “traces,” which are fixed by the electronics of the optics. Information is processed by the processor, after which it is displayed as an image. A third popular option for NVDs is the thermal imager. Its sensors do not capture light but infrared radiation. The latter is subjected to various manipulations, after which a thermal image is displayed on the device’s display. On it, objects or their parts with the same temperature are distinguished by certain shades.

NVDs for cyclists

Bicycle enthusiasts are still given the attention of NVDs manufacturers. They produce special devices for cyclists with excellent performance and comprehensive functionality. Most often, such optics are NV glasses. They are most convenient for bicycle owners, as they are fixed on the user’s head and allow freely controlling two-wheeled vehicles.

NV Generation II goggles are a good option for dark streets on a road bike. These devices can “see” up to 200 meters, enough for any cyclist. In this case, it will be possible to notice any obstacles on the way long before approaching them. Also, most models of the II generation are equipped with an IR amplifier. It can work in passive mode without consuming battery power. Once activated, it will give you good image quality even without natural light. Another advantage of such models is a wide viewing angle. Thanks to him, it will be possible to cover with a glance the road and its surroundings. This will eliminate any unpleasant surprises (for example, the sudden appearance of wild animals or a person on the street) that cyclists often encounter. The rapid consumption of battery power will not become a problem. The batteries in NV glasses of the II generations have a sufficiently large capacity, so the charge lasts 2-3 dozen hours.

For fans of mountain biking and cross-country riding, the third-generation NV goggles are the best option. These optics can provide the widest viewing angle and visibility up to 300 meters. This will enable the cyclist to perform various maneuvers and avoid collisions with natural obstacles. Such devices form a high-quality image even with a minimum amount of light. They are also equipped with an IR amplifier capable of operating in passive mode. Among other essential points, experts highlight the versatility of the III generation models. Thanks to it, NVDs can be used for cycling and other essential purposes (for example, night hikes, hunting, etc.).

An alternative to NV glasses can be NV cameras designed specifically for cyclists. They are mounted on the handlebars of a bicycle and directed to the road. The generated image is transmitted to a smartphone / iPhone located on the steering wheel. The quality of the created picture depends on the capabilities of the camera. In most cases, it turns out clear and detailed. The only drawback of such optics is the need to simultaneously monitor the road and the image on the screen, which is only sometimes convenient for bike owners.

Options for using night vision on bicycles

Cyclists actively use NV. Recently, the popularity of various devices that support this technology has only increased. This leads to the fact that night optics have several applications.

Applications for NV by cyclists:


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    1. Night trips on the roads. Cyclists often use different models of NVDs during night riding on the streets. In this case, optics will help find the bike paths’ location (if any) and move along a precisely defined way. In addition, NV devices will make it possible to notice various obstacles in time (for example, cars parked on the side of the road with their headlights off). This eliminates the possibility of accidental collisions and reduces the risk of serious injury.
    2. Descents in the dark on mountain bikes. Fans of riding at night over rough terrain also actively use NVDs. They help cyclists descend safely, even on winding trails with many natural obstacles. The possibilities of night optics are enough to see many meters ahead and have time to respond to any situation. This will make night mountain biking less traumatic. In addition, NVDs will help you always stay within the previously studied route, eliminating the possibility of missing the desired turn.
    3. Orientation on the ground. Cycling enthusiasts often reach their next destination after sunset. In this case, they will need modern NVDs to navigate the terrain. They will help you find various signs in the dark, allowing you to choose the right direction of movement. In this case, the risk of getting lost will be minimized.

    Night cycling requires utmost care and concentration on trifles from a person. To do this, most cyclists prefer to use night vision devices. They will provide the user with a high-quality image, thanks to which they can choose the correct route, go around various obstacles, and find the optimal speed of movement. Such optics will be indispensable for fans of different bicycles. It will give you the possibility of safe night skiing, which was impossible even to dream of a few years ago.

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    Night vision on bikes — Bike Hacks