bike rack tail lights

Posted by: PerryMK

bike rack tail lights - 05/03/15 04:40 PM

Even though I see it all the time, I wasn’t thrilled with how a bicycle blocked taillights. It seems unsafe. I recognize the blocking of license plate is illegal but a detective friend of mine said cops can’t be bothered to stop people for that. I guess criminals don’t have bike racks. Blocking the lights, though, could leave you liable should someone rear end you.

I checked with two places in town for receivers. U-Haul and a local place. The price was the same, U-Haul offered a lifetime warranty so I went with them. The total price, including wiring and installation, was approximately $320 + tax.

I settled on a platform style bike rack and went with the Thule Doubletrack 990xt. I liked that it can be easily locked with built in locks (I know, locks only protect from honest people), accommodate bikes with full fenders, and is Made in USA. I purchased through as they almost always have a 20% off coupon available. Anymore if I shop online before making the final purchase I google “store name coupon” and see what pops up. The total price with 20% discount was $240. Free shipping.

For the lights. First I searched to see what legal requirements might be. has some good info. Standards vary by state but putting them all together it comes to: keep the lights between 20 and 60 inches off the ground and within 12 inches of the extreme corner. This is actually for a travel trailer but I figure that’s close enough. I purchased travel trailer lights, square aluminum tube, angle aluminum, square u-bolts, paint, etc. I don’t have an exact figure but I probably spent around $150. I could have gone cheaper but I wanted submersible LED tail lights and to make it look as professional as I could. I won’t show off the flaws (and there are a few).

A local taxi company has as their slogan “we guarantee to be cheaper than a DUI”. I figure the taillight set up I went with is still cheaper than getting rear ended regardless of who is at fault.

Posted by: AreteGearGuy

Re: bike rack tail lights - 12/25/15 08:28 PM

Very interesting Idea! I just got a Yakima Holdup 2" for christmas. I'm wondering if there is a way I can rig something like this up. Is this removable? How did you wire it up? Thanks for sharing.
Posted by: PerryMK

Re: bike rack tail lights - 01/08/16 10:46 AM

Sorry for my delay; I don't check this section very often.

I suppose one could remove it. It is just bolted on, but it is not designed to be easily taken off and put back on.

I purchased a light kit meant for a utility trailer. I have forgotten where I purchased mine, but they are readily available online and in stores. I went with an LED kit but less expensive options are available.

It wouldn't be too hard to design this so the lights folded down or even removed entirely. I'll leave that to your imagination (smile)