L-Bow light highlights the close pass

Lbow bicycle light

The L-Bow bicycle rear light sticks out sideways to encourage drivers to overtake safely. Well, that’s the theory.

Law-abiding drivers are required to leave at least 1.5m when overtaking, but most cyclists will know this is rarely the case.

The ‘L-bow’ rear bike light was born out of witnessing a very dangerous cycling near miss due to a car getting dangerously close to a rider, more commonly know now as a  ‘close pass’. Founder and CEO Sean Whiffin thought that there has to be a simple solution to give cyclists more space and make them far more visible to motorists from behind. So pen was put to paper and the L-bow rear safety light was designed.

L-bow bicycle light

The light sticks out about 6″ – a soon-to-be-launched mark II will extend further

The idea that drivers overtake cyclists too close because they haven’t seen them is far fetched (read our article about close passes here ), however we’ve bought an L-Bow light to give away. If you’d like to be in the with a chance of bagging the prize  – and perhaps letting us know how you get on with it – please leave a comment below and we’ll pick a winner next week.

ETA cycle insurance

Ethical cycle insurance

On the face of it, one cycle insurance policy is much like another, but the devil is the detail. Check your small print for so-called ‘new-for-old’ replacement – many insurers use the term, but if your bicycle is more than a few years old, devalue it severely. This means you are left out of pocket when you come to replace it.

With ETA cycle insurance, however old the bike, if it’s stolen you get enough to buy a new model. Furthermore, every cycle insurance policy you buy from us helps support the work of the ETA Trust, our charity campaigning for a cleaner and safer transport future. Little wonder The Good Shopping Guide has judged us to be Britain’s most ethical insurance company.






  1. Steve


    Anything that encourages drivers to give us more space is good by me.

  2. Gill


    “L” of a good idea that!!!!! 🤪🚴🏽‍♂️

  3. Mark


    If I’m fortunate enough to win this, then I’ll happily communicate my feedback on this interesting new product. I do a long daily commute through countryside and seven villages. I’m pleased to report that MOST drivers are respectful of me. The problem is the few who see a cyclist and just have to get passed ASAP, whether it’s safe to do so or not. It’s curious just how many drivers brake after overtaking me, sometimes to slow down to turn or just because they know they had to speed to pass me. The problem is the mentality of drivers’ who constantly PUSH and don’t have the patience to slow down for a couple of seconds in order to allow an opportunity for a safe pass. I wish people could just chill out a little and be nicer to each other!! 😀

  4. CRAIG


    This looks like a really great product, I would love to give one a go.

    My advice to fellow cyclists is to ride assertively, meaning a good meter or so away from the curb, in order to force drivers to overtake properly and not just squeeze past.

    Be safe!

  5. Iain Shanks


    Looks like a great idea.

  6. Steve K


    A good idea to improve safety – it all helps

  7. Gary


    A great idea this !
    I also agree with Craig (above) – being a bit further out from the kerb – actually being in the way is the best policy! This is something advised to me by a motorcycle instructor too.
    It’s better than being forced into the gutter/ditch/lamppost or into a pedestrian !
    Happy and safe cycling all.

  8. Lucy


    great idea for those narrow roads and hogger-cars

  9. Mark Bobbitt


    I’ve tried every other way to try to get them to give me more room so let’s try this!

  10. Andrew McKellar


    A good idea, but what’s really needed is driver education. I’ve cycled all over Europe and rarely been close-passed but in the UK it happens all the time.

    Some drivers are deliberately spiteful to cyclists but most just don’t realise the danger they’re causing.

    There needs to be an ongoing public information campaign, more emphasis during driving instruction and in the driving test and less hostile attitudes in our press too.

  11. Toby James


    Sounds like a good idea. It’s been even worse in high winds recently. Drivers don’t realise that you need more space than ever to account for the cross winds

  12. Alastair Seagroatt


    An interesting idea, would love to try it out. A couple of years ago I fitted front and rear cameras, with several drivers warned and two possible going further than that it would be good to see how much difference it makes. I’ve seen suggestions of use a brightly coloured ‘pool noodle’ bungied to the rear to achieve a similar effect. Not to good if you’re riding in a group though!!

  13. ANDY B.


    This is a great idea. I have invented sticky-out signs myself but never thought of a light – inspired!!
    Just one observation though – I think it would be best to avoid a flashing option (as appears to happen in the illustration above) as I suspect some drivers will think it is an indicator, signifying an intention to turn right?
    Regardless of whether I win one I would like to buy (an extended) one! Where can I get it?

  14. Richard Scrase


    I wonder whether some will see it as a target?

  15. John


    I’d love one of these as I cycle each day to work and back.

  16. Stephen


    Nice idea, can only be a good thing. I do wonder about what can be done with those drivers who do the “punishment passes” though….. That is, “punishment” for just being a cyclist! ☹️

  17. Gavin


    A lot of the close passes I experience are deliberate and wilful. Good as it is the light is won’t help in these instances. The UK’s general society is sick and warped towards cyclist – this warped sense of entitlement and the feeling of antipathy by many motorists is encouraged by a right-wing, idiotic and nationalistic Government – that hates cyclists. We exist, using the road legally, to be nothing other than targets to be slain and mowed down… the killers are then treated as the victim. Britain – what a sh1te country we’ve become.

  18. Victoria Shanks


    This looks great and would give me greater confidence to commute by bike

  19. Chris


    I guess there are two types of close passes, neither is good. One is due to sheer incompetence or inattentiveness. The other a deliberate and willful act, intended to intimidate and scare.

  20. Carol W


    The simple ideas are very often the best. This looks great

  21. Brian


    More power to the cyclists L-Bow.

  22. sara garside


    I would love this for my daughter who commutes to work on her bike, then rings me to tell me how many cars have nearly killed her!
    She is a nervous wreck like me ,as her dad was hit head on, 6 weeks ago, by a car who failed to check the bike lane before turning into a side road. He has life changing injuries, but still hopes to be back on a bike later in the year.
    Incidentally the police gave us the impression that we must be mad if we cycled or walked the roads in the dark. And we wonder why everyone drives……

  23. Chris


    I would agree with Craig that cycling at least a metre from the kerb should make motorists more aware of the cyclist’s presence on the road and enable the motorist to give more clearance. However, for some motorists the awareness seems to act as a “red rag to a bull” and can result in a close pass. I often move into the centre of the carriageway when approaching “pinch points” such as pedestrian refuges so as to discourage overtakes by motor vehicles in a restricted space with consequent danger to myself. On one occasion a van squeezed past between me and the refuge giving me about 6 inches clearance causing me to shout, upon which he informed me through an open window that it was illegal for cyclists to be more than 3 feet from the kerb! He then drove off and turned right into a side road 50 yards further on in which he parked – he had put me in danger to save about 5 seconds of travel time for no reason…

  24. Bryn Jones


    I’ve got two lights on a stick but this is far superior

  25. Viv F


    Close passes really freak me out. Would be keen to try this product.

  26. bob


    Where i live drivers have never heard of giving 1.5 meteres passing distance – 2 – 3 ft if you’re lucky so this light would be a great help

  27. Richard Simmons


    It is obvious to me that many car drivers are jealous of the fact that cyclists can filter through traffic jams etc. This jealousy manifests as to a greater or lesser extent a desire to knock us off our bikes.
    If you think this far fetched just observe and in a short while you will understand this moronic piece of behaviour, for which I’m afraid that other than frontal lobotomy there is no known cure

  28. Michael Taylor


    I have many lights on my bike including a smart helmet with lights and indicators, I have a light on the end of my handlebars so that drivers can see how wide my bike is, I still get cut up on a regular basis. Having an extended light on a bike makes great sense.
    Since becoming an e-bike rider I have been put in danger so many times especially at traffic lights because cars are not aware how quickly an e-bike can set off as they overtake before getting across a junction before they realise they haven’t enough room to pass and the squeeze me out.
    Motorist need to be aware that an e-bike can move upto 15.5 mph and it will take longer to overtake.

  29. Eddie Trodden


    Look Lights,,,Think Bike…..

  30. Eddie Trodden


    Look ,,Lights,,,,Think Bike….

  31. Phil


    Bikeability instruction teaches 1metre from the kerb – called the secondary position is best when generally cycling. Primary position in the centre of the lane at other times e.g. When approaching a roundabout. Secondary is safer than riding in the drains keeping you out of the gutter and into drivers visibility but this always annoys drivers who want to get by without stopping to give way to oncoming vehicles and who will squeeze past often trying to intimidate and push you into the kerbside. This product has no evidence base to reassure cyclists that it will afford any level of additional safety. In fact it may increase risk by making drivers more likely to squeeze by to prove they have ‘more right to the road’.

  32. David Curran


    Looks like a good idea, particularly the proposed extended version, but how about adding a permanent marker to the tip. I can see aggressive motorists trying to brush against the device, just for the hell of it. With an added permanent marker, they would only do it once!

  33. Sara


    My partner cycles to work every day …anything to give him a better chance of staying alive.

  34. Pete


    Far out!

  35. Raf


    i’d love to try this out in the London rush hour and see the response!

  36. Steph


    I loved the South American bus driver training technique of putting the trainees on stationary bikes and driving passed them in a bus at close passes. If more drivers experienced close passes from the cyclist’s perspective, we may be exposed to fewer.

    🚲 🚎🚌🚒🚑🚙🚓🚚🚛🚕

  37. David Gray


    I think this could work in city traffic.

  38. Rob Harris


    The light stick would be a great safety boost for my partner who is returning to cycling after many decades of walking everywhere!

  39. Jon Vamplew


    Light on the right – its right to be bright,- especially at night – drivers that might – not see the light- please note – red light Think bike – and give it some L-bow room.

    The all new L-bow light give bikes highlighted space on the road.

  40. Julie Anne Gardner


    I think this would help my brother (a keen cyclist) who was knocked off his bike last year and left to pick himself up off the roadside by the “blind bat” of a car driver … who couldn’t be bothered to stop to check on how he was !!!!

  41. Joel


    Looks like it is fixed so if a driver hits it (or the cyclist goes through a narrow gap and clips something) it could wobble the bike. I would prefer a semi flexible version.
    NB I’d go with an invisible marker so the driver wouldn’t think to wash it off. This would give the police time to track down the car (from video footage) and then there would be at least three pieces of evidence (cyclist complaint, video and invisible ink line on the car).

  42. Jimmy walker


    My friend Benji first used a 15mm copper pipe insulationg sleeve many years ago and I knicknamed it the “Benji Space bar”. Simple cheap and effective. My wife loved her orange lolly pop that used to stick out from her bike but it if fastened to her rack and the rear bag gets in the way. I would present this to my wife for her to use on her bike. We would much prefer infrastructure here in Salisbury but any aid that helps us be seen then all the better.

  43. Chris W


    As a fairly novice cyclist I’d be very grateful for something to help my visibility to drivers, roads are quite scary! I’ve found the comments here really interesting and educative. I suspect that, in my area, most close passes are by those drivers who are unable to judge the size of their vehicles …. sad but true.

  44. Darren C


    Might be useful at night, making the approaching driver think that you are further out from the roadside than you actually are – only if you don’t have any other lights or a reflective jacket/backpack.
    During the daytime it won’t be so effective.
    I’m willing to be proven wrong though!

  45. Stuart Young


    Great…with this I could tell my pass from my L-bow.

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