/ Auto lights - cat eye or others? + pannier rack?
As the days are getting shorter, could really do with some lighting.
On my electric bike I had a seat that had an LED rear light that when turned on would only activate when moving. I found this useful as I left them on enough times.
So, fancy some 'auto' lights: seems the cat eye reflex auto are the main choice.
I also like that they just look like reflectors. As I've got a fairly cheap bike (specialised Globe Vienna 1) and it's being left around town etc, it'd be nice for it to be nothing too conspicuous.
Any cheaper options. Any reasons I shouldn't go for them?
I would be using a separate half decent head torch or bar mounted light if I needed lots of lumens.
Also, need a pannier rack to take some existing panniers. Decided I want one with a spring clip so they can be easily removed as I got annoyed with tying on and off the ones on my electric bike.
Was thinking this: http://goo.gl/EEagM (lighter, but maybe not as strong?)
Or this: http://goo.gl/WDYpT (reasonably heavy, but should take a fair bit of abuse I'd hope.)
Perhaps not as cheap as you'd like but consider a hub dynamo setup. I think the Shimano Alfine front hub is around £55 but you'll need the wheel rebuilding so allow for that (new set of spokes plus rebuild). Not sure how much the actual lights themselves cost but the dynamo runs both front and back. Also the lights don't go out when you are waiting at traffic light & junctions, there's about four minutes before they fade. You can also recharge phones or GPS from it.
I am afraid you are not selling it to me. That's an awful lot of batteries before you start getting your money back, not to mention the increased weight.
> I am afraid you are not selling it to me. That's an awful lot of batteries before you start getting your money back, not to mention the increased weight.
The extra weight is maybe 400g - depends on the model of hub dynamo and the hub it's replacing, let's call it 500g. Something like the Lumotec Cyo weighs 100g which isn't too different from the head unit of something like the Hope Vision2 (don't have the figures to hand).
The weight issue is a bit of a red herring really, you are putting this on a commuter bike not a racer (in fact you couldn't put it on my racer as that has 20 spokes whereas the dynamo hubs only come in 32 & 36 spoke options), though since it's rotating mass rather than static it will have more of an effect than a straight weight comparison. My commuting bike with me on board and laden with commuting bag is around 100Kg - another 500g is just a 0.5% increase.
As I said, it is a costlier option when compared with the cheap light systems but you need to compare it to the medium to high end lighting systems which are in the £150 upwards range. The main advantage is that you can't forget to charge/replace the batteries so you aren't going to end up five miles from home having to negotiate dark country lanes with no lights, nor can you forget to bring the actual lights themselves (ahem, cough, cough).
Whether such advantage/convenience is worth it to any individual is up to them. There's no one right answer.
As for the dynamo powered hub option - I may consider it if I decide to get some new wheels, but on a bike that cost me £115, I'd prefer something that if need be I can easily take off.
In the past I have ridden 25 miles or so home on a mountain bike on a moonless autumn night - not great for the lovely tree-tunnel-covered roads of Oxforshire. Got to the point that I was using my holding my phone (no torch on it, just the screen) out in front of me with one hand. Got off and went to the side when any car came, but found that really killed my night vision.
Anyway, I digress; learnt my lesson and for out of town rides where I need good lighting would make sure I have my lupine or similar with me.
The Cate-Eye lights you mention don't get particularly good reviews - they seem to have a habit of falling apart! If you just need to be seen then consider lightweight helmet mounted lights - you can get red LED lights for £7 or so. In flashing mode the batteries will last for around ten days but you are likely to notice them flashing once away from the bike :-)
I have got myself some pound shop lights in the mean time, but the rear doesn't work, so shall have to take it back.
You can fit them to anything - they have a rubber strap and hook - just loop the strap round something like and clip the hook.
I'm not that bothered by it sensing whether it's day or night; I'd be happy with a light that just came on when I was pedalling, especially for the rear.
Got a working one from the pound shop in the mean time.
Found another alternative from 'maxxon', but this was also has an automatic brake light function too. A bit bigger and similar price.
I like the idea of the cat's eye ones because they look like reflectors so are pretty innocuous.
I'd be wary of this. Back in the day I had a 'dynamo' light that did exactly that, being powered from the wheel motion. I remember feeling quite vulnerable stopped at lights or crossings with no lights on at all.
Modern dynamo driven lights have a "standlight" that remains lit for several minutes after stopping to get round this problem.
However the OP has stated that he only has a cheap bike so isn't keen on fitting a dynamo system given that his bike is only worth £150. He wants a fit and forget system but the cheaper lights that claim to do this aren't really up to the job. He also seems to be concerned that more expensive lights would be more likely to be stolen - bikes get stolen because they are bikes not because of the lights fitted to them.
I think the OP just needs to develop a methodical mindset to this problem rather than try and find a technology to mask any shortcomings.
> Modern dynamo driven lights have a "standlight" that remains lit for several minutes after stopping to get round this problem.
> However the OP has stated that he only has a cheap bike so isn't keen on fitting a dynamo system given that his bike is only worth £150. He wants a fit and forget system but the cheaper lights that claim to do this aren't really up to the job. He also seems to be concerned that more expensive lights would be more likely to be stolen - bikes get stolen because they are bikes not because of the lights fitted to them.
> I think the OP just needs to develop a methodical mindset to this problem rather than try and find a technology to mask any shortcomings.
It would never take off...... but I was thinking a few weeks ago about bike dynamos and why no one has thought of magnetising wheel rims intermittently and having a coil situated like a brake caliper. I'd imagine power requirements are much lower than they used to be now that everyone uses LEDs.
Probably a silly idea but I was thinking of ways of not adding a nett gain in weight. Though not too sure how you'd manufacture a rim in that way!
Just solved it. No extra weight gain apart from the wires:
Intergrate the the dynamo into the disk brakes and pads.
Just reading about lights and it seems that this is already being done. Popular in Denmark apparently.
They retrospectively stole my idea.
They turn themselves off after a minute or two of no motion - so even stopped at long traffic lights you should be ok as you probably won't be keeping the bike perfectly still.
Oh and I was worried about the lights themselves getting stolen. As it's a "pop to the shops" bike, I don't want to have to unclip a load of electrics for five minutes picking up some milk. No way I'd leave my lupine setup on the bike (as it's worth more than the bike and held in by a glorified rubber band.)
Have known people to have their lights stolen in the past.
I'd be happy with a normal light with some sort of basic motion sensor (think you can get them in maplins for a quid or two) plumbed in to a 555 timer to add the delay. But when I've gone to all that hassle, might as well have just bought some for the £20 they cost.
Those revolights do look rather nice - but at $220 msrp when released, think I'll pass!
When googling generally, I was noting that 'tyre flys' offer the movement sensing functionality at least. Of course they're designed for a different purpose and I'd always dismissed them as being rather 'boy racer', but even on wheels does make sense for a commuter push bike.
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