RE: [Classicrendezvous] Re: Flashing (lights)

(Example: Production Builders:Cinelli:Laser)

From: "Merin Urban" <>
To: "Jerry Moos" <>
Cc: <>
Subject: RE: [Classicrendezvous] Re: Flashing (lights)
Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2000 21:50:18 -0400
In-Reply-To: <>


A lot of people know a lot more about lighting options than I do, but FWIW:

Much depends on: 1) How long do you need the light to be on, 2) How bright do you need it to be, 3) How much do you object to carrying it around when it's off and 4) How much attention are you willing to give it. What you'd want for the PBP is very different from a "nice to know it's there if I need it" standby.

I have a bottle (tire-rubbing) generator. I use it regularly for about an hour in the early morning maybe three times a week in the darkest winter months. Year round, I count on it to be there for me if I get caught out late on a long ride. For that usage, the whirr doesn't bother me, but I doubt I could ride all night with it on. When it's off there is no drag, no power leakage, no maintenance. On the other hand, it's not readily removable, so the weight is always there. (Of course, that means I never forget to bring it along!). Tire wear does not appear to be a problem, nor does slippage in the wet, at least with this model (Dymotec 6, wire brush).

Hub generators are quieter and more efficient, but cost more (between twice and five times as much), plus the wheelbuilding. If I needed the light to be on more, I might spring for one. For now, it's not worth it. Likewise no maintenance. Low, but constant (on or off), drag varies with the model. The Schmidt is the best and priced to match.

I used to use the little Cat-eye Halogen (about the size of a snickers bar). It's very convenient and makes a great flashlight, but the four AAs burned out too fast. With the optional water-bottle-size battery pack (holds four D cells), you'll get over eight hours. All in all, that's a pretty good answer -- but it does fill your DT bottle cage.

As far as I can tell, Lumotec generator lights are brighter than the lower wattage halogens, but as you move into higher wattages (and more exotic batteries) batteries rule.

As for resources, there is a bikecurrent e-list that used to be on and is probably operating on Topica. The Audax UK site has extensive lighting links, reviews, etc. Finally, Peter White's website is highly informative on generator lighting systems (he is the US importer for most of those that come here).

Peter also has a battery/LED fender (mudguard) rear light that I can vouch for. Brand name is Spanninga. It's fairly bright for a single LED, doesn't flash, takes two AAAs.

Good luck.

Peter Storey in Brooklyn, where it is dark.

> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> []On Behalf Of Jerry Moos
> Sent: Wednesday, October 25, 2000 9:50 AM
> To: Larry Strung
> Cc:;;
> Subject: Re: [Classicrendezvous] Re: Flashing (lights)
> Speaking of lights, these are newly of interest to me, having
> begun commuting in
> mid August for the first time in many years (I leave for work
> about 20 minutes
> before sunrise this time of year). I have a clipon rear red flasher with
> replaceable AA cells and a Cateye Halogen front with replaceable
> C cells. Can
> those with commuting/ randonneur experience comment on the following:
> 1) What is typical battery life for a Halogen front light?
> 2) Are rechargeable batteries available for most sizes used by
> bike lights?
> 3) Should I buy rechargeables and a charger instead of just tossing
> replaceables?
> 4) Are there chargers that will handle multiple battery sizes?
> 5) Are rechargeable lights a better option? Are these merely
> lights packaged
> with rechargeable batteries and a charger?
> 6) What types of generator lights are available and which do
> you recommend?
> 7) Do the current generators driven by the tire present any
> wear concerns
> with modern tires?
> I realize that is a lot of questions, but lights should be of
> keen interest to
> anyone who rides at night, even for a few minutes at the
> beginning/end of a
> daily commute or long event. After all I don't want any list members
> (especially me) run over by a truck in the dark.
> Thanks in advance
> Jerry Moos