[CR] Lights and handlebar bags

(Example: Events:Cirque du Cyclisme:2002)

Date: Fri, 13 Feb 2009 18:43:00 -0800
From: Jerome & Elizabeth Moos <jerrymoos@sbcglobal.net>
To: <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>, <aldoross4@siscom.net>
In-Reply-To: <4996186b.213.75a4.496267158@siscom.net>
Subject: [CR] Lights and handlebar bags

A couple of weeks ago I posted pics of the Romic touring bike, including a Carradice boxy bag on a Nitto bag rack. One of the problems with a setup like this is the bag is carried higher than with a bag on a front rack with decaleur. This can create a problem with a front light. A bike with a handlebar bag of this type usually won't have a front rack, so one can't mount the light on the rack. And the problem with a bar-mounted light is the beam is partially blocked on the bottom by the bag.

A CR member who saw the pics and realized the problem before I did recommened a Low Down Light Mount from Velo Orange. This replaces the nut on the hub QR and provides a mount for a light just above the hub axle. There are two verisons, one for mounting a handlebar light and another for a typical dynamo light. Velo Orange didn't really invent this, since Nitto has made them in the past and Bruce Gordon sells a tailight mounted in this way, though I don't believe Bruce offers a front light. But they seem to be the most convenient source for such a mount for a front light. They also sell and recommend the Cateye HL-EL530, which they say is the best and brightest reasonably priced battery light available.

So I bought a couple of Low Down Mounts and a couple of EL530's. Now I have to confess I bought the lights from another source that had a significantly better price, but hey, I bought two Low Down Mounts from VO at the not inexpensive $25 each, and threw in a couple of DT barcon stop sets and and Spanninga rear dynamo light with standlight in the VO order, perhaps to ease my conscience.

Got the lights yesterday and the mounts today. The Cateye EL530 really is amazingly bright for a fairly compact light with internal AA batteries. In fact, so bright I was a bit concerned it might distract auto drivers if mounted on the bars and angled a bit high to clear the handlebar bag. I had intended to use two El530's, one on the bars, one on the Down Low mount. But after installing one on the Down Low Mount, I reinstalled the older bulb (as opposed to LED EL530) Cateye light on the bars as shown it the pics I had posted. This gives a higher light to catch drivers' attention, but not distract them too much, while the lower brighter light illuminates the road. Tested this after dark and it seems a very nice setup. Highly recommended, expecially when a handlebar bag limits the angle of a bar mounted light. Many thanks to the CR member who recommended the Low Down Mount for this bike.


Jerry Moos
Big Spring, Texas, USA