Trouble-Free Lighting

I’ve been using my Dinotte lights since the Fall of 2008.  They are bright, but moving them between bikes and keeping the batteries charged takes time.

I took the plunge and ordered a new set of lights from On Your Left Cycles.  What was ordered?

The shop built the new wheel once the parts arrived and called me to let me know it was time to bring my LHT in.  This was on Friday.

I didn’t want to drive my truck to haul the bike.  I also didn’t want to walk the two miles from the bike shop to work.  So I rode the LHT towing the tailer with the folding bike in it.

Once I dropped off the LHT, I rode the folding bike and pulled the trailer to work with me.  After work, I reversed the procedure to get the LHT and go home.

The headlight is mounted to the front rack and has an integrated reflector.  This also freed some space on my handlebars.

Although the polished SON hub looks really nice, it doesn’t match the matte finish of the rear hub.  That’s okay, this bike is about utility, not looking pretty.

The tail light looks almost as if it were meant to be on the rear rack.

I’ve taken the bike out twice after dark now.  Both were short urban rides, but I’m starting to get a feel for what I do and don’t like.

The focused beam on the headlight puts plenty of light where you usually need it.  It doesn’t light up street signs as well my Dinotte, as it throws very little light upward.  I also felt a little blind while descending fast on a curve.  The light is bright enough, but the road goes off a different direction.  Maybe I should fly through Cherokee Park at night.  🙂

The standlight lasts plenty long.  I can sit at a long traffic light, and the lights are still lit, although a bit dimmer.

Strangely, the tail light gives up first when the standlight gets close to being discharged.  Also, the tail light isn’t really very bright.  It does spread the light across a wider area than a Dinotte or a SuperFlash, but it’s just not bright.  It does have an integrated reflector like the headlight.

The hub just works.  I can sometimes feel a vibration at 16-17mph, but faster or slower than that and it goes away.  You don’t really notice the hub when riding.

If I were doing it over again, I would research a different tail light.  I may do this anyway, as they are inexpensive.  I would also consider a different rim.  The rim is probably fine, but as this bike is for loaded touring, a Dyad may have been a better choice.

I put the Dinotte lights on the single-speed.  I want another dynohub system for that bike, but I have to wait until I can afford it.  I may also move the new LHT wheel to the single-speed, and have a Dyad-based wheel built for the LHT.

Too many choices, but at least I don’t have to charge batteries.

8 thoughts on “Trouble-Free Lighting”

  1. The vibration at 16 is something I’ve never experienced. At 6, yes. As to taillights, you’re one up on me. I never wanted to go through with the hassle of the long wire. And remember about the streetsign thing, that many lights- perhaps the Dinotte, perhaps not- are poorly designed and tend to blind drivers, whose line of sight is similar to….a street sign. Enjoy. Dynos are great products for all kinds of riding.

  2. Excellent! I’m next. But I’m gonna let you do all the research, then collect practical data from you and Tim, then make my purchase. 🙂 I’m curious, why did you choose the A23 rim? I have been curious about them.

  3. Patrick,

    The A23 rim was recommended by Drew. I’m not sure it’s ideal for my LHT, so that’s why I’m thinking about moving the dyno wheel to the single-speed and getting a new one based on a Dyad (or some other touring rim) for the LHT.

    I don’t have the money to do that now, but it’s something to keep in mind.

  4. I think the A23 is a pretty stout rim, but I also assume it’s not specifically designed for loaded 100lbs touring. I got mine built in a 3-cross, and with a manly tire I assume it’ll hold up for my needs. The A23 is a wider (by 4mm) design. Does that mean it’s stronger? I have no concept of physics, only Spanish verb tenses.

  5. I agree the A23 is probably fine. But why go with fine on a mixed terrain touring rig when you can go with the Dyad or the Synergy?

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    You know, I think that the rim actually has much less to do with wheel strength than does the build, dish, tire size, etc. I can’t believe a difference of 50 grams is going to make that much differece (A23 426gr, Dyad 480gr…and they are similar in shape) in the world of loaded touring. I’m starting to think spokes (double butted versus straight gauge) is a bunch of crap too.

    Whatever. I know what works for me, thats for sure. And it’s taken me about 15 wheels to figure it out.

  6. I like how you have placed the foldy bike in your trailer! Its too bad you are not pleased with the rear light as it looks like it should be a good light. I too am looking for a good rear light, for my new folding bike actually. I see lots of choices but haven’t decided yet.

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