Tuesday, September 29, 2009

And there was light!

And it was good,  and really, really bright!

I love how my hub dynamo lets me forget about batteries, but my halogen light was having problems and I had read about the new generation of LED dynamo lights.   So I finally saved up the money to buy a gorgeous new Schmidt Edeluxe light.
I took advantage of the lovely day Saturday to bike the 15 mile RT to Harris Cyclery in West Newton. Although this is my LBS of choice, it was made famous by having a comprehensive web site, before that was really common, created and maintained by the legendary Sheldon Brown.  Although Sheldon died in 2008, he created an incredible resource for people who love all kinds of bikes, especially old ones, and it's worth checking out whenever you have a technical question.

I never met Sheldon (although I conversed once with him via email)  but I go there for Norm the master mechanic, who rebuilt Robert as the bionic bike,  and who keeps him in tiptop shape, and for Elton, the unconventional bike part maven.  Elton and I worked out a way to mount the light symmetrically (as an architect, I'm big on symmetry) fastened to the underside of my rack, so it's in front of my basket.  Because it's a very dense light (heavy for its size)  I read a couple of warnings against using a typical head bracket mount, but Elton found a rack mounting piece that had a 90 degree twist so that I could fasten it to the bottom of my front rack, and then attach the light to the front.
I went home and did some modifications to the strut (I love my new Bosch jigsaw!).  A little more work with the wiring, a hair dryer to shrink wrap the electrical connectors, and I was in business!

So far so good, although I  need to fasten my basket back down to its previously unshakable-load-me-with-two-six-packs- state.  I also am very nervous about leaving my new investment vulnerable to anyone with a phillips screwdriver, so I'm searching for a stainless steel vandal resistant bolt.
 I was biking to the post office after my first day riding it to work, and while stopped at a stoplight, a guy in a suit asked me if that was a Edeluxe.  He said that he had a halogen E6 schmidt light , and was thinking of upgrading.

While I had the bike in the basement, and up on the rack, I tightened up the fenders, the rear light, all the little connections, and it's really great- like having a new bike!  It's so quiet and smooth,  without the little annoying rattles.   And you can see me coming from quite a bit away!

1 comment:

  1. I have to admit that I am a bit light-crazy and favour the more is more approach. My Pashley is lit up like a Xmas tree with both a dynamo headlight and a couple of CatEye LEDs on the fork.