Thursday, August 31, 2006

Bicycle Generator Lights Redux

You may recall my enthusiasm for generator lights. After my last commuter bike, equipped with the Good Stuff (which was really the low end of the Good Stuff, the Dymotec 6 and a standard Lumotec; you can spend a LOT more than I did) was stolen, I said the hell with it, and went back to a clunker approach. I had my current favorite bike shop put Planet Bike Freddie Fenders and a low end generator set on the bike I got off Craig's List, and let it go at that. I was happy. Then the headlight died.

Lesson one: The Good Stuff really IS better. The beam pattern on this cheap set sucks, and it's much harder, and impossible without tools, to change the headlight bulb.

Lesson Two: Always, always, rig a ground wire. In theory, you can do without one, using your frame as the ground, but in practice, it's never worked for long for me. It may take a little inventiveness on the cheap sets to figure out HOW to attach the ground wire to the generator bracket, but do it. Some crimp on connectors, and a few minutes of head scratching should see you through.

Problem solved.



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