Tests (and recommendations) of bicycle parts, esp. mini-pumps, dynamo lighting & leather saddles
Tests the way they should be done: thorough and asking the right questions...
- Bicycle lighting analysis
[ Note: Full analysis and translation of StVZO+TA (technical requirements) + FzTV (build/production requirements) etc., and/or StVZO+DIN 33958, with consultation, is available to companies wanting to enter this market, email for information. ]
The analysis needed to understand what is good, bad, and what is needed in bicycle lamps and dynamos along with all descriptions of experiments that I did is so extensive, that I placed it into a separate section in Nov. 2017. This deals e.g. with LED light colour, effectiveness of lamps in the mist, difference between what you see in reality and beamshots, analysis of lighting regulations such as the German StVZO, and much more.
Finished 30 Jan. 2018:
Summary of changes in StVZO of ca. mid 2017
, To come:
an analysis of DIN 33958
and of ISO 6742-1 (2015)
which is a later version than the one I already had a look at (incidentally, this standard includes 1.5W and 3W dynamo systems, just like DIN 33958...).
2018-3-5: Experiences with laser projection headlamps while I was in the UK, and some thoughts on when they are useful
- Bicycle lighting reviews: headlamps, taillamps, dynamos and some oddities (non standard lights). Start here to see what is good and bad in products, where appropriate there are links to the analysis section in which I explain how to determine what makes good and bad lights and dynamos, how to analyse beamshots, and much more.
- Testing the Axendo 60 USB battery lamp and the Xanes low cost small size battery lamp.
- Finally a testride with the Axendo 40. It's the best low cost dynamo headlamp...
- Does anyone have issues with the switch and charging not working with the Philips LBL? Perhaps caused by unprogramming (over time) of an EEPROM or similar issue, though it happened with 2 boards...
- Leather saddles Mainly from Brooks. Also analysis and correpondence with manufacturers, experiments, and a number of modifications that I made to leather saddles.
- Mini pumps. Read here what pressure you can really achieve, not the fairy tale numbers that most manufacturers tell you!
- Feb. 2018: I finally got round to further disassembling of the Quicker pro. I had to because mine didn't work any more. There is 1 big flaw in the Quicker pro: The steel fixing clip in the top. It will corrode... It was completely gone (rusted away) in mine. The junk from that made the inner tube with pressure display opaque too. This clip can be replaced by a stainless steel M3 washer and a stainless M3 nut that you can screw onto the plastic post... Pictures and disassembly instructions to come soon.
- Aug. 2017: There are problems with the Birzman Apogee pump head, it just doesn't work on all Presta valves and Birzman doesn't seem to find it necessary to respond to emails... So my recommendation is back to the Quicker pro, but that is hard to find if you want one. I could buy a batch from Quickex again, but they don't sell quickly. And they are also not perfect though less problematic than the Birzman (the only real issue is the missing dirt cap). Are you interested in acquiring a Quicker pro? If so email me. The new all-black version as shown on their site looks nice! Due to all these problems the same reader who also found that the Birzman doesn't work on Schwalbe Presta inner tubes, said "Appears there are no satisfactory pumps available; may as well go back to solid tyres!". Thanks for that, I laughed :)
New section, commentary and challenges
As I've done most of what I wanted to do and nothing new that's very different (and possibly better) has appeared in years in saddles, mini pumps and lighting, I will do something else, I'm working on projects not at all related to bicycles, but for here I have some ideas for fun: Challenge manufacturers of bicycles/bicycle products. After watching a bunch of videos on youtube, I thought it would be interesting to do some commentary on stuff that I see on youtube or elsewhere, and I will issue challenges to manufacturers:
This I placed in the following new section: WHS' commentary on stuff on the internet
Some bicycle related videos from me, along with some other stuff, here: WHS' youtube videos.
Support this website
Each donation is appreciated, but even better is to buy a Brooks saddle or bicycle lighting parts!
Changes from 6 Nov. 2017:
- Nov. 2017: 1. Removal (well, moved to here, and I have no intention to update these test) of all smaller sections such as about minitools and gears etc. as I will go back to basics, 2. Removal of all Dutch/German pages: I have not kept the pages in Dutch in sync anyway, as it costs too much work and the sales side does not support putting in a lot of work. There were only a few pages in German. 3. Separate the bicycle lighting reviews from the overviews and technical analysis. The reviews are to be linked to as 'examples' to show problems in lights/dynamos in the analysis section.
- In 2018 I will mostly stop selling bicycle stuff (only continuing with some Brooks saddles and modifications), as there is just not enough appreciation for what I do, i.e. the sales are far too low for the effort and guidance that I give in reviews. So I will have to do something else, and possibly work with a manufacturer, though the bike industry is really reluctant for any change and not interested in suggestions for improvements or even new ideas as is shown in what has been produced the last 6 years in dynamos and headlights, which is not impressive and barely improving over what we had in 2011. That means my interest stops, unless finally some manufacturer wants to make real improvements.
The method: How to do tests the right way, including how to determine what is important for tests
The following is only of interest if you are interested in understanding people, I explain a lot of the behaviour of people related to discussions on forums, newsgroups etc.
- The truth and the method. Here I analyse some misconceptions and tell you about what it means to make a good review, what do you need to measure (if anything), and what it means to be scientific. Being scientific is not about doing measurements, but about the way you analyse what needs to be analysed... You don't need to measure the exact temperature of a room to know whether it's too hot, too cold, or just right for you. Same with vibrations by dynamo hubs... A few topics: Do you ride faster with smaller wheels? Do you ride faster with a lighter bike? Does dynamo efficiency really influence your speed? The answer is no, or not significantly at best in case of dynamos, but many people think it is a big influence. Countering such and other misconceptions is a big part of the process of doing proper reviews!
Last modified: 2017-11-9