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:
- 2018-5-13: The Litelok lock: This youtube video shows it being ripped open using a crowbar and just twisting it in 13 seconds (start at 0:43 done at 0:56). A pathetic 'review' can be found there as well, by someone who was sent a lock by Litelok, and he did some half assed attempt to tear it apart, somewhat similar to how the thief in the video did it, but not quite. Then there is Litelok's own 'test', where you can see the 'thief' can actually saw through the lock quite quickly, but stops when he gets halfway! (After about 2 minutes of half-assed sawing instead of fast) WTF!! Of course, a thief will think "No, that's too easy, I need to spend more time because I want to give the owner a fighting chance to get me arrested by the police!" ;-). I would think there is 0% chance that Litelok will send me one to test, because they apparently complained to youtube and claim that first video is defamation, as someone from the UK writes with the video that he can't view it, so I think these people cannot stand any criticism and don't want someone like me to properly test this aspect of breaking the lock. So, alternatively, if someone in NL has one and no longer trusts it (an angle grinder goes through it in 14 seconds, as shown here, hacksaw will likely go through it within 60s or at most 2 minutes from what I saw in their own video), and is interested in seeing me properly crack it, send it to me and I will make a video on youtube, or if there are donations via paypal (add a comment), I will just buy one...
Note that the comments on their own videos are all fake, the style of comments and that they are all published on nearly the same dates exudes "FAKE COMMENT"... Let's see if I can add the following comment "After 2 minutes of half-assed sawing he got halfway through, and then he stops? WTF for? Did he think 'No, that's too easy, I need to spend more time because I want to give the owner a fighting chance to get me arrested by the police!' ? I challenge you to send me one and see if I can break it in 13 seconds as in the 2 videos where it was broken with a crowbar or similar." to Litelok's own 'test' to see if they allow or disallow the comment. Hmm done, seems to be there, now, so there is no need to wait for approved comments... I made a screenshot. We will see whether it gets removed...
Ah, now it's clear, the morons at Google have removed the status that a message needs to be approved (which several years ago was there!). So to me when logged in I see my message, when not logged in I don't see it. F-ing idiots at google. The people at Litelok thus do not approve my message, fine I will send them an email with my challenge and if they don't respond they will go into the douchebag hall of fame 2018. Youtube video to follow...
Update: I tried with a VPN in the UK, and indeed the 17 second theft video of Litelok is blocked because of 'laster' (=defamation in Dutch). What a load of BS!
And before that I watched some other locks that just make me scratch my head: Titanium locks! My God, which idiot thought that was a good idea? Titanium is quite easy to file and saw compared to steel. For some tools it's hard to deal with but that's same with stainless steel, though it's much softer than standard and esp. hardened steel...
- 2018-5-13: The Moeve bike with variable cranks: The explanation doesn't actually explain anything because mechanically it can only be less efficient, the real issue is, can there be a noticeable biomechanical efficiency improvement? I doubt it as I think it would need to be 20% to really notice it on longer rides (see my review and calculations of speed loss with the Nuvinci hub: I don't feel that a bike with Nuvinvi hub rides different to a bike with derailleur, though the hub loses about 10% power, this means at say 30 km/h a difference of 1 km/h which you will only notice if you measure your rides and take note of wind conditions on all rides. Same goes for a weak rider, who didn't feel it was heavy going, riding at low speeds within a city). I've explained the whole thing if you are interested in what it could and what it cannot do, that I will upload here: Moeve cranks analysed. Summary: I don't believe there can be a big change in biomechanical efficiency which means only 1 aspect remains: How it feels, on short rides. The longer crank while pushing, could help. My challenge: Send me a bike to test for at least 2 months, 1 month for me (strong cyclist), 1 month for a family member (weak cyclist) and I will see what I can feel on short distances and what I notice in average speed on longer distances. I do not expect anything from average speed, but in bicycling comfort and feel I suspect there could be a change and if people think it feels good, easy to pedal, then they will do more effort, more power in Watt, to go faster.
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