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
What is needed in bicycle lamps and dynamos, experiments with LED light colour, effectiveness of lamps in the mist, difference between what you see in reality and beamshots, analysis of lighting regulations and much more.
Note: Full translation of StVZO+TA (technical requirements) + FzTV (build/production requirements) in English, including analysis, summaries, build suggestions, description of the approval procedure, with consultation and help for the approval procedure included, is available to companies wanting to enter this market (for bicycles, pedelecs to 25 km/h, and more information on rules for fast-pedelecs/e-bikes). I have a sample of this for interested companies, email for information. I've also included information on whether approvals for non-standard lighting (such as lighting using non-standard power sources such as contactless rim dynamos and rim mounted lights, are likely to be succesful, with some requirements for any non standard lighting, and some examples.
The whole process is fairly involved and expensive (but still far less cost than a development of a lens/reflector). Besides the big cost of lens/reflector development, there are: the approval procedure up to 2000 euro, company verification (around 1000 euro), assigning the approval itself about 500 euro. After that comes the choice to get help or do it yourself, in the latter case you will need to get all standards and get all German text translated and then spend quite a bit of time to figure out what the requirements really entail (and keep track of how the rules change).
Additionally, for a company that wants a collaboration, I have ideas for better beam shapes for headlights, better housing and mounts, better taillights/cable management, user interface etc. ]
- Bicycle lighting reviews
Headlamps, taillamps, dynamos and some oddities (non standard lights).
- Leather saddles
Leather saddles, Brooks, Lepper, Selle Anatomica, modifications etc.
- Mini pumps
Read here what pressure you can really achieve, not the fairy tale numbers that most manufacturers tell you which are only relevant if your name is Arnold Schwarzenegger!
Tours, interviews, bike trips
Plans for 2019
2019-3-24 and further: Reviews of the Exposure Strada 1200, Exposure Blaze taillamp. Uploaded the videos on youtube, text and pictures will be updated soon too. See the section Bicycle lighting reviews
- When the final versions are ready: Reviews of the exposure StVZO lamps.
- Not yet specified date: What I wanted to do in December 2018 but which didn't work out due to circumstances: Visiting a e-bike/pedelec maker.
Feb/March 2019: Tests with high power e-bike/pedelec/battery cutoff lights. I'm not a big fan of battery lights because it's a hassle to charge. I don't ride a pedelec/e-bike although I can see the attraction to have a guaranteed 25 km/h for long trips (with panniers full that is hard to do on a regular bike), and it is nice to have more power available for lighting than with regular dynamo systems. DONE 2019-3-14: Lupine SL, vs. M99 Pure, vs. Philips Saferide 80.
2019 March: A trip to the UK to visit a manufacturer of bike lighting. If all goes well I will make some videos and an interview. DONE. Report and video to come in the sections 'tours, interviews and bike trips'.
To support these reviews and my more brief reviews in section 2, go to https://www.patreon.com/gambiet or use the paypal link below...
If there is enough support I could do e.g. a comparative review of all of Berthoud's leather saddles with the best of the Brooks saddles (esp. the B17 and Imperial, Team pro) and with bicycle lighting there are ways to go such as finally make full comparison videos with switching between lamps while riding to show the differences, and of course some more of the latest headlamps.
My test bike was stolen Thursday evening 9 Aug. 2018, in NL/Leimuiden. If you see it in NL let the police know and send me a message...
Maybe it's on the way to Poland, or some such destination, but in case it stays in NL, if you see it let the police know and send me a message...
Nederlands: Cannondale fiets, type Vintage, zwart, schijfremmen, Dit is mijn testfiets, opvallend door 2 verschillende pedalen voor testen, dito 2 verschillende handvatten, 3x9 versnellingen, bijna alles is zwart, zadelpen: Descendant, zadel: Brooks b17 imperial (uitsparing in het midden) zwart, linker handvat kurk, rechter handvat leer bruin, fietscomputer: O-synce, achterdrager vervangen: was Cannondale's eigen merk (maar die was gebroken), is nu Atranvelo, Stuureinden van Ergotec, ligstuur (alleen de arm-steunen) van Ergotec, koplamp: Herrmans H-one S (met plakband waarop V2 geschreven staat, dit is de versie met neutraal wit licht), achterlamp Spanninga Solo. Continental achterband, voorband is een Compass Barlow pass 38mm vouwband (door een lezer van mijn site gestuurd om te testen/vergelijken)
English: Cannondale bicycle, type Vintage, zwart, disc brakes. This is my test bike used the last 2 years for testing lighting and pedals and grips etc. And so it sticks out by having 2 different pedals for testing, ditto 2 different grips, left grip cork, right grip leather (brown), 3x9 gears, almost everything is black, seat post: Descendant (contrary to the pics), saddle: Brooks b17 Imperial (so with cutout in the middle) in black, bike computer: O-synce, rear rack: Atranvelo (I had to replace the original rack which was Cannondale's own brand, which broke), bar ends from Ergotec, aero bar (but only the arm rests mounted) from Ergotec, headlamps: Herrmans H-one S (with tape on which I wrote V2, this is the 2nd version of the H-one S with neutral white light), taillamp Spanninga Solo. Continental rear tyre 42-622, front tyre is a Compass Barlow pass 38mm folding tyre (sent to me for testing by a reader of my site)
Numbers on the frame: 57 1 086.128 (so: 571086128) / UN..571 (can't quite make it out)
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 misconceptions about these and other topics is a big part of the process of doing proper reviews!
Last modified: 2017-11-9