Lighting

My PBP Bike: Lights

Nothing else has changed our riding as much as modern generator hubs and LED lights. When I first started riding the almost-mythical (and now long-defunct) cross-state races in Washington – Cannonball and S2S – I ran a Nightsun battery light. These races started just after midnight in Seattle, so...

New SON Generator Hubs!

We are excited to announce the latest SON generator hubs. The biggest news is the connector-less SL system for thru-axle hubs: Now you can remove your front wheel and its generator hub without having to disconnect any wires, even with a thru axle. The system consists of three parts: The heart...

Making Strong and Durable Wheels

When building a bike, one important decision concerns the wheels. How do you get the best performance and still make your wheels strong enough to withstand 20,000+ miles of riding on rough roads without needing service? By now, most cyclists know that spokes don't break from overloading, but from fatigue as...

A Better Way to Mount Lights

  Small parts often get overlooked, but they can make a big difference in your cycling experience. Take light mounts, for example. Adjusting the angle of your headlight beam is useful: In town, you want to angle the headlight low so it doesn't blind oncoming traffic. Out in the mountains, you need a...

Guide to SON Generator Hubs

Generator lighting make bikes far more versatile. You can ride at night and never have to worry how much charge you have left in your batteries. Your lighting system is always there, not consuming significant energy when off, and very little when turned on. Which generator hub is best for your bike?...

The New Compass Taillight

When building my René Herse randonneur bike, I was unable to find a taillight that combined the functions I needed along with a classic appearance. I ended up making my own taillight. Now this light is available from Compass Bicycles Ltd. I wanted a generator-powered taillight that matched the appearance...

Choosing Your Headlight

We just got our first shipment of the new Schmidt Edelux II headlights. The Edelux II and the B&M IQ Cyo Premium really have raised the bar in headlight design. Their wide, even beams make night riding at any speed even more pleasant. At the same time, older versions of...

New Lights!

It's not often that we get excited about new technology around here. Whether it's 11-speed cassettes or 31.8 mm-diameter handlebars, we often fail to see the need to improve upon what works perfectly well. So when Busch & Müller announced new LED headlights, we wondered how much better than...

Fake Metal vs. Honest Plastic

Few taillights available today complement the aesthetics of a classic randonneur bike, where you want to see finely detailed components, typically in metal. Most modern lights are chunky black plastic, but one succeeds in being more understated: Busch & Müller's Seculite Plus (above). So Compass Bicycles decided to sell...

Overview of SON Generator Hubs

When "Schmidt's Originaler Nabendynamo" (SON) was introduced more than a decade ago, the choice was easy: There was only one model. Today, Schmidt offers three models of their revolutionary generator hubs. Here is what distinguishes them: SON Delux: Weight: 386 g. Lightest generator hub available today. Least resistance of all generator hubs. Narrow flanges. Aluminum...

Wiring a Light for a SON Generator Hub

Before I explain how to connect your light to a SON generator hub, I'd like to summarize the advantages of quality generator-powered lights. They simply allow you to ride more safely and enjoyably: Light when you need it, at the turn of a switch. No worries about batteries running out. Asymmetric beam...

New LED Taillight Solutions

Taillights can be very elegant and beautiful. Some are shaped like raindrops, others emerge from the fender like a submarine parting the waves. There are minimalist taillights like the beautiful JOS lights that René Herse mounted on the seat tubes of his randonneur bikes. In recent years, the LED revolution...

SON Generator Hubs and Lights

Compass Bicycles has added SON generator hubs and Edelux lights to our program. We are excited to carry the best bicycle lighting systems ever made. A few years ago, a reporter asked me what I considered the most important innovation in bicycles during the last half-century. After thinking about the...