Lights! Closeouts and New Headlights

big_rock_climb

Current LED headlights are amazing. Both the Schmidt Edelux and the B&M IQ Cyo provide a bright, even beam that puts the light on the road where you need it, without blinding oncoming traffic. When they came out a few years ago, these lights truly were a quantum leap, and I replaced all my old halogen headlights long before they were worn out.

bicycle_quarterly_IQ_comp

Progress continues in smaller steps, and our favorite headlights will be updated this autumn. You can read about Schmidt’s new Edelux II in the current issue of Bicycle Quarterly. B&M just announced their new Cyo IQ Premium. Both will use new optics that provide a wider beam (“new” above).

We look forward to testing the new lights. We anticipate that the wider beam pattern will be a significant improvement while cornering in the dark. In the photo above, it looks like the center of the beam is less bright than with the current optics, but that may just be due to the camera exposure – at least the Schmidt Edelux II uses a new LED that emits more light with the same power consumption.

I expect the updated lights to improve on an already excellent product, but I don’t expect another quantum leap. I probably will continue to ride with my original Edelux headlights for a long time. Even during night-time descents on gravel roads at 40 mph, the original Edelux provides plenty of light.

lighting_iq_cyo_silver

With the new models coming, Compass Bicycles is reducing the prices of the current versions of the IQ Cyo (above) and Edelux (below). Here is your opportunity to get a state-of-the-art light for less, while supplies last.

I like to hang my headlight from my front rack, which makes it less susceptible to coming loose due to vibrations and provides the best beam pattern for spirited riding.  Unfortunately, there are no plans for a “hanging-mount” or “upside-down” Edelux II at this time (above the original version). However, we’ll keep pushing Schmidt Maschinenbau, and hopefully they will reconsider.

For details, prices and orders, please click here.

About Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly

I love cycling and bicycles, especially those that take us off the beaten path. I edit Bicycle Quarterly magazine, and occasionally write for other publications. One of our companies, Bicycle Quarterly Press publishes cycling books, while Compass Bicycles Ltd. makes and distributes high-quality bicycle components for real-world riders.
This entry was posted in Lighting. Bookmark the permalink.

48 Responses to Lights! Closeouts and New Headlights

  1. Ogando says:

    Meanwhile we are waiting for the future of LED headlights:
    Lamp holders, balancing critical mounting angles on stylish-sensible sports bikes and balancing a quite long back of the head of LED Headlights are not easy to find for ambitious clients, who are definitively the target group for this kind of web information. ;-)

    I use (among others) eg this solution for the front carrier, but maybe a reissue of this holder is neccessary since ESGE isn´t in the market any more:
    Picture-Link:
    http://de.hollandbikeshop.com/images/AGU126123.jpg
    “Esge Scheinwerfer Halterung J82s”
    left side is fixed at the carrier, right side with the lamp (including drill holes vertically and horizontally)

    Shurley there is as well some more need for more and other intelligent lamp-holder solutions, to establish light solutions on stylish bicycles – useful and pretty. In the end a lamp concept is as good as the aviable holder concepts.
    Regards
    Ogando

    • The Esge holder was handy, but it worked only on aluminum racks, since it digs into the rack as you mount it. Overall, I prefer integrated lighting solutions where the light mounts are part of the bike. For cars, there aren’t separate light holders any more, either – you buy a car with lights already installed. Even performance motorbikes come with lights…

      That said, for retrofitting existing bikes, good light holders are useful. The Grand Bois racks come with light holders, and we sell a few light holders, but there clearly is a need for more.

      • Ogando says:

        It´s funny, the argument according intergrated designed light solutions for cars and motorbikes is as well my sermon here. The R&M holder supports the “motorbike” look OK, placing the lamp at the height in front of the stem. We use it often for sports bikes.
        Anyhow, we will see who will when come out with “integrated” holder solutions for central mountings eg right beyond (in front) of the stem head.
        One of the aspects for a revision of the R&M Holder is the fact, that metal screws meeting flexible plastic components without metal inlays cause some continous crawling effects for the screws, that need to be revisited and refixed from time to time, tolerable but improvable.
        All time good light!

      • Fred Blasdel says:

        There’s a definite need for better light mounts for racks and such — simply bolting from the side is vulnerable to vibration, plus lets the aiming of the light affect the bolt’s loading and vice-versa.

        It’s infuriating to have to make repeated tries at zeroing in your light when the act of tightening the bolt aims it up and correcting it down loosens the bolt — especially because the OEM fork crown brackets have this issue completely solved just by using a forked mount.

      • I agree that the forked mount is the way to go. I modified my Edelux light so they have a forked mount. An added advantage is that I can adjust the lights angle without risking the bolt coming loose. In town, I angle it downward, so I don’t blind oncoming traffic. In the mountains, I angle it upward a bit, so it illuminates the road ahead even when I am going through a small dip in the road.

      • Fred Blasdel says:

        I made a quick-and-dirty forked mount for my Luxos to accomplish the same thing, I don’t know how I lived without it on previous rack setups: http://www.flickr.com/photos/waldo/8775041177/in/set-72157633565882307

        I’d be very interested to see your version

      • You’ve seen mine, both in the article on the Grand Bois Urban Bike and in the article about the components of the René Herse. I simply slotted the existing mount of the Edelux with an abrasive disc in a Dremel tool. I made the slot exactly the width of the tab on the rack. Tigthening the mounting bolt squeezes the two halves of the light mount onto the rack tab.

        Your rack tab needs to be small, otherwise, your slot has to be too deep and cuts into the screw that attaches the Edelux to the mount. Otherwise, it’s a pretty simple modification, and I am surprised that I don’t see it more often.

  2. tony dadson says:

    Night descents on gravel roads at 40 mph?? I can only say: WHY??

  3. David Pearce says:

    I am concerned that the Edelux hanging says it is not wired for the taillight, but of course I assume it is possible to wire a headlight and taillight and switch into one “integrated unit”, as you say. Do you do that, or do you have a battery powered taillight? Where do you cover the directions, or can you point me to the proper source, for wiring a headlight, taillight and switch? And I hope the Edelux hanging model can be part of it.

    • There are two ways to wire a taillight to a “hanging” Edelux. Both involve keeping the light’s switch on at all times.

      One is simple, you just wire head- and taillights in parallel, and keep the lights on at all times. That is how my son’s bike is wired.

      Two is using a common On/Off switch for both, which is what I did on my René Herse and Grand Bois Urban Bike. The rotating switch is inside the steerer tube. Simply turning the stem cap turns the lights on and off. It’s wonderful when approaching a tunnel to simply turn the switch and have the lights on…

      When I was using a “standing” Edelux in Paris-Brest-Paris 2007, I sliced the skin off one fingertip when I tried to turn the light off while riding, as one finger got a bit too close to the spokes. No serious harm done, but a reminder that safety should come first.

    • somervillebikes says:

      There is an interesting discussion about this on the Bicycle Quarterly Reader’s Review Google group: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/bqrr/W6rB0X2Om7M

  4. I guess the Edelux I is going to be discontinued? Keep pushing for an upside-down Edelux II!

  5. Fred Blasdel says:

    Do you plan to stock their new Secula taillight as well?

    It looks like a huge improvement over their old Seculite, applying their awesome fresnel lens technology in a form factor for those of us that don’t use rear racks

    • We are getting a test sample. If it’s good, we’ll sell it.

      • somervillebikes says:

        I’ve used both the B&M Seculite which you’ve been selling, and the Spanninga Pixeo. As far as dynamo taillights, they’re both great, but I prefer the Pixeo as it is just as bright as the Seculite, and has just as strong a standlight, but is overall lighter and has a cleaner, more “integrated” wire routing (wiring exits behind the unit into the fender, not below the unit and visible). It also retails for close to half the price of a Seculite. I don’t know how they sell a light so inexpensively, but it would be a fantastic light even at twice the price.

  6. Conrad says:

    It seems to me that the best place to mount a front light would be off the front and center of the rack, or off the top and front of the fender (which might require another fender stay depending on how close the rack attachment point is). Instead of mounting the light on one side and having the wheel cast a shadow. Why don’t more people do this?

    • Putting the light at intermediate height and far forward is a good idea, but where exactly should it go?

      We once had a test bike that had the light mounted on the front fender (click on the link for a photo). The beam pattern was great, but the light got moved forward by the handlebar bag every time I rode over a big bump. And when leaning the bike against a wall, the front wheel tends to turn, and the light was the first thing to hit the wall. So it’s not optimal.

      Placing the light underneath the rack puts it in roughly the same position as far as the beam pattern is concerned, but in a much more protected location.

    • Steve Palincsar says:

      Mounting an Edelux off the side of a front rack as seen here http://www.flickr.com/photos/97916047@N00/5979772216/in/set-72157627155309179/ on my MAP Randonneur does not cast a noticeable shadow of the wheel, at least none I can remember. This kind of location is protected and it’s still reasonably easy to get to (although I wouldn’t attempt to switch it on or off while riding). About the only disadvantage to it is that hiding in the shadow of the bag tricks the light-sensitive switch into believing it’s always dark, so the auto position of the switch is useless.

  7. On my bike ride home last night I noticed most cyclists did not have a light on. Be safe out there!

    • Bill Gobie says:

      Be careful what you wish for! The trend here in Seattle is strobing zillion-watt headlights, even in bright daylight.

  8. Sean says:

    Is the beam pattern on the new Edelux supposed to be similar to the Luxos? I have been very pleased with my Luxos, all except for the bulky aesthetics…

    • We don’t know yet, but we plan to test them soon back-to-back.

    • The Edelux II will use the same reflector as the new Busch & Müller IQ Premium CYO. It’s not as wide as the Luxos, but a fair bit wider than the original IQ reflector. Combined with a brighter LED you get both an increase in LUX and a wider beam. It also looks to have better near-to-far distribution of light than the original IQ reflector. The designer of both the Luxos and the new reflector says that the reason for the Luxos’s size is the very wide beam. It must be that big to do what it does.

      For example, the new Eyc headlight is tiny, but has a narrower beam than the Edelux.

      While I saw the new lights at Eurobike in August, I wasn’t able to take my time looking at the two beams side by side, and of course I wasn’t able to photograph the beams in a realistic setting.

      A shipment from Schmidt including two Edelux II samples arrived in Boston on Wednesday and is making its way through customs. Whenever it gets here we’ll send one of the samples to Jan. I’ll try to photograph the other in my driveway and then take it for a spin.

  9. Tom says:

    Not so fast on the daylight strobes…. I’m a H U G E believer in these, NEVER running without my killer Cygolite in it’s blazing daytime strobe mode. It’s amazing how this light connects driver’s eyes to mine in broad daylight, especially when they’re left turning in front of me in traffic. I never felt I was communicating with drivers on this level until embracing daytime lights. I’m surprised how many still think they’re only for nighttime. Yes, I do turn them off once I reach trails, paths, etc., as a retinal courtesy.

    • Being seen is important when riding a bike. People are conditioned to look for cars, not traffic, so it’s all to easy to overlook a cyclist.

      However, I am not sure that hogging all the attention is courteous or even safe. Many of the strobes are so bright that you notice them from half a mile away, which needlessly distracts other traffic from immediate risks. It seems a bit like the people who have their kids drive big cars, so that if they crash into somebody, the kids won’t get hurt – but at the expense of those who get hit.

      Unlike you, many cyclists around here keep their strobes flashing at night, when they are a nuisance at best, and truly dangerous at worst. Washington State law mandates a white front light – not flashing – so a flashing strobe also may expose you to liability. Imagine if a driver hits a pedestrian and claims – not without reason – that your flashing strobe distracted or blinded them so much they couldn’t see the pedestrian…

    • Bill Gobie says:

      Turning off strobes on trails make you nearly as rare as unicorn horns. I’m glad that you remember to do that. But still they are a distracting, painful, dangerous nuisance to other road users. There are some strobes that are blinding even from the opposite shoulder of a three- or four-lane road.

      Do you turn off your strobe when overtaking another cyclist? I use a helmet mirror and have lost count of the number of times I have been blinded in one eye by someone with a strobe coming up behind me.

      A flashing light is more difficult to track than a steady light. A strobe does not make riders as safe as they may imagine.

      • Bill in Roswell GA says:

        I drive a road every day shared with dozens of cyclists in all weather and light conditions – early morning, mid-day high contrast from sun to overhanging tree shadows, late day when shadows cover most of the road but the occasional sun patch appears. Not to mention early morning fog next to the river, cloudy-misty days, torrential downpours and such.

        When my vision was still good in my early 40s I thought nothing of it – there were riders and I could see them all, no one used daytime lights 15 years ago. Now that I’m nearing my late 50s with decreasing vision, those flashing front strobes make a big difference in announcing their presence. Indeed, this time of year light is waning as I drive home along this road after work, I think riding without a strobe a bit remiss.

        I personally use only a small, low powered strobe as a separate light from my proper headlight. I don’t run them concurrently as it is a waste of electrical power.

        One may forget that in low light situations, many a cyclist has been struck by cars from side streets. The strobes DO catch the attention of drivers more so than a steady light. We need look no further than emergency vehicles to prove the point – those emergency lights didn’t become strobes by accident or whim. Whether the drivers are being blinded or not I consider a separate issue, yet secondary to the rider’s safety.

      • Emergency vehicles use flashing lights, but their headlights actually change from high- to low-intensity, rather than on/off. Most importantly, other traffic (in the U.S.) has to stop when encountering an emergency vehicle, so judging the distance and speed of the emergency vehicle is not important. When encountering cyclists, other traffic continues on their way, and so they need to be able to judge the cyclist’s speed and distance. With flashing lights, this is difficult.

        On my bike, I once almost ran into a cyclist who was turning left. They had the right-of-way at a four-way stop, but blinded by their flashing strobe, I was unable to see their outstretched arm that indicated the turn.

        I find that in low-light situations and at night, I am actually more visible on my bike than during daytime. My headlight is almost as bright as a car’s, which equalizes the “playing field.” During daytime, a cyclist’s shape is so different from a car’s that many drivers overlook them even when they are in plain sight, unless they look out for them. Fortunately, in Seattle, there are so many cyclists now that drivers know to expect them, and thus no longer tend to overlook them.

  10. Brian says:

    Jan, B&M is also offering their new Luxos U light. Do you know what the differences between that and the new Cyo IQ Premium are?

    • The Luxos has a different reflector. The B version is a standard light, while the U version offers all kinds of features, from a remote switch to the ability to charge phones and GPS via a USB port.

      Hopefully, we’ll be able to compare the beam patterns of the Luxos and the Cyo IQ Premium in a Bicycle Quarterly test soon. Generally speaking, I am sure they’ll all be very good, especially when compared to the simple, round beam patterns that most other lights still use.

  11. Paavo Nurminen says:

    I install lights to my racing bike only if needed. The job takes about half an hour. Removing lights takes about 15 minutes. So not a big issue. Against vibrations I use double nuts. Really safe.
    Edelux I has a socket for taillight, so adding taillight to system is easy. Last summer I added B+M led taillight. Its area is about 31 square cm, two leds and reflector. Unfortunately I have seen it only in standby state, but it is impressive in that state, too. The bracket is from B+M.

  12. Cory says:

    Very interesting discussion. I recently picked up a Lezyne Macro Drive front light. I run it at 300 Lumens steady while commuting which is great! I was however turning it on flashing mode while cycling through dense traffic and pedestrian intersections. I’ve since leaned that the flash is only at 300 lumens. I’m pretty sure I’ve had cars hi beam me. I’ve realized how intense and distracting the flash is. Now I run it solid but will add a small flashing light to the front as well. I do feel like a little non blinding flash can help receive safe attention.

  13. Brian Gangelhoff says:

    I’ve got a question for anyone with more electronic knowledge than my own. I’ve got a Lumotec IQ light attached to the SON classic hub. I do not run a tail light off it so the attachment hangs loose. Would there be any reason to not re wire an Iphone/Ipod charger to attach to it with the attempt to charge them?
    Thanks for any info in advance.
    Brian

    • Peter white says:

      You can’t charge a battery using AC.

      • Brian Gangelhoff says:

        Thanks Peter.
        I see that their are converters for AC to DC for the hub itself. I was speaking of the connection that comes out of the light for the rear tail light. Is that still AC? does the headlight itself run on AC? Are the volts lessened? Are there converters that attach to the light? I see their is some DIY stuff but not sure my electronic skills are up to that.

      • Bill Gobie says:

        If it is possible to attach a converter to the tail light connection, it would be switched on and off with the light. You could only charge when the light is on. Having the light on reduces the amount of power available for charging. Charging would take longer than if the light was off and you were using a converter that connects to the hub. It is also possible there would not be enough extra power to run a charger. I do not see any advantages to using the tail light connection.

        The headlight receives AC from the hub, so in that sense it runs on AC.

      • somervillebikes says:

        Peter, yes you can. There are charger units out there designed to run off of dynamo AC output.

        I’m pretty sure the Edelux taillight output is upstream of all the circuitry and is just switched raw AC output, and would be suitable to drive a converter/charger unit designed to run off of dynamo AC output.

        This field is going to get interesting very soon…

  14. Cameron says:

    I’ve recently installed a B+M Secula tail light and can recommend it wholeheartedly. It’s brighter than the rack mounted Philips Lumiring it replaced (itself and excellent light, but that rarely used rack had to come off), but it’s not a blinding point light source. Its smaller than than the Lumiring, but provides a fairly even illumination over its entire surface as viewed from any angle. Its surprisingly bright when you catch a glimpse of it in your rear view mirror. Its not exactly elegant so it might not suit a classically styled bike, but functionally its wonderful.

    As for headlights I used a Luxos U for a couple of months, but it suddenly stopped working at an inopportune moment and I feel I can’t trust a light this complicated again. I didn’t even try to get a replacement just chalked it up to experience. I’m now looking for a brighter replacement for my stone reliable Lumotec Lyt (got spoilt by the illumination provided by the Luxos). The above posts have provided me with a great list of suspects, Thankyou.

  15. Laurent Gagnon says:

    What strikes me about light pattern of the revised Busch und Müller mirrors (as photographed by them) is that, though more faint, it appears more even that the previous one, right up to the sharp cutoff. The older pattern had a bright spot closer to the rider. This attracts the eye and reduces the effective reach of the light (although peripheral vision still catches information).
    I remember that Cibié, the French headlight manufacturer, used to claim that an even carpet of light makes for a more relaxing light even if the eye pupil is more dilated. I do remember the even carpet Cibié’s would cast as compared to other headlights.

    • You are right about the importance of an even illumination. This is more complex than it seems at first, since the beam hits the road at a shallower angle the further away from the light you get. So for even illumination, you need a beam that gradually increases in intensity upward, but then has a sharp cut-off at the horizon to avoid wasting precious light energy upward (not to mention avoiding blinding oncoming traffic).

  16. I believe that work has been done which shows that flashing and or bright lights make it more, not less difficult to judge the distance and speed of moving objects. This was done using a ball with a flashing light and testing people’s ability to catch it. I’m not sure whether it has been published. A final point, a quantum leap is a very small leap, not a very large one. (Unless you yourself are very tiny.)

    • Paavo Nurminen says:

      I must correct you about quantum leap. From ‘Shorter Oxford English Dictionary:
      Quantum leap (in figurative meaning): Sudden large increase or advance. In quantum mechanics it has another meaning.

  17. In response to somervillebikes, I’m well aware of the chargers available. I’ve been importing several for a few years now; E-WERK, USB-WERK, The Plug, and Pedalpower+. One thing they all have in common is they convert the AC from the dynamo to DC, as, you can’t charge a battery using AC; only with DC.

    The taillight connection on headlights provides only enough to power for a taillight. Six volt dynamo taillights are .6 watt devices. The headlight and taillight together are 3 watts. Were you to supply all of the hub’s power to a taillight, you would have a small “oxidation problem” in a few seconds, and a small puff of smoke.

    But you are correct that a battery charger could be designed for the taillight connection on an Edelux. It just wouldn’t be useful for charging any GPS units or cell phones that charge via USB, as there wouldn’t be enough power.

  18. thebvo says:

    Mr. Peter White, can you elaborate further on options for an edelux friendly charging option? I’m pretty sure the Ellis that BQ tested two years ago had a Son Deluxe, Edelux, and a cell phone charger all working together. I’ve searched for answers about how and with what equipment, but my limitations are limitless! I’ve come up empty handed/ minded.

    • Paavo Nurminen says:

      Talking about charger does not make sense in this context. I have a system of Edelux headlight and B+M taillight. The taillight is connected to a socket in Edelux headlight. In Edelux packet you’ll find a small plug, which you connect to the socket. Also there is a ring form socket for ground connection.

    • The charger is wired in parallel with the headlight. You either charge a battery or run your light while riding. Don’t try doing both as the hub’s output is insufficient.

Comments are closed.