Friday, July 03, 2015

Devise and Conquer

A bike mechanic should do more than absorb and repeat the industry's latest technical information to keep pushing the wave of product rollouts down the long shore of history. The master of the craft knows you have to deal with a lot of other stuff that washes up in front of you after drifting derelict or perhaps breeding in the depths.

A minor challenge that has bubbled up in the last decade is, "where do I put the blinky light on this bike?"

The lights themselves usually come with various mounting options. Some of them actually solve the problem effectively. But the combination of seat height, seat bags, and other factors can make the mounting more of a token gesture. Why have an in-your-face flashing light when you end up mounting it down around hubcap level?

Yesterday I had to put Superflash lights on two low-priced bikes with sprung seats and suspension seatposts. This is a combination that makes on-bike mounting difficult, especially with the trend for frames with low stand-over clearance. The suspension mechanism on the post and the thickness of the cushy saddle mean that the solid part of the seat post may be buried in the frame. Even if a bit of it shows, it may be so low that the light is practically eclipsed by the rear tire.

Your average blinky user will not clip it to their clothing. That's too much to remember. They want the light on the bike. There it will remain, while its first set of batteries dies, bursts and destroys the circuitry. So I should not care whether the light is in the best possible location. But I can't help trying to do things in a neater, more functional way if I can.

After studying the bikes yesterday I realized I could take a bolt out of the seat spring assembly on the left side and devise a mounting point that would take the seat stay clamp provided with the light.

Step one: longer bolt. The nut has a step on it which will engage the hole in a washer that will form the top of the mount.
A metal washer and a rubber faucet washer go on the bolt next.
At this stage the bracket is assembled with a section of aluminum ski pole, a bottom faucet washer, a bottom metal washer and a nut to hold the whole thing together.
Here is the light bracket in place.
It's Superflash!
And there you have it. Ready to blink.
The rear rack limits how low the seat can go with this rig, but that would be as true with any other seat post mount. Mounting to the seat stay just puts the light down in the ground clutter.

Not a momentous accomplishment, but a nice little craft project.


RANTWICK said...

Pretty good hack, I thought! Nice work, man.

Chandra Eswaran said...

Nicely fitted!
Have a Wonderful Day!!
Peace :)

greatpumpkin said...

This is one reason I put my Superflash on my helmet. The other reasons were to have it at a higher, more visible point when riding a recumbent, and that I only need one such light for all my bikes. Of course, then I have to wear the helmet, but I usually do. The light is attached with a hook and loop strap through its built-in clip.