14 December, 2007

Sanden Lights


I've always liked integrated generators and lights. They offer a bolt-on solution for those of us who don't need a light all the time. Put it on in the winter, or for a long brevet, and take it off later.

Long time customers may remember that we once sold the French Soubitez lights shown on the left. Of course those were new-old-stock and we can't get more.

For a few months I've been trying to get a hold of some Sanden lights from Japan. Three models finally arrived today. It turns out that the factory is actually in China, though the brand is Japanese, I think.

The top of the range model, shown above, looks nice. For some reason they call it the mountain bike model. The light uses a halogen bulb and has a nicely shaped reflector. The generator seems to run very smoothly There is a huge soft rubber roller that rides on the rim, if I understand the pictographs correctly. The only bad bit is the fork clamp, which is the usual cheesy stamped steel. But even the expensive old JOS lights had cheesy stamped steel clamps.

I'll give it a good test ride on my beater city bike after tomorrow's snowstorm. Any one interested in a light like this? Should we stock them?

On another lighting note, we'll soon be distributing Jos/Spanninga lights.

29 comments:

Michael S said...

Are the JOS/Spanninga lights the fender-mounted ones, or do they have a new version of the seat tube mounted one?

Chris Kulczycki said...

We'll stock the rack mounted taillights and fender mounted taillights; all will be available in generator and battery versions. We'll also have generator sets, and headlights.

Clayton said...

I have one similar light on my 50 year old army issue swiss military bike. It works wonderful. I have a second one of them modified with a quick release so I can clamp it to the fork blade whenever needed and take it off when I don't. To me these lights are the best of both battery and generator lights as they removable without the fiddly wires but never run out of juice because of the generator. Provided the price would hover around the 60 dollars I would buy another any day. If it could be somehow built with a QR that would be even nicer.

this one guy said...

i'd buy a couple...

Anonymous said...

I suspect this is called the mountain bike version because it's designed to run on the rim. I will be interested to learn how much noise it makes. I tried one of those old French lights, and cool as they look, the noise made it a non-starter. Back in the day, I rode a lot at night with one of those old pre-halogen Union setups, and I didn't mind the whirring coming from behind.

The worst noise issue I can recall iinvolving a bike is the time I put my mountain bike in my new Trakstand trainer, which was designed to accomodate fat tires. It had a small flywheel and a fan. When I started pedaling, it sounded like I was about 100 feet away from a P-51 taking off!

Cool taillights, eh? WhooHooo!

Anonymous said...

I'd buy one of the Sanden lights.

Anonymous said...

I was interested until you said "made in China". I try to avoid Chinese made products as much as possible.

Chris

cfg wheels said...

I presently use a schmitt dynamo hub from germany, and I can guarantee it is a superior product ( to anything made in the peoples republic of china.) It is not cheap, but can power multiple lights. I personally don't see the need to import lights from china, when there are some great products from europe(isoled,B&M,schmitt,spanninga,
union,spinlite,etc.)
Most of the products you sell are of a very high quality, and I haven't ran across anything bicycle related of high quality from china!
Keep up the good work chris.
Thanks, Tahn

Anonymous said...

While not an "all in one", I have been using a Swiss Lightspin Dynamo for years. Very smooth, and with modern circuitry to lesson the drag when engaged. I can tell you that it has much less drag then other bottle generators. The only drawback is that it's a little larger then most.

Anonymous said...

Tahn,
Look harder - while China does produce some cheap, crappy bike components, they also produce some top-notch goods.
To discount the *quality* of anything coming out of China in one broad stroke is either unfair or uninformed.

Mikey said...

I would be interested in a halogen light that could be used with a Schmidt hub. CFG wheel's assessment of the Schmidt E6 light is correct. Well made and reliable. Can you source another light that is brighter than the E6?

Mike Schmidt

James said...

I hope you plan on stocking dynohubs and the 4 LED B&M top light sensio multi racked mounted taillight which is about the brigtest taillight I've ever seen.

Andy M-S said...

I'm sorta with Mikey...I use LED-based lights with my Shimano generator, and they're significantly brighter than halogens. I'd like to see a moderately-priced LED headlight.

schroepfer said...

I'd like one. Please stock....

Adam said...

I would love to see a dynamo headlight based on the Cree XR-E LED emitter. A Schmidt hub produces enough current to drive them to far higher outputs than an E6 is capable of -- the era of halogen bike illumination is nearly over, imo.

Anonymous said...

What Adam said! I have used a Cygo Lite with a pedestrian Luxeon I and no proper driver with a shimano hub, and gotten impressive results. There is huge potential there, and some one will soon tap it. Even with my primitive rectifier circuit, the low speed performance was comparable to a ten watt halogen, just as Cygo Lite advertised. One of these days I'll get around to using a driver designed for alternating current. That should drive a luxeon III, I think.

Michael S said...

For a LED dynohub light, check out the new Lumotec IQ Fly. Supposed to be like an E6 in terms of brightness, but around 3 times wider. Unfortunately, it's pretty ugly.

Or, just make your own using a Cree or a Luxeon. It's pretty easy and there's a lot of information out there.

Joel said...

It is not so much a matter of brightness, but the quality of the light.

Check out Peter White's web site for pictures and detailed explanation.

While there are some LEDs brighter than the E6, I have yet to see one that, like a car headlight, concentrates more of the light at the top of the beam to allow better sight lines on darker roads.

I use LEDs in urban driving where my primary objective is to be seen by other drivers. The street lights provide enough light for me to see. In rural areas where there is no or little other illumination, I find the E6 hard to beat.

Adam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Adam said...

Yes, as someone with twin Lumotec lights on my bike, I'm well aware of the optics issue.

That's why I'm happy B&M has made the IQ Fly, but I'm unhappy that it's a) hideously ugly, and b) that its form makes it impossible to use on the majority of under-the-rack light mount positions -- it appears to be designed to mount at the center of the fork crown, and that's all.

If someone can make optics like that that work with Cree emitters, they'll have the ultimate bike headlight, imo.

cfg wheels said...

Well I get a pretty good look at stuff made in china, considering I am in the bicycle business! And I am not the kind of person to base an opinion without first-hand experience. The stuff from china never ceases to amaze me at the corners they cut. (Not to mention the ethical reasons)

this other guy said said...

Yes, please stock this product. I would definitely like to buy the Sanden or something similar. I also want a Spanninga battery fender light.

rguggemos said...

Any feedback yet on the Sanden light in practice?

JonathanG said...

I would be very interested. I have a Sanden generator I got as part of a block from the now apparently defunct International Bike Lights (the URL was bikelite.com). The light was horrible, but the generator, which runs on the rim, was great. I'm now running a Basta Elipsoid (mounted on the fork crown) off the Sanden. I really like the idea of blocks for the reasons Chris mentioned. I also like running the generator off the rim as set up is pretty straight forward.

BarkingSpider said...

I was pondering trying one of the Sandens from BLI, but I dallied too long, and the site disappeared. I'd certainly rather buy one from you, anyway...

WillemJ said...

Riding in the dark is a seriously dangerous matter, and deserves high quality lights. I do a lot of it, and I think good generator lights are the only way. For ocasinal use, a good generator such as the B&M dymotec 6 plus a quality headlight such as the B&M lumotec is fine. The new B&M IQ Fly is of a different order, however. It has a much higher output than any previous genator light. Moreover, the beam is very even, wide, and beautifully directed with most light at the top and then a very sharp cutoff like the best car headlights. If you ride more often, a Schmidt hub generator is the way to go. If you want to have least drag, go for one of the two models for 20 inch wheels, and use them in a 26 or 28 inch wheel. The IQ Fly will still be bright enough, as it reaches near full brightness at very low speeds. If you want maximum brightness, go for the SON 28, with a dual headlight setup, with an IQ Fly as primary, and a secundary IQ (with additional capacitor) in parallel if you want maxumum output in the 15-20 km range, or a secundary E6Z in series if you want maximum output at higher speeds.
For a recent research report by Andreas Oehler, the Schmidt engineer, see http://www.fahrradzukunft.de/fz-0704/0704-05.htm The text is in German, but the color graph says it all.
I agree the B&M IQ Fly is no beauty, but it may save your skin. Technology has moved on. At the monet there is nothing on the market that comes close. On German forum I have read reports that Schmidt is developing its own led headlight, however. It is apprently due out in the early summer of 2008. I am certainly hoping that stylistically it will be similar to their E6.
In the meantime, forget about rim generators.

Nednerb said...

I just want to say that I bought a Schmidt SON hub this past summer and built a couple of CREE LED lights based on Joe Gross's work (http://joegross.net/2007/08/14/schmidt-hub-dual-cree-xr-e-led-light/). These lights are many times brighter than the Lumotec Fly Plus that I had purchased. I am very pleased with the hub and with the homemade lights. For the record, I am also trying to avoid products made in China. Why? I guess it has something to do with the Dalai Lama, and also the general disgust I feel every time I walk into a big box store and can't find anything that's NOT made in China.

WillemJ said...

There is more information on the new Schmidt led headlight. I have seen a picture, and it looks stunning. A jewel on any high class bike, so no more worries please on that score. As for performance: output will be 80 lux at 30 km. It will probably also have an auto switch, and possibly a standlight. Presentation in late April on the German recumbent fair.

WillemJ said...

The site of a German bike manufacturer has a picture: http://www.utopia-velo.de/PDF/RadRatgeber_Nr_15.pdf It is towards the bottom of this long pdf document.