06 January, 2009

Planet Bike Blaze Dynamo Light


We've just started stocking the new Planet Bike Blaze Dynamo Light. This is a very well made 1-watt LED lamp and at $58 the price is right. It even has a stand light. The problem is that it comes with a handlebar clamp. It's a very nice handlebar clamp to be sure, with a cam and a quick release feature. But most of us prefer our lights mounted lower, on the front rack for example. There are a couple of ways to do this.

We removed the strap and cam on the mount; they simply unscrew. Then we used a spacer, washer, and a screw to mount the light to a VO Light Bracket. The spacer goes between the two sides of the mount; it'll be obvious when you remove the cam. This spacer can be some washers, or a nut, or best of all an old chain ring spacer.

Now the light can be mounted on your rack and it sits in an ideal position below the handlebar bag.

Another way to mount it is with a type-1 Low Down mount.

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

when I mounted my blaze this way, the light would rotate aftwer being jiggled on the road. sicne there is a space between the outside, it was difficult to really tighten the bolt to the rack. I ended up just using a cap to make it work.

Chris Kulczycki said...

Anon, If you use the spacer as I described it will solve the problem of tightening down the light. Be sure to also use the serrated washer that comes with the mount.

Anonymous said...

Another, far less elegant solution for Planet Bike lights, would be to unscrew the top plate from the mount. I found a low-profile M4 bolt to attach just the thin plate to my fork's low-rider mount. The primary (and pretty big) disadvantage is that now my light is mounted sideways.

Tom said...

I used a 4mm chainring spacer in between the tabs of the light bracket. The plastic base is slippery against stainless so it is necessary to use a lockwasher.

Jeremy said...

Chris- That light looks great! Will it work with the Spanniga sidewall dynamo that you sell?

David said...

Funny, I mailed PB yesterday about this. Heath returned my message quickly, noting that you can replace the cam-bolt on the bracket with a regular M-whatever. This makes the mount non-QR, as it should be for a dynamo light. I like your fix and the third posted here for bolt-on mounting, but...
None of these fixes the problem of the light body being quick-release from the bracket. I know it's not a concern for all, but with the bike locked up in town, the light will gone when I return, probably just yanked off its wires. I know, zip ties...

Tom said...

I really don't understand why battery lights (and cyclo-computers for that matter) are designed to be removed from the bike at all. They should be fixed into place like a bell, rack, kickstand or fenders. I've mentioned this to cateye and planet bike for years and they all say, I know, I know, but 'the market' would not demand such an item.

Most commuters I know leave their lights and computers on their bike when they go in the store or office- or would like to- but are forced to remove them, otherwise someone else will.

RussRoca said...

Chris,
Is this Blaze dynamo the same as the 1Watt Blaze or the 1/2 watt? I've searched around but haven't found any specs.

R

jimmythefly said...

-anon 12:45

That's only an aesthetic disadvantage, as I believe this light uses a symmetrical "spot" beam. I've been using the battery version upside-down on it's handlebar mount for a while now and notice no difference in light pattern.

Dominic Dougherty said...

How does this connect to the dynamo hub? Is it a quick on/off?

Anonymous said...

Kuryakyn (M-Bike stuff) makes a chromed P clamp that I'm going to try.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tip. Last night, I went out to the shed and mounted my PB (non-dynamo) light on my M12 rack this way. Keep the tips coming!
mb

Anonymous said...

This looks like a really nice little light. Might be ideal for an old Sturmey Archer Dyn-O-Hub, which puts out two watts or so at best, I am told.

Tom said...

The PB is hard wired into the lamp in the back. The wire at the hub end is bare- you need to use the plug in cleat that is provided with your Shimano and Sturmey Archer dyno hubs.
Not sure about the others- you may end up splicing wires or being 'creative' in connecting the lamp wiring to the hub.

The older S/A hubs prolly put out 2.4W max, if they ever get to that point.

Dominic Dougherty said...

@Tom
Thanks. I imagined that it would be hardwired... which negates the purpose of having the light itself on a quick-release handlebar clamp.

It would be interesting to have an in-line disconnect point so that you can in fact use the quick-release mount for its intended purpose.

landotter said...

@ Tom: I totally understand what you're saying about mounting. Fortunately more lights and racks come with standard mounting interfaces--the reflector standard we all know from Cateye reflectors--a bump and a screw. For example, you can easily mount a PB rear light on most Topeak rear racks with one Philips screw. For those folks that have no rack, but fenders--just get a dedicated LED fender light.

Front end options are more creative. I've got an LED see-me+ light with three AAAs epoxied under my front platform rack. Try stealing that! ;-)

Anonymous said...

"I really don't understand why battery lights (and cyclo-computers for that matter) are designed to be removed from the bike at all."

1) Portability. I ride 3 bikes regularly and I don't want to buy 3sets of lights. 2) Security. I've had a bike computer torn off its mount at my office. The vandal did not use the QR, he just tore it off. I should have taken it in the office. 3) On tour, I take my bike computer it in my tent at night. I don't carry a watch.

- Mark

David said...

You know how it goes. All locks are deterants, and calculated risks. A bolt on skewer/wheel is too.

Steve Mattson said...

I have the white, AA battery version of this light and it puts out a usable beam. It might eat up the battery pretty quickly, but that's ok as I use rechargeables.

I get the issues with the quick release--why have one on this light? I mean, you'll have to disconnect the cable from the hub or create a quick release connector somewhere on the cable...ugh.

I'd like to hear more about the p-clamp replacement mount. That sounds solid and ideal for this light.

Also, is it more than a stand light in this light? I mean is there some kind of rechargeable battery inside?

And, could you pair up these lights? I mean the hub puts out 3w and the light requires 1w right? That seems like more than enough generated power for this set up, no?

WillemJ said...

I have two reservations. First, I don't think this light matches the styling of many of your parts. Second, I am not a fan of battery lights, and even less of rotation symmetrical battery lights. Their output is rarely impressive, and mostly wasted on trees. The B&M Ixon IQ is the best, but really a hub generator such as the SON and a good headlight is so much better. The Edelux even looks great on a tradional bike. And wow, what a beam......

David said...

The "Why?" is not really a question: PB is going to sell 500 of these lights, and 20,000 Blaze lights, so designing a new case and mount was not practical/cost effective. This efficiency is probably what allows them to bring out a dynamo light like this at all.

Tom said...

planet bike sold a halogen dyno headlamp for a short time. black plastic case, big ugly, cheap. it was a placeholder so they could work on this lamp.
I think they did a good job using existing molds and hardware. Maybe in a few years when the market is mature enough in the US they will expand this part of their range. they have to start somewhere though.

Andy M-S said...

I had an opportunity to try the original PB halogen dyno light. We were not amused. This one looks good, and I'm thinking that a pair would be perfect for the kind of riding I do these days...I'd like to hear first, though, how people like the standlight. I tried an IQ Fly and the standlight in that wasn't worth the electrons to blog it to h*ll.

Khalid said...

I too get in line with those who aren't happy that all front and rear lights are quick release these days. I think it's silly - I don't want to ride to dinner and fill my pockets with lights!

That said - I have one of these planet bike lights, and I just clipped off the knob that you press for sliding the light off, and then I bought some nice adhesive at the local Ace Hardware...it doesn't come off anymore!!!

Mauricio Babilonia said...

The standlight is about the same as the IQ Fly, but one could set it to the Superflash mode when stopped for increased visibility.

My main complaint about this light is its radial symmetry. Nothing like the IQ Fly, Inoled or Edelux. But the beam is OK and the price is certainly right. I'd be interested to know whether one could run two off a single 3W dynamo...

John said...

I've been using one for the past week, and am very pleased. It is running off a 1951 S-A Dynohub with no problems. Primarily a city rider, I use the Superflash setting which has a flash pattern similar to the outstanding PB taillight of the same name (but with a 1W LED).

It is up to full power in the time it takes to cross an intersection, and the standlight works very well - providing power for several minutes after even a short ride ends. Yesterday a driver told me it was really irritating, which speaks well to the visibility factor.

While I wouldn't choose a 1W spot on a dark mountain trail , this is by far the most powerful, dynamo-powered LED lamp for the buck so far.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the mounting ideas, everyone! My Planet Bike handlebar mount is terrible, it never stays in one place, but I never before realized that it could re-engineered so easily.

Anonymous said...

I'm new to the dynamo light crowd, but interested in this light with the Spanninga generator.

I live in the city, and I take my lights off when I park my bike somewhere. If I use the QR mount for this light, I'm assuming I still can't remove the light and bring it in with me? It's one solid length of wire that doesn't detach anywhere?

David said...

You're missing the point: the reason so many lights get stolen is because they are QR. Dynamo-powered lights, in general, are not removable without tools, and in my experience are very rarely the object of theft. Besides being bolted on, dynamo lights are not usually mounted on the handlebars (or seatpost)--they are typically more integrated into the bicycle's "machinery"--attached to the fork or front rack, and to the fender or rack in back. They just don't scream out "AFTERTHOUGHT! TAKE ME!" the way h-bar mounted lights do.

This, by the way, is one of the problems with the PB Blaze Dynamo--it's a dynamo light in a h-bar-mounted-light's clothing.

David said...

oops, sorry. I missed something when I read that last comment. What I should have said was:

you can get small shielded spade connectors at most hardware store or radio shack type places. This is nice too if you like to switch out wheels/lights, I find it easier than removing the wires at the hub. Also, I live in fear of loosing the bits that make the connection to the shimano dynamo-hub.

borgbike said...

I (and others) cut the wires and soldered in plugs. This effectively resolves the quick release mount problem.

http://tinygogo.blogspot.com/2010/01/plant-bike-dyno-light.html

Dynamos seem best suited for urban use. As such I'm much more comfortable locking up my bike with the lights off the bike. I also have special skewers on the wheel to discourage theft of this expensive little dainty too.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone put two PB Blaze's on one bike with a dynamo? The dynamo is 3 watts, and the Blaze is only 1 watt, so you should be able put two on a bike, No?

Phil