YACF Light Test

5 01 2009

Image from this YACF Thread

Beam shape of various lights

Rich from BROL turned me on to this lighting test posted over at YACF.  They tested 17 of the more popular battery and dynohub lights.  The results would prove very useful if you are in the market for a new light setup for your bike.

My only word of caution is that you really need to evaluate the beam pattern and power together against your requirements.

  • A powerful spot with a very tight beam may not be much fun to use on a fast downhill as you only see a very small part of the road at any time.  Pair a helmet mounted spot with a wider beam light on the bike and you would get a much better light pattern with the ability to focus in on areas of interest.
  • The lights with the focused optics [E6 an Edelux for example] make the most of their power outputs as they put it where you want it.

Thanks to the folks at YACF who conducted the test.  We can certainly benefit from more comparative testing of bike products like this.

BTW – here is the dynohub test results I posted back in Dec in case you want a dynohub & light combo.

Bicycle Quarterly Tire Test

20 12 2008

I posted this originally in November 2006. Since then I’ve resubscribed and found BQ to be an amazing resource. This is one of the few sources for scientific test data on bicycle performance you’ll find.  I suppose that makes sense as unlike with other glossy bike magazines BQ gets most of it’s revenue from reader subscriptions not from advertising so it can afford to actually point out what works and what doesn’t.  The tire test in the issue below is one of the most useful articles I’ve ever read and something I refer to on a regular basis.

Jan Heine deserves kudos for putting out a very special publication.  If you have never read BQ I encourage you to order up this one back issue just for the tire test.  You will likely find yourself subscribing and looking forward to each issue.

BQ - my favourite bike magazineI received my first issue of Bicycle Quarterly Magazine yesterday published by Jan Heine. I have heard about this publication for a while, but was hesitant to subscribe. It was formerly titled Vintage Bicycle Quarterly and I was not sure how much of the content would be of interest to me.

There was a lot of commotion on the ‘net about a recent article in BQ about the rolling resistance of bicycle tires. I decided it was time to get a subscription to find out what the hubhub was about and worst case I would be supporting a small business in the cycling world.

Wow – what a great magazine. The tire article alone was worth the cost of the entire subscription. An objective repeatable test was performed that shatters a lot of long held beliefs about tires. I think most cyclists would agree that narrow high pressure tires are inherently faster. It’s too bad that notion is wrong. Interesting Jan found over 20% difference in speed between some of the tires he tested. Think about that 24kph instead of 20kph just by swapping out tires. Now add to that the fact the fast tires might be wider lower pressure ones that are much more comfortable. Pretty amazing stuff.

BQ also running a series of articles about how to be a better randonneur. This issue discusses how to make a randonneur bike faster.

Winter Tire Test – Pink Bike

30 11 2008
Pink Bike

photo: Pink Bike

Pink Bike did a winter tire test back in 2005 that may be of interest to any winter bike warriors out there.  Most of the tires in the test remain unchanged so the results should still be valid.