Attaching rear lights

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I have three rear lights on different bikes, all Cateye:

TL-LD 600 (costing about £15) is quite an adequate light with five LEDs

TL-LD 650

TL-LD 650

TL-LD 650 (about £25 and also known as the TL Rapid 5) has five LEDs. The centre LED is so bright that when set to continuous only the centre and two outer are lit; all are used in flashing mode and in pulse mode the centre LED is dimmed to avoid dazzling following cyclists.

TL-LD 1100 (about £32) has ten LEDs in two rows of five of which three face to the rear and two are angled towards the side.

All can be switched to steady and flashing and maybe several other modes I haven’t discovered.

I can’t compare light output, lumens, candela because I don’t understand things like that, but the 1100 is the one about which I get most comments on how bright it is.

But my intention is not to write just about the lights but to consider how to fit them. Manufacturers seem to be under the impression that all cyclists want to attach their rear light to the seat post and they only supply a bracket which will clamp around a seat post. That is no good to me because I have a saddlebag.

I have two solutions. The first is on my Flying Gate. Trevor Jarvis, who built the frame, also made the detachable pannier rack and his contribution to solving the rear light problem is to braze half of a hinge to the rack. This of course has two convenient holes in it. All that is needed now is to cut a piece of L-shaped steel or aluminium and drill the necessary holes, two to attach it to the half hinge and a third on the return through which is bolted a Cateye bracket (available from many sources for a couple of quid).

The half hinge

The half hinge

Bracket attached

Bracket attached

TL-LD 600 attached

TL-LD 600 attached

The second is on my Hetchins on which I have a Blackburn pannier rack. I cut a piece of handlebar (I think it was, but any suitable tube will do), cut two slots in it to fit snugly over the rack tubing and drilled a hole through it. Others will no doubt be able to do this more neatly than I did.

This bit of tube slides over the pannier rack tubing and is held secure by a bolt through the holes. I can now use the bracket supplied with the light to attach the light to this piece of tube.

Tube section

Tube section

Fixing attached  to the tube

Fixing attached to the tube

Attached to the panier

Attached to the panier

TL-LD 1100 attached

TL-LD 1100 attached

 

One reply to “Attaching rear lights

  1. Top fettling with that sliding tube fitment Keith :) Presumably a bit sawn off the bottom of an old seatpost would also be perfect for the job.

    If you are going to use lights it's probably a good idea that they comply with the law. Current lighting regulations require a red rear light to be fixed to the bike (not the rider), between 350 and 1500 mm from the ground, positioned centrally or to the offside, mounted vertically and facing rearwards. To be used between dusk and dawn. You don't have to fit lights at all if you never use your bike between dusk and dawn. The CTC website has a more complete summary.

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