Adding a dynamo and lights to the vintage. Every morning I join my bigger daughter on her short route to school. She’s more than capable of doing that on her own. But I guess she still enjoys the habit together. I do πŸ™‚

In the past I’d drop her off and continue my commute to the office in Karlsruhe (~30km). Since we’ve all been sent home again for the time being I just return back home. On one of these returns I noticed my back rim touching the braking pads. A short check unveiled a broken spoke as culprit. This triggered the upgrade.

My daughter likes the vintage and is eager to snitch the bike from me when she is tall enough. Actually a good thought. She will likely outgrow her current bike soon. And since she is just turning 10 this year she is not yet finished growing. We’d rather invest a larger amount of money into a bike for her when we know she can actually keep it for a long time. So the vintage might be a really good intermediate solution.

The main use case for her is to take the bike to school and back. And since someone in the past – I deeply dislike – had the idea that school in Germany should start at 7:45 am it’s dark when we start. I’d rather not burden her to keep battery lights charged at all times. Also to not leave them on the bike while she attends classes. So I went searching online for some used rims with a dynamo. I picked them up before we left for winter vacation and now finally had some time to finish the project.

So the list of parts:

  • wheel set with dynamo – some old model, the dynamo is from Shimano
  • headlamp Lumotec IQ Myc N Plus
  • headlamp holder from busch+mΓΌller
  • rear light Juno Dynamo Steady in 80mm
  • cabling from the local bike store
  • insulation tape from the garage
  • shrink tubing
  • cable ties
  • spacers from KCNC which I still had lying around

After the obvious switch of the wheel set I did a first test without actually installing anything yet. I then continued with the head lamp + holder. Originally I had another option and holder in mind: to install the lamp in front of the stem. But with 25€ for that option I was scared this would be an invite for any thief when the bike stands at school. I bought the 5€ option. Will keep the other light holder in mind for another project πŸ™‚ Here is where I had to add in the spacers to raise the stem above the lamp.

Next I started organizing the front using the shrink tubing for looks and protection. Carefully trying to give the cables enough freedom to move with the suspension and when turning.

After that was finished I started routing back the cable from the front lamp to the rear. I chose to follow the down tube to the bottom bracket. From there following the chain stay to the rear axle. I then wanted to make sure I go above the quick release for easy maintenance. Following up the rack I ended up wrapping the slack at the top before connecting the ends to the rear light. Maybe I need to reroute it in future and didn’t want to cut it off yet. What worked quite well is to combine cable ties and insulation tape to neatly route the cables. I hope the tape survives the weather. Let’s see.

One seldom moment it was good that it’s dark outside early at the moment πŸ™‚ You can see some cable throwing shadows but didn’t bother me too much. Maybe I’ll shorten / lengthen the brake and gear cables at a later stage. Maybe it’s possible to route them slightly better outside of the light beam. But the overall illumination is quite good! Definitely capable of a night ride without street lights. One of my favorite security features is that both front and rear light will stay on for some time when you stop! Absolutely would never get anything else anymore. Staying visible when stopped is a killer feature for a few pennies more.

Last tweak for full compliance with road regulations will be adding spoke reflectors from 3M. I think it’s the best option without looking too weird. I just found out you can also get reflective stickers to add to the rim sides. But good enough for now.

I already am looking into the replacement for me as soon as I pass one of mine on πŸ˜‰ Hopefully I can launch the news about that one soon.

So long! Stay safe, stay happy, upgrade your bikes πŸ™‚

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