RideEatCamp

Dynamo Lighting

Framebuilding

If a bike is going to live with me, it’s not going to be a toy. I want my bikes to be practical, reliable, safe, and fun. Adding dynamo lights on my bike accomplishes all of these goals. So when I designed my new frame I wanted to integrate my dynamo lights as much as possible.

Although it would have been nice to buy a new set of lights for the bike – the Son Edelux II and the Compass tail light are particularly alluring – I decided to reuse my Supernova lights. On my previous bike, I strapped the Supernova tail light to my seat tube with the included rubber o-ring. This works just fine but it looks sloppy. So when I designed my new frame that I built with Dave Bohm, I wanted to ditch the o-ring and connect the tail light directly to the frame with the wire running inside the seat and down tubes. Running internal wires adds complexity to the project, but when done well it looks cleaner and prevents the wires from getting damaged.

I used SketchUp to print out the tail light tab templates that I pasted onto mild steel and carved with a hacksaw and files.
I used SketchUp to print out the tail light tab templates that I pasted onto mild steel and carved with a hacksaw and files.
The pair of mild steel tabs have a 3mm hole to accept the M3 bolt that comes with the Supernova E3 tail light.
The pair of mild steel tabs have a 3mm hole to accept the M3 bolt that comes with the Supernova E3 tail light.
The tail light tabs are brazed  onto the seat tube just above a reinforced 1/4"  hole for the tail light's wire.
The tail light tabs are brazed onto the seat tube just above a reinforced, quarter-inch hole for the tail light’s wire.

The Supernova headlight will simply be mounted to the dedicated arm on my Compass CP1 front rack with the wire running externally from the hub, along the inside of the fork blade, and then along the lower rack support tube to the light. If I had more skill, or maybe just more bravado, I would have drilled and reinforced holes in the fork blade and run the wire internally. While not as clean, the routing option does make wiring a bit easier.

I wrapped a used stainless spoke around a 16d nail to create a nice, tight spiral.
I wrapped a used stainless spoke around a 16d nail to create a nice, tight spiral.
The sprial is cut into pieces with a rotary cut-off wheel. I softened the rough edges with a file before brazing.
The sprial is cut into pieces with a rotary cut-off wheel. I softened the rough edges with a file before brazing.
It took two people to braze these little suckers on: one to hold the spiral in place with pliers and the other to do the brazing. I'm not sure how other builders add these spirals without an assistant. The spirals act as split rings, allowing a wire to be securely attached but easily removed.
It took two people to braze these little suckers on: one to hold the spiral in place with pliers and the other to do the brazing. I’m not sure how other builders add these spirals without an assistant. The spirals act as split rings, allowing a wire to be securely attached but easily removed.