Cyclocross - Tricross and mounting headlight dilemma
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04-12-08, 08:29 PM
As a recent 2007 Tricross Comp owner, how on earth can a headlight be mounted? The limited handlebar space not already taken by the rubber handgrips is packed with hand brake extension brackets and cables. In addition, the thick handgrip sections that take up most of the upper bar are slightly oblong and wouldn't hold a bracket made for a round circumference.
I measured and found no more than 3/8 inch of empty free space available for a headlight bracket just to the left of the stem, and a tight fit there to boot. It seems every headlight on the market comes with a bracket wider than that.
Are there any Tricross owners out there who were able to install a headlight anywhere on the frame successfully? I refuse to wear a geeky helmet or body attached headlight.
04-12-08, 11:06 PM
This reminds, I need to get one of these for my road bikes handle bar not because limited space but the mounting of my light clamp doesn't fit the width of the ergonomics tops. Don't know if it's less than 3/8 though and there is always helmet mounted lights.
04-12-08, 11:22 PM
I have a Blackburn System x3 that mounts fine on the handlebars. It's plenty bright and lasts a good 4 hours on high.
04-13-08, 07:51 AM
Wondering where on the handlebars you were able to mount the x3? Just next to the stem?
04-13-08, 08:39 AM
Maybe try and find a stem mounted light. I have this one:
04-13-08, 09:41 AM
Wondering where on the handlebars you were able to mount the x3? Just next to the stem?
Yep, right next to the stem.
04-13-08, 10:31 AM
Thanks guys, will check out the x3 and Cygolite for install fit. I think my 75mm stem swap might have something to do with losing some of the available handlebar space.
04-14-08, 04:12 PM
Ok, back to square 1. No headlight bracket I could find fits the available Tricross handlebar space. Called LBS, and they confirmed the Tricross handlebar has almost no space for a headlight bracket. Most available space is taken by the handgrips. They suggested Cateye Micro because of unusual bracket, otherwise reconfigure and move handlebar brake extensions and retape grips - not a small effort.
So ok you headlighted Tricross owners, exactly where did you find space to mount a headlight bracket? Can you give more detail?
04-14-08, 11:01 PM
Ok mine, the larger part of the handlebars that goes into the stem has about 2 inches on either side of the stem. My x3 fits perfectly on that part. The handgrips are on the smaller part of the handlebars. I've actually fit two headlights on my handlebars.
04-14-08, 11:08 PM
Ok, thanks that helps. On mine, I only have 3/8 inch on each side of the stem. I'll have to go into LBS and find out what's going on. Maybe it's my swap to 75mm stem that caused this.
04-14-08, 11:26 PM
Here's a picture of my handlebars and stem.
04-15-08, 09:47 AM
No, actually I was able to mount it on that center section. The larger part.
04-15-08, 11:27 AM
Perfect, exactly what I needed. So you were able to mount your headlight bracket between the brake extension bracket and the handlebar center section. Looks like about an inch or so of free space in your photo. My handgrips go right up to within 3/8" of the center section with brake extension brackets mounted right on center section.
I called Specialized and the said they didn't make headlights a priority in the Tricross handlebar design. They said I need to move the extensions and retape to install a headlight. Looks like you've already had that done on yours.
Here's how it looks on mine:
04-15-08, 05:06 PM
I see what you've got there. You've got your brake levers mounted on that larger part and the bar wrap goes all the way to that larger part. My levers are mounted on the smaller part and the tape is back about an inch from that. Maybe you could make some alterations to how you have your levers mounted.
04-16-08, 12:35 AM
This light is designed so that you'll be seen but not powerful enough to see what's ahead at night. The mount is just an elastic wrap and fits around the little available handlebar space on my Tricross fine. If a minimilist light is OK with you, you might want to check it out. They are are very inexpesive as well at $4.75Cnd.
The handlebar diameter on Tricross's are quite thick though and suspect that the elastic on these lights may eventually break but not to worry, a broken elestic can be replaced with a larger one yourself.
Sorry, I've somehow configured my computer where I can't see or copy webaddress but if you google the following it should get you the info and location to buy:
MEC Turbo Turtle White LED Front Light
04-16-08, 10:19 AM
Thanks Leo. I agree, the Tricross handlebar grip area is just too thick to hold a headlight bracket well. My configuration allows only 3/8" strap or bracket width at most for a headlight, not practical for any basic headlights I could find out there.
I checked out Turbo Turtle White LED, and looks like it can be attached almost anywhere. Not sure how effective in pitch darkness. It's probably a more "to be seen" light? But it does look good for a great price.
I think there are 2 camps of thinking and approaches to using headlights. Some, as you say, want just to be seen in semi-dark areas. Others are looking for cycling visibility in the dead of night. I myself am torn between the two. We have an extensive bike bath system in the Chicago area here that goes on for miles into the surrounding rural cornfields and prairie lands. I plan on doing long day trips this summer into the remote parts of the path, and can forsee coming back very late after the sun has long set. I didn't want to get caught out there on the rural trail with no usable light. It gets quite dark out there. So I'm leaning now toward both a "be seen" but also useful for visibility at night headlight.
I've finally found a stem/handlebar mounted light that seems to fit that need - Sigma Evo, and only $59. It has what they call a T-bone bracket that attaches behind the stem and extends forward holding the light.
You and knobster are lucky to have enough space for your lights, though. But I don't think I'll reconfigure mine as I like the brake extensions mounted closely to the center with lots of space for the handgrip area, as it gives me added comfort and flexibility.
By the way, I've seen the Toronto bike trail system map and it looks quite good too.
04-16-08, 07:43 PM
Richard, I measured the free space on the handlebar of my Tricross Sport 07 and it's actually an 1" on each side of the stem. The Turbo Turtle White LED just fits in either of those spaces with very little side to side play, so even that light might not suit your needs if you were interested. That is not to say, that you couldn't replace their mini bungee with a larger one, so that one could wrap it right over a convenient spot on a tapped handlebar section. All in all though, I have few complaints about the Tricross and suppose that the extra thick handlebars are to facilitate comfort for long distances - so there's always a trade off.
I also tried mounting the Turbo light on the lower front fork, thinking that because of it's closer proximity to the road, that it's beam may be adequate to see pot holes etc. However, because of the angle at the bottom of the fork, the light beam would point slightly skyward, hence its projection probably wouldn't be all that effective.
It is a good light though for the times when just "being seen" is sufficient. And they are inexpensive enough that I often don't even bother removing the light when locking up in public spaces. Haven't had one disappear yet!
Toronto is OK for bike paths but nothing going out to the rural corn fields just yet. I once had to stop for a couple of deer though on an urban ravine path but that was a rare treat. But I guess bike paths here have come a long way compared to a few decades ago but not that we'd ever let on to politicians that we were at all satisfied:eek:.
04-17-08, 01:00 PM
Leo and all,
I found a photo on the internet of a standard Tricross Comp with handlebar setup like mine (file size was too big to upload here). This appears to be the default standard setup. Click on the photo to get a closer view:
I wonder why you guys have a little different handlebar setup allowing an inch or so space more for a bracket. You can see in the photo that the brake extensions are mounted right on the center section next to the stem, followed immediately by the handgrips, with no room for anything else. I can only guess it's how the local bike shop might configure the handlebar.
I also was thinking of installing the Turbolight on the front fork (as only place it would fit per previous discussion). But glad you mentioned the possible direction pointing problem. Will probably stay with that T-bone stem mount option from Sigma with the Evo headlight.
I think Toronto probably has a better city bike system than ours, whereas other than along Chicago's lakefront, the suburban/rural paths here are pretty good. These outlying Chicago paths are so plentiful because they're mostly old converted railroad lines. Chicago used to be the railroad crossroad of the midwest and U.S., hence lots of outlying paths now all over the place. But I plan on visiting Toronto and touring the trail system there.
04-17-08, 07:40 PM
Part of the issue may be range of widths of the handlebar depending on the size of frame that you have. These are the handlebar width ranges from a 49 cm to 61cm frame sizes.
400mm 420mm 420mm 440mm 440mm 440mm
Probably the "sissy brake" levers are the same on all frame sizes, so there may be a compromise of space, if you happen to have the 49cm frame with the 400mm handlebar.
Nevertheless, the pic you sent seems to have the levers to close to the center in this amateurs opinion. It would seem that ones hand position would be too close to the stem to control the levers properly (or to ring the bell), But having not tried such a set-up it is difficult to say for sure.
I don't mean to hijack your post but it would be good to get insight into other riders choices of other accessories which are bike specific - in this case Tricross. I for one am considering getting a frame bag to hold a mini ulock and cable but thinking I may run into difficulties, due the the tube size variations on this bike. Maybe we can start a new post to cover any issues on this model?
I think that you'd like checking out Toronto bike paths. Much of it follows along green spaces in ravines and river valleys and so gives one the feeling of "getting away from it all" right in the city. A major one as well covers the waterfront and it you take a ferry to the islands they have pretty good bike paths on them as well.
04-17-08, 08:05 PM
A new thread on Tricross accessories sounds good to me. Assume you'll initiate.
Just to finish out this thread's thoughts. I contacted Specialized about my handlebar configuration - brake extensions/grips configured such that no room for headlight. Surprisingly, the rep. said that's the norm on the Tricross (per above photo).
According to him, the sissy levers are by default mounted on that center section closest to the stem. The reason given is that as a cyclocross, the cyclist may want max flexibility for the multi-functional use the Tricross offers, and the extra wide hand grip configuration provides that. But, he said it can be altered, with levers/grips moved further out away from center/stem if preferred. And you have a good point - it may be an awkward position for some. Your point about frame size as related to handlebar configration also sounds correct and something I didn't think of.
Regarding a frame bag, have you considered the Specialized Dirt Bag? It's a seat bag that I think fits just right with lots of space (just went with one). Not sure if it could hold a ulock and cable, though.
Thanks for info. on Toronto paths. Looking forward to trying them out. The reason I mention is that we're considering moving to your fine city.
I use a Jet Lites Blast HID headlight on my Tricross. The Jet Lites handlebar mount fits right next to the stem. On the other side, I was able to mount my Garmin GPS using the extra large bicycle mount.
I have a slightly different but related problem, I have Cinelli Altera bars (nice and wide) but with the brake levers mounted my inexpensive "Viewpoint Lazer" headlight no longer fits, because the quick release for the bracket is in front of the bar and interferes with the brake cable. It would fit fine if the QR were simply in the rear of the bracket not the front. Can someone recommend a headlight that would work for me? It's hard to get any riding in during the week because if I'm working late, it's dark by the time I get home, change clothes, and drag the bike out.
thanks for any advice...
04-20-08, 11:38 AM
It may be that yours is the standard way that Specialized sets up their handlebars. It may be per shop though. The Comp that I have is setup different than yours where the "sissy brakes" are off that center section and a good inch from it. This gives me a lot of room to mount things. Yes, it does take away from the tops for my hands, but it feels pretty normal to me and I have many road bikes. The Sport that I just go has different handlebars where the entire bar is 31.8 instead of having a center section. That center section is the zert that Specialized puts in their more expensive bars. I may change the Comp bars and put it on the Sport. On the Sport, they mounted the brakes about the same distance from the stem as my Comp. Take it as you will, but that's two shops on opposite sides of the country setting up the brakes in the same relative position. Different than what you said Specialized claimed is normal.
04-20-08, 11:54 AM
As per my previous posts, I also got tired of trying to work a headlight mount onto my handlebars.
I highly recommend the Sigma Evo X lighting system. It comes with a stem mounted bracket that works very well. It unclutters the handlebar by moving the headlight to its own small mount. Your hands then have more freedom to use all parts of the bar without knocking into the headlight.
The stem mount actually causes the headlight to sit slightly higher than the handlebar, allowing the light beam improved road targeting, and avoids having to shine through the brake cables. The Sigma mount is simple, foolproof, and can be installed in a minute or two with no cycle hardware or stem disassembly required. It comes with a small and light Nimh battery easily mounted on the frame, and provides very good lighting in extreme darkness. Price is very reasonable at under a hundred bucks.
You may be right on what's normal. Over the weekend I stopped by my Specialized shop to take a look at 2008 Tricrosses and their handlebar setups. They all (Comp and Sport) had the same configuration. Sissy brake levers mounted fairly close to the stem. However, in all cases, the levers on one side had about an inch of free space from the stem, whereas only about a half inch or less of space for the lever on the other side.
They did inform me that it's easy to undo the grip tape, cut off a section to expose more bar space, and retape remaining grip edge with electrical tape. I guess I should have figured this out by now, but I just didn't want to putz with this and spend too much time redoing my handlebars from the default way that I got it.
So I think you're right, it varies, and it appears the real default does provide at least an inch of space (as also per Leo's setup) if one chooses to mount the headlight bracket on the handlebar.
Stem mount is a possibility but I am actually awaiting my Flight Deck (found an old 9-speed model on fleaBay) so I'm not sure if the two will be compatible. I told myself I wasn't going to become a gadget weenie, but I would like to have at least a speedo/odo so that I can judge when to turn around and go back home :) I guess I'll just have to wait until the FD gets here and see what I can do.
I did find this:
trying to find details on the light you used. Looks like it would work on my bars. Unfortunately I already threw the packaging a while ago for the light I have, and this one is significantly more expen$ive... such is life I guess. I actually bought my light before I bought my bike so I can't really blame myself for that one...
Are headlight mounts pretty standard or are they all proprietary? I was wondering if I could just buy a different mount as an accessory to make my existing light work?
04-20-08, 08:18 PM
The Karma looks good especially because of its Lithium Ion battery. Good price that you found at that link. One option is to buy the stem mount by itself for $7.99 from Sigma, and then you'd be able to mount any light. Sigma's stem mount is pretty unique I think. I'm really surprised it's so hard to find headlights that don't have mounts other than handlebar or helmet. I don't think there's any particular standard in stem mounts, the tiny few that are offered.
Yep, a flight deck would also be nice for knowing distance and measuring endurance. You'll have to see what's compatible and how to get that headlight mounted. You definitely don't want to be caught trying to get home in the darkness on a path someplace. Sounds like you're like me in refusing to do a helmet mount.
I hope I don't get banninated for this, but I don't even own a helmet. I rode quite a bit when I was in HS and college and never once needed one. Loaned the one I eventually bought to a friend (along with my MTB) and he biffed hard and busted it. Never bought another one. I know I probably SHOULD wear one but I just have never bothered to buy one. Probably will soon tho to set a good example for SWMBO as I'm trying to get her to ride more seriously.
04-21-08, 09:30 PM
Don't know if this helps anyone, but the Topeak handlebar bag mounts just fit over the Tricross Sport stem (with millimetres to spare), and provide a false handlebar over the stem. Something like that might help.
04-30-08, 06:32 PM
N8N- I confess I don't wear a helmet either. Probably should, but I see people barely moving on the bike trail with lollygag bikes dressed to the teeth in helmets, racing shorts, yellow jerseys, etc. I shouldn't laugh, but at what point is this all sort of extreme and more to impress fellow cyclists than anything else? My thinking is maybe I should wear a helmet when I walk outside in case something falls out of the sky.
stevage- Thanks for the advice on the Topeak stem mounts for their bag. Will investigate.
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