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Old 12-05-06, 02:45 PM   #1
tkatzir
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PBP 2007 Lighting Rules

Hi,

I thought it would be of interest to those who'd like to use LED lights in PBP 2007.

I'm quoting from the AudaxUK mailing list:

latest batch of PBP docs for translation from ACP includes the regulations.
The lighting rules require permanently attached and serviceable front and rear lighting
powerful enough to be visible from a distance of 100m in front and 150m in the rear.
Flashing rear lights are banned.
You're recommended to have a backup lighting system.

That's more or less it. No reference to spare bulbs or specific restrictions on LED lights.




I guess that's not the end of it.

Tal.
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Old 12-05-06, 02:51 PM   #2
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That's pretty much what they came out with last time too. They did eventually mention the spare bulbs and restrictions on LED. But I didn't find out about the spare bulb thing until I received my acceptance package in the mail about a month before I was set to fly out. Then I had to frantically hunt around for some!! I got one or two (but needed three), and topped up the required amount with flashlight bulbs that looked similar to the real bulbs. So ... we might not find out the final requirements until the very last minute.

Therefore it is probably a good idea to be prepared. Get extra bulbs and plan on using non-LED lights ... just in case!
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Old 12-05-06, 03:21 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machka
They did eventually mention the spare bulbs and restrictions on LED. But I didn't find out about the spare bulb thing until I received my acceptance package in the mail about a month before I was set to fly out.
Until today (when I read it,) I was all set to buy the SON hub dynamo. (With Schmidt E6, right?)
Now I'm not sure. I'll keep following this.
Lighting is one of the few things I'm still not sure about for PBP.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Machka
Then I had to frantically hunt around for some!! I got one or two (but needed three), and topped up the required amount with flashlight bulbs that looked similar to the real bulbs.
I've heard similar sotries about PBP scrutineering.
Some even joked about several people presenting the same 3 bulbs...
And I've read reports about people doing the 2003 PBP with only LED lights.

Tal.
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Old 12-05-06, 04:38 PM   #4
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Why would there be restrictions on LED's?
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Old 12-05-06, 04:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tkatzir
Until today (when I read it,) I was all set to buy the SON hub dynamo. (With Schmidt E6, right?)
Now I'm not sure. I'll keep following this.
.
I'm curious why this would change your plans? I was thinking of the SON E6 combo also.

Bob
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Old 12-05-06, 10:56 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by jimblairo
Why would there be restrictions on LED's?
I would not say because they are French. More like European cycling is more conservative and will take a while to cope with the idea that you do not need spare bulbs(LEDs) for an LED light.
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Old 12-05-06, 11:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tkatzir
Until today (when I read it,) I was all set to buy the SON hub dynamo. (With Schmidt E6, right?)
The E6's are halogen. Its a great system.
Why wouldn't anyone carry spares as good practice? We carry spare tubes, tools, some people carry a spare tire or chain! Seems a handful of bulbs is not much weight for some insurance you can see at night.

I kept 4 in an old film canister for last seasons brevets - carried them around most of the summer in my kit and replaced 2 of them on my 600k. If I'm looking for weight or gear reduction there are lots of other places I can make more dramatic differences than a few bulbs...
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Old 12-06-06, 01:54 AM   #8
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Why aren't/weren't LEDs allowed? Because they aren't that good! You see, four years ago, when the PBP was last held, LEDs were still a fairly new technology, and they really weren't that good. I had a couple back then, and couldn't see more than about 3 feet down the road with them. They were fine to make a person visible, but useless to see anything with. Then a couple years ago the Cateye EL500 (and probably some others like it) appeared on the market. They were a vast improvement over the old LEDs ... but that is not saying much.

I have ridden night rides with my Cateye EL500, and my father's two Cateyes, and they were all right. Apparently they are absolutely brilliant to an oncoming vehicle (so much so, I kept getting flashed to tell me to dim my lights), but in any other conditions beside a well-moonlit night on a smooth road, they weren't all that good. Riding in pitch dark conditions they provide a pale blue glow on the road ... enough to tell you that there is a dark patch coming up, but not enough to tell you if it is a pothole or not, or how big/deep the pothole might be. They were useless on descents because the light isn't bright enough and doesn't light up an area far enough ahead ... I kept over-running it. And ..... I managed to destroy two of them. I don't know what happened ... one moment they were working fine, the next they weren't. So they don't seem to be as long lasting as one would hope from the claims.

I still use my Cateye as an emergency backup, but that's about it.


About the SON dynohub set-up. I acquired that setup myself with an Ovalplus lamp, and rode with it on the BMB, the UMCA 24-hour, and a recent century, and I figure that's the way to go!! Don't bother with an LED light ... go for something that actually lights up the road!! And the SON dynohub systems are definitely allowed on the PBP - no guessing about it.


PS. I had an E6, which I would highly recommend, but it got crushed in transport on my way back to Canada from Australia. In a tragic mental lapse, I didn't take it off the bicycle when I was packing the bicycle in the Sydney airport.
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Old 12-06-06, 03:17 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hammond9705
I'm curious why this would change your plans? I was thinking of the SON E6 combo also.
I guess the only real reason is cost.
It sounds like a big expense to me for use on PBP only.

In my night riding I get by with LED lights.
I have the Cateye EL-500 that Machka refered to above, and I agree is more a be-seen than see-light.
One some known roads, I don't even bother to take the EL-500, and use the Cateye EL-120 (don't laugh!) as blinker.
I did my November century like that, which was an all night riding.
(Are we going to have a Century A Month here too?)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Machka
LEDs ... Riding in pitch dark conditions they provide a pale blue glow on the road ... enough to tell you that there is a dark patch coming up, but not enough to tell you if it is a pothole or not, or how big/deep the pothole might be. They were useless on descents because the light isn't bright enough and doesn't light up an area far enough ahead ...
Take a look at http://www.solidlights.co.uk They even have a model that runs off the SON dynamo.

See review with comparison photos to EL-500 here: http://www.meiring.org.uk/pdm/Audax/...s_Review.shtml

Tal.
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Old 12-06-06, 07:18 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimblairo
Why would there be restrictions on LED's?
In many countries, LED lighting is (strictly speaking) illegal except as an additional light. Road Codes were written before alternative lighting methods existed (other than acetylene, etc) and the lawmakers usually referred to filaments. Until recently, Germany and the UK had this problem. France possibly hasn't changed its Road Rules yet...
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Old 12-06-06, 07:36 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by LWaB
Until recently, Germany and the UK had this problem. France possibly hasn't changed its Road Rules yet...
There is a EU directive that states that bicycle lights which are legal in any EU country are to be considered legal in any EU country, provided that the "foreign" standard is of at least equal quality. (Of course, the French might well try and argue about the "equal quality" aspect.) Unfortunately my google-foo is clearly insufficient, as I'm unable to dig up a URL for said directive.
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Old 12-06-06, 07:56 AM   #12
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I guess I'm in the minority here, but I use TWO Cateye EL500's and they work great for me. I do a fair bit of night riding and I've been pleased. Takes up a bit of dashboard space, but I don't use a GPS so I have plenty of room for those plus my computer. So far I've been comfortable going up to 20-22 mph w/ them...so I guess I'd have to slow down to that speed on the descents.

I hope they allow these, as the prospect of spending US$300+ on a dynamo hub and another US$40-50 on a lamp is going to hurt, finacially. I know there's always the bottle dynamo option, but that's still another US$150+US$40.

Not trying to be a tightwad, but this trip plus all my current gear is costing me a bunch and I was hoping (at least lighting-wise) I was all set.

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Old 12-06-06, 09:08 AM   #13
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All you would need is one incandescent headlight (a Cateye Micro or smaller would do) in addition to your 2 EL500s, to pass inspection. Nobody said you have to switch on the light...
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Old 12-06-06, 10:20 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machka


About the SON dynohub set-up. I acquired that setup myself with an Ovalplus lamp, and rode with it on the BMB, the UMCA 24-hour, and a recent century, and I figure that's the way to go!! Don't bother with an LED light ... go for something that actually lights up the road!! And the SON dynohub systems are definitely allowed on the PBP - no guessing about it.


PS. I had an E6, which I would highly recommend, but it got crushed in transport on my way back to Canada from Australia. In a tragic mental lapse, I didn't take it off the bicycle when I was packing the bicycle in the Sydney airport.
Incidentally, I just completed an LED light with 4 K2 Luxeons on it and it is almost as bright as my HID in the center of the beam. It works great with my Shimano dynohub and is the equivalent of about 4 or 5cateye el500s. The amount of power the generators produce is ample for a really bright LED set.
I do know of many randonneurs that use a double cateye el500 setup but I am happier with mine as it eliminates battery weight and since I need only one light assembly it is lighter. I use my backup light to lightup my cycling computer (Princetontec EOS).
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Old 12-06-06, 11:56 AM   #15
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In my experience, the light in the link below has been the best battery light I've ever used. I've had two since 2001 and have ridden in all sorts of weather and conditions with both of them, and they still work!

http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_d...=1165427394909

I have killed off more lights than I care to count in my search for good lighting, but that light has withstood the test of time.

If you don't want to fork out a lot of money for a SON dynohub, you might consider that light ... the batteries last about 3 hours so you'll need to carry replacements. However, when I use it, I carry both lights with batteries in each ... about 3 hours into the night I'm usually coming to a control and stopping for a bit of a nap ... and then I click the second light in place and that usually takes me to dawn. At some point during the next day I replace the batteries in each.

Then you could use the Cateye EL500 as a backup light for a little bit extra lumination.
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Old 12-06-06, 12:03 PM   #16
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Thanks, Machka.
Good suggestion, and I may use it, but I'm going to wait awhile and see what (if anything) the judges say. I still maintain from personal experience that when I use two EL500s I can see great at night (even w/ no moon).

The low-power option is 1.5W, and each EL500 (according to Cateye) is the equivalent of 1W, but there may still be a difference. I could just carry the darn thing, but (as we all know), cargo space is always at a premium.

Still, it's only $18!

Thanks,

Dan
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Old 12-06-06, 12:15 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by danimal123
I still maintain from personal experience that when I use two EL500s I can see great at night (even w/ no moon).
And now Cateye has a new version of this light (the HL-EL530) that it alleges is 50% brighter than the 500!

http://www.cateye.com/en/product_detail/345
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Old 12-06-06, 02:57 PM   #18
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Machka, question about that hub you're using. I'm looking into it myself and was wondering if you leave it on the bike all the time, or do you have a wheel built up for it and only put it on the bike when you think you'll need it? Seems that the difference is only about $100, but might be easier if I plan to only ride during the day.
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Old 12-06-06, 03:08 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knobster
Machka, question about that hub you're using. I'm looking into it myself and was wondering if you leave it on the bike all the time, or do you have a wheel built up for it and only put it on the bike when you think you'll need it? Seems that the difference is only about $100, but might be easier if I plan to only ride during the day.
It's built right in ... it replaces the existing hub. I had to purchase new spokes and the wheel had to be rebuilt. So, it's there all the time.

The thing is, once you get on a brevet that is 300K or longer, there's a pretty good chance you'll do some of it in the dark ... even if you're fast. Plus, if you're planning to do a 1200K event, it is a very, very good idea to do training rides in the dark. Riding in the dark is a whole different story from riding in the daylight!
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Old 12-06-06, 03:18 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knobster
Machka, question about that hub you're using. I'm looking into it myself and was wondering if you leave it on the bike all the time, or do you have a wheel built up for it and only put it on the bike when you think you'll need it? Seems that the difference is only about $100, but might be easier if I plan to only ride during the day.
I've got a SON as well. I have several sets of wheels - so when I'm riding in the summer months I usually take the lights off except for events, and leave the SON wheel in the garage.

Since I live in a daylight challenged area I've had the SON in my fork for the last few months. It doesn't really change anything about my rides - other than the fact that if I want to extend a ride into the night, or go out at night, I don't have to worry about power - its always there.

It does add a bit of weight, and there is the minimal drag that it causes - but where I live, 1 foot per mile when not powering my lights and 5 feet per mile with the lights on is worth the convenience of the system.
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Old 12-06-06, 04:06 PM   #21
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Even on my Shimano 3n71 I have found the difference between the light being on and off is roughly .2 mph. I really like the convenience of not depending on batteries and a fifth of a mile per hour is not a big loss in my book, I would lose more time entering a store to restock batteries..
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Old 12-06-06, 04:22 PM   #22
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i don't realy understand what you are talking about?
Here is the law even for the PBP :

"- éclairage : la nuit ou le jour lorsque les circonstances l'exigent, tout cycle doit être équipé d'un système d'éclairage, une lumière jaune ou blanche à l'avant, un feu rouge à l'arrière (article R.313-18, 19 et 20).

De jour et de nuit, tout cycle doit être équipé d'un ou de plusieurs dispositifs réfléchissants de couleur rouge visibles de l'arrière, d'un dispositif réfléchissant de couleur blanche visible à l'avant et de dispositifs réfléchissants visibles latéralement (article R.313-20). Les pédales doivent également comporter des dispositifs réfléchissant de couleur orange (article R.313-20)."

there are not talking about LED or anything
you just need some front and rear light that's all!!
PBP is not upper the law
after that your have the right to make the choice of being well seen or not..
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Old 12-06-06, 05:07 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machka
It's built right in ... it replaces the existing hub. I had to purchase new spokes and the wheel had to be rebuilt. So, it's there all the time.

The thing is, once you get on a brevet that is 300K or longer, there's a pretty good chance you'll do some of it in the dark ... even if you're fast. Plus, if you're planning to do a 1200K event, it is a very, very good idea to do training rides in the dark. Riding in the dark is a whole different story from riding in the daylight!
Yeah, I understand that, but my question is do you ride with it all the time or do you have a wheel that you use that doesn't have the hub that you use when you think you won't need the light. Reason I ask is that I'm trying to decide whether or not to buy just the hub or buy a prebuilt wheel.

Thanks!
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Old 12-06-06, 05:43 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knobster
Yeah, I understand that, but my question is do you ride with it all the time or do you have a wheel that you use that doesn't have the hub that you use when you think you won't need the light. Reason I ask is that I'm trying to decide whether or not to buy just the hub or buy a prebuilt wheel.

Thanks!
Buy a dedicated wheel for your SON. Or better still, buy a matching pair.
You might not want to ride with it all the time - it does add some weight to your bike.

I have a lite set of wheels that I use most of the summer for events that don't require lights. I leave 23mm slicks on them. I have a seperate set for rando events and when I do long training rides that might get me home after dark - I leave 25mm or 28mm tires mounted to those.

I like being able to switch.
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Old 12-06-06, 05:50 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimblairo
Why would there be restrictions on LED's?
Can only tell you about some of the Old UK rules.

A lamp had to be visible from the side of a Bike- i.e at 90 degrees. An Led bulb will only throw light forward and the shape of the lens in front of it did not allow for any side viewing. The old bulb lights used to be viewable from the side, with the amount of diffused light they gave.
The Cateye EL300 was one of the first leds that had a small section that allowed light sideways,(Although this section is very small) and last year Led rear lights started to appear that conformed with the UK regs.

I have several Policeman as friends and they used to feel that LED's- In particular Flashing lights- were the best form of lighting but they also mentioned that they were illegal. The trick round it was to have LED's for secondary illumination and an old set of rubbish legal lights as the main lighting. Then you were legal but could also see and be seen. Edit--With the EL300 you would be legal and with the UK reg rear lamp- the cateye AU100BS- Neither of which are expensive- You would be legal and if you treated this as your Main lighting- then you can run your HID's and rear 50w lamps as your secondary
Incidentally- I have twin 5w Luxions in my front lamp and I have been stopped By a Policeman as my lights were too bright, and that was on low power. He agreed that It was a very good lamp, but it dazzled him in his rear view mirror. Then a car came along the road with spotlights and main beam going and he told me to forget what he just said.
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