1. Problems with the Schmidt Hub?
I have two of them. The one on my single bike has been rolling steadily since November 2001 (or is it 2002?), for about 20-25 000 km, including lots of rain and some snow. Not a single problem so far.
When I install the wheel, I always put the wire connectors towards the top, so that if/when I remove the wheel, the connectors won't be torn apart. I suspect that it might be tedious if you were to remove the wheel daily to put on a car rack; but since I never carry my bike in a car, it's not an issue.
Finally, I remember reading somewhere about interference between a hub (Schmidt?) and, I think, the Avocet wireless computer. I have a Cateye wired computer and never had any issue.
2. Schmidt 20 or 28?
I would recommend the 28. You do climb hills, don't you? With the 28, I think you have enough light to see your way and even to be visible when you are trying to make your way at 10 km/h, and you'll have full power at 12-13 km/h. And even with the light on, the added resistance is so low that I sometimes rode unknowingly to the office with the light on. In my mind, one of the beauties of the Schmidt is that you can have full illumination almost all the time. Why loose some of it, especially since there is so little in drag? And if you want to add a secondary light, you need
the Schmidt 28; the 20 will make it useless, because you'll need to ride at least at 33-35 km/h before the second light becomes useful.
I think I would recommend the Schmidt 20 only for a racer riding on mostly flat terrain: IOW someone always riding at 35-40 km/h, probably in fast-moving pelotons.
3. Which headlight(s)?
It depends a lot on what you do. For city rides, the Lumotec is a cheaper option and provides a front reflector if you ever need it (it fills a legal purpose in Québec).
However, in the city, I don't think the side spill is really noticeable, and in rural areas the E-6 throws useful light much further down the road. In a nutshell, the Lumotec would be a better option if you ride relatively slowly – say 10-20 km/h – on unlit roads. On the other hand, if you ride on unevenly lit streets, or if you ride faster on unlit roads – say 15-30 km/h – the E-6 provides a much more useful beam.
For general lighting, and even for city use, I prefer the E-6 to the Lumotec (round or oval, their beam is fairly similar): the E-6 is good enough to clearly light the road and
the potholes, even in the rain and even with headlights of oncoming cars or irregular street illumination; the Lumotec does not work as well in those conditions.
One caveat: as you said, the E-6 has a very well focused beam. On my bike, I also use a tiny LED headlight, the Planet Bike Beamer 5, to fulfill these functions:
– provide some illuminations on a wider path close to me (i.e. potholes, skunks and squirrels);
– provide a safety light at intersections or when slowly climbing a hill;
– make myself more noticeable in business districts (flashing mode).
With it, I get all the extra benefits of the Lumotec, and more, and the quality of the E-6.
As for the standlight of the Lumotec Oval Plus, it's so dim I would not count on it to save my life if I were stopped in the middle of an intersection.
Should you also buy an E-6 secondary? It depends. I bought a Lumotec secondary back when I bought a Lumotec Oval Primary, and because I had it, I kept it when I upgraded my main headlight to the E-6. You might want a dual-headlight setup if you ride on dark roads, but I don't see the point in the city and probably not in many suburban areas. If you ride fast downhills, the secondary might become a necessity, but slowing down is another option.
On unlit roads, I see the difference between the tight beam of the E-6 and the wider beam of the Lumotec. You would get the same effect with a Lumotec mains and E-6 secondary.The "well-rounded" effect is nice at 20-30 km/h, but you'll notice it only on dark roads, and the beam is not longer than the one of a single E-6. And if you ride faster than 30-35 km/h on unlit roads, you'll benefit much more from two tight beams – an E-6 primary and an E-6 secondary – than from a tight one and a wider one.
In a nutshell, if you want to save money:
– Go for the E-6 main headlight. It might be the only headlight you buy.
– If you want more and if you ride on unlit roads, get the E-6 secondary. Now or later.
All my bikes have a 3 W headlight and a battery taillight. That way, I don't have any wiring on the frame. The only drawback I see is that I have to turn on my taillights manually. However, the Cateye TL-LD1000 and the Planet Bike Superflash are much brighter than the wired taillights available.
4. How to mount it (them)? My current setup
My setup is with the E-6 primary and the Lumotec secondary. The latter existed until 2003-2004
I don't like headlights by the side of the tire or on the fork. I'm one of those who is distracted by the shadow of my wheel (it hides potholes), and I learnt that the headlight needs to be higher than the wheel if I want to keep it clean in rain and especially in snow. My current installation is seen at the top of this page
; basically, the aluminium channels won't break! If you have calliper brakes, I suspect you could design a similar bracket to attach on the fork crown.