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Hi/lo beam adjuster

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Hi/lo beam adjuster

Old 01-26-20, 11:34 AM
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Hi/lo beam adjuster

Not sure exactly where to post this, I'm usually hanging out over on the C&V sub-forum, and this could also be posted in the Long Distance section. Custom rack on a vintage frame for a long-dstance rider...

rhm , BF's resident leather saddle restorer and long brevet eating randonneur commissioned me to do so strange things to an old frame. Included in this mod is a braze-on for a vintage SunTour S-1 derailleur, which required a jig to be made. Since this may be the only time I'll ever make this mod, I didn't spend any time on jig aesthetics. A chunk of angle iron, roughly cut with an angle grinder, filed here and there, but checked on a flat plate to make sure it met spec.



Before you think, man, that's different, Rudi went a step further. When you're on a 400k brevet, riding through the night, there are times when you wished you could aim your light a little lower or higher, but reaching down around your handlebar bag for a blind grab and adjust at 2am when you're sleep deprived gets you thinking. Wouldn't it be nice to have an adjustment lever at your fingertips?

First, a mock-up. I decided to use a "tube inside a tube" approach with a spring return.



This required a custom rack. I went through a few design iterations. It's interesting that when you start on a project like this, the degrees of freedom seem infinite. As you slowly make design choices, it eliminates more and more degrees of freedom. A few times I drove into a dead end, had to back out, and take another route. I finally came up with this:



Hard to describe everything even with pictures, but video does the trick:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9ss...ature=youtu.be

I used a Dia Compe centerpull return spring, modified a bit so the end goes through a small hole in the lever arm. The spring pushes the light down, the cable attachment goes to a vintage SunTour barcon shifter to balance the forces and makes it all adjustable. For the cable stop, I modded a stainless steel rack tab from unterhausen, adding a bottle boss and a Paragon barrel adjuster. A brake noodle gets the housing to enter gracefully from the side, clearing the area for Rudi's handlebar bag.

I still need to add a tombstone, but that's pretty boring to show. I'll be adding a rack tab to the other side in case a backup battery light is desired later on. Note also that I typically make racks out of stainless steel, no chroming or powder coating required - I use a polishing wheel to keep everything shiny.
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Last edited by gugie; 01-26-20 at 12:00 PM.
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Old 01-26-20, 11:48 AM
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Ahh, Suntour shifter to adjust the beam. Unique solution. A noodle in there too?



I assume other shifters on the bike somewhere.

My old NightSun light had a remote switch for High/Low adjustment.

Lately I've been riding a lot on low beam, in part because of running on batteries. Once I get around to setting up the generator, that may not be as important anymore.
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Old 01-26-20, 11:57 AM
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that's pretty cool. They were having a discussion about headlight adjustments somewhere on here. maybe long distance

I'm glad you found a use for those rack tabs. I have wondered if I should have done the rack tabs with 2 holes, might have made this a bit easier
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Old 01-26-20, 01:03 PM
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I'd like to tell you all about the S1 derailleur but I haven't tried it yet.

The idea that we need high-low adjustment came from a post by @seajaye on another forum. I think that was last May or so, a little after the PA Randonneurs Flèche (24 hours on the bike, many of them are night). Picture five riders, close together, riding as a team. The riders in different parts of the group have different lighting needs: up front, you want your lights higher; if you're in back, your light has be lower so it doesn't shine into the other guys' mirrors, and so on. I think that was part of CJ's reasoning at the time.

Anyway, I built a primitive version of this in May. It was controlled from a lever on the top of the handlebar. It had problems, but it was interesting to play with. It wasn't until a 400 km ride in August that I really saw what this can do. Screaming down an unfamiliar mountain in the middle of the night, not knowing the turns, barely able to control my shivering in the cold, I didn't want to take my hands off the bar even to adjust the light up and down, and (not being spring loaded) the light tended to jiggle itself back to a default position that was usually the right adjustment, but not always. It was tantalizing to have something that did exactly what I wanted it to do, but badly. It almost worked.

So after that I made a cable operated version using pieces of a CLB Racer centerpull brake and a bar end shifter. I still use that version, and it's great.

I'll post photos of some of my efforts. I'm looking forward to getting Gugie's version.

Last edited by rhm; 01-26-20 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 01-26-20, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
I assume other shifters on the bike somewhere.

My old NightSun light had a remote switch for High/Low adjustment.

Lately I've been riding a lot on low beam, in part because of running on batteries. Once I get around to setting up the generator, that may not be as important anymore.
Rudi likes a bar end shifter for the rear derailleur, but a standard downtube shifter for the front, which made another bar end position availiable.

When I typed "hi/lo", it's actually for positioning higher or lower, not "more light, less light." And it's infinitely adjustable within the range of motion, maybe 10 degrees?
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Old 01-26-20, 04:47 PM
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I like your style, Gugie.
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Old 01-26-20, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
I'd like to tell you all about the S1 derailleur but I haven't tried it yet.

The idea that we need high-low adjustment came from a post by @seajaye on another forum. I think that was last May or so, a little after the PA Randonneurs Flèche (24 hours on the bike, many of them are night). Picture five riders, close together, riding as a team. The riders in different parts of the group have different lighting needs: up front, you want your lights higher; if you're in back, your light has be lower so it doesn't shine into the other guys' mirrors, and so on. I think that was part of CJ's reasoning at the time.

Anyway, I built a primitive version of this in May. It was controlled from a lever on the top of the handlebar. It had problems, but it was interesting to play with. It wasn't until a 400 km ride in August that I really saw what this can do. Screaming down an unfamiliar mountain in the middle of the night, not knowing the turns, barely able to control my shivering in the cold, I didn't want to take my hands off the bar even to adjust the light up and down, and (not being spring loaded) the light tended to jiggle itself back to a default position that was usually the right adjustment, but not always. It was tantalizing to have something that did exactly what I wanted it to do, but badly. It almost worked.

So after that I made a cable operated version using pieces of a CLB Racer centerpull brake and a bar end shifter. I still use that version, and it's great.

I'll post photos of some of my efforts. I'm looking forward to getting Gugie's version.
With the rubber band mounted handlebar lights, it is easy enough to push them up or down (which is easier than cycling through all the brightness settings). But this is a very unique design for the generator and permanent mounted lights.

Did you add a "Light in the Driver's Eyeballs" mode?

I don't use a rear mirror, so a light following me would be more comforting than it would be distracting.
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Old 01-26-20, 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
With the rubber band mounted handlebar lights, it is easy enough to push them up or down (which is easier than cycling through all the brightness settings). But this is a very unique design for the generator and permanent mounted lights.

Did you add a "Light in the Driver's Eyeballs" mode?

I don't use a rear mirror, so a light following me would be more comforting than it would be distracting.
I should point out that the light I'm using (B&M Cyo something premium) has a really sharp cutoff at the top. The useful light is shaped to fall on the road ahead, not the trees. Which is great, unless you need to read street signs. My first 400k I had to stop and lift my bike up in the air to read a couple street signs. I should have had a flashlight with me, but I digress.

So anyway, the light on my Rawland goes up high enough to read street signs if I go by reasonably slow. I made sure of that, because I anticipated it being a useful feature.

But I did not anticipate how much I'd move the light up and down on regular riding. When riding in hills, I constantly adjust the light to follow the terrain.

I've used those cheap LED lights from China, powerful light but a beam so conical that moving it up or down didn't matter much. It mounted to the handlebar as you describe, and it was easy to move it up and down. But I never did; the light didn't cut off the way this B&M does.

unterhausen , is this the right subforum for this discussion? Eh, whatever, it's here now.
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Old 01-27-20, 07:08 AM
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I think this is really neat. Can't wait to see it
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Old 01-27-20, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
Hard to describe everything even with pictures, but video does the trick:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9ss...ature=youtu.be
Very nice. So nice I subscribed to your YouTube channel @gugie. I never laughed so hard... Well, maybe I have, once or twice. If the custom rack/headlight adjusting/650b conversion gig doesn't work out, you can always fall back on stand up.

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Old 01-27-20, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by smontanaro View Post
Very nice. So nice I subscribed to your YouTube channel @gugie. I never laughed so hard... Well, maybe I have, once or twice. If the custom rack/headlight adjusting/650b conversion gig doesn't work out, you can always fall back on stand up.
Everyone that has been to l'Atelier knows that I like to practice my stand-up routine on fresh meat. Some of my closer friends know that to save time I often just call out a number. Andy_K didn't laugh at #47 once. I asked him why. He answered the timing was off.
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Old 01-27-20, 10:55 AM
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Close up of the mechanism.
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Old 01-27-20, 02:14 PM
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Anytime a Suntour Barcon can be utilized to solve a problem, it is a welcomed solution. Nicely done.
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