Bike Lights and Dynamo Hubs

by michelle bontrager in


Our early morning commutes commence before sunrise and our evening trips home are completed in darkness. It’s time to light up!

Bike Lights to Consider

  • Battery operated lights, the most economical
  • Re-chargeable battery lights, less hassle than regular batteries
  • Magnet operated lights, even less hassle, no batteries
  • Dynamo hub driven light systems, the brightest, long sting, and most convenient

With so many bike light options are available, we’ll happily outline the benefits different lights have and even offer recommendations for you based on: 

  • your budget
  • the type of bike you ride
  • the distance you typically travel
  • the type of streets you traverse

Here is a light system we just wired for a Denverite who commutes on a Surly Straggler.

Front Dynamo Hub

SON hub

  • This little dynamo will power your lights even at low speeds
  • Available for rim or disc brakes
  • Guaranteed for 5 years of riding
  • USB charging options are available
Luxos U designed for dark streets or long trails.

Luxos U designed for dark streets or long trails.

Head Light

Luxos U

  • B&M's Luxos U is the choice for every techy, gadget-loving cyclist out there. It features:
  • Fantastic beam pattern which has become a favorite for nighttime travelers
  • Built-in sensor automatically adjusts the beam to riding conditions
  • A push button on the handlebars to control the headlight such as a beam boost
  • Integrated cache battery that supplies voltage to a USB charging station
  • And more!
Toplight Line Plus BrakeTec, light pulses as the cyclist brakes

Toplight Line Plus BrakeTec, light pulses as the cyclist brakes

Rear Light

Toplight

  • Standlight, light remains lit for minutes after you stop pedaling
  • Brake light, the light flutters as you apply the brakes alerting traffic to your intentions
Check out Peter White Cycle's webpage for detailed comparisons of the different German lights and hubs that are available.

Check out Peter White Cycle's webpage for detailed comparisons of the different German lights and hubs that are available.

You may decide to wait on a dynamo light system for your bike. I just invested in my hub-generated light system 4 years ago when my daily commute increased to a 20-mile per day trip. I instantly regretted that I hadn’t made the jump years earlier.  My German dynamo system grants me instant respect on the streets. I recently rode home on a dark and stormy night, while stopped with traffic at a red light a car passenger next to me rolled down her window and yelled out “Hey you.” I hesitantly looked over not knowing what to expect and she continued “Great Lights!”

  • dynamo light system cost $250 to over $800 depending on the components chosen
  • battery light system cost $40-120
  • magnetic light systems cost $70-90.

Don’t let the change of season get you down, light up your bike and go for a ride.


Meet The Lisa, Soma Fabrication's Junior Road Bike

by michelle bontrager in ,


The Lisa features a lugged steel fork. Notice the Soma Urban brake levers and the Rivendell Caliper brakes for great stopping power.

The Lisa features a lugged steel fork. Notice the Soma Urban brake levers and the Rivendell Caliper brakes for great stopping power.

The Lisa

A junior road bike that rides like an adult steel-framed road bike, it's a Soma!

The Lisa is available as a frame set allowing for the freedom of choosing the perfect build kit.

For the young lass who will be riding this bike we recommended drop handlebars, bar end shifters, a double chain ring with an eight-speed cassette.

Soma also produces The Bart, the same 40 cm junior road bike in Chrome.

Tange mini drops, IRD headset and Shimano bar end shifters

Tange mini drops, IRD headset and Shimano bar end shifters

It was especially fun building this custom road bike. I suppose because we have watched our neighbor's daughter enjoy her first rides as a baby in a Chariot trailer, then as a toddler on her balance bike, on up to the top of an Xtracycle, and eventually on to her own 2-wheel bicycle with pedals. Look out, now she has her own road bike!

A Butterfly water bottle cage for a touch of whimsy.

A Butterfly water bottle cage for a touch of whimsy.

20" wheel set

20" wheel set

new bike day!

new bike day!

Encourage the normalcy of riding bicycle by:

  • providing your child with a nice quality bicycle
  • completing family bike rides
  • being prepared, carry a patch kit and pump.
  • taking a relaxed pace, explore as you go (ice cream shops are always fun)!

 

Fall Shop Hours:

Monday: 10-6

Wednesday-Saturday: 10-6

Sunday: 11-4


US 36 Bikeway, riding from Denver to Boulder

by michelle bontrager


Lowell Blvd heading north

Lowell Blvd heading north

Do you ever have an extra 4 hours to just take a bike ride?

Me neither! But a few weeks ago I decided it was time to tryout the US 36 Bikeway (Bikeway) from north Denver to Boulder, a four hour luxury for sure.

I studied Google maps and the new DBTC Metropolitan Denver bike map and decided to enter the Bikeway on Lowell Blvd. There is not a dedicated bath path on Lowell Blvd, bicyclists should plan to ride with traffic until the Boulder Turnpike exit. Lowell Blvd is a multi-lane and a rather wide street allowing room for vehicles to pass you safely.  During afternoon rush hour Lowell Blvd can become very busy. I avoided traffic by leaving at 6:30 am. I was expected back at the shop after lunch!

Cyclists should take the left turn lane right before Hwy 36 in order to turn onto the walking path that runs adjacent to US 36. The walkway veers right, under the Highway, and you will see the bright blue sign indicating that you are entering the Bikeway to Boulder. 

https://www.codot.gov/projects/US36ExpressLanes/bikeway-construction-updates

busy interchange the Bikeway traverses

busy interchange the Bikeway traverses

Route Summary

  • Bright blue directional signs are posted throughout the path.
  • In Westminster, the beginning of the Bikeway, you must cross 2 large, busy intersections. Once these are dealt with the Bikeway is a wide, smooth route into Boulder County.
safely separated by highway traffic

safely separated by highway traffic

Flatirons from Cherryvale Road, Boulder County.

Flatirons from Cherryvale Road, Boulder County.

I followed the Bikeway until it turned into Table Mesa, an established Boulder bike path leading into town. Friendly cyclists gave me directions to my north Pearl Street destination Cured.

A few days later I rode the Bikeway in order to try a different path into Boulder. This time I exited the Bikeway at Cherryvale Road just past Superior. This is a wide, well paved country road that many Boulder cyclists utilize. I found myself on the road to Eldorado Canyon but with the help of my cell phone I made my way back towards Boulder.

Observations about the Bikeway

  • Since it follows US 36 expect noise and sun, there are not many trees along this route. 
  • There are a few RTD park-n-ride bus stations along the route if you need a pit stop
  • It took me two hours to reach the outskirts of Boulder
  • It is very easy to catch the bus back to Denver at RTD’s Boulder Walnut Street station.

I will be utilizing the Bikeway for Boulder visits because it offers the most direct route between our cities. Before the Bikeway option I would have to navigate my way to Boulder through Denver’s northern suburbs past Standley Lake, by the little airport on on Simms, and then through Superior. These suburban roads are becoming increasingly busy as residential sprawl takes hold. Having a dedicated bike path provides cyclists a needed artery through the northern suburbs.