Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Fork Accessory Bracket on the Dahon Front Luggage Mount

Want to add more front lights to your bike? Besides installing lights on the handlebar or handlepost, there are very few other places on the bike where you can fix a front light. I used to mount my front lights on the Minoura Space Grip, which is basically an expansion of your handlebar area.

It is good if you want to mount lots of accessories, however it makes the steering feel heavier, and the clamp may not be secure enough if you put heavy accessories on the space grip. The space grip was used to install the electric horn, the S-Sun light and the Busch & Muller IXON IQ front light. Ever since my electric horn was spoilt after getting soaked in heavy rain, I decided not to use the space grip, since I only had 2 front lights left to install.

The handlebar can accommodate only 1 front light, which means that I need to find another place to install my B&M front light. I came across this fork accessory bracket on SJS Cycles, which is specially made to be mounted on the front fork. Check out these fork accessory brackets.

Ever since I got my Ortlieb panniers, the front luggage mount on the head tube of my bike has been left empty. I decided to get this fork bracket to try it out, to see if I can make use of the space available. With some suitably long bolts, this fork bracket can be fixed securely to the frame.

The fork accessory bracket mounted on the Dahon front luggage mount. The clamp for the S-Sun front light is seen here.

Only a single bolt is required to mount the bracket. The rubber on the bracket will be compressed against the frame, giving a reasonably tight attachment.

Since I was not sure about the strength of this bracket, I first tested it with the lighter S-Sun front light. No problem there, the front light stayed on even on bumpy roads.

Next, I mounted the B&M front light, which is significantly heavier than the S-Sun front light.

Big front light!

The front light is tilted down slightly to shine on the road. This B&M light is meant to act as a steady headlight, to light up the path along dark stretches of road.

View from the top. The on/off button on top can be reached while cycling.

View from the front.

Even with the heavier B&M light mounted, there is no problem with the fork accessory bracket. Although it does wobble a bit on bumpy ground, it does not seem like it will break off. 

As discovered earlier, when the B&M light was mounted on the space grip, turning on the light will shut down the Cateye speedometer, due to the EM interference generated by the powerful front light. When mounted on the fork accessory bracket, I found that when the B&M light is on the high setting (40 lux), the EM interference is still present. However, when on low setting (10 lux), the B&M light no longer shuts down the speedo! I believe that this is due to the greater distance between the light and the speedometer computer unit. This allows me to use the front light and also have a working speedo at the same time, which is an unintended benefit.

Because this front light is mounted on the frame and not the handlebar, the light beam does not turn when you turn the handlebar. Not sure if this is good or bad, but is something to take note of.

Overall, I am quite pleased with this new accessory. It allows me to tidy up the handlebar area, as the space grip is no longer required to mount my front lights. Also, it allows me to use the B&M light without shutting down the speedometer. Lastly, it looks really unique with a large front light in front of the bike. There seems to be quite a few other types of brackets available, and with some clever jigging, I'm sure accessories can be fixed onto other parts of the bike too.

2 comments:

  1. Hi,

    I would like to know what bolt/screws you using to mount the bracket?

    Thanks.

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    Replies
    1. Just standard M5 bolts. As for the length, it cannot be too long or it cannot screw all the way in. It also cannot be too short or it will not engage enough threads. The exact length depends on the thickness of the bracket that you use. A safe choice would be to have both 10mm and 15mm bolts to try out.

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