Tuesday, March 4, 2014

BLAZE Laser Bike Light: Improved Mounting Bracket Design

Ever since I received my Blaze Laser Bike Light 3 weeks ago, I have been using it whenever I ride my Avanti Inc 3. In that review post, I wrote that there is some play between the light and the mounting bracket, which can cause the light to rattle when traveling over rough roads.

To the credit of the Blaze Team, they have been working hard to improve their mounting bracket. They have been listening to their Kickstarter users, and also coming up with ideas to solve existing problems. Best of all, they have decided to send out new, improved mounting brackets to all Blaze light users, for free! That is quite amazing as I did not expect that. From this, it is clear that they really listen to their customers and make sure that their product is as good as can be.

I received the new mounting bracket last week, together with a few rubber shims. Let us see what are the improvements that the Blaze team has made on their mounting bracket.

Official picture from the Blaze Team.

As can be seen, there are quite a number of improvements.

Problem and Solution:
1) Too much play between light unit and mounting bracket. Solution is to add a rubber insert and adjust the socket to improve the engagement between light and bracket.
2) Broken bolts due to narrow neck and overtightening. Solution is to strengthen the bolt by reducing the hexagonal depth.
3) Clamping bolt head does not rest fully on the clamp band. Solution is to use a slightly larger bolt head to provide more clamping area.
4) Insufficient shim sizes for smaller handlebars. Added 2 rubber shim sizes!

For each of the improvements, the pictures and details are shown below.

Two additional rubber shims shown on the right side. Now there are 5 different sizes of shim to fit all handlebars!

Old mounting bracket on left, new mounting bracket on right side.
The new clamp bolt (top) has a larger head diameter (8.5mm vs 7.5mm) for more clamping area.
Yaw adjustment bolt (bottom) has a modified hexagonal area to improve the strength.

New mounting bracket shown in foreground. The bolt head is slightly larger to provide a larger clamping area against the clamp band.

Old mounting bracket on left, new mounting bracket on right side.
A small rubber piece has been pasted on the magnet. This rubber piece will help to prevent any play between the light and the mounting bracket.

New mounting bracket!

After installing the new mounting bracket, I found that there is no more play between the light and the mounting bracket. The rubber piece will compress and remove any looseness. The clamp bolt head is slightly larger, although it does not seem to make a significant difference. Good to have nonetheless.

One point to take note is that when mounting the light onto the mounting bracket, it is necessary to press down harder to ensure that the light clips properly onto the mounting bracket. Due to the rubber piece, sometimes the clip does not engage properly, which can cause the light to jump off when traveling over bumps.

I am happy with the after sales support of the Blaze Team, and how fast they managed to come up with the solutions. They have more or less sorted out the major issues with their mounting bracket.

Looking forward to more rides with the Blaze Laser Bike Light!

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