Posts Tagged ‘Wiggle’

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Dahon Rear Rack

Saturday May 1, 2010

Dahon D7HG - New RackHaving recently invested in some panniers and a rack bag for my ‘epic’ ride across Britain, I thought that I should really maximise the use out of them (as they weren’t cheap!).

I’ve already fitted a Topeak Super Tourist DX Rear Rack to the Trek so I knew the quality of the product, and it was back to Wiggle’s website to order a second one, this time for the Dahon D7HG.

Removal of the Dahon rack was pretty straight-forward with the use of a 4mm allen key and a Philips head screwdriver to remove the mudguard attachment.

Once removed, holding the Topeak rack in place I realised the extent of the size difference.  The Dahon rack is obviously designed for the bike, whereas the Topeak rack is designed for larger wheel bikes and therefore sits quite high off the Dahon’s wheel – the underneath of the rack is about 4.5″ from the top of the tyre.  Due to this, the rear mudguard fixings wouldn’t reach the new rack and therefore could not be secured.  As a result I had to remove the mudguard completely.  To remove the bottom allen bolt from the mudguard, I had to deflate the rear tyre to enable the allen key space to engage with the bold – a far quicker (and easier) method than having to remove the entire rear wheel to gain access.

Dahon D7HG - ClearanceFitting the rack was quick and simple.  All the necessary fixtures are included with the rack and the only tool required is a 5mm allen key.  The rack uses the same fixing points as the original Dahon rack but I did select the lower fixing points on the back of the frame (near the wheel axle) to lower the rack slightly, if only by <1″.

The only thing left to do now is buy some new bolts so that I can fit my Cateye rear light fixture onto the rack.

I think the bike looks pretty good now.  Removal of the rear mudguard has improved the appearance of the bike – but the addition of the new rack should still provide some spray protection as it has a solid base plate.  The rack provides a good grab ‘handle’ to carry the bike when folded, which I think is a slight improvement on the Dahon rack.  The only slight negative to the rack is (perhaps) a slight increase in the weight of the bike – but it’s still not too bad.

A good modification to a great bike!

Click here to view larger photos on Flickr, or click on the individual images within this post.

Dahon - Folded

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NiteRider MiNewt Mini-USB

Saturday July 11, 2009

So, I gave in and bought myself a NiteRider front light.  I’ve had my eye on one for a long time as they’ve always had great reviews, fit easily to the bike and produce a lot of light from a small package.

Having two bikes I was looking for a bright light which could be easily transferred between both bikes.  The NiteRider lights don’t require mounting brackets so they’re ideal for this  scenario.

NiteRider lights are not cheap, the MiNewt Mini-USB is the cheapest in their ‘LED range’ and mine set me back £72 at Wiggle.  There’s also a Mini-USB Plus model which includes a helmet-mount and extension cable.

The light itself is small, earning its ‘Mini’ title, at only 2″ long and less than 1 and a 1/4″ wide.  It has an integral mounting foot and it’s secured to the handlebar with a rubber o-ring (3 sizes included).  There’s a single cable (~10″) coming out of the bottom of the light which plugs securely into the supplied battery pack.

The Lithium Ion battery pack attaches to your bike with a velcro strap (not pictured below), there’s a rubber pad on the rear of the battery pack which ensures that the pack doesn’t move once in place.  The pack is a little over 3″ long by 1.5″ wide, and around 1 and 1/4″ deep so can fit neatly on the stem without much hassle.  There isn’t much to the battery pack, it has the socket for the light cable, the on/off switch and the mini-USB connector.  The latter is protected by a rubber flap which keeps if free from dust and water.

The MiNewt Mini-USB is supplied with a mains charger and a USB cable for charging from your computer’s USB port.  This is a great idea, especially if you’re going to use the light on your daily commute.  Keeping the USB cable in work will allow you to top up the battery’s charge  ready for the journey home.  Charge time (from empty) is 4.5 hours.

Build quality is excellent, from the lens to the cable and battery, it all looks great.  The brightness of the light is excellent and it completely washes out the beam from my Cateye HL-EL450.  The Cateye’s output has a slight bluish tint whereas the NiteRider is a brighter, cleaner, white light.  I haven’t been out cycling with the NiteRider yet, but I’ve performed the ‘in-the-house-in-the-dark‘ test and the ‘stare-into-the-light‘ (!!!) test.  It passed both tests well.  The NiteRider’s beam is wide with a centrally focused ‘hot spot’ – it’s significantly brighter than the Cateye, ensuring that you can see and be seen more.

Unlike the Cateye though, there’s only one mode on the NiteRider.  It’s either on or off – no high/low mode and no flashing mode.

Another independent review of this light can be found over on the Women In Training blog – I found this review useful as I made up my mind on whether or not to buy the NiteRider.

The Box

In The Box

Contents (battery velcro not shown)

Light and Battery (£1 coin for scale)

Cateye HL-EL450 vs NiteRider MiNewt Mini-USB

MiNewt Mini-USB Fitted To Dahon D7HG

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