Tips and tests for lamps

Dhe correct bicycle lighting remains an exciting topic, and not just because the days are getting noticeably shorter again. At the Eurobike trade fair, which was a guest in Friedrichshafen at the beginning of the month, the lighting specialist Busch & Müller showed how, for example, the cornering light for pedelecs can be improved, which, as usual, is technically more complex. The higher speed of the electric bike shows with uncomfortable clarity that a rigidly mounted headlight does not shine where you are going as soon as you lean into the curve. An inconspicuous box called Leval (around 75 euros) should now keep the light field nice and horizontal on the road when the bike leans when cornering.

Leval is mounted between the headlight holder and the lamp housing. The interior of the novelty consists of a seven-fold ball bearing motor that stabilizes the lamp. The principle corresponds to that of a gimbal, with which moving video cameras are kept steady by compensating movements in several axes. Leval can be retrofitted and should be available as early as November. The motor requires a power supply, which is why it is initially only intended for use on electric bikes, specifically on pedelecs, not on fast 45 km / h light motorcycles.

Sigma Sport from Neustadt an der Weinstrasse won a Eurobike Award. With the “Aura 100 / Blaze Link” set, which will be available from December for around 100 euros, the people of Palatinate solved an inconvenience associated with battery and battery lighting. As is well known, the headlights can be easily switched on while driving on the handlebars. For the push of a button on the red taillight, on the other hand, at least a little acrobatics with the grip on the seat post, but mostly brief holding and dismounting was required. In the slim rear and brake light Blaze there was already a brightness sensor that switched it on – with the result that the battery in the dark basement would run out if you forgot to switch it off. But now the headlight, which has been increased to 100 lux, communicates with the rear light. You can see at the front of the handlebars what the battery level is at the back, and you can switch the rear light on and off from the front.

Sales-promoting note “StVZO-compliant”

Until recently, the market for bicycle lights was divided into two parts, so to speak: Here were the well-known German manufacturers such as Busch & Müller, Trelock or Sigma Sport, whose lobbying work with the industry associations led to battery and battery lights being generally permitted and not just racing bikes were reserved. When the time came, these providers immediately had luminaires with the sales-promoting note “StVZO-compliant” ready and they were well paid for. And there, less in specialist shops than online, there was a huge range of significantly cheaper lights that could sometimes flash, pulsate or change color. That was and is not allowed, but was sold diligently. Technically, they often couldn’t keep up with Made in Germany.

In the meantime, however, there are quite a few lights to be discovered online that come from the Far East but have a German test mark – the K with the wavy line and a number. Accordingly, they do not flash alternately blue and red like the Secret Service, but are limited to what is permitted in this country. Some of these extremely inexpensive lights have good, old brand names or even find favor in the eyes of Stiftung Warentest. “Gut (2.0)” was available in autumn 2020 for the light set with rear light from Velmia for around 45 euros. According to the company’s own history, the brand is a child of the Upper Palatinate, Velmia International is based in Larnaka, Cyprus, and the lamp set is manufactured in China.

The set is innovative at best when it comes to the low price, the two lights look very much like older products from German brands. The headlight looks like a scaled-down version of a lamp by the Münster-based manufacturer Trelock, the rear light is similar to the Blaze from Sigma. The similarity is even more noticeable in the rear light of another lamp set that is sold under the brand name Zündapp and is also based on Trelock. And there is one more point where the inexpensive lights are anything but innovative: The fixings are even more impractical than on the models.

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