Dec 20 2008
There are plenty of good reasons to outfit your bike with lights fore and aft—to be seen in inclement weather, to be seen during dawn and dusk, and to be seen and to see after dark. Mounting one or more lights up front when you outfit your bike with a handlebar bag can be a challenge, though. Here’s an example:
My ‘bar bag sticks up above the level of my handlebar, so mounting a light on the bars wouldn’t make sense. Various accessory bars are available which would provide a platform for mounting a headlight, but each has its drawbacks. Is all hope lost for mounting a light up front, then? Nope. What about mounting a light on the fork? Good idea!
The Surly Long Haul Trucker and other bikes are supplied with braze-on points on the fork:
A red circle marks the location of the left-side braze-on, which happens to be a great spot to place a light mount, though the right side would better illuminate the shoulder and road edge. With the light mounted low to the ground the way ahead is better lit, and though the light is lower than it would be on the handlebar, drivers can still see it.
Several manufacturers make mounts which screw into fork braze-ons or clamp to the fork. Some folks can’t resist doing it themselves, though, and I’m one of them. That’s why I was intrigued when I read about a DIY light mount on the Surly Long Haul Trucker & Cross-Check Owners Group not long ago. Tobie DePauw, of North Central Cyclery , came up with an elegant and easily made light mount using parts most enthusiasts have on hand in their spare parts boxes. Here’s a picture of Tobie’s light mount, shown on the right-side fork of a Long Haul Trucker sporting the new Truckaccino cream color:
Photo reprinted with the kind permission of Tobie DePauw
Even if you have to buy the parts specifically for this mount, they’re not expensive. Here’s Tobie’s parts list for a DIY variation of the Paul Gino light mount:
- 1 20mm headset spacer
- 2 headset caps (one on each end of the spacer)
- 1 washer
- 1 bolt.
Tobie made this mount with carbon parts for fun, but for an even more economical version, you could build yours with aluminum parts. Once your mount is installed, just clamp your headlight to the mount, aim it, and ride off into the gathering dark with confidence.
Thanks to Tobie for permission to reprint his photo and technique. To read NCC’s blog, click here.
- “A DIY Light Mount for a Front Rack”
- “Let There Be Light! Doug DuBois’ Elegant DIY Light Mount”
- “The Lowdown on Alan Barnard’s Custom Fork Mounts”
Questions? Comments? Just click here!