Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Brompton dynamo lights

Sadly my Brompton dynamo lights have let me down again. The lights have not worked consistently since the bike got the service in August. I had a few hiccups at the beginning when I first got the Brompton but the lights worked fine after this. Now I get the front or the rear light, rarely both together. Because of the hospital trips I have not had time to get to Comptons to sort out the problem.

Luckily I have always had backup LED lights. I am not sure about the make of mine. I got them at the same time as the bike and Comptons just put them on. They are larger than the ones on my Trek bike but I was really concerned to be seen at the beginning and I used them with the dynamo lights. When the dynamo lights work you get a good bright light and the rear light retains light for about three minutes after you stop pedalling. I was never happy with the placement of these lights on the Brompton. I think they are too low, but where else can they go.

Now I am considering removing the dynamo lights. It will be less weight to carry. Not much, but less. I also don’t see the point of keeping them if they are not going to work. The only problem with the LED lights is that most of them have the habit of switching on when they get knocked in the bag and of course at the wrong time the battery is dead.


Anonymous said...

I've hear nothing but negative reviews of the Brompton Bottle dynamo (drag, reliability, ...). This is why I opted for the Battery lights instead.

I aim to have them suppliment a dynamo alternative i.e. invest in one of those magnetic lights, as I am interested in the saving energy and money.

Here are 2 I was considering:

Reelights: (

MagtenLight: (looks to be brighter, but I don't know if will work with a Brompton...yet?)

Anyway, good luck with the removal, you'll probably find yourself going a lot faster on the Brompton. Your tyres shall last longer too.

A good battery alternative (or so I have heard) are Knog lights.

sheffieldcyclechic said...

I have a front hub dynamo and a rear integrated battery LED light and had some additional LED lights on elastics for last winter, but I had the same problem they kept switching on in my bag and the batteries are dead. I haven't found a good way of mounting them either - they always seem to work loose halfway on my journey and I arrive to find them flashing out of site! I've just ordered some reelights - danish lights which are fixed to the wheels, which use magnets to generate electricity and don't need batteries. I will let you know how I get on.

Anonymous said...

I've also had a world of trouble with the dynamo lights on my Brompton - from day one; first the wiring wasn't done properly, then the mounting bolt kept working loose, the dynamo also pops off if you hit a big pothole (don't get me started on potholes on London's 'roads'), now a bulb has gone, all within four months. I had to replace the bolt with one that has a nylon locking nut (at around 40p this seems a fairly simple and cheap step that the manufacturer could take) to stop the dynamo dropping out of position, which causes the pulley to wear down - oh I have had to replace the rubber pulley too (and the actual dynamo is worn as well). I too am seriously considering ditching the whole rig, but then I have paid for it and the rack that it mounts on. I have had to fit a battery front light as temporary measure while I source a new bulb.

Come on Brompton the bike's fab - I love it; but this is lighting rig is a complete waste of time and money.

Anonymous said...

I have a hub dynamo fitted to my now 9 month old Brompton and the lights have just failed taking the shine off the bike. A replacement bulb in the front is working but the rear led has failed. Dispensing with the hub dynamo is not such an easy option now and it was an expensive new fit to last barely one winter.

Cycling in Heels said...

Sorry to hear about the failed lights. I had to remove my dynamo lights in the end but mine came with the bike. If this is the first time it is likely to be a loose connection and I would go back to shop where you got it fitted and ask them to take a look at it. Of course this may mean a further cost to you but if it goes again then you start complaining. I recall that Brompton does have a part-guarantee that runs for a long time on most things on the bike. I think having lights that run beyond a year should be standard.

Here is the link to Brompton Warranty terms, your hub may come under the two year warranty section.