Busch & Müller
(aka Busch & Muller, Busch & Mueller, B&M and BUMM)
The Big Bang is the first bicycle headlight to perform like a high quality automotive low beam. It's as bright as an automotive headlight, but unlike other gas discharge (HID) bicycle headlights, won't blind oncoming drivers. The images below demonstrate how this can be.
The Big Bang comes with an adapter for riding off road. The offroad adapter makes the beam symmetrical, like most bicycle lights. The image on the left shows the Big Bang beam with the offroad adapter. The image on the right shows the Big Bang beam as it is used on the road. You can see that the beam on the right is brighter at the horizon than the beam on the left. And above the horizon, the beam on the right is darker, as there is a sharp horizontal cutoff to the beam on the right, just like an automotive low beam. The beam on the left is like an automotive high beam.
Here again we see the beam on the left with the offroad adapter and the beam on the right without it. The beam on the left is symmetrical and there is no horizontal cutoff to the beam., On the right, by contrast, the beam has a sharp horizontal cutoff to the beam. It's very bright just below the horizon, and no light is being focused above the horizon, just like with an automotive low beam.
See how the triangular road sign in the distance is brighter in the left picture, than in the right picture? And yet in the left picture, even though the sign is brighter, the road at 25 meters is darker than it is in the picture on the right? It's because on the right, more light is being focused on the road and less is being focused above the road, into the eyes of oncoming drivers. The beam on the right is much safer on the road than the beam on the left. The beam on the left is just like all other gas discharge headlights. The beam on the right is unique among gas discharge bicycle headlights.
Here the bicycle is in a tunnel, so you can better see how the beam is focused. On the left, the Big Bang has the offroad adapter attached. On the right, the Big Bang is set up for road riding. On the right you can clearly see the horizontal cutoff. See how the wall of the tunnel is brightly lit at the bottom, but then a foot or so above the road surface the wall gets dark. That's the effect of the beam being focused just on the road, like an automotive low beam, and not into the eyes of oncoming drivers.
When you're riding on a trail in the woods with trees all around, it helps to have a large symmetrical beam, so that you can see tree branches that might cross your trail at head height. So for trail riding, a low beam isn't the safest. But on a road with automobile traffic, low branches aren't going to be in your way, and so light doesn't need to be focused above the road surface. And any light that is focused above the road will only blind oncoming automobile drivers, and that creates a very unsafe condition.
The first gas discharge light with German StVZO approval for bicycles. The Big Bang is as bright as an automobile headlight and have a 4.5 hour run time on a rechargeable lithium ion battery. It can be mounted either above or below the handlebar. It's completely waterproof. The beam has two settings, one to meet the German StVZO regulations for bicycle lighting, and a second for riding off road, where a symmetrical beam is preferable. Unlike other gas discharge (HID) headlights, the Big Bang won't blind oncoming drivers since the beam can function like a high quality automotive low beam. This makes it suitable for road riding, since all of the focused light is on the road rather than into the oncoming driver's eyes. Who else but Busch & Muller would think to make this extremely bright lighting technology safe for use on roads? But the beam can also become symmetrical, like an automotive high beam, providing a large beam for lighting up the woods!
Other gas discharge bicycle lights are, in my opinion, dangerous for use on the road. With these other lights, an oncoming driver sees an extremely bright light that is focused into his eyes, just as if an automobile were approaching with its high beams on. But when used on the road, the Big Bang can be set to act like an automotive low beam. And so the Big Bang will not be dangerous for road riding, since oncoming drivers will be able to see ahead just as easily as they would if an automobile were approaching with its low beams on. When you're in a car with good quality low beams, and another car approaches with its low beams on, you can see the road ahead very clearly, because light from the low beams isn't being focused into your eyes. Those low beams are still very bright, but the light is only being focused onto the road. It's the same with the Big Bang. And just as you can clearly see that a car with low beams on is approaching, an automobile driver who sees your Big Bang will know that you're approaching, just as if you were on a motorcycle (you'll have only one beam).
Separate Lithium Ion battery pack. Battery recharges in 3.5 hours. Check back for more details.
We are discontinuing the importation of the Big Bang. We have a few left in stock; refurbished units in perfect working order. $ 750.00 Price includes the battery pack and charger. The charger works with European voltages. So you will need a voltage converter for the charger.
We can still obtain brand new Big Bangs from Busch & Müller. The retail price would be $1215.00
Wall plug adapter: $ 3.00 (Use this if you already have a voltage converter and only need to convert the plug)
Voltage Converter: $ 12.00 This converter takes the German plug of the Big Bang charger, and it plugs into a standard American/Canadian wall outlet. You don't need a plug converter with this voltage converter. It's all you need to charge the Big Bang.
Replacement Battery for Big Bang, Part # B&M497AT: $ 188.00
Replacement Charger for Big Bang, Part # B&M4477: $ 65.16
Replacement Offroad Fluter for Big Bang, Part # B&M497OFF: $ 11.28
The Big Bang's battery can be charged with a hub dynamo and the E-WERK. You must have a special cable to do this. Riding during the day, you can disconnect the Big Bang's headlight from its battery, and then charge the battery. Or, you can use the Big Bang to lengthen the run time of the Big Bang's battery while using the light. We should have this special cable by the end of December, 2010.
If you have a retail bicycle shop, or are a bicycle manufacturer, you can purchase Busch & Müller products, including dynamos, headlights, taillights, battery lights and mirrors at wholesale prices for resale. Any shop in the US or Canada can purchase Busch & Müller products for sale in your store. Please call me for pricing. Peter White Cycles is an official representative for Busch & Müller in the US and Canada, and we want all bicycle shops to be able to sell these products.
See my booth at Interbike, 2006.
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This page updated: Thursday, April 4, 2013
Peter White Cycles