Schmidt System Ordering
How to Order
You'll need to decide whether you're getting a built wheel by me or just the hub. Then you'll need to decide what headlight you'll be using and whether or not you'll be using a taillight in the system.
Most headlights can be used with or without a taillight. Some older models work best with a taillight. All of the latest headlight designs use an LED as the light source. And LED headlights from Schmidt, Supernova, and the latest from Busch & Müller (Anything with IQ or LYT in the name.) work just as well with or without a taillight. All of the older headlights that use a halogen bulb require that you use one type of bulb if a taillight is connected, and another type if no taillight is connected. I sell dynamo powered taillights from Busch & Müller, Supernova and Spanninga. The headlight descriptions include how they interact with a taillight.
Most of the new LED headlights can work with a second LED headlight, but these new lights have such large focused beams that it seems a bit silly to use two. I don't recommend dual headlights if you're using any headlight from Busch & Müller with "IQ" in the name, or the Schmidt Edelux. One is plenty. But, if you want, you can use two. Just wire them in parallel to the hub.
All headlights have circuitry to protect the bulb or LED from blowing out when the hub is spinning fast on a downhill. The circuitry assumes you have either a 3 watt bulb in the halogen headlight, or a 2.4 watt bulb in the halogen headlight and a .6 watt taillight, totaling 3 watts. If you use a 2.4 watt bulb in the primary headlight without a taillight attached, the bulb will not last very long. This is also an issue with certain older LED headlights, but not the newer models.
Choosing between halogen bulb headlights and LED headlights can seem confusing, and I suppose it's getting rather complicated, what with the new headlights that are now available. Our brightest headlights are now certain LED models from Schmidt, Supernova, Busch & Müller and Inoled. These new lights not only have high total light output, they also spread the light over a large area on the road ahead. See the images on this page for beam comparisons.
My favorite headlight is still the older Schmidt E6 halogen model. The halogen bulb has a tiny filament that glows extremely bright. That tiny bright spot can be focused so as to concentrate the light very tightly. In particular, the Schmidt E6 has an extremely bright top edge to its beam. When that edge is aimed about 100 feet down the road, you can clearly see everything in your path up to 100 feet. That makes it relatively safe to ride fast at night on very dark roads since you have plenty of time to react to something on the road surface.
But the beam from the E6 is narrow. The light is concentrated to make it bright at a distance. So some people find that they want a wider beam. There are several ways to do this. You can get a Secondary E6 and aim it beside the Primary. But the two headlights won't get to full brightness until you're at 11mph or so. At low speeds you would switch the Secondary off.
The newer LED headlights from Busch & Müller, the Lumotec IQ CYO and Fly series, Lumotec Lyt, and the recent Schmidt Edelux and Supernova headlights all have wider and brighter beams than the older halogen headlights. They are much like the Schmidt E6 halogen headlight, but wider and brighter. These were introduced in the fall of 2008. So we finally have LED headlights that are suitable for fast descending.
If your bike can readily take either a fender mount or rear rack mount taillight, your best option is to use a taillight wired to the hub via the headlight, and perhaps a battery powered taillight as a backup. If you're using a racing style bike without a rear rack or fenders, you should forget about a wired taillight and stick with battery taillights that can mount to the seat stays, such as the Busch&Müller Relite D. And, whenever possible, use rechargeable batteries. They don't fill up the landfill nearly as fast.
Next, you need to decide where to mount the headlight. The ideal mounting location for a headlight is directly over the front wheel at the fork crown. For each headlight, there is a bracket for mounting on forks with caliper or sidepull brakes, and a different bracket for mounting on forks with cantilever or "V" brakes. Any fork crown mount is fine with disc brakes. It's important to use a mount that's designed for a particular headlight. Some headlights are physically taller than others, and so their mount can be short and still have the beam high enough to not be blocked by the tire or fender. But if you combine a short headlight with a short mount, part of your beam can be blocked.
Most lights can also be mounted on your handlebar with the R&M handlebar mount or the Schmidt handlebar mount which also fits oversized bars. Using a handlebar mount, the light can also be mounted on the side of the fork by using a Cronometro Nob. The Nob is intended for mounting computers on aero bars so that the computer is aligned correctly, rather than turned 90 degrees to the side. But the Nob can be mounted to your fork blade, and then a handlebar mount can be mounted on the Nob.
Make sure you tell us where you plan to mount the headlight. That way we can be sure to give you a long enough wire to the dynamo.
Headlights for use with hub dynamos all come with a wire to the dynamo, and a built-in switch. The switch controls power to the taillight also. Busch & Müller headlight all come with a 70cm long wire attached to the light, plastic slider switches, and bare ends to the wire. If you will be using these headlights with a SON dynohub, you will need the 4.8mm female connectors attached to the wire. You can attach the connectors yourself, after cutting the wire to exactly the length you need. For handlebar mounting you'll need to splice in extra wire. But I have a special crimping tool that makes a more secure connection than you can make at home unless you solder the connection. For that reason, if we know that you'll be using a B&M headlight you're buying with a SON hub, we will connect the 4.8mm connectors to the wire for you. The wire will be longer than you need for mounting at the fork crown, but you can loop up the extra, and you'll have a very secure connection. We don't charge for this.
And if you will be using these lights with a different hub such as one of the Shimano or Sanyo dynohubs, you'll use the grey and black two part plastic connector that comes with the Shimano hub. If you've lost it we sell replacements for both types.
Spare bulbs for the halogen headlights are not readily available at electronic supply shops. As far as I can tell, there is no other use here in the USA for the type of bulb used in the Lumotecs or Schmidt E6. So, while they are quite common in Europe, they are still only available in those bike shops that carry these lights. So order a few spares when you order your headlight.
The Schmidt E6 and all of the B&M halogen headlights use the exact same bulbs. If you have a Lumotec, and put an E6 on another bike, you use the same bulbs for each. There are only two types of bulbs, 2.4 watt for use when using a wired taillight, and 3 watt when not using a wired taillight.
The halogen bulbs used tend to get dim before they finally blow out. This is due to microscopic bits of the filament burning off and coating the inside surface of the bulb. So if you find your system isn't as bright as when it was new, just put in a new bulb. You should be pleasantly surprised at the difference. This doesn't happen with the LED headlights.
I have a huge assortment of rims in stock. Rim prices range from $30 to over $100. The labor charge for building a 32 or 36 spoke wheel is $ 40.00 . Regular Wheelsmith DB-14 stainless spokes cost $ 1.14 each, including nickel plated brass nipples.In Black, they cost $1.60 each. - That's the black plated stainless steel spoke with a black plated brass nipple.
I build matching rear wheels with Shimano, Campagnolo, White Industries, Velocity, Chris King, Phil Wood and Rohloff hubs.
See my Velocity rim page for many rim details. A Mavic rim page is in the works. Rest assured I stock most Mavic rims.
I stock a huge range of rims in various diameters. From large to small I have 27", 700c, 650b, 650c, Raleigh 3 speed 26", 559/26", 451/20", 406/20", 349/16", 305/16". Other sizes of rims are available from Velocity, such as 24", I just don't keep them in stock. So no matter what size wheel you need, I can build you a wheel with a SON hub, and a rear wheel to go with it if needed.
Please call for wheel pricing: 603 478 0900
The SON28 and SON28S hubs are being replaced by a new lighter, lower drag and slightly more expensive model. The current version will get a name change to SON28 Classic and the new hub will be called the SON28. The new version will be made in 32 and 36 hole only, either polished or black anodized. So the 40 and 48 hole hubs will continue to be available but in the SON28 Classic style. I still have some 32 and 36 hole SON28S hubs available, and I've lowered the prices to move them out. 36 hole polished without disc are now sold out.
Check out the great variety of Busch & Müller headlights for use with the SON.
See here for Wilfried Schmidt's headlights.
Click here for Supernova headlights.
And here for Inoled headlights
And here for Spanninga headlights.
For a detailed description of compatible taillights, see my page on taillights.
Some folks choose to make their own brackets for mounting the headlight. I have many different brackets available for either fork crown mounting, or handlebar mounting. Some headlight housings are taller than others. So the taller headlights use shorter mounts. The lens must be high enough above the front tire and fender so that the beam isn't blocked.
Click here for my page on "Mounting Lights".
Connecting Dynamo Lights
Most headlights and taillights use similar connectors. The exceptions are the Supernova headlights and taillights, and the Inoled headlights. The Busch & Müller taillights and headlights use metric spade connectors, male at the light, and female for the wire. The connectors at the lights are the 3mm size, not at all common here in the USA, but I stock them by the thousand, and it's very rare that we run out. The connector at the Schmidt SON hub is a male 4.8mm metric spade connector, and all of our headlights can be ordered with the correct female 4.8mm connector already attached.
Shimano and Sanyo dynamo hubs use their own proprietary plastic onnectors. We sell spares of these as well.
We have a variety of taillights wires already made with various connectors attached, and we can make any length you want with our heavy duty CoAxial wire, with the appropriate connectors attached and shrink tubing protected.
Be aware that the housings for all of the Busch & Müller headlights are made for both sidewall dynamos and hub dynamos. A sidewall dynamo acts as its own on/off switch, so the headlight doesn't need a switch. The housing will have two pairs of connectors, one pair to connect to the sidewall dynamo, and the other pair to connect to a taillight. When they build the headlight for use with a hub dynamo, they add a switch plus a doal strand wire to the hub, and leave all of those external connectors intact. You will use one pair of connectors to run wire to the taillight, but the remaining pair of connectors won't be used, as they also add hard wiring for the hub connection, which is internally routed to the external on/off switch. So when you use a B&M headlight with a hub dynamo, you'll be left with an extra set of connectors. Just remember that this is normal, it's by design, and nothing to worry about. And there's no need to cover up those connectors. Just ignore them. Lastly, it makes no difference which pair of connectors you use for the taillight, provided you use one power and one ground, not two power or two ground, obviously. Check for the markings in relief on the headlight housing. The lightning bolt indicates "power."
Click here for my "Wiring Instructions" page.
Where Can I Buy One?
You can buy one from us. But wouldn't you rather have your local bicycle shop selling these to all of your friends, family members, neighbors, bridge club members and secret admirers? I know I would!
So, read the info on this site, call me if there's anything you need further clarification on, and hurry on down to your local shop and ask them to set up an account with us to get you a system. If that's not viable, skip the local shop part and just call us to order.
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Under no circumstances should you place an order without first reading this.
This page updated: Monday, July 16, 2012
Peter White Cycles