Bike Stuff at Aldi This Sunday 27/9/20

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
keyboardmonkey
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Joined: 1 Dec 2009, 5:05pm
Location: Yorkshire

Re: Bike Stuff at Aldi This Sunday 27/9/20

Postby keyboardmonkey » 28 Sep 2020, 10:10pm

simonhill wrote:To answer above: Went to Aldi today. Had a look at the panniers. They seem well made of a fairly coarse weave nylon/polyester/whatever. The hooks are 2 on each, just hook over, no lock, but there was a small Velcro tab for securing. The straps for the backpack can be detached at the bottom and then have to be stored in a pouch on outer top of one pannier. Not sure how good this will be in use. They are more like folder or laptop panniers, but size not specified. If you've got that sort of stuff to take to work, college, etc and then carry on back - they seem OK...


Sounds like they’re worth a punt. Thanks ever so much for checking them out.

Bmblbzzz
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Re: Bike Stuff at Aldi This Sunday 27/9/20

Postby Bmblbzzz » 29 Sep 2020, 9:10pm

simonhill wrote:errrr - you go to store and check in store.

There is a phone number, but it's the same for each store, so presumably a call site.

Yeah, that's what I figured but was kind of hoping the web site would deliver the promise it makes of "check in store". I guess their stock keeping isn't that sophisticated...

Gearoidmuar
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Location: Cork, Ireland. Corcaigh, Éire má tá Gaeilge agat.

Re: Bike Stuff at Aldi This Sunday 27/9/20

Postby Gearoidmuar » 29 Sep 2020, 9:24pm

I got the lights. Very impressive intensity. Also got a jersey and a pair of non-bib tights.

philvantwo
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Joined: 8 Dec 2012, 6:08pm

Re: Bike Stuff at Aldi This Sunday 27/9/20

Postby philvantwo » 29 Sep 2020, 9:37pm

I got some GT85, hotcross buns and a box of cornflakes!
:lol:

GranvilleThomas
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Location: Caerphilly

Re: Bike Stuff at Aldi This Sunday 27/9/20

Postby GranvilleThomas » 30 Sep 2020, 1:35pm

I purchased the Aldi light set last year and I think they are very good quality and value for money. I clipped the rear light on the back of my helmet that I only wear in the winter to compliment my seat post mounted lights and the front light was fixed to my 22.2mm handlebars.

Having used them for a period of time I feel I can relate my experiences to you.

Both front and rear lights have proved to be very water resistant, but I initially remove the rubber charge covers and spray WD40 into both lights which is probably unnecessary but is a habit of mine that I have practised for a number of years on all electrical equipment that will get exposed to the elements unless it has a decent JIS or IP rating. Charging is taken care off with my laptop if switched on or alternatively I use a spare USB phone charger.

The rear light weighs 34 grams and the front 93 grams when placed on my small digital scales. Both lights have solid rubber buttons that are quite stiff so unlikely you will accidentally switch them on when in a bag or pocket. A single press switches them on and you have to hold the button down for 2 seconds or so to switch them off. Once switched on you have to press the button twice very fast to switch between steady or flashing mode.

The rear light is very small and has has 4 steady and 4 flashing intensity settings and is a C.O.B (chip on board) type light so there is no central bright spot, just a bright 'panel' of red light which seems to be very visible but not so bright it will 'blind' following motorists when on the full setting, but could be a bit much for those behind when riding in a group. Of course you can switch it to a lower setting in those circumstances.

You can turn the rear light to be horizontal or vertical in the bracket and uses a fixed 'rubber band' and metal hook type attachment and you can also alter the angle of the light to compensate for the seat post angle if attached there. There is also some side visibility noticeable from the light because the illuminated section is raised slightly.


The front light also has 4 steady and 4 flashing intensity settings with no beam cut off, and sensibly starts on the lowest setting when switched on and also has a fixed 'rubber band' and hook fixing that has proved to be solid enough. The light can be swivelled side to side on the bracket and there are small 'windows' either side that give a small amount of side visibility.

The first 3 settings are not in the least bit dazzling to my eyes, but the highest setting looks about the same as the middle setting on my off road light which is I believe around 500 lumen, which some would say is a bit much for road use when dark, but is good for daytime use if your into that sort of thing.

I think its fine myself, after parking my bike up with it switched on one dark night and walking down the road and looking back at the full beam when crouched down so that my eyes were approximately just over a metre of the ground. We all have different sensitivity to this type of thing mind you and some will no doubt disagree with my conclusion.

There is no beam shape as such that I can see, just central 'hotspot' and a slightly dimmer circle around the periphery, so it's not perfect in that respect. Obviously you can always angle the light down when on full, to illuminate a patch just ahead of the front wheel if you wanted to, but I just don't use the front light on the highest setting at night when on the public highway anyway, mainly to maximise the battery life more than anything.


Both front and back last around 1 hr on full steady mode and 2hrs on full flashing mode, when I tested them at home. I didn't time them on the low settings but will likely last a fair bit longer.

Well worth buying in my opinion at the low asking price, even if you just keep them as a spare set - saying that mind, I now have a bag full of 'spare' lights.

My daughter will probably 'borrow' these for when she gets a bike in Bristol when she eventually goes back to University. :lol:
Last edited by GranvilleThomas on 1 Oct 2020, 6:46am, edited 1 time in total.

Jdsk
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Re: Bike Stuff at Aldi This Sunday 27/9/20

Postby Jdsk » 30 Sep 2020, 1:37pm

Great review.

Thanks

Jonathan

iandusud
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Re: Bike Stuff at Aldi This Sunday 27/9/20

Postby iandusud » 30 Sep 2020, 4:50pm

GranvilleThomas wrote:I purchased the Aldi light set last year and I think they are very good quality and value for money. . . . <snip> . .

Echos my experience however the rear ones I have which look identical to the current one can definitely pivot to adjust the angle with regard to the seat post.

keyboardmonkey
Posts: 769
Joined: 1 Dec 2009, 5:05pm
Location: Yorkshire

Re: Bike Stuff at Aldi This Sunday 27/9/20

Postby keyboardmonkey » 30 Sep 2020, 5:15pm

simonhill wrote:To answer above: Went to Aldi today. Had a look at the panniers. They seem well made of a fairly coarse weave nylon/polyester/whatever. The hooks are 2 on each, just hook over, no lock, but there was a small Velcro tab for securing. The straps for the backpack can be detached at the bottom and then have to be stored in a pouch on outer top of one pannier. Not sure how good this will be in use. They are more like folder or laptop panniers, but size not specified. If you've got that sort of stuff to take to work, college, etc and then carry on back - they seem OK. Not sure any good for touring...


Well, there’s probably room for a tent or roll mat on top of the pannier rack:

2E9D2404-4E1F-41F2-BE19-29937C36E4EB.jpeg
Rear view TOP


9940BD58-58EF-4FCB-97DD-2FC8B140C213.jpeg
TOP


Some more pics...

EB70C068-7751-4B7C-BC3F-D02DC88472CB.jpeg
Side view no cover


398B174D-85FB-451E-A498-1968B03E52D0.jpeg
Side view cover

Not sure about heel clearance. I’ve had to slide the panniers a way back on the rack to avoid my cantilever brakes.

GranvilleThomas
Posts: 120
Joined: 1 Apr 2015, 9:58am
Location: Caerphilly

Re: Bike Stuff at Aldi This Sunday 27/9/20

Postby GranvilleThomas » 1 Oct 2020, 6:52am

iandusud wrote:Echos my experience however the rear ones I have which look identical to the current one can definitely pivot to adjust the angle with regard to the seat post.


Yes you are entirely correct, I knew I would get something wrong! Thank you for pointing out my mistake, I have amended the text accordingly. :)

rjb
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Re: Bike Stuff at Aldi This Sunday 27/9/20

Postby rjb » 1 Oct 2020, 2:00pm

Query for those that bought the lights. Can you increase the run time by plugging in a power bank. Can you have the lights on whilst the power bank is plugged in?
If yes then it may be possible to use a hub dynamo with a bridge rectifier, plugged in so you are charging the internal light battery when in use.
At the last count:- Peugeot 531 pro, Dawes Discovery Tandem, Dawes Kingpin, Raleigh 20, Falcon K2 MTB dropped bar tourer, Longstaff trike conversion on a Falcon corsa. :D

GranvilleThomas
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Location: Caerphilly

Re: Bike Stuff at Aldi This Sunday 27/9/20

Postby GranvilleThomas » 3 Oct 2020, 10:05am

rjb wrote:Query for those that bought the lights. Can you increase the run time by plugging in a power bank. Can you have the lights on whilst the power bank is plugged in?
If yes then it may be possible to use a hub dynamo with a bridge rectifier, plugged in so you are charging the internal light battery when in use.


I connected up both lights this morning to an external power source and yes this does work. You can switch the lights on and off whilst connected and this significantly extended the run time. After two hours of run time on full I switched them off, the front and rear would usually run for around an hour on full steady mode.

Some things that I noticed with my individual experiment.

I could not switch the lights off when on full beam if connected to the external power supply but switch off fine if you select one of the lower settings (but switch on fine when connected and charging).

You can connect the external power supply whilst the light is switched on and it has no effect on the light other than the charge indicator lighting.

To connect the external power supply you have to remove the rubber protective covers thus leaving both lights vulnerable to water ingress.

The rear light has a 'standard' micro USB charge socket, but the front light has a USB 'plug', accesible once the cover is removed, (see photo below).

Aldi_front.JPG


Both lights got very hot when run past the usual 1hr that they would normally last for on full beam.

This 1hr maximum run time with the internal batteries on high setting may not be a coincidence, as these high power type 'LED's' run very hot and the size of the heat sink used to dissipate the heat, may only be adequate for an hour run time before there is a possibility of the 'LED's' being damaged.

Obviously my assumption may be incorrect and anyway when moving along when attached to the bike there would most likely be enough airflow to keep things cool and of course you don't have to use them on full setting constantly.

So yes it may be possible to use a hub dynamo with a bridge rectifier, plugged in so you are charging the internal light battery when in use.

It would be interesting to see it attempted actually :)

rjb
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Location: Somerset (originally 60/70's Plymouth)

Re: Bike Stuff at Aldi This Sunday 27/9/20

Postby rjb » 3 Oct 2020, 2:08pm

Excellent review there. Lots of info to digest. It looks a distinct possibility.
At the last count:- Peugeot 531 pro, Dawes Discovery Tandem, Dawes Kingpin, Raleigh 20, Falcon K2 MTB dropped bar tourer, Longstaff trike conversion on a Falcon corsa. :D

jimlews
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Re: Bike Stuff at Aldi This Sunday 27/9/20

Postby jimlews » 3 Oct 2020, 4:20pm

Re: the bike lights.

The front light.

The lateral (left/right) adjustment is effected with the screw thread that holds the light onto it's rubber band. Repeated adjustment can loosen this set screw, whereupon the light tends to swivel around and face back towards the rider!

It is quite difficult to get sufficient tension on the rubber band to stop the whole thing sliding forward around the bars to face backwards, but upside down this time. Changing from the second tension-adjustment slot to the third causes the band to snap. The only answer is to wrap the bar with something like the old cotton bar tape to provide some frictional resistance.

The beam pattern (as mentioned by others) is not the greatest. A wash of light rather than a pencil beam (preferred by me).

IMHO the rear light is far superior to the front.

GranvilleThomas
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Location: Caerphilly

Re: Bike Stuff at Aldi This Sunday 27/9/20

Postby GranvilleThomas » 4 Oct 2020, 11:09am

Yes this increasingly common method of light fixing is not great and I did toy with the idea of taking a a more secure bracket off another light and swapping them over, but after wrapping some old inner tube around the bars before fitting, this seems to be holding the light exactly where I want it to be.

But if I was still commuting regularly in the dark then my opinion may be different. :)


I don't mind the beam pattern tbh and the light does go all over the place, but with this type of medium power light this is best for being visible in traffic I think.

I know many people will only consider lights with a beam cutoff but it borders on being obsessive with some.

I understand that many people will not agree with me (quite normal, ask my partner!) and unfortunately in my humble opinion, the ‘collective dynamics of opinion’ that the internet encourages is one of it’s many downfalls!

But If we are talking about low to medium power cycle lights, then the last thing that I would deem as being desirable is that the beam is cut off so that all the light is directed at the road.

OK I get it if we are talking about cycling down an unlit country lane or track but when cycling in an urban environment surrounded by light from shop windows, other vehicles and street lights etc when the ambient light level is high, then in the battle to be seen, I want all my available light to be heading for all other people in the vicinity’s retinas and that includes people driving vehicles as well as pedestrians on the pavement or crossing the road.

By directing all your available light at the ground in those circumstances is surely just asking for a SMIDSY event to take place?

Just to reiterate I am talking about low to medium power lights here, the power of which is open for debate obviously but just lets say for the sake of argument all lights below 500 lumen are classed as low to medium power.

So all lights above 500 lumen get the top of the beam cut off, and most light is directed at the road from that light, then in those circumstances there is maybe enough stray light to make you visible. to the hypothetical very tired guy driving the tipper truck who is just about to pull out in front of you.

Now of course if the light on your bike (or helmet) is of comparative power to the motorised vehicles around you and lets say for arguments sake a single car or motorcycle low-beam headlight is about 600 lumen and typical high-beam headlight is 1200 lumen, and these type of power cycle lights are quite common as I’m sure you will agree, then as responsible road users we have a duty not to point this sort of light into the eyes of people in charge of potentially dangerous machinery, ie people driving cars and lorry’s etc on the road.

So I would wholeheartedly agree that the 600 or so to 1200 plus lumen lights on bikes require reflectors, that form the light into a road user friendly shape and a beam pattern, that has a horizontal cutoff, to prevent dazzling oncoming traffic in a way that the German StVZO standard dictates.

Surely though for low power lights this is counter productive and down right dangerous?

My experience of cycling at night in recent years is that many modern car lights are far too bright and dazzling and i’m sure they can’t all be out of alignment or have illegal light unit upgrades installed?

How on earth do you have any hope of being seen when out on the road if all of your low to medium level of light output is directed at the road and not where other people can see it?

Most lights can be run at a lower setting if required or with a little experiment pointed at the road so as not to cause any problems, and still have enough light 'spillage' for other road users to see you, but to insist on only using cycle lights regardless of light output have a beam cut off is madness and not a philosophy I intend to be endorsing any time soon.

Sorry I value my life too much!

Marcus Aurelius
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Re: Bike Stuff at Aldi This Sunday 27/9/20

Postby Marcus Aurelius » 4 Oct 2020, 11:40am

I always buy the light sets whenever they are on offer. They are pretty superb for the money. If you put a bit of sealant on the nut that holds the light to the band, it will hold position indefinitely. The bands can snap, but only if you’re daft enough to try and pull them too tight. If the hole before ‘too tight’ is too loose ( I’ve yet to have this problem in all the years I’ve used them, on any of my bikes ) put a strip of electrical / gaffer tape on the bars, or a piece of bar tape. I’ve used these lights, on full whack, on unlit forest heath roads, at night, and never had any argument with the strength or pattern of the beam. I do however, have one light on each side of the bars. The pattern is ‘road’ rather than ‘trail’ so it has filters / lenses that concentrate the beam, in order to make them acceptable ( legal in some territories ) for road riding use. The rear lights are absolutely superb, very bright, with a few ‘modes’ and the charge lasts for ages.