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Arizona Whip Lighted Flagpole

I have been looking for a way to light up the flagpole on my recumbent trike, and found a product that looked like it would work, the Arizona Whip.  Jerry at was very nice to work with, and I got it hooked up this past weekend. The whip is 5 ” tall, and is of clear lexan. Inside the clear tube are 24 LED lights, 12 facing forward and 12 facing backward. Each side has a red group, and a yellow group, and on one side the red and yellow groups of LEDs flash on alternately. Jerry has other color configurations, including a red, white and blue one. The whip screws into a clamp that grips the 1.25 inch tube of the rear wheel fork. The clamp is for 1.5 in. tubes, but with some rubber and duct tape shimming, it grips the 1.25 inch tubing nicely with one Allen bolt for tightening. It extends up through the frame and clears the panniers, rack, seat, and headrest nicely.

These pictures show the whip in daylight, and the clamp attached to the frame.

LED whip 002

LED whip 003


I ran a switch forward to the left hand grip, so I can turn it on
and off from the seat. It runs off a 9 v battery. I have not ridden it to work yet, so I don’t know how long the 9 v battery will last.


LED whip 004


The picture below is how it looks at night, from the rear. The bike is facing not quite straight, and the bag on the rack is blocking one of the LED lights. The headlight is shining across the street at an angle, and provides lots of illumination.


LED whip 015


This sucker is not cheap at $150, but if I can get noticed by a car either ahead of or behind me, it will be worth it.

Super Bright Flashlight for Bike Light

I've been experimenting with a lighting setup that is as bright as a Dinotte, but way cheaper. It is based on a replacement LED bulb that an inventor I work with has just come out with. With this insert, a 60 lumen Surefire flashlight becomes a 240 lumen monster. The batteries also last longer, due to a heat sink that improves efficiency.

This light is brighter than a car light’s headlights, because I've driven at night in a car, shined the flashlight ahead onto the road, and you can see the spot in the pavement illuminated by the car headlights. It is unbelievably bright. I was camping next to a huge rock outcropping and I lit up the whole rock with this little tiny flashlight. When I drive down the street on my bike in the morning, all the reflective signs bounce light back at me from at least one block away. I took it into an REI store and compared it side by side to a Dinotte, and they were about equal.

Here is the setup on my bike, the Catrike recumbent shown in posts below:


The parts are shown in the picture below, with where to get them listed below the picture. The picture below shows two Surefire flashlight setups. One has a converter, available on ebay for about $8, which allows it to take the longer 17500 batteries, which last longer. The shorter 17670 regular batteries last about 1.5 hours, the larger 17500 ones about 2-2.5 hours.



Flashlight Setup 1: Surefire 6P flashlight (about $60) (or SureFire 6Z, C2, M2 and G2 or Cabela's 6 v flashlight ($32); from Surefire, Amazon, ebay or Cabela's.

Malkoff M60 insert: about $50: (replaces the fragile bulb that comes with the flashlight), from Tactical Design Labs ( if link doesn't work, under the "New" menu tab.) They are selling the Malkoff device as an upgrade for police, who use Surefire flashlights extensively. They say "It will easily illuminate objects at 350+ feet and will blind opponents within a 100 foot radius." I believe a Malkoff equipped flashlight will easily to that.

Surefire converter (extension tube), ebay for $8, allows use of the longer 17500 batteries.

2 Batteries, AW Brand-17500-Protected-Rechargeable-Lithium-Battery from, $11 each.

Flashlight Setup 2:

Same flashlight body, and Malkoff insert (LED setup)

1 17670 AW Protected Battery,which is available from Lighthound for $11.

Fenix 360 Bike Mount,
light holder, $15, this is high quality in fit and finish, but rattles. A small rubber band between the top half and bottom half stops the rattle. A no-name brand is also pretty decent, on ebay for $4 shipping, titled:
New Bike/Bicycle LED Flash Light Mount Clamp Holder. These are a little loose on the Surefire, so I put a section of inner tube around the flashlight body, for a tighter fit.

Charger: Ultrafire WF-139 Charger for 3.7 volt Lithium Battery Charger, from, $18.00 (charges several sizes of batteries)

I hope someone tries this setup and tells me how it works for you.

SlowWheel Cycling innovation

Nathan Womack is a serious bike rider, serious enough that he wanted to ride at a training pace on rides with his girlfriend.  The trouble was that his preferred pace for training for triathalons was about 20 mph, and his
girlfriend’s pace is more like 15 mph.  He had the bright idea of making a wheel that would give him some resistance in his rides, so that his speed would equal his girlfriends speed, yet give him the training he wanted.

His solution developed into a bike product called the SlowWheel. The SlowWheel is a replacement rear wheel for a bicycle that allows the rider to increase the resistance of the wheel (in order to slow the rider down). Using the SlowWheel, Nathan and his girlfriend are able to ride together, and both get a workout!  The wheel can also be set to no resistance at all, for maximum speed.

Additionally, Nathan looks to have a children’s model out (for children under 5) that will go on a small bike with training wheels to help "slow" the child down as they learn to ride a bike. This will help in coordination as well as be an incredible safety device (as the children will not be able to get going so fast they get out of control).



Restored Motobecane Grand Record

My fun project of late has been restoring my old bike to its former glory.  In 1973 I bought my first real road bike, a Motobecane Grand Record.  I rode it everywhere, including to work, which was 17 miles one way.  As I had kids, this became the kid hauler, the trailer hauler, the bike for family rides through the orchard country of Wenatchee and Yakima.  When I went to law school in Moscow, a town full of gravel roads, the Motobecane hauled me to classes. After hanging in the garage for 12 years in Boise, down it came for a rebirth. 

The Grand Record has some good features and was toward the top of the line of the Motobecane brand.  I have since learned that many people think that  French road bikes of that period were the pinnacle of road bike design,  and have a different and desireable feel compared to more contemporary road bikes.  The Grand Record has tubes made of Reynolds 531 double butted tubes, and fancy Nervex lugs holding the tubes together.  It has some components made by Campagnolo, the premier bike components manufacturer.  Other componenets are so-so, but thanks to ebay I can upgrade them as part of the overhaul. 

This is the way the frame looked "before". 


These are the "after" shots, although it will look better after some ebay purchased parts get installed.




A host of bicycle patents and technology are in the bicycle technology category.