Quick release for cheap headlights

Last spring my family was caught out after dark on our bikes, and we were short by one working headlight. I ducked into a Walgreens and bought a small, inexpensive flashlight with 12 reasonably bright LEDs for something like $5. My daughter sacrificed one of her elastic hair ties to secure the flashlight on my son’s handlebars for a decent “be seen” light.

Thin rubber bands work okay, but I find I’m continually adjusting the flashlight’s aim as it jiggles around. Jym Dyer recently showed me another cool trick — using a segment of old inner tube as a quick release for handlebar flashlights. Cut about a six inch strip of inner tube and cut flashlight sized holes at either end of the strip.

Mounting the $5 flashlight

Slide one end of the flashlight through one hole, wrap the rubber strip over the top of the handlebar while positioning the flashlight underneath, then secure by sliding the other end of the flashlight through the second hole for a very quick and easy mount for your flashlight.

Mounting the $5 flashlight

Mounting the $5 flashlight

It doesn’t take too much imagination to figure you can do similar mountings around other bike parts if you want, and cheaper than Knog Frogs by far.

14 Comments

  • mildstallion
    September 16, 2009 - 4:49 pm | Permalink

    McGuyver would be proud

  • mildstallion
    September 16, 2009 - 9:49 am | Permalink

    McGuyver would be proud

  • bikesgonewild
    September 16, 2009 - 5:11 pm | Permalink

    …that's a decent, intelligent solution, especially for the front end of the bike……& the refractive technology of mini-lights has increased exponentially in recent years……hard to beat a little flashing red knog frog for rear safety, though…tiny, cheap considering what it offers…fits in a jersey pocket or a bag if you don't think it's "cool" to have it on yer bike during the daylight hours……that being said, there are a lotta clowns that ride for several of the 'known' sf teams (& i won't mention what teams) that ride out of the city & into marin at the end of the day……i guess they're "too cool" to carry a couple a' tiny knog frogs for their own safety if they're caught out after dark……i see it as nothing short of inconsideration & stupidity 'cuz it's not an occasional mistake as i see the same riders doing it regularly…we all get caught short on occasion but to do it constantly is foolish……from one cyclist to another, don't be so selfish as to make others complicit in endangering yer life, especially when there is such a cheap & easy solution…

  • bikesgonewild
    September 16, 2009 - 10:11 am | Permalink

    …that's a decent, intelligent solution, especially for the front end of the bike…
    …& the refractive technology of mini-lights has increased exponentially in recent years…

    …hard to beat a little flashing red knog frog for rear safety, though…tiny, cheap considering what it offers…fits in a jersey pocket or a bag if you don't think it's "cool" to have it on yer bike during the daylight hours…

    …that being said, there are a lotta clowns that ride for several of the 'known' sf teams (& i won't mention what teams) that ride out of the city & into marin at the end of the day…
    …i guess they're "too cool" to carry a couple a' tiny knog frogs for their own safety if they're caught out after dark…

    …i see it as nothing short of inconsideration & stupidity 'cuz it's not an occasional mistake as i see the same riders doing it regularly…we all get caught short on occasion but to do it constantly is foolish…

    …from one cyclist to another, don't be so selfish as to make others complicit in endangering yer life, especially when there is such a cheap & easy solution…

  • Yokota Fritz
    September 16, 2009 - 5:23 pm | Permalink

    @Stallion: McGyver would've thought of it himself. I'm more like MacGruber.@BGW: I'm with you on this. I'm not generally much of a safety ninny but I'm a big believer in lights.

  • Yokota Fritz
    September 16, 2009 - 10:23 am | Permalink

    @Stallion: McGyver would've thought of it himself. I'm more like MacGruber.

    @BGW: I'm with you on this. I'm not generally much of a safety ninny but I'm a big believer in lights.

  • Bazza
    September 16, 2009 - 6:16 pm | Permalink

    Nice road-side fix/repair.With regard to cheap LED torches/mounts and Knogs, I've since found that dealextreme.com are hard to touch (everything is free/inclusive P&P):http://dealextreme.com/products.dx/category.823http://www.dealextreme.com/products.dx/category.905They even have some Knog Frog look-a-likes:http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.19033Which is both red+white for $4.73Now, I don't know how much these cost outside of the UK. But, we pay about £7 ($11.54) for *one*!NB: I don't work for them!!

  • Bazza
    September 16, 2009 - 11:16 am | Permalink

    Nice road-side fix/repair.

    With regard to cheap LED torches/mounts and Knogs, I've since found that dealextreme.com are hard to touch (everything is free/inclusive P&P):
    http://dealextreme.com/products.dx/category.823
    http://www.dealextreme.com/products.dx/category.905

    They even have some Knog Frog look-a-likes:
    http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.19033
    Which is both red+white for $4.73
    Now, I don't know how much these cost outside of the UK. But, we pay about £7 ($11.54) for *one*!

    NB: I don't work for them!!

  • Reesie
    September 16, 2009 - 7:15 pm | Permalink

    Yay, I do love using an ultra-bright light like that instead of a regular old mounted bike light. The mini-flashlights are just so damned bright and can be much brighter than a conventional cheap bike light.And yes, of course I love the under-handlebar mount. That's exactly how I mount my ultra-bright flashlight to my handlebars, but I use piece of clothing elastic that I sewed into a loop.

  • Reesie
    September 16, 2009 - 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Yay, I do love using an ultra-bright light like that instead of a regular old mounted bike light. The mini-flashlights are just so damned bright and can be much brighter than a conventional cheap bike light.

    And yes, of course I love the under-handlebar mount. That's exactly how I mount my ultra-bright flashlight to my handlebars, but I use piece of clothing elastic that I sewed into a loop.

  • SiouxGeonz
    September 16, 2009 - 7:21 pm | Permalink

    Yea, the bike light dudes are lagging behind LED technology — or charging through the hind parts.

  • SiouxGeonz
    September 16, 2009 - 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Yea, the bike light dudes are lagging behind LED technology — or charging through the hind parts.

  • GeekGuyAndy
    September 16, 2009 - 8:37 pm | Permalink

    I bought a $20 light from ebay listed as 250 lumens. Who know if it is, but it's brighter than my cygolite 10W halogen I bought for $80. Runs on one or two AAs (has an extender tube if you run on 2). I attach it to my helmet with a cut tube, although I didn't slice it open like this picture, and I cut the holes as ovals so that they stretch to make a circle. Works wonderfully!

  • GeekGuyAndy
    September 16, 2009 - 1:37 pm | Permalink

    I bought a $20 light from ebay listed as 250 lumens. Who know if it is, but it's brighter than my cygolite 10W halogen I bought for $80. Runs on one or two AAs (has an extender tube if you run on 2). I attach it to my helmet with a cut tube, although I didn't slice it open like this picture, and I cut the holes as ovals so that they stretch to make a circle. Works wonderfully!

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