Wednesday, February 3

Wiggly Cat Fix

Cateye Headlights
Note the Big One's Position Relative to
Brake Handles. The Chrome is Mostly Gone on that Side
My experiences with Planet Bike fenders and tail lights may have created the impression that PB stuff is troublesome. It is, but no more than most bike stuff. Today, I talk about another supplier of bike stuff, Cateye. I have three Cateye headlights. The one on the right side of the photo, sometimes known as "the flamethrower," is a Cateye HL-EL530. It's the most powerful LED light they make that uses AA batteries, and is now just over one year old. When newly charged, it's nearly as bright as a motorcycle headlight. On the other hand, it jiggles. It jiggles in each of the three mounts  I use it in. It isn't a real serious problem, but it gets irritating to have to steady one's headlight while riding. Actually, it jiggled up until last week. It no longer jiggles, wiggles, or does any other improper behavior.

If YOU ever get a jiggly Cateye, the fix is laughably simple. For other reasons, I had to zip tie something. Inspiration hit, and I slid the leftover zip tie piece against the bottom of the light and then slid the light/tie combo on to the bracket. The little plastic shim was just perfect to make the light rock steady. If I ever lose the zip tie shim, a toothpick would make an admirable substitute.

Leftover Zip Tie Remnant
Stabilizes Wiggly Cateye HL-EL530

I do have another observation about the current crop of Cateye lights. They have chromed plastic bezels. The chrome seems to wear off even if you never touch it. It's even wearing off on my little "be seen" blinky where the chrome is UNDERNEATH the clear plastic lens. It's got to be either UV or just bike riding vibration. This wear does not appear to hurt the light function in any way, and the lights haven't shorted out from getting wet which is a real good thing. Both of these lights are about one year old. I can't say worn chrome is a big deal, but Cateye might have thought of this before I discovered it.

Chrome Gone From the Plastic on
Cateye HL-EL530

Chrome Gone Even When Protected
by Clear Plastic on Cateye HL-EL135


Rantwick said...

I'm a big supporter of jiggling in general, but lights and cameras are notable exceptions. Nice post, man.

Chandra said...

Nice fixes, Steve! I am sorry to hear your PB fenders ain't great either. I bought SKS Chromoplastic Fenders and they have worked pretty well on my Cannondale T800.

Personally, I find many things made in China are of inferior quality.

I bought a Cateye headlight first, which I subsequently returned, simply because I knew I would not be happy with the quality of workmanship.

Instead of Cateye, I purchased a Light & Motion light and other lights. Light & Motion still makes their lights in the US, although they make the batteries in China.

I still have my original Cateye LD-1000, which surprisingly, is not terribly made. I have to check where that light was made.

Don't get me wrong! I am pro open market economy. I just don't want cheaply made crap, irrespective of where it is made.

I want to be able to buy more things made in this great country.

Peace :)

Velouria said...

Ah so glad you found a solution!
I love these lights.

Steve A said...

I like the 530 headlight as well. The 520, on the other hand, I would advise all to stay away from.

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