How To: Making a mount for a Planet Bike Superflash

This time of year, for those of us unfortunate enough to be in rainy, snowy, and cold climates (or for people who always get caught out in the dark without lights *cough*Robert*cough*), a good blinky light can be a lifesaver. Literally.

However, when it comes to mounting a light onto the Volagi Liscio, it seems to no where to put a light. After years of having my tail lights flop around while attached to flimsy saddle bag straps, or worse – come off completely only to go bouncing down the road, I prefer to have my light permanently mounted at least during the winter. Looking at the Liscio though, you begin to see the problem. The aero post won’t fit the round seatpost mounts supplied with the lights, and the seatstays are too thin to properly mount to (plus you wouldn’t want to ruin the beautiful lines of the gracefully arcing seatstays, would you?).

So what are you to do? Well, do you remember those reflector brackets that you probably tore off before you could utter CSPC as soon as you received your bike? Hopefully you didn’t throw them away, because with one of those brackets and a $4.99 rack mount from Planet bike you can fashion a stylish mount for your Superflash that is secure, stylish, and places the light in the perfect position for visibility.

Hit more, to get the details on this simple mount!

So, why the Superflash? For years when I was working at a shop, we were always entertaining sales pitches from what seemed like hundreds of different lights, but one always seemed to outshine the rest. The Superflash original with its half watt LED was so bright, that it is one of the few lights that is actually visible, even in day light. Now, add in their new Superflash Turbo with a one full watt of eye searing power, and you are sure to get noticed. The Superflash is bright, relatively cheap, and pretty durable, which is why it’s one of the only lights I use.

1. Remove reflector from the reflector bracket with either a Phillips head screwdriver.

2. Install Planet Bike rack adapter to reflector bracket. The reflector bracket just happens to have the exact same hole spacing as the rack adapter, so no modifying is necessary. Use the supplied hardware with the rack adapter, and put the bolt through from front to back. Make sure to use the supplied washers between the the bolt head and the reflector bracket as shown on the right.

At this point you may be asking, why not just use the included bracket for the Superflash and just bolt that right to the reflector stalk rather than buying the rack adapter? I thought about that, and when I tried it there were a few issues. First, the hardware used between the two set ups is different. You could get around that by drilling out the Supeflash bracket, but the two pieces still wouldn’t mesh up all that well. Secondly, and more importantly, using the stock reflector bracket with the rack adapter puts the actual light about half an inch higher, which is just high enough to clear the rear tire, especially if you are using fenders.

3. This step is totally optional, but if you never plan on using the rack adapter on an actual rack, the wings that stick out the side are pretty much useless and may rub on your legs if you have some crazy pedaling dynamics, or massive thighs. You can easily remove them with the help of a Dremel tool with a cutting wheel, or really any tool capable of cutting plastic. Go slow, and make it look good!

4. Mount the whole assembly to the brake arch (what would be the brake arch if we actually had rim brakes!), with the included bolt and brake nut. Don’t go crazy with the torque, just tighten it enough to keep it from moving. Position the bracket so that the top of the reflector bracket is at least 3-4mm away from the seat post clamp. This is more important than it sounds, and from personal experience actually demonstrates how effective the Liscio’s Long Bow Flex Stays really are. After I had mounted this set up for the first time, I kept hearing this crazy squeak on the first ride. It was only when I was seated, and was this high pitched squeak especially when riding over bumps. I had mounted the bracket about 2mm away from the seat post clamp, and I eventually realized the squeak was coming from the bracket rubbing on the clamp when the LBFS flexed. Even I was dumbfounded to see that there was that much movement, without affecting the way the bike rides. If you haven’t ridden one yet, you have to give this bike a try!

All said and done, you have a clean, integrated mount that is extremely easy to install and remove. Even better, the light is really in the optimal position for visibility. Angling it up slightly puts it right in the field of view for any motorist regardless of how far away. And while we don’t recommend it, it is still close enough that you can reach down and turn it off and on without getting off your bike.

Do you have a clever way of mounting a light to your bike? Let us know in the comments!

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One thought on “How To: Making a mount for a Planet Bike Superflash

  1. Pingback: Fender 101 « Volagi Cycles

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