My wife and I have been living car free in Chiang Mai since 2008. We have two sons who are almost 3 and almost 5 years old. We have been shuttling the boys to and from daycare and kindergarten on a Rivendell Betty Foy and Sam Hillborne (both fantastic bikes) outfitted with front and rear child seats, as well as a motor scooter outfitted with a child seat (very common in Thailand). As the little one was soon going to be too big for the stem-mounted child seat, we settled on a Bike Friday Haul-a-Day as my wife's commuting and child shuttling solution.
We recently purchased a HaulaDay (HaD) after emailing back and forth with Elle, who was able to address some of my reservations. In a separate guest post I’ll go over the equipment choices we made, and how we feel about them. On the whole, it’s a fantastic bike!
Having grown up in Germany, I firmly believe that a city bike should have a kickstand, fenders, chain guard, and generator lights, so I ordered the HaD with the generator hub, even though Robert from Bike Friday was unable to give me good answers as to where to place the headlight. In general though, Robert was extremely helpful and responsive in the ordering process.
The logical place for a headlight on a bike with 20” tires is the fork crown. It’s about the perfect height for the best road illumination, it’s relatively close to the hub for easy cable routing, and it’s out of the way and protected from bike racks and such. Unfortunately the superb front rack and basket of the HaD seemed to sit too low over the front tire to allow for a fork-crown-mounted headlight. I ordered a B&M Eyc T Senso Plus headlight due to its reasonable price and stellar performance, not thinking much about its diminutive size. See the first light on this page for a detailed description: http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/b&m-hl.asp.
Once I put the bike together, I got out the headlight and hoping against hope, tried to fit it under the front rack: no dice, the light wouldn’t fit. However, looking at the fork crown mount, I realized that I could bend it down without having the tire get in the way of the light beam. These fork crown light mounts are tall enough to accommodate 700C tires whose apex sits quite a bit higher than the fork crown, but with a 20” tire I thought I could bend the arms of the mount down to clear the front rack above, without having the tire block the light beam. A bigger light than the Eyc probably wouldn’t fit even with a modified mount, so I was very glad to have ordered this tiny light.
I clamped the fork crown side of the light mount into my vise, and used an old seatpost to gain leverage on the forward extension of the mount:
Cut the cables to the proper length. If they end up too short, you can always unwrap the cable from the fork one turn. I don’t have proper wire strippers, and instead of stripping the insulation from the second wire, I cut through the wire making it too short, so I had to resort to unwrapping the cable from the fork one turn. Make sure the cable with the white stripe on the insulation goes to the ground terminal, marked on the hub connector with a pitchfork.