The story of the restoration of a 1950s classic bicycle for a Land's End – John O'Groats charity ride in aid of Alzheimer's Society
If there’s one area of cycle development that has really transformed things, it’s lighting. LED lights and rechargeable Nickel-Cadmium or Nickel-metal Hydride batteries are so much brighter and more efficient than the old incandescent bulbs and zinc-carbon batteries that were used in cycle lamps in the 1950s. I don’t like dynamos, which are the other option.
So, what I’ve done is to find 1950s-vintage front and rear lamps and convert them to use LED bulbs and rechargeable batteries. The rear light is a lovely old battery light, which now has a rechargeable 2.4 volt NiMh toothbrush battery and a 0.5 watt LED.
The front light is a rather beautiful chrome affair that sits on an elegant alloy bracket made by the Constrictor company, with one of their characteristic snake designs.
The headlamp would originally have been powered by a dynamo. Apart from a nice but over-engineered switch, the interior is mostly empty space, with room for two 9 volt NiMh batteries, which now power a 1 watt LED. It works pretty well.