Why sell bicycle light brackets?

[Edited again to add: I now think I was wrong in what I said in this post, but it continues to be among my most-read posts. I have left it here because I don’t want to appear to be hiding the fact that I have changed my mind about this]

[Note: after a number of helpful comments (see below) I have revised my opinion about this. Please continue to use Evans Cycles as you see fit :-)] 

Consider a typical bicycle light. It’s a small battery-powered light, easily fits in a pocket and just as easily dropped or lost. It unclips easily from its mounting bracket so you can take it with you when you leave the bike.

So there are two components to your typical bicycle light: the light itself and the bracket attached to the bike. Which do you think is most likely to need replacing? The fragile light that you are constantly transferring from place to place, or the sturdy bracket that never leaves its secure attachment to the bicycle?

Don’t make the question harder than it sounds. The correct answer is the obvious one. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred you will lose or break the light before the bracket needs replacing.

Can you, therefore, go to a cycle shop and buy a replacement light for your bracket? Don’t be silly, of course you can’t. Can you, on the other hand, go to a cycle shop and buy a replacement bracket for your lamp? Why yes! How fortunate! For that one time out of a hundred when (I don’t know) a heavy piece of street furniture snaps off and smashes your bracket, yes, you can go to the cycle shop and get a new one.

That must be why the cycle shops carry so much stock of brackets. All those bits of heavy street furniture that are constantly breaking off and smashing light brackets all over the place.

Or perhaps its because the FUCKERS who STEAL lights off unattended bicycles can go in and get a cheap replacement bracket to attach the STOLEN lights to their own, probably STOLEN, bicycles.

Do not buy stuff from any bicycle shop that stocks replacement brackets. Evans Cycles, this means you for a start. Any others?


16 Responses to “Why sell bicycle light brackets?”

  1. 1 kaily November 23, 2009 at 22:31

    I had my front light bracket stolen today by some idiot… very annoying. Luckily, using a bit of elastic band trickery, I was able to cycle home safely in the dark.

    Thanks to your post, I now know where I might find a replacement bracket – thanks! Don’t fancy forking out another £25 to replace the whole shebang.

  2. 2 abellve October 6, 2009 at 16:47

    Here’s to self correcting. We all should do it, whether or not we do is another thing entirely. However, to add to the evidence mounting against your earlier assertions, I too have had recent cause to replace only the bracket. I commute and ride for fun and was riding along a well traveled road. As the amount of debris and sketchiness of the narrow shoulder of the road increased, I opted to take the sidewalk for about a block and a half. It was dark. I hit a ridiculous chasm in the uneven sidewalk and my light went tumbling down a paved incline. The bracket had snapped in half but the light was shining right back at me with some scratches on the body but no real damage. (Princeton Tec EOS Bike). Today I will be hoping to find the kind of shady thief-aiding bike shop that supplies brackets as Princeton Tec did not seem too concerned with the equipment failure. Maybe they’ll finally get back to me and I can print a retraction. Ha!

  3. 3 Valeria de Angeles January 25, 2009 at 05:00

    Free Speech is great and all, but self-censorship is a good thing more often than not… I’m glad to have seen that last post anyway because now i won’t leave my bracket on my bike

  4. 4 Dominic Sayers July 29, 2008 at 08:44

    Thanks Catherine. I’ve changed my mind about this (which is why I put the note at the top of the post). I don’t believe in censoring what I wrote do I have left the post in place but I am no longer angry about this :-)

    There are clearly a number of sound reasons why the brackets might be sold separately. I was wrong.

  5. 5 Catherine York July 28, 2008 at 21:51

    Yeah, well, I don’t often go out on my bike after dark. Tonight I needed to, so I got my cat-eye lights, put the front one into its bracket and then turned my attention to the back one. Imagine how I felt when I realised there WAS NO BRACKET THERE AAAAAAAAAARRRRRGHHHHHHHHH!! Some f*cker had only nicked the blasted bracket!!! Had to go out with front light alone. Good job I have a reflective vizzy jacket…

    So, I for one, am glad you can buy replacement brackets…wonder if I’ll be able to get one that isn’t so easy to nick? These ones don’t even require you to have a screwdriver in order to put them on – OR TAKE THEM OFF!!!

  6. 6 Martin July 8, 2008 at 09:36

    Certainly Evan’s Cycles in the City are a good bunch; when my saddle and post was nicked yesterday they gave me a spare saddle for free.

  7. 7 Dominic Sayers January 23, 2008 at 15:45

    And the final nail in the coffin of this post is that I went to Evans today to buy a new bracket for a light I had. The original bike was stolen but I still had the light.

  8. 8 Dominic Sayers October 12, 2007 at 09:55

    I think the weight of evidence is against me here. As John Maynard Keynes said, “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?”

    I’m going to add a note to the original post.

  9. 9 rich October 12, 2007 at 01:19

    Well that wasn’t well thought out, was it. Please think before making suggestions to punish those providing a useful service.

    Like others out there with a bit of experience, I
    i) just had a bike stolen with three brackets on it
    ii) had my lights safely esconced
    iii) don’t want to buy new cateye lights
    iv) before stolen had three bikes and just one set of lights, so extra brackets were already required.

  10. 10 Frogstar August 22, 2007 at 20:29

    Had my bike stolen, need cateye replacement brackets

    I will look up the evans cycles


  11. 11 nodney July 15, 2007 at 20:02

    Had my bike stole two weeks ago. I have something like £100 of lights for it. The lights were in my bag, nice and safe. The brackets were spiritied away along with the bike. Evans sells the brackets. Thank you them for saving me a heap of cash.

  12. 12 Scott in Chicago January 25, 2007 at 18:12

    Yesterday I dropped my bike while putting on my helmet. The light bracket broke but the light itself did not. Now I have a light that I can’t mount on a bike.

    Should we let a few bad eggs spoil it for the rest of us? You would have me bear the cost of a new light & bracket set-up to thwart the potential for future theft. Maybe I will resort to duct tape!

  13. 13 mike January 4, 2007 at 15:29

    Or when you leave the bracket on your bike and some comedy genius steals the bracket that you walk away from

  14. 14 Emmy December 13, 2006 at 17:28

    I recently had my bike stolen. Just the bike. With the brackets attatched. So now I have 2 lights but no brackets. Sadly evans only have cateye brackets. I have some crappy old lights made by powerbeam – probably in Korea. But i do see what you mean, the number of lights i’ve been through in a lifetime is many….

  15. 15 Eric June 17, 2006 at 06:02

    Sure wish I had a bike shop at all to go to…. come to Korea where everything in the world is made, but they don’t sell the crap here because if you are riding a bicycle you are probably delivering chickens to the market.

  16. 16 Anonymous November 20, 2005 at 14:58

    Err, Dominic I have 4 bikes that’s why they sell replacement brackets as well as for breakages.

    I also built a set of high powered lights and adapted a standard bracket for this purpose.–>

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