Project Phil Part 4: Lighting B+M Lumotec Cyo Premium & Secula

Now onto the next part of the build, the lighting system.  Most people probably wouldn't bother with writing a whole post about the lighting system, although most of these people are probably using strap-on battery powered lights which aren't really part of the bike itself.  I've always been a big fan of dynamo lighting, particularly modern LED dynamo lights which I think are generally superior in a lot of situations.

I'd always wanted to have a nice LED dynamo setup on Mr Ramen as more often than not I would be cycling round in complete darkness in the countryside, particularly in the winter when the sun would be setting at about 4pm.  So it was vitally important to have something a lot brighter than the setup I had on Charles which is meant for mostly city riding.

I'd lusted after the Schmidt Edelux for a long time, however the price was quite prohibitive.  I did consider getting the newer Edelux II which had just come out, but I spotted the B+M Lumotec CYO Premium on special for only €62...  This has basically the same LED and a similar reflector for about half the price.  I have read a few reviews about this light, generally it is a higher end light which provides ample light, however it doesn't have as clean a beam as the Edelux, it suffers from hot spots and artefacts.  This was the newer premium model which has the latest generation of reflectors and LEDs, this version offers a much wider, broader beam compared to the old Lumotec CYO.  This particular version is the Licht 24 RT version, B+M tends to have a gazillion different version of the same light model.  Basically what this means is that this model is the one with daytime running lights and a reflector that is biased towards closer objects.  It also has a built in reflector which the normal one has externally.  The switch for the light is a large dial located on the back with 3 positions, Off/Senso/On similar to the B+M Lyt that I have on Charles.

The rear light is a new release from B+M, called the Secula.  It's unique in that instead of just projecting a tiny little LED light, it projects light in the shape of a ring.  Also it's available in a seatpost mount which is nice, compared to the standard mudguard/rack mount which gives me more flexibility.

It's a nice coincidence that the frame is black as it allows me to simply tape the wiring to the tubing of the frame which almost disappears completely, save for the extra little loops here and there.

Ok, so wiring was pretty straightforward and there were no problems out of the box, the Cyo is a bit different to other lights I've used in that it has daytime running lights in the form of four LED's underneath the main body.  The two outer LEDs provide the standlight and the two middle LEDs come on when riding.  It's noticeably different to the B+M Lyt in that it will flicker very brightly even at very low speeds.

 The beam itself is much much brighter, broader and far reaching than the B+M Lyt.  I've setup the beam so I can easily see from 1m to about 15-20m ahead of me which is in contrast to the Lyt which only has enough power to show a small patch about 5m ahead.  The other difference is how broad the beam is, it completely lights up the sides up to waist height.  The beam itself is a bit spotty though, there are clear artefacts in the beam and the shape of it looks like a shorter, wider trapezoid (the broad beam) overlaid on top of a longer, thinner trapezoid shaped beam.  Still at half the price of the Edelux I'm not going to complain too much.   The rear light is brilliantly bright and provides a much larger shape of light, which in theory should make it more visible than a little point source LED which seems to be the norm.   The Cyo could be better if it had more side visibility like the Lyt which as a cutout on each side of the lamp.  The Secula however has very good side visibility.

The other thing I did notice was how little drag there was in the Shimano XT DH-785l dynamo hub compared to the Sturmey Archer XL-FDD.  The drag in the Sturmey hub was about the same whether the lights were on or not, which is not particularly a good thing.  The Shimano XT hub however was a different story, with no light on the hub almost spins like a normal non-dynamo hub.  With the light on it spins and comes to a halt much more quickly.  I've filmed a video for comparison:

As you can see, with the lights turned off the hub takes a lot longer to come to a standstill, not quite as free as a normal hub, but considering it has the magnetic windings inside it's very low drag compared to other dynamo hubs.

I've now had a chance to ride this in near pitch black darkness and I can say it's a massive improvement on the dynamo setup I'm used to on Charles.  The width of the beam is quite impressive to say the least, also the forward reach of the light is fantastic, it's easy to see at least 20-30 metres ahead quite easily.  The light itself is not perfect however, as soon as you stop pedalling the main beam goes out and the little LED's on the underside stay on as the standlight.  They are barely bright enough to see road signs in the dark and are a insufficient. The B+M Lyt only has the main beam and I find it easier to see things with this light when the bike is stopped.   I was out in the country on some back lanes with no street lighting so it was difficult to see some of the signs which were placed quite high up on posts.

  However overall the B+M Cyo Premium is a huge step up from the Lyt I am used to for a bargain price.  The unit itself is very small and compact, the switch which is a large dial on the back of the light is very large and easy to use with gloves on.  The Secula rear light is a big improvement on their older lights, the large area provides a nice very easily visible lit surface which makes it easy for traffic to spot and track you.   Having now ridden Charles again, the lighting on this really pales in comparison even in city riding which only confirms my choice.

Thanks for reading.

Project Phil Part 5: Tyres continues here...


  1. all these teaser shots are killing me. Looks awesome. I don't see any fenders yet?
    **Edit, wait there appears to be a black fender in part 3?

  2. Yup read on, I've added a few more parts now :)

  3. The Cyo is a great light. I'm really impressed by it. The price is sensational too.