Dynamo lighting is king – even rechargable lighting is costing the earth

At Practical Cycles we have long been champions of dynamo lighting for bicycles. Dynamo lighting does not require any batteries or any recharging. By way of a small dynamo in the front hub or an external dynamo that is activated by the tyre sidewall, your bicycle can generate power as long as it is moving.


This means that banana you had for breakfast can not only fire the mitochondria in your cells to turn your pedals but it can also , indirectly, power the lights that pierce the morning gloom of an October morning (and beyond!). we think that is just about the most efficient way of lighting your route to work or wherever.

Anything but dynamo lights require some kind of internal battery that you either recharge or throw away. The chemicals involved in producing this and that are discarded when it is used up are being used unnecessarily. rechargeable and battery-powered lights are simply inefficient in the way they are produced, used and discarded. They are also time hungry too. Having to change batteries, and plug-in lights is just one other thing to do on winter evenings after you return home from work. Heck, if your commute is long enough you may need to do the same when you arrive at work! And remembering is also a pain. The evening you forget to charge or change batteries means the morning after is going to be a dark one.


Converting from battery/rechargeable lights to dynamo lights can be daunting in terms of what to get, how it works and the cost. But none of these things need be a barrier to converting. A decent lighting system can be had using just a bottle dynamo, a couple of wires a front and a rear light. You can do this for under £100.00 and it can be fitted in less than half an hour with n need to ever remove it. This system will be more than adequate for the cyclist who rides on lit roads but for those who ride fast and on unlit roads, a hub dynamo is best as more powerful dynamo light s can be used with a hub dynamo as it produces more power (and more efficiently). Modern hub dynamos are smooth, light and offer very little resistance at the hub.

Having a hub dynamo means a rebuild of your wheel. this can be done for as little as £100.00 if you keep the same rim. You then need to factor in the cost of front and rear lights )both of which are powered by the dynamo. For less than £200 you can have high-powered lights for dark and fast riding that you will never need to charge or replace.


You can even power other things from a hub dynamo – such as mobile phones, satellite navigations devices and even your tablet – yet more power and money-saving.

Theres a huge range of dynamo lights out there and we have a great range of lights, hub dynamos, bottle dynamos and all the fittings needed. We can even build your hub dynamo wheel for you. Lights from Busch and Muller, Supernova, Reelight and Union cover a wide-ranging price point from the basic to the super high-powered types.

Categories: Uncategorized

The Xtracycle Edgerunners Have Landed!

The schoolrun has begun again and more families are taking to two (and three) wheels for the new school year. You too can leave the car behind and avoid the stress and hassle of the schoolrun – we have the bikes to help you do this!

One such bike that has just arrived in stock is the Xtracycle Edgerunner. We also have good stock of the Xtraycycle Freeradical and all associated accessories. It’s time be more bike, Cargo Bike!


The Xtracycle Edgerunner is the result of several years development. Xtracycle have built upon the success of the Freeradical (a kit that adapts your bike to carry 2 children and more) and designed the Edgerunner; a smart, modular, safe and stable way of carrying your two children plus the shopping.

Stock is limited but starting at £1379.99 and in two sizes and levels of spec,  it offers a healthy, safe and fun way of getting around your local community without clogging the streets with fumes or traffic.

We have an Edgerunner available for test rides right now – what are you waiting for?!

Maderna Truck

The Maderna is a serious cargo carrying bike. We’ve had lots of interest from established and start-up businesses since we received our first Maderna just a month or so ago.

The Maderna Truck comes in two sizes – XL and XXL. It is the perfect Cargo Bike for those wanting to haul heavy and/or bulky loads. It will accept Pallets and Euro crates and is perfect for commercial and local authority use.

Plus, there’s also the bonus of rear suspension which makes for a comfortable ride for the one pedalling but also a safe, secure and rattle-free ride for the cargo.

We have the XXL verision available for demo in our showroom – book your test ride today!

Categories: Uncategorized

Bakfiets and Nihola Trikes go head to head!

December 5, 2011 Leave a comment

Our Nihola and Bakfiets.NL Trikes are reviewed ‘head-to-head’ in the latest edition of the excellent Velo Vision Magazine.

You can read the review by clicking here (it’s a large document – give it a few seconds to open)

Photo courtesy of Peter Eland, Velo Vsion Magazine.

Book Fiets or Bakfiets?…

October 19, 2011 Leave a comment

…Well both actually!

Viewers of the Culture Show on BBC last night will have seen Bakfiets Trike full of books from the nominated authors of the 2011 Booker prize.

The trike is oneof two that Practical Cycles recently delivered to the Comrie Development Trust who kindly loaned the bikes for use during filming for the show.

You can watch the trike in action (it appears several times!) on the BBC iPlayer page – click here to go straight to the footage (only available for another 6 days!)

You can read about the day we delivered the Bakfiets Trike sto Comrie – in a previous post.

For those with no time to watch the whole show – here are some screen grabs:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Don’t chug…tug!

July 9, 2011 1 comment

It’s busy here at Practical Cycles so we will be breif on this our newest post for a month or so!

Years have gone by here without a single trailer ever darkening our doors and then, following the annual pilgrimmage to Eurobike in Germany last year, we spotted TWO that would meet our high standards!

The Burley Travoy – a bike trailer that you can also pull as a hand trolley. This makes it great for shopping and business use. A range of different bags mean it can be a shopper one day and business trailer to carry your breifcase and overnight on the train or plane!

The Surly Cargo Trailer (below) comes in two sizes – the Bill (long) or Ted (short). Both are exquisitely put together (what else do you expect from Surly) and are begging to be customised with your own deck, box, or possibly into your own bike-propelled bikeavan or hearse (for eco funerals!).

Both the Travoy and the Surly Bill (long) trailer are available for a good old tug at Practical Cycles now.

Bringing communities together

June 11, 2011 1 comment

Earlier this week I had a delightful journey up to Perthshire, Scotland to deliver two beautiful Bakfiets Trikes to a customer.

The Bakfiets trike is one of our favourite bikes in the Prctical Cycles ‘stable’. It’s fully ready to be a child carrying beast of burden capable of conveying 4 children each with their own 3-point harness. Add the Rain tent and the kids are good to go anywhere in all weathers.

Travelling by trike is really safe. No matter what your cycle handling skills and balance, a trike is very hard to fall off (unless you are Krusty the Clown) and also really quite difficult to tip over. Amazingly, despite the size and width of the Bakfiets Cargo Trike, it is immensely easy (and fun) to ride – the turning circle is especially tight and it should also fit through most doorways.

Our customer in Scotland is Comrie Development Trust. Comrie is a beautiful small Scottish town sitting on the River Earn that nestles beneath the Trossachs in a flat river valley that is perfect for riding the Bakfiets Trike!

Arriving at the CDT headquaters, I was greeted by Andy and a very excited team. After introducing the various ‘things to know’ about the trikes they were soon whisked off on their first ride!

The Trikes will be available for use by the people of Comrie to do shopping, go to the allotment, take children on picnics – in fact just about anything. The intrepid may attempt to take the trikes to higher altitudes but for the majority the Bakfiets Cargo Trike will cope just fine scooting gracefully around the streets of Comrie. I would imagine that the town of Comrie has just found itself two black and red celebrities. I wonder what they will name them?…

Cycle Sunday – Lytham Hall – June 19th 2011 – 10.30 – 4pm

As part of the ongoing fundraising events to save the historic Lytham Hall falling into disrepair, a Cycling Sunday has been organised. Practical Cycles will be there to support the cause in the grounds of the hall. We’ll have a selection of our Cargo Bikes, Child Transport Bikes and Utility Bikes on show. Short test rides will be possible and the grounds will be closed to motor traffic!

There will also be other bike retailers, cycle smoothie maker, Go Ride Racing, Veteran Cycle Exhibition and Blackpool Cycling Demonstration Town will also have a presence.

Entry is FREE for all!

Join our mailing list for more up to date information nearer the time!


Categories: Uncategorized