Integrated brake light

#1
I like the integrated brake light feature on the new 2019 model and would love to retrofit my 2018 RadWagon with something similar. I see a few options for lights and even turn signal switches on Amazon and I found in another thread here that the connectors used by Rad are from a company called Higo. Any thoughts on a nice looking solution?
 
#2
I like the integrated brake light feature on the new 2019 model and would love to retrofit my 2018 RadWagon with something similar. I see a few options for lights and even turn signal switches on Amazon and I found in another thread here that the connectors used by Rad are from a company called Higo. Any thoughts on a nice looking solution?
#1 - For ebikes that don't have an integrated tail light but do have an integrated head light, the easiest solution that does not require opening up and accessing the controller would be to splice into the head light cable, run it to the back while securing it with zip ties, and hook it to the tail light. That is by far the easiest solution but also probably the ugliest solution as the cable runs from the front to the back.
#2 - The second easiest solution would be to access the controller, use a Y connector to where the head light hooks up, and internally route the cable (till you can not anymore) and then secure it the rest of the ways again with zip ties.
#3 - The 3rd more complicating solution is to not just do #2 but also add an ebrake signal so that the tail light has both running red tail lights as well as ebrake tail lights.
and the #4 - would be to do #3 but add also turn signal with a switch to the handlebar.
The following tail light works with native 36V - 48V and allows you to do all 4 solutions 1-4 so you can start with the simplest and then go to the more complicating one without having to buy another tail light. BTW, the license plate bracket shown is removable. Also don't let all the wires confuse you. If you are not going to use the turn signals and ebrake individually, you can wire all the light sections together and end up with just 2 wires to light up the whole tail light. That should make for a much brighter tail light (and the more visible the better for safety) than wiring just the running lights.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CGM21MZ/
 

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AHicks

Active Member
#3
Unless you want to cut into the standard Rad wiring harnesses, might be a good idea to see if Rad comes out with an aftermarket "kit" that would plug and play (which would be really nice, and very likely very popular if priced fairly).

From a DIYer's perspective, there's a few things to consider while making up your mind to attempt this project. My first question would be regarding operating voltages of the light(s) in question. This will tell you if you can even use your existing, or will you need to go with new. Second would be regarding the brake light signal. Can we get that from the switches in the brake levers? There's a few more things likely, but the answeres to those questions would be a good start.
 

mrgold35

Well-Known Member
#4
I have a 2018 Radcity Step-Thru and I'm hoping the integrated rear light is plug-n-play for the upgraded 2018 models. The standard 2018 battery operated rear light isn't bright enough for me in the southwester sun. I would go for this option if it is plug-n-play and way brighter than the current light. If not, might just have to add an USB rechargeable rear light like I did with my Radrovers.
 
#5
#1 - For ebikes that don't have an integrated tail light but do have an integrated head light, the easiest solution that does not require opening up and accessing the controller would be to splice into the head light cable, run it to the back while securing it with zip ties, and hook it to the tail light. That is by far the easiest solution but also probably the ugliest solution as the cable runs from the front to the back.
#2 - The second easiest solution would be to access the controller, use a Y connector to where the head light hooks up, and internally route the cable (till you can not anymore) and then secure it the rest of the ways again with zip ties.
#3 - The 3rd more complicating solution is to not just do #2 but also add an ebrake signal so that the tail light has both running red tail lights as well as ebrake tail lights.
and the #4 - would be to do #3 but add also turn signal with a switch to the handlebar.
The following tail light works with native 36V - 48V and allows you to do all 4 solutions 1-4 so you can start with the simplest and then go to the more complicating one without having to buy another tail light. BTW, the license plate bracket shown is removable. Also don't let all the wires confuse you. If you are not going to use the turn signals and ebrake individually, you can wire all the light sections together and end up with just 2 wires to light up the whole tail light. That should make for a much brighter tail light (and the more visible the better for safety) than wiring just the running lights.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CGM21MZ/
Funny, that’s the exact light I was looking to get and there are switches that control the turn signal as well as a headlight and a horn which could also be on a future upgrade path. I like the idea of doing it incrementally.
 
#6
Unless you want to cut into the standard Rad wiring harnesses, might be a good idea to see if Rad comes out with an aftermarket "kit" that would plug and play (which would be really nice, and very likely very popular if priced fairly).

From a DIYer's perspective, there's a few things to consider while making up your mind to attempt this project. My first question would be regarding operating voltages of the light(s) in question. This will tell you if you can even use your existing, or will you need to go with new. Second would be regarding the brake light signal. Can we get that from the switches in the brake levers? There's a few more things likely, but the answeres to those questions would be a good start.
Yes, a kit from Rad would be great. Maybe a few of us can suggest it to them so they make it a reality.

As for the questions, I was looking at lights that work out of the box with 48V, like the one @AZOldTech mentioned above. I haven’t put a meter to the wires coming from the brake levers but I’m hoping it’s also at 48V to make things simple.

But, maybe I’ll wait a few months to see if Rad comes out with a nice looking kit. The Higo connectors and cables themselves would cost a pretty penny when ordering in small quantities.
 

eguy

New Member
#7
I hate to rain on the parade here, but I was pretty excited at the thought of retrofitting my 2018 with the 2019 freewheel and brake light. I emailed Rad Support about it today and was told they won't be offering either options for our older models. I'm really bummed, they are two of the gripes I have with my 2018 RadCity. I guess it's off to the bike shop to see if they can put in a better range freewheel and sticking with batteries in the Spanninga Solo!
 
#8
The following tail light works with native 36V - 48V and allows you to do all 4 solutions 1-4 so you can start with the simplest and then go to the more complicating one without having to buy another tail light. BTW, the license plate bracket shown is removable. Also don't let all the wires confuse you. If you are not going to use the turn signals and ebrake individually, you can wire all the light sections together and end up with just 2 wires to light up the whole tail light. That should make for a much brighter tail light (and the more visible the better for safety) than wiring just the running lights.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CGM21MZ/
AZOldTech, would you mind elaborating, did you actually install one of these on your Rad bike? Including the turn signal function? COuld you elaborate on how you did it, if so, and maybe give a mini-review? thanks.
 

AZOldTech

Active Member
#9
AZOldTech, would you mind elaborating, did you actually install one of these on your Rad bike? Including the turn signal function? COuld you elaborate on how you did it, if so, and maybe give a mini-review? thanks.
I do not have a Rad bike but the proposed solutions above should work with any ebike. I have bought a Ride1Up this blackfriday and I have done the easiest solution #1 above, mainly for lack of time, with all the tail lights wired together to light up. Once I get some time (probably during Xmas) I will get access to the controller and wire everything internally and also hook up the ebrake.
 
#10
AZOldTech, would you mind elaborating, did you actually install one of these on your Rad bike? Including the turn signal function? COuld you elaborate on how you did it, if so, and maybe give a mini-review? thanks.
I did install the light during Xmas as #2 (without getting access to the controller) and wired it to turn on the tail light when the head light comes on. Here are some pictures. The yellow lights are the blinking turn signals.
I got a few feet of 18AWG single copper wire from Home Depot and used it as a fishing line on the down tube. I then taped to it the actual wire and pulled it through. I attached one end (positive and negative power) to the headlight wire (shown on pic#4) and the other end I combined all the individual lights (left-right turn lights/tail light/brake light). The yellow light are the turn signals and blink (which is real good if you want to be noticed; however be aware that the brinkers of the 2 turn lights are not synchronized so even though they start at the same time, eventually they will get out of sync, and get back in sync, rinse and repeat... but in a way that makes you even more noticeable by other people IMO). I got the tail light from Amazon and works with native ebike voltage (36-48V) and the turn light blinkers are integrated. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CGM21MZ/
The ebike is a Ride1Up that I got Thanksgiving for $999 and now it has integrated front and tail lights as well as my own ibera rack (as I already use the ibera PakRak clip-on commuter bag on all our bikes https://www.amazon.com/Ibera-Bike-Trunk-Clip-Quick-Release/dp/B002T5MZ70 and Ortlieb Back Roller classic panniers which fit perfectly and secure along with the bag on the ibera rack) and my own Planet Bike Cascadia fenders 29"x65mm. I also changed the chainring to 48T from 44T and the freewheel from Shimano 14-34 to Dnp 11-30 and can now reach 30+mph on a much easier cadence. All in all about $150 add-on stuff.
 

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#11
Does anybody know how to wire integrated tail lights that have brake lights function when the brake levers are activated? Is this an mechanical or electrical function? Can this be easily wired to the motor inhibitor connection? Some Riese & Muller, Bulls, Specialized, the new Rad bikes have this function.
 
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#12
Does anybody know how to wire integrated tail lights that have brake lights function when the brake levers are activated? Is this an mechanical or electrical function? Can this be easily wired to the motor inhibitor connection? Some Riese & Muller, Bulls, Specialized, the new Rad bikes have this function.
As usual it depends on your controller and every controller is different. Some controllers are made to power a relay and some are made to power a brake light directly. Some controllers don't even have a brake light signal. So the first step is to find a schematic for your specific controller. And for some ebikes that have the controller in the down tube or somewhere else hidden, getting access to the controller maybe hard to do and you may have a hard time putting everything back together. In any case, this is a great place to get you started as they are talking about all kind of different setups: https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=47983
 

AHicks

Active Member
#13
It would be easier to find the bake light signal, or to know if the bike has one, by simply looking at the brake levers. If there's a couple of wires leading to them, there's a brake signal. Any bike I've ever seen will shut off the power to the motor if the brakes are engaged. The switch that does that is the one I'm thinking of, and these are pretty much always located in the brake lever mechanism.

How to tap into that in a usefull manner is another matter.
 
#14
I also want to add one more thing here. At least of the factory ebike/ebrake tail light I've seen so far (Surface 604 Colt which has a two mode integrated tail light running/ebrake light) as well as the 2019 RadPower ebikes which look to be similar in brightness, as well as the light above that I installed on my ebike, leave a lot to be desired as far as brightness (lumens) needed to be seen during daytime (at night time they are fine). I mean my road bike rechargeable tail light leaves them in the dust as far as being visible during daylight. So while having an integrated tail light with a dual running/ebrake light is nice, I find it comes secondary to VISIBILITY (getting noticed and especially having a bright BLINKING tail light) during the day and the night. And some factory integrated lights (the Colt for example which does not blink; but not the new radpower tail light as it has a switch to enable strobe) don't even have a blinking tail light let alone be bright enough to be seen during the day. As such I'm actually thinking of modifying the above project of the integrated tail light and wiring instead a $2.25 DC step down isolated power supply 48V to USB and hooking any rechargeable tail light that is bright enough to be seen during the day and has multiple modes including blinking (strobe/flashing/etc.). Unfortunately, even though you will never need to remember to charge the light, you will need to remember to turn it on/off like I currently do on my road bike.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/USB-DC-Ste...ule-12V-24V-36V-48V-72V-to-5V-1A/153316589285
s-l1600 (7).jpg
 
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#15
That step down module looks interesting but won’t the usb lights be in charge mode? Can the light be operating while plugged into the USB port.
 
#16
That step down module looks interesting but won’t the usb lights be in charge mode? Can the light be operating while plugged into the USB port.
My road bike rechargeable lights work in all modes, while they are charging or not charging. I know cause I tested them while charging. There maybe other lights than don't but I've been using 4 of those for 3 years in 4 of our regular bikes and I'm extremely happy with their performance and brightness. Before those, I had paid 3 times as much for brand name lower brightness lights. You also can find just the tail lights even cheaper. Headlight is 400 lumens in the highest setting (on board battery lasts 5hr on 100% highest mode flashing) and tail light is 100 lumens in the highest setting (on board battery lasts 5hr in 50% flashing and 3hrs 100% highest mode flashing). By comparison the ebike tail lights that I've seen and used (Colt and the one above) can not be more than 20-30 lumens. Maybe even less.

BTW, to get the flashing modes on the tail light, when you turn it on push and hold the button down till it starts flashing, then a single push will cycle the flashing modes. To get the non-flashing modes you just momentarily push the bottom (without holding) when you turn it on and then push again to cycle through the different non-flashing modes. To turn it off, push and hold till it turns off no matter which mode you are in. All of that is in the instruction manual but just in case you don't read it (like most of us :)
$19 - HODGSON Bike Lights 400 Lumens Bicycle Light Front and Back, USB Rechargeable Super Bright Headlight and Flashing Rear Light, IPX4 Waterproof
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01FZ5H124/
 
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