Dutch Schwinn Upgrades

You can see the daytime LEDs below the main reflector.

A couple weeks ago the wiring on my DLomotec LED headlight on my Dutch Schwinn broke.  The wires broke right next to the housing, and the light is built in such a way that it is not meant to be disassembled.  Rather than try to break the housing apart so I could rewire the light, I decided to get a new one.  Afterall, I purchased that light for $12 at the Madison swap meet a couple years ago.

In the course of ordering a new light, I purchased a few other upgrades.  Sadly, I can’t buy dynamo lights at any local bike shop, so I was shopping online. Peter White is the obvious place to look for generator lights, but I thought I would check out Velo Orange first.  VO did not have the headlight I was looking for, but they did have 49mm fluted aluminum fenders for 700c wheels on sale for about $20.  That was an offer I could not refuse, click ”add to cart.”  

Of course Peter White had the light I wanted, but since I was already wiring up a new headlight and replacing my fenders, I decided to get a new taillight that would run off my dyno hub. The floodgates open, I also purchased an AXA rear wheel lock and Workcycles front mudflap from Vince at the Dutch Bike Co. in Chicago.  I have yet to install those, so that will have to wait for another post. 

Here are the items I purchased with links to the suppliers for more information:

Lumotec IQ Cyo RT: The RT model is rated at 40 Lux and has a reflector with a tall beam that lights near objects as well as far objects. It is significantly brighter than my old Lumotec LED Oval. The new Busch & Müller “Licht 24″ concept means it has daytime running lights to make the light useful 24 hours a day. Since most headlights are designed to focus the light down onto the road surface, Busch & Müller created a light with four additional LEDs mounted just below the main reflector houseing that are angled upwards so you are more visible to oncoming motorists, even during the day. 

In daytime mode, the “T” setting on the switch, the daytime LEDs are switched on at full intensity to make the cyclist more visible to others. At the same time, the main LED or “driving light” as B&M calls it, is set to a reduced intensity. Senso mode “S” on the switch has the daytime LEDs at full intensity during daytime, and when the sensor determines the ambient light level is low, switches to nighttime mode. The daytime LEds are dimmed somewhat, and the driving LED is at full intensity.

The light comes with wiring and  the connectors to wire up the rear tail light.  Anyone with a sodering iron and shrink tubing can install this light and taillight with no trouble.

Busch&Müller 4D Lite Plus (6 volt dynamo) fender mount taillight.  This light was very easy to install, but I did have to drill the fenders.  I did not like the first location I installed it, so I filled those holes with aluminum pop rivets and drilled more holes for the new location.  Pretty bike purists should really think about how they want to route the wire before they drill.  I routed the wires outside the fender and along the right fender stay, under the bottom bracket, and up the down tube to the light on the fork crown.

You can see how I extended the old fenders.

Velo Orange 48mm fluted aluminum fenders

 are longer than Hanjos.  The come pre-drilled and with all the mounting hardware.  There were really no more difficult to install than plastic fenders from Planet Bike.  It took a bit of bending and adjusting to get the rattles out at first, but they run pretty quiet now.  Aluminum fenders are a bit louder than plastic fenders just because of the material.

In the meantime, here are the build photos for the first of my recent upgrades. If you click on the images you can see larger versions for more detail.

The original build on my Schwinn included most of the features found on European commuter bikes to this Schwinn: Pletscher double kickstand, SON generator hub w/ Lumotec LED headlamp, fenders, chainguard, upright stem and bars, rear rack, Batavus pannier. But the fenders were not quite long enough so I extended the silver Esges with a chunks I cout from a black Planet Bike fender. That set-up worked, but always looked a little jury-rigged.

The beautiful new fluted Velo Orange fenders look sharp and are very long, but I still get a bit of spray on my shoes from where the tire contacts the ground. I will add the Workcycles muflap as soon as I get it.

Initially I installed the rear light and ran the wires through the fender and then along the fender stay. But there was enough vibration in the fender and the clearance was tight enough that the tire rubbed through the wires. I repaired the wire and rerouted them entirely on the outside of the fender..

The Busch & Müller 4D Lite Plus fender mount taillight has 4 very bright LEDs, a reflector and a metal bar to protect the plastic lenses.


Lumotec IQ Cyo RT Licht 24 has daytime running lights that angle up towards oncoming drivers even when the main beam is angled down at the road.

In this photo you can clearly see the 4 LEDs, which are mounted at different angles to make the light visible from a wide angle.


The almost completed Dutch-style Schwinn. Stay tuned to the Over the Bars channel for the final touches later this week.

About Dave Schlabowske, Deputy Director

Dave was the first full-time staff member hired to open the Bike Fed's Milwaukee office 15 years ago. A former professional photographer and life-long Milwaukee resident, Dave likes wool, long rides, sour beer, and a good polar vortex once in a while.

2 thoughts on “Dutch Schwinn Upgrades

  1. Hi Dave,

    Great upgrades! Looks good! I love the idea of a front light with running lights angled up. My commuter has two handlebar lights, one down for the road, one up for safety. My low tech non-German engineered solution!

    One added thing i do for visibility, is clip a small red light on the lower back of my helmet. I always worry about traffic behind, but the higher the light, the better chance that second vehicle (if following too close or smaller than the traffic in front) will see it.

    I am a 3 season commuter, but managed to go for a great ride yesterday morning on the perfect, clean, clear roads.

    Safe riding!


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