This summer, I finally got around to adding a bit of electronics to our cargobike: indicators.
You might know the feeling when riding your bike: you want to make a turn, but you are currently riding on some bumpy thing that barely deserves the name cycle lane or road and taking a hand off of your handlebar to indicate where you’re going is likely going to result in a fall since you can’t brake, steer and indicate at the same time.
Now, for some reason, German law does not allow any indicators on single-track bicycles. Don’t ask me why, in my opinion, this rule is old, silly, obsolete and deserves an update to reflect modern day technological capabilities. BUT: the law currently makes an exception for multi-track bicycles (§ 67, Paragraph 4 StVZO) which I delightedly used to equip our three-tracked cargobike with indicators!
The power for the indicators is taken from the “lightmachine” provided by the BMU on the Shimano Steps motor mounted on the bike and works beautifully together with the two front- and the backlight without exceeding allowed power output for the connector.
To control the indicators, I bought a rather cheap handlebar indicator control and modified it slightly to allow for a hazard light mode as well. Here’s the schematic:
And finally a quick overview over some messy cabling and the handlebar controls:
So far, indicators have proven to change the riding feeling a little bit: it seems that car drivers now pay more attention to where I’m going with my bike and don’t unnecessarily overtake anymore near crossings/junctions. Of course, that could also be due to them not seeing the indicators (for whatever reason) and being confused by my driving – but I’ll go with the “faith-in-humanity” first option 😉
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