Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Schmidt Edelux Water Issues

About a year ago, I put a notice on the blog about the SuperNova LED light being somewhat less than waterproof. At least in that regard, the Edelux by Schmidt seemed the better choice.

Guess what? The Edelux lights apparently suffer from the same flaw. I've had three friends with those lights report water problems. Here's what one said:

"The housing allowed water to enter shorting out the light. It was sent back to Germany and repaired although I haven't tried it out since."

I was riding with him when the light failed. We'd been through about five hours of hell and high water when his world went black. Luckily, he had a helmet light as a back-up.

Another friend who just finished a rainy LEL reports:
"There was water in the Edelux splashing around at the end. It dried out once I returned but there was some h20 residue.... The water did not affect performance at all (yet)."

That light is also being sent back to Germany for repairs.

Look, Schmidt folks, we're spending $200-plus on these lights. Where is the reliability we've come to expect from your products?

With these kinds of problems, is it any wonder that some are forgoing the Schmidt set-up in favor of cheaper battery powered lights, which are now close in brightness, half the weight and with much less financial sting.

During LEL I saw the Ixon IQ in action. It was not as bright as the Edelux, but it wasn't too far off, either, and it can run on AA batteries. No expensive Schmidt hub required.


Wes said...

After the Fleche this year I had some water droplets inside on the lens. Eventually the water went away. I guess I will mount the old schmidt light for a backup.

bullcitybiker said...

My Edelux is doign the same thing- even on humid days wth no rain.

-b said...

I've been through hell n' high water numerous times with my IQ Fly -- so far it appears to be perfectly dry. Will be keeping a close eye on it though.

Wonder how the new IQ CYO holds up in wet weather?

Always carry a backup!

Anonymous said...

I've had no water issues with my Edelux. I usually have mine mounted above the handlebars and I ride with fenders. Does that make a difference? Maybe. Some folks have speculated that the light's considerable build-up of heat is somehow responsible for compromising the seal and drawing moisture into the lamp.

Mike / Raleigh

Jack said...

I've had an Ixon IQ for about 6 months and love it. Its a good fit for me because I commute on 3 bikes with different size wheels, so a battery-powered light gives me more flexibility than a hub-gen. On my Surly, I have it mounted on the fork with a Paul Comp Gino Light Mount.

I get the advertised 5 hours on high from fully-charged batteries. Its obviously easy enough to carry an additional set, and almost equally easy to pick up a set on the road if needed.

Since I got it at the beginning of spring and longer days, I expect its biggest test will come while commuting this fall and winter. If I have any water failures, I'll post about it back here for reference.


WMdeR said...

Dear Mike,

I'm sorry to hear about the ongoing Edelux problems. Thankfully, I believe we've got an alternative with equivalent performance and better drainage: The B+M Cyo.

Anecdotal evidence follows:

The Fly IQ and the IQ Cyo "Sport" both use the same optical system as the Edelux.

My wife has used the Fly IQ for over a year in the wettest spring/summer Colorado has seen in over 20 years. No condensation, water buildup, or other issues. The Fly IQ uses the same optics as the Edelux, but is a bit less bright (prior generation of LED emitter).

I've been using the IQ Cyo in both the "R" version and the "Sport" version since February of this year. I mounted the "R" version on various prototype Boulder Bicycles I've tested since last year, and, eventually, on my personal 650B machine. I've got the Cyo Sport on my René Herse. I'm quite satisfied with the design's reliability and performance for both around-town and randonneuring uses.

Again, no condensation buildup, no water accumulation, no other problems. The switch is more difficult to manipulate than the Edelux, and it is not as pretty. It costs roughly half as much.

The IQ Cyo R(eflector) model has a beam pattern less well suited to high-speed descents (I prefer it offroad, as it fills the near field better than the standard IQ lens).

The Cyo "Sport" (no reflector) uses the same optics found on the Fly IQ and the Edelux. I've ridden with both the Edelux and the Cyo "Sport" on a night ride with friends, and I can't tell the difference between the two lights (not too terribly surprising--they share the same optics). I found the IQ beam pattern to be the best tested to date, and subsequent riding has reinforced that impression. I've been able to descend at 50+mph on paved roads (without switchbacks) with some confidence.
Switching the Cyo light off cuts power to the LED entirely. The Fly IQ and the Edelux continue to power the LED from the standlight accumulator even with the switch turned off. The standlight function is functionally identical for all the lights.

If you don't need a polished aluminum housing, then I'd recommend the Cyo over the Edelux until Schmidt works out the drainage bugs on their light.

Note: all my bikes with lights have full fenders. The Edelux test lamp and the Cyo lights were mounted immediately under front racks on dedicated bosses. The Fly IQ has been mounted on a dedicated support frame under a front rack (see the BQ review of the Boulder bicycle for an example) and on the fork crown on the bracket provided by B+M).

Disclaimer: Mike Kone (proprietor of RH bicycles) and I have done a fair bit of business over the years, and he has become a personal friend. I tested 650B prototype machines for his Boulder Bicycle project. I did testing and development of LED lighting systems as an unpaid consultant to René Herse bicycles. Commercially relevant portions of that testing were published by Bicycle Quarterly a couple of issues ago. You can see my impressions of the light patterns there.

Best Regards,

William M. deRosset
RUSA 2401

coco said...

Hello Mike,

during LEL I used the Cyo in combination with the Shimano hub and as backup the Ixon IQ - absolutely no problems with water or anything else. To switch the cyo on/off is a bit fiddly, I would appreciate an easier way. But the light is brilliant. Both lamps together are real floodlight.

Best wishes from Germany


Peter said...

I'm the US & Canada importer for Wilfried Schmidt.

Some of the early production Edelux headlights don't seal properly. Schmidt will fix any that get water inside. Later production have been 100% trouble free.
If you have a light with water inside, let me know.

Peter Jon White
Peter White Cycles
603 478 0900

jg83 said...

Dear WMder and others, you sound like you have significant experience between the CYO and the Fly. Is the difference that great? The page from with photos of them both in the tunnel really doesnt show much difference in the reach between the two. Thanks.

Souplesse said...

Having the same water ingress problem with an Edelux purchased in January, 2011. Sure wish I had read this post before buying it!