Down Low Glow systems made by Rock the Bike in October 2008 through January 2009 may have a flaw that can cause premature wear and, in the worst case scenario, a battery short circuit.
How do I know if my DLG unit has the problem?
There are two related but distinct problems. Either of them is grounds for partipicating in the recall. If your DLG system has either of these problems, we’d prefer to fix it and return it to you. You’ll be more likely to enjoy using it for its entire working life.
Problem 1: Stiff power connector.
Test: It requires more than a casual push / pull to plug and unplug your Down Low Glow battery.
Effect: The stiff power connector makes it more likely that you’ll yank the wire that leads to the battery.
- Send your light tubes back and let us fix it. See instructions at the bottom of the page.
- Change your technique: Use a twisting technique as you undo the power connector, rather than a direct pull.
- Use a drop of lube. Boeshield, TriFlow, even chain lube can make this connector feel significantly easier to do and undo.
- Do the fix yourself: Expand the inner bore of the male power connector. You can do this at home if you have an index of numbered drill bits. Use the non-drilling side of the bit: First #39, then #38. Insert the male connector (the one on the light tubes) as far as it will go. The connector should now have a much easier push / pull force.
- Upgrade to the waterproof pushbutton switch for $18. Shown below, the waterproof pushbutton switch allows you to turn the Down Low Glow on and off without physically disconnecting the power connector. This is faster, can be done with one hand, and puts less strain on the connector.
Waterproof DLG Switch
Problem 2: Lack of proper strain relief on the power cable exiting the battery pack.
Example of strain relief damage on Down Low Glow battery’s output wire.
Examples of batteries before, during, and after the affected period.
This problem was excacerbated when our manufacturer switched from a flexible waterproofing adhesive to a harder, more brittle adhesive.
Test: Your battery may have a bead of sealant around the top and the bottom that is bluish / purplish in color and slightly filmy in its translucency, as shown in the picture. In the photo above, the battery with the rubberband is the one that has this adhesive. Note that the battery on the left has a less bulky sealing adhesive that appears black. We have seen fewer failures on batteries that use the flexible adhesive. The battery on the right has had our fix applied — a piece of flexible tubing that adds strain relief where the power cable leaves the battery.
Effect: Over time, and especially in cold weather, the adhesive can kink and damage the wire. The black insulation can fail, exposing the inner wires, which have their own insulation. In the worst case, the insulation of the inner wires can fail as well, exposing the copper conductors.
Examine your battery to see if wire damage has already occurred at the point where the wire exits the battery. If so, you would see the black wire jacket either crumbling or split, and you may see the white and red insulation of the inner wires. If you are able to see any bare copper wire when you inspect this area, you must take extra care when packing the battery for shipment to eliminate the chance of a short circuit in transit. If you are concerned it may be a shipping hazard, please let us know, so that we can provide alternate instructions.
If it’s starting to show damage, get it fixed.
- Send it back. Skip to the bottom and follow the instructions to participate in the recall.
- Do the fix yourself. We use a short piece (about 1 inch long) of flexible 1/4″ vinyl tubing to strain relief the wire as it exits the battery. Cut a slit the tubing, turning it into a sleeve that you can slide down the wire. Heat up the area with a hair dryer or heat gun. Push the tubing down past the glue line — half in and half out. Reseal the are with a flexible adhesive such as Plumber’s Goop.
If your battery is showing minimal damage or none at all, please take the following preventative action now to reduce yanks on the output wire:
1. Pinch output wire as shown to prepare for taping step.
2. Wrap tape over one side of the loop.
3. Wrap tape over the other side of the loop. The tape prevents yanks and tugs from creating strain on the wire where it exits the battery pack.
The mod shortens the battery’s output wire a bit.
OK, I have decided to let you fix my Down Low Glow. What should I do now?
If your Down Low Glow system has either of these issues above, please use the contact page and select “Winter 2008-09 Down Low Glow Recall” as the topic. Please indicate what you will be returning. For example:
“Hi Rock the Bike,
I would like to participate in the recall. I checked and my battery has the adhesive shown on the recall page. Also, my power connector is too stiff. I will be returning my light tubes and battery.