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dynamo hubs
Last Post 01/23/2014 02:59 PM by 79 pmooney. 26 Replies.
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THE SKINNY

Posts:381

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11/06/2013 10:54 AM
the battery on my bike light was dead the other night. fortunately i have two lights so it was ok. in the latest edition of adventure cycling there's an article about peter white and SON dynamo hubs. his argument about having a reliable method of having lights on a bike similar to an automobile was pretty convincing but the price is a little steep. i can buy a lot of batteries for $300.
How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.
vtguy

Posts:235

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11/06/2013 12:07 PM
Have you tried lights that are rechargeable? I bought my Nightrider 700 last year for about $130. It plugs into a USB port on a computer or into a wall outlet with an adapter. A full charge is good for about 90-minutes on full-beam or 2 1/2 hours on the medium setting which is plenty bright enough for everything except single track riding.
Orange Crush

Posts:1163

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11/06/2013 12:14 PM
this doesn't cost $300 and from >10yrs experience I can tell you it is extremely reliable :-)

Orange Crush

Posts:1163

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11/06/2013 12:38 PM
Kidding aside, the tire dynamo has become a considerably more modern and is still widely used.

Depending on what you're looking for, Shimano also makes hub dynamos and they go for as little as 50 euros. These look to be for hybrid bikes.

http://en.hollandbikeshop.com/bicycle-parts-hybrid-bike/bicycle-lights/dynamo-hub/?language=en

I have a rechargeable nightrider light myself but you still have to remember to charge it. Fortunately it has an indicator telling you when you're hitting the red zone.
ChinookPass

Posts:429

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11/06/2013 12:38 PM
I haven't gone the route of dynamo hubs cuz I've been fine with the rechargeables (yeah always have a spare!). People who have them swear by them though the testimony is muffled by their thick beards. OC, those are just proof that in the dark, if it works than anything goes, but in the daylight...

:>)
Yo Mike

Posts:258

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11/06/2013 01:14 PM
Rechargeable lithium batteries and ~ 10 watt LEDs work for me. I still like my Magicshine, which has a lighted switch that changes color from green to red as the battery depletes. I also make use of that switch to conserve battery power by dimming the light in bright areas, or in certain areas where being seen is more important than seeing far - like on the bike path.

With the generator, I suppose no movement makes for no light. Not always convenient.
Orange Crush

Posts:1163

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11/06/2013 01:14 PM
Chinook - nothing stopping you from marrying that tire or hub dynamo with a modern light :-)

The modern day version comes with a built in battery so you get consistent power independent of speed (i.e. even if you're stopped). Plus the recharging takes care of itself.

So you can go for an all-nighter (or all dayer) at high beam. I know with my NR 650 I will run out of juice doing that after 1.5hrs.
THE SKINNY

Posts:381

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11/06/2013 01:46 PM
in this instance it was my rechargeable battery that went dead. i think it's seen its last days. that's the light i use to see with. the backup is used for being seen and it runs on AA batteries. plus i've got a blinky that runs on regular batteries. the thought of having a complete package; dynamo, headlight & blinky is appealing. one less thing to have to worry about. in reality i only ride at night to get home from the gym or the bar/beer/wine/food store. i also have an old tire dyno in the garage somewhere. i've never used it. it's probably from the 1960s.
How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.
Keith Richards

Posts:727

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11/06/2013 02:38 PM


The Niterider Lumina 650 is a really nice commuting light for $100. I am terribly happy with it.
----- It is his word versus ours. We like our word. We like where we stand and we like our credibility."--Lance Armstrong.
Yo Mike

Posts:258

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11/07/2013 10:22 AM
I do like the cleaner lines of that Niterider. The cables for the lights with the separate battery packs can be a bit of a bother and 650 L is pretty good.
Keith Richards

Posts:727

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11/07/2013 11:36 AM
Someone on the old Velonews.com reccommended it. It rocks. Has a helmet mount as well. USB rechargeable too.

Considering how bulky 650 lumens used to be...this thing is incredible.
----- It is his word versus ours. We like our word. We like where we stand and we like our credibility."--Lance Armstrong.
79pmooney

Posts:1095

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11/07/2013 12:23 PM
I've been using a Serfas light for several years now. Looks a lot like the NR. Fewer lumens but still pretty bright. USB. I paid $150 at my favorite shop, small and not cheap when I was in need "right now". Yes, had I waited or searched I could have paid less or gotten a light that was brighter. Instead, I got the best light I have ever used that has worked flawlessly and is plenty bright (and on settings 1 and 2 rudely so).

Best part? The clamp. An elastic that really works. No mount that stays on the bike. Great if your various bars are close to the same diameter. Changing the elastic length for substantially different bar diameters kinda sucks but swapping between my 6 bikes with 25.8 and 26.0mm is really easy. And it is really easy to push up or down on the bars to aim while riding but it doesn't move on bumps.  In all, a pleasure to use.

I think it came with a helmet mount, but I don't do them and have long forgotten if and where it is.

Ben
THE SKINNY

Posts:381

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11/07/2013 01:33 PM
that sounds a lot like what i use; dinotte lights. they are a small cylinder with an indent on one side and they secure with an elastic o ring. fits anything and 200 lumens on bright. it would be nice if a dyno would power them.
How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.
jmdirt

Posts:683

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11/11/2013 04:38 PM
KR, "terribly happy"? Is that like fantastically sad?

Nightrider 650=great light for the money even on dirt. My wife has a Blackburn 500 that makes you feel like you are riding on a football field (~$150). I have an old Cat Eye 200 that is good for about 5 hours but weighs about 2 lbs with the batteries in.

Dynamo hubs are a great option for commuters. My bro-in-law powers his lights and his heated grips with his. He said something about charging his phone too but I'm not sure if he does that yet or not. The expensive part is building a wheel around them.
Oldfart

Posts:461

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11/11/2013 10:35 PM
I went through everything over the last thirty years. I remember riding off road at night with a Union sidewall generator. You had to source out a fork mount because crappy Mafac cantilevers were easy to lock up. Then it got very dark if you ran the generator off the rear wheel. Then someone figured out small motorcycle batteries worked better. Then brighter bulbs. Then halogen, HID and the current generation of lithium ion polymer batteries with super bright yet small LED lights is just so damn good. I think lights available now are as bright as you need. I'm running 1500 (claimed) lumens on the helmet and 1800 on the bar. I only use full juice when I am going really fast off road which is not that often.
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