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  1. #1
    Senior Member WestMass's Avatar
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    The weight of adding a shimano dynamo hub?

    I am making some changes to commuter this spring and am curious how much of a difference it will be having a generator hub. I know I can look up the weight difference between this and a traditional hub, but in you folks' experience, does it feel much different?

    I will already be swapping from carbon to steel and canti to disc fork-wise on my jake the snake.

    Also, don't need arguments about fork materials or brake types, or getting a more expensive Schmidt hub or whatever, just the hub please.
    regular commuter, adventurer/explorer of backroads and mtb trails

  2. #2
    Mister Bleak! mconlonx's Avatar
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    Doesn't feel much different at all.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus regarding mconlonx View Post
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    I know next to nothing. I am frequently wrong.

  3. #3
    http://www.538.nl acidfast7's Avatar
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    Not at all. The weight is at the middle of the wheel. However this was on an MTB.

    I highly recommend you buy international (Germany) as hubs are less then €20 and whole wheels are less than €100 shipped to the US.
    Movimento 5 Stelle (M5S)
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  4. #4
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    sorry cant weigh what I dont have ..

    I have Just replaced My standard Brompton wheel with one with a Shimano hub.

    with the 2 0f them off and one in each hand , yes the Generator hub wheel weighs more.


    In the Dark Its Great to jump on the bike and ride Home.. that is worth the weight .
    Last edited by fietsbob; 01-31-14 at 01:11 PM.

  5. #5
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    For a ballpark figure,my old Brompton catalog says 446gr for the hub and headlight.

    C'dale BBU('05 and '09)/Super Six/Hooligan8and 3,Kona Dew Deluxe,Novara Buzz/Safari,Surly Big Dummy,Marin Pt Reyes/Novato,Giant Defy 1,Schwinn DBX SuperSport/Qualifier,Brompton S6L,Dahon Speed Pro TT

  6. #6
    Senior Member DiegoFrogs's Avatar
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    I only notice that my bike feels a bit more front-heavy when carrying it up the stairs and such. Granted, I'm using the low-end Sanyo, but I'm sure the effect is the same.

  7. #7
    Senior Member blakcloud's Avatar
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    I am using the Shimano LX and I don't notice it at all, weight or drag.

  8. #8
    tsl
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    The only time mine feels different is when I take the wheel off or when I lift the bike. On the bike and riding? No difference. Interestingly, I also don't seem to notice it when climbing, which is exactly when I'd expect to notice it.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  9. #9
    Senior Member downtube42's Avatar
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    I've used a Shimano, Sanyo, and Shutter Precision dynohubs. I've never noticed weight or resistance while riding. I do notice vibration with the Sanyo.
    What is bicycle touring?
    "So I kept looking and eventually found that a spark plug had same threads. So I cycled next two days until I got to Jackson, MS with a spark plug instead of right pedal." - mev

  10. #10
    Senior Member DVC45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
    Not at all. The weight is at the middle of the wheel. However this was on an MTB.

    I highly recommend you buy international (Germany) as hubs are less then €20 and whole wheels are less than €100 shipped to the US.
    Could you please post a good online store that would ship to the U.S.
    Last edited by DVC45; 01-31-14 at 11:46 PM.

  11. #11
    tsl
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    Quote Originally Posted by DVC45 View Post
    Could you please post a good online store that would ship to the U.S.
    I've dealt with bike24.de. They don't do currency conversion on the site, so keep a tab open to your favorite search engine and use searches like "39.90 EUR in USD" to do your own conversion. ($53.82)

    Remember, your bank may charge slightly different rates and may also include an international service charge. Mine charges 1%.
    Last edited by tsl; 02-01-14 at 06:35 AM.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  12. #12
    Senior Member DVC45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsl View Post
    I've dealt with bike24.de. They don't do currency conversion on the site, so keep a tab open to your favorite search engine and use searches like "39.90 EUR in USD" to do your own conversion. ($53.82)

    Remember, your bank may charge slightly different rates and may also include an international service charge. Mine charges 1%.
    Thanks tsl!


    Edit: Prices are about the same.
    Last edited by DVC45; 02-01-14 at 10:09 AM.

  13. #13
    tsl
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    Quote Originally Posted by DVC45 View Post
    Price's are about the same.
    They're getting there.

    Last summer, a DH-S501 cost $140 in the US. Around the same time Shimano announced changes in their US distribution structure and pricing. Those changes are just now showing up. The DH-S501 is now $80 stateside. Earlier in January, it was still $140.

    Where you'll still find significant savings is in the lights themselves. I saved over $60 (closer to $70) buying at bike24.de as compared to Peter White.
    Last edited by tsl; 02-01-14 at 10:06 AM.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  14. #14
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    I just took my Shimano DH 3N72 wheel out for the first real ride. I still have my cycling clothes on from the ride so this is a fresh thought from an immediate experience. I couldn't tell the difference! I felt the fact that I also rebuilt the rear wheel more than I noticed anything from the front. I no longer have a thump, thump thump as I brake. Otherwise I was more tuned in to how out of shape I am from the weather.

    As for the actual weight, maybe it is a bit heavier up front when I lift it. Usually though I have the back weighed down with my bag and laptop, but I rode without them just now.

    And it is 1pm now, so it was in broad daylight so I have no opinion yet on the light it produces. My light is the B&M CYO Premium, 80 lux. There are some 90 lux lights out there, but this is pretty close to the brightest you can get. We shall see, pardon the pun, but not this weekend. B'day dinner tonight, Super Bowl tomorrow night.

    I paid $79 for the hub in the US, and the regular retail $110 for the light from Harris Cyclery. After all the years using the Sheldon Brown website I thought I'd give them some business. Since Peter White is the US importer/distributer I'm also supporting him by buying here. When I looked at XXCycle.fr they, and every other European site, was back ordered on this light.

  15. #15
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsl View Post
    They don't do currency conversion on the site, so keep a tab open to your favorite search engine and use searches like "39.90 EUR in USD" to do your own conversion.
    I always use this site.

    C'dale BBU('05 and '09)/Super Six/Hooligan8and 3,Kona Dew Deluxe,Novara Buzz/Safari,Surly Big Dummy,Marin Pt Reyes/Novato,Giant Defy 1,Schwinn DBX SuperSport/Qualifier,Brompton S6L,Dahon Speed Pro TT

  16. #16
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    I have an Alfine dynamo front hub, and I don't notice it at all. Of course, I have a rack, pannier, studded tires, saddle bag, lights, and an upright commuter, so it's not like I put it on a 12 lb carbon bike. The drag caused by running the dynamo all the time is probably less than half a stoplight--my precision measurement for performance impacts-- the effect of the added weight is less than that. For comparison, the studded tires are 5-10 stoplights.

  17. #17
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    I have the Sanyo dynamo hub, which might be even heavier than the Shimano. It's one of the cheapest dynamo hubs. I absolutely love it. I agree with others above. I don't feel it unless I'm feeling for weight.

    If you haven't felt the freedom of dynamo lighting yet, you are going to love it. There's nothing to check or think about. Just jump on the bike and go! Not only does it work from one day to the next, it works from one year to the next. It just keeps on going, no matter what the weather or anything.
    Please email me rather than sending me a private message. My address is noglider@pobox.com

    Tom Reingold
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  18. #18
    Velocommuter Commando Sirrus Rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    I have the Sanyo dynamo hub, which might be even heavier than the Shimano. It's one of the cheapest dynamo hubs. I absolutely love it. I agree with others above. I don't feel it unless I'm feeling for weight.

    If you haven't felt the freedom of dynamo lighting yet, you are going to love it. There's nothing to check or think about. Just jump on the bike and go! Not only does it work from one day to the next, it works from one year to the next. It just keeps on going, no matter what the weather or anything.
    I almost wish Dynolighting came standard..
    Riding 19 Years of Specialized Sirrus Tradition.
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  19. #19
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Sirrus, it's not hard to add!
    Please email me rather than sending me a private message. My address is noglider@pobox.com

    Tom Reingold
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Employer: Larry's Freewheeling, 301 W 110 St, New York, NY 10026
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  20. #20
    Velocommuter Commando Sirrus Rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    Sirrus, it's not hard to add!
    I know; however, if a n00b walks into a bike shop dynolights aren't even mentioned. Generally if lights are asked for, the sales staff just point you over to the battery lights..
    Riding 19 Years of Specialized Sirrus Tradition.
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  21. #21
    Big, Fat, Texan WalksOn2Wheels's Avatar
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    The short answer: a quick search tells me that a Shimano 105 front hub is about 200 grams and an Alfine dynamo is nearly 700 grams. So, roughly 500 grams, or about 1.1 pounds.

    However, you might be able to minimize the weight penalty if your current wheel is pretty chunky. Building from scratch, you can go with a decently light rim and spoke combo, making the overall difference a little less.

  22. #22
    http://www.538.nl acidfast7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalksOn2Wheels View Post
    The short answer: a quick search tells me that a Shimano 105 front hub is about 200 grams and an Alfine dynamo is nearly 700 grams. So, roughly 500 grams, or about 1.1 pounds.

    However, you might be able to minimize the weight penalty if your current wheel is pretty chunky. Building from scratch, you can go with a decently light rim and spoke combo, making the overall difference a little less.
    It's not the overall weight of the wheel that matters. It's how far it is from the centre. A 500g weight penalty in the middle (hub) is much different than 500g around the outer edge (rim).

    I'd wager that 500g in the middle is similar to 100g on the rim.
    Movimento 5 Stelle (M5S)
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  23. #23
    tcs
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    Where I live, not every bicycle commuter is a young strapping male who lives in a ranch-style tract home.

    Quote Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
    It's not the overall weight of the wheel that matters.
    Carrying the bike up stairs or lifting it onto a bus rack, it actually is the overall weight that matters.
    "When man first set woman on two wheels with a pair of pedals, did he know, I wonder, that he had rent the veil of the harem in twain? A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Typewriter Girl, 1899.

    "Every so often a bird gets up and flies some place it's drawn to. I don't suppose it could tell you why, but it does it anyway." Ian Hibell, 1934-2008

  24. #24
    tsl
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcs View Post
    Carrying the bike up stairs or lifting it onto a bus rack, it actually is the overall weight that matters.
    At 57 and with a bit of middle age around my middle, I'm not a strapping young lad. Although I will confess to the male part.

    I live on the third floor, and the bikes stay in the apartment with me. Two of the three have Shimano Alfine DH-S501 dyno hubs. It's not a problem carrying them up and down the stairs.

    Since this is the commuting forum, you'll also understand when I say, that the hub weighs less than my panniers and their contents, which I don't take off to make a second trip up the stairs. It probably weighs less than my pump, seat bag and its contents too.

    Actually, the hub weighs less than the two MagicShine batteries it replaced. I never took those off either to carry the bike up the stairs.

    I do, however take the grocery panniers off when they're loaded with the week's worth of groceries. The bike plus 50-60 pounds of vittles is too much for me to heft up the stairs in one go. Oh, woe is me!

    Come to think of it, I also have to lift the bike up a couple of steps to get it inside at work, and of course, at both locations, my bikes hang on the wall by their front wheels for storage, which also requires lifiting. I manage this too without being either strapping or young.
    Last edited by tsl; 02-03-14 at 07:19 AM.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  25. #25
    http://www.538.nl acidfast7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcs View Post



    Carrying the bike up stairs or lifting it onto a bus rack, it actually is the overall weight that matters.
    Sure, but how often that happen, compared to the time that wheel is spent revolving.

    Also, 500g? Is that really significant compared to the total weight of the bike?
    Movimento 5 Stelle (M5S)
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