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Old 04-20-08, 01:43 AM   #1
Sirrus Rider
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Considering Generator lighting.

Okay.. For those who have taken the plunge, do you break you current hub out and reuse the rim or do you buy a whole new wheel with a different rim aesthetics be damned?? I'm thinking Gen lighting is a better value seeing that with Niterider et. al. you have to sink $90 plus a year for a new battery for about 2.5 hours of light..
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Old 04-20-08, 03:46 AM   #2
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You need a new battery every year?!
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Old 04-20-08, 08:06 AM   #3
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Get the whole wheel. This allows swapping the wheel with the hub dynamo for the original wheel for times you will not be needing light. Do you really need a hub dynamo? Bottle and BB type dynamos are much better than those of just a few years ago, drag is much less so slippage is not as bad as it was, Theres no drag at all when the dynamo is disengaged from the tire. If your an all year commuter and deal with snow a hub dynamo is the best option but if you just need light a couple of hours a night a tire driven type maybe all you really need. This would save you having your wheel rebuilt with a hub dynamo or the purchase of a second wheel built around a hub dynamo.
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Old 04-20-08, 09:33 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Sirrus Rider View Post
Okay.. For those who have taken the plunge, do you break you current hub out and reuse the rim or do you buy a whole new wheel with a different rim aesthetics be damned?? I'm thinking Gen lighting is a better value seeing that with Niterider et. al. you have to sink $90 plus a year for a new battery for about 2.5 hours of light..
Having to buy a battery every year looks like operator error rather than something wrong with the system. A bit of study at Battery University is warranted.

As for reusing the rim, it depends on the age and condition. If it's a fairly new rim, reuse is probably okay. If it has a few thousand miles under its belt, probably not. Don't reuse the spokes, however...especially not on a new hub. The spokes on a used wheel have taken a set and rebending them will probably weaken them.
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Old 04-20-08, 09:35 AM   #5
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Tire driven? What possible reason could you have to run one of those extremely inferior lights in the face of cheap LEDs?
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Old 04-20-08, 12:54 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Having to buy a battery every year looks like operator error rather than something wrong with the system. A bit of study at Battery University is warranted.

As for reusing the rim, it depends on the age and condition. If it's a fairly new rim, reuse is probably okay. If it has a few thousand miles under its belt, probably not. Don't reuse the spokes, however...especially not on a new hub. The spokes on a used wheel have taken a set and rebending them will probably weaken them.
I exaggerated a bit to make my point that with a commercial unit the company that made it has it's hand in you back pocket when it's time to buy a new battery. On my current system I have 2 batteries one is about 3/4ths (the older one) and the newer one seems to be holding full charge.
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Old 04-20-08, 01:34 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by n4zou View Post
Get the whole wheel. This allows swapping the wheel with the hub dynamo for the original wheel for times you will not be needing light. Do you really need a hub dynamo? Bottle and BB type dynamos are much better than those of just a few years ago, drag is much less so slippage is not as bad as it was, Theres no drag at all when the dynamo is disengaged from the tire. If your an all year commuter and deal with snow a hub dynamo is the best option but if you just need light a couple of hours a night a tire driven type maybe all you really need. This would save you having your wheel rebuilt with a hub dynamo or the purchase of a second wheel built around a hub dynamo.
Well, I have two bikes in mind. I just picked up an '07 Specialized Sirrus and every time I look at it it seems to be calling out for a permanent lighting solution like a hub dyno. This bike I have designs to make my daily commuter. It's also the bike that I believe I can find a matching rim for. Alternatively, it came with a kickstand (which I promptly removed!) so it has an open bottom bracket mount so a bottom bracket dyno would work on it if I knew of one. The only one I knew of was made by Sanyo back in the late '70 to late '80's I'd consider a bottle dyno as well, but my experience has been that if the bike doesn't have a dedicated mount be prepared to loose paint off the seat stays.


The second is my current commuter that I'm considering a freeradical kit for. This will become a backup commuter/heavy cargo bike. I've long forgotten who made the rims as the stickers faded and peeled long ago so matching the rim for a second wheel with a hub dyno will be hard. It's a U-brake mountain bike so it is it's a poor candidate in it's current form for a BB Dyno. As a long bike I guess a bottle dyno could be used effectively, but I'd like to have something for use on the bike in it's current form.
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Old 04-20-08, 03:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sirrus Rider View Post
I exaggerated a bit to make my point that with a commercial unit the company that made it has it's hand in you back pocket when it's time to buy a new battery. On my current system I have 2 batteries one is about 3/4ths (the older one) and the newer one seems to be holding full charge.
I haven't ever used the commercial battery. It's pretty easy to adapt something else (RC car batteries) and end up with a better light in the bargain. This only applies to halogen by the way
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Old 04-20-08, 04:44 PM   #9
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Tire driven? What possible reason could you have to run one of those extremely inferior lights in the face of cheap LEDs?
I run high power LED's with my tire driven dynamo! First and foremost
batteries are not required. Latest generation of LED's produce much more light with much less power. Here is a photo of my latest dynamo powered light.

This light uses two SSC P4 U-BIN Z-power LED's in Luxeon optics. One is a 15 X 30 degree lens and holder and the other is in a 10 degree narrow lens and holder. The pattern produced allows more light where you need it. The light produced is comparable to a 20-watt halogen setup. LED's have come a long way in a very short time.
Here is a photo with the cover removed so the optics, LED's, and heat sink can be seen.

Then there is the ability to recharge my GPS unit or cell phone from my dynamo. Here is the circuit for that.

Last edited by n4zou; 04-20-08 at 04:51 PM.
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Old 04-20-08, 05:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sirrus Rider View Post
Well, I have two bikes in mind. I just picked up an '07 Specialized Sirrus and every time I look at it it seems to be calling out for a permanent lighting solution like a hub dyno. This bike I have designs to make my daily commuter. It's also the bike that I believe I can find a matching rim for. Alternatively, it came with a kickstand (which I promptly removed!) so it has an open bottom bracket mount so a bottom bracket dyno would work on it if I knew of one. The only one I knew of was made by Sanyo back in the late '70 to late '80's I'd consider a bottle dyno as well, but my experience has been that if the bike doesn't have a dedicated mount be prepared to loose paint off the seat stays.


The second is my current commuter that I'm considering a freeradical kit for. This will become a backup commuter/heavy cargo bike. I've long forgotten who made the rims as the stickers faded and peeled long ago so matching the rim for a second wheel with a hub dyno will be hard. It's a U-brake mountain bike so it is it's a poor candidate in it's current form for a BB Dyno. As a long bike I guess a bottle dyno could be used effectively, but I'd like to have something for use on the bike in it's current form.
Here is where you can get a BB type dynamo here in the USA.
http://www.yellowjersey.org/dynamos.html

You can use a kickstand and this BB dynamo at the same time!
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