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Thread: Dynamo!

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    Dynamo!

    Hi,
    Both my diamond frame and recumbent are each fitted with a 3-Watt / 6-Volt AXA-HR Traction dynamo (generator) which provides power to the running lights -- a 2.4-Watt B&M Lumotec headlight and .6-Watt DToplight Plus taillight on each bike.

    I ride a lot, so both my dynamos need to be replaced. However, I can't find an online source in the US that sells them. And the wrenches at my local bike dealer didn't even know that such things even exist!

    Until now, I was buying everything from Germany. But I assume all such parts are universally available. I hope my assumption is right! Can anyone please tell me where to find dynamos?

    Thanks in advance!
    Last edited by Moonbiker; 06-08-12 at 02:12 AM.

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    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    Welcome to the Forums!

    I know next to nothing on availability in US, but Peter White's homepage is often mentioned when discussing dynamo based lights and how to get them in US (same for studded tyres, BTW). Failing that, I'm sure some German webshops (try Roseversand, Globetrotter for example) deliver to US. It may be pricey though.

    --J
    To err is human. To moo is bovine.

    Who is this General Failure anyway, and why is he reading my drive?


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    If you ever find a place that sells AXA or Union dynamos in the US let me know, my searches never produced any results (actually I'm looking in Canada but if the shipping charges are reasonable I could buy in U.S.) I found some AXAs from Ebay vendors in Germany that's all.

    Since you have experience with the AXA-HR, how long do they last?

    Yellow Jersey and Peter White all likely your best bets.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by calina; 09-25-09 at 03:16 AM.

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    lightonlights.com shows them on there page.

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    you could try Kiev

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    Moonbiker, you should use this as an opportunity to upgrade and get dynohubs and LED lights. In fact, few bikes are sold anymore in Germany with bottle dynamos. Most will come with dynohubs. The negative of upgrading to dynohubs is that you need to get whole wheels, but then you can turn it into a positive since you need to put together a significant order if you want a German vendor to move and/or otherwise want to spread the price of the shipment to the US. Within dynohubs, optimal are better Shimanos and, in LED lights, B&M IQ Cyo.

    If you go again with bottle, you will be switching to dynohubs anyway within a couple of years, so why the extra expense and trouble.

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    I found the HR at a fair price at http://www.cantitoeroad.com/catalog/...roducts_id=106 . They are in Colorado.

    Shipping to Canada would be $15.00, too expensive for such a small order and even worse if the customs hit me.

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    I've had good service with this outfit in England, prices are reasonable and they have a good selection of dynamos and lights. Shipping to the US takes about one to two weeks.
    http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/

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    Juha--Heipp hei, kiitos paljon!

    calina--Hard to give an accurate figure on how long the AXA-HR's lasts, but I usually keep mine throughout many years of heavy use. They only cost about 18 in Germany, so I don't give it much thought. The benefit is that, due to their large drive wheels, they don't slip; especially when running them on Schwalbe Marathon 1.5's with sidewall traction strip.

    BrianV--Thanks!! They do indeed have AXA-HR on lightonlights.com. I hope they have extra drive wheels, too.

    2_i--Good point about hub dynamos...I've thought about it already. But my rims are still good, so I'm inclined to wait. I'm not a pro, so, considering time for getting parts and setup, it takes me nearly all day to build a set of rims. For this reason, I like to get as much use out of them as possible!--at least until the brakes wear through them.

    When and if I get a hub dynamo, it'll be a complete 12-Volt system which I imagine will cost about $500 dollars (not including rims). Perhaps I'll coordinate it with the installation of a Rolhoff Speedhub...and a bicycle lock that weighs at least as much as I do :-)

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    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moonbiker View Post
    Juha--Heipp hei, kiitos paljon!
    You're welcome! If the Axa-Basta turns out difficult to find, a basic Busch & Mueller Dymotec 6 should be easier to source. It does cost approximately twice as much as Axa-Basta though.

    (Your reply begs the question: oletko suomalainen?)

    --J
    To err is human. To moo is bovine.

    Who is this General Failure anyway, and why is he reading my drive?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Moonbiker View Post
    Hard to give an accurate figure on how long the AXA-HR's lasts, but I usually keep mine throughout many years of heavy use. They only cost about 18 in Germany, so I don't give it much thought. The benefit is that, due to their large drive wheels, they don't slip; especially when running them on Schwalbe Marathon 1.5's with sidewall traction strip.
    Is the lack of slipping true also in the rain?? With a large roller, the pressure exerted on the tire cannot be large and push out the water layer. The point of those wire-brush rollers for the rain is to get a contact with the tire in spite of the water.

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    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2_i View Post
    Is the lack of slipping true also in the rain?? With a large roller, the pressure exerted on the tire cannot be large and push out the water layer. The point of those wire-brush rollers for the rain is to get a contact with the tire in spite of the water.
    One difference is that the bigger roller gives better leverage against the generator inside, requiring less effort to turn. A dynohub, then, has the biggest "roller" of all.

    I share Moonbiker's lament about the lack of generator-powered lighting available in the US. I've begun to think that the bike shops would rather sell multiple battery-powered lights to each customer than a one-time generator setup that won't bring nearly as much return business. Well, either that, or maybe most US cyclists don't think of paying that much for bike lights.

    At a shop where my sister lives in Germany (Heidelberg, to be exact), I bought her a dynohub built into a wheel, new headlight and taillight, and had it installed for maybe US$150-160, including labor. It's impossible to get such a good deal here.

    Besides Peter White's site, Harris Cyclery also stocks generator setups.
    http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/light...ator-hubs.html

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    2_i--
    Yeah it works relatively well in the rain. I used it in the rain, today. I guess the traction strip on the Schwalbe tire helps a lot. Without it, I'm sure no rubber-wheeled dynamo would grip adequately. I also have to disclaim even riding fast enough for my AXA-HR to hydroplane!

    Many people in Germany use B&M dynamos. I guess one advantage is the pressure adjustment which enables setting for optimal rolling resistance. I haven't owned a B&M in many years. My last several dynamos have been AXA-HR's. Maybe I should consider switching, just to mix things up a bit?


    BarracksSi--
    I think the reason they sell mostly battery powered lights in the US is because there are still relatively few serious commuters. For many commuters, remembering to recharge batteries is a rarity, so it's good to have trusty, on-demand dynamo power. It's especially good when you haven't touched a particular bike in months, and you spontaneously need it for a nighttime pub run to meet friends.

    In Germany, everyone owns at least one 'Kneipenrad' (=a cheapy that you can park outside the pub). :-)))
    Last edited by Moonbiker; 06-08-12 at 02:14 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moonbiker View Post
    Yeah it works relatively well in the rain. I used it in the rain, today. I guess the traction strip on the Schwalbe tire helps a lot. Without it, I'm sure no rubber-wheeled dynamo would grip adequately.
    I had awful experiences with the recent Continental tires that have changed to a very cursory generator track. The dynamo would stop working on any sight of wetness. Continental even had the nerve to advertise this change on their site, claiming that this made their tires look better. This claim is now off, so maybe they started getting heat from customers. In any case, I am not about to get any more of their improved tires as I am more interested in being alive than in satisfying somebody's twisted aesthetic perceptions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Moonbiker View Post
    I also have to disclaim even riding fast enough for my AXA-HR to hydroplane!
    Well, when taking off the rubber grips from handlebars, you can convince yourself that water works as a decent lubricant even when no hydroplaning is involved. No hydroplaning, I believe, was involved in the pyramid construction either.

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