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Old 10-21-09, 12:51 PM   #1
RFC
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Moving dyno system between bikes

Thanks for all of your previous advice. I am becoming increasing interested in lighting systems. And, given that most of my career has been as the lawyer to the geeks (patent, IT, environmental, telecom, biotech, etc), I feel I'm in good company.

My question is: Can dyno hub systems be set up so that it is reasonably easy and moderately quick to switch the systems from bike to bike? I have several bikes I ride regularly and really don't want a dedicated night bike.

Thanks again,

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Old 10-21-09, 07:00 PM   #2
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With a hub dynamo system it should be possible to move the wheel between bikes as long as all have the same wheel diameter and adequate tire clearance for the largest tire that you use on the dynamo hub wheel.

Most dynamo headlights and taillights are not designed as quick release units but by installing plug type connectors on the wiring they could be made reasonably quick removal and install I believe. Put a wiring harness on each bike so the lights and dynamo hub just plug in for electrical connections.

The devil could be in the details however such as different headlight and taillight mounting requirements or provisions on various bikes. Also a 700C wheel cannot be moved to a MTB with 559mm rims. One bike with disc brakes and another with caliper brakes could also pose a problem. Many disc brake wheel rims are not designed for caliper brakes.

Sounds like an inteesting project but may require time and patience to work out all the details.
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Old 10-22-09, 07:31 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by tatfiend View Post
With a hub dynamo system it should be possible to move the wheel between bikes as long as all have the same wheel diameter and adequate tire clearance for the largest tire that you use on the dynamo hub wheel.

Most dynamo headlights and taillights are not designed as quick release units but by installing plug type connectors on the wiring they could be made reasonably quick removal and install I believe. Put a wiring harness on each bike so the lights and dynamo hub just plug in for electrical connections.

The devil could be in the details however such as different headlight and taillight mounting requirements or provisions on various bikes. Also a 700C wheel cannot be moved to a MTB with 559mm rims. One bike with disc brakes and another with caliper brakes could also pose a problem. Many disc brake wheel rims are not designed for caliper brakes.

Sounds like an inteesting project but may require time and patience to work out all the details.
I can say that the electrical connection part on my Lumotec Cyo came with the quick-release plug. I assumed it was standard...so did my dynamo wheel...(or maybe just one of them came with it and I didn't know it?).

To the OP, are you moving just the light or the light *and* the wheel? The other guy has valid points that, obviously, a 700c road wheel isn't going to fit on a 26" mountain bike. And though a lot of the dynamo hubs come with an attachment for a disc brake, they might not work on a rim brake bike if the disc is still attached.

It also depends where you mount stuff, and what you mean by "fast". Do you mean 5 minutes, or 30 seconds? For where you mount stuff, you need to keep the wire running from the light down to the wheel out of the spokes of the wheel (or bad bad things will happen), but you might be able to rig something up with wire guides that would allow relatively fast removal. For the light itself, would it mount on the handlebars or at the fork crown? At the fork crown the light usually attaches by removing (and then putting back on) the front brake, not something that would be terribly fast, but not a huge amount of work either. Of course, you could just order extra light mounts and that would help, though you'd still likely need to unscrew the light...


I guess what I'm trying to say is - it is possible to move a dynamo light and wheel from bike to bike if you're willing to put the time into setting things up before hand and do some tinkering, in all likelyhood.

But if your question is "are dyamo lights easy to move as they are when they're ordered", no, they're rather designed to be put on one bike and stay there, moving them between different bikes requires some work and/or planning.

In general. Hmm, I think the Supernova E3 you can order with a quick release handlebar mount...
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Old 10-22-09, 09:01 PM   #4
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IIRC the IQ Cyo uses european 3mm spade connectors for hookup. Not really designed for frequent disconnection and reconnection.

Setting up something like the OP wants to do depends on your mechanical abilities and access to equipment. I just made up a quick release bracket for mounting my new Light On! dynamo headlight to my handlebars. I prefer a hard mount rather than the standard Light On! O ring handlebar mount for a headlight so adapted the mounting bracket set from Cygolite headlights to the Light On! headlight. It required making up a 1.5" by 2" by 3/8" thick aluminum plate and then accurately drilling and tapping 4 holes in the plate. The headlight will come off the bike in a few seconds and reinstall without having to mess with beam adjustments.

The original Light On! handlebar mount is quick release but uses an O ring to hold the headlight to the handlebars. IMO too easy to knock out of adjustment and headlight removal and reinstallation requires readjustment of where the beam points after every installation.

The Light On! standard wiring from the dynamo to the headlight also has a single quick disconnect plug at the headlight connector.
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Old 10-22-09, 10:17 PM   #5
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The short answer (for more discussion see the PaulRivers' post) is: no, there is no such commercially available hub system. The only quickly movable commercial system has been a block dynamo, such as by Sanden, Sanyo or FER. The block dynamos have been common in Japan and many have had an integrated red light facing rear.
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Old 10-22-09, 10:50 PM   #6
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The KISS way is to use battery (rechargable) LED taillights on all the bikes and on the front a standard quick release dyno hub and then either use the LightOn! axle mount dyno light or buy a skewer light mount end and mount a handlebar dyno light to it, this way the entire dyno and front light assembly are removable without messing with wiring.

I went with the later and am waiting on my handlebar mount Supernova that I will mount on the end of the skewer (pictures soon)
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Old 10-23-09, 12:37 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by tatfiend View Post
IIRC the IQ Cyo uses european 3mm spade connectors for hookup. Not really designed for frequent disconnection and reconnection.

Setting up something like the OP wants to do depends on your mechanical abilities and access to equipment. I just made up a quick release bracket for mounting my new Light On! dynamo headlight to my handlebars. I prefer a hard mount rather than the standard Light On! O ring handlebar mount for a headlight so adapted the mounting bracket set from Cygolite headlights to the Light On! headlight. It required making up a 1.5" by 2" by 3/8" thick aluminum plate and then accurately drilling and tapping 4 holes in the plate. The headlight will come off the bike in a few seconds and reinstall without having to mess with beam adjustments.

The original Light On! handlebar mount is quick release but uses an O ring to hold the headlight to the handlebars. IMO too easy to knock out of adjustment and headlight removal and reinstallation requires readjustment of where the beam points after every installation.

The Light On! standard wiring from the dynamo to the headlight also has a single quick disconnect plug at the headlight connector.
My bike with a Cyo uses a connector that definitely *is* designed for frequent reconnection and disconnection. This was the best pic of it I could find online:


It's not a complete pic, but the connector is definitely designed to be connected and disconnected easily, I assume so you can take your front wheel off without extra trouble (like for a flat...).
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Old 10-23-09, 11:54 AM   #8
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PaulRivers;

I was referring to the connection at the headlight, not at the dynamo. What you show is the standard Shimano dynamo connector. I figured that any true quick hookup/disconnect system for dynamo lighting should have the wiring harness on each bike left in place so only the dynamo wheel and lights need to be moved. Otherwise the lights and dynamo move requires rerouting of wiring on each bike to make the switch. I was trying to make the changeover be as quick and painless as possible.

As another poster noted current Dynamo systems are really intended for permanent mounting. If running both dynamo headlight and taillight the wiring harness needs to be set up IMO so that it remains in place on each bike and the lights need to be set up with both electrical and mechanical quick disconnects.

When set up with the factory wiring harness the Light On! headlight has both but the taillight does not. Due to normal bolt-on mounting dynamo taillights appear to be difficult to make quick change without some work.
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Old 10-23-09, 01:24 PM   #9
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PaulRivers;

I was referring to the connection at the headlight, not at the dynamo. What you show is the standard Shimano dynamo connector. I figured that any true quick hookup/disconnect system for dynamo lighting should have the wiring harness on each bike left in place so only the dynamo wheel and lights need to be moved. Otherwise the lights and dynamo move requires rerouting of wiring on each bike to make the switch. I was trying to make the changeover be as quick and painless as possible.

As another poster noted current Dynamo systems are really intended for permanent mounting. If running both dynamo headlight and taillight the wiring harness needs to be set up IMO so that it remains in place on each bike and the lights need to be set up with both electrical and mechanical quick disconnects.

When set up with the factory wiring harness the Light On! headlight has both but the taillight does not. Due to normal bolt-on mounting dynamo taillights appear to be difficult to make quick change without some work.
Well, you're correct. The Cyo has a wire that's completely non-removeable coming out of it at the light head. Though if you were that do it yourself, you could cut it and connect it to some quick-connect connector yourself. The instructions for the Cyo actually say to cut the wire if you have extra wire, so it's not going to be a problem with the light.

I mean...fyi.
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Old 10-23-09, 11:24 PM   #10
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Got my Supernova e3 installed.

Pictures Here
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Old 10-25-09, 10:24 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by RFC View Post
Thanks for all of your previous advice. I am becoming increasing interested in lighting systems. And, given that most of my career has been as the lawyer to the geeks (patent, IT, environmental, telecom, biotech, etc), I feel I'm in good company.

My question is: Can dyno hub systems be set up so that it is reasonably easy and moderately quick to switch the systems from bike to bike? I have several bikes I ride regularly and really don't want a dedicated night bike.

Thanks again,

RFC
If they all have the same size wheel, then the Light On setup seems to be what you want:
http://lightonlights.com/dynolight/


It looks like it would be easy enough to swap wheel and light as a combined unit.
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