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  1. #1
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    Is there anything wrong with charging a USB light with a dynamo?

    I'm looking for a light to run from my dynamo hub while on tour. Decent recommended lights that run directly from the dynamo seem like they're all expensive. I was looking at the MiNewt 350 USB(<-- Clicky). My hope is that I can just get a USB plug for my dynamo hub and plug the battery pack into it to charge during the day while I ride. Will that work and not damage the battery?

    Otherwise, can anyone recommend a dynamo light for ~$30-40?
    90 Miyata 914 with full Dura-Ace
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    Quote Originally Posted by scyclops View Post
    Oh yeah, sure, what if everyone thought that way? Then internet forums would merely be places where rational people exchange useful information and ideas - instead of the chaotic, emotionally-charged circuses that they are.

  2. #2
    afraid of whales Mr IGH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3speed View Post
    ...Otherwise, can anyone recommend a dynamo light for ~$30-40?
    The Planet Bike Blaze Dynomo isn't too bad, this ebay seller always seems to have them for ~$43 shipped:
    Planet Bike Blaze Generator Dynamo LED Bike Head Light | eBay
    IGH's, Dyno Hubs, LED lights and old frames

  3. #3
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    The supply for charging must be able to provide a regulated 5V DC at the necessary current, usually at least 500 mA. Typical bike dynamos don't/won't do that on their own, though I have heard of attachments which will provide USB compliant power from a dynamo. Others may know of specific devices they can recommend.

    Here's one, but it's a bit pricy: Supernova ThePlug III Dynamo USB Charger - AEBike.com
    Last edited by Looigi; 04-18-14 at 04:27 PM.
    Ride more. Fret less.

  4. #4
    Zoom zoom zoom zoom bonk znomit's Avatar
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  5. #5
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    The B&M Lumotec IQ Fly N ($30 from Peter White) or the IQ Fly Senso ($40 from Peter White). I have the sidewall version with standlight which was ~$25. The light itself is really good for the money. The standlight is weak and I wouldn't pay extra for it, I just run a cheap battery backup in blink mode for that.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3speed View Post
    I'm looking for a light to run from my dynamo hub while on tour. Decent recommended lights that run directly from the dynamo seem like they're all expensive. I was looking at the MiNewt 350 USB(<-- Clicky). My hope is that I can just get a USB plug for my dynamo hub and plug the battery pack into it to charge during the day while I ride. Will that work and not damage the battery?
    Unfortunately it's not as simple as simply connecting the dynamo wire to a battery to charge it. They make equipment that will let you charge a light (is the light charges off of usb, if not it won't work), but that's more expensive than simply buying any dynamo light.

    Quote Originally Posted by 3speed View Post
    Otherwise, can anyone recommend a dynamo light for ~$30-40?
    I'm confused - you post a link to a $67 light, then ask for a dynamo light that's $30-$40?

    As the previous poster suggested, the B&M Lumotec IQ Fly N ($30 from Peter White) is probably your best bet at that price range. But don't expect much from it - I expect the other poster will disagree, when I used a light that dim I found it unacceptably dim and (imo) worthless.

    For $50, you can get a Lumotec Lyt, but it looks pretty weak -


    For $70 (similar to the actual cost of the light you posted a link to above), you can buy a Lumotec Cyo - it's what I've been using on my bike for the last 2 years. It's a solid light, because of it's excellent beam pattern, the only battery light that I found that actually beat it in my preference for riding was putting 2 Light and Motion lights on my bike, which was very expensive and...well, etc etc. You might also be able to find used Cyo's, now that the Cyo Premium is out.



    For $110, you can get a Lumotec Cyo Premium which is similar to this -


    I have the battery version, here's my own pic -


    I don't know how much you plan on using this light and bike. In my personal opinion, the Cyo costs the same as the MiNewt you mentioned above and it's a decent light. The Cyo Premium costs more, but it's worth it (for me).
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #7
    Zoom zoom zoom zoom bonk znomit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
    I'm confused - you post a link to a $67 light, then ask for a dynamo light that's $30-$40?
    Its more like 130 for the minewt 350 if you want a battery too.

  8. #8
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    The MiNewt I was thinking of getting is on the local CL for $40, basically new. Right now I'm using a really cheap, crappy flashlight/mount thing from a big box store. Most anything will be an upgrade, so I'll look into the B&M lights. One thing that concerns me is that they're not quick release, so you can't take them with you when you park the bike in town. Does anyone have an idea on these as far as theft is concerned? Is it a common problem? And I have a general idea of how bright a light is of a given lumen rating, but am completely unfamiliar with the lux rating system, and can't seem to find a decent comparison of them. Lots of technical explanation of them, but no practical comparisons. Does anyone have any sort of idea about how many lumens the Fly or Lyt would be equivalent to?
    Quote Originally Posted by znomit View Post
    Its more like 130 for the minewt 350 if you want a battery too.
    No, the MiNewt 350 USB that I mentioned and linked to is normally ~$65. It comes with the battery.
    Last edited by 3speed; 04-18-14 at 10:10 PM.
    90 Miyata 914 with full Dura-Ace
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    80s Cierra Professional 5000, Tange Champion 2 and Shimano 600
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    Quote Originally Posted by scyclops View Post
    Oh yeah, sure, what if everyone thought that way? Then internet forums would merely be places where rational people exchange useful information and ideas - instead of the chaotic, emotionally-charged circuses that they are.

  9. #9
    Zoom zoom zoom zoom bonk znomit's Avatar
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    Theft isn't really an issue. They are bolted on and not much use to anyone else. Lighting quality… generally the battery light guys I ride with rave about my cyo.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3speed View Post
    The MiNewt I was thinking of getting is on the local CL for $40, basically new. Right now I'm using a really cheap, crappy flashlight/mount thing from a big box store. Most anything will be an upgrade, so I'll look into the B&M lights. One thing that concerns me is that they're not quick release. Does anyone have an idea on these as far as theft is concerned? And I have a general idea of how bright a light is of a given lumen rating, but am completely unfamiliar with the lux rating system, and can't seem to find a decent comparison of them. Lots of technical explanation of them, but no practical comparisons. Does anyone have any sort of idea about how many lumens the Fly or Lyt would be equivalent to?


    No, the MiNewt 350 USB that I mentioned and linked to is normally ~$65. It comes with the battery.
    The dynamo lights get attached to your bike with a screw. So they're more secure than a regular light, though less secure than taking your light with you. But they're no more or less secure than the other components on your bike - the deraillers, shifters, handlebars...etc.

    If you have a cheap POS bike that you leave locked up outside to a pole overnight, this might be a problem. Anything other than that - it's no more or less secure than anything else that's bolted onto your bike. If you really really wanted to keep it permanently attached you could put glue in the screw part of something, though obviously that would make it difficult to get off later...

  11. #11
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    That's a good point about it being the same as other things like derailers, etc. And maybe I could also find a less common than standard bolt to bolt it on. The light will be going on a touring bike that I'm taking to Europe and I use for transportation around town. I'm mostly worried about something getting snagged while locked up in Europe while we're visiting a museum or something. I'm liking the idea of the Blaze that Mr. IGH posted and the B&M lights. I'll just have to figure out which is brighter for the money.

    Thanks to everyone for the input!
    Last edited by 3speed; 04-18-14 at 11:01 PM.
    90 Miyata 914 with full Dura-Ace
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    80s Cierra Professional 5000, Tange Champion 2 and Shimano 600
    2011 New Belgium Cruiser
    Fetish Cycles "Discipline" built up with DJ2 fork and Shimano XTR, LX, Avid BB7.

    Quote Originally Posted by scyclops View Post
    Oh yeah, sure, what if everyone thought that way? Then internet forums would merely be places where rational people exchange useful information and ideas - instead of the chaotic, emotionally-charged circuses that they are.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3speed View Post
    That's a good point about it being the same as other things like derailers, etc. And maybe I could also find a less common than standard bolt to bolt it on. The light will be going on a touring bike that I'm taking to Europe and I use for transportation around town. I'm mostly worried about something getting snagged while locked up in Europe while we're visiting a museum or something. I'm liking the idea of the Blaze that Mr. IGH posted and the B&M lights. I'll just have to figure out which is brighter for the money.

    Thanks to everyone for the input!
    Good luck with your research, I'm sure you'll find the blaze is a piece of junk in comparison to the (more expensive) B&M lights. If you have to stick with $30-$40, it might be ok. My dad has the battery version of the Blaze - the Cyo is a *much* better (though also more expensive) light.

  13. #13
    afraid of whales Mr IGH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3speed View Post
    ...I'm liking the idea of the Blaze that Mr. IGH posted....
    The Blaze Dyno isn't too bad for around town with street lights. And it has a binky mode so you can irritate the Germans. I never had a dyno light that worked well on an unlit MUP until I upgraded to the Phillips SafeRide. If I was going cyclocamping and didn't have the cash for a good hub and USB charger, I'd just buy a Planet Bike 2W Blaze (runs from 2xAA) and carry a few extra batteries. Works on the bike and in the tent.
    IGH's, Dyno Hubs, LED lights and old frames

  14. #14
    Senior Member 01 CAt Man Do's Avatar
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    On the subject of theft; If you were just parking your bike somewhere for a couple hours ( one time ) I would think the ( dynamo ) lamp would be fairly safe. Parking the bike outside unattended somewhere on a regular basis for longer periods I would be a little more skeptical. Doesn't matter that it's a dynamo. If someone wants it and knows the bike is parked in a regular spot it wouldn't surprise me to see someone try to pinch the lamp.

    If I were to ride my bike to work I would have to remove all of the accessories that I use on my bike when I lock it up outside. That includes my front lamp, my rear lamp(s) and the frame bag for my flat repair and other items. I have some pricy stuff so no way am I going to leave it there all day. Not to mention that I have a torch mounted on one of my seat rails. If I were to remove it I would probably not be able to get it set-up again in quite the same way. That goes for the frame bag as well. This is why some people ride beaters to work. The more money and time you spend getting your bike set-up the way you want the less likely it is that you are willing to let it set somewhere ( outside ) unattended for longer periods of time.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Gus90's Avatar
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    Get this instead Mobile Power Pack - Tumi

  16. #16
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gus90 View Post
    Get this instead Mobile Power Pack - Tumi
    $145 for that? Gee, I pay about $20 for a 5,000 mAh battery.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
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    If you are going to go with a dynamo get a decent dynamo light. And I'll say the Cyo premium is probably the one to get. You can get them from EUR for less than they cost here, but I bought mine from Harris Cycle, the sponsor of the Sheldon Brown site and paid the full US $110 price. It wasn't worth waiting an extra week or two to get it from France. That may seem like a lot but it will last.

    Consider that a rechargeable battery will still only last about 2 hours on medium after charging all day, so that won't be an option for all night riding, but a dynamo light will keep shining as long as you keep pedaling.

  18. #18
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zacster View Post
    Consider that a rechargeable battery will still only last about 2 hours on medium after charging all day, so that won't be an option for all night riding, but a dynamo light will keep shining as long as you keep pedaling.
    Plus a few minutes!
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
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  19. #19
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Plus a few minutes!
    If there is the appropriate stand light capacitor in the circuit.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    If there is the appropriate stand light capacitor in the circuit.
    There's a standlight in almost every dynamo light sold right now.

  21. #21
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Note the word .. almost , safe ..

    B&M 4D senso Plus only has a stand light if you switch it on senso mode 3 stand light is the battery then..
    turns on in motion and darkness off after a while stopped ..or run it off the battery in the 2 on mode .& you have to turn it off.

    the plus is the Dynamo power switch position 1 was off ..when the battery only predecessor was installed ..

    it goes out when I stop.. when paired with the E6 Headlight both go dark when you stop.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 05-09-14 at 05:27 PM.

  22. #22
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    The Cyo Premium has a stand light. There's nothing almost in that. Tom has seen my light and I think was referring to that.

  23. #23
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    You folks can talk about your b&m this-and-that, but until somebody on the market designs a dynamo taillight that rivals the dinotte (or any 2-3watt 90+ lumen tallight), I'm not buying another aftermarket dynamo taillight.

    My diy cree xr-e/xp-g red led taillight knocks the socks off of my b&m toplight line plus (brake and non-brake version, I have both).

  24. #24
    Senior Member westrid_dad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbubbles View Post
    You folks can talk about your b&m this-and-that, but until somebody on the market designs a dynamo taillight that rivals the dinotte (or any 2-3watt 90+ lumen tallight), I'm not buying another aftermarket dynamo taillight.

    My diy cree xr-e/xp-g red led taillight knocks the socks off of my b&m toplight line plus (brake and non-brake version, I have both).

    I don't intend to derail the topic of the original post, but personally, I don't see this as an "either/or" decision. I supplement my B&M Luxus U headlight / B&M Toplight Line Brake Plus taillight with LED/USB rechargeable lights for flash modes, as appropriate. I use a helmet-mount CygoLite Metro 360 up front and a Light & Motion VIS 180 on the rear, which has replaced my Dinotte 140L.

  25. #25
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    When I had a Magnic light rear, I had people in cars and trucks stop me to ask what kind of light it was that was so bright. This was in daytime. The funny thing is that I can't vouch for it myself because I never actually saw it in action, it was always behind me. And then I lost it before I had a chance to ask someone to swap bikes so I could see. (By the same token, I've never actually seen my B&M front light either coming at me, although I can see the impact.) It was a cool light, with no visible source of power.

    I have another one coming, if they ever start shipping the Kickstarter batch. This one is supposed to be a tad brighter, and with a flash mode and standlight.

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