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  1. #1
    The Metropolis, UK
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    Dynamo Vs. normal lights on a 20" folder

    I'm dropping my bike in for service next week and comtemplating a few small upgrades. One is a dynamo lighting set for my Downtube VIII H. I'm thinking of the more expensive front hub dynamo with standing lights vs a rear tyre driven one also with standing lights. What do people think of these options against each other and also compared to using normal battery lights?

    Many thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    I have a Shimano dynohub built up in a 406 wheel and I used to own a more expensive SON dynohub in a 26" wheel. I also own a couple Dinotte 200L-AA battery lights.

    Which do I prefer? Well if you only have one bike or all your bikes use the same front wheel the dynohub is nice because you always have light - no worrying about charging batteries.

    If you have more than one bike and they have different sized wheels I'd get something like a Dinotte light. They mount on a bike in seconds and can be removed fast when not needed.

    If I was going to bike commute all winter in Canada my ideal setup would be a dynohub with a light mounted on my bike & a battery powered light on my helmet I could point where I wanted to see and get motorist's attention.

    Here is my Tikit light setup:

    safe riding - Vik
    VikApproved

  3. #3
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    I also have a mix of generator and battery based lighting sources. However I disagree with Vik's conclusion. My battery light is a Niterider MiNewt which is very similar to the DiNotte 200L that Vik is using.

    The generator system is preferable to me for it's reliability and simplicity. It is always there, I don't need to think about recharging it or moving it between bikes. My folding bike is an urban bike and thus should have always ready lights.

    The new Lumotec IQ Fly headlight is brighter and has a more useful beam pattern than the DiNotte and MiNewt headlights.

    I'm in the process of building up a generator wheel for my Tikit. The Dahon generator hub isn't very expensive.

    alex

  4. #4
    PDR
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    Another possible option if you merely want to be seen is the http://www.reelight.com/
    I have a set on my 20” wheel folder and they work great. I also have a battery set of lights to illuminate the road when needed.

    They charge and flash as the bike is in motion and the version I have continues to flash for a few minutes while stopped at junctions etc.

    Paul



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  5. #5
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    If you have the chance to upgrade to a dyno hub do it! I have run all manner of lights over the years and a generator hub to me is the absolute best way to go period. If you need more light than the hub can crank out you can always add battery lights, but still have the dyno if the the batteries die. There is nothing wrong with a sidewall generator, but when you need the lights the worst, on a dark wet night is when it is at it's worst, slipping and giving weak lighting.

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  6. #6
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mulleady View Post
    I'm dropping my bike in for service next week and comtemplating a few small upgrades. One is a dynamo lighting set for my Downtube VIII H. I'm thinking of the more expensive front hub dynamo with standing lights vs a rear tyre driven one also with standing lights. What do people think of these options against each other and also compared to using normal battery lights?

    Many thanks in advance.
    I have been fine with a battery operated light. I keep a battery charger at work and at home. Cheap, simple and effective for the mostly lit trip back home.

    Regarding the front dynamo hub, my understanding is that only certain models are designed for small wheels. You might want to double check before purchasing one.

    -G

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    Large wheel dynohubs will work on small wheels, they just have greater resistance. I built a 20" wheel around a Shimano NX-30 (one of their earlier dynohub models) and used it for touring without problems. That wheel has had many more miles on a friends Raleigh 20.

    If you don't mind a nutted axle then the Dahon Joule is worth considering. I'm being quoted $65 for the hub alone, $95 for a full front wheel (20"/406mm).

    alex

  8. #8
    rhm
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    Quote Originally Posted by awetmore View Post
    Large wheel dynohubs will work on small wheels, they just have greater resistance. ...
    ... and consequently higher voltage output. This can fry some circuitry, such as standlights. As Alex said, the Joule is something to consider if you can get one; and it's supposed to be okay in a 20" wheel.

  9. #9
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by awetmore View Post
    I also have a mix of generator and battery based lighting sources. However I disagree with Vik's conclusion. My battery light is a Niterider MiNewt which is very similar to the DiNotte 200L that Vik is using.

    The generator system is preferable to me for it's reliability and simplicity. It is always there, I don't need to think about recharging it or moving it between bikes. My folding bike is an urban bike and thus should have always ready lights.

    The new Lumotec IQ Fly headlight is brighter and has a more useful beam pattern than the DiNotte and MiNewt headlights.

    I'm in the process of building up a generator wheel for my Tikit. The Dahon generator hub isn't very expensive.

    alex
    Actually Alex I think we agree:

    Quote Originally Posted by vik View Post
    Which do I prefer? Well if you only have one bike or all your bikes use the same front wheel the dynohub is nice because you always have light - no worrying about charging batteries.

    If I was going to bike commute all winter in Canada my ideal setup would be a dynohub with a light mounted on my bike & a battery powered light on my helmet I could point where I wanted to see and get motorist's attention.
    A dynohub is a good choice if you plan to leave the light on your bike all the time and use it regularly. I'm using the Dinotte lights on my Tikit not because I think they are a superior option, but rather because I already own them.
    safe riding - Vik
    VikApproved

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by invisiblehand View Post
    I have been fine with a battery operated light. I keep a battery charger at work and at home. Cheap, simple and effective for the mostly lit trip back home.

    Regarding the front dynamo hub, my understanding is that only certain models are designed for small wheels. You might want to double check before purchasing one.

    -G
    I agree a battery light is personally a better option in the age of LEDs. You can get absolutely absurd battery life now days and I find incandescent bulbs a bit dim anymore. What's more, no getting smacked in the night because you had to stop and your light went off. Why carry around the extra weight also when my LED light uses 2 AAA batteries (rechargeable, and have yet to recharge nearly a month later)? They weigh much less than a dynamo and apply no resistance. I've even seen clever hand crank models that will run a good 15 -20 minutes after cranking the handle a minute or two. Most of the battery LED lamps claim they'll run 30 hours plus continuously.

  11. #11
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    The LED lights that claim that they run for 30 hours are either doing it on a very low output or don't have good regulation. The LEDs without regulation are bright for a short period of time and quickly dim.

    Using a generator headlight doesn't mean using halogens. The Lumotec IQ Fly headlight is a generator headlight that is LED based which is very bright (a reviewer did a side by side comparison and found it brighter than the Niterider 10W HID bulbs). The resistance is so low that there is no real reason to turn it off. They make a battery version of it too if that is your preference (it is one of the few battery powered LED headlights with a good beam pattern for road riding).

    No one would buy a car that requires you to recharge the headlights. I don't understand why we'd accept utility and commuter bikes (which is what most folders are) that don't have well integrated headlights.

  12. #12
    jur
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    Get yourself one or more of these and mount it/them with one of these, and power it/them with these or these. If you haven't got a charger, then get this instead.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by awetmore View Post
    No one would buy a car that requires you to recharge the headlights. I don't understand why we'd accept utility and commuter bikes (which is what most folders are) that don't have well integrated headlights.
    On the contrary. I can't wait to buy a rechargable car!

  14. #14
    Bicycling Gnome
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Smith View Post
    On the contrary. I can't wait to buy a rechargable car!
    Maybe one that is rechargeable with AIR would be the one to go for, but NOT this particular prototype model. It would have to be way better than this one, but the technology is getting there.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7241909.stm


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-A3XHFT5qc

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dq8aZ...eature=related
    “Get a bicycle. You will not regret it, if you live." - Mark Twain

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by EvilV View Post
    Maybe one that is rechargeable with AIR would be the one to go for, but NOT this particular prototype model. It would have to be way better than this one, but the technology is getting there.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7241909.stm


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-A3XHFT5qc

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dq8aZ...eature=related
    Thanks! I have never seen a compressed air car before. Sounds like an ingenious idea, though the thing that seems attractive to the average American to electric cars is the high performance torque. This sounds better to me in that it seems to use less electricity and there's no heavy metals to contend with in landfills from spent high capacity batteries. Sounds like the parts in these vehicles would be highly recyclable.

  16. #16
    Bicycling Gnome
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Smith View Post
    Thanks! I have never seen a compressed air car before. Sounds like an ingenious idea, though the thing that seems attractive to the average American to electric cars is the high performance torque. This sounds better to me in that it seems to use less electricity and there's no heavy metals to contend with in landfills from spent high capacity batteries. Sounds like the parts in these vehicles would be highly recyclable.
    I think the manifestation of the idea produced by the company as prototypes would have limited appeal in the market, but it can be developed and I don't care for his Utopian, socialist business model either. However, the car has a range of 200 km or 120 miles and a three minute refueling time at a literal 'Gas' station (air) and this is a huge leap forward in practicality for alternative vehicles. Batteries as well as weighing in at around 2000 pounds for a fifty mile run, take several hours to recharge and have a very limited life. These carbon fibre air tanks can contain a lot of energy, will last almost indefinitely and will cost a hell of a lot less than a giant array of lithium polymer or whatever battery technology. Of course there would need to be new infrastructure installed at gas stations - large electric air compressors and storage tanks, but the prize of fuel independence is massive. Combine this with nuclear electric generation on the scale that the French do it (over 80% nuclear generation since the 1970s) and we have a good carbon neutral way forward for transport. It won't be the only one, but it will work.

    Anyway - it isn't as if expansion engines were a new thing - just that the fluid used has changed. Comically enough, the version shown below had already reached its zenith by the start of the twentieth century and the whole concept was entirely dropped in favour of internal combustion engines by the end of the 1950s, but an air engine is simply an expansion engine like a compound steam engine where the pressure raising technology is external to the device using it.

    Last edited by EvilV; 02-17-08 at 02:31 AM.
    “Get a bicycle. You will not regret it, if you live." - Mark Twain

  17. #17
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Smith View Post
    Thanks! I have never seen a compressed air car before.
    I owned a car that ran on compressed air.

    It was made by Tomy -- yes, the toy company -- and was called the "Air Jammer Road Rammer".

    http://www.virtualtoychest.com/aircar/aircar.html

    Mine looked much better than the one pictured above, with a clear tank, red chassis, and black bumpers & roll cage. Pump it up, set the steering, give it a push, and it spat off until the air ran out. Fun stuff.

  18. #18
    The Metropolis, UK
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    How about using the compressed air from the human fart to create an extra boost on our folders?................................

  19. #19
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mulleady View Post
    How about using the compressed air from the human fart to create an extra boost on our folders?................................
    Rubbish.

    I don't even fart often enough to make that feasible.

  20. #20
    The Metropolis, UK
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    Try a chicken vindaloo and that could change if there was the enabling technology to channel the boost!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by mulleady View Post
    How about using the compressed air from the human fart to create an extra boost on our folders?................................
    Good God man! What is your diet?

    This seems more practical, but barely:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vp8EAHEnuY

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