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  1. #1
    No one carries the DogBoy
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    Hub Generators on a bike for brevets....

    I ride a cyclocross bike for my brevets, but I think its a bit too clunky, and I'd like to replace my cross bike and my road bike with something like a specialized rubaix (sp). Anyway, either way I go, I'm thinking about getting a son hub generator with lights. My question is this...My current wheelset is a cane creek volos xl wheelset. The front is a 24 spoke rim. Given that I don't want a new wheelset just for brevets, should I get the son 24 and lace it to an xl rim? Admittedly this would be primarily for asthetic reasons, but is there any reason to NOT do this?

    I was then going to get a generator light and mount it on a crono nub on the fork. That way I can get my generator now, and not worry about having a problem if I upgrade the bike, since I can just put the wheels on the new bike, along with another crono hub.

    I'd like some opinions on doing this, vs other lighting schemes that must provide adequate light for long hours at night. (My cygolite HID only made it 3 hours...just enough for the 300km I did...I don't know what I'd do for a 400 or 600k since its a waterbottle battery).

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by DogBoy
    I'd like some opinions on doing this, vs other lighting schemes that must provide adequate light for long hours at night. (My cygolite HID only made it 3 hours...just enough for the 300km I did...I don't know what I'd do for a 400 or 600k since its a waterbottle battery).
    I'm in the middle of building up a bike that will pretty much be a brevet bike and commuter. I'm also getting a Schmidt hub up front (and the bike's forks will have cable guides to route the wires from the hub to the headlamps, so I don't have to use zipties ... little touches like that make me feel more chuffed than I have any right to be)

    anyway, if you want an alternate lighting rig, I did an entire brevet series (200k - 600k) with just a conventional AA-battery powered Planet Bike LED light and a Sigma Sport EvoX HID (similar to your Cygolight -- halogen with external battery pack that is only good for ~ 4 hours)

    The Planet Bike LED was my primary, and it was decent for lighting up the road for about 3 to 4 hours, then illumination would rapidly fall off and weaken. This was usually fine for riding between controls, or starting brevets at 4am with a 6 or 7am sunrise. For the night riding, I'd just swap in fresh batteries at each control. I'd use the HID sparingly for reading cue sheets and as backup when the LED started to fade. Recharge the battery during sleep stops.

    It's kinda ghetto and suboptimal but it worked for me last year.

  3. #3
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    I wrote about my setup here.

    Schmidt with a 32 hole Mavic Open Pro.
    I'll email a mod and see if they can move it to Long Distance.
    Last edited by bmike; 08-24-06 at 01:29 PM.

  4. #4
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DogBoy
    I ride a cyclocross bike for my brevets, but I think its a bit too clunky, and I'd like to replace my cross bike and my road bike with something like a specialized rubaix (sp). Anyway, either way I go, I'm thinking about getting a son hub generator with lights. My question is this...My current wheelset is a cane creek volos xl wheelset. The front is a 24 spoke rim. Given that I don't want a new wheelset just for brevets, should I get the son 24 and lace it to an xl rim? Admittedly this would be primarily for asthetic reasons, but is there any reason to NOT do this?

    I was then going to get a generator light and mount it on a crono nub on the fork. That way I can get my generator now, and not worry about having a problem if I upgrade the bike, since I can just put the wheels on the new bike, along with another crono hub.

    I'd like some opinions on doing this, vs other lighting schemes that must provide adequate light for long hours at night. (My cygolite HID only made it 3 hours...just enough for the 300km I did...I don't know what I'd do for a 400 or 600k since its a waterbottle battery).
    While there is no reason you cannot rebuild an existing wheel to use the Son hub, I wonder why you would. Unless you are extremely lucky, you will need to purchase new spokes for the wheel and do the work (or pay labor) to have the rim relaced. The only thing you are saving is the material cost of an extra rim. and you end up with spokes and hub in a junk bin. why not just spend a bit more for the new rim and you'll two wheels instead on one?

    Forget about the HID light on brevets. As you learned, it isn't practical. The truth is that it almost certainly puts out more light than you need to ride rural roads anyway. If you don't want to lay out the capital at this time for a Son generator and lights (a significant amount of cash) then consider a couple CatEye EL-500 LED lights. Mount one on each fork with a nob and adjust the beams as you like. On a fresh set of batteries, you'll easily get full illumination all night long. Two lights provides plenty of light for all but really fast downhills. My $0.02 anyway.

  5. #5
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by supcom

    If you don't want to lay out the capital at this time for a Son generator and lights (a significant amount of cash) then consider a couple CatEye EL-500 LED lights. Mount one on each fork with a nob and adjust the beams as you like. On a fresh set of batteries, you'll easily get full illumination all night long. Two lights provides plenty of light for all but really fast downhills. My $0.02 anyway.
    I think the Cateye idea is sound for the 300, 400, and 600k on a budget - and building a new wheel is the way to go. You won't want the hub with you when you don't really need it.

    When you do a 1200 the dyno really makes sense - you can run for days on end and never worry about power - just a few small bulbs in your kit.

    The dyno is also great for commuting and training into the fall / winter. I'll leave mine rigged as the days get shorter - whenever I want to ride I can go - no need to make sure I have batteries charged, etc.

  6. #6
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    bmike,

    When you run a secondary E6, do you have to reach down to the light to turn it on or is there a remote switch?

    Thanks.

  7. #7
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob
    bmike,

    When you run a secondary E6, do you have to reach down to the light to turn it on or is there a remote switch?

    Thanks.
    You can leave the switch on, and it will be controlled with the primary.
    I often run both lights on flat to rolling, and only the primary on climbs.
    Both lights are not very bright when climbing or going really slow. I'll switch on and off often, depending on how its going. One light is bright enough.

    Here's another thread about LD night riding.

  8. #8
    No one carries the DogBoy
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    Quote Originally Posted by supcom
    While there is no reason you cannot rebuild an existing wheel to use the Son hub, I wonder why you would. ...
    I guess I wasn't clear. It would be a new wheel build with the same type of rim, not a rebuild...I'm assuming here that I can get a volos xl rim without buying the whole wheel, but I'm guessing that if I asked at cronometro (a local specialty shop that invented the cane-creek wheel/hub type) that I could. If I can't, I'd do 32 hole open pro without question. My question really was more...is the 24 spoke hub with the thicker rim going to be okay for me, given that the current wheel with the normal hub is okay, or is there a good reason to just go straight to a 32 spoke open pro type rim.

    Quote Originally Posted by supcom
    Forget about the HID light on brevets. As you learned, it isn't practical. The truth is that it almost certainly puts out more light than you need to ride rural roads anyway. If you don't want to lay out the capital at this time for a Son generator and lights (a significant amount of cash) then consider a couple CatEye EL-500 LED lights. Mount one on each fork with a nob and adjust the beams as you like. On a fresh set of batteries, you'll easily get full illumination all night long. Two lights provides plenty of light for all but really fast downhills. My $0.02 anyway.
    I'm okay with the cash outlay for the son, just want to make sure I am okay in terms of use. I like my current wheels...not the lightest, not the most aero, not the most bombproof, but a good mixture of the 3. I'm wondering if I should try to keep the same basic wheel...with a different hub, or if I'm better off just getting an open pro front, and riding a bike with mismatched wheels. Still, it sounds like the cateye might be something to consider.

    A second question I have is this....how do you see the cue-sheet and street signs at night? I had a difficult time with both of those. Helmet mounted backup light? Doesn't that make your neck sore?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by DogBoy
    A second question I have is this....how do you see the cue-sheet and street signs at night? I had a difficult time with both of those. Helmet mounted backup light?
    yup.
    Doesn't that make your neck sore?
    On my helmet, the lamp of my Sigma was pretty negligible, weight-wise. Used it on a 300 and 400 and had no complaints. On my 600K, I forgot the extension cable that allowed me to run my battery pack from my jersey pocket to the helmet mounted light, so instead ziptied the battery pack to the back of my helmet. That took a little getting used to and wouldn't be something that I'd do unless totally desperate.

    My girlfriend uses this neat little Petzl Zipka that weighs all of 2 ounces. It's pretty neat and runs for nearly forever. Light isn't all that powerful, but for reading cue sheets and illuminating nearby street signs, it's totally sufficient.

  10. #10
    No one carries the DogBoy
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    My initial idea of matching the generator up to the volos xl won't work...something about the spoke design because the nipples are at the hub on crono wheels. So now I need to determine which rim to go with. I'll run tires between 700-25 and 700-37 (winter studded tires). I haven't had trouble doing that with my current wheels, so I'm assuming that an open pro rim will work well. Does anyone think it will cause me problems?

    bmike, how stable is your setup on bumpy roads? I'm leaning towards the fork mount rather than the canti mount so that if I choose to move the setup to a road bike I won't need to buy new brackets. However I'm a bit leery of the lamps changing position or even falling off if I hit a big bump. Big bumps are unavoidable in winter riding around here, so any insight will be appreciated.

  11. #11
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DogBoy
    bmike, how stable is your setup on bumpy roads? I'm leaning towards the fork mount rather than the canti mount so that if I choose to move the setup to a road bike I won't need to buy new brackets. However I'm a bit leery of the lamps changing position or even falling off if I hit a big bump. Big bumps are unavoidable in winter riding around here, so any insight will be appreciated.
    Very secure.

    It took a bit to get it all dialed in... but in 3 brevets with night riding and plenty of training on New England roads they didn't move.

    I also take em on and off.

    I use the setup from Peter White. Works well.

  12. #12
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DogBoy
    A second question I have is this....how do you see the cue-sheet and street signs at night? I had a difficult time with both of those. Helmet mounted backup light? Doesn't that make your neck sore?

    Yes, you'll need something for navigation.

    I've used the Danolite with good sucess. (aside from a manufacturing defect on the first two, which they promptly replaced)


    Super light on the head (18g for the weight weenies!) - batteries in the jersey pocket. 2.5 hours of run time on a charge - and depending on how the riding is going I'll flip it on and off as needed.

  13. #13
    No one carries the DogBoy
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    Thanks for your input everyone...I'm going to go with the fork mounts, 32 spoke black hub generator and open pro rims and the two E6s.

  14. #14
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DogBoy
    Thanks for your input everyone...I'm going to go with the fork mounts, 32 spoke black hub generator and open pro rims and the two E6s.
    Nice. I think you'll be very happy with that setup.


    As the E6's go out when you stop, I've added the knog frog to my handlebars. It can be set it for blink or steady. Very handy when in town / traffic at intersections and such. It also saved my ar$e on the 600k when my headlight failed - I put it on my finger for reading my cue.

    I have the red mounted on a chain stay. I just leave em on the bike.


  15. #15
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    The Son system is not a bad system at all and the price is right. If you need more light the Cateye EL500 is not the thing to get, these lights are made to be seen not to see with. Cateye does make the HL-EL530 that puts out about 500 candlewatts more then the 500 which makes it about 50% brighter so it would be only marginally better. The Cateye HL500II is brighter then the LED's they offer at this time but the battery life is a lot shorter at about 3 hours vs 90 hours for the the HL-EL530.

    Whatever lighting system you go with back it up with a some sort of front flasher either amber or white. The flasher will attract motorist attention to you because the biggest drawback to any bicycle light is the size of the light lens; motorist are use to seeing larger lights like those on cars and motorcycles, the smaller ones tend to either go unnoticed or they think the light is further away, either way they don't pay real close attention to these. The flasher will draw their eyes and attention to you.

    Also a helmet light is good because you can point the light just about anywhere you want like at road signs, as well as flashing it at a driver; so look into using a Cateye for that since they are light in weight and use very little battery power.

    I know a guy in California who tours and does a lot of night riding got one of those Schmidt Dyno lights and he likes it a lot, but his biggest complaint was the brightness which is no where near as bright as the big halogens or the HID's but needs the light to run all night; so he supplemented that light with 2 Cateye HL-EL500's (he got this before the new 530's came out), and mounted one on each fork. This system he seems ok with but is still yearning for more light so he is considering getting a pair of the 530's. He also uses a front flasher and a helmet light.

  16. #16
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    The Schmidt will drive two headlights at normal speeds...

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by LWaB
    The Schmidt will drive two headlights at normal speeds...
    Depends what you call “normal”. That's ok for fast unloaded riding, as in randonneuring or for going down a hill, but since I usually ride with a loaded bike and/or kids, I don't ride fast enough for that. However, a dual-headlight system that could work is one made with a DLumotec (LED) main headlight and a Schmidt E-6 secondary light. The DLumotec reaches full brightness near 3-4 km/h and the E-6 kicks in around 12-15 km/h.

    Right now, my system is made of A Schmidt dynohub with a E-6 main headlight. I also have a Planet Bike Beamer 5 “accessory light”. I can't compare it to the Cateye EL-5xx headlights as I haven't seen them on display here (too expensive, say the LBSs), but I find the Beamer 5 very cheap, a good be-seen headlight for those slow upgrades and intersections where I am stopped, and in the flasher mode, it's also good to grab the attention of people when I ride through business districts. It's also very small, so I don't fill my pannier with it.
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

  18. #18
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    Back in January I had a wheel built with a Schmidt hub which I intended to use on brevets. I rode a 150 mile training ride with it and then decided to use led lights and a Petzel HeadLamp. I plan on using the Schmidt wheel on my commuting bike.

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