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  1. #1
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    Long Distance Lighting - New Hub, New Wheels

    So... as I'm working towards a Brevet series this year, I've just ordered a Schmidt dyno hub to be built into a Mavic Open Pro wheel (32 hole black rim, black spokes and nipples) - (rear wheel to match, with Ultegra hub, 9 spd cassette). I'll still rely on batteries for a small Cateye light on the bars, which will double for map reading / repair light / etc. - but my primary forward lights will be dyno powered. Rear to be battery LED, as they seem to last forever.

    I'm still deciding on which lights, and how many (1 or 2) to run. After getting it sorted out and installed, I'll post a full review.

    I've been frustrated with my NiteRider system. Been sent back to the factory twice. Good customer service, but I've had unpredictable charge times and shortcomings with the batteries and wiring. Also increasingly short burn times. (it recently quit on an 18 mile country road commute, about halfway through the ride) The longest run time I've ever had was just under 2 hours. I've also used Cateye battery lights for primary lighting, but do not want to rely on this for a 24 hour event, or a multi-day event that requires lots of night riding.

    My LBS, the West Hill Shop is building the wheels, with the hub coming from Peter White.

    I'll be designing a bracket with a machinist friend so I can move the lights quickly between my LeMond, Trek 520, and the Bridgestone (should I ever spend the time and finish the rebuild...)

  2. #2
    Used to be a climber.. GuitarWizard's Avatar
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    Nice....before I lost my job, I was going to go with a Schmidt setup as well. I would've gone with a nice DT Swiss 240s rear hub instead though....about half the weight of the Shimano hub and pretty bombproof....try to even out the 1.5 pound front hub .

    I also planned on using a Cateye EL-500 in conjunction with the Dynohub, but as it looks now, I'll probably just use two EL-500's and hope for the best.
    1999 Trek 2500 - hit by a car on it in May, 2011 and currently bikeless

  3. #3
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    Not cheap, that's for sure. I've been saving pennies for new wheels since last season, adding the hub was a big decision... but I think it's the way to go. Commuting around town at night will now be less stressful... and I've been wanting to do a full moon century. (good fun - so long as your lights last!)

    I've thought about alternate hubs for the rear - but the Ultegra comes highly recommended by my local mech.

  4. #4
    Used to be a climber.. GuitarWizard's Avatar
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    Yeah....I just got back from the shop; picked up a Specialized Alias seat. This will be the 3rd or 4th seat I've used in the last several months, and hopefully the last. I was debating a Brooks B17, but these are supposed to be extremely comfortable as well, and 300 grams lighter . Can't wait to try it out in a bit.....

    Are you running a triple or a compact setup....I forget....
    1999 Trek 2500 - hit by a car on it in May, 2011 and currently bikeless

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    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarWizard
    Yeah....I just got back from the shop; picked up a Specialized Alias seat. This will be the 3rd or 4th seat I've used in the last several months, and hopefully the last. I was debating a Brooks B17, but these are supposed to be extremely comfortable as well, and 300 grams lighter . Can't wait to try it out in a bit.....

    Are you running a triple or a compact setup....I forget....
    Triple. I bought the bike 60 pounds ago, when I lived atop a 2 mile climb. I've debated going compact... I like the simplicity of them - but this is what I have for now.

    I try to stay out of the granny as much as possible. In previous years I've used it quite a bit. This year on a few of my loop rides I've noticed I haven't touched it, and feel stronger. I'm trying to train without it, but I think that after 200k of riding, I it will be nice to have.

    Next bike, or if I ever need to rebuild the LeMond, will probably have a compact.

    I'm slowly switching all the bikes over to Brooks. Team Pro on the tourer, Swallow on the LeMond. Might put a swift on my old Bridgestone I'm rebuilding.

  6. #6
    Used to be a climber.. GuitarWizard's Avatar
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    I think I'm gonna go with a compact on my 5200......I did some routefinding yesterday for a new bike loop, and found one of the roads here in CT that the Boston Brevet Series used for I think the 400k or 600k (I can't remember). Holy crap is it steep in a few parts.....it goes through Bigelow Hollow State Park. If you do the Boston series, and they use the same routes....you'll be on this one. I would highly recommend the triple, esp. if you're carrying a bunch of stuff .
    1999 Trek 2500 - hit by a car on it in May, 2011 and currently bikeless

  7. #7
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarWizard
    I think I'm gonna go with a compact on my 5200......I did some routefinding yesterday for a new bike loop, and found one of the roads here in CT that the Boston Brevet Series used for I think the 400k or 600k (I can't remember). Holy crap is it steep in a few parts.....it goes through Bigelow Hollow State Park. If you do the Boston series, and they use the same routes....you'll be on this one. I would highly recommend the triple, esp. if you're carrying a bunch of stuff .
    You still doing Westfield? or were you thinking about Boston?

    I wanted to do the 100k Populaire - I might be out of town for the worky thing that weekend though

  8. #8
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    Wheels are done at the LBS... saw them today when I stopped in for other business. Just waiting for the rear cassette to finish them off. Went with black spokes, silver nipples. Where the valve comes through the rim, the mech used 2 blue nipples (blue and carbon bike)... very cool.

    Can't wait to get em home. I'll have to make a light decision this week...

  9. #9
    Used to be a climber.. GuitarWizard's Avatar
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    I'm probably going with the Boston Brevet series. Seems a bit better organized than the Westfield series.

    I'm probably going to be using my stock Bontrager Race Lite wheels, and a couple Cateye EL500 lights along with a headlamp. I will be throwing on a D/A 12-27 cassette and some Continental Gran Prix 4 season 700x25 tires and the wheels should be good to go. I was debating the whole low spokecount/bladed spokes thing, but at around 150 pounds I shouldn't have too much of an issue. Besides, these wheels are decently fast and while not the lightest wheels in the world, they are certainly not heavy either.

    I'm afraid to go visit my LBS, as I'd probably end up buying something.
    1999 Trek 2500 - hit by a car on it in May, 2011 and currently bikeless

  10. #10
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    I don't mind the Bontrager Race Lite wheels on the LeMond, and will keep them as a spare set. My main reason for doing the new wheels is for the lighting. (and I'm re-building an old Bridgestone that needs wheels...) I've heard that the traditional wheels ride better, and if memory serves, they do.

    I ride the Continental GP 4 seasons now. Love em so far. I've got about 200 miles on them this winter.


    I may do a mix of Boston and Westfield, depending on my travel / work schedule. I'm a bit envious that you are shooting for BMB. I'm not sure I'll be able to handle that this year... my plan is that if I finish the 600k strong, I might just go for it. Otherwise I might do the shorter multpile century BMB ride.

  11. #11
    Used to be a climber.. GuitarWizard's Avatar
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    Yeah....I was going to go with a new set of wheels for the Schmidt as well, but ya know.....**** happens.

    I've been training since last August for the brevets, and will be ramping up the mileage again in March (still getting over a cold, but still managed to get in 100 miles last week). I have built up a decent base of spending hours on the bike, as well as quite a bit of interval training....trying to keep a fairly specific level at which I am training to get the most out of it. My main objective has been to really improve upon my lactate threshold and be able to hold sustained efforts at elevated speeds. While I will not ride those same speeds much during the events, it will make the rides a bit easier.

    If you make the series, you should at least give the BMB a try.....even if you don't complete it, you'll get to experience some of it, and who knows....you might surprise yourself. You'd be amazed at how far you can push beyond the limits of what you thought was possible when you really have to.
    1999 Trek 2500 - hit by a car on it in May, 2011 and currently bikeless

  12. #12
    Senior Member Paul L.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarWizard
    Nice....before I lost my job, I was going to go with a Schmidt setup as well. I would've gone with a nice DT Swiss 240s rear hub instead though....about half the weight of the Shimano hub and pretty bombproof....try to even out the 1.5 pound front hub .

    I also planned on using a Cateye EL-500 in conjunction with the Dynohub, but as it looks now, I'll probably just use two EL-500's and hope for the best.

    Nothing wrong with 2 EL-500's. That's what I used last year and I still use one as a backup to my HID light.
    Sunrise saturday,
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    lost in the moment.

  13. #13
    Used to be a climber.. GuitarWizard's Avatar
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    Yeah....unfortunately I'm quickly running out of handlebar real estate, and will have to figure something out (bike computer, two lights, heart rate monitor, etc.)....
    1999 Trek 2500 - hit by a car on it in May, 2011 and currently bikeless

  14. #14
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarWizard
    Yeah....unfortunately I'm quickly running out of handlebar real estate, and will have to figure something out (bike computer, two lights, heart rate monitor, etc.)....
    I just added Syntace C2 Aerobars... HRM is going on the computer mount, my Mavic computer mounts on the stem, and I'm going to design a bracket for the dyno lights. Probably the E6's from Peter White.

  15. #15
    Used to be a climber.. GuitarWizard's Avatar
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    Man, I wanna do a brevet already.
    1999 Trek 2500 - hit by a car on it in May, 2011 and currently bikeless

  16. #16
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarWizard
    Man, I wanna do a brevet already.
    Soon!
    You could do the Populaire in Westfield. 100k... which is what my long training rides have been when the weather is nice.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Paul L.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarWizard
    Yeah....unfortunately I'm quickly running out of handlebar real estate, and will have to figure something out (bike computer, two lights, heart rate monitor, etc.)....
    I mounted my El-500s upside down to make more real estate on top. Don't know if that will help or not. I found the beam pattern fine upside down.
    Sunrise saturday,
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  18. #18
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul L.
    I mounted my El-500s upside down to make more real estate on top. Don't know if that will help or not. I found the beam pattern fine upside down.
    Nice to know they work upside down - some of the lights for the Schmidt hub have beam patterns that are useless upside down...

  19. #19
    Used to be a climber.. GuitarWizard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmike
    You could do the Populaire in Westfield. 100k...
    Hmmm.....maybe....you going?
    1999 Trek 2500 - hit by a car on it in May, 2011 and currently bikeless

  20. #20
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarWizard
    Hmmm.....maybe....you going?
    I may need to be in Harrisburg, PA for a workshop / design meeting. If not, I think I may go.

  21. #21
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    Wheels are done! Need to order a cassette for the rear. Thinking about one of Sheldon Brown's pre-built "Century Special". Have to look at the capacity of my rear derailer...

    Just ordered a 3W Schmidt E6 headlight from Peter White. I'll eventually use 2 Schmidt's - a primary and secondary, fork mounted - but want to work out any mounting / wiring issues before I buy 2 of them.

    I also ordered an LED tailight and LED front light that will double as cue sheet / map reading / utility light. I should have a chance to mount everything and do a test run this weekend, if the weather holds.

  22. #22
    Senior Member
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    Get the Lumotech lights. Peter White can provide harness for 1 -15W headlamp and a tail lamp or 2 Lumotechs with one being a low speed head lamp with a 2nd lamp that kicks in say at 15mph.

    He also has brackets to mount them on the canti brake bosses.

  23. #23
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimblairo
    Get the Lumotech lights. Peter White can provide harness for 1 -15W headlamp and a tail lamp or 2 Lumotechs with one being a low speed head lamp with a 2nd lamp that kicks in say at 15mph.

    He also has brackets to mount them on the canti brake bosses.
    Too late! Ordered the E6 to mount on my fork blade. I want the lights low and out of the way - on the LeMond I ride with aerobars, and on the Trek or Bridgestone a handlbar bag will get in the way. The shape of the Lumotechs didn't look like they could be mounted anywhere but the crown or the brakes. (I don't have canti's on my primary lond distance ride...)

  24. #24
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    Picked up my wheels Thursday afternoon from my LBS - The West Hill Shop., they did a great job. The mech used black spokes and silver nipples, and blue nipples aside the valves to compliment my blue steel and natural carbon LeMond.



    Rims are 32 hole Mavic Open Pro, the front hub is the Schmidt Dyno Hub from Peter White Cycles, the rear hub is Ultegra, with 9 speed 12-26 cassette. The Schmidt hub is much larger than I expeted, and is not for the weight weenies. (although if you go battery, you still have to carry the extras around...)





    The hub feels "notchy" when you put it into the truing stand and give it a spin with your hand. Very odd, but explained by Peter White's website as the resistance to the 26 magnets that are the dyno inside the hub... It is more pronounced when mounted on the bike and spun by hand with the lights on. This feeling disappears on the road, as I couldn't "feel" any resistance from the hub, on or off. I was a bit worried about electromagnetic interference from the dyno and that I'd have to get the rear speed mount for my Mavic Wintech computer - as the front skewer picks up the speed from a spoke magnet and acts as the wireless transmitter. So far there do not seem to be any conflicts...

    I chose to use a primary and secondary Schmidt E6. Originally I had purchased the new model, with black rim around the edge of the lense, and switched this for the older, clear edge, as it "glows" when lit, and will offer side visibility. The lights I chose do not have a standlight option - when I stop, the lights go out. I plan on having a small Cateye or headlamp for Brevets, and for general commuting / training I'll probably add a small white LED to the front, which will be my "be seen" light. I did not wire a tailight, which is an option with the Schmidt hub, as I will be using a LED clipped to my bag or a seatpost rack along with bar end red LED inserts. (I've had an LED tailight running for what seems like years on the same batteries...)



    The lights are currently mounted on the fork blades. I'm designing a bracket to hang off the handlebars or aerobars that will allow me to easliy swap lights. I'm going to ride with them for a bit before fabricating anything. Having the lights mounted low makes a big difference in how the road is illuminated. I've always mounted my NiteRider or Cateye on my head or handlebars. Dropping the lights makes for road surface irregularities show with greater contrast.



    Got on the road for about 5 miles tonight after mounting the lights and taking care of some other maintence... WOW! I expected a dim glow... but was pleasantly suprised and impressed. Its incredible that the lenses really make two 3W bulbs do far more than I imagined! The lights are brighter (and throw a wider beam) than my old Cateye, Nearly as bright as my fickle NiteRider on a full charge at the highest setting. The Schmidt E6s won't compete with some of the newer NiteRider and similar systems, but they do offer steady, continuous lighting (so long as I'm moving) - a light which will burn as long as I can. The hub is weatherproof - and is not affected by cold, water (unless, I imagine if submerged), or charge time. Bulbs are easy to replace without tools.

    I experimented with different speeds, and rode uphill, using only one light. With 2 lights on at low speed they tend to go orange and dim, while 1 light at low speed is plenty to light the road. The single light came to full power around 4 mph. I also did a good downhill, probably 25 mph, and felt fine, never outrunning the light - and able to see the entire lane on my side of the road. The two cars that approached immediately turned their brights down.

    So far I'm impressed, and hope to get a long night ride in to fully test the system.
    Not sure if I can photograph the lights in operation...



    Now to plan a full moon century!
    Last edited by bmike; 03-04-06 at 09:04 PM.

  25. #25
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    Got out for an hour and a half last night. Damned windy as the weather has been changing here in Vermont. A bit of a full moon peaking between the clouds.

    Took off after dark for a windy, hilly 23 mile ride. I went into town, was on country roads, did some climbing, and a few fast downhills. Adequate brightness in all situations.

    I'm still highly impressed with this system - everything coming from pedal power and all. Playing with position of the lights. Seems I have em pointing a bit too close to the bike. I'll probably get the secondary (which I use for when I pick up the pace) to point further up the road, and put the primary for a mid range slow speed position.

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