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Old 02-24-10, 07:03 PM   #1
Road Fan
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Tire for Generator?

Is a tire with a generator track really necessary to run a bottle generator? I want some 30-32 mm flexy tires and have a BM system to install. What is there that will withstand the generator wheel and is also comfy and flexy? Terrain will be paved with moderate hills, but considering the state of Michigan these days, a lot of broken pavement and even roads reverted to gravel should be expected. Besides, construction could force is onto packed dirt from time to time.
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Old 02-24-10, 10:00 PM   #2
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I don't think a generator track is absolutely necessary. At least, not in dry conditions. I only have experience with the crappy Basta/Union bottle generators. I found that they worked about the same on tires with and without generator tracks. But I also found that the Basta/Union worked very poorly whenever road conditions got at all wet, and that it completely stopped working whenever there was any slush on the road at all, regardless of what kind of tires I was using. I used a bottle generator for about six months until I got to my first winter. By mid-december I had already ordered a new wheel with a generator hub.

I know the B & M bottle generators are supposed to be much better. But my experience with the Basta/Union was so bad that I'll never consider a bottle generator again.
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Old 02-24-10, 10:12 PM   #3
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I've used a variety of bottle dynamos (incl. Union and also some very cheap discount store models) and have never had a problem with them in either wet or dry conditions. Slush and snow have resulted in slippage and reduced light output so auxiliary battery lighting is good under those conditions. There shouldn't be any need for a tire with a generator track since I position the roller of the dynamo to run on the main tire tread surface - not on the sidewall. Of course this is with road tires with non-aggressive tread patterns, not MTB knobbies.
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Old 02-25-10, 10:19 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
I've used a variety of bottle dynamos (incl. Union and also some very cheap discount store models) and have never had a problem with them in either wet or dry conditions. Slush and snow have resulted in slippage and reduced light output so auxiliary battery lighting is good under those conditions. There shouldn't be any need for a tire with a generator track since I position the roller of the dynamo to run on the main tire tread surface - not on the sidewall. Of course this is with road tires with non-aggressive tread patterns, not MTB knobbies.
How does this work if I go with something more for multisurface, like an Armadillo or even (shudder) one of those big fat cheap Cheng Shins? Plus, I assume I'll have to relieve teh fender for pully clearance, depending of course on chain lines.

Duhhh (said Road Fan editing his post), if I go with a heavy tire like I described, its sidewalls will be able to withstand a bottle even if I do get it installed a bit sideways ...

Last edited by Road Fan; 02-25-10 at 11:15 AM.
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Old 02-25-10, 11:17 AM   #5
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brotherdan, have we met? I'm in AA, too.
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