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  1. #1
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    Recommendations on dynamo wheel

    I'm building up a new commuter/touring bike. I do tons of commuting around NYC and ride through the winter and hate having to constantly worrying about if my blinky lights are charged. Also, being a heavier rider, I can't afford to be riding in the dark and hitting a pothole I don't see, i could get away with that as a kid but not as a 240lb adult.

    I'm looking for advice on dynamo hubs and specifcally how worried I need to be about them in bad weather. What are the pro's and cons of cheap dynamo's vs expensive ones. Ideally i'd like to keep it lower cost because it will be on a NYC commuter bike that gets locked up outside a lot so the last thing I want is bling factor. Also, I'm probably going to want disc brakes on it. Lastly, recommendations on lights would be great. Idon't konw much about dynamos at all. since I'll be locking my bike up, I'll need a light that can easily be taken on and off. I'll also probably want to be able to charge devices like a cell phone with it, should I get into touring. Thanks!

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    I use a Son dynamo hub on my tourer. They make one that is compatible with disc brakes, though personally I use v-brakes. It is expensive. The advantage of expensive dynamo hubs over cheaper versions, as I understand it, is that they give you more power and therefore, depending on the lights you choose, better illumination. Shimano make a range of dynamo hubs that are much less costly, and again they make versions for discs. I don't know enough about them to offer an opinion.

    I use a Busch and Muller e-werk with my hub, and with it can charge my iPad, Garmin and so on. Once again,it is a relatively pricey bit of kit. There are people with the electrical competence to make their own, but sadly I am not one of them.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

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    http://www.airbomb.com/itemMatrix.as...=&MatrixType=2

    I'm thinking this could be a really good option. I like the reflective rim because I know reflective tires help visibility a ton but there are limited quality brands of tires. this will still let me run my preferred brand of tire.

    I also found a matching rear wheel http://www.treefortbikes.com/home#na...222373030___85
    I'd prefer 36 holes on the rear but knowing what I know about wheelbuilding, I'm confident that this will do quite well. IT's not like I'm gonna be taking the bike off of jumps and ramps and I'm not going to be riding loaded up all that often as of now, more for commuting.

  4. #4
    Senior Member enigmaT120's Avatar
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    I've been trying to read up on the options on this guy's web site (has a nice article on fitting bicycles, too):

    http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/index.html
    Ed Miller
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    Quote Originally Posted by enigmaT120 View Post
    I've been trying to read up on the options on this guy's web site (has a nice article on fitting bicycles, too):

    http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/index.html
    funny, I did a lot of looking there too. it's almost information overload! but great info

  6. #6
    Senior Member pasopia's Avatar
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    As far as I know all dynamo lights are going to be too big of a hassle to remove when you get off the bike. They all have a cable that runs down the fork and connects to the hub. You could unplug it at the fork quickly, but you would have to unwrap the cable from your fork, and then use tools to unbolt the light. If it makes you feel better I've been commuting with a dynamo light in NYC for 5 years and nobody has stolen mine. I don't leave the bike out every day though.

    I've had really good luck with shimano dynamo hubs. My current dh-3n80 has over ten thousands miles on it. It still runs great, and I have never serviced it in any way. That includes year round nyc commuting plus an 8 month trip through South America. I don't think that one is disc compatible, but some of the other shimano ones are. The DH-3D71 is disc compatible, and is excellent.

    I'm using a B&M IQ fly for my light. It works quite well. If I were to buy another one I would probably get the update, which is the IQ CYO.

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/l...motec-hub.html
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    Yeah, hard to break the information down on that site. Not sure about disc brake compatibility, but the owner of my LBS likes the Sanyo generator hubs- best hub for the money in his opinion. As for lights, I think they are not generally set up for quick release; you may have to rig up your own QR if you need to remove them form the bike.

    My finding is that people don't generally know or appreciate how much lights cost. If they are securely bolted they are far less likely to disappear than lights that are on quick release fittings (like battery powered lights). Locked up longterm in NYC, though, may be different.
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    I've been very pleased with my Shimano DH-3N80 and IQ Cyo R headlight. I also run a 2W Planet Bike Blaze to fill in the portion directly in front of the wheel (the Cyo is aimed farther out).
    GRAVELBIKE.COM - ride everything

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    Quote Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
    I use a Son dynamo hub on my tourer. They make one that is compatible with disc brakes, though personally I use v-brakes. It is expensive. The advantage of expensive dynamo hubs over cheaper versions, as I understand it, is that they give you more power and therefore, depending on the lights you choose, better illumination. Shimano make a range of dynamo hubs that are much less costly, and again they make versions for discs. I don't know enough about them to offer an opinion.

    I use a Busch and Muller e-werk with my hub, and with it can charge my iPad, Garmin and so on. Once again,it is a relatively pricey bit of kit. There are people with the electrical competence to make their own, but sadly I am not one of them.
    do you have any pics of your bike showing the front end setup? i like the idea of that E-Werk device. It's a bit pricey but it could be well worth it.

  10. #10
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I have 2 Disc compatible Schmidt hubs, a 6 bolt in a 26" wheel

    and a centerlock spline type fitting on a 20" wheel Bike Friday.

    I use a Schmidt E6 halogen bulb headlights, with Tubus rack mounted
    wired taillight on the 26" wheel bike..

  11. #11
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    I think either the disc-compatible Shimano or SON would be fine. If you're heavier and want to tour, go with a 36-spoke version. I'm fond of the Velocity Dyad rims for being stout. That'll build a great wheel.

    I don't worry much about dyno-lights being stolen. They're bolted on and usually not very noticeable on a parked bike. I would worry more about the front wheel. Be sure to run a cable through it when locking.
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    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by motobecane69 View Post
    do you have any pics of your bike showing the front end setup? i like the idea of that E-Werk device. It's a bit pricey but it could be well worth it.
    I don't, sorry. But it is quite simple, the e-werk simply clamps wherever you want it - bars, top tube, down tube, stem - and the wires run down the head tube and fork (small zip ties) to the hub. It comes with double-sided crimps so you can have it and the lights connected to the hub at the same terminals without fiddling about. Neat.

    Of course, if you are charging ypur devices while riding (as opposed to charging the cache battery you can buy with the e-werk, and using it to charge your devices later) you need somewhere to put them. On my last tour I had my iPad in a front pannier and the cable supplied with the e-werk was comfortably long enough to charge it as I went. Which was good, because so far I haven't persuaded the cache battery to put out enough current to charge the iPad. Worked fine with the garmin, though, so I tended to charge the iPad in motion and use the cache battery to charge the garmin in the evening.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  13. #13
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Several options on dyno hubs. I use them on any bike that I am going to ride regularly. I currently own 3 old Sturmey Archers, one modern Sturmey Archer, 2 Shimano's and one Sanyo. The Sanyo was the cheapest of the newer hubs at ~$40usd and is QR. I don't have it laced in a wheel...yet. All of the others are in daily use and work just fine. There are a couple of inexpensive (relatively speaking) LED head lights that will do fine for general riding. I use the higher end B&M ones; IQ Fly and Cyo primarily. I have never had a head light stolen off of any of my bikes, however I don't live in NYC.

    FWIW all of the modern hubs are rated at 6v 3w or 6v 2.4w if you happen to get a German spec one. The difference in price is usually due to the quality of the bearings and hub portion.

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    Senior Member SweetLou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    FWIW all of the modern hubs are rated at 6v 3w or 6v 2.4w if you happen to get a German spec one. The difference in price is usually due to the quality of the bearings and hub portion.
    That's not to say that is all that will be produced. You can get much more watts than 3 out of a hub.

    The more expensive hubs will have less drag, especially when the light is not on, than a cheaper one. They will generally use better seals also.
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    so eh what about a bottle dynamo just saying.

  16. #16
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    Visit the on-line Bike Touring Archive at www.biketouringtips.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by antokelly View Post
    so eh what about a bottle dynamo just saying.
    Those things are so ugly and cheap looking

    Regarding lights, Am I correct in assuming that LED lights are now widely available? seems like some of the older threads showed led light technology to be a bit new and hard to get your hands on.

    I have a wired bike computer that the head unit mounts on the bars but it slides into a holster that has terminals on it. ARe there any dynamo lights that work like that that I can wire up and just click into place when I want to use it?

  18. #18
    Senior Member Rob_E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by motobecane69 View Post
    Regarding lights, Am I correct in assuming that LED lights are now widely available? seems like some of the older threads showed led light technology to be a bit new and hard to get your hands on.

    I have a wired bike computer that the head unit mounts on the bars but it slides into a holster that has terminals on it. ARe there any dynamo lights that work like that that I can wire up and just click into place when I want to use it?
    I think LED lights are quickly becoming the standard, but, as with most things, you get what you pay for. I have an inexpensive LED dynamo light that keeps me visible, but doesn't do much to help me see. Adequate seeing lights come at a price whether it's dynamo, battery, halogen, or LED, but all are available.

    Most dynamo lights bolt on. The one exception I know of is the Planet Bike Blaze Dynamo light.

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    Quote Originally Posted by motobecane69 View Post
    Those things are so ugly and cheap looking

    Regarding lights, Am I correct in assuming that LED lights are now widely available? seems like some of the older threads showed led light technology to be a bit new and hard to get your hands on.

    I have a wired bike computer that the head unit mounts on the bars but it slides into a holster that has terminals on it. ARe there any dynamo lights that work like that that I can wire up and just click into place when I want to use it?
    yeah but a hell of a lot cheaper than getting a wheel built onto an expensive hub and with a good headlight it will do the same thing show you the road in the dark ok so it wont power a mobile

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    I use a Shimano DH-3N72 disc-compatible dynamo hub. Ive used it most days for about 3 years and it never misses a beat.
    The only down-side to dynamo hubs is servicing the bearings, they are cup and cone but the electrical contact runs through a slot in the axle and is vulnerable to breakage and impossible to fix. My LBS is top notch but they dont like to mess with dynamo hubs. The only pictorial service guide is now off-line. Shimano dont publish proper instructions. Here is the text.

    I have used a high quality bottle dynamo, Swiss-made Nordlight 2000 bolted to a solid braze-on tab. Dynamo hubs are altogether better with less drag, less noise, they work in mud, wet and snow. The only advantage of bottle dynamos is if you ride long distance and use them very little, you get to ride a lighter wheel.

    The standard LED lamps are B&M. You can get fancier, metal-bodied ones. The LED arms race means that whatever you get will be obscelete but even older ones are very good.
    I managed to crack the brittle plastic body of my Lumotec lamp (twice) when the steering swung around and it struck the top tube. It depends on the placement of your frame tubes. It repairs OK with superglue but still, bummer.

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    so ... what about a bottle dynamo .. ?
    wet tire lowers friction between it and dynamo drive roller,
    below the Magnetic resistance inside the dynamo
    and the generator stops, & hydroplanes..

  22. #22
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    Well, I recommend you get a dynamo wheel. They're great for riding anytime, and not worrying about the battery charge.

    I think sturdy rims and tires (say 28-32 minimum) will minimize any road damage. SON or Shimano, pretty much a wash except for price and perhaps water seals on the bearings. I got a Shimano dynamo wheel from Velo-orange and Cyo light for under $300. The SON supposedly have better seals, but you'd have to add light, spokes, rim, and build prices to the $300+ for just a hub.

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    Quote Originally Posted by antokelly View Post
    yeah but a hell of a lot cheaper than getting a wheel built onto an expensive hub and with a good headlight it will do the same thing show you the road in the dark ok so it wont power a mobile
    I don't want to sound like a snob but $100 for a hub isn't expensive in my book. A rim is $50 spokes are about $30 and I know how to build wheels so I'm looking at $180 for this wheel. it just so happens that I've already found one built for that price so that is easier.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob_E View Post
    I think LED lights are quickly becoming the standard, but, as with most things, you get what you pay for. I have an inexpensive LED dynamo light that keeps me visible, but doesn't do much to help me see. Adequate seeing lights come at a price whether it's dynamo, battery, halogen, or LED, but all are available.

    Most dynamo lights bolt on. The one exception I know of is the Planet Bike Blaze Dynamo light.
    That planet bike light is EXACTLY what I'm looking for, thank you!

  25. #25
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    If i didn't allready have the SON dynohub I would be interested in the new SuperNova hub.From what I understand you can completely turn it off so that it is just like a regular hub.Also it weights less,300 grams is what my lbs said yesterday(I think).

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