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Lights and generator opinions or options

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Lights and generator opinions or options

Old 06-25-10, 07:30 PM
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RobE30
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Lights and generator opinions or options

It has been rather hot and humid in my area lately and I am a huge wimp with heat so, I've taken up riding in the late evening into dusk. My Bianchi has been the main ride for evenings and I would like to have the option of running real lights etc. I'd like to go with something that is "vintage" looking to go with the hammered fenders my dogs are getting me for a late fathers day present (they said they are anyway) so, the mini LED stuff is out unless I can stuff it into an appropriate looking housing. What do you guys recommend as far as power supplies go? The sidewall bottle generators seem like they would chew up tires pretty quickly so that would be my last choice. Let me know what you guys are running and what the pros and cons are. Thanks!
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Old 06-25-10, 07:51 PM
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When I was a teenager, I had one of the bottle-type generators. Basically, it let me see the potholes and avoid them, on a dark street, riding at maybe 10 mph. In other words, fairly useless for normal riding. I've got two or three of the 2-AA LED lamps now, and they're somewhat better, but still highly variable as to their usefulness.

They had lights in the olden days, but they just weren't that common, so anything you use is not going to look entirely right. Maybe look into a head-mounted lamp, where it's on you, instead of the bike, and that way, at least you don't spoil the looks of your bike. Otherwise, consider that those LED lights do readily clamp on and remove from the bike, so you can just pop it off when you're riding in the daytime.
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Old 06-25-10, 08:22 PM
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Can't go wrong with a Schmidt dynohub. Kinda spendy, but in this case, you get what you pay for, hassle free, always on tap lighting, etc.

As for bottle dynamos, at that level, I would just as soon use rechargeable batteries. YMMV
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Old 06-25-10, 08:23 PM
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If you can afford it, the Schmidt and Lumotech lights have a decent, vintagey (sp?) look.
http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/light...motec-hub.html

Also, B&M now has a beautiful retro-looking headlamp:
http://clevercycles.com/p/?prod-code...+plus+chrome#_

All kind of pricey.

Probably on ebay or around here you could find a standard bottle dynamo with nice-looking incandescent headlamp and matching tail-light -- though the mounting options for these can sometimes be harrowing (a SHEET METAL SCREW?! You mean I screw this into the frame?! Right THROUGH the paint!?!). However, there are ways of doing it that don't damage the bike and this light is something, not nothing.
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Old 06-25-10, 08:37 PM
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Thoughts on this? http://www.velo-orange.com/nodyhub.html

Rather inexpensive but....
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Old 06-25-10, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by RobE30 View Post
Thoughts on this? http://www.velo-orange.com/nodyhub.html

Rather inexpensive but....
Supposedly a decent hub for the price.

FWIW I run about 5 different types of generators, but don't have the Novatron...yet. If you want a decent sidewall try the Axa Traction Power it has a rubber drive wheel that can easily be replaced, and will be easier on the sidewalls. Some tires have a generator track built on to them, I know Schwalbe does this on some of their models. I also use the B&M Retro that was referenced earlier, it is a very good light as far as halogens go. I prefer hub dyno's over sidewalls, but sometimes you have to go with what you can afford and what will fit. My Raleighs all have 90mm front spacing and if I don't run the Sturmey Archer dyno hubs I have to go with a sidewall, bad part about the S-A hubs is that they only put out around 1.8 watts. the sidewall will do the full 3 watts.

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Old 06-25-10, 10:47 PM
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I ride a lot in dusk/dark conditions. I use a Shimano 3N80 and Schmidt E6. It's very bright and lights up the road very well. The hub does not feel overly heavy and the E6 is pretty classic looking. I have the non-switch model and haven't once wished I could turn it off. I began with a skewer mount, but once I could afford a proper rack I moved it. If money weren't an object I would've bought the Schmidt SON. But, again, I'm very happy with the 3N80.
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Old 06-25-10, 11:13 PM
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Lights are about safety, not fashion. Unless you want to go to the cost of a dynohub, you are much better off accepting the benefits of technology by getting a good, powerful LED light. My $85 MagicShine opened up new biking worlds. Now I can both see the terrain ahead and be seen by drivers. I also once had a generator light and it really wasn't worth a damn.
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Old 06-25-10, 11:34 PM
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Originally Posted by RFC View Post
Lights are about safety, not fashion. Unless you want to go to the cost of a dynohub, you are much better off accepting the benefits of technology by getting a good, powerful LED light. My $85 MagicShine opened up new biking worlds. Now I can both see the terrain ahead and be seen by drivers. I also once had a generator light and it really wasn't worth a damn.
You can have your cake and eat it too. A dynohub with a LED headlight is plenty bright.... More expensive; however, you're not tethered to a proprietary battery either. Dynohubs also happen to be the choice or randonners because they work as long as you do. As Roll-Monroe-Co pointed out B&M makes a nice retro looking head light or if you are a tinkerer you can retrofit a classic bullet headlight with LEDs. Also, you can build your own circuits that incorporate batteries for a longer lasting standlight..
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Old 06-26-10, 01:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Sirrus Rider View Post
You can have your cake and eat it too. A dynohub with a LED headlight is plenty bright.... More expensive; however, you're not tethered to a proprietary battery either. Dynohubs also happen to be the choice or randonners because they work as long as you do. As Roll-Monroe-Co pointed out B&M makes a nice retro looking head light or if you are a tinkerer you can retrofit a classic bullet headlight with LEDs. Also, you can build your own circuits that incorporate batteries for a longer lasting standlight..
Sorry, not quite. Dynohubs are for all practical purposes dedicated to one bike. Would never work for me with a fleet of different bikes I ride. But, don't get me wrong, sometime, if it makes sense, I want to try a dynohub. For practical advice, the new age of LED lights are bright, efficient, and easily moved from bike to bike.
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Old 06-26-10, 10:11 AM
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I use a shimano 3n72 and a lumotec plus with standlight for my nightly commute to work. I also use a battery blinking light. And if I blow a bulb I can turn the blinking light to constant as a backup. I've not had that problem yet though. And the dynohub works great and you wont notice the drag at all if you are used to riding with any loads.
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