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New cross check owner :)

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New cross check owner :)

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Old 06-07-18, 09:32 AM
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Old 06-07-18, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg View Post
dynohub is the BEST!!!

Can get a wheel and light for $230, which kind of exceeds your c-note benchmark but it's not too bad for what you get

I put dynamo tail lights onto my kids' bikes as well so I don't need to keep reminding them to turn their tail lights on before heading to school (and off when they get there, and on again when they leave...)
That doesn't seem like a great deal. I've paid as little as $130 for my hub-and-two-lights setup. I built the wheel myself. 30 lux is not very bright. And this is a bolt-on wheel, where I prefer QR. You can get a QR front wheel with dynamo for $100.

It's true that we who prefer dynamos get zealous, but if you haven't tried them, you won't understand. They're not perfect, but they're a lot better than we expected. I never notice the drag, and while they're not bright enough for everyone, they are bright enough for me, and the shaped beam is a huge plus for me.
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Old 07-09-18, 05:22 PM
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Cross checks rock! I got mine for my 40th birthday and I have a little over 12,000 miles on it now. The stock build is great; I have no major issues with anything. I think they come with v-brakes now, right? Mine came with cantis and I eventually switched to v-brakes.

I forgot to look whether you said you put a rear rack on it. That’s the one indispensable add-on to me. I have the spring-arm Pletscher rack on mine that Rivendell sells, and I find it really useful and versatile. It’s $70, but I think it’s worth it.

Enjoy your bike!

Originally Posted by xSurlyx View Post
Hello everyone,


Long time reader, first time poster.

So I bought a Surly Cross-check two months ago, for work commuting (16mi RT). Love it!

Things I have upgraded:
Selle-anatomica saddle (switched from another bike)
Tubus rear rack & panniers
Panaracer Tourguard 700x38
90mm stem (7degree-same as stock)
Odyssey platform pedals ( cheap but I like them)


My question to you, what small affordable (100$ Or less) changes/upgrades would you do off the bat?

I apologize ahead of time if this has been posted before.
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Old 07-09-18, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
It's true that we who prefer dynamos get zealous, but if you haven't tried them, you won't understand.
Tom, I wouldn't call you a zealot or extremist, you're merely a dynohum advocate. Somehow you manage to recommend the benefits of a dynohub setup without taking offense at contrary opinions

[EDIT] I came back in here to fix the typo 'dynohum', but thought maybe it helped make a distinction: zealots make a big dynohubbub about it, while for you it's more dynohohum. Or perhaps one less syllable: dynhohum

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Old 07-09-18, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
Tom, I wouldn't call you a zealot or extremist, you're merely a dynohum advocate. Somehow you manage to recommend the benefits of a dynohub setup without taking offense at contrary opinions

[EDIT] I came back in here to fix the typo 'dynohum', but thought maybe it helped make a distinction: zealots make a big dynohubbub about it, while for you it's more dynohohum. Or perhaps one less syllable: dynhohum
love dynamos too. Dynamo hum is another thing alltogether
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Old 07-09-18, 08:30 PM
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I wish there was a non committal way to test a dynamo hub. My local bike shop doesn't have anything. I've read on many occasions where tom talks about the benefits of a shaped beam and not having to worry about batteries. I've been chasing my ideal headlight to round out what I perceive is the best bike for me [2016 GT Grade with 105 and TRP Spyres). The inky thing I've not done is try shaped beams or dynamo lighting... I have a spare wheelset and I think I'm just going to bite the bullet and build a QR dynamo front wheel and try some lights.

To the OP, that's an awesome bike. Best of luck with it. Try updating your points of contact. My favorite was upgrading to the thickest lizardskin bar wrap. It made a noticeable improvement for me while riding gloveless. Not a huge investment but a big enough return for me.
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Old 07-09-18, 09:14 PM
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Heh. Thanks, @RubeRad . You and I both know the secret, which is that no one's solutions are perfect for everyone else.
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Old 07-09-18, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by xSurlyx View Post
I am starting to notice that. As of now, something that is kind of annoying, but not horrible is charging my lights/batteries. I keep thinking dynohub.

I bought a Cateye Volt 1600 front light and pretty much only use the lowest or second lowest setting, and by doing that, I can go for quite a while before needing to recharge my light.


Alternatively you could buy 2 Cateye Volt 800's and keep one at home on the charger, and one on your bike and just swap them as you need them.
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Old 07-09-18, 11:40 PM
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If I were building a dynamo light set for a Surly Cross Check today, I would probably use:

An IDC Stout front wheel for $100, which seems to be out of stock. If you can't get that, I would get the IDC Classy front wheel for $200. This dynamo hub is well liked and is, in fact, classy.

This headlight is pretty damned good, as most of the B&M lights are. It's 49.16€. I've bought from xxcycle.com in France several times, and it works out fine. They sell the Topline tail light for 14.16€, which you can bolt to your rack. I have one of these, and it's been rock solid. You may want to keep using a battery blinky light for the rear as well. That's what I do currently.

No batteries to charge, no switching things on or off, and no batteries to stop holding a charge. Well, you have to replace the blinky every two or three years, but that's no big deal.
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Old 07-09-18, 11:58 PM
  #35  
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I disagree with the opinion that fenders are not needed in the desert. I live in Phoenix and commute rain or shine! (Honestly I go out of my way to ride in on rainy days, we don't have many) the problem is, in the desert, due to lack of frequent rain the roads collect a lot of oil/grease/grime, which will sling up at you when it actually rains. I personally don't much like that stuff getting all over me and my drivetrain, so fenders it is!
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Old 07-10-18, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
This headlight is pretty damned good, as most of the B&M lights are. It's 49.16€. I've bought from xxcycle.com in France several times, and it works out fine.
Dang, I paid $100 for that two years ago. It's been a good light, though, well worth $25/year depreciation!

No batteries to charge, no switching things on or off, and no batteries to stop holding a charge. Well, you have to replace the blinky every two or three years, but that's no big deal.
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Old 07-10-18, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
If I were building a dynamo light set for a Surly Cross Check today, I would probably use...
Thx for the links, I have a Surly CrossCheck today, so if I ever want to go dynamo, I'll come back and refer to this. Probably though I won't bother with a dynamo until a few years down the road when I replace the CrossCheck with something with disc brakes. Do they make dynamo hubs with disc brake mounts?

Those Classy wheels do indeed look classy, and $200 is a good price for a wheelset, but I'd rather not have to buy a rear wheel if I don't need one.

I don't know lux -- how does 80 lux compare to, say, 1000 lumens?
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Old 07-10-18, 09:20 AM
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@RubeRad , the $200 price is for just the front wheel. It's a fair price for what it is.

80 Lux will be less than 1,000 lumens, but that doesn't mean you won't like it. No guarantee. I think my light is 60 Lux, and I am OK at 15 mph and maybe more. Some people want to go really fast in darkness, and these lights may not suffice for that. The shaped beam is a lot more useful than you might think, and it makes comparing battery round beams to dynamo shaped beams hard to do.
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Old 07-10-18, 09:34 AM
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I'd be curious to try a high quality B&M shaped-beam light. I wonder if there are any BFers near me with a dynamo setup I could borrow for a test ride.

My battery light is like this or those, stated lumens for those as you can see is all over the map, so I don't put much faith in them. But the light is really f'in bright. And the zoomable head allows me to 'shape' the beam enough to get a really useful oval fully onto the ground; I'm not sure what more you could ask for.
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Old 07-10-18, 10:14 AM
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Dynamo lights generally aren't really f'in bright, but they're really f'in useful, better than those flashlights. My wife and I used some of those, and we won't go back.
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Old 07-10-18, 12:20 PM
  #41  
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Yes there are lots of disc options.

A few good good quality hubs are
SON https://nabendynamo.de/en/products/hub-dynamos/
Shimano DH-S501 https://bike.shimano.com/en-EU/produ...0/DH-S501.html
Shutter Precision 8 and 8X. SP Dynamo System

Both SON and Shutter Precision offer thru-axle versions too.

Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
Do they make dynamo hubs with disc brake mounts?
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Old 07-10-18, 02:12 PM
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After too many years of replacing lights and batteries I decided to explore dynamo options. Here's what I did...

I bought this hub mainly because I wasn't sure if a dyno setup was the right thing for me. Specialized spec'd this hub on their top tier AWOL so I figured why not?

I bought this headlight because it features auto on/off daylight sensor, shaped beam, and 80 lux.

I bought this taillight because it wires directly into the headlight (plug and play) and has a cool brake light feature.

Here's what I found...
I should have done it a whole lot sooner. I now have over 14,000 miles on the cheap Shimano hub and have done exactly ZERO maintenance. It is fantastic! I never expected it to perform as well as it has, and actually bought a more expensive SP hub as a replacement. I figure that if I just ride the Shimano till it's shot and throw it away I've still come out way ahead. I could buy another Shimano and keep throwing them away when they (eventually) wear out, but that's wasteful and the SP is sealed bearings and rebuildable. I'm NEVER going back to batteries. The headlight is superb. Actually, it is beyond superb. The shaped beam and 80 lux is exceptional in quality and performance. B&M sets the bar for dyno headlights, period. The taillight is also fantastic. The brake light feature really works, and the light is made with the same attention to quality as the headlight. I absolutely recommend any serious, committed commuter seriously consider dyno systems. The notion that they are ridiculously expensive is simply untrue. My entire system, including shipping and wheel build was less than $200 and that was about three years ago. The system I installed is true "set it and forget it." Fully automatic, zero maintenance, outstanding performance and dare I say stylish. I've been stopped more than a few times by other riders inquiring about my lights. Highly recommended!

In true BF fashion... YMMV.


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Old 07-10-18, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Kedosto View Post
After too many years of replacing lights and batteries I decided to explore dynamo options.
I've been using the same light and batteries for like 3 years now. So my replacement rate is somewhere between every 3 years and never. If you mean charging, in the winter I charge about once a week, and have a 2nd battery to rotate in, so I've never been caught without a battery. In the summer, I never ride in the dark so I never use the light, so I never charge.


I bought this headlight because it features auto on/off daylight sensor, shaped beam, and 80 lux.
What's the benefit of an auto on/off daylight sensor? Isn't the point of a dyno system, you just leave it on all the time and forget about it?
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Old 07-10-18, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
I've been using the same light and batteries for like 3 years now. So my replacement rate is somewhere between every 3 years and never. If you mean charging, in the winter I charge about once a week, and have a 2nd battery to rotate in, so I've never been caught without a battery. In the summer, I never ride in the dark so I never use the light, so I never charge.
Can you replace the battery?

Occasionally I find that my headlight isn't as charged as I think, and then it cuts out. That's a major problem for me. I like knowing my headlight will work at full brightness for as long as I'm in motion.
What's the benefit of an auto on/off daylight sensor? Isn't the point of a dyno system, you just leave it on all the time and forget about it?
It's not a feature I use, but it reduces the drag, as the electrical load increases the mechanical load the dynamo makes. A dynamo hub that isn't powering anything still creates drag, but it creates less than with a load. But I don't feel the drag. It's there, but I don't feel it, and I figure a little extra safety (from headlights that are on) are worth the small cost in leg power.

I have also received compliments on the light. Some have asked me where to get lights like mine.

Also, it's nice that the lights are bolted on, which is true for virtually all dynamo powered lights. I don't lock my bike up in public much, so the risk of theft is small, and when I do lock the bike, thieves don't try to steal them. One did try once, but he failed. Thieves carry bolt cutters but not wrenches for some reason.

When you consider how long a dynamo system is likely to last, they're actually a very good value for the money. Lithium batteries typically last three years. I recently had my first problem with my headlight. It took me a while to find the cause. Someone had switched my light off while my bike was locked up, probably thinking he was doing me a favor. I switched it back on, and everything was fine.
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Old 07-10-18, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Can you replace the battery?

Occasionally I find that my headlight isn't as charged as I think, and then it cuts out. That's a major problem for me. I like knowing my headlight will work at full brightness for as long as I'm in motion.
Yes, the light runs on a single 18650 battery. I have two of them and carry the charged spare along with my patch kit and phone and other backup emergency stuff. So if I'm ever riding and feel that the light is weak, I swap in the charged battery, put the run-down one in my pocket, and when I get home and empty my pockets, toss it into the charger. I don't tour, or go on long enough rides to exhaust a fully-charged battery, so that workflow has always been good for me.
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Old 07-10-18, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
I've been using the same light and batteries for like 3 years now. So my replacement rate is somewhere between every 3 years and never. If you mean charging, in the winter I charge about once a week, and have a 2nd battery to rotate in, so I've never been caught without a battery. In the summer, I never ride in the dark so I never use the light, so I never charge

What's the benefit of an auto on/off daylight sensor? Isn't the point of a dyno system, you just leave it on all the time and forget about it?
First it was disposable batteries. Then it became rechargeable batteries. Finally it was built-in USB rechargeables. None last as long as my dyno system is destined to last. The final straw was when my USB rechargeable battery would last for no more than about 30 min. With no replacement battery available, I was left with facing yet another light purchase. That's the problem I have with almost all battery powered gadgets; at some point I gotta buy another battery, usually at close to the cost of buying another new gadget (drills, lights, saws, lawnmowers, etc). Batteries have a finite number of charging cycles and then they're done. My caveat "serious, committed commuter" is because for the casual, part-time commuter the cost/benefit ratio might be different. I'm an everyday, any weather, year 'round kinda guy. I could have bought a few dyno systems with what I've spent in batteries (and lights) over the years.

I should have been more clear with the auto on/off feature. The headlight switches to daylight running mode (amber running lights) during daylight or full headlight from dusk/dark. I can turn it off entirely if desired, but I leave it on all the time and it switches between running light and headlight automatically. It even works under overpasses.

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Old 07-10-18, 03:38 PM
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Yeah I hear ya. I switched from a cordless drill to a corded drill because I was sick of dying batteries. And I would be very suspicious of a usb-charged headlight, unless I could find a lot of user reviews that reported positively on the battery quality and reasonably-priced replacment.

I'm over the moon about usb-chargeable tail lights though, since they have such lower power requirements. Makes a lot more sense there, I think.

But for now, my headlight with a rechargeable 18650 battery is working great for my riding needs; max 1 swap/charge per week in the darkest part of winter.

Did you know, electric car battery packs are apparently made out of hundreds (thousands?) of 18650s wired together and shrinkwrapped into a brick? Or at least as of a few years ago, I'm sure they're making terrific advances in battery tech, driven by the phone and car industries.

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