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WHAT DYNOHUB??? (my application)

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WHAT DYNOHUB??? (my application)

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Old 09-11-07, 01:01 PM
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JOHN J
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WHAT DYNOHUB??? (my application)

Good afternoon everyone (rainy one here in Upstate ny)

well lighting season is approaching and Ill need lights in the morning and after work too.

The last 3 seasons I rode with a heavy/bulky and very Geeky home brewed 2 light set up.

I have a 10 watt flood and a 20 watt spot (MR16 auto lights) also wired into a small 12 volt strobe and a large geeky switch box (it was as small as I could make). all this junk sits on a second stem under my handlebar bag(strobe is on rear rack) , and lets not forget the bottle battery I made that weighs a ton ...

my commute is 19 miles one way and often on the MUP which is pitch black at times!! I also have to ride in the city .

another reason for a Dynohub is that I often forget to charge my batt so I dont commute . I also skip doing many evening fun rides in the fall cuz I dont want to get stuck without good lighting if Im visiting people ... and get caught after dark. Ive been caught several times , not fun, (I carry backups but tiny ones at best , be seen types , not great for potholes or the MUP... not to mention batteries are often dead after sitting for months unused)

OK the big issue is Go for the schmidt $$$$$ or save $200.00 and use the new shimano???
Im not doing brevets or audax (would love to BUT No time, im lucky if I can commute).

Seems that Most that have the shimano are ok with it But many state "if I could afford the schmidt I would have gotten it instead"

Is the schmidt that much better ? I saw the specs on peter whites site and yes it performs better 1.5 watt (sch) to 2.2 (shimano) in lights off drag 63% (sch) to the shimano 52% efficiency , schmidt has sealed bearings, shimano cone and cup .

the only real plus for the shimano next to it being half the price was the shimano hub produced more voltage at slower speed than the schmidt (great in the city) but all in all the shimano wasnt that far behind.

I can see splitting hairs for serious distance riders just like a roadie would make weight choices but for real world commuters/recreational riders is all of it that big of a deal .

Sorry I know this is an old tune but I have to decide soon.

Many thanks

"John"

Last edited by JOHN J; 09-11-07 at 02:46 PM.
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Old 09-11-07, 02:21 PM
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I just put down my money at Peter's shop for a Shimano hub (with one of his hand built wheels), and the Delumitec Oval Plus Senso light, total it is under $300. This is more than I was planning to spend. I should have it in about 2 weeks.

I have looked extensively at lights for a few months now. The 5W DiNotti for around $150 appears to be a very sweet light for the money, and was high on my wish list. The one issue I kept getting back to is that I just didn't feel like constantly having to charge my batteries. For example, the last few months there have been precious few times I've needed a light, but the other day we got done with Diner at my Father in-law's way after dark. If I'd had the light in my bag ready to go they would have been in there all summer without use, there would have been a good chance that the battery charge would be low. Unless you charge them regularly, the rechargable batteries do lose power just laying around. After much searching I decided that battery lights while cool and compact just were not the path for me. I want a light to be available when I need it, not when I remember to bring it with me and when I also remember to keep the batteries fully charged. Next I looked at the bottle generator, specifically the Busch&Muller Dymotec 6 for about $50. That looks pretty inexpensive... but then you need a mount for $18. I would need to replace my front tire with one that has the ribs for an other $30. Add an other $10 for a stainless steel wheel so that it works better in the rain. Add a light for about $70 and you get to around $180. The I looked futher at the hubs, if I went with the Shimano hub and a wheel + a light the total would be about $100 more, but the wiring would be simple, the hookup a snap, and the setup would be very clean and NO problems in the rain, and minimal drag (much less than even the $155 S6 Dymotec. There was no way that I could justify an additional $100 on top of that for the even nicer German hub. I went for the LED light that gets full power at as little as 1.5 MPH and that also has a second lower powered LED built in with capacitor that will remain lit for 7 to 9 minutes after stopping to ensure power once you you have to come to a full stop. After reading Peter's suggestions, the LED light with the slightly wider dispersion of light is a better fit for me at I will ride mostly in city/town traffic and it is better seen by drivers. The Halogen light is a little brighter and has a more focused beam that is excellent for higher speed riding, but its tighter beam means that other motorists have to be lined up more with the light to see it.

I'll report back when I have everything installed.

Happy Riding,
André
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Old 09-11-07, 03:29 PM
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I'm happy with my shimano hub. It's the ultegra/xt level one paired up with a homemade light consisting of two 3W leds. Only issue I have had is that its a bit of a pain to service compared to a normal hub because of the magnet and wires. Other than that I'm happy with the money saving over the schmidt but have not actually used one.

I think I'd be more concerned with the difference between 3W and 30W than the two hubs. There will be a pretty big difference in the amount of light produced. Why did you go for the homemade 30W system in the first place? If it was for more light a dynamo will perhaps not be the answer. Nothing worse than spending all that cash only to end up with a light that isn't bright enough.
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Old 09-11-07, 03:43 PM
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I'm very happy with the Shimano dynamo hubs I've owned. I've always run B&M lights with them and have never had any issues.
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Old 09-11-07, 04:33 PM
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I have the granddaddy of hubs the original SA Dyno hub and a much newer Shimano. I am very pleased with the performance of the Shimano. I don't think there is a huge difference between the Shimano and the Schmidt. The biggest gain is going to be in the type and quality of light you choose. If it is a no cost barred contest buy the Schmidt it you want the most bang for your buck buy the Shimano. I have a brother that is an electrical engineer and he has a Shimano

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Old 09-11-07, 07:39 PM
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Hi John J

I can't make any comparison with the Schmidt, because I have never used it, but I would say that overall I am reasonably pleased with the Shimano hub. I use the hub with Busch + Muller LED with standlight on rear and front, fwiw.

I have a 7 mile commute (but do the occasional 20-40 mile run on that bike), and I would say that the convenience of never having to charge/remember lights is worth the extra drag and weight. I also like riding with the lights on even during the day ('cause it makes me feel like a Volvo or a Canuck ). I would say that the drag is not huge but it feels like there's a significant weight gain (if you see what I mean by the difference)

HOWEVER, if I were you, with a much longer commute and apparently greater need for watts, I'd be worried that the thing would be too heavy over distance and not bright enough (mine is 6V - you can see a little ahead of you, and I get by at a pinch on unlit MUPs, but I wouldn't want to make a habit of it). Having said that, I don't understand watts or voltage, so...

I notice you're in upstate NY. If by any weird chance you're likely to be in NYC for any reason before you buy, feel free to PM me and maybe we can meet for you to have a quick ride on my setup.
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Old 09-11-07, 08:16 PM
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I love my schmidt, but I have not used the Shimano.

I have a DLumotec LED primary headlight, which provides plenty of light (for me) most of the time and provides light at low speed, and a E6 halogen secondary for higher speeds and real darkness. I do not know if the shimano will handle dual lights, but I don't know why it would not. Ain't even close to 30 watts, but it works fine for me.

On rural roads, I have noticed cars waiting at stop signs when they see me coming. And waiting. They must have thought I was a motorcycle.
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Old 09-11-07, 08:25 PM
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I had a Shimano NX-30 until this year, which has been replaced by the newer Shimano DH-3D70. My daughter also has the same, and I also have two Schmidts. There are a few real-life differences between each one of them, so here is my take on it.

Minimum speed
As you said, the Shimano dynohubs get your light at full power at a slightly lower speed than the Schmidt. But the difference is minimal, so it's a moot point. With the Schmidt, you'll get full power at 7-9 km/h; with either Shimanos it will be at 6-8 km/h. To be clear, let's say that if you ride at 8 km/h with a Shimano, the light will be bright and stable; with a Schmidt, the light will be almost as bright and will flicker a wee bit.


Friction
The old NX-30 had a noticeable level of friction, both on and off. Nothing to complain seriously about, but I could feel that the bike was less lively when I used the dynohub wheel vs a standard wheel (same tires). Most importantly, the wheel felt a bit "rough" when the light was off and I was riding at 25-30 km/h; no such feeling if I rode slower or faster than that target speed. When the light was on, I definitely felt some pulse while riding the bike. It did not bother me for commuting in the inner city (stop and go traffic), but I'm not sure I would have liked it if I had been riding long distances at a constant speed, like when touring or commuting in suburban territory.

The newer DH-3D70 (or DH-3N70) is much smoother than the NX-30 and also has less friction. I know it is not as efficient as the Schmidt, but I can't feel the difference. Nowadays, it's hard to justify a Schmidt on that factor alone, unless one has odd spoke requirements that are only satisfied by a Schmidt.

Durability
Here, Schmidt wins hands down, especially if one cycles year round. I bought my first Schmidt and my NX-30 in November 2001. Both have been used year round, including in the snow – the Schmidt for longer rides and the NX-30 for commutes. To make a long story short, I had to scrap the NX-30 in the Spring 2006 because it was tight and worn out. The Schmidt, with about 25-30 000 km, still works like new.

No idea how the DH-3N70 will behave, but I suspect durability issues. So if you plan to ride a lot in rain, sleet or snow, the Schmidt will be more durable. On the other hand, if you store your bike in the fall and only get it out next April, then get a DH-3N70.

P.S. If you want to save some money, follow Sheldon Brown's instructions for wheelbuilding. That way, you only need to buy the hub and new spokes (20 $ extra). That was how I could make the Schmidt semi-affordable.


Lights
All the headlights Peter White sells are designed for the road. In your case, I would recommend the E-6 which is both very visible in the city and also very effective on pitch-black roads. The only limitation is if your MUP looks more like a winding foot trail: in that case, the E-6 will throw light straight ahead... which is not what you want in tight bends.

I complement my lighting with a cheap Planet Bike Beamer 5 blinkie which I fire with 2 rechargeable AA batteries. It's a decent be-seen headlight which still works when I'm stopped, and the flashing mode is sometimes useful in business districts. You might also use such a light on your head and point it around bends on the MUP.
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Old 09-11-07, 08:30 PM
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My second season of Shimano dynohub with Lumitec 3 watt light. Works fine for my somewhat hilly suburban 30 mi RT commute, I have streetlights along most of my route. Mainly need the light to be seen by oncoming cars, but occasionally I ride on an unlit MUP with no problems. I use a couple of battery powered blinkies on the back. The time difference in my one hour each way ride with light on or off is almost too insignificant to measure, compared to my regular hub that I put on from April to September. One or two minutes difference at most, don't really notice.
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Old 09-11-07, 11:22 PM
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I'm quite happy with my DH-3D71, and would recommend it. Interestingly the new SRAM iLight hub claims 70% efficiency, which would make it more efficient that the Schmidt dynamo. The Schmidt is more than likely still the most durable, but the question needs to be asked just how much do you need, considering that people are still using S-A dynohubs from 30+ years ago.
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Old 09-12-07, 04:48 AM
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Originally Posted by andrelam View Post
The one issue I kept getting back to is that I just didn't feel like constantly having to charge my batteries.
I don't understand. You use rechargeable lights and keep them plugged in when not in use.

Skip Montanaro
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Old 09-12-07, 06:21 AM
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I too recommend building your own wheel. It's really not rocket science. As for the hubs, I have been tempted to try the Schmidt, mainly because it offers a bunch of different versions, such as one for smaller wheels, narrow forks, with disk brakes, and so on. But I've had a shimano NX30 for several years, and it has given me no trouble at all. I've also got the new Sturmey Archer with built-in drum brake (which is really cool!), and I'm in charge of maintaining my wife's bike which is a 1966 Raleigh with a SA Dynohub (it is a great hub, but building it into a wheel was a pain in the ***!).

My sense is that if you are using big (26", 700c, 27") wheels, you don't need the Schmidt. If you are using small (16", 18", 20") wheels, you will burn out the bulbs unless you get the Schmidt for small wheels or go homebrew (which is what I do).
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Old 09-12-07, 09:03 AM
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I have the newer Shimano dynohub. It's held up fine for a couple of winters on my all-weather bike. The drag is hardly noticeable -- there's just a bit of vibration at high speeds.

I haven't used a Schmidt. I'm sure they're quite nice if you can afford them, but the Shimano is fine for normal use.

If light output is a concern, I'm pretty sure you can run dual headlights with either hub.
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Old 09-12-07, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by smontanaro View Post
I don't understand. You use rechargeable lights and keep them plugged in when not in use.

Skip Montanaro
One of the lights on my short list was the DiNotte 5W, it either comes with 4 AA, or you can get the one with Lithium Ion cell. With the batteries you have to remember taking them out then putting them in the charger. With the cell you have to remember to take the charger with you and plug it in each time. If you end up with a non-intelligent charger you can easily destroy the battery cell. During the Summer months I may not need to use my light much except from some occasion unexpected late days. If I have a light that takes AA cells I could carry a set of a Duracells and leave them in a plastic bag so that they don't discharge accidentally. Most rechargable batteries loose their charge over time even when just laying around. Since some of the lights only have 2 to 4 hour battery life on full batteries, I'd hate to be caught off guard without fully charged batteries or cells. With the hub, I just can't forget... I will always have it with me. If I end up on a longer then expected ride I also won't have a problem as I'll be making my own electricity along the way. Don't get me wrong there are some really killer battery powered lights out there. The output from either the DiNotte 500L or Lupine Wilma 4 look stunning at: http://www.gearreview.com/2007_led_lights.php. I was tempted to go for one of them, but descided that making my own power was the way to go for the type of riding I do.

Thanks all for the discussion.

Happy riding,
André
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Old 09-12-07, 12:08 PM
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I've had the Shimano DH-3N71 dynamo hub on my winter commuter for a few years now, last summer I splurged and got the Schmidt on my tourer. I built both wheels myself, cheap rim for the Shimano hub and a nice Velocity Cliffhanger rim for the Schmidt, double butted spokes for both wheels. I have the Busch & Mueller Lumotec headlight with standlight on both bikes.

The Shimano is entirely adequate for commuting and around town use and is good value for the money, but the Schmidt has much sturdier wiring, the connectors going into the hub are much higher quality, and the toggle switch on the Schmidt-compatible Busch & Mueller light seems sturdier than the stock Shimano quality light. The Schmidt E6 lights are also very high quality, but they don't have a standlight. If you can afford the cash outlay, I think the Schmidt with a high quality wheel build is the better long-term investment, but if you're not comfortable laying out the cash right now the high end Shimano will still give you good service.
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Old 09-12-07, 01:23 PM
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I use the Schmidt Hub and a 3w Supernova LED and am very happy with it. It works well and I like the LED more than the E6. No bulbs to fiddle with and the LED light I have is a lot less fragile. I boke an E6 lense/housing in a minor crash. Also I had a weird issue when I ran 2 E6's toghether. The Primary light was not as bright as the secondary. I changed the bulb twice just to make sure. When I called PW, he was not real interested in helping me figure out what the problem was. I got the Supenova from Germany and it has a nice easy to use switch (even with gloves" and is about 3 inches long x 1 1/2 inches wide. I mounted it on my non-drive side fork blade. Nice beam with a little more spill than the E6.
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Old 09-12-07, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by AllenG View Post
I'm very happy with the Shimano dynamo hubs I've owned. I've always run B&M lights with them and have never had any issues.
I own two Shimano generator hubs, neither one a fancy model. I also owned a Schmidt until recently. I could never notice any significant difference between the two brands. I also bought one of the "Ultegroid" Shimanos for my wife, she loves it too.

I just wish there was some way I could use one of these on my Greenspeed.

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Old 09-12-07, 07:33 PM
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Michel Gagnon
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A few comments and replies:

To markF and Fender1
Nice to know from users that the newer Shimano has survived two winters so far. Time will tell how many Winter it will survive.

Wiring.
If you get the Shimano hub, I would recommend against the Shimano auto switch. It's just one extra piece of hardware to wire in and it has a reputation for failing at the worst time. Better go with one of the switched headlights. And pricewise, it costs roughly the same to buy a switched headlight than to buy the Shimano Auto Switch and a non-switched headlight.

Choice of headlights
Basically, if you look amongst offerings by Peter White (and Sheldon Brown), any switched headlight works with any of the hubs. Some are easier to wire than others. Wiring differences :

– Both Shimano hubs are grounded to the frame. Therefore, if you use a Lumotec Oval Plus, it has to be mounted on a plastic bracket to insulate it.
– If you want to use a Lumotec Oval Plus and a secondary headlight, one of the headlights has to be insulated; if you want the same setup with a Shimano hub, the Oval Plus definitely needs to be insulated... and maybe the other one too.

I don't know how the DLumotec behaves with regard to grounding. One might be faced with the same issues as with the Lumotec Oval Plus.

My original system used to be with a Lumotec Oval Plus. It's a very good headlight, though less effective than the E-6. However, the standlight is too weak to be effective if you are stopped in traffic waiting to turn left (for example). I would therefore recommend to use a small be-seen LED headlight as standlight (and extra safely light should your main system fail).


A warning about dual headlights
A system with dual E-6 or a Lumotec and an E-6 works perfectly. However, it seems there are reliability problems in using a DLumotec primary with an E-6 secondary. We thought it was solved this spring, but it appears the problem still exists. BTW, I'm not sure if the problem only exists for those who don't have a wired taillight.
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Old 09-13-07, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Michel Gagnon View Post

Lights
All the headlights Peter White sells are designed for the road. In your case, I would recommend the E-6 which is both very visible in the city and also very effective on pitch-black roads. The only limitation is if your MUP looks more like a winding foot trail: in that case, the E-6 will throw light straight ahead... which is not what you want in tight bends.
I use an MUP after dark and found most lights much too narrow as well. I was also going broke buying AA batteries! I purchased a cheap Schwinn dynamo lighting kit but burned out the taillight after only 2 hours so I had to revert to my LED Mag-Lite flashlight. I like it as it allows me to adjust the pattern between wide and narrow as necessary. I consequently converted the Mag-Lite flashlight into a dynamo-powered headlight. Here is the link on how I did it.

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=339965

The above link shows the test and reliability setup. I've ordered better components such as 1n5818 diodes instead of the bridge diode matrix from Radio Shack. The circuit shown should work fine for dynamo hubs as well, as they will be much better than my cheap ($7.20) bottle dynamo kit!



The new circuit will be imbedded in epoxy instead of the exposed "birds nest" setup strapped to the rack. I have over 100 miles on the test setup without problems with the flashlight and test board.

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Old 09-13-07, 12:33 PM
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Just get a Shimano DH-3NXX hub if that is want you want. You won't regret it, just like you won't regret a SON dynohub, both are fine produts. Shimano's new dynomhub, the DH3-80 is even closer to the SON hubs, at least regarding weight (490g). Probably not easy to get right now, my usual on-line shop (www.rose.de) doesn't get it until Oct./Nov. The price will be 67 euros compared to the DH-3N71 that sells for 55 euros.

B&M is coming out with a new rather spectacular 3W LED based dynamolight called "LUMOTEC IQ Fly" (Gold medal at the 2007 Eurobike show). B&M claims 40 lux, which is more that a doubling of light output compared to their other top halogen models. It uses the LED for standlight too (3-5 min.)
All its light is indirect as seen on this photo (notice that no LED is visible in the reflector):
http://www.radfahren.de/modules.php?...=120&photonr=7
The list price is 59 Euros, but I expect that the actual on-line price will be lower (at least in Germany). It should be available in October. I will buy one for my main bike as soon as possible, not because I think my B&M Lumotec Oval isn't bright enough for my needs, but because I won't have to worry about bulbs anymore since it is LED based.


--
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Old 09-13-07, 12:43 PM
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Sheldon Brown
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Originally Posted by Michel Gagnon View Post
– Both Shimano hubs are grounded to the frame. Therefore, if you use a Lumotec Oval Plus, it has to be mounted on a plastic bracket to insulate it.
I used to think this too, and when I installed my first Oval Plus it was on all of the time. Then somebody pointed out that there's a Phillips screw on the Oval Plus which, if you loosen or remove it, disables the ground connection so the switch works normally.

Sheldon "Who Knew?" Brown
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Old 09-13-07, 08:23 PM
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Michel Gagnon
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Thanks for the tip, Sheldon.
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Old 09-13-07, 08:59 PM
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Allen
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Originally Posted by Sheldon Brown View Post

Hey, AllenG, is that Shostakovich in your avatar? I'm a BIG Shostakovich fan!
Good eye Sheldon, that is indeed Dimitri. Shostakovich is by far my favorite modern composer. I have that image as my avatar because it really favors me though.
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Old 09-14-07, 05:59 AM
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Originally Posted by andrelam View Post
I was tempted to go for one of them, but descided that making my own power was the way to go for the type of riding I do.

André
For those that have dynamo hubs, you know how foot loose/fancy free it is to make your own power and forget about those stinkin' batteries (especially for rides longer than 1/2 hour or so).
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Old 09-14-07, 07:52 PM
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Michel Gagnon
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Yes. to me, that was by far the best advantage. Others benefits were:

– decent lighting on the road, not in the air because of road-specific headlight design;
– permanent installation; no dangling wire around.
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