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Old 10-24-16, 03:30 PM   #1
KeithNorCal
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dynamo hubs

What dynamo hubs do people have experience with? And what experiences of course. Thanks in advance!
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Old 10-24-16, 03:57 PM   #2
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In recent years I have had two. Both were shimano. To save myself the hassle that I get here when I tell the truth. . . They were both great. I never had a moment of trouble with them and they drove a great headlight and had very little drag. That is why I got rid of both of them. . .
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Old 10-24-16, 05:06 PM   #3
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I have the Shimano 3N72 laced up to a 26" Mavic XM317 rim, on my old Trek 7000 mtb. It works great as a dynamo, but I'd say that it is a little heavy and I wouldn't put it on a road bike. You really can't feel it when the light is on vs. off, but I'd bet I'd feel a lighter non-dynamo wheel.

There are a few versions of the Shimano, and then there is also Shutter Precision, Sanyo, Schmidt and a few others. Shutter Precision is pretty light compared to my Shimano, and I almost went with that one instead and would try that if I ever needed another.
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Old 10-24-16, 05:35 PM   #4
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I have the Shimano 3N72 laced up to a 26" Mavic XM317 rim, on my old Trek 7000 mtb. It works great as a dynamo, but I'd say that it is a little heavy and I wouldn't put it on a road bike. You really can't feel it when the light is on vs. off, but I'd bet I'd feel a lighter non-dynamo wheel.

There are a few versions of the Shimano, and then there is also Shutter Precision, Sanyo, Schmidt and a few others. Shutter Precision is pretty light compared to my Shimano, and I almost went with that one instead and would try that if I ever needed another.
Just curious, since you have it on a Trek 7000, have you tried it off-road? Although my primary interest in dynamo hubs is for commuting, the idea of having a dynamo hub for mtb night rides is kind of interesting. I expect rpm's off-road would be too inconsistent for lighting but I have no experience with dynamo hubs myself.
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Old 10-25-16, 12:41 AM   #5
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Just curious, since you have it on a Trek 7000, have you tried it off-road? Although my primary interest in dynamo hubs is for commuting, the idea of having a dynamo hub for mtb night rides is kind of interesting. I expect rpm's off-road would be too inconsistent for lighting but I have no experience with dynamo hubs myself.
I ran an older shimano hub on a MTB for a few years. For technical stuff the speed difference is a problem, as generally below about 5kph you get no light, but if you've got a moderately powered helmet light the two work well together. This was my wet weather bike including a half hour swim in a river, the dynamo outlasted the hub bearings. Gotta say when I ditched the dyno hub the bike handled much better too.

On the road bikes I've got a couple of shimano hubs with probably 20,000km on each of them with no problems. The 3n80 is the way to go.
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Old 10-25-16, 08:15 AM   #6
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I've two bikes for commuting, and each has a Schmidt SON. Both have provided great service. More expensive than most others, but I'm happy with the purchases.
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Old 10-25-16, 09:32 AM   #7
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I've got a 5 year old Shimano (3N79, IIRC) and a SON on different bikes. Both used for commuting, the SON has been on a few late-night brevets.


They just work. And with the newer Edelux and IQ lights, there's as much light on the road as I need. The batteries don't run down or die after a few years, everything is permanently attached so I don't have to go rooting in the closet for the charger or mounting clamp in October, but when I get on and ride, the lights do come on. Compared to a fancy helmet light, the road's not washed out (so the bumpiest part of the road can be seen), the trees aren't lit up (but that's not a problem on most roads and streets), and the flashing off reflective signs doesn't drive me nuts with the dyno lights.


They're not quite trouble-free; the connector on the rear light came loose on a brevet, and just last week the connector on the Shimano came loose after I rode over some road destruction -- er, I mean, construction. Not bad for five years' of riding.


If I buy another bike, it'll either come with a dyno or I'll move one over.
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Old 10-25-16, 12:48 PM   #8
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My daily use bike has an Alfine dynamo hub. When the light is off, drag is approximately the same as the rear wheel (Alfine 11), that is to say: not much. With the light on, the only time I really notice it sapping power is if I'm already bonking--then I'll flip the light off uphill--but it is otherwise not noticeable. No problems with disconnecting the wheel, though I don't do it much anyway, as I've got tubeless tires on the bike, and I generally make minor truing adjustments with the wheel in the bike.
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Old 10-25-16, 03:10 PM   #9
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Happy so far with my Shutter Precision SV-8. It's lightweight, and has been rained on a few times without any issues. It doesn't put out as much juice as a PV-8, but I never planned on hooking it up to a dyno taillight on this bike. Maybe in the future I'll go that route.
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Old 10-25-16, 04:37 PM   #10
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I’ve had a Schmidt SONdelux SL for about a year now, and it’s been great. My Busch & Müller headlight has a senso setting so that it comes on automatically (great in tunnels), so I never even have to touch it and it just works. Highly recommended.
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Old 10-25-16, 09:13 PM   #11
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I have Shutter Precision, Shimano, Sanyo, and Schmidt dynohubs. If I can get what I want in an SP, that's the brand I go for. I have plenty of miles on Shimano hubs though, from the really cheap ones up to the Alfine hubs. On my road bikes, I like the connectorless Schmidt hubs. But you can't get those in through axle (yet?). I think I'm going to get a Schmidt fatbike hub because the SP hub is temporarily unavailable due to some issue with bearings.

I have a through axle SP hub on my MTB. The problem with that is that at low speed, my light is inadequate. I use a handlebar mounted or helmet mounted battery powered light to combat that. I think most people that off-road use a helmet light anyway. There probably are better dyno lights to use off-road, but the one i have is nice because it's really small.
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Old 10-26-16, 07:20 AM   #12
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Plug contact security is best with Schmidt.. had power loss with a Shimano, due to plug coming loose, happened several times.

7 years with Schmidt classic 32 hole in 26" wheel; 4 with Delux 20 disc in 20 " ; the Shimano wheel was for Bromptons,
that now is a New XS with straight pull spokes..
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Old 10-26-16, 11:21 AM   #13
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I've been using a Sanyo hub for about 3-1/2 years. No troubles. I also started using a wheel with a Velo Orange hub, now out of production. I'm not sure who made it. It has a mechanical clutch so I can completely disengage the dynamo mechanism. But I don't use that feature. I leave my lights on all the time, since I can't feel the drag, and maybe having the lights on prevents collisions.
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Old 10-29-16, 12:47 PM   #14
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I have a bolt-on shimano dh-3n30 in a 26" wheel and a qr sondelux in a 700c wheel and they are both fantastic with modern LED lights. Any difference in the ride of the two bikes is attributable to the bike in general rather than any difference between the hubs. Memory fails but I believe the schmidt is 6 yrs old and the shimano is 10 (on its second bike). Thousands (and thousands) of miles on both.

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Old 11-01-16, 05:47 PM   #15
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I also have a bolt on 3n30 with B and M lights. No trouble whatsoever in 4 years of service. I will never go back to battery powered lighting.
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Old 11-02-16, 07:44 AM   #16
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I also have a bolt on 3n30 with B and M lights. No trouble whatsoever in 4 years of service. I will never go back to battery powered lighting.
That's what most people say who try dynamo lights. I've known only two people who didn't like them, and that was a few years ago before the current lights were available.
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Old 11-02-16, 08:28 PM   #17
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I have read about several people on the tour divide that had failure of dynamo lights.
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Old 11-03-16, 04:44 AM   #18
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That's what most people say who try dynamo lights. I've known only two people who didn't like them, and that was a few years ago before the current lights were available.
People who have had unsatisfactory experiences with dynamo lights tend to not post as often as those who praise them, simple because they tyre of the argument.
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Old 11-03-16, 08:02 AM   #19
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I have read about several people on the tour divide that had failure of dynamo lights.
How did they fail? It's pretty unusual.
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Old 11-03-16, 05:46 PM   #20
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I'm not sure the tour divide is an ideal environment for dyno lights. I have heard of failures of older Schmidt hubs and the older version of the Edelux. Nothing so far about newer versions. These were from randonneurs on extended rainy rides over a number of days of heavy rain. BuM lights have failed at the mount. In fact, I bought one cheap because the mount broke. The BuM Luxos U has been plagued with failures. It is an awesome light, but I wouldn't take it into the woods. For one thing, it's huge and heavy.

I didn't really follow the tour divide. The three people I know that have ridden it used dynos without issue.
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Old 11-03-16, 07:18 PM   #21
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My commuter has shimano, maybe 7000 miles, have had a few connection issues but nothing to write home about, our touring tandem has a schmidt, it is much better but only have 3000 on it. I prefer it , better low speed output, quieter and easier to turn.
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Old 11-03-16, 08:08 PM   #22
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Noglider, I could go try to find out about the few failures. It was not many. One person had two fail, but the second was user error...their hydration tube got caught up in the hub at speed and ruined it..was the word. A few others just could not keep up enough speed to power their lights on some uphillls...probably expected on that route with 10%+ grades ; ).
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Old 11-03-16, 10:48 PM   #23
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climbing mountains with a dyno light is a real issue. If I'm going to do something like that, I have a backup battery light anyway. Lights are too important not to have a backup if the destination is too far to walk. The Luxos is the worst light for climbing long hills, it flashes the worst of any I have seen. This is probably because it's the brightest dyno light, but it still is annoying on climbs.
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Old 11-04-16, 12:11 AM   #24
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I have a Son Delux hub and have been very happy with its performance and reliability.
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Old 11-04-16, 09:14 AM   #25
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I'm not sure the tour divide is an ideal environment for dyno lights. I have heard of failures of older Schmidt hubs and the older version of the Edelux. Nothing so far about newer versions. These were from randonneurs on extended rainy rides over a number of days of heavy rain. BuM lights have failed at the mount. In fact, I bought one cheap because the mount broke. The BuM Luxos U has been plagued with failures. It is an awesome light, but I wouldn't take it into the woods. For one thing, it's huge and heavy.

I didn't really follow the tour divide. The three people I know that have ridden it used dynos without issue.
I'd argue that in the spirit of other technical trials, unideal environments provide good data on products we might be considering.

But I also figure that isolated incidents will get more attention on something like the Tour Divide, so a product that is otherwise very reliable might get bad press for nothing more than some bad luck.
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