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What's wrong with dynamos?

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What's wrong with dynamos?

Old 09-15-19, 07:13 PM
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It does seem from everyone's responses that I'm certainly not abnormal, I do have dynamos for lighting on 4 out of 5 bikes and USB charging on 2 out of the 4 (multi-day longer distance rigs). Just shocking that some people had no idea that good dynamo's and LED lighting can be had for a reasonable rate, although to several people's point building up a wheel can sometimes be expensive, but worth it IMHO.
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Old 09-15-19, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I thought it was a pretty damned good value before I saw the quality of the wheels. I paid $95 for a front wheel with Sanyo dynamo. But it's a truly handbuilt wheel with good and even spoke tension, totally true. I hope they can make a comeback, even if it means raising their prices.
I tried to get another set for my single speed after a wreck with a car (the driver was high/drunk). They have only had the rear wheels available for the last year or so. I ended up spending a lot more rebuilding wheels at the shop than just buying what I wanted to begin with. Hopefully, they can find a way.

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Old 09-15-19, 10:30 PM
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Originally Posted by wsgts View Post
It does seem... that I'm certainly not abnormal.
Whoa, let's not jump to conclusions! There's just a lot of weirdos here.
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Old 09-16-19, 01:43 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
I think dynamos are awesome but I don't have one because:
  • much more expensive than alternatives
  • less powerful than battery lights
  • extra drag and weight
The less powerful argument is wrong. You can get 6-9 W electrical output from a hub dynamo, and the efficiency even increases with higher electrical load. Velogical Engineering even has a rim driven sidewall 3-phase generator, with an output of 15W at 25-30 km/h. Of course that means you have to pedal harder...

Originally Posted by wsgts View Post
Certainly the hub dynamos, I haven't tried the bottle-type since I was a child (well before LEDs).
You might look into velogical engineerings rim dynamos.

Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
There are very few battery lights that have a beam that's as good as many dyno lights though. So much of the power is wasted.
So true. 200 well placed lumens on the road beat any 500 lm conical beam shape... Albeit there is some rare, reasonable priced chinese stuff with a useful reflector (i.e. at the moment Lumintop B01). All other high powered lamps which don't waste light in the tree tops are (very) expensive (Outbound Road, B&M Ixon Space, Lupine SL(F) and SL-X, Supernova M99 series)
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Old 09-16-19, 05:14 AM
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Originally Posted by polyphrast View Post
You might look into velogical engineerings rim dynamos.
Thank you, that would have saved me a lot of trouble....
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Old 09-16-19, 07:05 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by polyphrast View Post
The less powerful argument is wrong. You can get 6-9 W electrical output from a hub dynamo, and the efficiency even increases with higher electrical load. Velogical Engineering even has a rim driven sidewall 3-phase generator, with an output of 15W at 25-30 km/h. Of course that means you have to pedal harder...
Your Velological bottle dynamo is 1.5 watts, not 15. It's not bad, but not as bright as a cheap battery powered headlight.
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Old 09-16-19, 07:47 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
Your Velological bottle dynamo is 1.5 watts, not 15. It's not bad, but not as bright as a cheap battery powered headlight.
That is just wrong. There are three versions of that dynamo (sports, touring, generator). The generator in combination with a mobile power supply for bikes can deliver 15W at 30 km/h. You can check it here, the green line in the graph Forumslader für Velogical: Forumslader (sorry, in german, don't know of an english test, but the graph should be self explenatory) The forumslader is a similar system as the "the plug" from tout terrain (https://www.cyclingabout.com/review-...-the-plug-iii/)
The sport version delivers a bit less power than the touring version at the identical speed, but both can easily power a 3W dynamo lamp system. Check this graph from Olaf Schultz/Andreas Oehlers data: https://fahrradzukunft.de/bilder/18/...s/12.gross.png ; it shows velocity vs delivered electrical power for the sports and touring version. The Velogical dynamos have a safety feature (PTC) which limits the power to ~3W to avoid damage on modern LED dynamo lamps. If this component is not included in the electrical circuit on the bike, the delivered power is not limited anymore.

Last edited by polyphrast; 09-16-19 at 07:51 AM.
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Old 09-16-19, 08:45 AM
  #33  
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I like the convenience of the dynamo I added to my touring bike this year. But if I'm riding in the city at night I definitely need to have a helmet light as well if I'm going to use the MUP. Visibility going into corners is an issue for any fixed light, but with the edelux-ii I quickly noticed difficultly in seeing pedestrians that are directly in front of me since all the light is aimed at their feet. In an edelux-iii I'd like to see the addition of a switch activated high beam in addition to higher output. I'm using my older 1000 lumen Dinotte XML-3 on my helmet, it runs much warmer than the 2100 lumen version I bought last year, and the light has been upgraded to 2500 lumen this year. Makes me wish I could swap out the LED emitter on my dynamo light to double its output.
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Old 09-16-19, 09:54 AM
  #34  
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The velogical rim dynamo is 165€ on ebay which seems to be their only retail outlet. How good is it compared with the alternatives? Maybe it's worth it if it is as efficient as a hub because it's lighter, and installation is easier or cheaper. You can also remove it easily.
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Old 09-16-19, 10:10 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
The velogical rim dynamo is 165€ on ebay which seems to be their only retail outlet. How good is it compared with the alternatives? Maybe it's worth it if it is as efficient as a hub because it's lighter, and installation is easier or cheaper. You can also remove it easily.
If you order, order best directly from the guys website. The you can save on the VAT tax, which you don't have to pay if shipped outside the EU. Price is then 126 EUR. Efficiency of the SONdelux at 30 km/h is 61%, the efficiency of the Velogical is shown here (taken from this german article), it's between 65 and 55% if the output is limited to 3W.
My next bike which needs a dyno gets this one !

Originally Posted by gecho View Post
I like the convenience of the dynamo I added to my touring bike this year. But if I'm riding in the city at night I definitely need to have a helmet light as well if I'm going to use the MUP. Visibility going into corners is an issue for any fixed light, but with the edelux-ii I quickly noticed difficultly in seeing pedestrians that are directly in front of me since all the light is aimed at their feet.
there is a german guy (laempie.de) who modifies existing lamps with cutoffs and adds additional LEDs for a (switchable) high beam, even on a dyno powered lamp. My Cyo Premium was modified there, i can give feedback on the light quality in 2-3 weeks.
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Old 09-16-19, 10:39 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by polyphrast View Post
there is a german guy (laempie.de) who modifies existing lamps with cutoffs and adds additional LEDs for a (switchable) high beam, even on a dyno powered lamp. My Cyo Premium was modified there, i can give feedback on the light quality in 2-3 weeks.
That Mark IV light of his looks pretty cool. Maybe one more revision and it will be a polished product ready for mass production, though that would be a big step and he'd likely have to go through a compliance testing process. It would be great if the big dynamo light makers took advantage of the rapidly increasing LED efficiency.

3.5 min into this video illustrates the invisible pedestrian issue
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Old 09-16-19, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
Regarding your title, nothing is wrong with them. But manufacturers do not install them because new buyers do not ask for them. Not even on touring bikes where a dynohub for battery charging is desired.

...

When building up a new bike with a new wheel, the cost of a dynohub and subtracting the cost of a regular hub makes the additional cost for a dynohub on the bike quite low. But if you already have a bike with a non-dynohub wheel, the cost to put a dynohub on it is the cost of the hub, cost of spokes and nipples, possibly a wheel build charge, and if you decided to keep your old wheel as a back up then you are buying new rim and rim tape too. Thus to upgrade a bike that did not have a dynohub on it, you are likely paying two or three times as much for the dynohub wheel. That is a big enough cost that not many people go for it.
I think this is a good perspective worth a "signal boost". IOW, if a dynohub wheel seems expensive, it's really because of the money you already sank into a non-dyno front wheel. If you plan things out better when you are spec'ing out a bike, you only have to buy one of each thing, and it's not so bad!
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Old 09-16-19, 10:59 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by gecho View Post
It would be great if the big dynamo light makers took advantage of the rapidly increasing LED efficiency.
I'd say this only happens if the regulations in germany on dynamos get changed. Germany is one of the biggest markets for dynamos and dynamo powered bike lights, and the regulations/technical requirements are in many points outdated and too strict. But since 10 years only the conservative party appoints the ministers for traffic. Unfortunately this party has mostly interests in car mobility and thinks biking is a nice hobby and not a serious way of transportation/commuting. Therefore the possibilities due to the rapid evolution in LED technique has not yet arrived in the legislation concerning bike lights and bike power generators...
For example, high beam on (approved) bike lights is only legal since 2017...
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Old 09-16-19, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
I think this is a good perspective worth a "signal boost". IOW, if a dynohub wheel seems expensive, it's really because of the money you already sank into a non-dyno front wheel. If you plan things out better when you are spec'ing out a bike, you only have to buy one of each thing, and it's not so bad!
This is a very rare opportunity for most folks.
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Old 09-16-19, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by polyphrast View Post
That is just wrong. There are three versions of that dynamo (sports, touring, generator). The generator in combination with a mobile power supply for bikes can deliver 15W at 30 km/h. You can check it here, the green line in the graph Forumslader für Velogical: Forumslader (sorry, in german, don't know of an english test, but the graph should be self explenatory) The forumslader is a similar system as the "the plug" from tout terrain (https://www.cyclingabout.com/review-...-the-plug-iii/)
The sport version delivers a bit less power than the touring version at the identical speed, but both can easily power a 3W dynamo lamp system. Check this graph from Olaf Schultz/Andreas Oehlers data: https://fahrradzukunft.de/bilder/18/...s/12.gross.png ; it shows velocity vs delivered electrical power for the sports and touring version. The Velogical dynamos have a safety feature (PTC) which limits the power to ~3W to avoid damage on modern LED dynamo lamps. If this component is not included in the electrical circuit on the bike, the delivered power is not limited anymore.
If I were you, I wouldn't rely on that chart to reflect power output in regular operating conditions. The first link, near as I can tell, is for a driver board (?) and apparently recommends a 3 watt limitation when used with hub dynamos.

I'm not going to go through all of those, but generally speaking a dynamo can deliver a given power depending on how fast it turns - screaming down a hill at 50 mph for example - up to the point that it burns out, burns out a driver board, burns out a light, or suffers mechanical failure.

Show me some lumen comparisons of a rider tooling along at 12-20 mph, that would be something meaningful.
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Old 09-16-19, 11:50 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
This is a very rare opportunity for most folks.
Depends on the crowd. Some folks buy a new bike every few years, they have lots of opportunities to demand dyno lighting if they want it.

Folks who can't or won't buy more than a cheap blinkie are really out of the scope of this discussion.
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Old 09-16-19, 11:58 AM
  #42  
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@ThermionicScott, yes. As one damned fool said, people in this forum are not typical.
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Old 09-16-19, 12:36 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
show me some lumen comparisons of a rider tooling along at 12-20 mph, that would be something meaningful.
Well, can't show lumen comparisons because that would depend on the specific bike lamp, operated with different power sources.

Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
If I were you, I wouldn't rely on that chart to reflect power output in regular operating conditions. The first link, near as I can tell, is for a driver board (?) and apparently recommends a 3 watt limitation when used with hub dynamos.

I'm not going to go through all of those, but generally speaking a dynamo can deliver a given power depending on how fast it turns - screaming down a hill at 50 mph for example - up to the point that it burns out, burns out a driver board, burns out a light, or suffers mechanical failure.
The first link is for a "bike energy harvester", intended to be used as power source for mobile phones and gps equipment (similar as the linked review of the "tout terrain the plug"), while riding on a bike. It has 12V and 5V output, oth up to 3A. The link i showed said that this dedicated version of the harvester delivers only 3W when used with a conventional hub dynamo (there is a version for conventional hub dynamos which delivers more power, see magenta line in the graph). The velogical 3phase generator is designed to be a generator with higher output than a (2phase) dynamo. With 15W at 20 mp/h you can power any decent bike lamp (with suitable optics) and get more than enough light needed for biking at this speed. Of course those ~22 W(mechanical) needed to deliver those 15W(electrical) cannot be used to ride faster.

As said, there are two other versions (2phase), which deliver less power, but those still need to be used with an included power limiter to avoid damage to the bike lamp. They deliver 3 W from 15 km/h (~10 mph) on, so at any speed above the ydeliver more.


And i sincerly doubt that a hub dynamo will burn out at 50 mph. The connected electronics (if not equiped with a protection circuit), but not the dynamo. Hub dynamos (to my knowledge) do not include electronics, only magnets and a few wires.


Of course it's easier and simpler to get a bike light operated with a battery to start riding. The generator needs some suitable electronics to deliver constant voltage for a bike light. I only want to point out that electrical output limitation is not an issue of modern generators. Any hub dynamo is a constant current source, so at 12 V the output doubles (and the efficiency increases).

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Old 09-17-19, 10:33 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
There are very few battery lights that have a beam that's as good as many dyno lights though. So much of the power is wasted.
Even though this is oft repeated it isn’t any more correct with each repetition. Those of us who use conical beams can see where our light is going and it’s not “wasted”.

Originally Posted by polyphrast View Post
So true. 200 well placed lumens on the road beat any 500 lm conical beam shape... Albeit there is some rare, reasonable priced chinese stuff with a useful reflector (i.e. at the moment Lumintop B01). All other high powered lamps which don't waste light in the tree tops are (very) expensive (Outbound Road, B&M Ixon Space, Lupine SL(F) and SL-X, Supernova M99 series)
Again, just because something is often repeated doesn’t mean that it is true. My lights don’t “waste light in the tree tops”. It’s optically impossible to do so. My lights are aimed at about 2 car lengths in front of me. Let’s say 30 feet. Let’s assume that the “tree tops” are 40 feet tall. For my conical lights to be “wasted in the tree tops”, the angle of the cone needed to put light 40 feet up from 30 feet away would have to be 200°. Most of the reflectors on conical beams are wider than I really like but they are closer to 35° and no where near 200°.

To put it another way, to put light into the “tree tops” with a 35° reflector would have to be 200 feet away from that tree. Light that far away would be mostly useless, of course, and most people aren’t going to aim their lights like that.

Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
I have a dynohub on all of my bikes. It was a great addition to my riding, i don't have to worry about getting home before dark or charging lights. I always had a bike with a dyno back in the '70s and '80s. One of the Soubetez with a built in headlight. They weren't as expensive as batteries back then, this was before the advent of affordable rechargeable batteries
Originally Posted by wsgts View Post
It does seem from everyone's responses that I'm certainly not abnormal, I do have dynamos for lighting on 4 out of 5 bikes and USB charging on 2 out of the 4 (multi-day longer distance rigs). Just shocking that some people had no idea that good dynamo's and LED lighting can be had for a reasonable rate, although to several people's point building up a wheel can sometimes be expensive, but worth it IMHO.
And therein lies the issue many people have with dynamos. I have 8 bikes. I regularly ride 5 of them at night. I suppose I could swap wheels but there are two different wheel sizes and two different brake configurations as well as several different tire configurations. I can spend $60 to $100 for 3 battery lights and just switch them from bike to bike or I can spend $60 to $300 for wheels, wiring and lights for 5 different bikes. For dynamos, that would translate into $300 to $1500 to do the job.

...and I get a single light per bicycle. With batteries, I have 3 lights with which to see the road and be seen for about 1/15 the cost.

That’s the reason that people have embraced batteries over dynamos. Less cost, more flexibility and more light.
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Old 09-17-19, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Even though this is oft repeated it isn’t any more correct with each repetition. Those of us who use conical beams can see where our light is going and it’s not “wasted”.
"tree tops" was of course an exaggeration. i meant any light above 15 feet. For my riding situations, any light (except a bit of scattered light) at these heights is simply wasted and a properly designed beam pattern focused on the path/road/MUP is much more useful. Even for situations where a "high beam" is needed, illumination up to 10-15 ft is completely sufficient. Of course if you speed along a narrow trail in the woods and/or mountains with lots of climbs and very fast and step descents at night, things are a bit different. My statement (and probably unterhausen's as well) is limited to city bikes, touring bikes and commuter bikes. So for situations where you encounter regularly oncoming traffic and pedestrians. And for those application this statement is true. Albeit there might be situations where the dyno powered light doesn't provide enough output, but in these situations conical beam shapes aren't useful either, because you either blind others or you won't have much reach with the light.

And i personally do not like the brightest spot of a bike light 30 ft in front of the bike (if i understood your bike lamp adjustment correctly). I want to see in the distance, and therefore the brightest spot of the light must not be 30 ft in front of the bike, it should be further in the distance. But, needs and tastes differ. I tried conical beam shapes, but i prefer other light designs. Living at the other side of the big pond, i am of the opinion that a conical beam shape on a bike light is a big no-go unless you ride where you never encounter other people. It's even a law here. Not in the states, so you have a different legal situation.

Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
And therein lies the issue many people have with dynamos. I have 8 bikes. I regularly ride 5 of them at night.
I'd say you're an rare exception having 8 bikes, of which you ride 5 regularly at night. Bike lights for dedicated night rides are a different matter than lights for the above mentioned riding/commuting/ every-day-use profile. Had i 5 bikes to choose from for a night ride, i'd also simply get a proper battery powered lamp for those and still a dyno setup for my every-day-use bike (my city/touring bike is equipped with a hub dynamo system, by cyclocross bike is equipped with battery powered light). Most battery light users have far less bikes which they use at night.
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Old 09-17-19, 01:30 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by polyphrast View Post
"tree tops" was of course an exaggeration. i meant any light above 15 feet. For my riding situations, any light (except a bit of scattered light) at these heights is simply wasted and a properly designed beam pattern focused on the path/road/MUP is much more useful. Even for situations where a "high beam" is needed, illumination up to 10-15 ft is completely sufficient. Of course if you speed along a narrow trail in the woods and/or mountains with lots of climbs and very fast and step descents at night, things are a bit different. My statement (and probably unterhausen's as well) is limited to city bikes, touring bikes and commuter bikes. So for situations where you encounter regularly oncoming traffic and pedestrians. And for those application this statement is true. Albeit there might be situations where the dyno powered light doesn't provide enough output, but in these situations conical beam shapes aren't useful either, because you either blind others or you won't have much reach with the light.
First, the exaggeration is often used not as an exaggeration but as a statement of fact. But, again, the optics don’t match even for 15feet. To throw a 15 foot tall beam of light “into the trees” at 30 feet would require a reflector of 87°.

A 35° reflector would project a cone 15 feet tall at 75 feet or about about 5 car lengths. I’ve never seen anyone riding with their lights of any kind...dynamo or battery....aimed 75 feet in front of them. The further out the light is aimed, the less effective it is because the “lux” or lumen per area drops significantly as the area of the cone increases. For example (switching to meters here) the area of a 2.2m tall cone with a 25m distance from a 35° reflector would be 170 sq. meters. Using the same reflector but shortening the distance to about 10 m (two car lengths), the area drops to 30 sq meters and the height of the beam is just slightly less then 2 meters (6 feet). Assuming a 500 lumen light, the lux (or light density) of the former is 3 lumens per square meter and for the latter it is 16 lux. Neither is all that bright but 16 lux is far superior to 3.

Additionally, the lux argument goes against your (and others) “dazzling” argument. A 35° beam spreads the light out quite a bit. A wide beam isn’t going to “blind” someone because of this. A narrow beam concentrates more light in a smaller area but the smaller area means that it’s less likely to spread out and “blind” someone. I don’t, as a rule, ride on MUPs at night. It’s illegal on most of the paths I use because of night time restrictions but I also avoid riding there because pedestrians use the ones that are open and they don’t use lights. I ride roads in the night and I’m also not worried about people in cars. Again, the optics are against me causing a problem for a motorist.

Originally Posted by polyphrast View Post
And i personally do not like the brightest spot of a bike light 30 ft in front of the bike (if i understood your bike lamp adjustment correctly). I want to see in the distance, and therefore the brightest spot of the light must not be 30 ft in front of the bike, it should be further in the distance. But, needs and tastes differ. I tried conical beam shapes, but i prefer other light designs. Living at the other side of the big pond, i am of the opinion that a conical beam shape on a bike light is a big no-go unless you ride where you never encounter other people. It's even a law here. Not in the states, so you have a different legal situation.




You might want to go look at how far out 30ft (10m) is. It’s 2 carlengths. Most everyone I see are will within that range since there is no need to shoot (a lot of) light out further. The laws in my state says that my lights have to be visible from a distance of 500 feet but it doesn’t say that I have to illuminate something from that distance. Cars are under the same requirement but that doesn’t mean that the lights are aimed 500 feet in front of the car. Car lights range from 20 m to 30 m. That’s not too far out in front of the vehicle for something capable of doing much higher speeds then bicycles commonly do.


Originally Posted by polyphrast View Post
I'd say you're an rare exception having 8 bikes, of which you ride 5 regularly at night. Bike lights for dedicated night rides are a different matter than lights for the above mentioned riding/commuting/ every-day-use profile. Had i 5 bikes to choose from for a night ride, i'd also simply get a proper battery powered lamp for those and still a dyno setup for my every-day-use bike (my city/touring bike is equipped with a hub dynamo system, by cyclocross bike is equipped with battery powered light). Most battery light users have far less bikes which they use at night.



Others here have said they have a similar number of bikes. But why would I duplicate effort? I can very easily switch between bicycles without having to have a dedicated light system for a bike or even multiple bikes. Dynamo systems require dedicated wiring and lights that are usually fastened to the bike. Battery lights are much more convenient in that respect.





Additionally, I have multiple lights that can be used redundantly if something goes wrong.
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Old 09-17-19, 05:11 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Others here have said they have a similar number of bikes. But why would I duplicate effort? I can very easily switch between bicycles without having to have a dedicated light system for a bike or even multiple bikes. Dynamo systems require dedicated wiring and lights that are usually fastened to the bike. Battery lights are much more convenient in that respect.
At first, the users registered here (and especially those more active) are most probably not the "average biker joe" . Or as "noglider" wrote "people in this forum are not typical" (see signature of post 42). I was talking about the average biker joe, and this guy does not have 8 bikes, even though some other freaks here have as many bikes as you (i am freak myself but not with respect to the number of bikes ).
Second, i think you didn't read my former post properly. I stated that i would as well buy a battery lamp in case i had 5 bikes that i'd use regularly at night. And still i would equip my every-day-use bike with a dynamo. And still my pro's for a dynamo from post 19 are valid. I see every day people at night without dynamo light systems, who mostly forgot their bike lights, because they "didn't plan to ride so late" or "forgot to charge their lights" or "forgot the lights". This wouldn't happen with a dynamo system. If you are organized well enough to avoid this, congratulations! However too many people aren't, unfortunately. I'd probably end up without a light at night on my city bike more often than i'd like (because "life happens while you're busy making other plans")

Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
[...]You might want to go look at how far out 30ft (10m) is. It’s 2 carlengths. [...] Car lights range from 20 m to 30 m. That’s not too far out in front of the vehicle for something capable of doing much higher speeds then bicycles commonly do. [...]
My (cylcocross/road) bike lights (Lupine SL-F or Outbound Focal Road) are adjusted to give me a usable beam distance of 150-175 feet, and they do not blind people in that setting (and any other user of those high powered cut-off lamps does the same). What else would be the point of using a 500-1000 lm bike light?? Even my fairly weak dynamo powered lamp (~100-150 lm) is adjusted in such a way that the beam illuminates at least 20 m (65 ft) in front of the bike. If i ride at 29 km/h (18 mph), i travel at a speed of 8 m/s (26 ft/s). The average reaction time is 1 sec. If the brightest spot is 2 car lengths (30 ft) in front of my bike, it is not possible at this speed to react and stop in time, a crash is not avoidable.

Were my car's dipped beam only able to illuminate 30 m, i'd never drive at night. Luckily it reaches 50-60m, but even that is way too little for 70 mph. But on a car you can either use the high beam or you have enough cars in front of you that illuminate the road further in the distance.

Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
First, the exaggeration is often used not as an exaggeration but as a statement of fact. But, again, the optics don’t match even for 15feet. To throw a 15 foot tall beam of light “into the trees” at 30 feet would require a reflector of 87°.[...] Additionally, the lux argument goes against your (and others) “dazzling” argument.[....] I ride roads in the night and I’m also not worried about people in cars. Again, the optics are against me causing a problem for a motorist.
If your arguments were true, every car would use a conical beam shape. But this is for obvious reasons not the case. Since we are here in a dynamo thread and not in a "conical beams do not blind" thread, i won't answer in depth to your calculations. But shortly i think you forgot the scattered lights in your calculation and made a few assumptions which are not correct. Any beam shot of a conical lamp (unless it is pointed right in front of the bike) shows plenty of (blinding) scattered light, unless the light it is set to such a low mode that it only has a "be seen" function, but not a "i can see something myself" function. I am happy to discuss this in depth via private message, if you want, alternatively you could open a new thread on this matter (if there isn't one already). I think the following two videos show nicel the difference between a conical beam and a cut-off beam (which are typical for dynamo lamps)
And car lights have even in the states more requirements than to be seen from 500ft, but it seems to me for bike lights this is the only requirement.

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Old 09-17-19, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
This is a very rare opportunity for most folks.
Agree. The vast majority of bike owners buy what the manufacturer decided should be on that bike for that given year. And sometimes the manufacturer had issues besides what would serve the customers needs best.

I am in a small minority because I built up most of my bikes from the frame and that included building the wheels. Another small minority bought custom bikes to be built to specification from a custom builder like Co-Motion or Rodriguez, etc. And another small minority hired a local bike shop to build up a custom bike based on a specific frame. Some of the buyers of custom bikes are knowledgeable about what they want but some of them are not.
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Old 09-17-19, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by polyphrast View Post
At first, the users registered here (and especially those more active) are most probably not the "average biker joe" . Or as "noglider" wrote "people in this forum are not typical" (see signature of post 42). I was talking about the average biker joe, and this guy does not have 8 bikes, even though some other freaks here have as many bikes as you (i am freak myself but not with respect to the number of bikes ).
Having more than one bicycle is far from atypical in my experience. I would say that having only one bike is atypical. I know numerous cyclists and I can only name one or two that have a single bike. Eight bikes is perhaps on the higher end but not by too much among the people I know and talk to on a regular basis.

Originally Posted by polyphrast View Post
Second, i think you didn't read my former post properly. I stated that i would as well buy a battery lamp in case i had 5 bikes that i'd use regularly at night. And still i would equip my every-day-use bike with a dynamo. And still my pro's for a dynamo from post 19 are valid. I see every day people at night without dynamo light systems, who mostly forgot their bike lights, because they "didn't plan to ride so late" or "forgot to charge their lights" or "forgot the lights". This wouldn't happen with a dynamo system. If you are organized well enough to avoid this, congratulations! However too many people aren't, unfortunately. I'd probably end up without a light at night on my city bike more often than i'd like (because "life happens while you're busy making other plans")
I did read your post and I simply don’t agree. If you’ve forgotten lights more than once, you aren’t learning from your mistakes. The only time I ever found myself without a light, I had other problems as well. First was misjudging the time it would take to ride the route and the second was getting lost and going 10 miles out of my way. Even then, we had a squeezy light that got us back to the truck. And, since then, I carry multiple light sources in addition to other necessary survival equipment.

Originally Posted by polyphrast View Post
My (cylcocross/road) bike lights (Lupine SL-F or Outbound Focal Road) are adjusted to give me a usable beam distance of 150-175 feet, and they do not blind people in that setting (and any other user of those high powered cut-off lamps does the same). What else would be the point of using a 500-1000 lm bike light?? Even my fairly weak dynamo powered lamp (~100-150 lm) is adjusted in such a way that the beam illuminates at least 20 m (65 ft) in front of the bike. If i ride at 29 km/h (18 mph), i travel at a speed of 8 m/s (26 ft/s). The average reaction time is 1 sec. If the brightest spot is 2 car lengths (30 ft) in front of my bike, it is not possible at this speed to react and stop in time, a crash is not avoidable.
Really, 150 feet?! You do realized that with a cut-off, that’s far past the point where most bike lights are going to be useful. You are illuminating the trees. I run at up to 40 mph with lights at 2 car lengths and it is more than enough to avoid obstacles.

Originally Posted by polyphrast View Post
Were my car's dipped beam only able to illuminate 30 m, i'd never drive at night. Luckily it reaches 50-60m, but even that is way too little for 70 mph. But on a car you can either use the high beam or you have enough cars in front of you that illuminate the road further in the distance.
I really think you need to reassess your distance judgement. 60m is nearly 200 feet or, in more concrete terms, that 2/3rds of the distance of a standard US city block. I had an old truck which sits higher than most cars and it didn’t illuminate the ground at the end of my block...and I live in the middle of the block. My newer truck still sits a bit higher than a car and it doesn’t illuminate the ground at the end of my block. High beams, yes. Low beam, not a sausage.

Originally Posted by polyphrast View Post
If your arguments were true, every car would use a conical beam shape. But this is for obvious reasons not the case. Since we are here in a dynamo thread and not in a "conical beams do not blind" thread, i won't answer in depth to your calculations. But shortly i think you forgot the scattered lights in your calculation and made a few assumptions which are not correct. Any beam shot of a conical lamp (unless it is pointed right in front of the bike) shows plenty of (blinding) scattered light, unless the light it is set to such a low mode that it only has a "be seen" function, but not a "i can see something myself" function. I am happy to discuss this in depth via private message, if you want, alternatively you could open a new thread on this matter (if there isn't one already). I think the following two videos show nicel the difference between a conical beam and a cut-off beam (which are typical for dynamo lamps) And car lights have even in the states more requirements than to be seen from 500ft, but it seems to me for bike lights this is the only requirement.
Many cars in the US up to between 15 and 20 years ago did have conical lights in the US. There are still cars on the road that don’t have cut-offs.

As for “blinding”, if you are directly in front of a light with a cut off there is enough scatter that the lights have a dazzling effect. The world also isn’t flat so any hill is going to make the cut-off move up and down. I’ve seen lights with “cut-offs” on bicycles and can’t tell the difference head on. But, again, I don’t ride where I’m going to be riding close enough to bicycles going the other way to “blind” anyone. I’m usually 22 feet or more away from someone on the other side of the road.
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Old 09-18-19, 04:48 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
...
Many cars in the US up to between 15 and 20 years ago did have conical lights in the US. There are still cars on the road that don’t have cut-offs.
....
No. The older sealed beam headlights had a wide low flat beam on low beam. The lenses were not as precise as modern lenses but they still had a good low beam that was not like a flashlight beam. Sometimes when driving down the road at night you might think that the approaching vehicle had their high beams on because they were so bright, but when the vehicle got closer you could tell that it was a heavily loaded pickup truck or a station wagon that was sitting lower on the rear axle which caused the headlights to be out of adjustment.

I am staying out of your other arguments at this time, but the one I commented on I felt warranted correction.
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