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The dirty secret of dynamo lighting

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The dirty secret of dynamo lighting

Old 05-13-14, 08:21 PM
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kiltedcelt
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The dirty secret of dynamo lighting

Yep. Dirty secret. Nasty ugly wires running everywhere. How the heck do you hide them? I have a Bacchetta Giro 20 recumbent and an AXA Luxx70 Plus head light and a Riff taillight. I will be running them with an AXA HR bottle dyno but I haven't decided yet whether I'll mount it to the fork and run it off the 20" front wheel or mount it on the rear and run it off the 26" wheel. Either way I have to run a long wire from somewhere. I hate looping a wire around a cable housing if I can avoid it. I'm already doing that on the front with my bike computer wires for speed and cadence. Ideally I'd like to do something that cleans up the look of that, but for now I'm most concerned about finding the slickest way to run that long wire from wherever it's coming from, be it the front wheel or rear. Anyone know of some kind of black stiff tubular housing or some other thing that can eliminate a bunch of zip ties and the inevitably saggy wires.
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Old 05-13-14, 10:03 PM
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unterhausen
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there are some really good tapes that will hold the wire to the tube. I was thinking about getting a tape set from a di2 electronic derailleur setup
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Old 05-14-14, 01:01 AM
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You ride a 'bent and are worried about ugly?

You could buy monster cable and make the wire an expensive feature I guess.
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Old 05-14-14, 01:03 AM
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Come now, some bents are rather inpressive looking machines.
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Old 05-14-14, 07:02 AM
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Velcro wire ties like this:
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Old 05-14-14, 07:41 AM
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unterhausen
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I use plain old wire ties. Black wire ties are uv-resistant
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Old 05-14-14, 07:52 AM
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zip ties.....and don't worry about what it looks like.
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Old 05-14-14, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by DBA View Post
zip ties.....and don't worry about what it looks like.
In fact, don't even trim the excess off. Fly those things with pride!
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Old 05-14-14, 08:13 AM
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I have used electrical tape on the underside of the frame running the length of the wire. You can get it in colors that match your bike or even clear. Or maybe you could run them inside the frame if the frame internals allow for it. Or the heck with in and do zip ties and just ride the dang thing...
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Old 05-14-14, 01:05 PM
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Zip ties come in a variety of sizes and can be bought in either black or white. If they come in colors I've never seen it. *Electrical tape works well, can be bought in a variety of colors and can be trimmed to fit the need. ( *otherwise known as "vinyl tape" )

I think the OP shouldn't be so concerned about appearances. I could understand the concept of maintaining a clean look if you were riding an elite level road bike but for "beater", tour, commuter, hybrid, bent', set-ups it is not so much an issue ( or put another way, "It shouldn't be so much an issue". )

Whatever is used to fix the wires, you will do it then ride the bike and forget about it from that point on.
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Old 05-14-14, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by 01 CAt Man Do View Post
Zip ties come in a variety of sizes and can be bought in either black or white. If they come in colors I've never seen it.
CableTiesAndMore.com is one of many points of sale for zip ties in various colors and sizes.

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Old 05-14-14, 03:41 PM
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I think Sheldon once suggested using clear plastic packing tape and taping wires to the bottom of the tubes. I tried it on a wired computer, and it was OK, but not much better than OK. When I had to pull it off for something or other, my wires went back on with zip ties.

For a more radical suggestion, look at the road and what you're riding past instead of your bike.
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Old 05-14-14, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by kiltedcelt View Post
black stiff tubular housing
If you like the look of brake cable housing, you can use black brake cable housing as your wires. No need to insert wires into them.

Also, SKS Chromoplastic™ fenders have two sides, electrically separate from each other, so you can use your fender as a two-wire cable.
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Old 05-14-14, 09:34 PM
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If I need to tie something to my frame, I like using silicon tape. It only sticks to itself, but it has a good grip on metal or painted surfaces. It is waterproof, so you can wrap it tightly around something and the tape can even offer some degree of protection from the elements. You could also use it to add bulk, inside a tube or outside, if you had an accessory that didn't quite fit.
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Old 05-14-14, 09:46 PM
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noglider,

That's actually the most helpful (and neat), suggestion yet. I did use one of my spare Chromoplastic fenders on the rear wheel, but I think I could just as easily run the wire from the taillight along the rear rack fairly unobtrustively. The thing is, this frame is a nice misty, gray-green, color and I'd prefer to keep the amount of zip ties to a minimum. The second most useful suggestion was clear packing tape, by pdlamb. I tried bits of electrical tape to hold cadence sensor wires on the down tube of another bike once and it kind of worked, but it didn't really hold the cable all that tightly and eventually the adhesive wore out and the cable started coming undone and would sag. I wonder if there's some sort of industrial type packing tape with a long lasting high quality adhesive.
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Old 05-15-14, 07:31 AM
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The dirty secret of dynamo lighting

On a silver frame, I bent some aluminum tubing and glued it to the frame and fork with some strong, flexible clear glue. It even survived a low budget shipment to Europe in tact!
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Old 05-15-14, 11:32 AM
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Diegofrogs - I did purchase a 3' section of thin wall aluminum tubing that I figured I could primer and paint black to match cable housings.

Also, update: I did some searching online and one of my favorite odds-and-ends retailers, McMaster-Carr appears to carry some rigid, thin-walled, small ID/OD tubing that might work as cable loom, and it's fairly inexpensive so I may just go ahead and buy some and then see if I can make that work.

McMaster-Carr
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Old 05-15-14, 02:29 PM
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OK, I have to brag. I had a local builder make my commuter bike, and he hid the wires in the tubes for the front rack and rear rack and the tubes of the frame itself.

He also built in mounts for the taillight and the headlight.

Bike is a dream, actually. Take a look.
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Old 05-15-14, 03:54 PM
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drill holes add rubber grommets and cross your fingers about structural integrity..
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Old 05-15-14, 08:44 PM
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That's why I only have my dynamo light in the front. A single wire up the fork and that's it. You can't tell it's there.
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Old 05-16-14, 05:39 AM
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I get electrical tape the same color as my frame and cover the wires with that, in cases where I care. In general I just don't care. In my case I'm taping down wires for battery lighting and a bike comp.
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Old 05-16-14, 06:32 AM
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Duct tape.

Also comes in handy to boot a tire.
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Old 05-16-14, 02:48 PM
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More thoughts; All the different kinds of tape ( packing, duct, vinyl ) have their uses. Eventually though the adhesive will weaken or the tape will stretch. Depends on the application. The more stress/weight put on the tape the faster it will fail. For just holding wires in place it shouldn't be a problem. Cable ties are more durable but they to have their limits. I used to use electrical tape to hold my speed sensor in place but because of the odd shape of my front fork the tape kept stretching causing the sensor to fall out of alignment with the magnet. It got so bad I had to reposition and re-tape it before almost every ride. That just wasn't working. I switched to a cable tie and now it's rock solid.

Glad to see that cable ties come in a variety of colors. Wish they made some in the color of polished aluminum. Gray silver they have but that doesn't blend well with aluminum. Frosted clear is probably best when using with bare aluminum.
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Old 05-17-14, 05:52 PM
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Duct tape deteriorates in sun and weather pretty badly and when it does, the adhesive is dry and hard to remove. Electrical tape comes off clean even after a few years.
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Old 05-18-14, 08:57 PM
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+1 on not using the dynamo for the rear light. Rear blinkers are cheap and the batteries last a long time. Just run 2 of them

Also, Shimano makes a nice tape kit for Di2 wires. Amazon sells it, and I bet it would work for your headlight wires
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