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Should I get my next front wheel built with a dynamo hub?

Old 04-04-20, 07:58 AM
  #26  
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Unless you're biking in very remote places where you can't recharge your batteries while you sleep, I don't think it's worth it. I have a 10 amp hour 12v battery and 12v led lighting. I have day running lights (2 front, 2 rear) and brighter night lights. I also have 12v pulsing directional signals. The battery I have can power the day lights for 4 days continuously, the night lights for about 6 hours, which is more than enough for me. It also has a USB port to charge the phone if need be. There are many other options out there, including small solar cells, but I think given the advances in battery technology, a good battery and perhaps a backup one should be enough for most people. Just my $.02.
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Old 04-04-20, 11:09 AM
  #27  
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Thank you so much to everyone who has taken time to reply up to this point and for sharing your fantastic experiences. I think a lot of this information will certainly help other people that are having the same question.

I'm still weighing up the options. I may end up getting one for the commuter bike!
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Old 04-04-20, 12:10 PM
  #28  
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I probably owe my life to my dynamo hub.
I ride at night probably 4 nights a week to drink beer or go find live music. It only took two or three times of riding home with dead batteries to realize that I could have been flattened on the road because I didn't realize my lights weren't illuminated.
Now I just hop on the bike without worry anymore.

On tour i listen to Pandora Radio almost all day. The dynamo keeps the phone battery from draining when listening to Pandora but won't fully charge the phone. I have to switch to airplane mode to do this with the music off. I don't use an external battery so I'm a little confused about all the battery talk. I just never have seemed to need it. I do charge my phone when I get a chance but those opportunities seem to be less and less these days with the near death of small town family restaurants.
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Old 04-04-20, 02:34 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by boomhauer View Post
... I don't use an external battery so I'm a little confused about all the battery talk. I just never have seemed to need it. ...
If it works for you, great. My Garmin 64 will not charge directly off of my Sinewave charger without a pass through battery. And the charger i use for charging NiMH AA and AAA batteries does not work well directly off of the Sinewave either. Some devices will, but some won't.
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Old 04-05-20, 09:00 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by boomhauer View Post
I ride at night probably 4 nights a week to drink beer or go find live music.
Wow, you're having a lot more fun than me.
Originally Posted by boomhauer View Post
I don't use an external battery so I'm a little confused about all the battery talk. I just never have seemed to need it.
Originally Posted by boomhauer View Post
It only took two or three times of riding home with dead batteries to realize that I could have been flattened on the road because I didn't realize my lights weren't illuminated.
If you've caught yourself riding home after a couple of pints and didn't realize your lights weren't illuminated, you probably shouldn't have been on the road at all and at that point the best plan would have been to have gotten a ride home. For what it's worth, I've gotten in the habit of plugging my battery in every time I put the bike to bed after a ride & just in case I have a spare in my panniers. That's always served me well and I've never been left in the dark.

Last edited by hfbill; 04-05-20 at 09:08 AM.
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Old 04-05-20, 11:29 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by boomhauer View Post
I probably owe my life to my dynamo hub.
I ride at night probably 4 nights a week to drink beer or go find live music. It only took two or three times of riding home with dead batteries to realize that I could have been flattened on the road because I didn't realize my lights weren't illuminated.
Now I just hop on the bike without worry anymore.
...
I always use AA or AAA powered taillights, not USB powered ones. It has been several years since I had to go into a Walgreens to buy some batteries so I could ride the next six miles home, but that option is available with AA and AAA lighting.

I have dyno powered taillights on a couple bikes, but I consider them secondary lighting, the battery taillights are also mounted on those bikes so I can use them as flashers in daytime.
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Old 04-05-20, 12:44 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by JayKay3000 View Post
I'm still trying to plan for the future.

For long term ownership do you recommend a dynamo hub for charging basic things like a phone or music player?

Or is it better just to have a couple of cheaper battery recharge packs or even a small solar panel charger?

I really like the idea of the dynamo hub, but I'm not planning on riding around the world so for general riding and the odd week long tour is it worth it (I know 'is it worth it' is subjective).

To me it doesn't seem worth it and better to put that money into a different part of the bike.
I havenít toured in a long while but used to commute a lot and heartily recommend them for commuting or if you regularly buzz out from camp to anyplace at night. Not being dependent on batteries when you have to have riding lights is great. For touring carrying lots of electronics just doesnít make sense but that may be a generational thing. I didnít like carrying lots of gear to begin with so the idea of a slight constant drag to charge batteries doesnít seem worth it compared to occasionally plugging into 120v as needed.
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Old 04-06-20, 03:14 AM
  #33  
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My iPhone SE battery isn’t what it used to be so I bought a card charger for around $28. Didn’t help me at all. Then I read Wirecutter recommendation about Jackery Bolt for $34. This is the ticket because it can charge my phone and Garmin 500 maybe at the same time. 6000m is enough for me. Multiple port options. There are also power banks in the 10k-20k range too. E.G. Anker. These have got to be more affordable than a dynahub.
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Old 04-06-20, 10:13 PM
  #34  
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[QUOTE=Trevtassie;21394672]Get on the German websites, Bike24, bike discount starbike etc. Grab a cheap SP Dynamo hub. One of the AXA headlights, a B&M toplight tail light. /QUOTE]

That's a surprisingly good deal for well-reviewed stuff, only about $125. Especially if one is getting a new front wheel anyway.
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Old 04-06-20, 10:17 PM
  #35  
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[QUOTE=DropBarFan;21404637]
Originally Posted by Trevtassie View Post
Get on the German websites, Bike24, bike discount starbike etc. Grab a cheap SP Dynamo hub. One of the AXA headlights, a B&M toplight tail light. /QUOTE]

That's a surprisingly good deal for well-reviewed stuff, only about $125. Especially if one is getting a new front wheel anyway.
Their spokes are cheap too, and you can buy them in sensible amounts to suit 32 or 36 hole rims . I'd recommend Alpine III spokes, bullet proof. Rims I've found it depends on what you want, but I've found the Rhinolite from Jenson USA is cheap and bullet proof.as well. Pretty round and easy to build as well.
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Old 04-17-20, 06:25 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I always use AA or AAA powered taillights, not USB powered ones. It has been several years since I had to go into a Walgreens to buy some batteries so I could ride the next six miles home, but that option is available with AA and AAA lighting.

I have dyno powered taillights on a couple bikes, but I consider them secondary lighting, the battery taillights are also mounted on those bikes so I can use them as flashers in daytime.
in terms of tailights I think the approach of using AA or AAA batteries is the way to go.

USB charging and li-ion batteries are great but they have a flaw. If you run out of power in the battery you need to stop and charge before you can get it going again (usually).

As well, li-ion cells tend to only last about 2 years of strong performance, then another year or two "good" performance before fading away. At that point you need to either replace the light or try to replace the battery (which is likely a DIY effort).

With AA and AAA you always have the option to carry a couple spares and swap them out quickly.

On front lights its gets to be a tougher call because the output levels need beefier amounts of power that quickly start to favor li-ion powered lights.

Last edited by Wiggle; 04-17-20 at 06:29 AM.
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Old 04-17-20, 06:49 AM
  #37  
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[QUOTE=Trevtassie;21404640]
Originally Posted by DropBarFan View Post
Their spokes are cheap too, and you can buy them in sensible amounts to suit 32 or 36 hole rims . I'd recommend Alpine III spokes, bullet proof. Rims I've found it depends on what you want, but I've found the Rhinolite from Jenson USA is cheap and bullet proof.as well. Pretty round and easy to build as well.
I also like/recommend the Alpine 111 spokes, but would caution anyone considering a Rohloff hub that they are incompatible, from memory due to the diameter at the J bend.
Potentially important for the fussy like myself who prefer matching spokes for front/rear wheels.
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Old 04-17-20, 07:16 AM
  #38  
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[QUOTE=rifraf;21423015]
Originally Posted by Trevtassie View Post

I also like/recommend the Alpine 111 spokes, but would caution anyone considering a Rohloff hub that they are incompatible, from memory due to the diameter at the J bend.
Potentially important for the fussy like myself who prefer matching spokes for front/rear wheels.
There is a special DT Swiss and a Sapim spoke for the Rohloff. Both are 2/1.8/2 Pretty well the DT look the same as the Alpine, but are 0.3mm smaller at the J end, 2mm versus 2.3mmm. The J is a little longer to account for the thicker hub flanges. You'd be hard pressed to tell the difference once laced especially given the hubs would be different sizes and shapes.
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Old 04-17-20, 07:45 AM
  #39  
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[QUOTE=Trevtassie;21423063]
Originally Posted by rifraf View Post
There is a special DT Swiss and a Sapim spoke for the Rohloff. Both are 2/1.8/2 Pretty well the DT look the same as the Alpine, but are 0.3mm smaller at the J end, 2mm versus 2.3mmm. The J is a little longer to account for the thicker hub flanges. You'd be hard pressed to tell the difference once laced especially given the hubs would be different sizes and shapes.
Thanks for the heads up.
I'm not sure they were available back in 2012 which was when I last had some wheels built, so I ended up going with Sapim CX-rays and many miles later am still very happy with them.
Beyond an annual tune up, I've done nothing too them and never broken a spoke.
My first choice at the time was the Alpine 111s recommended by cyccommute in this forum, but after reading about the Rohloff issue I took the Bike24 route with the CX-rays, despite plenty of nay sayers and have never looked back.

Great to know about the DT version though and will look to them as an possibility should I ever need another option, so thanks for that.

Last edited by rifraf; 04-17-20 at 07:49 AM.
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Old 04-17-20, 09:20 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Wiggle View Post
in terms of tailights I think the approach of using AA or AAA batteries is the way to go.

USB charging and li-ion batteries are great but they have a flaw. If you run out of power in the battery you need to stop and charge before you can get it going again (usually).

As well, li-ion cells tend to only last about 2 years of strong performance, then another year or two "good" performance before fading away. At that point you need to either replace the light or try to replace the battery (which is likely a DIY effort).

With AA and AAA you always have the option to carry a couple spares and swap them out quickly.

On front lights its gets to be a tougher call because the output levels need beefier amounts of power that quickly start to favor li-ion powered lights.
I see you are in Halifax, my last tour started and ended there. A great five weeks on Cabot Trail, PEI, Bay of Fundy, etc.

On the AA and AAA batteries, I swap out the taillight batteries weekly, even though after a week they still seem to be bright. But refreshing them after a week makes sure they stay bright.

I use Ikea Ladda Low Discharge (white) NiMH rechargeables. And carry a USB powered charger (Powerchimp) with me when touring. The green light means that cell is charged up, the three red lights mean that the other batteries are still charging.





I found Cycle Smith to be very helpful.
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Old 04-19-20, 07:30 PM
  #41  
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I am very much in the pro-dynamo camp. As someone who said no no no to dynamos for various dumb reasons for awhile and finally got one on a bike and loved it immediately. I then realized I want it on my touring bike after saying I didn't and really was displeased with myself because I should have done it from the get go. It is extremely awesome having my light powered by the front wheel spinning and even cooler that I can charge if need be. I don't like battery lights and I can tolerate my USB lights for the bikes that don't have a dynamo but honestly for touring and commuting I would much rather have lights that are just there and do their thing without much effort from me other than what I would be doing anyways.

I am currently running an Shutter Precision PV-8 and Supernova lights front and rear on my Single Speed/Fixed Gear RandoCross FunTime Machine and a SON Delux with B+M lights and a Sinewave Reactor charger on my touring bike and my plans for future bikes are probably going to stick with SON. Though truth be told I haven't yet really had issues with my SP hub and it has seemed to work fine and powered the lights decently well.
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Old 04-25-20, 07:17 AM
  #42  
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For me it's a necessity. Having to either plug the bike in or mess with batteries is more hassle than I want.
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