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What's the most reliable hardware choices?

Old 05-26-21, 06:31 AM
  #51  
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I agree with SS cables! Both brake and gear cables are setup this way.
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Old 05-26-21, 01:35 PM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62
...I don't think I ever met someone who was fond of a solar panel on their touring bike. A better solution is to charge your batteries from the dynomo hub after going thru some rectification and voltage clamping to avoid blowing something up...
I like my solar panel just fine. It rides well across the back of my rear rack, charges a battery that in turn charges my electronic gear. USB light, ipod, cellphone.

I do other forms of camping such as canoe and backpacking and find a dynohub would be an expensive solution that does not transfer. The solar panel goes everywhere.
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Old 05-26-21, 04:18 PM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet
I like my solar panel just fine. It rides well across the back of my rear rack, charges a battery that in turn charges my electronic gear. USB light, ipod, cellphone.

I do other forms of camping such as canoe and backpacking and find a dynohub would be an expensive solution that does not transfer. The solar panel goes everywhere.
Solar panels have gotten much cheaper in last few years. I think if you make camp reasonably early so that you have several hours of sunlight in afternoon, that might work well. But the key is energy conservation. My last tour where I was self sufficient for power for part of the tour, there were a few key points:
  • Use good cables, I had a high resistance cable in my collection and initially that limited how much I got out of my hub.
  • Limit screen time on a phone or tablet. I tried to get weather forecasts on wifi, check e-mail, and that was it. Otherwise phone was in airplane mode. (My phone plan is not international, I did not get a local sim card on that trip, so my phone became a wifi-only device.)
  • Avoid using phone or tablet when it is cold, battery consumption is much higher with cold battery. If I checked weather forecast on a cool morning, I would warm up my phone first inside the sleeping bag to reduce battery consumption.
I brought a current flow meter that told me how much power was going through my USB port, that was how I discovered that I had a high resistance cable, I was getting much less power through that cable than I should have.

I tried solar three years ago on a two week kayak trip. When I got home I weighed a few things and concluded that the solar panel that I used weighed more than the weight of the AA batteries (NiMH rechargeaable) that the solar panels replaced. But panels are getting better and on a longer trip they could be a good power source.

I think for most people for a trip of up to 5 days, taking a battery pack from home makes more sense than trying to make your own power with a hub or solar panel(s). Once you are at a couple weeks, it makes sense to try to generate your own power.

Generally my canoe and kayak trips are beyond cell range. Thus my power needs are only a light in the campsite, GPS, and weather band radio (I use a marine band radio for weather, I limit usage so that I do not need to swap batteries during a trip.) Backpacking, I do not bring the weather radio, only power need is GPS and light in the camp, but if I backpacked where there was cell coverage I might bring spare cell phone batteries.

I take a lot of photos too, but if the trip is two weeks or less, I can get by with extra camera batteries, do not need to charge them up during the trip.
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Old 05-27-21, 08:39 AM
  #54  
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I generally have a battery backup head lamp that also lasts a long time as well but my IPOD and phone need a USB port. I forgot my camera too. It's also a USB port.
The panel I have has a pouch on the back that a battery pack fits into. I strap it across the back and it charges all day as I ride. Depending on my expected general orientation to the sun I can strap it across the front or back.
This was an important consideration (charging a battery rather than a device) because when a cloud or something disrupts the light a device can switch off charging and not re connect. The battery just keeps charging all day.
Then I charge everything off the battery at night.

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Old 05-28-21, 05:16 AM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet
...
The panel I have has a pouch on the back that a battery pack fits into. I strap it across the back and it charges all day as I ride. ...
What brand and model is that solar panel? It looks like a good size, yet lightweight.
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Old 05-28-21, 08:33 AM
  #56  
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I forget the exact model but it was an Anker brand similar to this (but with three panels). https://www.amazon.ca/Anker-Solar-Ch...211888&sr=8-10

It came with the panels, a usb cord and a portable battery. I'm probably going to upgrade the battery now as they have gotten so much better but my old one is small and fits in my HB bag easily. From there I can run a charge cord out and down to my usb light so I can run it on high for a longer period of time if I want. Haven't had that need yet (actually I did once but I didn't have this set up) but Its a different option.

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Old 05-28-21, 11:40 AM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet
...

Thanks on the brand name.

I hope you do not get any water from tire spray into your light on a rainy day.
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Old 05-29-21, 06:06 AM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet
I forget the exact model but it was an Anker brand similar to this (but with three panels). https://www.amazon.ca/Anker-Solar-Ch...211888&sr=8-10
...
I re-considered solar for canoeing, kayaking, and backpacking based on seeing your panel in the photo. It does look like a nice panel for that purpose. Cycling, I am good with a dynohub.

Three years ago I brought a couple small solar panels on a two week kayaking trip, spent some time on the trip dutifully re-aiming the panels as the sun moved, etc., and when I got home i weighed everything and concluded that the panels and a USB powered AA charger weighed more than the number of AA batteries I charged up. Thus, it would have made more sense to bring more AA batteries. Your panel looked good enough, re-assessment was warranted.

Using that same analysis, your panel would weigh about the same as 14 AA batteries. Compared weight of a panel and charging equipment against bringing spare batteries for a two week kayak trip or canoe trip. And two weeks looked like the inflection point, shorter trips favored spare batteries, longer trips favored panel. And that assumes the sun will shine when needed. So, for non-cycling trips, I will stick with spare batteries. Backpacking, I try to go no more than six days between food re-supply, picking up spare batteries will always be a clear winner for that short a trip.

If food was lighter in weight and consumed less volume, I could do longer trips and then the panel would make more sense. But I do not anticipate that food scientists will suddenly cram a lot more calories into a kg of food, so that is unlikely to happen. A key point here - I use a cell phone very little and many of my trips are out of cell range. Someone that uses a cell phone more would likely favor the panel over spare batteries, especially if they had a cell phone that does not have a user-replaceable battery. I can bring spare cell batteries for my phone (an older LG).

Thanks again for the info. If I was newer at this and had invested in devices that were all charged by USB instead of AA batteries, that panel would have been a stronger contender. And I can see where that can be a good option over a dynohub too.

I get really good service out of Ikea Ladda (white color) AA and AAA NiMH rechargeable batteries. They won in my analysis. And for cycling, have some lightweight USB powered AA/AAA chargers that I charge up from a pass through cache battery on the dynohub, so only bring a few AA or AAA batteries on cycling trips and recharge as needed.
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Old 06-16-21, 11:23 AM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
Yup.

Four years ago I built up another touring bike, Lynskey Backroad (titanium), 3X8 derailleur.

I like robust, easy to repair, easy to replace and reliable components.
Me too, unless you really need something for the Baja divide or canning stock road nonsexy replaceable reliable is the way to go. 3x8 freehub or 3x7 freewheel (Phil hub) are my goto.

Square taper preferred but outboard BB if multiple flights are planned.
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Old 06-27-21, 12:47 AM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by boomhauer
I would argue that commuters have it figured out better than the tourist (tourers).
Many people have separate bicycles for touring vs commuting.
The commuting bicycle gets ridden daily, therefore, reliability issues have already revealed themselves and have been corrected.
Commuting bicycles are more reliable.
People drag out their touring bicycles once or twice a year and mechanical issues might not have shown themselves....yet.
The best assurance of reliability is to ride your touring bike everyday and make it your commuter bike.
Probably the same reason they fly B-52's and fighter jets often. (reliability vs availability = I'm getting into an area I don't know what I'm talking about)
A reasoned response! Been riding to work for decades and I wouldn't tour on my single speed commuter. I would have to walk and push a lot uphill! But this is not bad advice at all.
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