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Hub generator lights and wheels

Old 12-06-08, 12:42 PM
  #1  
Bolo Grubb
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Hub generator lights and wheels

Ok

I need information on a front wheel with a generator hub and light set up. I am needing places to buy/order from, both the wheel and a light(s).

Differences between the different brands, quality, drag, etc

Your recommendations, experiences, etc

any information will be helpful
Thank you
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Old 12-06-08, 01:19 PM
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i got a price from sjs (thorn) cycles for a new front wheel sunrhyno /schmith hub/plus i think the blackburn headlight.excellent build quality on the wheel and great reports on lights and hub ,but expensive ,i think around 360 sterling.i decided to buy good headlight's.
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Old 12-06-08, 01:34 PM
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Schmidt is a German company that makes excellent hub generators and lights, if you have to ask what they cost you won't like the answer. Until lately their hub generator was regarded as the best available, Shimano's new 3N-80 might be better.

Shimano makes the Nexus NX-30 (cheap, you get what you pay for), the 3N-70 (probably the best value for your money today) and the 3N-80 (hard to find, but very high quality).

Peter White Cycles imports and sells a wide range of hub dynamos and lights, they're the main source in this country.

Generator powered LED headlights like the Schmidt Edelux are the newest advancement, they put out much more light than generator powered halogen lights and are much more effective at low speed. They're expensive and hard to find, Peter White has a waiting list for the Edelux even though he hasn't listed it on his website.
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Old 12-06-08, 06:09 PM
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If you were commuting a hub dynamo would be a good option but there not really necessary for touring for a couple of reasons. There is drag when the lights are off, some hubs drag more then others. Typically you only need the dynamo and light if your running late for your next scheduled stop which requires riding in the dark. If you constantly need your light because your riding in the dark a lot at night your planing your tour wrong. Hub dynamos are expensive and desired items making them a high theft item. I've seen quite a few dynamo wheels where a thief simply cut the spokes and removed the dynamo leaving the rim and tire chained to the rack. For touring you only need a cheap bottle type dynamo. There cheap so no one is going to bother stealing it, there is more drag when engaged but not so much as to make it difficult to ride with one engaged, When disengaged there is no drag at all which is important when your doing in excess of 50 miles a day. If a bottle type dynamo fails it's easily replaced, if your hub dynamo fails you need a new wheel built. All touring tires have dynamo strips moulded into the sidewalls reducing or eliminating slippage and sidewall damage.
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Old 12-06-08, 06:10 PM
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Here is some info on dynohubs

and here is some info on lights.
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Old 03-05-09, 11:12 PM
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Union makes a BB mount generator that mounts in the place on the chain stays that you would mount a kick stand. It is out of the way and hiden. They have a aloy drum that rides on the centre of the tire and not the side wall. Les noise and drag and you can "click" it out of the way just like the bottle type dyno's.
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Old 03-05-09, 11:27 PM
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I got a Schmidt setup from Peterwhite a couple years ago. The drag isn't perceptible when the light is off.

The only reason I can think of for getting one is that money is no object and you have no means to charge a battery pack. It is cool to know that you'll always have enough light to ride <15mph.

For less than the price of a Schmidt wheel you could get a Dinotte 400 and get a lot more light.
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Old 03-06-09, 01:27 AM
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here is a stupid question: can you use generator hubs as a way to charge things like my netbook or ipod? money is of no issue to me.
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Old 03-06-09, 05:46 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by mechanicalron View Post
Union makes a BB mount generator that mounts in the place on the chain stays that you would mount a kick stand. It is out of the way and hiden. They have a aloy drum that rides on the centre of the tire and not the side wall. Les noise and drag and you can "click" it out of the way just like the bottle type dyno's.
I have one of these on my Giant Excursion which is set up as a tour bike.

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Old 03-06-09, 05:53 AM
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Originally Posted by chrishg View Post
here is a stupid question: can you use generator hubs as a way to charge things like my netbook or ipod? money is of no issue to me.
You can and people have done it. Personally I think a folding solar panel would be of better use.

In response to the OP: Velo-Orange is selling complete Dynohub wheels for about $160.

My favorite headlight at the moment is the B&M Lumotec IQ Fly Senso Plus
. It puts out plenty of light at very low speeds is fairly compact and light weight. My second choice would be the B&M IQ Cyo R. FWIW I don't care what the bike is used for, to me the convenience of having lights on board and ready to work at a moments notice without having to worry about batteries is almost priceless. I have used different battery systems over the years and none of them beat the worry free and convenience of a hub generator with an LED headlight/tail light system.

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Old 03-06-09, 06:23 AM
  #11  
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Do folks really ride in the dark often enough while on tour to be worth using a hub dynamo? I can see it more for commuting, but I think if my touring bike came with one I would build a wheel without it to tour with.

I had a cheap blinkie and a headlamp for in camp lighting that I wore on the few occasions that I felt I needed a headlight while riding. I didn't use either very much. I think that over the course of 73 days on the road I changed the blinkie batteries once and the headlamp batteries not at all.

I guess folks have different needs and preferences. If some of you tour in the winter, then I guess the need for light goes up due to the short daylight hours. Perhaps some ride at night to beat extreme heat in the desert?

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Old 03-06-09, 07:19 AM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by mechanicalron View Post
Union makes a BB mount generator that mounts in the place on the chain stays that you would mount a kick stand. It is out of the way and hiden. They have a aloy drum that rides on the centre of the tire and not the side wall. Les noise and drag and you can "click" it out of the way just like the bottle type dyno's.
sounds like the Sanyo I had, have you used the Union one?
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Old 03-06-09, 07:29 AM
  #13  
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/\ +1.

As a commuter and as a bicycle geek in general, I love dynamo hubs. And I enjoy riding at night, especially in the hours before dawn, when there is little traffic, and with a good light it's even more fun.

But a sidewall or BB dynamo makes more sense for touring. I have a not-very-good "bottle"-style dynamo on the back wheel of my touring tandem; and I have a double-legged kickstand back there, so I can actually light up the camp site for a little while by having someone pedal the bike, which is pretty cool for setting up a tent or whatever.
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Old 03-06-09, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by chrishg View Post
here is a stupid question: can you use generator hubs as a way to charge things like my netbook or ipod? money is of no issue to me.
figure out the numbers, I'm guessing the power requirements for recharging a lap top battery will be a noticable drag compared to a 5watt head light or a .2watt Ipod given the 90watt charging unit that accompanies most laptops.
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Old 03-06-09, 10:33 AM
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I have three dynamos right now: Bottle dynamo: BM 6
two hub dynamos: SON 28 and SON 20R.
My mate has a BM S6,

my advice: if you commute on your touring bike all year, the hub dynamo, and maybe keep your current front wheel for touring. I would recommend a son 20R for all applications. Buy a high quality LED headlight.

If you only ride occasionally at night, get a bottle dynamo, the BM 6 is great, and invest more money in a better LED headlight.

It really boils down the the headlight IMO
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Old 03-06-09, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by markf View Post
Shimano makes the Nexus NX-30 (cheap, you get what you pay for), the 3N-70 (probably the best value for your money today) and the 3N-80 (hard to find, but very high quality).
Harris has that 3N-80 , I see.

A dynamo wheel has fallen into my lap, I have spent the winter (ie headlight) season wondering what kind of light to get. I've been wondering about the supernova but if the cyo costs half the price for comparable light on the road, while the fly costs even less and is actually stocked here in town, I might be going that way instead.

Last edited by HardyWeinberg; 03-06-09 at 11:10 AM.
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Old 03-06-09, 12:15 PM
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the cyo looks really good, but I am thinking about a supernova triple - that should give plenty of light!
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Old 03-06-09, 12:55 PM
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I use a hub dynamo (Shimano 3N-71) on my everyday commuter and a bottle dynamo on my tourer. On tour I need light to get from a campsite into town and back and in case I run into fog. A bottle dynamo is plenty good enough. I power a small Hella lamp with a Nordlight generator and people comment on how bright it is.. The LED lights from B&M are worth the extortionate price, they are much brighter.
The key to successful bottle dynamo use is in the mounting. A conventional clamp around the seatstay is useless, you a bracket bolted to the canti bosses or better still, a braze-on tab. I use a braze on tab which places the dynamo forward of the drive side seatstay.
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Old 03-06-09, 01:45 PM
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more testing: https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=11751.0

They didn't try the E3 triple.
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Old 03-06-09, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by daven1986 View Post
the cyo looks really good, but I am thinking about a supernova triple - that should give plenty of light!
overkill. unless you ride offroad in 24 hour races.

The Edelux is great if you like focused beams (road surface- great in the city where there is ambient light) the Supernova symmetrical is great if you like symmetrical beams (more spill, more of the sidelines illuminated- great for fast, rural dark riding)
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Old 03-06-09, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by MichaelW View Post
The key to successful bottle dynamo use is in the mounting. A conventional clamp around the seatstay is useless,
this one is good: https://www.velo-orange.com/generatormount.html

as good as a braze on in practice.
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Old 03-06-09, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by positron View Post
overkill. unless you ride offroad in 24 hour races.

The Edelux is great if you like focused beams (road surface- great in the city where there is ambient light) the Supernova symmetrical is great if you like symmetrical beams (more spill, more of the sidelines illuminated- great for fast, rural dark riding)
oh, cool thanks. Edelux is so hard to find!
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Old 03-07-09, 12:20 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
Do folks really ride in the dark often enough while on tour to be worth using a hub dynamo? I can see it more for commuting, but I think if my touring bike came with one I would build a wheel without it to tour with.

?
I did. touring in late sept/oct going west thru kansas and colorado, for about ten days I would depart the motel/camoground at 3-4 AM in order to beat the wind that would build to 25-35 MPH by say 11:00.

I used batteries through. and not much traffic in the transam at 4 AM there. some nights the moon was bright enough I didin;t use the light.
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Old 03-07-09, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by chrishg View Post
here is a stupid question: can you use generator hubs as a way to charge things like my netbook or ipod? money is of no issue to me.
It's not complicated at all as long as the device is capable of being recharged via a USB port.
Here is the circuit.

The 4 Ni-MH batteries regulate and filter power for the USB device. The batteries must have solder tabs and all connections between the switch and USB port must be soldered with no possibility of poor or open connections. USB ports are rated for a maximum of 500mA which is the rating for nearly all 6 volt dynamos. The batteries limit voltage output of the dynamo to 5.2 volts and convert excess current as recharging current. Technically; it's possible to overcharge the batteries but in actual use doing that is nearly impossible. If your device draws 500mA you would never recharge them and every time you stop or slow down you lose some of the batteries charge. If your using AA size Ni-MH batteries with a device drawing 350mA it would require 15 hours of non-stop riding to completely recharge the batteries with the USB device plugged in.
Recharging standard Ni-MH batteries is another option. You may use a standard battery holder and batteries. Because your not connecting anything other than the batteries in the circuit the batteries do not need to be solder tab type. Simply remove your AA Ni-MH discharged batteries from your device and put them in your battery holder. Reset the trip time on your cycle computer. After it clocks up 4 hours of riding time your batteries will be recharged. The trip time will automatically start and stop as you start and stop riding. The headlight shown in the circuit can be any standard dynamo headlight. The LED headlight shown in the circuit is taken from Martins Circuit #1 at his Dynamo headlight site here.
https://pilom.com/BicycleElectronics/DynamoCircuits.htm
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Old 03-07-09, 06:13 PM
  #25  
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Electric power is going to be important for me when touring because i plan on using a G1 or similar device for GPS, communications, entertainment, etc. and that amounts to a lot of power. Throw in some headlights and i decided some form of generator would be better than buying batteries or trying to recharge. I ran some numbers on the loss of efficiency from using a dynamo vs. carrying a 3-5W solar panel on my rear rack and charging 4xAA NiMH batteries and concluded i'd be better off with the PV panel and batteries. I really think dynamo hubs are cool, but for touring, i don't think they make much sense.
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