Dynamo system choices

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pwa
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Dynamo system choices

Postby pwa » 9 Nov 2017, 11:12am

Lately I've been struggling to keep on top of recharging my front lights for commuting. My best battery lights have been donated to family members who also cycle after dark. And the thought has been growing that a dynohub system may be what I need.

My night cycling is generally one third on lit streets and two thirds on pitch black country lanes. The lanes are hilly. So I climb sedately at maybe 6mph and descend at whatever speed I feel safe at. In daylight I could descend some of those hills at 40mph. At night I'd be happy to reduce that to 25mph. I need to see crud from tractor tyres, fallen branches and potholes.

Cost is a factor. I'm subsidising kids at Uni and trying to spend sensibly. But I do like nice kit.

The bike is a Thorn Club Tour shod with 700c x 35mm Hypers. The rims are Grizzly CSS, and I hope to eventually transfer the existing front rim to the new wheel when the new rim has worn down and needs replacing. So ideally the new wheel will come with a non-CSS Grizzly rim or something using the same spoke length. I don't fancy building the wheel from scratch but I can re-rim when I have an original to copy.

If money were no object I would play safe and get a Schmidt 28. But I think a SP PV8 would do. Especially if bought in a wheel from Spa for £130 (plus a bit for my rim choice). The flanges are a bit too narrowly spaced, but I think I can get away with that. The bearings might not last as long, but at that price...

And then there is the lamp. I'm tempted to buy the best I can afford. I could argue a case for the Edelux II. Would I be likely to get a decent beam on a 6mph climb with that combo? I can live with a reduced beam at low speed, but I wouldn't like a flicker.

Any thoughts welcome.

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mjr
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Re: Dynamo system choices

Postby mjr » 9 Nov 2017, 11:38am

pwa wrote:And then there is the lamp. I'm tempted to buy the best I can afford. I could argue a case for the Edelux II. Would I be likely to get a decent beam on a 6mph climb with that combo? I can live with a reduced beam at low speed, but I wouldn't like a flicker.

I'd get a standlight version and put a switch in the circuit, then if you hit a flicker speed for a while, you can cut the power and reduce it to the standlight - I do this when coasting around a certain junction aiming to reach the next traffic light as it turns green, to avoid flickering at queueing motorists. Of course, you'd need to speed back up and reconnect power before the standlight runs out, which might be more difficult uphill :lol:

I can't really comment on that specific light and dynamo's power generation, but there's probably a graph online somewhere showing what speed it reaches full current - 6mph may be enough.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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PH
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Re: Dynamo system choices

Postby PH » 9 Nov 2017, 1:27pm

I'd be tempted by this wheel deal including a Shimano Alfine hub for £110, about the UK price for the hub alone*
https://www.taylor-wheels.com/bike-whee ... s501-black
There have been a few reported problems with the SP hubs, the sport Shimano models seem very well regarded. I went for a SON 14 years ago and have no regrets, but If I was looking at budget I think I'd rather spend the money on the light than the hub.
I've never been entirely happy using a dynamo light on it's own, they're great for what they are, but in the two scenarios mentioned, slow speed and dark lanes. I usually use a super bright blast em light alongside the dynamo one, typically on an overnight ride I'd use it around 10% of the time so run time isn't critical. I don't need it, but it's really nice to have.

*Or one of the other combos from the same supplier

mercalia
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Re: Dynamo system choices

Postby mercalia » 9 Nov 2017, 1:36pm

well battery lights where you can change the battery like the Lidl ones might be a cheap option ( always have a set charging at home) or fixed battery lithium lights where they charge using a usb port so you can buy a cheap power bank to plug in while riding with the store in a bar bag - again Lidl had such a possibility - with a cheap 5000mah bank I can get 11hrs from Lidls little front lithium light ( at max light power of 40 lux or lumens or some thing) that is fine for modest speeds. Again have 2 or more of these power banks and you are set
Last edited by mercalia on 9 Nov 2017, 1:39pm, edited 2 times in total.

old_windbag
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Re: Dynamo system choices

Postby old_windbag » 9 Nov 2017, 1:36pm

You do get great value wheelsets from the german companies. I got my Mavic a319 rim with shimano DH3N80 for around £65 fully built from rose. Worth looking around their website as their are many combinations to choose from and many lights. I cannot fault the B+M cyo premium( 80 lux ) at around £45 and it's near as damn it the same as the edelux II. Check out peter whites site as he has some good beam shots and tests and general info about dyno set ups.

http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/

https://www.rosebikes.co.uk

The dynamo's sold alone at rose are dirt cheap in many cases.

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Wanlock Dod
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Re: Dynamo system choices

Postby Wanlock Dod » 9 Nov 2017, 2:25pm

pwa wrote:...I climb sedately...

This is exactly why I love my B&M Luxos U light, because it seems to be able to provide sufficient light to see where I am going in complete darkness from slow walking speeds upwards. It has a daytime running light and if the speed is too low it just switches over to that rather than the main light, although to be honest the change seems to come at about 7 kph (with a 700c wheel and SP dynohub), so you may ride so fast that you don't notice or need it :D . As I understand it there is a more recent B&M light which has the daytime running lights (so probably manages good low speed light) and a higher light output but doesn't have the USB charging facility (which is probably not required anyway). It might be called IQ or something similar.

SA_SA_SA
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Re: Dynamo system choices

Postby SA_SA_SA » 9 Nov 2017, 11:03pm

pwa wrote:....at low speed, but I wouldn't like a flicker.

This is something that concerns me if my Nordlicht ever wears out and needs replaced (by a hub dynamo of course):
Surely, some clever electrickery should be able to avoid this: but I suppose unless the Stvzo change the rules on allowed flicker there is no incentive.....
I suspect my Herrmans H One might be OK because from non-use it seems to delay a few seconds switching on the main led (uses only little standlicht leds) until some large cap has charged up, but it has a narrow beam.
Otherwise, the brutal option is a rectifier, battery backup and perhaps a relay to only switch in that at low speed..
or have to think up a complicated circuit
or else
the generator hub with the mini epicyclic gears ==less flicker......
Renak https://swhs.home.xs4all.nl/fiets/tests/verlichting/dynamos/Renak_enparlite/index_en.html
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Gattonero
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Re: Dynamo system choices

Postby Gattonero » 9 Nov 2017, 11:11pm

pwa wrote:...
And then there is the lamp. I'm tempted to buy the best I can afford. I could argue a case for the Edelux II. Would I be likely to get a decent beam on a 6mph climb with that combo? I can live with a reduced beam at low speed, but I wouldn't like a flicker.

Any thoughts welcome.


I do have a Schmidt Son28 and B&M Cyo.
Not only the lamp has a well-focused beam, the whole system is very efficient just above walking speed, so even when going slow you do get a good light output.
It's not cheap, but it's all solid German-made stuff from which I expect years of trouble-free service. And looks neat, too
It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best,
since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.
Thus you remember them as they actually are...

pwa
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Re: Dynamo system choices

Postby pwa » 10 Nov 2017, 8:31am

Thanks for the comments and suggestions. They are all widening my view of the subject and I will be re-reading all and feeding them into my decisions. I'm not in a rush to buy at the moment. I may be using this when people ask me "What would you like for Christmas?".

I never ride in the dark with only one front light, so whatever system I opt for will be backed up by a AA battery light, possibly my Hope Vision 1, pointed at a spot on the ground about 10 metres ahead. On a middle setting it has a good run time and won't blind oncoming traffic.

For the rear light I will keep it simple and stick with the two battery lights I already have. They are tried and tested, and I see no reason to mess about with something that works. I would, of course, still have the option of a dynamo rear light at some future date, so choices remain open.

Again, thanks for the input. I know a lot about bikes but very little about dynamo lighting.

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meic
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Re: Dynamo system choices

Postby meic » 10 Nov 2017, 8:36am

I never had a problem seeing with my dynamo light while crawling up hills because you are going at a crawling speed and dont need to see much or far.
As you will have an auxiliary light on anyway it seems there is absolutely nothing to worry about.
Yma o Hyd

Brucey
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Re: Dynamo system choices

Postby Brucey » 10 Nov 2017, 8:41am

It is worth bearing in mind that an edelux has essentially the same LED and reflector as one of the B&M models, but in a fancier housing. There is not much difference in terms of light output and beam shape, the housing is more likely to survive a knock, but the price is considerably higher.

FWIW I fitted an IQ-X to a friend's bike and I was quite impressed. The IQ-X is designed to mount easily from above or below without creating a water leak path; the main part of the lamp housing swivels within a clamp band.

cheers
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amediasatex
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Re: Dynamo system choices

Postby amediasatex » 10 Nov 2017, 10:02am

FWIW I fitted an IQ-X to a friend's bike and I was quite impressed. The IQ-X is designed to mount easily from above or below without creating a water leak path; the main part of the lamp housing swivels within a clamp band.


I too have an IQ-X (and Edelux II and Edelux I and Supernova E3 so have some comparisons!) and have been impressed with the output, it is the brightest of the lot and the beam is nice and wide but I still prefer the actual shape of the Edelux II beam, I can't quite put my finger on exactly what it is I prefer, but it just seems more usefula dn even even though marginally less bright.

The multi-mounting position options of the IQ-X are handy as I would have preferred to hang my Edelux,a nd althoguh they do a hanging model it's an either/or thing.

Not had the IQ-X long enough yet (~1year) to comment on reliability but there have been a fair few murmurings about switch faults so worth bearing in mind. If I was on a budget I'd be looking at the B+M, but if you have the extra cash the Edelux II is just a fancier, nicer version fo the B&M.

All of the above run fine on every dyno hub I've tried, SON 28, SP PV8, Shimano 30, 72, and 80 series. flicker not an issue until literally crawling, like coming to a stop, but fine just slowly climbing.
Last edited by amediasatex on 10 Nov 2017, 10:31am, edited 1 time in total.

pwa
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Re: Dynamo system choices

Postby pwa » 10 Nov 2017, 10:29am

amediasatex wrote:
FWIW I fitted an IQ-X to a friend's bike and I was quite impressed. The IQ-X is designed to mount easily from above or below without creating a water leak path; the main part of the lamp housing swivels within a clamp band.


I too have an IQ-X (and Edelus II and Edelux I and Supernova E3 so have some comparisons!) and have been impressed with the output, it is the brightest of the lot and the beam is nice and wide but I still prefer the actual shape of the Edelux II beam, I can't quite put my finger on exactly what it is I prefer, but it just seems more usefula dn even even though marginally less bright.

The multi-mounting position options of the IQ-X are handy as I would have preferred to hang my Edelux,a nd althoguh they do a hanging model it's an either/or thing.

Not had the IQ-X long enough yet (~1year) to comment on reliability but there have been a fair few murmurings about switch faults so worth bearing in mind. If I was on a budget I'd be looking at the B+M, but if you have the extra cash the Edelux II is just a fancier, nicer version fo the B&M.

All of the above run fine on every dyno hub I've tried, SON 28, SP PV8, Shimano 30, 72, and 80 series. flicker not an issue until literally crawling, like coming to a stop, but fine just slowly climbing.


Very useful. Thanks. So far as beam pattern is concerned, on the dark lanes I have to do acute low speed turns in a couple of places, so I want a useful bit of light going off into the hedges just a few metres in front. A wide beam. I'm okay with that wider area being less intense than the main beam down the road, since it is lighting up something closer. But I don't want to be turning into an unlit patch because my beam is too narrow to deal with it. I'd prefer a slightly less powerful reach down the road if it means a bit wider beam up close.

Some lamps seem to have a cache battery. The word "battery" seems to me to imply "limited lifespan". I'd prefer to avoid that. And I'm not interested in USB stuff. It doesn't last long indoors, so putting it outdoors sounds like a bad idea.

amediasatex
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Re: Dynamo system choices

Postby amediasatex » 10 Nov 2017, 10:35am

But I don't want to be turning into an unlit patch because my beam is too narrow to deal with it. I'd prefer a slightly less powerful reach down the road if it means a bit wider beam up close.


Based on that I'd suggest you avoid the Supernova E3, it's a good very light for fast riding as the throw is excellent, but the beam is not so good at close range. The B&M/Edelux or IQ-X optics would be much better for the kind of use you're describing.

The IQ-X has a wider beam for sure, but has some noticeable artefacts and 'lines' where the different bits of beam meet. I really would struggle to say either one is better than the other though as they're both good.

If you're open to the idea of a secondary battery light for when you're out in the sticks then it'd be worth considering something with an aspheric lens, this would give you a circle of very even light, but virtually no spill outside the circle, pointed down in front of the bike they give amazing nearfield illumination for low speed and pothole spotting, but I wouldn't use one alone as a primary light as the lack of light outside the 'circle' means can't see stuff in the distance.

FWIW, regarding standlights, my Edelux I and II both last ages on the standlight, easy 15mins+, where as the IQ-X is considerably less, no bother in town when you're only stopped briefly, but worth mentioning.

I don't know where you live but if you're anywhere near me (Exeter) then you'd be welcome to have a look first hand at beam differences. Invitation open to anyone BTW, not just you ;-)

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Re: Dynamo system choices

Postby Samuel D » 10 Nov 2017, 11:15am

How does the Edelux I compare to the II, in particular for distant illumination? Is there an argument to be made that the old version is better for fast riding in the 30 km/h range? I see the old model is still available for sale in some places at an attractive price.