Hub Dynamo for winter commute.

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Brucey
Posts: 37242
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Hub Dynamo for winter commute.

Postby Brucey » 23 Dec 2019, 3:47pm

the M99 might be a good battery light, but it is still a battery light, which makes it basically rather a faff-fest for a typical commute. Typically you won't be able to leave it on the bike when it is parked, else someone will swipe it. The batteries will need charging of course and you will do that more often than you might expect for two reasons

1) you won't ever sure of exactly how much juice is left in the batteries and few things are as bad as the lights giving up in use.
2) the batteries will lose capacity (IME sooner rather than later)

FWIW I'd choose a hub generator over any battery light for commuting even if it is measurably 'half as good' in many respects simply because it will be easier to live with.

BTW the beamshots above are interesting but I don't think they have been done very well. For one thing the aim of the lights is not consistent (quite small differences in aim can make a big difference to how far you see) and for another the bloke in the jacket certainly isn't standing in exactly the same place each time. In fact he may not be there at all in some shots; you can often see the trees behind and some other things but not the bloke.

Further I'd suggest that unless you are doing about 40mph you don't need to see blokes in non-reflective jackets that are standing about 60m away. Quite possibly where you can see the bloke in the jacket, he'll probably be thinking 'that stupid b******* coming the other way has an unnecessarily bright light'. The reason you can see that distance ahead is that there is too much spill above the cutoff; it is arguably a sign of crap light, not a good one.
A much better arrangement is to have the near and medium-field illumination bright enough to see potholes but less bright than in many of the beamshots; IME because of the way the eye works and adapts to darkness, excessive brightness in the nearfield reduces the chances of seeing anything in the distance. Cameras and eyes work quite differently from one another. IMHO the beam patterns on any of the B&M lights are, in the real world, on real roads, going to more useful than any of the others for this reason. Some of the others might work better for fooling around in the woods though.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

dim
Posts: 341
Joined: 12 May 2019, 5:59pm

Re: Hub Dynamo for winter commute.

Postby dim » 23 Dec 2019, 6:23pm

I hear what you are saying...

I have always used cheap USB lights for commuting .. I know the roads like the back of my hand .... I know where the potholes are etc and am happy with those

but, adding a dynamo hub with dynamo lights, and you tour or ride long distance Audax, I don't see the point in buying a dynamo light that you struggle to see with when you travel at speed, then at the same time, you need to use an additional USB more powerful light

from what I have seen of the STVZO approved dynamo lights, I may be better off getting something like the Supernova M99 .... and use the SON28 hub to charge the battery during the day when I don't need lights

The M99 in Eco mode (425 Lumens) gives you 13 hours run time plus 2 hrs reserve

use one decent light like the M99 and have a cheaper USB helmet light for only incase the M99 stops working ....
(until a decent dynamo front light is released)

mattheus
Posts: 1542
Joined: 29 Dec 2008, 12:57pm
Location: Western Europe

Re: Hub Dynamo for winter commute.

Postby mattheus » 23 Dec 2019, 7:55pm

as a frequent long distance Audax rider, I'm sure you're aware of the numbers riding PBP over the last century+. This is 1200km almost entirely on unlit French rural roads. For perhaps 50 years, the vast majority used dynamo lights. Certainly 40 years ago they rode with MUCH worse lights than even the cheapest of current dyno-hub lights.

I could also quote various rides done in more mountainous areas, but there isn't as much data and my own personal anecdotes may not carry weight.

tl/dr : I'm not sure why you're making such a fuss about the lack of a decent light on the market : P

Brucey
Posts: 37242
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Hub Dynamo for winter commute.

Postby Brucey » 23 Dec 2019, 8:29pm

dim wrote:…. I don't see the point in buying a dynamo light that you struggle to see with when you travel at speed....


that does not describe the current dynamo lights on offer.

Let me speculate that you ride on flattish roads and on a good day you might average 20mph. If your brakes are even half-way decent you can stop in about 5m or less. I don't think your safety is likely to be significantly impaired if you can't quite see unlit non-reflective objects that are more than ten times that distance away, even if you are going twice as fast.

The lights you seem to like the look of provide a very bright splodge in the near/midfield and/or have too much spill above the cutoff. The latter just annoys other road users and the former causes your eyes to iris down so that you can't see ****-all where there is less light than that. Any more than 'enough' light in the near/midfield just reduces your ability to see things in darker parts of your field of view, almost as effectively as when you are being dazzled by the lights of oncomers.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Bob999
Posts: 24
Joined: 22 Jan 2015, 7:59pm

Re: Hub Dynamo for winter commute.

Postby Bob999 » 23 Dec 2019, 9:51pm

I sought advice on this forum 18 months or so ago and as a result bought a Shimano 3N72 hub dynamo along with a 'German lighting standards' LED front - Herrmans H-Black Pro, not one of the more expensive lights out there - and a cheap B&M Toplight Flat S Plus rear dynamo light.

For my commute - 8 miles each way, 70ish% unlit - it is absolutely perfect, the best thing I've ever had and, like many people I suppose, I've been through powerful battery lights, hub dynamos with the old B&M halogens and .. um, grey plastic Ever Ready jobbies ... none of which run it close. The distribution of light onto the road is its strength. Also, through winter, I just leave it on all through the dull days. I still often think, 'finally I've got the lights I need after 45 years of trying different ones ..'

I wouldn't use a dynamo if I were stopping every 10 yards in town. Also, on tree-lined unlit paths, it does not light up branches lurking at neck-height very well, but an easy solution is not to do it up completely tight (mine's attached to the crown of the fork) and then you can just reach down and point it up a bit as a compromise. Having it adjustable on the fly was quite useful when I first got it, so I could faff around for the best position. For full disclosure, I do put a tiny lightweight torch in my bag just in case I end up having to search for something small and horrible sticking through my tyre - I wouldn't fancy depending on the standlight for that (but come to think of it, I haven't checked it for a while, I hope the battery isn't flat!).

PH
Posts: 8383
Joined: 21 Jan 2007, 12:31am
Location: Derby
Contact:

Re: Hub Dynamo for winter commute.

Postby PH » 23 Dec 2019, 9:58pm

dim wrote:I hear what you are saying...

I have always used cheap USB lights for commuting .. I know the roads like the back of my hand .... I know where the potholes are etc and am happy with those

but, adding a dynamo hub with dynamo lights, and you tour or ride long distance Audax, I don't see the point in buying a dynamo light that you struggle to see with when you travel at speed, then at the same time, you need to use an additional USB more powerful light

There's only so much you can do with reviews and beam shots (Which I never find show what it's like on the road)
Buy yourself an Edelux II, try it for the winter and if it doesn't suit sell it on, they're a popular light, worst case it'll cost you £30.
As said, I like to have a bright, illuminate everything light for the lonely country lanes, but I don't need it. On an eight hour night ride I might use it for two, which is nice as I can forget about run times and recharging.

Carlton green
Posts: 511
Joined: 22 Jun 2019, 12:27pm

Re: Hub Dynamo for winter commute.

Postby Carlton green » 23 Dec 2019, 10:47pm

mattheus wrote:as a frequent long distance Audax rider, I'm sure you're aware of the numbers riding PBP over the last century+. This is 1200km almost entirely on unlit French rural roads. For perhaps 50 years, the vast majority used dynamo lights. Certainly 40 years ago they rode with MUCH worse lights than even the cheapest of current dyno-hub lights.

I could also quote various rides done in more mountainous areas, but there isn't as much data and my own personal anecdotes may not carry weight.

tl/dr : I'm not sure why you're making such a fuss about the lack of a decent light on the market : P


The way I’m reading the above riders completed the PBP with a standard 3 watt Bottle Dynamo powering the most basic of filament bulbs (which as I recall were better than a two D cell torch but not by very much). Is my understanding correct?

mattheus
Posts: 1542
Joined: 29 Dec 2008, 12:57pm
Location: Western Europe

Re: Hub Dynamo for winter commute.

Postby mattheus » 24 Dec 2019, 4:04pm

Carlton:
I'm not some sort of expert on PBP lighting, sorry! So I can only write what I recall:

I believe some folks used battery torches taped to the handlebars in Days Of Yore, but dynamos were very common. I think in the early editions they would have ridden a lot without ANY lights (this was 1891 then 1901 IIRC). I've also seen pictures of acetlylene "lantern" style lights in the fork-crown era, not sure what era that was from.

When did dyno-hubs take over from bottle designs?

mattheus
Posts: 1542
Joined: 29 Dec 2008, 12:57pm
Location: Western Europe

Re: Hub Dynamo for winter commute.

Postby mattheus » 24 Dec 2019, 4:10pm

I'm fairly sure that the first monster stages of the TdeF ran through mcuh of the night with no lighting used. (1903 start?)

Carlton green
Posts: 511
Joined: 22 Jun 2019, 12:27pm

Re: Hub Dynamo for winter commute.

Postby Carlton green » 24 Dec 2019, 5:04pm

mattheus wrote:Carlton:
I'm not some sort of expert on PBP lighting, sorry! So I can only write what I recall:

I believe some folks used battery torches taped to the handlebars in Days Of Yore, but dynamos were very common. I think in the early editions they would have ridden a lot without ANY lights (this was 1891 then 1901 IIRC). I've also seen pictures of acetlylene "lantern" style lights in the fork-crown era, not sure what era that was from.

When did dyno-hubs take over from bottle designs?


Thanks for at least trying to answer, all and any information is appreciated.

I find it hard to understand how anyone could cycle through the night without lights; even over open countryside and with both a clear sky and a full moon it’s way beyond what seems practical. Wikipedia tells me that acetylene bicycle lamps were available from the turn of the twentieth century, but I’ve no idea how widely or not they were used, etc.

With regard to battery lights I’m really not certain when disposable batteries and torches torches came into common use. About thirty five years ago I used to cycle with and chat to old blokes in their late sixties and beyond, some would tell me of times in their youth when acetylene lamps were used - so about circa 1935? Those old guys didn’t use those lamps anymore and all I remember from that time was standard battery lamps and bottle Dynamo’s.

Ignoring SA products I’m not sure when Hub Dynamo’s started to be in common use but my best guess is the turn of this century - so circa twenty years ago.
Last edited by Carlton green on 24 Dec 2019, 5:27pm, edited 4 times in total.

mig
Posts: 2148
Joined: 19 Oct 2011, 9:39pm

Re: Hub Dynamo for winter commute.

Postby mig » 24 Dec 2019, 5:11pm

mattheus wrote:I'm fairly sure that the first monster stages of the TdeF ran through mcuh of the night with no lighting used. (1903 start?)


that must have been difficult for sky to cover live! :wink:

love to see it make a comeback though.

Mike Sales
Posts: 4378
Joined: 7 Mar 2009, 3:31pm

Re: Hub Dynamo for winter commute.

Postby Mike Sales » 24 Dec 2019, 5:13pm

Carlton green wrote:I find it hard to understand how anyone could cycle through the night without lights; even over open countryside and with both a clear sky and a full moon it’s way beyond what seems practical.


On quiet country roads, on beautiful full moon nights, I have turned off my lights for the sheer pleasure of silent progress and closeness to a summer's night.

“The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor”


Perhaps I need to add that my senses were fully alert and I was ready to turn the lights back on, if needed.

Carlton green
Posts: 511
Joined: 22 Jun 2019, 12:27pm

Re: Hub Dynamo for winter commute.

Postby Carlton green » 24 Dec 2019, 5:24pm

Mike Sales wrote:
Carlton green wrote:I find it hard to understand how anyone could cycle through the night without lights; even over open countryside and with both a clear sky and a full moon it’s way beyond what seems practical.


On quiet country roads, on beautiful full moon nights, I have turned off my lights for the sheer pleasure of silent progress and closeness to a summer's night.

“The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor”


Perhaps I need to add that my senses were fully alert and I was ready to turn the lights back on, if needed.


Well I guess that it’s possible then. If an overnight event was run towards the middle of the year and the moon was full then the night might be short enough and tolerably lite enough for a skilled rider to ‘get by’ on clear roads.

dim
Posts: 341
Joined: 12 May 2019, 5:59pm

Re: Hub Dynamo for winter commute.

Postby dim » 24 Dec 2019, 5:25pm

PH wrote:
dim wrote:I hear what you are saying...

I have always used cheap USB lights for commuting .. I know the roads like the back of my hand .... I know where the potholes are etc and am happy with those

but, adding a dynamo hub with dynamo lights, and you tour or ride long distance Audax, I don't see the point in buying a dynamo light that you struggle to see with when you travel at speed, then at the same time, you need to use an additional USB more powerful light

There's only so much you can do with reviews and beam shots (Which I never find show what it's like on the road)
Buy yourself an Edelux II, try it for the winter and if it doesn't suit sell it on, they're a popular light, worst case it'll cost you £30.
As said, I like to have a bright, illuminate everything light for the lonely country lanes, but I don't need it. On an eight hour night ride I might use it for two, which is nice as I can forget about run times and recharging.


I will most probably get the Edelux II but what I'm also saying is that because of the German regulations, dymano approved lights are [inappropriate word removed] and I'm sure that they could release much better lights .... If Supernova and others can make STVZO approved more powerfull e-bike lights or USB lights, why can't they make these for dynamo hubs?

I've read on another forum where a guy made a hood for the Supernova E3 Triple (MTB light) ... and he says it's road legal .... all they need to do is either fit a different lens or make a hood

what I'm saying is that if I'm going to spend a lot of money for a dynamo hub and light, why should I need to use an extra USB light to see where I'm going when I'm cycling 25km+/hr in the dark?

whichever company releases a brighter commuter friendly dynamo light first, will make a lot of money from what I have read on the forums that i have read ... everyone wants a more brighter STVZO light and they are available on USB or e-bike but not yet on dynamo?

mattheus
Posts: 1542
Joined: 29 Dec 2008, 12:57pm
Location: Western Europe

Re: Hub Dynamo for winter commute.

Postby mattheus » 24 Dec 2019, 6:36pm

Mike Sales wrote:
Carlton green wrote:I find it hard to understand how anyone could cycle through the night without lights; even over open countryside and with both a clear sky and a full moon it’s way beyond what seems practical.


On quiet country roads, on beautiful full moon nights, I have turned off my lights for the sheer pleasure of silent progress and closeness to a summer's night.

Image

I do this almost every time I ride home from the next town - post-social, so say 10:30ish. There is one dead straight section which I happen to know is a good surface (bit of a cheat, sorry). I'm unlucky if I see a car on this half-mile stretch, so I slow down a bit and go for it.
Needs to be good weather, but I don't think it needs a good moon. Certainly helps of course!

Bliss!
____________
The other thing to bear in mind is that car head-lights are almost the only thing that ruin your night-vision in the countryside. In 1901 Normandy that was not a big issue!