LiveFree wrote:So, if I can overcome this slight irritation and accept this- I am wondering what front dynamo lights you good folks would suggest? As far as I am aware, the pashley front dynamo only pushes out around 2.4w- I'm afraid that my understanding of dynamos and ratings is basically zilch- with this very low output (it seems low to me anyway??) is it actually possible to use a dynamo light that will light up a dark road at night time, as we have all discussed? If yes, does anybody have any helpful suggestions as to which dynamo light might work for this job- with the dynamo that is on there? Preferably a lamp that looks very similar to the light that's on there- since it looks quite 'in keeping' with the bike, to me anyway. In other words, chrome/chrome coloured would be ideal.
In terms of dynamo hubs: The "fire and forget" solution ist the SON (https://nabendynamo.de/en/products/hub-dynamos/
) - light, reliable, longlasting, lowest drag on the market, mechanically and electrically the best of bread. It comes at a steep price but once you've bought it you'll never look back.
On the other end of the relevant spectrum are the various Shimano hub dynamos - from cheap to mid-range pricing they offer a broad range of dynamo hubs.
The economically best compromise between price and value are currently probably the Shutter Precision 8- and 9-series (http://www.sp-dynamo.com/ShutterPrecision.html
). Massively cheaper than the SON and at the upper price-range of the Shimanos but electrically not much worse than the SON. Obviously not as excessively mechancally perfect, so probably won't last forever but a little bit less than forever.
I own various SON-dynamos along with a SP and two Shimanos of different ranges. I clearly prefer the SONs but cannot say anything bad about the SP until now. The Shimanos do produce recognizable drag in my opinion.
Electrically it does not matter to a relevant extent which dynamo hub you choose - the output is more or less the same in practice, just the drag, the weight, the robustness and the looks and obviously the price are different and a little bit the output at lower speed.
Choosing a frontlight for your purpose is a different story. As others have said: Forgot lumens, watch for lux as it is more relevant in practice. Unfortunately the lux does not say anything about the beam pattern, so lux alone is not enough. Especially you should have in mind that a near field beam pattern is very desirable but lowers the lux value - so the better light may have the lower lux value sometimes). You can see this when comparing the BUMM CYOs with their CYO premium siblings - the premiums are more expensive, the better lights and do have the near field pattern while the non premiums do have a slightly higher lux value as no light is "wasted" for near field view.
Choosing the right light is in my opinion more relevant for the pleasure of night riding than choosing a certain dynamo hub model.
Within the top of the range of the stock products there are three models:
- Schmidt Edelux2 from the makers of the SON. Again craftsmanship at absolute top notch level. 90-100 LUX, fire and forget - again at a price (~140€).
- Busch und Müller (BUMM) IQ-X: A bit brighter than the Edelux but with downsides regarding longterm quality and the fine details. Mine died after a year or so and quality issues are to a degree kind of common, though not the majority. Is also has an enerving switch that makes it impossible to turn the thing on or off. The makers assume that you use the light sensor and run with daylight illumination, so manual switching on and off is not always possible and not the intention of the makers. A bit surprising. List price is on par with the Edellux while the street price is far lower at ~85€.
- Hermanns Black Pro: ~90 Lux, a beam pattern that is a bit special (and differs from the other two) due to the use of a projection lens. ~60€ street price. Good value for the money.
Of those three I very much prefer the Edelux but the others are valid choices as well, depending from your taste and needs.
One category lower in terms of lightness and price are the smaller brother of the IQ-X, the IQ-XS (btw. both available in silver as is the Edelux) and the well known classic range of BUMM CYO premiums along with the Herrmans MR8. The Herrmans offers best value for the money as it is available from ~25€ on ebay and very very decent for the money. The CYO premium range is totally fine (and has a mechanical light switch in opposite to the IQ X) but more expensive, starting at ~40€ street price, depending from the model. The IQ XS is a little bit more expensive and I have no personal experience with it.
I would not bother too much with other lights and brands. In general a serious light for riding at night starts at ~60Lux minimum in my opinion. I would consider near field view a must as it gives a lot of additional safety and comfort. Given these criteria surprisingly not too many lights are left in the field - many or most brands do offer nothing at all here.
Additional to the ones above there are the Spanniga Axendo lights (formerly known as Phillips Saferide) which have a good reputation but are a little bit at the lower end of the lux-spectrum. I've always wanted to try them but have no personal experience with them until now. Then there is the range of lights from Supernova, small and beautiful and a lot of people seem to like them. However: they are expensive, more or less in the price-range of the Edelux, and the company has a bit of a reputation for having marketed too high light values in the past, so until now I always opted for the Edellux instead. People who know both tend to say that the Edelux has the way better beam pattern, but consider this as second hand opinion - no personal experience of mine.
Then there is the Eyc range, again from BUMM. Nice and really tiny but with the same miserable switch as the IQ-X series and with ~50 lux a bit too dark for serious night riding for my taste. I do own one a the difference the mentioned brighter ones is more than massive.
Avoid cheap dynamo lights from China even if they are marketed with high lux values - this is just phantasy. Maybe one out of ten models may be somewhat acceptable but in general they are rubbish and even the best ones a lightyears behind even the middle class models from above.
Personally I am a huge fan of the Edelux2, preferably in combination with the SON. The price is eyewatering, but will immediately be forgotten once you ride at night. If you do that a lot in my eyes this justifies an investment and trust me: You'll eagerly look forward to your night rides. It is no doubt a bit of luxury, but I consider it to be a justified luxury due to fire and forget and never looked back.
There is an interesting alternative left: This guy https://www.laempie.de/
modifies various lights for higher power output and as a very interesting feature with a high beam and low beam possibility. For overland riding a very interesting feature. Again no personal experience, but I am very tempted to try one of his lights.
As you probably can imagine from my post I am a huge fan of dynamo lights for night riding.
In my experience they offer a way way better experience and are far more reliable than battery lights in every aspect you can imagine. Especially when you ride outside of towns in the dark regularly. In opposite to others I am clearly of the opinion that more light is better, especially if you ride fast. The claim: "less light is better as you get used to the darkness" probably results from riding with lights that have a very bad beam pattern such as torchs or cheap battery lights. Just imagine when riding with a car at night on country roads: Is less or no light better and more comfortable and safe or as much light as you can get?