Dynamo lighting recommendations

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Benethi
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Dynamo lighting recommendations

Postby Benethi » 18 May 2013, 11:37pm

My plan, at some point over the next few weeks, is to do a home run up to Harrogate, so that Sparky can visit the parents' new pad.

And, while we're there...
I'd like to sort myself out some dynamo lighting. This is a subject that I currently know very little about, other than the fact that I'd like to solve the problem of never knowing whether my light is going to last me the till I get home. I see that Spa Cycles are currently advertising a dynamo wheel plus Revo mk1 for £295. This is stretching my budget a bit, but if I keep my eyes closed while I hand over the plastic card thing and then just accept I won't eat for a few weeks, I might not mind this too much.

Is that actually what I want though?
I want something that's bright enough for me to be able to see down dark country lanes without too much trouble, preferably without blinding oncoming metal boxed people.
There are a whole host of other dynamo wheels on offer and a few other lights, everything obviously wildly varying in price, but I know very little about what to look for.

Any thoughts or recommendations, or anything I particularly should know, greatly appreciated :)

(and if anyone particularly thinks I'd be better going somewhere other than Spa, by all means please say)
"Frankly, I’m suspicious of anyone who has a strong opinion on a complicated issue" - Scott Adams
Photos:
Scott's Travels 2010
Sparky's Travels 2012
Sparky's Travels 2013
:)

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meic
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Re: Dynamo lighting recommendations

Postby meic » 18 May 2013, 11:49pm

You didnt mention wheel and rim size. If you use 700C and can live with a 19mm rim then

this wheel

and this (or many other) light

will give you a good light and light, decent, dynamo hub wheel, whilst allowing you to continue eating. :wink:

Beyond that you get little improvement for lots more money.

Before doing a purchase would you later wish that you had bought a rear light too and a front light with a USB take off for your toys?
Or a light that lets you charge AA batteries as you ride?
Yma o Hyd

bealer
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Re: Dynamo lighting recommendations

Postby bealer » 19 May 2013, 12:15am

I've got a SON28 on one bike and a Shimano N80 on the other.

While I like the SON, I'm not sure if it's worth the extra cost. So I'd recommend the Shimano N80 hub (or the slightly cheaper but heavier N72 hub).

Regarding lighting, I've always used a B&M IQ Cyo. It's a great headlight, works well on un-light roads.

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Benethi
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Re: Dynamo lighting recommendations

Postby Benethi » 19 May 2013, 12:25am

meic wrote:You didnt mention wheel and rim size. If you use 700C and can live with a 19mm rim

Yep, 700c [sorry meant to elaborate Sparky is my (Spa Cy)cles tourer] . Currently have Rigida Sputniks, think they're a bit wider than 19mm, little idea of what difference it'd make but I'd be inclined to stick with what I know.

will give you a good light and light, decent, dynamo hub wheel, whilst allowing you to continue eating. :wink:

Beyond that you get little improvement for lots more money.

I would prefer to spend a bit more to get a light that I can really see by. I bought an Ixon IQ a while back, but really wasn't impressed by it. Not hugely bright (though I wasn't expecting it to be, I bought it for commuting purposes), but what really got me was how flimsily it was made. I regularly drop my lights as I take them off the bike trying to juggle lights and bags etc. My Cateye lights can handle this. The Ixon clearly couldn't.

I see that the one you've linked is at least a bit brighter though. Would it be any good down dark country lanes?

Before doing a purchase would you later wish that you had bought a rear light too and a front light with a USB take off for your toys?
Or a light that lets you charge AA batteries as you ride?

I've thought about rear lights, and generally feel that I'm happy with my AA battery powered rear lights - they last forever and it's easy enough to carry spare batteries anyway. And I don't particularly want even more cables around the bike.

Being able to charge a Garmin / other USB stuff would be nice.
"Frankly, I’m suspicious of anyone who has a strong opinion on a complicated issue" - Scott Adams
Photos:
Scott's Travels 2010
Sparky's Travels 2012
Sparky's Travels 2013
:)

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meic
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Re: Dynamo lighting recommendations

Postby meic » 19 May 2013, 12:51am

Sputniks are 19mm rims, so that wheel is the size that you are used to.

The Cyo is a good light for country lanes but I am also quite happy riding them with an Ixon IQ.

If you really want more light than that, you could get the Luxos which throws out more light and has a USB take off with a cache battery to maintain a steady supply. It costs over twice as much though.

A thing to consider is will you be leaving this hub on your bike for all riding and year round or will you be like me and do most of your riding with a non-dynamohub?
If leaving the hub on the bike full time, the SON has a better lifespan than the Shimano (though repairing it costs similar to replacing the Shimano :shock: ) and it has a much lower lights-off drag figure.
Yma o Hyd

belgiangoth
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Re: Dynamo lighting recommendations

Postby belgiangoth » 19 May 2013, 10:23am

I went from solidlights to the Cyo - I think the Cyo gives better light and I used the solidlights for riding dark lanes and canals. Personally I would skip the Senso options, as in practice you can/might-as-well just run them "on" all the time.
I use a SON, as I use the bike 5 days a week, 40-ish weeks a year, I think I've covered the increase cost - but then if I had to buy new, I might go for something 1/3rd of the price.
If I had a baby elephant I would let it sleep in the garage in place of the car. If I had either a garage or a car. (I miss sigs about baby elephants)

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7_lives_left
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Re: Dynamo lighting recommendations

Postby 7_lives_left » 19 May 2013, 12:17pm

I favour having dynomo powered lights for both the front and rear. When I hop on the bike I just pedal and go. I don't even have to think about lights, they just turn on themselves if they are needed.

I know that the batteries for the rear lamps last a long time but there is always an occasion when they run down and leave you in the lurch. This will be at the most inconvenient moment.

I am lucky to have a choice of bikes to rides. I pick the ones with the dynamo lamps for first preference. It's a bit expensive to have dynamo lighting to every bike though.

The kit that meic linked to is what I would buy, but I would add a rear lamp too.

I have only had dynamo lighting fail me on a few occasions. Some I can remeber are:

1) Once I parked up in Oxford to do some shopping. Someone tried to nick the rear lamp but couldn't get it off the bike. They disconnected the power lead in the process. I didn't spot this. I rode 25 miles home without realizing that my rear lamp wasn't showing.

2) I had the rear lamp stop working when wiring corroded away. Part of the circuit to the rear lamp was made through two metal foil strips embeddded in the body of the plastic mudgaurd. A winter of riding made sure that failed. I replaced it with a direct wire feed to the lamp.

3) I had a B&M topaz lamp fail shortly after I bought it. I have had better luck with other models of B&M lamps.

For powering USB toys I have a homebrew phone charging device of the type that you would fit in the cigarette lighter socket of a car, but modifed to run off the dynamo. I probably blew up half a dozen prototypes before I got this current one working reliably. It's also not waterproof so I would have saved some money and got a better device if I had bought a bike specific one off the shelf, but they weren't available to purchase at the time when I first started using them.

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Benethi
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Re: Dynamo lighting recommendations

Postby Benethi » 19 May 2013, 11:35pm

Thanks for all the responses.

I'm confused! How do Rose manage to sell the whole dynamo wheel for less than £1 more than for just the hub? And that's despite the fact that they're pretty cheap on the hub too.
It seems too good to be true - and the fact that it's currently out of stock suggests that maybe it is...

I'm also slightly inclined to stick with Sputnik rims, just because I know and trust them. I have them on both my main bikes, and they are of course pretty much bomb proof...but if I can get a wheel at that price and the opinion here is that it's a good wheel, I may be tempted.

The plan would be to keep my current wheel and use that when I'm just out on a day ride, but I guess I'd probably use the dynamo wheel at least 50% of the time.

Ultimately the thought was potentially to get a dynamo for my commuter bike too, although obviously I'd be less worried about this being particularly bright. Robustness would be key. That's a thought for another day though.

I'm tempted by the Luxos (the USB port is definitely worth paying a little extra for, and I think I'd prefer the extra brightness), but I think I'd wanted to see it in the flesh first. Still not convinced by the plasticyness of the B & M lights, and the mixed reviews on the Rose site, with a little help from Google Translate, suggest I'm not alone. Yes, ok, I'm a little clumsy...any small electrical appliances get thrown around a lot...
"Frankly, I’m suspicious of anyone who has a strong opinion on a complicated issue" - Scott Adams
Photos:
Scott's Travels 2010
Sparky's Travels 2012
Sparky's Travels 2013
:)

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meic
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Re: Dynamo lighting recommendations

Postby meic » 19 May 2013, 11:40pm

It seems too good to be true - and the fact that it's currently out of stock suggests that maybe it is...


It always says that, if you order one they make it up and send it when it is built, there is no great delay.
You do get exactly what it says.

The only minor down side is the postage fees (esp if you ever want to return stuff).
Yma o Hyd

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Benethi
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Re: Dynamo lighting recommendations

Postby Benethi » 20 May 2013, 12:07am

Ok, thanks I'll probably go for that then.

Might also get the Cyo, and if it's not bright enough I can always get a brighter one and save the Cyo for the commuter, where I'm sure I'll destroy it within a week and then get something else ;)
(I think my Ixon lasted all of about 24 hours, or 1 ride)
"Frankly, I’m suspicious of anyone who has a strong opinion on a complicated issue" - Scott Adams
Photos:
Scott's Travels 2010
Sparky's Travels 2012
Sparky's Travels 2013
:)

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meic
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Re: Dynamo lighting recommendations

Postby meic » 20 May 2013, 12:17am

There are some aluminium lights of a similar power available.

http://www.rosebikes.co.uk/article/phil ... aid:489003

Here is one of the USB supply ones, which I know nothing about.

http://www.rosebikes.co.uk/article/axa- ... aid:642351
Yma o Hyd

willem jongman
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Re: Dynamo lighting recommendations

Postby willem jongman » 23 May 2013, 7:51pm

We have various bikes with generator lights, and various headlights. Here are my observations:
Son hubs are the best, with less resistance, and if you get a lower output Sondelux (originally designed for smaller wheels) the resistance will be even less. You are unlikely to notice the difference in light output between these two SON models, but you will if you also want to use it to charge gadgets like a gps or a phone. Conversely, the LX en XT level Shimano hubs are pretty good now, and of course rather cheaper. Output is identical to the SON for 28 inch wheels, but you will have to work just that little bit harder.
As for headlights, the two brightest headlights are the Schmidt Edelux and the B&M Luxos (wider beam plus usb charging on one version). They are also rather more expensive than the Cyo 60 (same beam pattern as the Edelux, but a bit less bright and not so nicely made) or the Philips Saferide 60 (no sensor switching, about as bright as the Cyo, but a slightly shorter and wider beam.
I would always use a generator taillight as these are so much more reliable.
I would get the wheel made by a serious wheelbuilder. Rose do not have a great reputation in this department. And yes why not use the same type of rim as you have. The SP 19/Sputnik is pretty bombproof.
Willem

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Benethi
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Re: Dynamo lighting recommendations

Postby Benethi » 26 May 2013, 1:04pm

Thanks, good to hear another opinion. I've not ordered anything yet or made any definite decisions. Having read a bit about the 319 rims I'm less than certain now as to whether they'll be durable enough...seems the 719 is more of an equivalent to the Sputniks, and this is almost the same price at Rose as what Spa sell the Sputniks for. As yet, I've never taken luggage on a front rack, but this may change...and I do have a habit of going off down rocky tracks so would like something that can hold up to a fair amount of abuse...
"Frankly, I’m suspicious of anyone who has a strong opinion on a complicated issue" - Scott Adams
Photos:
Scott's Travels 2010
Sparky's Travels 2012
Sparky's Travels 2013
:)

boblo
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Re: Dynamo lighting recommendations

Postby boblo » 26 May 2013, 2:17pm

I bought that combo Meic linked to above (both wheel and lamp) Last year.

Both have been excellent with no downside. I added a Toplight rear light later which I wished I'd done at the same time. It's only a few quid so buy one even if you don't think you'll use it just yet. When you get used to the convenience, you'll probably want both front and rear dynamo powered as I did.

SA_SA_SA
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Re: Dynamo lighting recommendations

Postby SA_SA_SA » 27 May 2013, 1:04pm

There is the 95lux herrmans S one

http://swhs.home.xs4all.nl/fiets/tests/ ... ex_en.html ---


a aluminium case and 40 pounds from ebay.de
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