Front dynamo hubs?

Dec 4, 2008
170
3
38
Tokyo
#1
One option I have with my ongoing bad front wheel dilemma, is to purchase a new front hub and spokes, have them sent over by Wiggle, and source a rim & builder here. Just seemed like I would save on shipping that way? and potentially eliminate possibility of damage during shipping?

Just seems like a dynamo hub is a possibility? I've always admired the twin LED lights that some of the panasonic branded mamacharis have. so, are dynamo hubs the sole preserve of the mamachari, or can I use one on my c/dale 700c citibike?

and if so, are there any recommendations?
 

joewein

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#2
At the end of last year I had my front wheel rebuilt from a Shimano 105 hub to a Shimano DH-3N80 by Tim (GS Astuto), our resident wheel building genius. It works great!

The bearings are Ultegra level and the resistance even when the light is on is negligible. At least, I often find myself cycling with the lights on during daytime simply because I left it on the night before and can't tell from friction or noise that it isn't off. If you're a weight weenie, you might begrudge the extra 350 g or so in weight, but never having to worry about power for even the brightest lights on the longest rides is, well, brilliant! :)

My headlight is the Busch + Müller Lumotec IQ Cyo N Plus LED (175QNDi), which I mail-ordered from Germany. I'm very happy with that. It provides ample light, even out in the countryside, away from street lights. There are models with and without light sensor (auto mode). I have the one without the light sensor, which is a bit cheaper.
 
Dec 4, 2008
170
3
38
Tokyo
#3
At the end of last year I had my front wheel rebuilt from a Shimano 105 hub to a Shimano DH-3N80 by Tim (GS Astuto), our resident wheel building genius. It works great!

The bearings are Ultegra level and the resistance even when the light is on is negligible. At least, I often find myself cycling with the lights on during daytime simply because I left it on the night before and can't tell from friction or noise that it isn't off. If you're a weight weenie, you might begrudge the extra 350 g or so in weight, but never having to worry about power for even the brightest lights on the longest rides is, well, brilliant! :)

My headlight is the Busch + Müller Lumotec IQ Cyo N Plus LED (175QNDi), which I mail-ordered from Germany. I'm very happy with that. It provides ample light, even out in the countryside, away from street lights. There are models with and without light sensor (auto mode). I have the one without the light sensor, which is a bit cheaper.
Excellent! just one thing, that anyone might know.....since presumably the lights go out when stopped at traffic lights.....and I know about the rule for cars, but I would quite like to be visible on a bike especially stationary at the lights....are there any lighting systems that retain illumination even if dynamo isn't actively charging? ie a small battery? I appreciate that I could carry on with the current AA-powered cateye front light.

Ack! forgot to mention that my bike uses a disc brake. so the hub should be disc compatible.
 

joewein

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#5
The DH-3N80 is the rim brake version, the DH-3D80 the disk brake version, available in either 32 or 36 spoke hole versions. The disk brake connector can be covered up with a rubber cap, should you want to upgrade to disk brakes later (or swap the wheel to a disk brake bike). The 80 effectively replaces the earlier (70/71/72) models.

The Lumotec I use has a super capacitor that keeps the LED light on at reduced intensity for several minutes after I stop -- enough to be seen, you don't need 30 m of illuminated road ahead while waiting at a traffic light ;)
 

GSAstuto

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#6
David also has some very nice hubs from Taiwan. I'm partial to the Ultegra for most excursion builds simply due to the interchangeability of the Shimano parts. Also - it does come in either disc or rimbrake version - so no issues there. I'd suggest using the Ambrosio rims and if you're using this on city / excursion bike, then 32h version is very nice. Especially with discbrake - quite alot of torque to contain at the hub, so you don't want to skimp on spokes. Spokes should be 14g DB. For these wheelsets I generally prefer the DT Comps or Sapim Race and I use only brass nipples for the HD builds. A little heavier, but rock solid with no chance of pulling or breaking (again, discbrake attention).

A wheel built this way will probably outlast the owner.
 

chazzer

Speeding Up
Nov 23, 2006
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36
Bushey Heath, Hertfordshire
#7
Another front wheel hub dynamo possibility

I am now living back in the UK and taking part in audax events here. I also did a couple in Japan, in Chiba, when I Iived there. I found that the serious audax riders had dedicated bikes for this purpose and this spec included dynamo lighting. The longer events of 400km, 600km and then the monsters like Paris-Brest-Paris or London-Edinburgh-London all seem to require it.

Earlier this year I bought a Ti audax machine and this has handbuilt wheels accomodating the Schmidt SONDelux front hub. Lights are Schmidt Edelux front light and B&M Selectra Plus rear rack light.

I am still only trundling along on 200km events but I still appreciate the lighting, front and rear, that I get from my Son and Edelux set up.

All of this is readily available here from SpaCycles in Harrogate http://www.spacycles.co.uk/ Spa specialises in touring and audax machines.

Hope this helps, let me know if you want more info.

Best to all in Tokyo

chazzer
View attachment 1164

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StuInTokyo

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Dec 3, 2010
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#8
I had Tim build me a 26" wheel set for my Mixer 8 which is my delivery bike for towing my trailer around town. I got the same Shimano dynamo hub for the front wheel, I love it, I have my lights on all the time, never turn them off. I really like the Phillips SafeRide front and rear lights, go for the 60 lux unit on the front, the rear is very good too, you can really see it! I'd buy one again in a heart beat! Tim G who went down Japan and through Korea on his bike also had a wheel set built by Tim, again with the dynamo hub up front and the Phillips lights, I know he also really likes this set up, the light stay on for a few minutes when you stop, so you don't have to worry about traffic lights.

I think it is a great idea for a city bike too, never be left without lights!
 

jdd

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#9
From a non-dynamo user, I think the best thing about having one is the lights-on-all-the-time aspect.

The lights I use dim as the batteries die, and not dealing with that and having bright lights as a safety factor would be great.
 

joewein

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#10
This is me over 150 km into the brevet, cycling up Mt Fuji. As you can see I forgot to turn off the dynamo headlight after the 6 1/2 hour night ride. I probably did the whole 300 km brevet with the light on :)

proxy.php?image=https%3A%2F%2Flh4.googleusercontent.com%2F-oKq4MVfe7e0%2FT9RWxILb9uI%2FAAAAAAAACN0%2F2r-dlu2w1yM%2Fs600%2FDSCN4107.JPG&hash=afdc0828b3696407878c74b6f5526953


It's pretty bright even in daylight going uphill. At night it illuminates 30-50 m ahead of me, depending on the angle I set it for.

Here's a comparison of the mechanical power draw of various dynamos with the lights off at various speeds (with "28 inch" wheels).

proxy.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Ffahrradzukunft.de%2Fbilder%2F14%2Fneue-nabendynamos-im-test%2F14-big.png&hash=0ddf09ffdd9a73abd6fcb2cd361beee4


(Fahrradzukunft.de, April 2012)

As you can see, the expensive SON dynamos are still the best, but the gap to the Shimano DH-3N80 is only about one W at ordinary speeds.

To put that into perspective, the power draw of the SON models at 30 km/h is roughly 0.5 % of the cyclist's output, while with the Shimano DH-3N80 it's about 1 %. Or put another way, paying more than twice as much for a SON over a Shimano will get you as much extra power as improving your aerodynamics by 0.5 %.

With the light on, the power draw is virtually identical between the SON models and the DH-3N80.

The Taiwanese PV-8 that David tested looks like an interesting alternative to the SON and Shimano, assuming longevity is not a problem.
 

dgl2

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Nov 3, 2007
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#11
SV-8/PV-8

The Taiwanese PV-8 that David tested looks like an interesting alternative to the SON and Shimano, assuming longevity is not a problem.
I am gradually building some confidence in the durability longevity of the SP Dynamo SV-8/PV-8.

I have now used my SV-8 on

(1) 1375 kms of rides in Tohoku over Golden Week,
(2) Cascade 1200 km event in June in Washington State in June, and
(3) Rocky Mountain 1200 km event in BC/Alberta in July,
as well as winter/spring commuting/local riding near Tokyo.

The hub endured at least a full day of rain and lots of standing water on each of the longer rides, and has held up fine.

Especially on the Rocky Mountain 1200, there were something like 22 hours of rain over the first 24 hours of the ride, and the total rainfall was 4 inches or more (10 cms) in the Valemount/Jasper area as we rode through. The photo on the organizers' page gives some idea of the conditions:
http://www.randonneurs.bc.ca/rockymountain1200/

The RM1200
--completely shredded my Vittoria Open Pave tires,
--resulted in a broken rear derailleur cable and unusable right shifter 380 kms into the 1200 km event, turning my bike into a jury-rigged 2-speed that allowed me only to limp through to the finish,
--a broken rear spoke at around 620 kms in,
-- many flat tubes throughout,
-- a broken base mount for my Phillips Saferide LED light that snapped off during the final descent, I think from the combination of violent shaking (rumble strips) and maybe metal fatigue of repeated adjustments.
--a broken closure/snap on my relatively new Ortlieb bar bag,
... and on and on.

I do not see any obvious damage to my bike frame, other than a few scratches, but its lifespan cannot have been extended by this kind of punishment.

The hand-built front wheel and SV-8, however, seem as good as new.
 

dgl2

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Nov 3, 2007
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#12
All of this is readily available here from SpaCycles in Harrogate http://www.spacycles.co.uk/ Spa specialises in touring and audax machines.
Looks like a great site for audax/touring gear ... and the prices for Brooks saddles seem far lower than I saw in Vancouver BC last week at a local shop there. Maybe a result of the sale that Spa's site says results from their selling their own alternative and being dropped by Brooks.
 

jdd

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#13
Hmm... I just got a B17 narrow in brown from CRC for a bit over ¥6000, while Spa's super sale price on the same converts to ¥7375. Not sure about Spa's shipping, but since I ordered a few other things, those and the B17 came free.
 

dgl2

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Nov 3, 2007
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#14
Hmm... I just got a B17 narrow in brown from CRC for a bit over ¥6000, while Spa's super sale price on the same converts to ¥7375. Not sure about Spa's shipping, but since I ordered a few other things, those and the B17 came free.
Well, I just saw a model of Brooks saddle at Nalshima on Gai-en Nishi Dori for 30,000 yen -- not a B17, and it had beautiful copper rivets, but still, a lot of money. And I think in Vancouver, the ones I was seeing were several hundred dollars Canadian.