Author Topic: Hub Generator Lights  (Read 3712 times)

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Offline Augie Dog

Hub Generator Lights
« on: December 28, 2011, 06:45:09 pm »
I am looking for some suggestions on any ones experience with the hub generator system. I currently use a battery / LED type light but am thinking of going to a generator set up. What are your thoughts,experience and cost?

Offline Fred Hiltz

Re: Hub Generator Lights
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2011, 07:43:23 pm »
Have you checked the 20 or so posts containing thoughts, experience, and cost already made? Go back to the Gear Talk page that lists the topics and do a search for generator. This should get you started toward what you want.

Fred

Offline waynemyer

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Re: Hub Generator Lights
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2011, 07:47:05 pm »
I have a SRAM i-Light D7 disc driving a Supernova E3 symmetrical. Cars flash their high beams at me. I love this light and hub. I have read some reviews of the i-Light hubs wherein the bearings needed replacing after a year. My hub has been in use for 18 months now, with about 12,000 miles of Portland OR commuting and randonneuring.

Everyone with whom I ride uses either a Shimano (the majority) or Schmidt (distant second place), and most of them run Supernova lights. They are all extremely happy, too. Seeing their lights in use is what convinced me to make the jump to dyno. I went SRAM because I don't like Centerlock (thanks for the proprietary tools, Shimano) and didn't want to drop the $250 on a Schmidt without having sussed out the dyno light thing. I can totally stomach the entry fee for Schmidt now, but I am happy enough with SRAM to stick with them.  There are other hubs, you can get into a Sanyo hub for $40. That hub has cartridge bearings. It is difficult to buy a plain cartridge bearing front hub for $40. I also have a Velo-Orange switchable dyno. This is a gorgeous hub that takes a good amount of abuse that I have ditched out. Unfortunately, Velo-Orange seems to run out of these pretty quickly. It's slick because you can actually disengage the generator, thereby reducing the small, yet measurable, drag from the dyno.

I think that dyno selection is less important than light selection. It is amazing what lens/reflector design plus a couple generations of LED evolution will do for lighting. One of my employees has a B+M IQ Cyo and it is a decent light for the price. If you're looking for outright paint-peeling illumination, Supernova E3 Triple is pretty unbeatable. In general, you're probably looking at $100 to $250 for a light worth owning. Uncle Pedro has some really good beam shots and comparisons. This guy also has a lot of really great info and reviews. He also has the benefit of integration spheres for objective measurements.

One of my great issues with dyno lights is that none of the models I have seen have a high/low setting. This is probably a non-issue for most people, but when putting in long hours at night, I would like to save the eyestrain.
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Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Hub Generator Lights
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2011, 09:58:58 am »
Got my first hub generator just under two years ago.  Liked it so much I got another one for the spare bike this year, even before the battery running the light on that one died.  My use is commuting, with an evening group ride every couple of weeks if the weather isn't too bad.  My light is pretty much middle of the pack as far as brightness goes on the road, but doesn't blind riders checking back like some of them do.  While they get back to their cars before their battery runs out, I ride home.  :)

Cost is typically $300-500, if you buy a hub built into a wheel and a good light (IQ Cyo class or better).  You might shave $100 off that with a Shimano Alfine hub and Lumotec Lyt, at the cost of somewhat higher drag and lower light output.

I'll pause before I babble any further; post any questions you have and I'll try to answer them.

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Hub Generator Lights
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2011, 01:59:11 pm »
http://www.starbike.com/p/Shimano-dynamo-hub-DH-3N80-silver-3340-en
http://www.starbike.com/p/Busch-M%FCller-Lumotec-IQ-Cyo-3321-en

I have the above Shimano dynamo hub and Busch&Mueller IQ Cyo light on a bike.  Works well.  I use the hub to drive two of the lights.  The above company builds wheels too.  For about $180 you can have a generator wheel built.  Add another $75 for the light.  The above company also sells the more expensive Schmidt products.

Offline tksleeper

Re: Hub Generator Lights
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2011, 03:30:16 pm »
I believe dyno systems to be the way to go.  However the Supernova E3 Triple is not that good for road use unless you just want cars flashing their lights at you.  That was the first light I purchased and then sold it at a loss to get the Edelux.  Not as bright but it does put the light where you need it.  On the road in front of you.  I have no problems with high speed down hills at night with it.   Brightest is not always best.

It will spoil you no matter what light you buy.  Not to mention on a recent tour up the Coast of Michigan I used my dyno hub to charge my cell phone and garmin gps and friends phones a couple of times.  The drag is  not noticeable by me .. however there is some.  For more information go to http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/

Offline Bry

Re: Hub Generator Lights
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2011, 05:32:05 pm »
I run a Schmidt SON with Busch & Muller Lumotec IQ cryo up front and  detoplight in back. The lumination is fabulous and I can't imagine ever using batteries again. Of course, this convenience comes at a price but it's well worth it in the long run. Also, the peace of mind knowing you always have light.
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Offline BikeFreak

Re: Hub Generator Lights
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2012, 12:22:24 pm »
I'm also active in a German bicycle touring forum:

www.rad-forum.de

In this forum the guys have tested all kinds of hub generators and by far the SON is the best:

http://www.nabendynamo.de/

Lucas

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Hub Generator Lights
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2012, 04:17:02 pm »
I'm also active in a German bicycle touring forum:
www.rad-forum.de
In this forum the guys have tested all kinds of hub generators and by far the SON is the best:
http://www.nabendynamo.de/
Lucas

The above statement is an exageration.  I guess this person would claim a person who has $2002 is by far richer than someone with only $2000.  I imagine the Schmidt hub is a bit better than the other generator hubs.  For this tiny bit extra you pay 100% more in price.  There are many bicyclists who pay $1000+ to save 100 grams on their bike.  Worth it?

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Hub Generator Lights
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2012, 11:31:57 am »
The above statement is an exageration.  I guess this person would claim a person who has $2002 is by far richer than someone with only $2000.  I imagine the Schmidt hub is a bit better than the other generator hubs.  For this tiny bit extra you pay 100% more in price.  There are many bicyclists who pay $1000+ to save 100 grams on their bike.  Worth it?

I assume Russ is referring to this claim:

...  of hub generators and by far the SON is the best:

Yes, the Son is the most expensive dyno-hub I've seen so far.  Otherwise, I think both the original claim and the subsequent denouncement are overblown.

The Son drag with the light off is the statistic most commonly used to support the claim this hub is the best.  It's about half the next best.  However, the difference between 1 W and 2 W is small compared to the power required to move a bike plus load, so that part of the original claim is overblown.

On the other hand, the Son hub has a pressure equalization system no other hub has (to my knowledge) to help prevent water intrusion into the bearings.  Partly as a result of that, Schmidt warrants the SON for five years, and expects 50,000 km before service is needed.  I don't know anybody else that has that kind of warranty on a generator hub.  Doesn't this suggest the Son really is the best generator hub out there?

As far as double the price, the difference goes down when you compare wheels to wheels vs. hubs to hubs.  Wheelbuilding labor, for those who don't build their own, means the difference in cost is about 50% or less instead of 100%.

Offline pptouring

Re: Hub Generator Lights
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2012, 08:02:01 pm »
we have the Schmidt SON28 hubs, B&M Lumotec IQ Cyo R Senso Plus headlights, B&M Toplight Line Plus rear lights, B&M E-Werks, and B&M E-Werk cache batteries. With the exception of having some issues with the E-Werk cache batteries everything has been great and worth the price. We do a lot of nighttime riding and commuting so our lights are on 24/7 and (knock on wood) we've had zero issues with them. Our daughter and a family friend have the same setup and again no issues with their equipment. As for having drag... ummm.... ok! I've put over 5000 miles on my bike this year and ran the lights 24/7 and I couldn't tell the difference.  I wouldn't hesitate one second on buying the stuff again.