Forum home Road cycling forum Tours, routes, audaxes & organised rides Tour & expedition

Hub dymano choices

caw35slrcaw35slr Posts: 439
edited October 2009 in Tour & expedition
I'm interested in a front hub dynamo for a commuter bike. I had a look at what's on offer at St John Street and the choice breaks down roughly into:

- Schmidt (up to approx. £190)
- Shimano (up to approx. £50 for an Ultegra DH-3N70B)

Both are rated 6V 3W so what's the advantage of Schmidt? I'm assuming durability, but is there anything else I'm missing? Fifty quid for an Ultegra dynamo hub sounds like a good deal. Agree/disagree?

Any hub dynamo users out there? Do you have any cable routing tips, lighting recommendations, etc?

Posts

  • chuckcorkchuckcork Posts: 1,471
    I bought mine with a SON hub and from SJS, built with a Mavic ceramic rim. From the research I did the Shimano and SON are almost directly comparable, but the SON will produce I think less drag, its about 50% efficient that way whereas other hubs are less or very much less efficient and produce a lot more drag.

    There is possibly more than you could ever possibly want to know about the subject on the [url=http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/schmidt.asp/Peter White Cycles[/url]website, halfway down the page is a comparison between various hubs.

    For the light I now have a Schmidt Edelux, which is an LED light and its absolutely fantastic. I've done a number of night time rides on it out in the country (near where I was in East Cork) and the beam is very strong and bright, the halogen Schmidt E6 by comparison is pathetic. Its expensive though and hard to get, you might have to search around as they seem to get snapped up as soon as they come available, having only come out last year. I think Spa Cycles also sell them, though whether they have stock...?

    Mounting the light was the tricky bit as I was riding a road bike, so I used one of these Electron mounts, allows mounting on the bars and for the light to be adjusted, you'll need some extra locking nuts though to make it work practically and to hold the light in place in the bracket, Heath Robinish style.

    Rear light I now just use a battery LED light, I did have a dynamo one as well but some sh!t snapped it off when it was parked.

    To make it easier to connect/disconnect rthe Edelux I made up an extension cord that runs from the hub up to near the bars, taped on with a bit of electrical tape to the forks, mounting the light is then a matter of snapping over the quick release Electron bracket and tightening that up, and then plugging in the light to the extension. Saves mucking around down at the hub and having to worry about cords getting caught up, only takes 20 seconds or so to do.

    Hope that helps....
    'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that caught the cycling craze....
  • caw35slrcaw35slr Posts: 439
    Great info, many thanks.
  • andrew_sandrew_s Posts: 2,511
    Older Shimano hubs did have noticeably more drag, but the 3N70 and 3N80 hubs are very similar to the Schmidt. What you get for the extra money is higher quality, better weather sealing, backup etc. You would probably get away with riding a Schmidt wheel through a shortish flood, but would quite likely wreck a Shimano.
    The 3N70 is significantly heavier.
    Shimano hubs are earthed to the frame, which means it's possible to connect the lights the wrong way and makes multiple headlight arrangements more difficult (not that multiple lights are of much benefit with LED lighting).

    For lighting, LEDs are the way to go. With shaped beams with a horizontal top cutoff like dipped car headlights, there's the Schmidt Edelux, the B+M Cyo (much the same as the Edelux but in a cheap housing) and the B+M IQ Fly. With round torch-type beams you've got the Supernova E3 and the Solidlight.
    German lighting review here (beam shots and light/speed curves) (NB unshaped torch beams not reviewed as they are illegal in Germany - the fine for dazzling is higher than the fine for no lights).

    I use an Edelux mounted on a dedicated boss on the fork, with the cable just spiralled down the fork blade. Probably the best location from a functional point of view is at the fork crown, but the brackets that mount on a caliper brake bolt are prone to fatigue failure.
  • chuckcorkchuckcork Posts: 1,471
    andrew_s wrote:

    I use an Edelux mounted on a dedicated boss on the fork, with the cable just spiralled down the fork blade. Probably the best location from a functional point of view is at the fork crown, but the brackets that mount on a caliper brake bolt are prone to fatigue failure.

    My bike also has mounting points for a front carrier (why I have no idea, its not designed to be a heavy tourer) but I've experimented with mounting there also, using a nut from a quick release skewer as a packer and a bolt through to fix in place. Works quite well though the light being down lower doesn't shine as well on the road, and once in place its hard to adjust while moving unlike one at bar level.

    As for the fork crown mounting, as noted avoid this, I had three of the metal brackets used here snap on me, they aren't strong enough for rough roads, particularly if you are running with high pressure tyres.
    'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that caught the cycling craze....
  • caw35slrcaw35slr Posts: 439
    More great info. Many thanks!

    Further question: where did you buy your lighting kit? SJS don't stock the full Schmidt line - do you know anybody that does?
  • MichaelWMichaelW Posts: 2,226
    My Shimano 3N71 is great, reliable, efficient and always there.
    The B&M Fly is an excellent lamp, its fork-crown mounting is one of the best. Ive had a couple of mounts snap but this one is unbreakable.
  • andrew_sandrew_s Posts: 2,511
    chuckcork wrote:
    andrew_s wrote:
    My bike also has mounting points for a front carrier (why I have no idea, its not designed to be a heavy tourer) but I've experimented with mounting there also, using a nut from a quick release skewer as a packer and a bolt through to fix in place. Works quite well though the light being down lower doesn't shine as well on the road, and once in place its hard to adjust while moving unlike one at bar level..
    My boss is about midway between the low-rider carrier bosses and the fork crown. If your light is high, you see uneven bits of road less clearly, and because your light is angled further down you get a shorter but brighter lit section, and your light appears less bright to oncoming traffic.
    I also use the spherical washers from a set of brake blocks to allow me to angle the light left/right as required.
  • Magnus ThorMagnus Thor Posts: 239
    The SON Dynohub is one of the best investments I have made, bicycling wise. I've been using one for the last 4 years, for my 20 km commute, 8 months every year, so it's seen a fair bit of use. It still works like new, with no noticable increase in drag. From what I have read, the drag on the SON is equivalent to 1m elevation in 1km distance - less than you are likely to notice. I just love that I can just turn it on in the fall and off again in the spring.


    Magnus Thor
    Iceland
  • caw35slrcaw35slr Posts: 439
    Sorry for the repeat question, but where do I buy this stuff in the UK?
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    Kinetics in Glasgow? Bikes Plus in Croydon?
  • caw35slrcaw35slr Posts: 439
    By a bizarre coincidence I am about 5 minutes from Kinetics (visiting family) but I'm flying home shortly. I'll pop in for a chat next time I'm up.

    Thanks Andy.
  • chuckcorkchuckcork Posts: 1,471
    caw35slr wrote:
    Sorry for the repeat question, but where do I buy this stuff in the UK?

    If you mean the Schmidt Edelux you'd have to wait until new stock came in to any store that was selling it, I contacted SJS as to when they next expected a delivery and then checked their website every day, when it did come available it was sold out again in a few days, in all I had to wait about 2 months.

    Very popular because its very good!
    'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that caught the cycling craze....
  • The MechanicThe Mechanic Posts: 1,277
    Try Spa Cycles www.spacycles.co.uk or Bike plaus www.bikeplus.co.uk

    They both stock B&M lighting.
    I have only two things to say to that; Bo***cks
  • Someone said the dual light six volt set-up is pointless with LED lights. Why's that?

    Are there any advantages of halogen lights over the new LED ones? Any point in having one halogen and one LED light?
  • I use the SN72 with a BM IQ on my fixed commuter and a SN80 with the BM Cyo on my audax bike. I cannot notice the drag difference between the two hubs and both of the lights are great, with the Cyo however, giving the better spread of light on the road. Would highly recommend any of the above though.
  • +1 for Spa Cycles
  • Anyone know about wiring two front LED lights to a SON hub dynamo? The Peter White site seems to say this can't be done with all the lights. Can it be done with a B&M Cyo for example and an Inoled extreme?
Sign In or Register to comment.