Author Topic: dynamo hubs - what's good but cheaper than SON?  (Read 1344 times)

dynamo hubs - what's good but cheaper than SON?
« on: January 23, 2021, 10:45:28 pm »
I am running an IQ2 Luxos U front light, plus back light with a Shimano DH-3N80 dynamo with 9mm hollow axle and rim brakes.  The rim is getting quite thin and the bearings sound like they are dying so I am in the market for a new front wheel.  I quite like building wheels, especially if it ends up saving money.  If I am getting a built wheel I would want to run 35-37 tyres on a robust rim with 36 or 32 spokes.  I prefer silver finish.  I have two other bikes running the cheap decathlon shimano dynohub front so there would be some advantage to sticking with Shimano compatible connecters to facilitate wheel swapping (such as if the bearing dies before I have sourced a replacement).  It seems like euro suppliers are likely out of the question at the moment.

SJS have a Shimano Deore LX DH-T670-2N for only GBP25.  Would I notice the 2.4w rated output running front and rear lights or might the luxos battery smooth things out?  Anyone have any experience of their Jtek dynohubs?

How about 1.5W hubs?  Spa have a SHIMANO XT T780-1N quite cheap.  How do 1.5W systems compare now that lights are all LED? (this is in a 700c wheel).  Anyone got anything good or bad to say about the SP PV8 or SV9?  Any other Shimano options I should consider, their range seems so confusing nowadays?  Any other UK shipping suppliers to look at or other hub brands?

Last time I bought one it was pretty much Shimano for cheap and good enough or SON for shiny (I'm too cheap personally) and best value to buy from Germany but plus ca change on all fronts.

Help

Karla

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Re: dynamo hubs - what's good but cheaper than SON?
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2021, 10:51:15 pm »
Check out Shutter Precision.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: dynamo hubs - what's good but cheaper than SON?
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2021, 10:52:59 pm »
+1  I've got an SD8 and it Just Works.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

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Re: dynamo hubs - what's good but cheaper than SON?
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2021, 11:09:09 pm »
Yes Ive got an SP too. It Has been faultless so far

Re: dynamo hubs - what's good but cheaper than SON?
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2021, 02:41:36 am »
Re Shutter Precision, what is the experience with how long (kms) the bearings last as they (and Son's) are said to be only factory replaceable?

I ask in that 6 years ago I was having an audax bike/wheels made and had the option of SP or Son dynamo hub, the SP distributor said the warranty was only 12000kms but they had a factory bearing replacement program for a reasonable amount except that meant getting the hub out of the wheel, posting it off and then getting wheel rebuilt when the hub was returned, all a bit of a fluff if I was doing 10-12,000kms per year (ie potential replacement each year?)

Son bearing warranty was 50,000 kms, much more to my liking but twice the price.

So I went with Son and as it turns out I am approaching the 50000 later this year, all looking good so far but I will want everything rebuilt leading up to 2023, the Son might last 100000 or ?? but I am thinking options, probably just get the Son factory bearing replacement and I have a backup Shimano dynamo hub in a compatible wheel on my tourer I can just swap while the Son is on holiday in Germany.

PS My Shimano dynamo hub originally lasted about a week, horrible noise on my third ride and blackness,  replaced by the touring bike dealer and has now lasted 8 years, only a fraction of the audax bike kms in recent years although the tourer was my audax bike too before the new one born, did my first 20x200 brevets on it. Thanks

Re: dynamo hubs - what's good but cheaper than SON?
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2021, 03:24:55 am »
SJS have a Shimano Deore LX DH-T670-2N for only GBP25.  Would I notice the 2.4w rated output running front and rear lights or might the luxos battery smooth things out?  Anyone have any experience of their Jtek dynohubs?
I have that LX hub, with an Edelx front but no rear, seems fine, but I don't have a direct comparison, the SON hub I have is running F&R lights.
No experience of the Jtek, but I'm pretty sure it's a rebranded SP, looks like the one SP make for Exposure.  I notice in the questions SJS say the bearings are replaceable but it's a workshop job, if they're doing that themselves it would be a plus for me, I like dealing with SJS.  There were plenty of stories about early SP failures, but I think the seals have been improved, I don't know whether that applies to the Jtek model. 


citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
dynamo hubs - what's good but cheaper than SON?
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2021, 07:54:49 am »
I am running an IQ2 Luxos U front light, plus back light with a Shimano DH-3N80 dynamo with 9mm hollow axle and rim brakes.  The rim is getting quite thin and the bearings sound like they are dying so I am in the market for a new front wheel.

Is the hub wearing out as well? If not, why not rebuild it into a new wheel? Seems very wasteful to throw out the hub just because the rim is worn out.

Anyway, to answer the question...

I have the same* hub in a wheel on my audax bike powering an IQ-X front and Secula rear. On my fixed gear bike, I have a SON powering a Cyo-T front and Secula rear. Tbh, I don’t notice any difference in performance between the two hubs.



*Can’t remember the exact model for certain but 3N80 sounds very familiar, only difference is it’s the disc brake version.
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

T42

  • *** fool in a hurry
Re: dynamo hubs - what's good but cheaper than SON?
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2021, 08:20:43 am »
+1  I've got an SD8 and it Just Works.

Ditto: Spa built me a wheel with an Exal rim around it in 2015. It hasn't done a great distance since - 17,000 km - but the bearings are fine and the telltale on the rim still has a good bit to go.  I don't ride much in the rain, though.

When I ordered the wheel I asked about the SP9 but the wheel-builder - Dave Gill? - told me that it was mainly aimed at commuters, and SP had saved weight on it mostly by making the flanges lighter. He reckoned the SP8 would be more reliable over Audax distances.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

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Re: dynamo hubs - what's good but cheaper than SON?
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2021, 08:31:15 am »
For reference, it costs £26 for SP to replace bearings, including return post from Taiwan

Re: dynamo hubs - what's good but cheaper than SON?
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2021, 05:09:20 pm »
Many thanks for all the info. Also spotted QG's thread now with some interesting info.

@Citoyen, I have re-rimmed dynohubs in the past, but the bearings on this one are sounding increasingly noisy and my experience of getting them apart without wrecking the wiring has not been good.

I am thinking hard about the PV-8 from Spa for GBP69 but also a tiny bit about teh DH-T670-2N from Spa because it is only GBP25.

Thanks someone (from another thread), for the tip on SpokesFromRyan.  If I ever go back into work again, I could even collect.

It doesn't sound like I would save masses over a build from Spa (or Taylors if they are shipping to UK) but I quite like the build anyway.

Re: dynamo hubs - what's good but cheaper than SON?
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2021, 05:21:53 pm »
I got my PV8s built up by Spa. Dave advised they were a bit 'tricky to get right' due to the narrow hub and shallow bracing angles

Re: dynamo hubs - what's good but cheaper than SON?
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2021, 07:45:50 pm »
I have the Shimano XT T785 that I built into a 406 wheel.  This is the version of T780 for disc. Like you, bought as bargain price.  A 406 wheel turns about 1.5 times faster than a 622 for same bike speed.  It seems fine running a Cyo premium but I’d want at least a 2.4W rated hub in a 622 wheel.  I can’t say how it compares to a 3W hub and brightness as my other hubs are Son, and other bikes have different lux rated lights.

In terms of life of the hub, it is past 16,000 km and running well.  I did adjust the hub pre tension and inject grease in the bearings when I built. Given recent floods I need to get round to injecting more grease, to see it through another year.

Re: dynamo hubs - what's good but cheaper than SON?
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2021, 07:52:45 pm »
It doesn't sound like I would save masses over a build from Spa (or Taylors if they are shipping to UK) but I quite like the build anyway.
I also had my SP built by Spa, I think it was less than a tenner more than the parts, though they did initially build it with the wrong hub ???
Also faultless, though it's in my folder and gets less use.

vorsprung

  • Opposites Attract
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Re: dynamo hubs - what's good but cheaper than SON?
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2021, 08:08:06 pm »

Son bearing warranty was 50,000 kms, much more to my liking but twice the price.


Well, there is the problem.  You don't want to pay the price but you want the piper

Weight, Price, Reliability  pick any two

I think the Shimano stuff has the best deal, personally ( happy with SP/Shimano/SON hubs though)
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Re: dynamo hubs - what's good but cheaper than SON?
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2021, 08:20:01 pm »

Son bearing warranty was 50,000 kms, much more to my liking but twice the price.


Well, there is the problem.  You don't want to pay the price but you want the piper
It isn't accurate either.  The SON warranty is five years, no distance mentioned.  50,000 km used to be quoted as the expected service interval, now it just says tens of thousands, if you wear them out within the warranty period, it's considered normal usage and not covered.

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: dynamo hubs - what's good but cheaper than SON?
« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2021, 08:29:40 pm »
@Citoyen, I have re-rimmed dynohubs in the past, but the bearings on this one are sounding increasingly noisy and my experience of getting them apart without wrecking the wiring has not been good.

Fair enough!
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

Re: dynamo hubs - what's good but cheaper than SON?
« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2021, 09:55:17 pm »
The thing with SON now, if going back to Germany there may be a whole load of extra costs, which were not there before. But who knows till someone uses the service?

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: dynamo hubs - what's good but cheaper than SON?
« Reply #17 on: January 24, 2021, 10:57:11 pm »

I have a pair of Shimano DH-T8000 hubs. I'm happy with them. They work, they have done between them over 20000km. They are not user serviceable so haven't been...

My thread about if it's worth getting a SON recently was mostly cos I couldn't sleep and ended up on the SON website...

J
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Re: dynamo hubs - what's good but cheaper than SON?
« Reply #18 on: January 25, 2021, 02:50:28 pm »
 ;D

Re: dynamo hubs - what's good but cheaper than SON?
« Reply #19 on: January 25, 2021, 09:44:02 pm »
Closure.  I ended up ordering a SP PV8 for GBP69 from Spa to build with a Rigida Sputnik 700c rim.  Now just mildly stressing over Spa's bigger-than-anyone-else spec for the sputnik ERD :-)

I have asked them about it in the order comments.

I'll probably have a go at a bearing exam/service on the old shimano hub in case I manage to do better than last time

Re: dynamo hubs - what's good but cheaper than SON?
« Reply #20 on: February 05, 2021, 04:42:37 pm »
I can now add that I’ve serviced my Shimano XT 785 Dynamo hub bearings.

As well as the standard cup and cone on left hand side. It’s possible to service the right hand connector side.  The electrical connector comes apart relatively easily with some gentle prodding with a bradawl or similar. Then wire fits into groove in axle whilst you unscrew the cone. The wires are not super delicate, though I would not go bending it lots, which isn’t necessary anyway. The wires have an outer clear insulating layer. Fairly standard cup and cone servicing after that.

Anyway all done by this amateur and the Dynamo is still working great. I’ll probably add this to my annual maintenance check just before winter.  The hub is now 13 months old and about 17,000km.

Do the RH side first, as you’ll adjust the bearing compression / pre QR tension via LH cone.

Re: dynamo hubs - what's good but cheaper than SON?
« Reply #21 on: February 05, 2021, 04:44:14 pm »
Closure.  I ended up ordering a SP PV8 for GBP69 from Spa to build with a Rigida Sputnik 700c rim.  Now just mildly stressing over Spa's bigger-than-anyone-else spec for the sputnik ERD :-)

I have asked them about it in the order comments.

I'll probably have a go at a bearing exam/service on the old shimano hub in case I manage to do better than last time

If SPA are building it into wheel you won’t need to worry about ERD.  Maybe ask what length spokes they used, when you get the wheel.

Re: dynamo hubs - what's good but cheaper than SON?
« Reply #22 on: February 06, 2021, 09:53:02 am »

Son bearing warranty was 50,000 kms, much more to my liking but twice the price.


Well, there is the problem.  You don't want to pay the price but you want the piper
It isn't accurate either.  The SON warranty is five years, no distance mentioned.  50,000 km used to be quoted as the expected service interval, now it just says tens of thousands, if you wear them out within the warranty period, it's considered normal usage and not covered.

I thought the deal was, if you wear the bearings out within the 5 years they would replace them. How are they going to know whether someone has done 100,000 km or 10,000?

Anyway, the SP service interval seems ridiculously short. Taking it at face value, you would expect to replace the bearings 4 times compared to every one time for a SON, which, taking into account the wheel build cost would make the SON cheaper for servicing (you don't have to take the hub out of the wheel). But I still don't believe you'd have to replace SP bearings that often.
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that's not science, it's semantics.

Re: dynamo hubs - what's good but cheaper than SON?
« Reply #23 on: February 06, 2021, 11:14:08 am »

I thought the deal was, if you wear the bearings out within the 5 years they would replace them. How are they going to know whether someone has done 100,000 km or 10,000?
I don't know, I'm just correcting the misunderstanding that the warranty covered a specified distance.  I'm assuming as the manufacturer says normal wear isn't covered, they'd be able to determine that, though I'm no bearing expert.
Quote
taking into account the wheel build cost would make the SON cheaper for servicing (you don't have to take the hub out of the wheel).
I'll gently point out that this isn't the case with the current models, the original unscrewed from the end, the later ones split in the middle.