Author Topic: Lights - Dynamo vs Battery  (Read 13814 times)

LEE

  • "Shut Up Jens" - Legs.
Lights - Dynamo vs Battery
« on: February 05, 2015, 08:55:37 am »
My Condor Fratello wheels are worn out, including my dynohub front.

Not surprising I suppose since I've been Audaxing on it since 2009 with the same wheels.

I was contemplating using my battery IXONs this time and buying some "sporty" wheels and tyres rather than the SPA Chrina / Dyno / Schwalbe marathon combination I've used for years.

I reckon a sporty setup would outweigh the disadvantage of carrying a pocketful of AA cells and dynohubs seem to be in a small minority.  A set of Fulcrum Racing 3 with Schwalbe "One" tyres appeals.

Should I break my dependency on dynopower and "bling" the Fratello?  The B&M IXON is a great light and I would be carrying two, the new one plus an old one (as backup/spare battery holder)
Some people say I'm self-obsessed but that's enough about them.

GrahamG

  • Babies bugger bicycling
Re: Lights - Dynamo vs Battery
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2015, 09:53:20 am »
I have a similar bike (Hewitt Alpine), and basically did what you're suggesting by blinging it up a couple of years ago. Went from 8 speed triple set up with Chrina rims, schmidt hub to compact + 10 speed top end kit with hope hubs/velocity A23's and using a hope vision vision 2 light. Was superb, wheels were the last things to be upgraded and definitely made the most difference, made the bike feel far more sprightly, made me want to ride that bit more 'enthusiastically' and basically increased the fun factor.

Life's too short to economise on a bike you'll be spending so much time with - I use the heavy winter fixed with dyno hub for the crappy weather mile eating for the 4-5 months when I can't be arsed to clean anything, but after that I like the fun factor being increased.

However, as a warning, this progressed to an even more fun carbon bling bike that I rewarded myself with after securing a permanent job for the first time in several years of uncertainty... so now I'll be the target of much piss taking as I audax on a cervelo ;D


*Edit - I'm not sure that dropping the dynamo is necessary with the newer/posher/lighter dynamos but on my standard schimdt it was nice to be shot of the weight and (albeit minimal) drag.
Brummie in exile (may it forever be so)

LEE

  • "Shut Up Jens" - Legs.
Re: Lights - Dynamo vs Battery
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2015, 09:59:36 am »
I won't be taking the piss.

I'll be testing this on Audax duty at some point, with a view to taking it to PBP instead of the Fratello (it comes down to comfort but the Domane is way more comfortable than I expected and has become a "contender".  I won't be fitting a dynohub to this.


Some people say I'm self-obsessed but that's enough about them.

Re: Lights - Dynamo vs Battery
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2015, 11:48:53 am »
I tend more towards keeping the dyno hub .... but with nice rims (H+Son Archetype) and fairly light tyres, certainly something less sluggish than Marathons.   

Re: Lights - Dynamo vs Battery
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2015, 12:38:58 pm »
Note that if you are looking to reduce weight, you can get low spoke count dynohubs - I've now got a 24hole SONdelux based wheel (tubeless, natch) that comes in around 250g less than my old 32hole setup - time will tell how resilient it is. I hate faffing with batteries on long rides, so it's a no brainer for me which way to go.
“That slope may look insignificant, but it's going to be my destiny" - Fitzcarraldo

redfalo

  • known as Olaf in the real world
    • Cycling Intelligence
Re: Lights - Dynamo vs Battery
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2015, 10:36:07 am »
I hate faffing with batteries on long rides, so it's a no brainer for me which way to go.

+1

Note that if you are looking to reduce weight, you can get low spoke count dynohubs - I've now got a 24hole SONdelux based wheel (tubeless, natch) that comes in around 250g less than my old 32hole setup

Is this a special edition SONdeluxe or are some spoke holes just left unused?
If you can't convince, confuse.

https://cycling-intelligence.com/ - my blog on cycling, long distances and short ones

T42

  • Old fool in a hurry
Re: Lights - Dynamo vs Battery
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2015, 10:47:41 am »
^^^ says here you can get them down to 20.

I'm going to need a new front wheel by August...
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

redfalo

  • known as Olaf in the real world
    • Cycling Intelligence
Re: Lights - Dynamo vs Battery
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2015, 11:43:27 am »
hm.... I'm currently using a SON classic, which weighs 570g, and have been attracted by the lower weight of the SON delux (390g) for a while. If I can even save more weight by skimping on spokes (and probably using a lighter rim), this whole idea becomes even more tempting..........
If you can't convince, confuse.

https://cycling-intelligence.com/ - my blog on cycling, long distances and short ones

wilkyboy

  • "nick" by any other name
    • 16-inch wheels
Re: Lights - Dynamo vs Battery
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2015, 11:53:45 am »
Shutter Precision also go down to 20-spoke.  The SP-PV8 series is around 390g, the new SP-SV9 series is nearly 100g lighter and "golf-ball sized", apparently.

SP dynamos are very affordable at around £80 and their performance is, apart from minor details, on a par with SON.  I've had my PV8 for 4000km without any issues.  Back on t'other bike I've got a bulky Shimano, but not a lot of (affordable and practicable) choice over that side of the workshop.  Still, that has performed well over 7000km so far.

Having used both batteries and dynamos, I'm a huge dyno fan -- I can keep the Garmin topped up during the day and ride right through the night without worrying about when I last charged the cells.  I also carry a tiny battery front lamp and a backup battery for the GPS and phone on longer rides, just in case I have dyno issues (but none so far).
RRTY #7 done.  Need something else to do ... ah, welcome #8 8)

Re: Lights - Dynamo vs Battery
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2015, 12:01:16 pm »
I'd be inclined to build up a wheel withh 24 spokes (CXray, 2 cross) and an SP dynamo. Rims could be variously - Pacenti SL23, Kinlin XC279 or something else that you like.

Then you can charge your garmin and phone from a usbwerk over the duration of PBB and longer rides. Alternative is carrying a big rechargeable battery pack. I've got a little 3200mAh battery for long days only, but the dybamo's good for commuting too.

Re: Lights - Dynamo vs Battery
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2015, 12:13:58 pm »
If using batteries, for "special " rides it is worth splashing out on the Lithium AAs. Not only do they last well, they are much lighter than regular disposables. And even for PBP you won't be needing a huge number.

For shorter (single night) rides the choice of battery lights is so good now that I think the case for dynamo lighting has been lost. (I have my umbrella up).

Re: Lights - Dynamo vs Battery
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2015, 12:19:36 pm »
If using batteries, for "special " rides it is worth splashing out on the Lithium AAs. Not only do they last well, they are much lighter than regular disposables. And even for PBP you won't be needing a huge number.

For shorter (single night) rides the choice of battery lights is so good now that I think the case for dynamo lighting has been lost. (I have my umbrella up).

It all depends on your preferences and riding style now. I've tried doing a 1200 with battery lights 3 years ago (Vologda-Onega-Ladoga) but I switched back to dynamo's for the next one. While the light output was good enough for northern Europe in july, the hassle obtaining enough batteries was too much of a drawback. I rather prefer trhe simple certainty that the dynamo will keep on working.
What is very important is also the amount of hours you usually spend in darkness. If you're fast and sleep a lot at night, battery lights could be your choice. If you're a slow climber and sleep 1-2 hours a night, you'll need maximum light output (you don't want to  faff in the descents) and absolute certinty that they'll work. So then a dynamo light is the way to go.
I'll be starting with a dynohub again. I bought a new one this winter, I've settled for a rhytm of one new dynohuyb every 2nd PBP. The old one then is used for one of my other bikes.

Re: Lights - Dynamo vs Battery
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2015, 12:41:04 pm »


I got everything from bike24.com: 24-hole SONdelux, CX-Ray spokes and Stan's A340 rim. First wheel I've built, which is partly why I went for the radial spoking for simplicity - according to the specs the SONdelux supports this, before anyone asks.
“That slope may look insignificant, but it's going to be my destiny" - Fitzcarraldo

Re: Lights - Dynamo vs Battery
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2015, 12:53:55 pm »
Isn't the SONdelux the one designed for small wheels? Fewer magnets, so less output on a big wheel: fine for LED lights, but might not be enough for charging too.

Re: Lights - Dynamo vs Battery
« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2015, 01:14:09 pm »
Assuming I can get fit enough to qualify and ride it, it will definitely be with my SON Deluxe hub again, and Edelux light. I've just bought the new Son dynamo rear light which is a truly beautiful and tiny piece of engineering  :D

It isn't just the faffage of swapping batteries. For me it's the ability to keep riding at dusk and the light come on automatically. I find it annoying having to stop and switch on rear lights on longer rides. I often find myself either turning on battery lights before it gets dark to avoid having to stop and wasting the batteries (maybe even annoy other riders), or riding for a few miles thinking 'i really must stop and put my lights on soon'. The dynamo rear light comes on with the front light which is on a daylight sensor, or I can turn on while still riding. And I never have to turn round and try to peer at my rear light just to check it's really working and hasn't gone flat.

Last time I used the hub to charge the garmin and a battery pack during the day, then the power the lights at night. However now it's possible to get very small lightweight battery packs like the Technet, I won't bother with the dynamo charging thing this time around. I used 3 5000mVwhatever Technets on LEL to charge the Garmin and phone, and never needed to use an electricity supply. The dynamo hub charging during the day I consider to be an unnecessary (although tiny) increase in drag and slight faff I don't need to do anymore. I would use it if touring in the middle of nowhere for a month though.

Re: Lights - Dynamo vs Battery
« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2015, 01:29:30 pm »
Interesting to hear about the 20 and 24 spoke options.  Didn't even know you can get a SON with less than 32.

I am just having a 32 spoke dynamo built up for PBP/600s etc and some 28 spoke chris king hubs (front and back) for general use.  I personally would have gone for many less spokes - like 20, but the wheel builder pointed out that, if a spoke fails with less than 28 you may not be able to continue to ride on the wheel, but 28 or more and you can at least get to the next control to get it fixed

Hope I have done the right thing, it is a VERY expensive wheelset  :o
Does not play well with others

Re: Lights - Dynamo vs Battery
« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2015, 01:35:46 pm »
I tend more towards keeping the dyno hub .... but with nice rims (H+Son Archetype) and fairly light tyres, certainly something less sluggish than Marathons.
I've done this with Vittoria Open Pave 27c and they're ace and look good too.  Th rear uses a VO Grand Cru touring hub, again a great piece of kit.
This is on my winter/distance/Audax bike.  I've become an overnight dynamo convert.  The light output with the Phillips saferide bargain light is fabulous compared to Magicshine clones and to just grab the bike and go without battery faffage etc is great.

Next year the summer bike needs new wheels ..... maybe  a Son deluxe with low spoke count ....

Re: Lights - Dynamo vs Battery
« Reply #17 on: February 06, 2015, 01:43:57 pm »
Interesting to hear about the 20 and 24 spoke options.  Didn't even know you can get a SON with less than 32.

I am just having a 32 spoke dynamo built up for PBP/600s etc and some 28 spoke chris king hubs (front and back) for general use.  I personally would have gone for many less spokes - like 20, but the wheel builder pointed out that, if a spoke fails with less than 28 you may not be able to continue to ride on the wheel, but 28 or more and you can at least get to the next control to get it fixed

Hope I have done the right thing, it is a VERY expensive wheelset  :o

You've definitely done the right thing, particularly if your going to ride qualifiers anywhere like the middle of wales where you don't want a bike part failure to be ride-ending! From what I've heard you're fast enough that 32 spokes rather than 20 isn't going to make much difference other than give you reliability  ;D

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Lights - Dynamo vs Battery
« Reply #18 on: February 06, 2015, 02:28:22 pm »
Feline - you can get battery (rear) lights with daylight/motion sensor. Not too bulky either - remind me next time you're at the Grain Barge and I'll show you!

(The only time I've wished I had a dynamo was actually in daylight. It was an ACB DIY 200 in November, drizzle and mist in the morning, others had their lights on but I knew that, having used some before the start, if I put mine on then I'd not have enough battery left when it got to real night. Of course, this is partly a result of being slow.  :-\ )
Days become simply the spaces between dreams, spaces between the shifting floors of time...

Re: Lights - Dynamo vs Battery
« Reply #19 on: February 06, 2015, 02:46:53 pm »
Interesting to hear about the 20 and 24 spoke options.  Didn't even know you can get a SON with less than 32.

I am just having a 32 spoke dynamo built up for PBP/600s etc and some 28 spoke chris king hubs (front and back) for general use.  I personally would have gone for many less spokes - like 20, but the wheel builder pointed out that, if a spoke fails with less than 28 you may not be able to continue to ride on the wheel, but 28 or more and you can at least get to the next control to get it fixed

Hope I have done the right thing, it is a VERY expensive wheelset  :o

very topical thread all this for me as I`m considering also a dynamo front hub even though have a goodly set of ebay Chinese lights ::-)

Personally @ 85 kg I would not consider less than 28 builds, although built well enough probably OK. Quality of build seems critical--I rode a set 28 CX ray / Tune lightweight wheels around appalling roads in Corsica, including a 10km no better than forest track  and they stayed perfect. Very well built wheels indeed have never gone out (apart from smashing rim on a pothole, even then rideable home)

Who`s building your front dynohub ?
....after the `tarte de pommes`, and  fortified by a couple of shots of limoncellos,  I flew up the Col de Bavella whilst thunderstorms rolled around the peaks above

Re: Lights - Dynamo vs Battery
« Reply #20 on: February 06, 2015, 02:54:24 pm »
Isn't the SONdelux the one designed for small wheels? Fewer magnets, so less output on a big wheel: fine for LED lights, but might not be enough for charging too.

My understanding is that the difference with the SONdelux is the speed at which it reaches the rated output. I find it's fine on the flat at randonneur pace & on climbs they all cut out anyway, so I usually try to disconnect the GPS to preempt it deciding to power itself off.
“That slope may look insignificant, but it's going to be my destiny" - Fitzcarraldo

Re: Lights - Dynamo vs Battery
« Reply #21 on: February 06, 2015, 03:13:18 pm »
Interesting to hear about the 20 and 24 spoke options.  Didn't even know you can get a SON with less than 32.

I am just having a 32 spoke dynamo built up for PBP/600s etc and some 28 spoke chris king hubs (front and back) for general use.  I personally would have gone for many less spokes - like 20, but the wheel builder pointed out that, if a spoke fails with less than 28 you may not be able to continue to ride on the wheel, but 28 or more and you can at least get to the next control to get it fixed

Hope I have done the right thing, it is a VERY expensive wheelset  :o

very topical thread all this for me as I`m considering also a dynamo front hub even though have a goodly set of ebay Chinese lights ::-)

Personally @ 85 kg I would not consider less than 28 builds, although built well enough probably OK. Quality of build seems critical--I rode a set 28 CX ray / Tune lightweight wheels around appalling roads in Corsica, including a 10km no better than forest track  and they stayed perfect. Very well built wheels indeed have never gone out (apart from smashing rim on a pothole, even then rideable home)

Who`s building your front dynohub ?

Mike at http://wheels.23mm.co.uk/  :thumbsup:

I am only light but Mike was adamant that 28 was the absolute minimum and that the dynamo would be 32.  I have just gone through another factory set (bearings and rear rim) in 8 months.  Although they are still true despite having bugger-all spokes and me bashing them on various off-road routes including bridleways and unsurfaced byways rather too regularly. 

The thing with being light (53kg) is every extra ounce is a much bigger percentage of my bodyweight.  1 spoke for me, is like two for a 106 kg guy! Of course, the odd extra spoke doesn't weigh a lot, but an extra 16+ on rolling weight....well, let just hope it's not significant. 
Does not play well with others

Re: Lights - Dynamo vs Battery
« Reply #22 on: February 06, 2015, 03:45:33 pm »
Feline - you can get battery (rear) lights with daylight/motion sensor. Not too bulky either - remind me next time you're at the Grain Barge and I'll show you!

(The only time I've wished I had a dynamo was actually in daylight. It was an ACB DIY 200 in November, drizzle and mist in the morning, others had their lights on but I knew that, having used some before the start, if I put mine on then I'd not have enough battery left when it got to real night. Of course, this is partly a result of being slow.  :-\ )

I've had 2 different brands of those, they are unreliable and you never know whether they have come on or not while you're riding along!
The one I have I use as a backup light now but wouldn't rely on it. Its been known to turn off at traffic lights because it's decided I'm not moving ....

Re: Lights - Dynamo vs Battery
« Reply #23 on: February 06, 2015, 03:51:30 pm »
Interesting to hear about the 20 and 24 spoke options.  Didn't even know you can get a SON with less than 32.

I am just having a 32 spoke dynamo built up for PBP/600s etc and some 28 spoke chris king hubs (front and back) for general use.  I personally would have gone for many less spokes - like 20, but the wheel builder pointed out that, if a spoke fails with less than 28 you may not be able to continue to ride on the wheel, but 28 or more and you can at least get to the next control to get it fixed

Hope I have done the right thing, it is a VERY expensive wheelset  :o

very topical thread all this for me as I`m considering also a dynamo front hub even though have a goodly set of ebay Chinese lights ::-)

Personally @ 85 kg I would not consider less than 28 builds, although built well enough probably OK. Quality of build seems critical--I rode a set 28 CX ray / Tune lightweight wheels around appalling roads in Corsica, including a 10km no better than forest track  and they stayed perfect. Very well built wheels indeed have never gone out (apart from smashing rim on a pothole, even then rideable home)

Who`s building your front dynohub ?

Mike at http://wheels.23mm.co.uk/  :thumbsup:

I am only light but Mike was adamant that 28 was the absolute minimum and that the dynamo would be 32.  I have just gone through another factory set (bearings and rear rim) in 8 months.  Although they are still true despite having bugger-all spokes and me bashing them on various off-road routes including bridleways and unsurfaced byways rather too regularly. 

The thing with being light (53kg) is every extra ounce is a much bigger percentage of my bodyweight.  1 spoke for me, is like two for a 106 kg guy! Of course, the odd extra spoke doesn't weigh a lot, but an extra 16+ on rolling weight....well, let just hope it's not significant.


Impressed you've been through a set of factory wheels so quickly. Particularly at your lightness.

The extra weight of the spokes may make it feel a bit less spritely, but it will hold speed just as well and probably make littel difference if you don't accelerate all the time. There's theoretically a bit more air resistance as well, but unless you're properly quick it's likely not a big issue.

My 'long' wheels are 32/32 spoke, but I'm considerably more than 53kgs - see weight reports if you really want to know.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Lights - Dynamo vs Battery
« Reply #24 on: February 06, 2015, 04:16:39 pm »
Feline - you can get battery (rear) lights with daylight/motion sensor. Not too bulky either - remind me next time you're at the Grain Barge and I'll show you!

(The only time I've wished I had a dynamo was actually in daylight. It was an ACB DIY 200 in November, drizzle and mist in the morning, others had their lights on but I knew that, having used some before the start, if I put mine on then I'd not have enough battery left when it got to real night. Of course, this is partly a result of being slow.  :-\ )

I've had 2 different brands of those, they are unreliable and you never know whether they have come on or not while you're riding along!
The one I have I use as a backup light now but wouldn't rely on it. Its been known to turn off at traffic lights because it's decided I'm not moving ....
Are you referring to the Spanninga Pixeo? I've not used that one, but have only had problems with a different model of Spanninga when the batteries were low. The one I have now is a B&M Flat S (sounds like a Schoenberg composition) which is neater looking than it sounds. Only had it since Wednesday so can't comment on reliability.
Days become simply the spaces between dreams, spaces between the shifting floors of time...