Dynamos - obsolete?

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by The Rev Gaston, Dec 21, 2005.

  1. I have just bought a "commuting bike" - tradiional Dutch town bike,
    complete with hub brakes, sturdy pannier rack, bell, etc etc.

    It also has a dynamo front light, which, when I bought it, seemed like a
    plus. But now I'm not so sure, and I wonder if the new bright LED's with
    long run-times per battery have rendered the dynamo light obsolete.

    My dynamo light is:
    heavier than an LED
    gives a less bright light
    is more expensive
    is more difficult to pedal

    So why do people swear by them? Of course they avoid using batteries, so
    are more eco-friendly, and they're more difficult to steal, but apart
    from that?

    G;

    --
    Encrypted e-mail address. Click to mail me:
    <http://cerbermail.com/?nKYh3qN4YG>
     
    Tags:


  2. [email protected] (The Rev Gaston) wrote in news:1h7xqlw.1ektu4m18f3r5pN%
    [email protected]:

    > I have just bought a "commuting bike" - tradiional Dutch town bike,
    > complete with hub brakes, sturdy pannier rack, bell, etc etc.


    Does it have a chain case as well? Fitting one was the finishing touch to
    my commuter.

    > My dynamo light is:
    > heavier than an LED

    Even with batteries? And spare batteries?
    > gives a less bright light

    I've not played with recent LED lamps, but are they really bright enough
    these days to see your way along an unlit road?
    > is more expensive

    But needs no batteries.
    > is more difficult to pedal

    I find the difference is not detectable, but I have a good quality
    dynamo, correctly fitted.

    > So why do people swear by them? Of course they avoid using batteries,

    so
    > are more eco-friendly, and they're more difficult to steal, but apart
    > from that?


    They're always there, waiting to be used. No risk of flat batteries, no
    remembering "did I charge the batteries last week?", no removing and
    carrying around to avoid theft. Just flick the dynamo on, and you've got
    light.
    --
    Jim Easterbrook <http://www.jim-easterbrook.me.uk/>
     
  3. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    The Rev Gaston wrote:

    > It also has a dynamo front light, which, when I bought it, seemed like a
    > plus. But now I'm not so sure, and I wonder if the new bright LED's with
    > long run-times per battery have rendered the dynamo light obsolete.
    >
    > My dynamo light is:
    > heavier than an LED
    > gives a less bright light
    > is more expensive
    > is more difficult to pedal
    >
    > So why do people swear by them?


    Well, there's dynamos and there's dynamos. If you're using a good
    one partnered with a decent dynamo lamp (including the new LED
    dynamo lamps now available) then it'll be at /least/ as bright as
    anything that has a seriosuly long run time, it'll always be there
    when you need it and you don't need to worry about spare batteries
    or recharging.

    While the lower power consumption of rear lamps makes them
    attractive, with a front lamp that means any sort of business there
    are still compelling reasons to run dynamos. On my folder I use a
    dynohub powered front lamp but a battery LED for the rear. On the
    tourer and freight bikes I run dynamos back and front, and wouldn't
    have it any other way.

    "more difficult to pedal"? Well, I suppose it must be at some
    level as you don't get something for nothing, but I'd wager most
    people would be hard pushed to tell any clear difference in action
    between a Schmidt SON hub system whether on or off and a typical
    bike hub as far as rolling resistance goes.

    Check out the new LED dynamo lamps from B&M if you want the best of
    both worlds: good and bright from minimal effort, no worries over
    bulbs blowing, no worries over batteries going flat.

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
    Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
    net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  4. Jim Easterbrook <[email protected]> wrote:

    > [email protected] (The Rev Gaston) wrote in news:1h7xqlw.1ektu4m18f3r5pN%
    > [email protected]:
    >
    > > I have just bought a "commuting bike" - traditional Dutch town bike,
    > > complete with hub brakes, sturdy pannier rack, bell, etc etc.

    >
    > Does it have a chain case as well? Fitting one was the finishing touch to
    > my commuter.


    It certainly does!!

    > > My dynamo light is:
    > > heavier than an LED

    > Even with batteries? And spare batteries?


    The batteries on an LED light can be 2xAAA, so even with spares they're
    not a problem.

    > > gives a less bright light

    > I've not played with recent LED lamps, but are they really bright enough
    > these days to see your way along an unlit road?


    I'm not sure - to be honest I don't think my dynamo is either! But in
    any case my major concern is not seeing but being seen.

    > > is more expensive

    > But needs no batteries.
    > > is more difficult to pedal

    > I find the difference is not detectable, but I have a good quality
    > dynamo, correctly fitted.


    Mine is correctly fitted, I assume, as the factory did it! But I still
    detect a drag.

    > > So why do people swear by them? Of course they avoid using batteries,

    > so
    > > are more eco-friendly, and they're more difficult to steal, but apart
    > > from that?

    >
    > They're always there, waiting to be used. No risk of flat batteries, no
    > remembering "did I charge the batteries last week?", no removing and
    > carrying around to avoid theft. Just flick the dynamo on, and you've got
    > light.


    That was a good reason in the old Ever Ready days, but the run time of
    LED lights is such that you can be pretty sure your batteries are OK,
    and in any case you can carry spares at little cost.

    As for flicking on, I have a handlebar twist-grip to turn it on and
    off!! Cool!!

    G;


    --
    Encrypted e-mail address. Click to mail me:
    <http://cerbermail.com/?nKYh3qN4YG>
     
  5. On Wed, 21 Dec 2005 19:43:54 +0100, [email protected] (The Rev Gaston)
    said in <1h7xqlw.1ektu4m18f3r5pN%[email protected]>:

    >I wonder if the new bright LED's with
    >long run-times per battery have rendered the dynamo light obsolete.
    >My dynamo light is:
    >heavier than an LED
    >gives a less bright light
    >is more expensive
    >is more difficult to pedal


    My dynamo light is none of these. It's a SON. And the light is an
    LED (at one end), and can be at both ends, Michael has the new
    D-Lumotec Topal and it's brighter than a bright thing.

    You forgot to mention the run-time, by the way :)

    Guy
    --
    http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk

    "To every complex problem there is a solution which is
    simple, neat and wrong" - HL Mencken
     
  6. I congratulate you on resisting the temptation to reply to the "apart
    from that" comment inna John Cleese stylee...

    Guy
    --
    http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk

    "To every complex problem there is a solution which is
    simple, neat and wrong" - HL Mencken
     
  7. Just zis Guy, you know? wrote:
    > I congratulate you on resisting the temptation to reply to the "apart
    > from that" comment inna John Cleese stylee...


    It's important to realise that posters will set their own appropriate limits
    of Python pastiche without the need for artificial Python limits which
    merely enourage posters to quote from Python more often than is appropriate
    at sombre moments, as well as unnecesarily encumbering sillier posts with an
    artificially low Python quotient, meaning that a reference to Norwegian blue
    may be sacrificed to a cheesemaker or an evergreen I'd like an argument.

    I understand that Pytsos are being developed which will automatically
    respond to posts which unnecessarily invoke Python references leading to a
    totalitarian state, and nobody is expecting the Spanish Inquisiti...
     
  8. If it's an old dutch roadster it might have an old technology hub
    dynamo.They used to cause some drag when off.I would pull the wires off
    my sturmey archer hub in daylight and that made a noticable
    difference.I have been told by someone here that the switch on those
    shorted out the lights without disconnecting the dynamo.I wonder if
    there are still some primitive types of dynamo out there in holland.
    The only advantage of battery light is total removability.
    TerryJ
     
  9. Clive George

    Clive George Guest

    "The Rev Gaston" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:1h7xqlw.1ektu4m18f3r5pN%[email protected]
    >I have just bought a "commuting bike" - tradiional Dutch town bike,
    > complete with hub brakes, sturdy pannier rack, bell, etc etc.
    >
    > It also has a dynamo front light, which, when I bought it, seemed like a
    > plus. But now I'm not so sure, and I wonder if the new bright LED's with
    > long run-times per battery have rendered the dynamo light obsolete.
    >
    > My dynamo light is:
    > heavier than an LED
    > gives a less bright light
    > is more expensive
    > is more difficult to pedal
    >
    > So why do people swear by them? Of course they avoid using batteries, so
    > are more eco-friendly, and they're more difficult to steal, but apart
    > from that?


    Not noticably more difficult to pedal.
    The back light is brighter than most battery operated LEDs I've seen.

    But then all our dynamos are hub ones (one old shimano, three SONs) - I have
    given up on bottle dynamos now.

    I'm not organised enough to run battery lights. Mine are always there. I
    don't have to carry them with me off the bike.

    And I hate AAA batteries. Cost the same as AA for a fraction of the
    capacity. Grrrr.

    cheers,
    clive
     
  10. Simon Brooke

    Simon Brooke Guest

    in message <1h7xqlw.1ektu4m18f3r5pN%[email protected]>, The Rev Gaston
    ('[email protected]') wrote:

    > I have just bought a "commuting bike" - tradiional Dutch town bike,
    > complete with hub brakes, sturdy pannier rack, bell, etc etc.
    >
    > It also has a dynamo front light, which, when I bought it, seemed like
    > a plus. But now I'm not so sure, and I wonder if the new bright LED's
    > with long run-times per battery have rendered the dynamo light
    > obsolete.


    You can now get LED headlamps for dynamos. 'Bottle' dynamos which run on
    the sidewall of your tyre are, I agree, the pits; but hub dynamos seem
    to me the most practical solution to bicycle lighting. Battery lights -
    all battery lights - let you down at the most inconvenient moment.
    Dynamos don't.

    --
    [email protected] (Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/

    ;; All in all you're just another nick in the ball
    -- Think Droid
     
  11. Simon Brooke

    Simon Brooke Guest

    in message <1h7xukw.uu64ml166kd5sN%[email protected]>, The Rev Gaston
    ('[email protected]') wrote:

    > Jim Easterbrook <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >> [email protected] (The Rev Gaston) wrote in
    >> news:1h7xqlw.1ektu4m18f3r5pN% [email protected]:
    >>
    >> > I have just bought a "commuting bike" - traditional Dutch town bike,
    >> > complete with hub brakes, sturdy pannier rack, bell, etc etc.

    >>
    >> Does it have a chain case as well? Fitting one was the finishing touch
    >> to my commuter.

    >
    > It certainly does!!
    >
    >> > My dynamo light is:
    >> > heavier than an LED

    >> Even with batteries? And spare batteries?

    >
    > The batteries on an LED light can be 2xAAA, so even with spares they're
    > not a problem.


    In which case, on a light as bright as the /average/ dynamo headlight,
    they'll last half an hour or less. There isn't much energy in an AAA
    cell.

    --
    [email protected] (Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/

    ;; Diplomacy, American: see Intelligence, Military
     
  12. Ric

    Ric Guest

    "The Rev Gaston" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:1h7xqlw.1ektu4m18f3r5pN%[email protected]

    Is it a hub dynamo or a bottle dynamo? If bottle dynamo, I agree totally -
    horrible draggy things. But a hub dynamo is an excellent thing, especially
    if linked to a lumosensor light.

    >
     
  13. sothach

    sothach Guest

    Peter Clinch wrote:

    > Check out the new LED dynamo lamps from B&M if you want the best of
    > both worlds: good and bright from minimal effort, no worries over
    > bulbs blowing, no worries over batteries going flat.
    >


    That's my set-up this winter: SON hub dynamo + B&M LEDs - brilliant,
    always on, and no noticable effort. Unfortunately, with the snow & ice
    last week I swapped over to my spiked-tyred MTB, which has battery
    lights: I seemed to spend half the commute worrying if the battery was
    going to last and if the spares were recharged. Don't need that.
     
  14. MSeries

    MSeries Guest

    The Rev Gaston wrote:

    >
    > So why do people swear by them? Of course they avoid using batteries, so
    > are more eco-friendly, and they're more difficult to steal, but apart
    > from that?
    >
    > G;


    Being more eco friendly is enough IMO, surely the environment is
    important. My dynamo powered light is better than any battery lilght I
    have seen for all night rides. It lasts forever at full brighness, yes
    really.
     
  15. In article <1h7xukw.uu64ml166kd5sN%[email protected]>, The Rev Gaston wrote:
    >Jim Easterbrook <[email protected]> wrote:
    >> > My dynamo light is:
    >> > heavier than an LED

    >> Even with batteries? And spare batteries?

    >
    >The batteries on an LED light can be 2xAAA, so even with spares they're
    >not a problem.


    Not on something with brightness comparable to a front dynamo light and
    hours of runtime, they can't.
     
  16. Bob

    Bob Guest

    If you only want to be seen, It might be worth getting a little battery
    LED fron light as it also stays on when you stop, but keep the bottle
    dynamo and headlight just in case you find yourself on an unlit road.
     
  17. MartinM

    MartinM Guest

    MSeries wrote:
    > The Rev Gaston wrote:
    >
    > >
    > > So why do people swear by them? Of course they avoid using batteries, so
    > > are more eco-friendly, and they're more difficult to steal, but apart
    > > from that?
    > >
    > > G;

    >
    > Being more eco friendly is enough IMO, surely the environment is
    > important. My dynamo powered light is better than any battery lilght I
    > have seen for all night rides. It lasts forever at full brighness, yes
    > really.


    I need to get one with several long night rides coming up; think I'll
    go for the Pioneer clamp on hub one as I will be changing wheels/bikes?
    in the next year or so.
     
  18. Tony B

    Tony B Guest

    The Rev Gaston wrote:

    > So why do people swear by them? Of course they avoid using batteries, so
    > are more eco-friendly, and they're more difficult to steal, but apart
    > from that?


    On a recent 200 audax I was lucky enough to get to ride side-by-side to
    a twin light SON setup, which provided excellent comparison with my twin
    cateye effort. I use two of the HL-EL500 lamps which are sold as 1000cdl
    and 30hr runtime off 4xAA.

    I don't think the SON setup was especially better, however I will
    eventually go SON and twin B&M LED lamps because:

    a) I don't like having the weight of two lights and eight AA's on my
    handlebar

    b) Despite my best efforts I ran out of batteries on my last audax

    c) the SON setup is WAY COOL which is enough reason to go that route alone

    d) I am suffering from what was recently explained to me as "hub envy".

    So, all I have to do now is get together the requisite £350 and get
    SON'd up....

    BTW do B&M do under-BB blue neons????

    bfn,

    Tony B
     
  19. In article <[email protected]>, Simon
    Brooke ([email protected]) wrote:

    > You can now get LED headlamps for dynamos. 'Bottle' dynamos which run on
    > the sidewall of your tyre are, I agree, the pits;


    Up to a point, Lord Copper. I have a brace of Lightspins attached to
    the Trice and very nice they are too, if a little noisy.

    --
    Dave Larrington - <http://www.legslarry.beerdrinkers.co.uk/>
    Whatever it is, I'd like it in mango & passion fruit, please.
     
  20. MartinM

    MartinM Guest

    Iooked at wiggle, they do a whole wheel with hub for 56.95 so have
    ordered one. This is good as I can swap wheels over depending on season.
     
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