Hub dynamos & LED lamps?

Does anyone here use dynamo hubs with halogen/LED lamps? Experiences/opinions?

I’m just about to pull the trigger and buy a DH-3N80 hub (Ultegra level dynamo, 6V, 3W), which is the most recent Shimano dyno that’s been put on a diet, dropping from 650g (DH-3N71) to 490g. Still not as efficient as the SON, but half the price.

Lampwise, the new crop of 3W LEDs appear to be blowing the old halogens out of the water, with the Supernova E3, Schimdt Edelux at the top (~60lux, better than 2x Schmidt E6’s), followed by the B&M IQ Fly and DLumotec Oval Senso+.

It’s not a cheap setup (hub ~AUD$165, Supernova E3 ~€170 shipped), but looks like it would provide killer lighting from 6km/hr up without ever having to deal with batteries again.

I’m keen to hear too.

Also any experiences with old dynamo hubs that you’d be able to find around the traps?

Batteries suck.

There’s a couple of old Sturmey Archer 3-speed dynohubs on ebay at the moment. I’ve had a play with one, ok light output with a 3W halogen bulb (Sigma Topline).

The wheel’s on order (Shimano 3N80, Mavic Open Pro), and the Supernova will be on the way soon unless I can think of a good reason not to.

Dynohub + LED light is good and reliable. A great choice for anything except a posing bike.

Sturmey Dynohubs vary in output, newer ones (EDIT: with the steel shell) have less voltage as do old ones that have been incorrectly disassembled. They tend to work with LED headlights fairly well but less so with ‘hot wire’ lights. Building them can be interesting, given the flange arrangement.

I’d better keep a spare wheel in the garage for posing then. :wink:

The one I was playing with is a 1980 model, but I don’t have a multimeter anymore so haven’t measured the output. Fairly sure it hasn’t been disassembled, lights up the halogen pretty well but dims significantly when the taillight is connected (the front bulb might be 3W, can’t remember.)

Just make sure you install the dynohub the right way round. A number of them will die in fairly short order if installed backwards. I don’t know whether this is the case with the DH-3N80 though.

I’ve heard good things about the B&M ones. Dunno what model. That was one a Schmidt hub.

Batteries are alright. I’ve got a bunch of rechargables and they last about 6 or 8 hours continuously or like a month on strobe commuting. Alkalines ftl.

Fitted the light and wheel last night. Open Pro/3N80 & Supernova E3.

Hub feels extremely notchy when you spin the axle, but once it’s in the bike you can’t notice it when rolling along. I gave the wheel a good spin with the light on and off, it turns for ~10-15s loaded and ~2x that unloaded. It’s surprisingly light, at 490g compared to the previous model at 655g.

The light is great, very well finished and a neat mounting arrangement at the fork crown. It comes up to full brightness almost as soon as you take off with a bright flash/flicker at slow walking speeds. When stopped the LED stays on at a lower lux, supposedly lasts for 4min.

It’s not a cheap lighting solution, but it is very effective and reliable. The light’s also upgradeable as LED technology advances.

I keep thinking about going down that path… Seems hard to justify the grand or so it would cost to get setup at this point

Naah, no need to spend that much. The Shimano is more than adequate, the 3N71 was very close in performance compared to the SON, so the 3N80 must be as good or better by now, plus it weighs heaps less. $165 for the hub (Abbotsford) + rim + spokes. The SON maybe rebuildable and have better service, but I haven’t seen many complaints about the Shimanos.

A B&M Lumotec IQ Fly ($140 @ Abbotsford) is much cheaper than an eDelux or E3, and still pumps out serious light (40lux, same optics as the eDelux), better than a dual E6 halogen setup. That said, the E3 is upgradeable.

ORLY? That’s MUCH cheaper than I anticipated. Might be time to get onto it then

Finally took some photos of the dyno setup. The light is (literally, if you’re not careful) blinding, puts out a powerful beam with good spread, but does waste some into the trees/sky as it’s symmetrical, not shaped like B&M/Schmidt lenses.

The first one had a broken standlight, and the beam dropped significantly in brightness after a couple of months, some manufacturing fault, Gregor from Supernova shipped me a replacement straight away, this one is faultless.

Supernova E3:

Shimano 3N80:

Complete ride (Cross Check with hubgear)

I have got a set of those flashing LEDs that mount on your axles and are powered by magnets mounted on the spokes.

Not for heavy duty use, but you can set them and forget them and leave them outside on the street on your commuter without worrying.

Blakey that’s a sweet setup!
Any chance of a higher res shot of the third image? :roll:
I love the mix of old style dynamo hub, but with new LED tech.
That bike looks like it could survive any kind of urban battle…

Have a look here for more photos:

If you want higher res again, shoot me a PM with your email address.

It’s no old school dynamo btw, lower drag, lower weight…can’t even notice it.

Ah, of course. I meant old school in an aesthetic sense :wink:
That bike would be the ultimate winter commuter I reckon- smash through all the bike paths.

Very Nice Blakey!

I have a pair of Reelight lights on my bike… Like speedywell… They are great and fairly cheap. get a pair for $50. you can get models that have a steady light if thats what you’re after… they are the best for commuting.

very nice!