Electrifying My Ride
I asked a few questions concerning lights, dynamo hubs, and the like over here. Instead of clogging that thread with more light & power specific questions, I decided to start a new one. Without further ado:
1) I want to build (or buy) a front wheel with a dynamo hub for my touring bike. I’ve heard several recommendations for hubs, all of which seem great. The questions I have left:
a) would it be more economical to buy the parts and build it myself (I’ve built wheels before), or just order a complete wheel?
b) where would you recommend buying said parts/complete wheel? Is it worth it to simply order from Peter White, or am I likely to find better pricing by the dark magic of Google?
2) If I get a dynamo hub, I want to have a compatible light, but I also want to use the hub to recharge usb devices. Any reason why this doodad or any of the other doodads listed here would be a bad idea? I’m really interested in that Zzing device, but I wondered if there was something similar that could run a light while storing excess power. The best thing I’ve seen so far was built by a crazy cyclist in Silicon Valley.
1. 99% of the time, if you buy a prebuilt wheel online it will end up costing you less than the price of the individual parts and building it yourself. It’s almost pointless to build your own wheel unless you a) want a very specific combination or b) can get the individual parts (hub, spokes, rim) at cost.
PW is the other 1% in which you basically pay msrp for the parts and about $40 or so to have it put together. PW’s rates are about on par with the average shop but he offers his guarantee and the man knows his wheels.
1b. handspun is your best bet on a budget but you have limited options. For 700c google WE7255 or WE7246 for the best prices. They are assembled in Minnesota by trained wheel-builders.
2) I’d have to do more research, I have no real-world experience with this. I have a dyno-hub and light but never investigated the usb. I do know that usb charging off of a bicycle wheel will give mixed results and is not the most efficient means of charging devices… but, it’s better than nothing.
Here’s a few links to suck up some hours. Enjoy!
JaySherman5000 wrote:b) where would you recommend buying said parts/complete wheel? Is it worth it to simply order from Peter White, or am I likely to find better pricing by the dark magic of Google?
If you want a SON hub, you’re pretty much limited to Peter White or Compass Bicycles. If you want Shimano, you can order the hub just about anywhere…other brands that I haven’t used, like SRAM or Supernova, can be easily ordered via Amazon or your LBS.
For convenience, buying a prebuilt wheel isn’t a bad option either.
I’ve not used any charging doodads…if money is no object, I’d gravitate towards the Luxos U, as I’ve had nothing but good experiences with B&M lights, and adding a remote switch with USB charging, plus a internal battery to keep the charge smooth, is very tasty.
sjscycles.co.uk is a pretty good place to go for a dyno wheel, or at least it was when I bought one a few years ago. They were the cheapest option I found. Say around $350, including shipping from England, for a front wheel with a Schmidt dynohub.
I got my dynohub wheel from Anthony at http://www.longleafbicycles.com. Wheel has been flawless. His rates are very reasonable. Good guy. I recommend him. He deals in SON hubs too, BTW.
@Drewbacca : that’s a fine price. I don’t think you could buy the components (at retail, anyway) for that little.
Yeah, no kidding… which actually annoys me, b/c I’m all about supporting the LBS (and Handspun wheels are in the QBP catalog so I do highly encourage a local purchase so long as they give a reasonable price).
But it drives me crazy that it’s so much cheaper to buy some complete product than what actually meets my needs. I’m SOL since I want to build up a dyno with a DT_Swiss TK540 rim; there’s no reason for it to cost more, but in the end, I’ll just have to shut up and pay for it. Honestly, it might be cheaper to buy a few different wheels from handspun (or some other complete build) and tear them down, exchange parts, and relace them.
Check out the Luxos IQ2 Headlights, they are pretty good riding lights designed for the german market. If you get the mid-range model (they have 3 models), then it includes a control button with a usb charger port. Link to product here: http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/b&m-hl.asp
Also, supernova plug II seems like a good standalone solution to USB charging if yo don’t want a standalone unit.
Product Link: http://h1987995.stratoserver.net/magento/supernova-the-plug-ii-plus-usb-dynamolader.html
Related, I need a new rear wheel for my oldass bike, 126 OLN, old school. I’ve had it 40 years or so so I figured I’d look at something “good”. Looked at the Peter White site. Jaw still hurts from where it hit the desk. So, just getting something “good enough”.
Should absolutely be able to, but I’m a little hesitant to start stressing a 42 yr old frame, with brazed joints.
Fair enough, I figured as much and started digging around.
If you can find a wheel built on an Ultegra 6500 hub, it has a 4.8mm spacer on the left side… so, theoretically, remove the spacer and you have a 125.2mm OLD hub.
I imagine that the chain line might be off and you might have to lock out rear-derailleur travel to the smallest gear or two… but it’s a workable solution. I’m sure you can source a .8mm spacer to bring it up to 126mm (or, I doubt that little of a difference would stress the frame anyways).
Anyways, just food for thought.
On the other hand, my brazed 77 didn’t have any issues going from 120-130mm.
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