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  1. #1
    Candlestick Maker
    Reputation: baker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    Dynamo lights for endurance racing?

    I'd like to hear opinions from people with first hand experience with using dynamo driven lights for endurance racing. Conceptually, I like the idea of not having to worry about batteries. On the other hand, I'm concerned that going to a dynamo light could mean less lumens, more weight, and energy expended by me for light production.

    I realize some of the higher end lights (Ktronik and Supernova's E3 Triple) have great output. But, there is the additional weight of the dyno hub and the fact that the 10 watts or so of power for the light is being taken from my legs, instead of a battery.

    Given the fact that I'm only averaging 8-10mph during endurance night rides, I wonder if maybe using something like a Supernova E3 Pro for most of the riding, then turning on my MagicShine 900 for the fast sections would be a good compromise...

    Thanks for any opinions...

    Oh yeah, I have a B&M Cyo, that I've used for some riding, but find the light output, esp at low speeds, fairly inadequate for technical riding.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    do a search for a member here called "znomit" he's built some pretty impressive dynamo powered systems

  3. #3
    a.k.a. MTBMaven
    Reputation: mtnfiend's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Very interesting subject, thanks for posting. A Supernova E3 Triple in combination with a disc Nexus/Alfine hub or disc SON 20 is an interesting prospect. The SON 20 is designed for 16" and 20" wheels and will generate the necessary power to power lights at a lower speed. More information from Peter White:

    I see the OP referenced the Supernova E3 Pro. This light is a single LED light producing 370 lumens. Supernova also makes an E3 Triple. This is a 3 LED light producing 800 lumens. Price is $330ish dollars for the E3 Triple. I really wish Supernova would make the Triple with a high/low setting. This would make this light perfect for both on and off road use. The Triple is too bright for use on the road around vehicles.

    Given the costs, increased rolling resistance, and increased weight one needs to have a pretty specific need for such a system; namely the need for lighting over long periods of time (~4+ hours) and an inability to recharge batteries. Sure one could bring along multiple batteries for a solo 24 hour event but a dyno is an option to consider. Maybe something like the Tour Divide is a better use case. For commuters or randonners (long distance road events upwards of 1,200 KM) dyno make perfect sense.
    I thought of that while riding my bicycle. ~ Albert Einstein on the theory of relativity

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