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  1. #1
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    Dynamo lights, the way for the future!?!

    They are now BABY!! Time for you to un hook from the teat of old fashion battery power, and plug into GREEN power!!

    Dynamo lights, the way for the future!?!-basic2.jpg

    Dynamo lights, the way for the future!?!-klite500lm2sm.jpg

  2. #2
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    How much is the light without the hub, for those of us with dynohubs already? Does the light have a switch? I'm not sure if it's listed on your site and I'm missing the link, or what.

  3. #3
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    The deal is for the basic light $150 and fancy light $250

    $50 off light if you buy hub as well


    Basic 500lm narrow beam no switch( very easy to add diy switch) great comuter light,

    fancy 850lm, low speed circuit and off road 2/3 led standlite switcher, on off switch, wide beam and USB compatible.

    Rob dean and I are going green! Green power that is!

    It's the way of the future!

    Ktronik

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    I don't mean to sound skeptical, but I have a Supernova E3 Triple with a claimed output of about 800 lumens. I would guess the real world, on the road beam, is comparable to about 250-300 lumens from my battery powered lights. It is not horrible by any means and I love the green aspect of it and never charge aspect of it, but battery lights seem to nowadays come pretty close to their claims with regards to output. At least the bigger names seem to do so. How can we be sure that the claims of 800 lumens are even close to realistic?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lugano View Post
    I don't mean to sound skeptical, but I have a Supernova E3 Triple with a claimed output of about 800 lumens. I would guess the real world, on the road beam, is comparable to about 250-300 lumens from my battery powered lights. It is not horrible by any means and I love the green aspect of it and never charge aspect of it, but battery lights seem to nowadays come pretty close to their claims with regards to output. At least the bigger names seem to do so. How can we be sure that the claims of 800 lumens are even close to realistic?
    Just a couple comments: I took a look at the output of a Supernova E3 and it looks pretty bright to me > photo. It doesn't come with a dynamo though.

    I see nothing wrong with a dynamo set-up and I'm sure that both set-ups are quite nice ...however....realistically the "Green" factor only takes you so far. That's because no matter how well the lights work you will always need a back-up lamp and/or an emergency light in case you have a flat or mechanical with the bike. That means you need at least one battery powered light sources for back-up.

    Then there's the issue with the dynamo itself. While I am sure they are well built and come with warranties, like all mechanical devices with moving parts they can break. I'm not saying they aren't reliable, I'm just pointing out the possibility.

    There are other issues as well. Set-up is not going to be cheap. You need to have a wheel built specifically for the dynamo. Depending on what brake or rim set-up you use for your bikes that means it's possible that the wheel will only work on the one bike.

    Now if you're the kind of person who commutes more than 3hrs by bike every day or ride the 24hr endurance events then by all means the dynamo set-ups make a lot more sense. ( but you still need back-up... )

  6. #6
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    I do have to say this: when I go on group rides at night, there are certain riders who I wish had dynamo-powered lights. "What the heck? I charged this battery before I put it away last year, why's it running out so soon?!"



    The half-charged battery circus, such fun.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Just a couple comments: I took a look at the output of a Supernova E3 and it looks pretty bright to me > photo. It doesn't come with a dynamo though.

    I see nothing wrong with a dynamo set-up and I'm sure that both set-ups are quite nice ...however....realistically the "Green" factor only takes you so far. That's because no matter how well the lights work you will always need a back-up lamp and/or an emergency light in case you have a flat or mechanical with the bike. That means you need at least one battery powered light sources for back-up.

    Then there's the issue with the dynamo itself. While I am sure they are well built and come with warranties, like all mechanical devices with moving parts they can break. I'm not saying they aren't reliable, I'm just pointing out the possibility.

    There are other issues as well. Set-up is not going to be cheap. You need to have a wheel built specifically for the dynamo. Depending on what brake or rim set-up you use for your bikes that means it's possible that the wheel will only work on the one bike.

    Now if you're the kind of person who commutes more than 3hrs by bike every day or ride the 24hr endurance events then by all means the dynamo set-ups make a lot more sense. ( but you still need back-up... )
    Cat:

    close but no cigar... things have changed baby!

    my off road version has a standlite that lasts up to 1hr after it stops, and is bright for at least 10min, more than enough time to change a flat...no back up needed, but a good idea for any light

    A dynamo hub has no MORE moving parts than a normal hub, just 2 sealed bearing, the power system works on eddy currents, and the copper coil does NOT touch the magnets! nor do you have any moving parts req for the power side of things, so you are in totaly the same boat as a normal hub, moving parts wise.

    Pre-built wheel are easy to get, and if you were to use a disk hub and a rim with braking strip, like my wheel, PD-8 on a velocity Dyad 700c / 29er. I can put that in my carbon road bike, commuiter, and 29er!! 15mm hubs are also rolling out...so that ONE wheel fits 3 of my bikes!!

    you can not even feel the drain on your body, and you can charge your USB stuff in the day!


    BUT what you did not say about batterys is they have some of the same issues, they can break, and in fact will mostly likely be well DEAD, buy the time your dynamo hub is!!

    FACT: once you swap out your front hub for a dynamo hub (PD-8), and toss away that heavy battery, you system is now lighter!

    Lugano:
    SO I gave my old dynamo light to a euro guy...he know everything about dynamos,

    LINK

    he tells me that NO way is the E3 triple the brightness they claim, read for yourself...he also said that my old dynamo light was way brighter than the E3 triple!! its all in the above link, I know NO ONE smarter then this guy in dynamo stuff, he tests for all the euro companys.

    now my and Robs new system, used in the revo and kLite, as most people on this forum know, its using boost caps to drive 3 LEDs at 700-1000mA and I am using XPE gen2, and XPG gen2, a quick look at the data sheets show ~ output for given current, as the new GEN2 LEDs are now binned at 85 deg, you only have optic losses to calculate to get true lumens....but on paper you would get around 800-850lm using XPG gen2 @ 700mA peak

    I am all about the truth... have to be, way to many smart guys on this forum for me to be telling fibbs, as they would burn me for sure, so answer is always question everything!

    LEDs have made dynamo lights live again, they WILL be the next big thing, and no one can stop it!!

    Ktronik
    Last edited by ktronik; 12-11-2012 at 12:38 AM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ktronik View Post
    Cat:

    close but no cigar... things have changed baby!

    my off road version has a standlite that lasts up to 1hr after it stops, and is bright for at least 10min, more than enough time to change a flat...no back up needed, but a good idea for any light

    A dynamo hub has no MORE moving parts than a normal hub, just 2 sealed bearing, the power system works on eddy currents, and the copper coil does NOT touch the magnets! nor do you have any moving parts req for the power side of things, so you are in totaly the same boat as a normal hub, moving parts wise.

    Pre-built wheel are easy to get, and if you were to use a disk hub and a rim with braking strip, like my wheel, PD-8 on a velocity Dyad 700c / 29er. I can put that in my carbon road bike, commuiter, and 29er!! 15mm hubs are also rolling out...so that ONE wheel fits 3 of my bikes!!

    you can not even feel the drain on your body, and you can charge your USB stuff in the day!


    BUT what you did not say about batterys is they have some of the same issues, they can break, and in fact will mostly likely be well DEAD, buy the time your dynamo hub is!!

    FACT: once you swap out your front hub for a dynamo hub (PD-8), and toss away that heavy battery, you system is now lighter!

    Lugano:
    SO I gave my old dynamo light to a euro guy...he know everything about dynamos,

    LINK

    he tells me that NO way is the E3 triple the brightness they claim, read for yourself...he also said that my old dynamo light was way brighter than the E3 triple!! its all in the above link, I know NO ONE smarter then this guy in dynamo stuff, he tests for all the euro companys.

    now my and Robs new system, used in the revo and kLite, as most people on this forum know, its using boost caps to drive 3 LEDs at 700-1000mA and I am using XPE gen2, and XPG gen2, a quick look at the data sheets show ~ output for given current, as the new GEN2 LEDs are now binned at 85 deg, you only have optic losses to calculate to get true lumens....but on paper you would get around 800-850lm using XPG gen2 @ 700mA peak

    I am all about the truth... have to be, way to many smart guys on this forum for me to be telling fibbs, as they would burn me for sure, so answer is always question everything!

    LEDs have made dynamo lights live again, they WILL be the next big thing, and no one can stop it!!

    Ktronik
    I stand corrected. Unlike the dog, an old Cat can learn new tricks. If the Dynamo is using magnetic induction like you said, then yes I suppose there is no more moving parts than a normal hub. I would think that it might weigh a little more though than a standard hub. Regardless If you get the wheel built for a road bike it's not going to fit on a 26" mountain bike. That is basically what I was pointing out.

    I like that you're using all the latest LED and capacitor upgrades. If I was someone that did all the long hard core endurance stuff I'd be on this real quick. I'd likely still bring something that uses batteries ( for helmet ) but at least you'd have no worries about running out of light on the long haul.

    Just wondering: have you started using the newer LED's on your standard K-lites yet?

  9. #9
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    Hey cat: once ya stop learning all is lost...

    It's hard for me as I have been running this system for the last 7 years, and no one really cared, but now that exposure has used my design in there revo, every one wants a revo, and when they can't get one the ring me...as second option, hey I was the first option, thus the power of marketing!!

    I was gutted, but hope this is a good thing, as people are starting to see the goods and the bads... Like everything it suits a way of life, or a way of doing thing, sure not for everyone but great for most.

    We are working hard on pre-built wheel to get the cost down of setup, as currently this is the biggest hurdle, as you said... Giant and Scott have dropped 26" wheel for dualys... And 700c is the market for long rides, 26" for tights turning courses...

    For 7 years I have had the brightest led dynamo light, I even cracked the 1000lm mark with a dynamo light a few years back...the world is only now catching up... So I am totaly sold, as lipos only last 500 cycles and ~ 2 years before they start to loose capacity, I ran my Shimano hub for 6 years before I got a SP hub, they spin way easier than my Shimano and is heaps lighter

    I had a guy do a 5 day off road race, point to point, he won it and was using the kLite system.

    Hub charged aa batterys, this went in gps every second day, and ran his helmet light at night.

    All his power needs came from hub... He tells me he can't feel the drag, and puts his hand in front to tell if light is on! He never changes his wheel back now, and just runs the dynamo hub all the time, the light and hub weigh very little so he just leaves the setup on all the time...

    I do alot of custom USB setups, and have one that charges a 7.2v battery, and run a ayup at night, then from that it drives a dual USB outputs.

    It's such a simple system anyone can make it once they get a hub, you will get 500lm easy from
    3 led, a recitifer and smoothing cap, 10min to wire, and ride for long time, recitifer to AA batts and they charge... Easy and simple to do for the masses...
    I am just waiting for the world to catch up to me and Rob, so they can see the dynamo light! It loves yo
    long time.... K

  10. #10
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    kLite battery lights are over man, thanks china!!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    I stand corrected. Unlike the dog, an old Cat can learn new tricks. If the Dynamo is using magnetic induction like you said, then yes I suppose there is no more moving parts than a normal hub. I would think that it might weigh a little more though than a standard hub. Regardless If you get the wheel built for a road bike it's not going to fit on a 26" mountain bike. That is basically what I was pointing out.

    I like that you're using all the latest LED and capacitor upgrades. If I was someone that did all the long hard core endurance stuff I'd be on this real quick. I'd likely still bring something that uses batteries ( for helmet ) but at least you'd have no worries about running out of light on the long haul.

    Just wondering: have you started using the newer LED's on your standard K-lites yet?
    Correct. I use a Shimano dynamo which is very nice. No more moving parts than a normal hub and the drag on the road is negligible.

    I would have no hesitation about riding it as my only light at night. The only possible reservation would be that my batter lights are in fact brighter, by a large margin. I'm also willing to accept that newer dynamo lights are likely better than before, just like newer battery lights.

    There should be no fundamental skepticism of dynamos. This is not your grandfather's sidewall generator with a flashlight incandescent bulb. They're serious today and useful for a lot of riding.

    Mostly I'm just underwhelmed with my E3 Triple. It's adequate, but no more than that.

  12. #12
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    I have found no other way to get a bright dynamo light other than the boost method, it's simple and easy to make if you into it, the revo and the kLite micro use this method are very different to 99% of all the euro stuff, low speed circuit and huge led standlite switcher circuit works great, for that slow speed light... Sp hub is smoother again and pd-7 smoother than the pd-8.

    I think big boosting low speed standlites are the key to a great off road light that's dynamo driven, yes I have my hemlet light on when trail riding but not so much just riding around... I ride my dynamo light in the day, it helps not getting knocked, I don't bother to turn it off as I can't even feel it's on...be safe be seen I say!

    K

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    Dyno convert

    For open road use the Schmidt New Son 28 hub and Supernova E3 Pro combo works really well for me, a guy with 55 year old eyes- the pattern is wide and smooth, so I get a good sense of what's all around and not just ahead. My particular E3 Pro is equipped with a symmetrical beam pattern so there's enough spill illumination for seeing owls up in the trees! On-road lighting is more than adequate for the 35+mph reached on my normal night route; as with any system a lot depends on the texture and color of the road surface, with smoother and lighter colored roads giving the greater perception of available light.

    The reliability of these systems is very high, older dyno hubs can last for decades, and today's best dynos use rare earth magnets for greater output. Paired with efficient LED lights they are amazing...you begin the ride by pushing down on that first pedal stroke, and there's enough light to see with by the time your pedal reached six o'clock! Mechanical drag is very low: Schmidt claims that a New Son 28 hub's residual drag is like climbing one extra foot per mile with the headlight switched off, and five feet per mile with it turned on. This front hub added about 200g over the Dura Ace it replaced.

    For flats and mechanicals a Petzl LED camp light with headband is in my jersey pocket, it's very small and perfect for the application.

    As you can tell, I LOVE this setup and the freedom it offers...how nice to wake up at 3:30 on a warm summer morning and be able to think, to hell with sleep let's go RIDE!

    Be safe out there and smiles always!!!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ktronik View Post
    I have found no other way to get a bright dynamo light other than the boost method, it's simple and easy to make if you into it, the revo and the kLite micro use this method are very different to 99% of all the euro stuff, low speed circuit and huge led standlite switcher circuit works great, for that slow speed light... Sp hub is smoother again and pd-7 smoother than the pd-8.

    I think big boosting low speed standlites are the key to a great off road light that's dynamo driven, yes I have my hemlet light on when trail riding but not so much just riding around... I ride my dynamo light in the day, it helps not getting knocked, I don't bother to turn it off as I can't even feel it's on...be safe be seen I say!

    K
    Just a couple questions: Does the light offer different modes? I figure someone who commutes might want to have it flashing for day use...or have a low output mode so if you're riding on a bike path you don't have to blind people on approach. Heck for that matter an easy on the fly on/off switch....what's the skinny (?)

  15. #15
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    anyone tried the SRAM dynamo hub?
    www.wheelwerks.us
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  16. #16
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    Just like ktronic says, the important thing is that all dynamos are not equal. To compare the latest lights to past experiences with bottle dynamos and halogen lights, is like comparing the latest triple XM-L battery light with clever power management and lithuim cells to an old fashioned battery light incandescent bulb and lead acid batteries!

    Yes, your dynamo hub will probably be a little heavier than your original hub, but only by the weight of some magnets and copper windings. However, you remove the complete weight of your front light battery making the complete system of light, power source and front hub LIGHTER when using a dynamo. Remember, even if your light has batteries, you still tend to need a front hub of some sort to use it on your bike!

    I've been using dynamo lights off road and on for >5years This year I raced, off road, over 1000miles with my dyanmo, and the hub and light are still going strong without any complaint. I loaned my dynamo out the other day and was forced to take my battery light out on my bike and was annoyed at having to switch light levels, at having to deal with lower light outputs for large chunks of time to conserve battery power and the weight of the battery on the bars and then, when I was done, I had to worry about charging the light up again so I could have the same stress in the future. My dynamo light is a joy by comparison, always available, always bright and I never worry about turning it down or running out of power. Add in charging for a GPS or smartphone (or a headtorch on longer off road rides), and a dynamo soon becomes "essential" as the hassle of buying or charging batteries soon becomes a total menace!

    Just like everything out there, I'm sure it's not the right answer for everyone, but for most people, most of the time, I'm convinced this is the future..... except you can get hold of it today! ;-)

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    Dyno Dedicated

    It took me riding with degraded batteries, shortening or missing night rides entirely, to see the dyno's merit. But until someone gets to that realization it is hard to look past the immediate out-of-the-box convenience of battery-powered systems. Going dynamo won't be so up-front easy or simple, the rewards are farther down the road...a lot farther!

    Use a modern high efficiency low-drag dyno and you'll enjoy those miles even more...almost like cheating, I say!

  18. #18
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    Maybe I missed this, but is there some sort of storage mechanism in this particular hub to provide lighting for stopped periods - i.e. waiting at a stop light, changing a tire etc... Also, how does the light regulation work and what is the ramp up to full brightness I guess against wheel RPM?

    I would see a major problem if lighting levels drop with wheels speed for both slow periods and stopped periods of some length.

    J.

  19. #19
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    No dyno interest here. Assuming that the dyno is 100% efficent (it's not), whatever electric energy it develops comes from your legs. My current bar light is ~9W on medium (most used) and ~18W on high. I doubt that I, a 54 year old moderately fit rider, has an average output beyond 200W. Converting 5 to 10 % of my riding energy to drive lights is a poor trade IMO. I get ~5hrs ride time from a 450G battery. That is good for 3 of my "typical" rides. I only get about 3 rides per month so one recharge per month is pretty to manage.

    My helmet light has similar runtimes and recharge cycle. Its battery goes in a jersey or jacket pocket. No connection to the bike like would be needed if dyno powered. Pretty easy to deal with.

    One of my friends (roadie/triathlete) recently switched his dyno/LED system for a battery powered setup I built. Granted, his dyno was a couple year old Shimano unit so not cutting edge and the light not as sophisticated as a Ktronic. He is enjoying zero drag and more light with the new system.

    For the commuter, Multi day racer or tourer, I think it could be a good system. This old dog does not see any gain for him in this new trick and is convinced that battery powered lights are going to be around long after he's done riding.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    No dyno interest here. Assuming that the dyno is 100% efficent (it's not), whatever electric energy it develops comes from your legs. My current bar light is ~9W on medium (most used) and ~18W on high. I doubt that I, a 54 year old moderately fit rider, has an average output beyond 200W. Converting 5 to 10 % of my riding energy to drive lights is a poor trade IMO. I get ~5hrs ride time from a 450G battery. That is good for 3 of my "typical" rides. I only get about 3 rides per month so one recharge per month is pretty to manage.

    My helmet light has similar runtimes and recharge cycle. Its battery goes in a jersey or jacket pocket. No connection to the bike like would be needed if dyno powered. Pretty easy to deal with.

    One of my friends (roadie/triathlete) recently switched his dyno/LED system for a battery powered setup I built. Granted, his dyno was a couple year old Shimano unit so not cutting edge and the light not as sophisticated as a Ktronic. He is enjoying zero drag and more light with the new system.

    For the commuter, Multi day racer or tourer, I think it could be a good system. This old dog does not see any gain for him in this new trick and is convinced that battery powered lights are going to be around long after he's done riding.
    Really hard to argue with that analysis. The watts that come from your legs are pretty precious.

    J.

  21. #21
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    Yeah, I pretty much think that battery powered lights will be around for awhile. I also feel that the new technology for dynamos shows a lot of potential for different kinds of application.

    The problem with the current applications as I see it is that if you chose to go dynamo you also have to use a lamp "specifically" built to run with the dynamo. Personally I like to see a hybrid set-up, ...ie...dynamo/battery/voltage regulator.

    To work properly it would need a small battery ( 2 x cell 18650 ) and a specially designed voltage regulator. The voltage regulator would have three settings: Full Dyno, "Hybrid" ( battery and dyno working together ) and "charge only" for charging during the day when on multi-day tours. This would require a small module that you would attach to your bike and would have plug outlets allowing you to run your battery and a voltage compatible lamp of your choice. The advantage of the hybrid is that you can still use your higher output modes ( on demand ) whenever you feel the need. My concern with a full dyno is that when I do those slow, long climbs that there might not be enough light to alert cars to my presence ( if I'm really poking along ).

    Whenever I do a road or mountain bike ride at night I'm pretty much satisfied to use the 300 lumen setting on my Gloworm X2 most of the time. If I had the option to use a dynamo along with a battery my bet is that I could ride 80% of the time on pure dyno-power alone. Regardless I still want the option to hit the high beam at will ( even if I'm just poking along ).

  22. #22
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    Cat's idea sounds great. Battery for the climbs or anytime you wanted to save leg power for riding. Dyno for the downhills or easy pedaling sections.

  23. #23
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    Got any pictures of the fancy light?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    Cat's idea sounds great. Battery for the climbs or anytime you wanted to save leg power for riding. Dyno for the downhills or easy pedaling sections.
    I've found that the drag of a typical LED dynamo headlight is negligible. As a test, earlier this year I did the same climb with the headlight on versus off, with other factors as comparable as you'll get in a real road test. The difference in time over a 17-minute climb was 1 second, according to my Strava results (see attached pic, and you can disregard Strava's fictional power figures). That was with my Shimano DH-3N80 and a B&M Cyo N. So I don't even bother turning the Cyo off in daylight, why bother.

    My current bar light is ~9W on medium (most used) and ~18W on high. I doubt that I, a 54 year old moderately fit rider, has an average output beyond 200W. Converting 5 to 10 % of my riding energy to drive lights is a poor trade IMO.
    Pretty sure there's no production dynamo lights that could or would pull 9 watts, let alone 18. The Cyo pulls maybe 1.5-2 watts in real life. It wouldn't pass StVZO certification if it pulled more than 3 watts, that would be an arbitrary FAIL.

    I get ~5hrs ride time from a 450G battery. That is good for 3 of my "typical" rides. I only get about 3 rides per month so one recharge per month is pretty to manage.

    My helmet light has similar runtimes and recharge cycle. Its battery goes in a jersey or jacket pocket. No connection to the bike like would be needed if dyno powered. Pretty easy to deal with.
    I have my share of battery-powered lights too, but I've switched to dynamo as the baseline headlight on my winter training bike instead of my DiNotte 1200+. My Cyo's beam pattern is far better for highway environments, both for me and for oncoming traffic. And it doesn't have battery-runtime issues at sub-freezing temperatures, unlike my last two DiNottes, which signal "low battery" in as little as 30 minutes at 25F if you dare to use them on HIGH. With the dynamo, my own "battery life" is the limit on how long I can ride

    Next headlight for me is the B&M Luxos B, which is on the way from Germany right now. Depending how I like the beam pattern, it will either replace the Cyo or I'll use them both at the same time.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Dynamo lights, the way for the future!?!-dyno_results.gif  


  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
    ... it doesn't have battery-runtime issues at sub-freezing temperatures, unlike my last two DiNottes, which signal "low battery" in as little as 30 minutes at 25F if you dare to use them on HIGH. With the dynamo, my own "battery life" is the limit on how long I can ride
    Yeah, Li-ion batteries don't like the cold, no question about it. If you are truly into night riding during the winter then a dynamo makes a lot of sense, at least for a bar light.

    Over the years I tried a lot of things to isolate the battery from the cold and nothing really worked. Finally I just gave up on the idea. Likely the only thing that would work would be to mount the battery on an elastic belt and then wear it around your abdomen with the battery wire coming out of your jacket. More than likely this would not be comfortable and also dangerous as the wire could interfere with any effort to bail during a crash.

    I rarely ride in the winter anymore but only because I really do hate riding in the cold. Anything under 45F and I'm done. Gone are the good old days when I used to brave the winter cold and have a good time while doing so.

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