Dynamo Bike Lights

by michelle bontrager in


Schmidt’s SON dynamo hub

Schmidt’s SON dynamo hub

Bicycling and the Brain

It has been proven, without a doubt, that children and adults who incorporate cycling into their lifestyle are both physically and mentally healthier than non-cyclists.  I am most excited about the science showing that cyclists who ride bike more than 30 minutes a day and three times a week increase the size of the hippocampus region of their brain! The hippocampus is responsible for memory, emotion, and learning. The brain enhancing benefits of cycling become apparent after just 6 months of consistent cycling. Well let’s keep on riding then!

Since the Front Range is enjoying fantastic weather this week all the better to continue on with your cycling habit. Just remember to keep your bike lights handy because the days are definitely getting shorter.

light set for $46.00

light set for $46.00

We have been stocking up on affordable USB-rechargeable lights from Cateye and Busch+Muller.

Schmidt Edelux head light

Schmidt Edelux head light

The absolute best bike light solution to consider is a dynamo system. A front dynamo hub generates power to your front and rear lights from your cadence. As soon as you begin pedaling your bike lights are charged and on.  No more lost lights, no more batteries, no more concern about recharging.

Schmidt’s SON dynamo hub and Busch+Muller head light

Schmidt’s SON dynamo hub and Busch+Muller head light

Many of our subscribers have purchased bicycles with dynamo-generated lights, instantly ready to face the short winter days. Just contact us if you are having any problems with your dynamo lights or want to upgrade to a set of brighter lights.

Everyone else should consider adding a dynamo light system if only in the name of good brain health. Once you have a good light system installed on your bicycle riding before or after work in the dark will no longer be an issue. Dynamo LED lights broadcast light beams just as good as a motorized vehicle.

Dynamo Lights are:  

  • Weather-proof

  • Theft-proof, they are bolted onto the bicycle

  • Reliable bright lights that traffic will see

I have reviewed the process for installing a dynamo light system in a previous blog but just drop by the shop and we can discuss ideas that will suit your bicycling needs.

Michelle.jpg

About Me

I have biked the streets of Denver for 33 years and I still enjoy racing cars up 17th Street from Union Station. Not sure how large my hippocampus is by now but I feel great!



Dynamo Light System and the components to consider

by michelle bontrager in


head light placement for best illumination of the road ahead

head light placement for best illumination of the road ahead

We have received a lot of questions about dynamo lights since my most recent blog post regarding bike lights. I would like to outline the options to consider when choosing the components for a new generator light system.

A dynamo system includes:

  • Front hub which generates the power to the light system.
  • Rim: when we build a new front wheel we recommend a new rim.
  • Spokes.
  • Front light.
  • Rear light.

The first step is to decide which generator hub is best. We willingly offer recommendations based upon the bicycle frame style you ride, and your expectations. 

shimano alfine dynamo hub

shimano alfine dynamo hub

which dynamo hub for your bicycle frame?

  • disc or rim brakes
  • type of fork
  • do you want to add a charger in order to charge your phone or device?

We have utilized Sanyo and Sturmey Archer dynamo hubs but the Shimano and Schmidt hubs are the brands that work the best for most of our customers.  

Shimano Alfine vs Schmidt SON hubs

Shimano Alfine hub

  1. efficiency at 15km/h:  53%
  2. energy required of rider while light is turned off:  2.2 watts
  3. weight of hub:  680 grams

Schmidt SON hub

  1. efficiency at 15 km/h: 64%
  2. energy required of rider while light is turned off: 1.5 watts
  3. weight of hub:  575 grams
SON hubs are manufactured in  Germany

SON hubs are manufactured in Germany

Once the hub is chosen we will discuss other options for your new light system delving into the types of head lights and rear lights that are available.  A dynamo light system with a new wheel may cost about $250 to more than $800, depending on the components chosen.

B&M  rear light mounted to rear rack

B&M rear light mounted to rear rack

When you consider not having to worry about;

  • recharging your bike lights,
  • batteries wearing down in the coldest of Winter mornings, or
  • having your lights physically falling off of your bicycle

a modern dynamo light system makes perfect sense. While it’s fun choosing the extra bike accessories like colorful bar wrap, bells, or baskets, for safety’s sake a dynamo light system is the first upgrade that any bicyclist should complete.


bright lights big city

by michelle bontrager


sporty and beautiful.

sporty and beautiful.

We have made some wonderful customizations to this little piece of eye candy over the years, the last wee bit has been a light system upgrade. A pair of B&M lights replaced the rather ho hum handlebar mounted head light and a battery-operated rear light.

The B&M rear light is absolutely inspiring. This rack-mounted LED tail light has a brake light feature so traffic behind the cyclist will be aware of when she is braking to a stop. And, my favorite, it has a standlight feature so the light remains on for a few minutes after the cyclist has stopped her bicycle.

Equally inspiring is the B&M Lumotec head light mounted at the crown fork. This positioning offers better night visibility for the cyclist and better visibility of the cyclist from approaching traffic. 

This lumotec head light features a "just bright enough" daytime running light comprised of 6 LED lights, then the head lamp senses when it is dark and will automatically turn on it's much brighter night time light for the cyclist. And, again my favorite feature, this headlight has the standlight feature which will keep the headlight illuminated for several minutes after the cyclist stops moving. The standlight is especially helpful when parking your bicycle at night or when you have stopped at traffic lights, for the cyclist will still be very visible by surrounding traffic. A Lumotec head light just may be worth a consideration! 

 

a dynamo powered head light by B&M 

a dynamo powered head light by B&M 

a depiction of the daytime vs nighttime light beam   

a depiction of the daytime vs nighttime light beam

 

Brook's grips, Brook's saddle, crane brass bell, bamboo fenders, German light system will inspire one to ride!

Brook's grips, Brook's saddle, crane brass bell, bamboo fenders, German light system will inspire one to ride!

All of the upgrades and cosmetic improvements we have made to this bicycle have really improved the performance of the bicycle, that's what really inspires us at Queen City Cycle.