Thursday, 18 October 2012

How to Stop your Bike Getting Muddy

How to Stop your Bike Getting Muddy

A great deal of the mud that spatters on to your gears and pedals and legs comes off of your front wheel.

Behold the tide of filth, well the 1st thing to do is fit a mudguard, but in my experience they are not long enough, 

so extend the mudguard so there is no "line of fling" between the base of the front wheel and the bike.

I used the lid of an ice cream tub and a heavy duty stapler. I now get a lot less mud on my chain, gears and feet (listed in order of mud sensitivity).

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Shimano DH-3N20 Review

Shimano DH-3N20 Review - Overview

The Shimano DH-3N20 is a budget, entry level hub dynamo. Which is available in a variety of flavours, 6V 3W or 6V 2.4W, with a quick release and a bolted variety. This review deals with the 6V 3W nutted axle variety.

Shimano DH-3N20 Review - Price

A top of the range bottle dynamo will cost you more than this hub, and you should go for the  DH-3N20 for sure, it is silent. With a bottle dynamo wirring away you will not enjoy rides in the country anymore.

I paid £29.99 for mine from JE James Cycles, I think they are normally £35 so still affordable. Of course the biggest challenge is building the dynamo in to you wheel! But don't let this put you off, wheel building is surprising forgiving.

Shimano DH-3N20 Review - Build in to Wheel

You may notice from the above  picture that the spokes are twisted together to make a butterfly spoke pattern, this not because I am an expert wheel builder . . .far from it it is because the spokes I had were too long, and rather than send them back I twisted them around each other to make them effectively shorter. They are 10 years old and have been used twice before, and came off a rear dished wheel, so I was using two different lengths . . . . all I am saying is that with all of these cr@ppy influences the wheel performs just fine. SO have a go you may be surprised.

Shimano DH-3N20 Review - Performance

 The DH-3N20 will light my LED lights at a slow walking speed. However, the front light a Lumotec Lyt Senso Plus will flicker at these low speeds, however, it is almost impossible to ride this slow, and a slow pace of the bike will result in full illumination of the front light. The rear light a Busch and Muller ToplightPlus lights fully at walking pace and is a very good light.

Shimano DH-3N20 Review -Conclusion

If you are looking to move away from  bottle dynamo then this will do the trick, studies (vintage bicycle quarterly) have shown that the DH-3N20 compares well to some expensive hub dynamos, so you are getting a bargain! If you can build you own wheel then you can do it very cheaply.

More on wheel building.

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Shimano DH-3N20
Reviewed by Kermit Green on Oct 18 2012
Rating: 5.0

Busch and Muller Lumotec Lyt Senso Plus Light Review

Lumotec Lyt Senso Plus Light Review - Overview

The Lumotec Lyt Senso Plus is a light aimed at the commuter, it offers a fair forward facing light and good side visability, via liitle windows on the side of the lens.

The light switches itself on when it gets dark, and has switch so you can turn it off if you are using a hub dynamo.

Lumotec Lyt Senso Plus Light Review - The Beam

The beam is VERY German and it is so square at the edges it is like cycling around with a sheet of A4 paper in front of you. The problem is that the beam is so controlled there is NO spill light at the sides, which is a problem when making sharp turns.

I have a Silva Head Torch which is rated in Lumens at about 150, this head light is rated at 25 lux. I would say the based on an estimate that the Lumotec Lyt Senso Plus is about 100 Lumens, but with the neat focusing it makes for easy riding in completely unlit areas.

Lumotec Lyt Senso Plus Light Review - Hub Dynamo or Bottle Dynamo.

I have run this light of both bottle and hub dynamos, there was more flicker from the hub dynamo, but my goodness it is a whole lot quieter (the dynamo not the light).

 Update: 04/10/13

Having run this light for over a year now I can confirm it is very very good. I keep my bike outside in the south west UK, so it is constantly getting wet, and I have nevr had a problem with this light. If you are cycling at speed off road in unlight areas you may want somthing a little more power, but it is excellent for everything I do. I have recently put this light on my cargo bike, and upgraded to a Lumotec Cyo T.

Some pics in the dark.

 From the front.

Side on.

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