Monday, 18 August 2014

A Cheap Hub Dynamo Setup (£50)

A Cheap Hub Dynamo Setup - Intro

I have slowly been upgrading all of my bikes so they have hub dynamo lighting. I am a careful cyclist and so I consider increasing my visibility to be one of the best things I can do to increase my safety.

My Wife's Bike Fitted with Hub Dynamo
Hub dynamo lighting is a hassle free and silent method for providing powerful lighting on you bicycle. Its always there when you get on your bike  . . . . ready to go.

Problem is it can be:

  1. Tricky to Fit. The lights as easy to attach, but if you have to build a wheel to incorporate the hub dynamo that will put people off.
  2. Expensive. If you are not careful a setup can cost a lot. But if you shop around (German) then you can get a setup with a ready built wheel for £50.

 A Cheap Hub Dynamo Setup -The Dynamo (£31 + Postage)

Taylor Wheels UK sell a ready built hub dynamo wheel for £31. It is as good as you could wish for , and is a 19mm Grunert Rim with a Shimano 3B31-NT Hub Dynamo. If you are buying a wheel for a sports bike, with narrow rims, you will probably have to build you own or spend a bit more else where. It is not really possible to get a budget hub dynamo pre built in to say a 13mm rim.

This Budget Hub Dynamo Wheel is fine for daily use.

A Cheap Hub Dynamo Setup - Lights (£12 front & rear)

You can still get the older incandescent lights for use with you Hub Dynamo but try and stick to LED lights. They have built in overvoltage protection, and also the bulbs pretty much last forever. have some very cheap lights for sale, and postage costs are reasonable. For around £12 you can get front and rear LED lights that will do an OK job.

I chose an AXA Ray Steady for the rear light (£4.80) which I have on another bike and am pleased with it. The Ray Steady has a standlight function, which really is a must for a rear light. It means that when you stop moving (ie when the hub dynamo is not turning) the light will stay on for around 1 minute. If you cycle in traffic then this is  must.

The AXA Ray Steady Cheap and Good. Dog Ugly though!
For the front light I chose an AXA sprint LED light. This light costs £6.50 but does not have a standlight. It would cost around double to buy a light with a standlight. So on this occasion I went without.

A Cheap Hub Dynamo Setup - Installing

You can use any sort of thin twin core cable you may have lying around in the garage. I used door bell wire. In the past I have used the wire from an unused power adaptor, or you could spend £2 on the proper stuff, when you order your lights!

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  1. your wife's bike looks remarkably like the one Anna rides!
    good article!
    I may well follow your advice and get a wheel with a hub already in it, rather than trying to relace my hub form the 20" wheel into a larger rim.

  2. Yes its a £99 Argos Jobby. Does the job. the whole bike cost the same as my rear mech! Guilt overload.

    Any hoo. Yes Taylor wheels on ebay a low hassle option. By the time you bought spokes, rim, and hub it would probably be a similar cost any how. Plea point you still will have you old non-dynohub wheel to hang in the garage and gather dust!