Friday, December 18, 2009

Days are Short, Nights are Long

It's that time of year when the year-round cyclists among us end up riding a lot in the dark. The good news is that there are a huge array of options available in bicycle lights these days. One really good option that Tim uses on several of his many bikes is a system built around a hub dynamo. What's a hub dynamo, you ask? Well, some of you may remember the little "generators" that bolted to your bike, with a little roller that pressed against your tire, creating a lot of noise and drag and just enough electricity to power a dim headlight and maybe a tail light. Well, the hub dynamo is a further refinement of that idea, and a huge improvement. All the power generation components are enclosed in the hub of your front wheel, safe from the elements and directly connected to the rotation of the wheel, so there's no slipping and no noise. There is some resistance... that's the nature of a dynamo... but when riding it's hard to feel any difference.

One more improvement... You may recall that the traditional generator systems left you dark when you came to a stop. Many of today's lights come with a "standlight" that stays on when you stop moving! A very nice safety feature.

We currently have in stock two complete wheels ready to roll. Here are the specs:

For 26" Wheel Bikes -

Shimano DH-3N72 Hub Dynamo: $120
26" Sun CR-18 Rim: $36
32 Stainless Steel Double Butted Spokes: $32
Labor: $45

Total: $233

For 700C Wheel (road, hybrid, touring) Bikes -

Shimano DH-3N80 Hub Dynamo: $168
(the 3N80 is a bit lighter and more efficient than the 3N72)
700C Sun CR-18 Rim: $36
32 Stainless Steel Double Butted Spokes: $32
Labor: $45

Total: $281

The above are just two possible setups. Other options are available. Lights compatible with dynamo hubs start at around $40 for a head light, $30 for a tail light. Ask us about the options available. You can see an example of a wheel and headlight in the shop, so come on by!

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