Touring accessories: charger/lights

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Bike-Rich
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Touring accessories: charger/lights

Postby Bike-Rich » Sat Nov 30, 2013 20:42 pm

Hi all,

This is a great forum section and i've enjoyed reading various posts which has helped me massively.
I know the following is likely to have been covered but I thought I'd ask in case any new tech is available since last postings etc.

Which bike light is genuinely best accepted and how best is it to keep charged up in case of no electric?
It would be great to use a solar panel to keep batteries charged up (i presume mini-usb is the standard connection?) do most cyclists keep the panel exposed when riding (or is it for 'standing' use only)?

andymiller
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Re: Touring accessories: charger/lights

Postby andymiller » Sun Dec 01, 2013 12:19 pm

I did once carry a solar panel (until it got nicked). I've never seen anyone else carrying one. Unless you are going somewhere that's consistently sunny they are probably not worth the cost/hassle. If you do get one get one that's a decent size with a sensible power output: silly little solar panels are a recipe for disappointment.

As far as lights are concerned, a lot of Dutch and German cycle tourists have lights powered by hub dynamos. They are very good. However, if you are touring in summer then the chances are you won't need lights very often - personally I carry a set of battery-powered lights that I can put on if I need to (eg for tunnels, gloomy mornings, or days when things go badly wrong and I end up out of dark). I have to say though there have been times when I have looked enviously at the cyclists with the dynamo-powered lights.

Bike-Rich
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Re: Touring accessories: charger/lights

Postby Bike-Rich » Sun Dec 01, 2013 13:57 pm

Great advice, I forgot about dynamos. Will add to list now. Thank you,
Am I right in saying though the light will go out as soon as I stop peddling or is there a 'buffer time' time. Will research this now,

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marcusjb
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Re: Touring accessories: charger/lights

Postby marcusjb » Sun Dec 01, 2013 14:18 pm

Dynamos make a lot of sense. Lights, USB charging of phones etc.

Yes, good lights have a stand light that leave them on (at a reduced output, but enough to be seen) for 10 minutes ish.

Bike-Rich
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Re: Touring accessories: charger/lights

Postby Bike-Rich » Sun Dec 01, 2013 16:50 pm

Sounds ideal, I presume the 'charge' is sent to a battery after being generated?

I'm looking to get 2x 36 hole 700c wheels, are there any disadvantages of using a wheel hub dynamo do you know (slower speed once engaged?),

Thanks,

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marcusjb
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Re: Touring accessories: charger/lights

Postby marcusjb » Sun Dec 01, 2013 17:45 pm

A hub dynamo will have a small amount of drag - but it isn't noticeable. The CTC magazine did a big review a year or so ago and the best dynohubs had drag that was equivalent to a few feet extra ascent per mile. Sure, it adds up on a longer ride - but can't say I have ever really noticed.

Best dynohubs are still the Schmidt SON hubs, but Shimano come a close second (and are considerably cheaper).

That extra drag is really the only disadvantage of dynohubs - other than cost I suppose.

Lights from companies such as B&M will have a standlight, so a small capacitor is being charged when you are moving, and this will power the light (at a reduced brightness) for a good period of time (I've never timed mine - but at least 10 minutes of inactvity).

Lights such as the B&M Luxos U include built-in USB charging, so you can keep phones and GPS units etc. going indefinitely. There are also a number of add-ons such as the B&M E-Werk that perform the same function.

Bike-Rich
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Re: Touring accessories: charger/lights

Postby Bike-Rich » Sun Dec 01, 2013 19:26 pm

A massive thanks, really pleased to hear that. Almost certain I will go the hubbed dynamo route now, seems just what i'm looking for.

Which wheel is it best to get it fitted to, front or back? I will need to get the wheel built from scratch with me providing hub, spokes, rim, inner and tire - anything i've forgotten?
And just to confirm, having a dynamo will not limit me to the type of brakes and gears I use?

Kind regards,

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marcusjb
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Re: Touring accessories: charger/lights

Postby marcusjb » Sun Dec 01, 2013 20:04 pm

Front!

If you are unsure about wheel-building and/or what parts you'll need (and spoke in particular, need specifying very carefully) - just look at buying a pre-made wheel.

Spa Cycles build a lot of dynowheels - one of my dynowheels is built by them and has done tens of thousands of km without issues.

No change to gears, brakes etc.

Bike-Rich
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Re: Touring accessories: charger/lights

Postby Bike-Rich » Sun Dec 01, 2013 20:07 pm

Perfect, massive thank Marcus.

And just to confirm, you would recommend a 36 hole rim for both front back? What rims and tires do you use (and thickness please).

Thank you,

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marcusjb
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Re: Touring accessories: charger/lights

Postby marcusjb » Sun Dec 01, 2013 21:19 pm

For touring - yes - 36 holes is sensible at both ends of the bike.

Almost all of my touring is on the tandem, so my rim and tyre choice will not be be helpful to you!

My credit card touring solo wheels have Ambrosio Excellence rims, Royce Titans and I usually run 28mm Continental 4 Seasons.

Bike-Rich
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Re: Touring accessories: charger/lights

Postby Bike-Rich » Mon Dec 02, 2013 20:05 pm

Tandem - sounds like good fun :)

Will make a note of ensuring 36hole for both front/back - thank you,


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