24 July, 2008

An Economical Dyno Hub?


I wonder if there is a market for a $50 (or less) dynamo hub. The quality looks to be about like the very hard to find lower-end Shimano hub. They are available with nutted or QR axles.

I don't think these will interest serious randonneurs, but for commuters and city bikes they might be a nice option.

The downside is no spare parts availability (though there is not much to go wrong) and more drag than a top-of-the-line dynamo hub.

We're about to start testing them.

21 comments:

C said...

I think it's tough to beat the Shimano hub. Only real issue is availability.

I don't think we need a new dynamo hub at any price point. For commuters you already have the Nexus. A step up from that you have the Ultegra level dynamo. Finally, you have the Schmidt for people who have to have the absolute best, cost be damned. Not sure there's another niche that needs to be filled.

Emily said...

I can see some point to it, but I'd probably just get the Shimano when I need a new front wheel. There's not a whole lot of sense in going for an un-repairable hub.

Anonymous said...

Have you considered the SRAM i-light series, or is this it? I heard that they are made by Sanyo, same as the Shimano Dyno hub.

SRAM i-light has several configurations, bolt vs QR, disk mounts etc 32/36 H. Currently a few online dealears have the 36 QR version only. Also to posted weight is less than that of the high end Shimano

Jim G said...

I'm waiting for the Shimano DH-3N80 hub to hit these shores...

Cottered Crank said...

The problem with the older model Nexus hub is that it is very hard to find. I like to use them on commuters and town bikes, and things like my wife's Nirve chopper, which sees very few miles but needs a cool headlight.

I have an Ultegra hub that's currently on my main road bike and I love it. They are not cheap, however. Yes, they are a bargain considering the quality and utility, but there are lots of good bikes that just don't need a $100 dynohub. A $50 dynohub is something else again.

blackmountaincycles said...

"The downside is no spare parts availability" - If you were to order them, I'm sure Joy Tech could also supply you with a small quantity of replacement parts. Requesting a small quantity of warranty replacement parts is SOP in the industry. It would also be responsible of you to have axles, cones...available.

Anonymous said...

What about the Sturmey Archer xfd? I've seen them sell for about $65 I'm tempted to try the drum brake option, xfd-d. An all weather bike!

Anonymous said...

I believe they would sell. Front hub axles more or less last a lifetime, so if the cones are standard-ish, maintenance should be covered. It is a nice looking hub for a great price!

EE

Anonymous said...

Hell yeah, there's a "niche" that needs to be filled--MINE! I have the misfortune of being a po' boy with exquisite tastes. Get this po' boy a cheap dynohub, please!

Anonymous said...

The Shimano is pretty unrepairable...

And with a year warranty that they give out, chances are you're going to just replace that as well.

I haven't heard of one lasting past 5,000 miles.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, my last comment was for the internal gearing hub. The dynamo hub is great!

Pete said...

At under $50 I'd buy one.

TomCat said...

I think it's availability that's the issue, not so much price.
The Sturmey, Shimano, and SRAM dyno hubs are all about $90-100. Shimano has endless delays. Sturmey and SRAM have limited distribution of those hubs in the States.
Does QBP regularly have each of these hubs in stock? other distros?

fmackay said...

The local bike-recycling charity offered me a dynohub at a similar pricepoint, no idea if it was the same model, but they were satisfied with the quality and I tend to trust their opinion. They also told me the Shimanos are PITA to service - cup & cone, so the bearings can be serviced but the wire makes it fiddly - but I bought one (actually a second one) anyway. rose.de will do you a cheap Shimano for EUR24 ($37). Shipping to the US is expensive but might be worth it if you ordered a lot of cheap-in-EU bits.

Anon 2:31 - My wife's bike has the S-A dyno/brake hub and it seems to be fine - hasn't had a lot of mileage yet though.

Anon 10:48 - Shimano hubs have a 2-year warranty (at least in Europe) - and I was grateful for it when my nexus-8 died after 15 months (and about 1500 miles).

Emily said...

Sorry, my last comment was for the internal gearing hub. The dynamo hub is great!

Oh, if the IGH on my bike gives out, I *know* what the replacement hub will be... SRAM 7. But at 30-50 miles a week, it will take me a long time to wear out even a Shimano hub. For a city cyclist, it's durable enough. And they're supposed to do better if you're nice to them about shifting.

Anonymous said...

i've been looking for a cheap(er) hub dynamo for a winter beater. hard to justify $100 ultegra quality for a beater just because you want the lights on. this get's my vote!

lee.watkins said...

I have long argued that every bike should just have a dynohub as standard equipment. People usually respond "but dynohubs are too expensive for most people". Well, that's why we need cheaper dynohubs for those people. Meaning anyone who isn't using their bike for racing - that would be most people.

robatsu said...

I love my Schmidt dynohub, which has given me flawless service over countless miles and ended the perpetual battery changing/charging drill. I welcome anything that broadens the available selections, from economical, light duty versions to hardcore offerings like the SON.

FWIW, the same goes for internally geared hubs. I've yet to equip any of my bikes with some of the recent offerings, but these are starting to look pretty interesting.

Anonymous said...

I like this idea of a hub at this price point. Given the recent state of affiars with commuting, it sounds like many people would be more interested in getting an economical light set.

eva said...

I think it's availability that's the issue, not so much price.
The Sturmey, Shimano, and SRAM dyno hubs are all about $90-100.


Respectfully disagree. I cannot afford a $100 hub, nor would I put one on any of my commuter bikes, since I don't have secure indoor parking at work. I don't think I'm alone on this. If there was a hub available in the <$50 range I would absolutely buy it.

patrick said...

I guess we'll know more about this soon enough, but I am really curious about how the drag stacks up to the Shimano DN371.

And I'm very interested.