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Posts: 17
Reply with quote  #1 

My old gravel bike had a dynamo wheelset I loved for commuting, and now that I'm on a new bike with a difference axle standard (12mm front and back)I'm wondering if I should build up a second set of wheels with a Shimano Dynamo or just use battery powered lights. 

My primary wheelset is a HED Tomcat (pinned version of the ardennes that can't do tubeless) on hubs that are de-labeled HED hubs.  I am 180 lbs and planning a minimum of 3 170+ rides this year and currently train in the evenings after sunset.

My local shop recommended their "generic go-to" of an HED ardiennes rim with white industry hubs.  I would probably use a SON generator hubas they appear to be much better than the Shimano I have worn out twice riding previously.  I also have no clue what spoke count I should go with but the SON hub can come with as few as 24 and as many as 36.

Smale Rider

Posts: 65
Reply with quote  #2 
I don't think its worth having on anything under 100 miles; something like DK200 or trans-iowa, most definitely. Not a necessity but makes life easier. Consider the situation in which you may have to recharge your GPS or being in the middle of B-F-E with no charged lights.

Senior Member
Posts: 249
Reply with quote  #3 
Shimano doesn't make a 12mm dyno hub so you'll have to go SON or SP.

I'm at the point where I'm so used to having light-on-demand that I couldn't see having a bike without dyno lights.  Also the optics on the German dyno headlights still seem to be superior to most battery powered lights. Once you have your bike set up, I don't see the point in taking the dyno off to race. 

Senior Member
Posts: 155
Reply with quote  #4 
Here's a blog regarding "making strong wheels" and has some info on dynamo's...

As posted previously, if the event is sufficiently short one doesn't need the generator with the associated weight, drag and expense.  There are lots of auxiliary battery options which one could use to recharge GPS, lights, etc...  but batteries are heavy and at some point a generator becomes a more efficient option.

I've got a bike with the Edelux II, a nice bright dynamo power LED light system, but IMHO the beams of my battery powered Light & Motion headlights are much more uniform and brighter.  My preference is a system with two headlights: a narrower spot beam on my helmet and a wider beam on my handlebars.  I also have an older Cygolite LED headlight which has a narrower beam than the L&M and pairs nicely for my uses.

When I'll be out for a long night ride, if I don't need the extra light (ex. going slower or on a well paved and familiar road) I'll use only the dynamo light.  Lots of options to extend battery life. :-)


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