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Old 08-07-2010, 10:30 PM   #15796
EvilGenius
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pierce
We used something very much like that 30 years ago. Sucked then.

these be da kine.
But those are boring and ugly.
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Old 08-07-2010, 10:42 PM   #15797
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilGenius
But those are boring and ugly.
When it comes to safety equipment like lighting, I like boring. See, its also 350 lumen for 3+ hours from a rechargeable li-ion battery, or 9 hours on low. thats bright. thats really bright.

actually, I just use a catseye led headlight that takes a couple AA batteries. its probably 70 lumen or something, plenty bright enough to be seen, and to see when its really dark. Those Nite-Rider things are like motorcycle headlights.
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Old 08-08-2010, 12:04 AM   #15798
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilGenius
But those are boring and ugly.
there *is* a modern rim generator,


but the current trick thing is a front wheel hub generator, shimano, sram, sturmey archer (sunrace) make them.
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Old 08-08-2010, 04:55 AM   #15799
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilGenius
But those are boring and ugly.
You forgot expensive. Some of those cycling lights can be hard on a wallet. Although the hub generated lights are really bright, they too can set you back financially.
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Old 08-08-2010, 11:03 AM   #15800
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Saw the most beautiful bike in a bike shop the other day and I went in to take a look at it. Of course it was Italian.

Of course it was a fixie.


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Old 08-08-2010, 11:25 AM   #15801
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pierce
there *is* a modern rim generator,

Any avantage to that over the older ones?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pierce
That's cool, but kind of a pain to tear apart a wheel to install it.
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Old 08-08-2010, 11:29 AM   #15802
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dahveed
You forgot expensive. Some of those cycling lights can be hard on a wallet. Although the hub generated lights are really bright, they too can set you back financially.
Yup, the entire kits for the generator lights are less than $40 on amazon.

Not to mention you never have to worry about battery life.

I can understand needing superbright lights if you ride on unlit roads or offroad mountain biking, but where we ride its all paved pathway or at worst tight packed gravel and only one 100' section is anywhere near a road.

Besides, even a small low lumen light is highly visible at night.
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Old 08-08-2010, 12:06 PM   #15803
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilGenius
Yup, the entire kits for the generator lights are less than $40 on amazon.

Not to mention you never have to worry about battery life.

I can understand needing superbright lights if you ride on unlit roads or offroad mountain biking, but where we ride its all paved pathway or at worst tight packed gravel and only one 100' section is anywhere near a road.

Besides, even a small low lumen light is highly visible at night.
those tin can old style generator lights were -really- dim, and thats proportional to speed, they go completely out when you stop. the newer generators are good for 3 watts at 6V at any sort of speed, and good grade LED lights have 'buck converters' that regulate the voltage/current so the light stays equally bright at a wide range of speeds, LEDs require a lot less power than old fashion incandescents.

that gen/light you pasted looks to me like a cheaply made chinese copy of the old school generator lights, completely unregulated, conventional incandescent 6V lamp, cheaply made reflector housing that will leak water and corrode at its first available opportunity, etc.

oh, some more points... A) tire generators are noisy, and very fussy about positioning on the tire, B) they slip when wet, this can be mitigated somewhat by special touring tires that have a generator track molded into the sidewall. I haven't seen those in years... the hub generators are quite silent, but yes, require you to get or build a new front wheel.

warning... some math for the technology-adverse, skip forward now.

generators voltage is directly proportional to speed. these rim generators output 6V going at a reasonably good clip. current (amps) is voltage/resistance. a given generator has a maximum current output, if you try and pull more current out of it at a given voltage(speed), the voltage will droop (and the drag will shoot way up). with a regular light bulb, resistance is fixed (for the simplified purposes of this discussion). wattage is volts * amps, and that determines the brightness, but brightness is not at all linear for incandescents, as they go yellow then red as you drop the voltage below their nominal operating points.

Incandescent brightness is a function of the 3.4 power of the voltage, so if a given light outputs 30 lumens at 6V at 20 MPH, it will only output 16 lumens at 5V at 16 MPH, and 7.5 lumens at 4V at 13 MPH. how fast can you climb a hill?

LED lights *can* modify this equation significantly. a modern 70 lumen bright LED like a Cree XR only needs like 1 watt. so if the generator is outputting 6V, the LED's control circuit will draw a lot less current off the generator, and modulate the current to the LED. if that generator drops to 3V, the LED regulator circuit can draw more current and step the voltage back to the same constant level so the LED stays constant brightness, until the voltage finally drops so low there's not enough to work on. the better LED generator lights will even have a little rechargeable battery (or supercap) in them so the LED stays on, maybe in a flasher mode, or maybe just dim, when you are stopped for short periods.
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pierce screwed with this post 08-08-2010 at 12:18 PM
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Old 08-08-2010, 12:10 PM   #15804
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I use a Blackburn Flea headlight for commuting. It's best for city/suburban routes where there are a few streetlights, as it doesn't throw much of a beam. That being said, it's an incredible light for being seen. It's stupid bright to look at even the low setting. Flash mode can induce seizures. It's also tiny. I've got the version that can be charged from any 1.5V battery. No problems after almost a year of daily all-weather commuting.

http://bikemag.com/gear/accessories/...mmuter-review/
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Old 08-08-2010, 12:23 PM   #15805
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheNedster
I use a Blackburn Flea headlight for commuting. ...
my daughter has one like that which is charged via a USB cable. a friend's dad who works for a bike rep or something gave it to her, it was a trade show gimme. just velcro straps onto the bars.
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Old 08-08-2010, 12:29 PM   #15806
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The kits I'm looking at are rated at 12v 6w.

I bet its not hard to work an LED setup into this.
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Old 08-08-2010, 01:09 PM   #15807
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilGenius
The kits I'm looking at are rated at 12v 6w.

I bet its not hard to work an LED setup into this.
6 watts will be twice the drag of 3 watts. :-/

I was an all weather all year bike commuter in the 70s. had lots of issues with old style generator wiring corroding, etc, and that one you've posted looks awfully like a cheap chinese copy of the 1970s cheap french/german gen sets (Union, Soubitez)

ah, did some googling. that Dymotec I pasted, there *used* to be a S6 model that was self-regulated, so it developed full power at 6 MPH, and reduced its drag at higher speeds.... sadly, this more expensive model has been discontinued, and the Dymotec 6 that remains is of the cheap unregulated variety.

watch out, btw, unregulated generators will blow light bulbs if you go too fast. some mid-range lamps have a protection circuit, in the form of zener diode, but this hugely increases the drag if you exceed the maximum speed as they just dump (waste) excess voltage.
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Old 08-08-2010, 01:32 PM   #15808
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilGenius
I can understand needing superbright lights if you ride on unlit roads or offroad mountain biking, but where we ride its all paved pathway or at worst tight packed gravel and only one 100' section is anywhere near a road.

Besides, even a small low lumen light is highly visible at night.
I have to respectfully disagree with this. I have seen some cyclists riding at night near roads recently and all they had one of those rear flasher type lights. Not very bright at all. I didn't see them until I was pretty close to them. They would have been much more noticeable with brighter lights.

I know a randonneur who will not ride without her Schmidt lights. She had a close call and decided she needed to put more light out so cars can see her. I think she said she spent $700, but she felt it was worth it. I tend to agree.

Like riding a motorcycle, if I'm riding at night (I don't) I want everybody to be able to see me. Easily.
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Old 08-08-2010, 01:36 PM   #15809
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dahveed
I have to respectfully disagree with this. I have seen some cyclists riding at night near roads recently and all they had one of those rear flasher type lights. Not very bright at all. I didn't see them until I was pretty close to them. They would have been much more noticeable with brighter lights.

I know a randonneur who will not ride without her Schmidt lights. She had a close call and decided she needed to put more light out so cars can see her. I think she said she spent $700, but she felt it was worth it. I tend to agree.

Like riding a motorcycle, if I'm riding at night (I don't) I want everybody to be able to see me. Easily.
I won't say you're wrong as I agree that more light is better, but I think even small (but reasonable) lights at night are more visible than people think, at least they are to me.
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Old 08-08-2010, 01:40 PM   #15810
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