Reviews

Mobile Bike Repair on the Olympic Peninsula

Dynamo lighting: the hubs

Dynamo hubs generate a constant power source for front and rear lights or diverted to power USB charging for items such as phone and GPS. Dynamos have been popular with distance cyclists who need reliable lighting for all night cycling in any weather conditions for some time now. But as commuters, people training and cyclist just wanting to be seen considering a dynamo means no more remembering to charge your batteries, having batteries die or possibly forgetting your lights all together is in the past.

Always the first complaint is the upfront cost. About $100 to $290.00. There are many rechargeable lights in the same price range and even higher.

Its safe to say there are 2 front runners in respect to dynamo hubs.

SHUTTER PRECISION HUB DYNAMOS

 Shutter Precision 8 Series dynamo hub from shining star cycles
Shutter Precision 8 Series Dynamo. Hub alone $130.

Review of the SP is coming I just built the wheel and am going to use it with a mountain bike specific dynamo headlight. Check back.

Schmidt's Original Nabendynamo (SON)

Schmidt Dynamo front hub or SON from shining star cycles
  Schmidt Dynamo front hub or SON (Schmidt's Original Nabendynamo) wide body. Hub alone $282.00.

Recently I built a pair of these on Velocity rims to be used with the Busch & Müller IQ-X headlight, Busch & Müller Toplight Line Brake Plus rear light and rolling on Compass Rat Trap Pass tires.

SON hub, Compass rat pass tires built on velocity rims by shining star cycles
The SON front hub is beautifully finished.

First ride impressions are fantastic for the entire set up. For the average rider all that is needed to know is just plug the 2 contacts to either spade connectors on the hub (which can be on the right or left side of the fork) and roll off, the lights come on even at very low speeds. USB charging will not happen at low speed but will happen at about 15mph. Output of modern LED and lens lights are over 100 lux or 1200 lumens at 20km/h (12mph).

Speed Lube

image of speed lube from shining star cycles
Speed Lube

Way back in the 70’s it was 3in1 oil. There are today many choices for chain lubricants. Frankly not all are going to be satisfactory for the Pacific NW. A few years ago I was looking for something which worked in summer and winter. The typical winter lubes where heavy in viscosity which of course kept them from washing off so quickly but chains got quite dirty quickly. A clean chain lasts many times longer than a dirty one. And summer lubes often dry lubes which tend to run noisy and are rather poor when your are on a ride which is wet. Having a lube which covers both seasons would be great. There is: Speed Lube. A very thin lube which leaves nothing sitting on the surface (when applied correctly) to pick up dirt and dust. Speed Lube is a penetrating lubricant with PFTE (think of TriFlow). I use it all year on both mountain and road bikes. At $10 for a 2 ounce bottle it is a little more costly but the savings in chain wear results in fewer chain replacements.

E Thirteen tires

This is Exciting!

e thirteen tire image

Most people know E thirteen for components for mountain bikes, as did I. After going down repeatedly on wet roots (normally I just cruise through) this winter on a relatively popular DTC tire, we won't mention name. After searching around I came up with some tires I had never heard of: E Thirteens TRS Race & TRS Plus.

I mounted them on a newly built set of DT 401 xm rims with 240's hubs. First rides: it was frozen out so no real feed back on wet roots. It was obvious they clung to tera firma, one could here them clawing at the soil. Bring on thawing soil and heavy rains for the next ride. Gnarly is the best way to describe the adhesion to wet wood. Admittedly they are a stiffer sidewall than the other tires which will make a difference. Riding confidence went up a hundred fold over the previous paws I had been using. There is a weight of about penalty 250 grams more. More to come after this weekends rides on some very technical trails.

Exposure Lights: MAXX D MK9

The MAXX D MK9 is considered a trail specific light but one could use it on the road. The stated "Refined Reflex Plus enables the MaxxD to throw 3200 down the trail and chases off the shadows for flat out riding" is interesting.

exposure lights from  shining star cycles

UPDATE 1/21/17

After 2 months of use there are some gripes. 2 lights running on the same trail at the same time. One light will have significant deeper state of discharge. Example: 12/29/16 single track for 1 hour, 7.6 miles, 1300 feet of climbing. Light A has a 94% discharge. Light B is 64%. Just one example. Its consistent with the level of discharge while being unused also.

Exposure Lights: Equinox

On a recent night ride 3 riders where using Exposure lights they had gotten from Shining Star Cycles. This is the first take on the Equinox helmet light.

equinox helmet light from shining star cycles

First Ride

The Equinox comes with a handle bar mounted remote switch. The supplied o rings of mounting would require one to remove grips, brake and shift levers to install. We just used zip ties. The lights and remote need to be paired which is simple enough. Done at the shop we needed to re-pair 2 of the 3 at the trail head for some reason. The cr2032 batteries supplied in the remotes where dead on arrival. When installing new ones it was apparent as to why the batteries did not have the common piece of plastic usually found in items supplied with battery installed to keep them from draining, the waterproofing o ring would not have allowed such.

After a bit of fussing to get lights paired and such we road for about a hour on single tracks. The lights where as bright as expected. With 3 positions the remotes worked well allowing full control over the beams brightness. 2 of the riders only road on high and medium, their lights died at about 50 minutes. The rider using all levels had 25% left after a hour.

2nd Ride feedback:

Only 2 riders showed with the Equinox. One of the 2 was not truly able to tell if the light was on high, medium or low because their handle bar light was very bright. Hence they went dead in about a half hour. The web site says a half hour on high. Pretty accurate. A plus would be if the handlebar remote had a light system which alerts you as to what setting your on. The back of the light has 3 blue led's. All 3 lit means high beam, 2 middle beam and 1 low. Because unlike a lot of other lights when you turn the light on it's on high, rather than low, your going into high power debt immediately.

 

Derailuer hangers

Since the early 90's replaceable derailleur hanger have been common. I am amazed at how often I ride with someone who doesn't carry a replacement. On a recent ride 2 riders caught sticks snapping the hanger in one case bending the other. Had the hangers not been sacrificial not only likely a broken $300.00 rear derailleur but a long walk in mountain bike shoes would have resulted. And really mountain bike shoes are comfortable while clipped in but walking miles in them is no picnic.

We have most common hangers in stock made by Wheels Manufacturing.