27 November 2011

Wheel No. 00001 (and dynamo hub)

Today I built my first wheel -- Shimano dynamo hub (DH-3N80), 32 DT Swiss Competition (2-1.8-2 double butted spokes), Ambrosio clincher rim.  It will not be my last.

Nice instructional DVD by Bill Mould, an Alexandria Virginia based wheelbuilder, makes it easy as 1-2-3.  One mistake in lacing required me to backtrack 5 minutes or so, but otherwise it went quite smoothly.
Moved some bike tools indoors for comfort, and so I could watch the DVD as I worked.
Note to self:  any future housing must have room for a bike shop area indoors.
... Now I just need to wait for the LED light I ordered for use with this ...
I should have gotten a truing stand, tension meter, etc. and learned how to build wheels years ago.  I suspect I would have had many fewer wheel problems if I had been prepared to maintain them properly.  Checked the tension and trued 2 other wheelsets, and replaced the bearings in the front hub of a commuting wheel as well.

UPDATE:   I ordered a Busch + Mueller Lumotec IQ Cyo Plus LED front light, and a Philips LED SafeRide dynamo front light 60 Lux from Bike24 in Germany. They arrived Tuesday so I was able to try them in the evening.  I wish there were some darker streets near my house ...   It was easy to connect these -- removing the front brake and then using the brake bolt to hold the light's base/adapter to the frame, then winding the wire around the right fork.  The Shimano hub has a very easy to use terminal for the wires -- easy to plug in/unplug when you remove the wheel.

The B + M is smaller and lighter than the Philips.  It also was a bit cheaper (46 vs 62 Euro).  But I think I made a mistake in ordering the IQ Cyo Plus -- a model without any "senso" (automatic light detector) or a manual on/off switch.  The IQ Cyo T senso plus -- which Yan (commenter below) has -- would be a better choice.  Anyway, the B + M has a very bright "standlight" which runs from a capacitor and stays on for several minutes even when the hub is not spinning.  The main light is also quite bright -- significantly brighter than my Gentos LEDs. 

But it has an odd beam pattern, with a bright trapezoid in the middle and some weird dark spots.  This would take time to get used to it, I think.  And the model I ordered is not "switchable" -- and seems designed for a rim "bottle" dynamo where you switch it off by lifting the dynamo away from the rim of the wheel.  My error, though I could add a manual switch if I wanted to ...  A mixed verdict.

The Philips is impressive.  It is really bright (brighter than the B + M, I think, and WAY brighter than my Gentos LED lights).  It has a very smooth, even beam pattern, which projects a carpet of bright light a long way ahead onto the road as you ride, and also manages to throw a bit of light wider to the sides and onto the ground near the front of the bike -- perfect.  Also, I got the right model -- with off/on switch, and a separate cable if I want to add a rear LED as well, or connect to another device/charger.  The standlight is dimmer than the B + M, but still enough for checking a map and being visible to others.  This is consistent with the results of a tester/blogger in the Netherlands reports -- it seems comparable to the much more expensive Supernova E3 Pro or Schmidt Edelux.

The dynamo and Philips LED Saferide light are staying on my commuting fixie for the time being.


Jimmy Shinagawa said...

This is excellent. Both this and frame building are on my bucket list. At some point I will endeavour to give them a go too.

Jimmy Shinagawa said...

For when you upgrade your truing stand, you may want to consider http://www.pklie.de/truing_stand.html which would be the "Rapha" of truing stands at a mere USD$1950, expensive, but a thing of rare beauty.

Yan said...

I used this Hub dynamo combination with LUMOTEC LED lights for Brevet and daily commuting. This set is really relyable and comfortable to use. Additionally I added rear LED lights.

David Litt said...

James -- I see the P&K Lie truing stand for a mere E980 (plus shipping and, if in the EU, VAT). Far less than US$1950. If I start saving now, I can get one for Christmas a few years from now.

Yan: Glad to hear that you are enjoying the Shimano 3N80 and Busch & Muller Lumotec IQ Cyo LED light! I ordered a B + M light and also a Philips LED Saferide dynamo front light for use with Shimano hub. They arrived today, and I just tried them out. I'll add a brief summary to the body of the blog post.

Unfortunately I got the

Karsten said...

What's that truing stand you are using? Looks like a very sturdy one, but I haven't seen it anywhere before.

David Litt said...

The truing stand is a TACX very basic model. http://road.cc/content/review/115090-tacx-exact-wheel-truing-stand