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.
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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.

6 comments:

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.
http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/jitetsu_8125/35028452.html
http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/jitetsu_8125/35193189.html

David L. 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