14 December 2014

SP Dynamo -- the 9 series (SV-9) dynamo hub arrives ... and completes Paris Brest Paris 2015!

As regular readers know, I am a big fan of the SV-8 dynamo, having ridden my SV-8 on lots of 600km, 1000km, 1200km, many shorter and one even longer (1420km+ -- LEL) randonneuring events in recent years, putting in 15~20,000 kms, conservatively, with this light source.  And I use an SD-8 (disk version) on my commuting rig, and a PV-8 (greater output) as well, and have built up a number of SV-8's and PV-8's for friends.

The new model is out!  SP Dynamo has sent me a couple of SV-9 hubs.  Announced last summer, the wait is over.

I measure a weight of approx. 313 grams, down from approx 371 grams for the SV-8.  So 16% lighter.  Much smaller also.  As long as it works as well as the SV-8/PV-8 ... a major improvement just based upon smaller size and weight.
Left: SV-8, Right: SV-9.  Big reduction in size, and weight.
SV-9 fits in the palm easily.
My SV-9 weights 313 grams.  Just a wee bit more than the advertised 309 grams.
An SV-8 weighs in at 371 grams.  
I built up the hub with an H Plus Son Archetype rim -- wide, deep, attractive (black with white graphics) and sturdy enough for long distance audax/randonneuring, and Sapim CX Ray spokes -- the best spokes I have used ( ... if more expensive than non-bladed options).  The result is a beautiful wheel that should be very durable and fast.  Wheel No. 00025.

Of course, the hub's low weight (for a dynamo) means that even with a sturdy rim and 32/3-cross spokes, the wheel is the lightest dynamo-hubbed front wheel I have yet to see, weighing in at 955 grams.
955 grams for the wheel, including sturdy rim and 32 3-cross spokes.
How does it work on the road?  Well, stay tuned for updates.

The electric output is not materially different than the SV-8.  As with the SV-8, output is not QUITE enough at low speeds to be certified in Germany for use with standard 700mm road wheels, but plenty of power in practice for someone who rides at normal speeds and who uses modern LED lights.

What is the main difference, other than the lighter weight?  My first impression is that the hub's resistance/drag is impressively tiny when no light is attached (or on).  My spin test suggests it is signficantly lower resistance than the 8 series (which was best in its class).  No, my front wheel built with the SV-9 does not spin for 4+ minutes, like my Gokiso front hub/wheel.  But it does spin for 40+ seconds. That is a lifetime compared with other dynamos and suggests truly negligible drag.  First rides in the neighborhood confirm this.  On December 28 the hub will get its first real test.

UPDATE (Dec 28, 2014):  I took the first extended ride with the SV-9/H Plus Son wheel, 185 kms from Tokyo to Shizuoka, over Atami Pass, then another 15 kms back home from the Shinkansen station at Shin Yokohama.  The hub works just fine.  No noticeable difference from the SV-8, except it rolls even smoother with the light switched off (am I imagining it)?  And, of course, a front wheel that is around 60 grams lighter -- not noticeable to me except perhaps in my imagination, spinning up to climb on steeper sections of the climb to Atami Pass.

I left home at 4:25AM, so used the light for the first 3 hours or so (to Odawara), as well as for 45 minutes of the at-dusk ride home from Shin Yokomama.  I turned the light off during day, but switched it on for the 600 meter elev. descent from Atami Pass -- so cars, if any, would see me coming sooner in the mirrors on the curvy road, and for some stretches on crowded roads where I wanted cars to be more aware of me as I passed by along the curbside at stop lights or in slow traffic.  If it holds up as well as the SV-8 over time, it will be THE hub for randonneurs who want the convenience of dynamo lighting with a "normal" road bike feel and who want to complete events with fast times.

I remember reading a ride report recently from an American cyclist who rode in the "front group" at a recent PBP and commented there were few or no dynamo hubs among these folks -- pure road racing set ups.  With a product such as the SV-9, I would be curious if 2015 is different ... though I will only have a fleeting instant to check, as those folks pass me on the return leg as I head out.

My only regret ... We are now entering the coldest time of the year.  I have only one Brevet on schedule over the next 6 weeks, and it is a 200km, mostly daytime event.  Ride conflicts are cropping up on many other weekends during that period, so it will be awhile before I can get in a really good series of longer rides in on the new wheel.  That said, I am planning to ride PBP and plenty of other events this year, so eventually I will get a long-term test.

UPDATE (July 2015):  The SV-9 has done a few longer brevets, and now will be going with me to Europe and PBP!

UPDATE (Post Paris-Brest-Paris -- August 25 2015):   The SV-9 worked beautifully during Paris-Brest-Paris, and I could complete the event with lots of great memories and no more than the normal pain and suffering/wear and tear.

Lots of other riders noticed that I had a very small, light weight dynamo hub, and it got comments in the "start pen" as we waited for our wave to go.

I saw only a few other SV-9/PV-9s, but MANY PV-8/SV-8 and disk versions (PD-8/SD-8).  Jerome's SD-8 worked flawlessly as well, and I did not hear of any problems with dynamo hubs during the event.  Even riders who say that they do not usually "need" dynamo hub lighting want to have it for Paris-Brest-Paris, where they will be riding through the night for 3 consecutive nights, and will have very limited access to electric outlets for battery recharging or stores selling replacement batteries.

At this point, I would guess that more than half of the 6000+ PBP riders must be using dynamo lighting.  I guess that Shutter Precision's market share has jumped enormously, especially with riders from UK, US, Australia and a few other places.  Schmidt still seems to hold a majority of the randonneur market, but a shrinking one.


CM said...

I am thinking of getting the following:

32h Mavic Open Pro Rim with Schmidt SONdelux Dynohub, DT Competition spokes (1012g)

How do think it compares to the wheel you recently built?


CM said...

How does that hub compare to Schmidt SONdelux?

CM said...

Actually nevermind my question.
Would you be interested in building a
wheel for me?

Intend to use it with:

Busch & Muller Lumotec IQ2 Luxos U Senso Headlight


David Litt said...

Hi CM:
I have used Mavic Open Pro rims in the past, but I prefer a wider rim--much greater comfort on rough road surfaces, better stability, etc. Also, if you look at Fairwheel Bikes rim reviews' they have some negative things to say about Mavic Open Pro QC in recent years. (You can find a link here: http://positivo-espresso.blogspot.jp/2014/04/review-of-wide-rims-to-come-velocity.html )
Unless you are even heavier than me, I think you can use 2.0/1.5mm Revolution instead of 2.0/1.8mm Competition spokes on a front wheel and it will be lighter and also perhaps more comfortable.
As for the Son Delux hub, I have never used it. It looks beautiful and like a quality product, but is expensive.
I am not building wheels commercially, but happy to discuss. Trying not to put my email address on the blog -- are you a TCC member? If so you can send me a message there (dgl2) or let me know how to contact you.

CM said...

Decided to get the SP SV-9 and with
David's help got a wheel built.
H Plus Son Archetype rim, Sapim CX-Ray
spokes and Busch & Muller Luxox U light.
Works great. Strong, reliable comfortable wheel. Could confidently recommend this set up to others.

JonLumpkin said...

Based in part on reading your review I just had a wheel built up by my LBS around one of these SV-9 hubs. I had to order the hub directly from Taiwan as none of the USA distributors had it on stock yet.

Pacenti PL-23 rim
SV-9 in silver
32 Sapim Laser (2.0/1.5/2.0 and same as DT revolution) spokes cross three
985 grams including Stan's rim tape

Using with front and rear lights:

B&M Lumoteq IQ Premium Cyo T Senso Plus
B&M Secula

Put about 300 miles on it so far including my first night ride yesterday. Rides great. Drag is negligible both with lights on or off. No issues powering both lights even at modest commute speeds (8 MPH) and works beautiful at higher speeds.

I had considered the SonDelux but the SV-9 is lighter, cheaper, and reportedly has lower drag (but having not used the Son I can't be sure of that).

DrStav said...

I take it you went for the more 32 hole version?

I'm looking at getting a lightweight, high speed wheel made up using a 20 hole version of the SV-9 and rim. Nearly everyone I've seen building the 32 or 36 hole version but wondered if you had seen or heard anything of low spoke count builds. Where any of the faster lot a PBP on them as I cant see anything below a 28 from the other brands.

David Litt said...

Hi DrStav:
Yes, I went for the 32 hole version. At 95 kgs and with a lot of power, riding over long distances and varied road surfaces, I want either a 28 or 32 hole front wheel, and nothing less than 32 hole rear wheel, with traditional spokes and aluminum clincher rim. I think the 20 hole version of the SV-9 is probably intended primarily for much smaller wheels than 700C, and for touring/randonneuring uses the vast majority of riders would use 28 or 32-spoke builds -- I find these are still rideable even if one spoke breaks, with some minor spoke wrench adjustment to the rest of the wheel, while I think a 20 spoke wheel would be much weaker after one spoke goes. I used Sapim CX Ray spokes with my SV-9 for PBP, and was delighted to get through PBP (and much much more cycling before and after) without any issues.
That said, if you are light weight and normally would use a 20 spoke wheel, I think you could do so with the SV-9 without difficulty. You might reach out to Vic at SP Dynamo to confirm if there is any hub-specific limitation on spoke counts, assuming you are fine with 20-spoke builds with other hubs.

DrStav said...

Hi David.

Thanks for the reply. I'm around 70kg when in form and use a 17 spoke Fulcrum Quattro upfront which has taken the punishment and has stayed true with sprints, climbs, long distance, UK road surfaces and the usual cycling abuses. The only defect I've had came from a race crash and even then the wheels did far better than my flesh. It may be the build quality (tension balance of the spoke and so on) or tyre choices which have had a factor rather than the component strength, but I haven't found low spoke counts much of an issue in these builds. Moving from 23 to 25mm tyres has taken out some of the minor impact to the rim while maintaining the same rolling efficiency. My thoughts would be that matching the hub to a quality rim and then having a good builder would be a good investment as my building skills may be the weak link rather than the components.

My question was coming from looking at doing fast long distances - I'm looking towards 24 hr TT's and so on, hence the more performance slant - and I've been recommended the SP SV-9. I can see the appeal!

Francisco de Almeida said...

Does anyone know if there is a disc version of the 9-series coming soon?

rik Verhellen said...

hi David , Rik from the french alps.

Interested in having the same wheel setup, H Son archetype with SV9 .

Still happy wit it in retrospect?
With the width ot this rim wath tyre can you use ? I am looking for 28mm-30mm tyres

Thanks a lot for the blog makes me want to come to ride in Japan !!


David Litt said...

Hi Rik:

Yes, I am still happy with the H Plus Son / SV-9 combination. This year I used it on the Okayama 1200 and Hokkaido 1200 events again with no problems.

I have not had any problems with my SV-9 now over many events, and as noted above it seems to have lower resistance when not drawing electric current to the light, and it is smaller and lighter weight. But I think a few grams in the center of the wheel does not matter so much, and the 8 has a longer track record (in my case, and overall for the manufacturer) and looks a bit more durable.

As for tire/rim match, my commuter bike is setup with H Plus Son rims and 28mm tires most of the time. And I just rode in the U.S. on 400k and 600k brevets with Velocity A23 rims -- similar width to the H Plus Son rims -- and Grand Bois 700x30 tires with no problem.

Mike said...

Just seen your post on the SV9 and others comments. Just to ad to the info, I built a 24 hole SV9 into a Kinlin 31T rim last year, suing Sapim Laser spokes laced radially heads in. So far I've done just over 1,000 miles on the wheel and it has been perfect, riding quickly and smoothly (28c Schwalbe One tubeless tyres). Time will tell on ultimate reliability, but this is on my audax bike so will see in excess of 2400km of events this year as well as a training load. My wieght was around 90kg when I first rode the wheel, but is now just over 80 and still falling.

The wheel weighs 900g and suggests that the low spoke counts can work, but I wouldn't want to use it at 90kgs for ever. Also, worth remembering that the flanges are close together on most dynamo hubs and you need sufficient/thick enough spokes to ensure wheel stiffness. The stiff Kinlin rim helps I think.


Unknown said...

What were the lengths for the spokes? 286mm?

David Litt said...

Marcel: If you are referring to the H Plus Sons Archetype Rim, 32 hole, 3 cross build with the SV-9 in the main article, I believe the spokes are 288mm.

I typically use the United Bicycle Institute online spoke calculator.


Unknown said...


Anonymous said...


I plan on building my first dynamo with either the PV-8 or PV-9 with a 32 spokes using a Mavic open pro (already have the rim). I dig the aesthetics of the 9 but would chose reliability and power output over the bling factor. It looks like the nine has been very reliable. In your opinion other than aesthetic and weight are the units very similar?

Thank you for your time,

David Litt said...

Hi Scott: my understanding is that the 8 does have a more durable design of bearings than the 9, so if you will be particularly hard on them — rough roads, gravel, heavy rider or similar it may make sense. That said, my 9 is doing fine after many punishing rides. I prefer the SV to the PV — lower drag and plenty of power to your light except on VERY slow speed climbs.

SRG said...

Hi, What light are you using with this setup?

Anonymous said...

I know that this thread is a bit old. Nonetheless, I wanted to tell you that I have read with great interest your posts regarding dynamo hubs. Very helpful -- thanks!

One question I have, though, is what do these hubs feel like before they are built into a wheel? In other words, if you are holding a new SP hub in your hand and you turn the axle with just your fingers, what does it feel like? I had a chance to do this recently, and was surprised how hard it was to turn. Thump-thump-thump. It didn't feel like it would spin at all. But I've heard that is normal and that once the wheel is built up, the additional leverage will easily overcome the resistance. Is that right?

Sakari said...

I've been considering buying this hub, but there's surprisingly few reviews of the SP SV-9, although it has been available for years. Do you still have it in use or have you replaced it?

Anonymous said...

Hello! I am also interested in long term experiences with the SV-9 hub, especially as there are some reports about failing bearing already after a few thousand km. Any updates about yours?

David Litt said...

Hi Sakari and Anonymous ... I do still use my SV-9. I got it at end of 2014 and used on ONE of my wheels with dynamo hub until last year (2021). I noticed it had developed just a wee bit of play and so got another one when I rebuilt the wheel for a total bike makeover. I did not track my mileage, but over 10,000 kms, probably more like 20,000, over 7 years.

David Litt said...

I should add that at this point, the SV-9 is on a wheel that I use with my travel bike or my Parlee (rim brake/QR), while from earlier this year I also am riding an "all road/gravel" bike (RAMAX) with thru axle that has a PL-7 dynamo hub on the GS Astuto wheelset I had made for it.
I also have done a fair bit of riding on a Pelso recumbent over the past 18 months. That has a disk brake/QR set up, so I am using a PD-8 dynamo hub.
I plan to take the travel bike to Paris-Brest-Paris again in 2023 ... and I hope elsewhere as well.