Bicycle Diaries: One with the hub

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One with the hub

a dynohub
that is...

At the end of last week, a rather large, sodden box arrived at my office. It blessedly contained a set of Raleigh Westrick wheels with a 3speed AW hub and a front 6 volt dynohub; both from a 1970 Raleigh Superb. I'll be parting out the former to repair several 3speed hubs which have been clicking and sputtering more than is considered usual. But the latter I've already installed on that which rolls.

A dynohub is perhaps the most elegant solution to bike lighting ever created. Unlike bottle generators, there is no drag on your tire. A ring-shaped multi-poled magnet rotates smoothly, and silently, around the axle. Sheldon "Fiat Lux" Brown (RIP) writes that the only drawback is the Alternating Current it produces. The frequency increases as the bike picks up speed. On the one hand, light output is pretty good at lower speeds; but the faster you go, the greater the risk of frying out a 6 volt light bulb.

I'm willing to take the risk. Substantial "hills" are far and few between in the City of Big Shoulders. I rarely attain speeds above 10 to 15 MPH. The only time I'll have to watch out is on the annual 3speed Tour along the Mississippi where descending several really steep hills takes me way beyond my usual pace. In any case, I'm now waiting on a "King of the Road" Lucas generator light I got on eBay. Ah..... the sweet, sweet anticipation...

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Blogger Thom said...

Boy howdy, what a heap of good stuff! And to think that I get all lathered-up over receiving a handful of crank cotters in the mail.

23/9/08 14:50  
Blogger Da' Square Wheelman, said...

Cotter pins? They're the bane of my existence %) I much prefer cyclealities that don't require hammers, elbow strain, and generally high levels of frustration!

24/9/08 08:04  

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