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Dynamo Lighting 101: What you need to know about the greatest invention since the wheel itself.

There is little else more exciting to us right now than the use of dynamos in lighting and charging systems. What is a dynamo? Simply a power generating device that in modern bicycles generally lives inside the front hub. Not all dynamo hubs are created equal.




The biggest factor that separates dynamo hubs are their power output to drag ratio. When chosing the hub for your dynamo system, consider the following factors. How long is your average commute, and at what speed do you normally ride? We currently offer three different dynamo hubs on our Upgrade and Add-On Kits. The Shimano Alfine S501 Dynamo and the Panasonic are great choices for shorter commutes at lower speeds, since they come up to full power faster and produce their maximum power at a lower speed. The difference in drag at these lower speeds (less than 10 MPH), is less pronounced, and so the the Panasonic and the Shimano Alfine are still almost as efficient as the SON28. The SON28 hub however performs significantly better as you reach higher speeds and over time. The power to drag ratio becomes significantly lower in the SON28 hub over speeds of 12 MPH and its efficiency is more pronounced. The SON28 hub is a much better choice for longer commutes and for riders averaging 15 MPH or higher.





Well taken care of, a dynamo hub can last a very long time. Well used, a dynamo hub has a negative carbon footprint, removing countless batteries or power pulled from the grid to USB powered lights. A dynamo system is truly a green choice, but the benefits do not stop there.



Having a dynamo system on your bike is very convenient, never having to think about charging or replacing batteries. Just as you rarely think about the lights on a car being there when you need them, the dynamo hub transforms your bike into a reliable all-conditions transportation machine.



In a sense also, having dynamo lights are more secure from theft, as they are permanently affixed to your bicycle. Yes, they can still be stolen, but a thief would need to remove bolts first to do so and disconnect wires. It makes the job much harder than undoing a tool-free mounting bracket or simply sliding off the light. Also, the light output of the dynamo lights we offer are tremendous. Not only will you never have to worry about others seeing you while you ride down the road or path, but they illuminate the ground in front of you up to 100 feet, giving you a clear view of any danger ahead. 

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