Dynamo Hub lighting - On an e-bike?

Jim123

Member
I heard on one of the video reviews that Europe requires a dynamo generator lighting system on all bikes. That is the best system as far as I can see. If your battery runs out you wouldn't have lights despite your large starting battery power in an integrated lights system. I bought a "water proof" led light about 8 years ago. Took it into a deep country road(with high speed farmer traffic). It started raining and the light quit working at night. One of the scariest rides home I have ever made. I would say the burden of a dynamo drag is more than worth that never happening again.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
I heard on one of the video reviews that Europe requires a dynamo generator lighting system on all bikes. That is the best system as far as I can see. If your battery runs out you wouldn't have lights despite your large starting battery power in an integrated lights system. I bought a "water proof" led light about 8 years ago. Took it into a deep country road(with high speed farmer traffic). It started raining and the light quit working at night. One of the scariest rides home I have ever made. I would say the burden of a dynamo drag is more than worth that never happening again.
Jim, I know that most if not all of Europe you must have working lights on bikes, but I don't think all of Europe requires a dynamo system. I could be wrong, things could have changed since my last experience in Europe. I do agree it's a great system, if it's a dynamo hub and I would choose it for the bikes I buy if offered. Unfortunately the bikes I own the hub was not an option, so I choose good rechargeable lights with long lasting batteries along with backup front and rear lights. Such an important component and often downplayed as an accessory.
 

Jack Tyler

Active Member
Greg, I'm new to ebikes but not to mixing low-voltage electricity with Mother Nature, and I would steer clear of the WBW hubs that were showing external blade connectors. It isn't just in coastal areas where corrosion juices can attack the metal-metal contact of exposed terminals. By contrast SON's SL fork-hub connection system offers a much larger surface contact area and much higher pressure binding those surfaces together vs. the blade connectors. Really quite clever, I thought. But no doubt pricey.

One concern I have with this 'generator' approach is that, if you slow or stop your bike, your illumination disappears. And so one augments the bike lighting with battery powered lighting to offset that loss of illumination...which is dealing with a symptom of a less than desirable system. It seems counterintuitive to me to be carrying the extra weight and affording the additional expense of an ebike battery and not have that battery providing the minuscule additional power LEDs require. I'm sure this is a common thought and I'm surprised more manufacturers aren't offering a pigtail, perhaps at an optional price, from the controller for accessory lighting. Perhaps this is yet another way in which the market may mature over time.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
One concern I have with this 'generator' approach is that, if you slow or stop your bike, your illumination disappears. And so one augments the bike lighting with battery powered lighting to offset that loss of illumination...which is dealing with a symptom of a less than desirable system.
Jack, the really good hub dynamo's have capacitors that can hold the voltage/amps/power to keep your illumination going for several minutes. This tech could easily be added in a DD or even geared hub, giving you illumination even when your ebike is dead. I've pedaled my 500w-DD for a few miles dead and my 350w-geared is easily pedaled dead, but with a dynamo lighting system you'd never be riding in the dark.

Not exactly what or who you asked....:)
 

Jim123

Member
As of Jan 2016 Great Britain is trying to standardize their laws with EU law. Here is a excerpt from about their Department of transportation " new hints from the DfT that the only requirement for a 15.5 MPH limited motor-assisted-bike is for an automatic headlight to operate whilst the bike is in motion." The quote is from this article https://www.juicybike.co.uk/uk-europe-ebike-law . One fun thing about the weak bikes of the EU is that they allow all ages to use them. And the weak bikes are excellent for children's use. I know that would have been a dream of mine as a kid. Unfortunately in America 16 is the required age. If we had a weak bike standard for kids, that would be helpful.
 
The Bosch-powered bike that I have on order--a Trek XM700--is set up so the headlite will stay lit for 2 hours after the battery can no lomger power the motor. That's my understanding, at any rate.
 
A dynamo hub maybe redundant because there is a battery on electric bikes, but I'm having a bike/wheels built and now would be the time to do this.

Does anyone have a hub generated lighting source?
How well do they work?
Pros or Cons?

Hubs like these: http://www.nabendynamo.de/produkte/edeluxii_en.html

http://www.nabendynamo.de/produkte/son_28_en.html

https://www.westernbikeworks.com/pr..._medium=base&gclid=CKm0-KTN88oCFYSDaQodnhgMgA
My BH Easy Motion bike came with a Shimano dynamo hub and it works very well. The stock tail light also works well and has a "stand light," function, so that it stays lit after stopping. Some models even have a brake light function. Front lights can be purchased that put a good amount of light in a broad beam pattern. Dynamo lights have the added benefit of not depending on battery power to work.
 

David1

Active Member
I rode at night with no battery on my St2 for a few miles, as power got low so I shut off the assist. Was pleased to see The headlight was on and bright , even kept up with some road bikes with the weight of St2 on a slight downhill. Don't know if tail light was illuminated, still need to check that .Needed to be extra careful around traffic as bike was moving in slow motion now. Battery had been charging as quite a few bars had been added from those couple of miles of riding.
 

Douglas Ruby

Well-Known Member
Thr embedded taillight in the Specialized Turbo City kit has a dynamo capacitor so that it stays lit for minutes after power is turned off. The battery shuts off all assist at 2-3% remaining, yet will still drives the lights for 2 hours. Also, like the ST2, the Turbo will drive the lights even with the battery removed, using the hub motor as a dynamo.