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Dynamo hubs & USB chargers

We use hub dynamos all the time.

On commute bikes and tourers they work great to light the path and keep us safe on busy city streets.

There are too many good lights out there for us to list on our little website but we mostly use Busch and Muller as they’re well made and reliable. You can see the full range on the UK importers website. For off road use such as mtb 24 hour racing the USE Revo is a neat solution that fastens to the handlebars and throws out 800 lumens, more than enough to see where you’re going. We’ve used these very successfully whilst doing events like the Bearbones 200.

Invariably a lot of our builds use an SP dynamo hub as it’s a good value product available in a range of colours and options – including a 15mm bolt thru version and now a 150mm fatbike / Jones unit. The Son (Schmidt’s Original Nabendynamo) units are available in many different options and finishes, with a five year warranty, though you are unlikely to need it. Look here if you need 135 or 150mm versions for your fatbike or Jones.

We also use Shimano dynamo hubs normally favoured for city bike wheel builds. Think Bobbin Birdie with a dynamo hub around £150.

We now stock the Cinq-5 Plug III for all your USB charging desires. This neat little unit comes with enough juice to power smartphones (including the iPhone) and your back up battery. It’s pretty simple to install, just a new expander in the fork steerer and attach the cable to the dynamo output. The use of the Plug III is absolutely simple and requires no technical knowledge. This design allows retrofitting many bikes as it is in no way permanent and reasonably simple to remove.

If you need a light that also charges there’s the B&M Luxos IQ2 that throws out 70 Lux. Remember that any device that runs off your dynamo is primarily a device charger, not a battery charger. Any device that runs off a cycle dynamo will struggle to charge a battery so its best to stick to charging devices such as phones and GPS’s.