What Are The Differences Between a Classic Dynamo And a Hub Dynamo

Today, when it comes to powering bicycle lights , there are several solutions available to cyclists. The oldest is the dynamo. Until 1987, she had no rival. Since then, products have arrived that offer other solutions to power your bicycle lighting: batteries, systems that recharge with solar collectors and hub dynamo. In this article we will try to shed light on the difference between a classic dynamo and a hub dynamo.

What is the difference between a classic dynamo and a hub dynamo?

Which of the two offers the best user comfort, what is their performance, and what are the pros and cons of each?

The classic dynamo offers a system that produces electricity by rotating a roller by friction on the tire of the wheel of your bicycle. The hub dynamo is located, as its name suggests, in the central axis of the wheel of your bicycle. It is the rotation of the wheel that produces the electricity needed to light your bike.

The advantages of the bottle dynamo

The fact that the classic dynamo comes to rub against the tire to produce its energy has the consequence of slowing down the bicycle during its use. The friction opposes a strong resistance to the energy supplied by the cyclist. It also has the consequence of wearing out the sidewall of the tire on which it rubs. In rainy weather, the roller does not roll properly against the tire. It patina, which prevents its use in bad weather and asks to avoid puddles. 

This type of dynamo offers an efficiency of 30 to 40%. One of the most notable advantages of this type of lighting system power supply is its low cost. Dynamos are inexpensive.

The advantages of the hub dynamo

On the other hand, the dynamo-hub provides more advantage than its “competitor”. First of all, since it is located in the hub of the wheel, it no longer rubs on the tire of the bicycle. This has the advantage of no longer putting up resistance to the running of the bicycle during its use. This resistance still exists. 

But the majority of hub dynamos available on the market have negligible resistance. According to some studies, this resistance is of the order of 1% of the pedaling effort. As it does not rub on the sidewall of the tire to produce its energy, it is no longer subject to the risk of slipping in rainy weather. It can therefore be used in all weathers.

Another difference between a classic dynamo and a hub dynamo, this type of dynamo is much less heavy than the previous one. One of the most interesting criteria of the hub dynamo is its efficiency, of the order of 80%. While the classic dynamo has an efficiency of only 30 to 40%. It is therefore more efficient. In particular with regard to the energy supplied in relation to the speed of movement of the bicycle. Or even the energy supplied by the cyclist. Because it is not subjected to frictional wear, it has a longer life than its “classic” little sister.

All of these advantages seem to make it a very good accessory for your bike. The only downside is that, unlike the classic dynamo, it is not disengageable. This involves installing a switch to cut off the power to the bicycle lighting system.

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