Spoke dynamo / speichendynamo. Farewell old friend.

December 19th, 2013 | by Sean |

One of life’s reassuring constants has just quit on me: my bicycle dynamo. I bought it from a German website about 10 years ago after a German colleague told me such a thing existed. This was in the days before translation engines on the web, so I recall some trial and error just to get through the checkout. Desperate to source a replacement for it, I couldn’t remember even what it was called much less from which shop I bought it.

Speichendynamo (Spoke Dynamo) NEU FER 2002 kugelgelagert

Speichendynamo (Spoke Dynamo) NEU FER 2002 kugelgelagert

The Speichendynamo article on German Wikipedia tells me they’re not made any more and certainly I couldn’t find a shop selling a new one online. I’m gutted – this little device worked brilliantly for me. My front light and generator were fixed permanently to the bike (so couldn’t be lost / easily stolen) by virtue of being clamped on with the front wheel Allen key skewer. Front lights don’t go as easily into a pocket as rear lights, so this was a cheap and easy hub dynamo alternative.

Inside the spoke dynamo - belt-tastic

Inside the spoke dynamo – belt-tastic

I had hoped this evening’s problem would be easily fixed, but opening the casing revealed a sorry sight. It originally came with a set of replacement belts, but I’ve migrated twice across the world in the meantime and those are long gone. I’m going to keep it in my ‘lucky parts’ box, just in case.

Ex-belt

Ex-belt

I ride for transport, all year round, so the spoke dynamo was a revelation to me. I’d had several bottle dynamos before all of which would aquaplane in bad enough weather, causing the front light to go out in the worst possible circumstances. Ten years of faithful service – I probably only cleaned it / oiled it 2 or 3 times. A sad day.

I think I’m going to have to dig deep and get a hub dynamo.

Update

I dug not very deep (£42) about a month ago and paid for a new front wheel with a built-in hub dynamo + £50ish for an LED front light (the old halogen light was incompatible) with a built-in stand light function. The new combination is excellent – no noise, no discernible drag even when on. My one gripe is with the light, not the hub: the contrast between the well-defined square of light thrown ahead of the bike and the darkness directly ahead of the front wheel has caused me to slow down on some of my regular routes. There’s so much debris (pebbles, rocks, bits of branches) to avoid that I’ve had to point the light almost directly at the ground so I can see it as it passes under the front wheel! Perhaps I need a different lens?

Update 2015 July 8th

Spotted a similar-looking product at Amazon. I’m a hub dynamo convert now, so there’s almost no chance I’d give this a try, even if it does have a phone charger! http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00OMSYR9Q/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_dp_ss_2?pf_rd_p=569136327&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B00LSVGRIY&pf_rd_m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&pf_rd_r=04QD80JW9G6EPJ9BE2EE

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  1. 2 Responses to “Spoke dynamo / speichendynamo. Farewell old friend.”

  2. By Tomasso on Jan 20, 2015 | Reply

    Isn’t this what you are looking for?

    http://www.onlinefahrradshop.de/xtcommerce/304SP2.1_package_full/304SP2.1_release/xtcommerce/product_info.php/info/p629_Speichendynamo-FER-AUFA-Zahnriemen.html

    Cheers!

  3. By Sean on Jan 20, 2015 | Reply

    That looks like it, thanks!

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