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Shimano Nexus Dynamo Bicycle Hub - DH-3N72
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- Requires no batteries
- Less rolling resistance
- Reduced weight
- Plug in wiring
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Obviously a 36 hole rim would have to be laced and trued to this hub. The key to that is the measurements needed to correctly estimate spoke length. The only given is drop-out spacing: 100 mm. Shimano used to provide flange offset from center, and the diameter of the hub's spoke hole circle – Pitch Circle Diameter. If the reason they no longer provide these measurements is because of variations, it would be sensible to make the measurements yourself, even if you didn't have to. Measuring the hub is the easy part. Getting a good Effective Rim Diameter is the most important dimension - that is from where the spokes end in the rim on one side to where they end in the rim on the other side. Use a tape to get the inside diameter - eyelet to eyelet. Then poke a nipple through and mark it at the eyelet. Measure the concealed part of the nipple to where you want the spoke to end - in there pretty far but not flush with the end - and add that length to both sides of the inner diameter to get ERD. The only other factor is the number of times the spokes cross each other, which is your choice to make.
At first I thought it had a bit of resistance till i got the rim on and then decided it was super smooth. the resistance it gives is so low I will likely hardly notice it when riding long distance. I put this into a trailer wheel rather than a front rim since my intended use will be for long distance/multi day rides.
As for the operation of the hub, I tested it with my meter and it consistently puts out between 0.6 and 0.8 amps. The voltage in the funny thing, I can get 6 volts at 5mph in a 26inch rim. When I am at cruising speed, 15-20 I am getting 14-16 volts. I always planned to have a voltage regulator in use but now I see how vital it is.
Lastly about the power... I really wasn't thinking much about it at the time but this is an AC generating hub(as I assume most if not all are). Because of this I need to get a Bridge Rectifier(Diode Bride) it convert from AC to DC as well as a capacitor to smooth out the power source so my gadgets get nice clean energy.
It works as described and possibly even better. I am rather excited to get my charging station wired together so I can keep my gadgets powered up on the road.
This particular hub isn't the top of the line, but I don't need that for commuting and general riding. This hub is ultra-reliable and produces enough output to power a tail light and a bright headlight. Unlike a bottle generator, you won't feel the drag, although this is about a pound heavier than an ordinary hub.
Be sure to pair this with lights designed to be hooked up to generators. Also, get lights with a stand-light feature, which store energy and stay on for a few minutes while you are waiting at a stoplight. These lights are not cheap but the system as a whole (generator + lights) is economical and reliable if you want to use a bike for transportation regardless of the weather or time of day.
A previous reviewer, R. Powers, says "Cannot figure out why everybody doesn't have one." I think the reason is cost. You have to lay out about $200 for a good system up front. That sounds ridiculous compared to a $15 blinkie and a $25 battery-driven headlight. But that isn't a fair comparison. To get a battery system with this much power, you would have to use rechargeables. So you would be fussing with a charger and batteries every day. For $200 you get a generator-driven lighting system that is safe and reliable as a car lighting system, that will last for as long as you own your bike, with no maintenance. I have never had to fix one of these systems except to re-fasten a wire.