Surly Cross Check Dynohub Light…

9 10 2012

B&M IQ Cyo Plus & Shimano dynohub…

Sharon has developed into a kick ass bike commuter riding most days of the week year round here on Vancouver Island. She’s been frustrated with charging batteries non-stop for her winter commutes so I promised to install a dynobhub and headlight on her Surly Cross Check commuter rig as part of her birthday present.

Looks like a serious commuter machine now… 😉

This is the wheel and light from my 700c LHT that I recently sold. They didn’t see a ton of use so they’ll give Sharon many years of faithful service I am sure. She’s going to keep using her battery powered light to double her lumens for really dark rides, but at least now she doesn’t have to stress too much about the battery levels. If they run out she’ll have more than enough light to ride by just from the dynohub light.

IQ Cyo Plus mounted to right fork leg…

We are trying the IQ Cyo Plus R on the right fork leg for now. If Sharon doesn’t love that position we may try mounting it on top of the front wheel at the fork crown. The right fork leg provides and easy path for the wiring which is nice as well as the low angle of light illuminates debris on the road well. The “R” version of this light puts extra light close to the bike idea for slower speed urban commuting where avoiding potholes or broken glass is more important than shooting light as far from the bike as possible.

Shimano dynohub DH-3N80…

Kurt helped me tidy up the wiring at the connect end of the light which was appreciated. The Shimano dynohub is a good deal and the drag isn’t terrible so I assume Sharon will simply use this wheel and light 24/7/365. We’ll keep the old front wheel just in case though.

Nice clean compact lighting setup…

Since we are into October Sharon will be using this light everyday until April so it will get a good test. I know she’s excited to be freed from tyranny of the battery 😉



17 responses

9 10 2012

Very nice set-up!

I’d like to do something similar to my Tikit, which is my normal commuting ride. I’d just have to be careful when folding…

9 10 2012
Micheal Blue

I have this light on my LHT…for commuting. I have it hooked up to a Dinotte battery (including the rear B&M light). Gives great light (for commuting).
I wonder how these hubs perform over the long term, especially in rough terrain, such as the potholed streets of Toronto.
BTW, hooray to BF find solution to the tikit stem issue. Hope it won’t break their back financially.

9 10 2012

@Ty – it may be possible to do a similar setup where the hub and light is low on the wheel with minimal wiring distance between them to be damaged in a fold. Note the Tikit front hub is narrow so a normal dynohub isn’t going to work.

@MB – randonneurs are using the both the SON and Shimano dynohubs for high mileage applications often on rough roads as well as in the rain and I haven’t heard any tales of early failure so I don’t see it as a major concern.

9 10 2012
Erik Verbeke

@MB: my girlfriend and I both use a Shimano DH3N80 hub. Both have run about 25 000 km in the last three years. (also bad pavement over here in Europe) No signs of wear, no maintenance at all. I love it 🙂

I wonder where you get this fork mount idea, clearly the light is interrupted when it has to pass the front tire? I mean, you create a blind spot for no reason? Wiring to the crown doesn’t seem very difficult to me. (that’s at least what I did)

9 10 2012

Yepee, something about commuting !
You didn’t mention anything about rear light. Have you wired something or kept things simple (and batteries) for tail of bike ?

For my Audax bike (with dynamo on rear weel), I installed similar front light (the 60 lux model, with less light at close distance… I am not sure it is a good choice) instead of an old halogen light. What a change !
On my new commuting+travel bike, I have Son dynamo and front light (with B&M rear light). I am very impressed with results: light with nearly no additional effort, and it begins at very slow speed.
I still maintain battery lights for 2 reasons:
* I always have 2 light systems (for both front and rear)
* I have blinking lights

9 10 2012

@Blobby – ya sorry for the lack of bike commuting content. I’m not doing any so it’s few and far between such posts.

Sharon uses two battery powered rear LED lights. They work fine and rarely need recharging so it hasn’t seemed worthwhile to wire in a tail light although we’ll keep that option open.

9 10 2012
Brian E

You may want to try the wire routing technique that I show in this video. You can probably find some white electrical tape if you want to take it a step further.

Skip forward to the 3:00 mark on the Crown Mounting video.

9 10 2012

This light does not hold up well in the Pacific Northwest rainy season. It is not totally waterproof. My daughter proved that so upon her Surly Long Haul Trucker with a SON 28 generator hub last season.

9 10 2012

@Kim – the B&M battery powered light survived a season of daily winter commuting here on Vancouver Island and sporadic summer use. So far it’s had zero problems.

I know quite a few randonneurs here in BC use the IQ Cyo without issues so I’m optimistic it will do fine. I’ll report back in the spring once Sharon has used the light all winter.

10 10 2012

yay, hot on the heels of the BQP issue reviewing dyno hubs and lights (which I am reluctant to spend money on just to read it). I would like to know more about how she likes it, if the cost of a new wheel or wheel rebuild, new hub and lights are worth it. How bright is that light in practical use? Good for urban, okay for rural? What about drag? The sanyo hubs are mighty cheap, but are said to have strong drag, although many buy it as their first dynohub. The son schmidt hubs are beautiful, but the cost! For my next in line bike project I want to go the dynamo route. After years of investing in bike lights and having them pile up in a drawer I am ready to think about spending the extra money up front. The new battery LED lights are bright and getting brighter, but already after less than a year and only a few months of actual use am having issues with the battery not holding it’s charge for as long as it’s supposed too and being caught on the lowest settings on dark rides on rural roads with wildlife galore. And it is sad how quickly 500 lumens looks dim and dark once out on the road and in real life applications.
On the sunshine coast, the road crews slosh magnesium chloride on the roads and highway even at the slightest sign of frost for much of the year even when not necessary and it destroys bikes and parts. I worry it would destroy the dynamo lighting. magnesium chloride eats chrome and aluminium as well. Do you know if it is used in the Victoria area? Still on the fence about a move, but my husband would jump off the fence to an area that doesn’t spray that crap everywhere.
Kim-perhaps your daughter’s system suffered from too much magnesium chloride or salt plus rain and muck and a less than optimal cleaning regime? I was a bit lazy with keeping my bike clean over the winter(okay several winters) and paid for it. I have seen the IQ Cyo on many bikes in the pnw and a lbs at a bike shop showed me his daily dynamo set up with this light and said it was solid.

10 10 2012

Heather – there is nothing sprayed on our roads here in winter. It rarely snows and nobody seems to care about black ice.

A single light like Sharon has is fine for a commute in the city or on a dark MUP. She uses two because she already had the battery powered one.

Pricing and other details can be had at Pete White’s site:

23 01 2013
Paul Ahart

I’m coming into this discussion a bit late, but can give some advise/suggestions on the dyno light deal.
I’ve got two bikes with front hub dyno lights: a Boulder Bicycle with SONdelux and IQ Cyo N+, mounted under the side of a Nitto M12 front rack, and a Rivendell Bleriot with a Sanyo/Sram I-light dyno hub with IQ Cyo w/nearfield illumination, mounted about the same height, but attached with a NOB to the fork and a B&M handlebar mount attached to the NOB.
As far as drag goes: The SONdelux is definitely lower drag and much more elegant looking. The IQ Cyo N+ casts a slightly brighter and WIDER light field than the Nearfield light. The Sanyo hub has quite a bit more drag, but for use on a commuter bike it is totally adequate. I’ve put about 2000 miles on it over the past year with no problems whatsoever. Another thing I like about the Sanyo hub is the plug-in, which is extremely easy, compared to the SONdelux with its tiny separate plugs. This could be important when fixing a front tire puncture on a dark night.
I notice in the photo of the Surly Cross Check you have the light mounted to an aluminum bracket attached to a lowrider braze-on. Since there is no front handlebar rack on the bike, you might get a better light spread installing the light to the fork crown using the stainless steel mount that comes with the light.
PS: I like your blog site!
Paul Ahart
Island Bicycles, Friday Harbor, WA

10 02 2013

I have a 2009 Surly Cross Check which is getting the same hub (with a matching rim to my other wheels) and a CYO with daytime lights but not near field light. I look forward to trying it out this spring. Do you see a big difference between the 40 lux an 60 lux version for very dark roads!

10 02 2013

@Daniel – I don’t ride that bike so I can’t compare. Sharon uses her dyno light and a battery powered B&M Ixon IQ for really dark rides. Not necessary, but she owns them both so she uses them.

10 02 2013
Paul Ahart

Daniel, I just swapped an IQ Cyo w/nearfield for the model w/o nearfield. It’s a bit brighter, and mainly casts a broader beam. The Nearfield model casts more of a “tunnel” of light. Pretty much OK on the straight, but a bit scary on fast downhill turns. The nearfield light makes a great commuter light, but the other model is probably better for randonneuring and general fast night riding.

10 02 2013

Paul – I will be doing more early AM rides in very dark places than city ommutes so I should be getting what I need w/o near field lights.

thelazyrando – likewise, I have a decent battery light and will use it with the CYO. No sense in not have enough lighting and is great on turns if mounted on my helmet.

5 08 2013
vikapproved | B&M IQ CYO Plus R Bicycle Light – 1yr Review

[…] Sharon’s being using a B&M IQ Cyo Plus R bike light mated to a Shimano dynohub [model DH-3N80] for about a year now. I had the same light and hub on my 700c Surly LHT before that although it didn’t see a ton of use. Sharon on the other hand is a near daily bicycle commuter year round here in Victoria. She rides ~4 out of 5 days a week. […]

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