Budget Commuting Bike

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.

Re: Budget Commuting Bike

Postby pyruse » Mon Jul 07, 2014 3:28 pm

[XAP]Bob wrote:
pyruse wrote:Charge up batteries? Surely easier to use lights with disposable batteries and just have a couple of spare batteries with you?
I have two lights front & back - all disposable battery powered. Very unlikely that both would go down at the same time, but if they do I have a couple of spare batteries, too.

Costs a fortune in batteries. I used a decet set of electronics, driving decent lights and burnt through 8 AAs each day (I charged them during the day at work, and used them on the way home, then the way in. That meant that imminent failure occurred as it was getting lighter, not darker.


The batteries in my lights lasted all winter last year (in fact the flashing rear one lasted all the winter before as well); they are still OK now, but I'll probably put in a new set when the nights start drawing in.
I don't regard 6 X AA and 4 x AAA batteries a year as costing a fortune (one front light is on flash and takes 2 x AA, the other is steady and bright enough to ride by on unlit roads/tracks. That one takes 4 x AA; both are Cateye lights. The rear lights both take 2 x AAA).
I have a short commute (15 mins each way), but even so, the batteries on these LED lights last a long, long time, unless you get the stupidly bright things which some cyclists insist on blinding people with.
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Re: Budget Commuting Bike

Postby MikeF » Tue Jul 08, 2014 8:20 pm

Tonyf33 wrote:Each to their own re dynamos but for their relatively expensive up front cost against a set that runs for several hours with enough light to ride at a decent lick in complete darkness for £17 and not require any special wheel or other set up and can be removed for use on any other bike or handle bar in seconds I can't see why one would want to bother.

I sometimes switch lights on in the daytime if it's raining hard for example, and recently when a lot of traffic was using what is normally a quiet country road because of an accident. Easy to do with dynamo lights. Can't do that for battery lights if you don't have the lights with you. :wink:
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Re: Budget Commuting Bike

Postby mjr » Tue Jul 08, 2014 9:23 pm

You might get some bobby dodgers or illegal dazzlers for £17 but not decent lights for country lanes, possibly excepting German supermarket specials and even then you'll need to be disciplined about battery charging. For all else, dynamos win.
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Re: Budget Commuting Bike

Postby Tonyf33 » Wed Jul 09, 2014 4:15 am

MikeF wrote:
Tonyf33 wrote:Each to their own re dynamos but for their relatively expensive up front cost against a set that runs for several hours with enough light to ride at a decent lick in complete darkness for £17 and not require any special wheel or other set up and can be removed for use on any other bike or handle bar in seconds I can't see why one would want to bother.

I sometimes switch lights on in the daytime if it's raining hard for example, and recently when a lot of traffic was using what is normally a quiet country road because of an accident. Easy to do with dynamo lights. Can't do that for battery lights if you don't have the lights with you. :wink:


I'd be mindful to check the weather for any ride other than down the road for 10 minutes to the shops (as you can just stick your head out the door) so anyone 'needing' lights during the day, if it becomes very overcast or might be foggy for example you should be taking some lights with you in any case. for regular commuting including unlit roads I'd be taking a back up commuter light as well whether you have a dynamo or not, not to do so is just asking for trouble.

My rear light never comes off the bike and the bracket for my casual/lit roads light is there all the time so takes all of 3 seconds to fit and remove. for the unlit road light that takes 30 seconds as I personally don't need it to have a permanent attachment, that's 30 seconds for strapping the battery to the underside of the stem and clamping the light to the bars.

For the flexibility of fitting & removal and the ease of such plus not having any extra drag, nor requiring any special wheels that cost much more not to mention the light itself being very expensive by comparison I'll always shy away from dynamo's thanks..clearly for some people they like all the additional expense, weight/drag, no light when you stop (unless you buy a higher spec model) etc..oh yes I forgot..you do get 'free' lighting, but not so free when 'better' lights cost you easily a hundred quid less including the expense of charging a battery which is pennies per week even with a 5 day a week night time commuter.



As for the reason given above that the person won't remember to charge up a battery pack/seperate batteries..well :roll:
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Re: Budget Commuting Bike

Postby [XAP]Bob » Wed Jul 09, 2014 7:55 am

Drag? about a 1:1500 hill would be more draggy!
Lights off when you stop? Not likely, they pretty much all have standby capacitors, my rear light (the important one) does about 7-10 minutes after I stop.
Cost? My lights cost me less than £25 imported. I started with a few quid bottle dynamo, although I do now have a hub, they can be ~£50 imported, and that buys you a spare wheel as well!

Catch up with modern dynamos before you put up fight, it's doesn't feel fair otherwise :D :lol: :P
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Re: Budget Commuting Bike

Postby Si » Wed Jul 09, 2014 5:29 pm

Yep, I have no idea if my light is on in the day time unless I look - the feel in the legs is exactly the same (it is meant to be virtually dragless when disengaged so if drag were a problem them I'd expect to feel it). And my light stays on for several minutes after I stop. Plus, the fact that it's all integral means that I don't have to take everything off every time I lock the bike up somewhere!
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Re: Budget Commuting Bike

Postby MikeF » Wed Jul 09, 2014 7:39 pm

I can't detect any drag from my hub dynamos even though there must be some.
The convenience of fixed permanent lights, in my view, is a plus point, but possible the wiring could be taken as a negative one. Also, as has been pointed out before, you can't use them as a torch.
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Re: Budget Commuting Bike

Postby Tonyf33 » Wed Jul 09, 2014 11:11 pm

[XAP]Bob wrote:Drag? about a 1:1500 hill would be more draggy!
Lights off when you stop? Not likely, they pretty much all have standby capacitors, my rear light (the important one) does about 7-10 minutes after I stop.
Cost? My lights cost me less than £25 imported. I started with a few quid bottle dynamo, although I do now have a hub, they can be ~£50 imported, and that buys you a spare wheel as well!

Catch up with modern dynamos before you put up fight, it's doesn't feel fair otherwise :D :lol: :P

okay, whatever, now you're into the realms of ordering parts & having wheels built up specifically, firstly the OP has stated the person requiring the bike can't remember to charge a battery so ordering parts and getting a wheel built up is obviously not going to be possible. The title specifically states 'BUDGET' bike, a dynamo system is not only flawed but expensive your £75 in parts plus a wheel build is now around £150+ just for starters, then paying someone to fit the system (remember this person isn't capable of plugging in a battery!)
On top of that if you damage your wheel replacement wheels are not available readily from bike shops nor are cheap.
Yes some systems have capacitors but NOT on budget bikes.
I'll concede that on a high quality dynamo hub that indeed it may be equivalent to riding 1:1500 all the time..'switched off', however add in the huge weight of the hub, the not insubstantial rims that are oft needed for such. requiring more energy to just get the wheels up to speed and that DOES make a difference. But again, that's for a top quality hub/wheel and NOT a budget bike..
come back with a better all round inexpensive simple to use system that doesn't require complicated parts before you put up a fight as it definitely isn't fair.. 8) :lol:
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Re: Budget Commuting Bike

Postby PH » Thu Jul 10, 2014 1:08 am

Tonyf33 wrote:
[XAP]Bob wrote:Drag? about a 1:1500 hill would be more draggy!

I'll concede that on a high quality dynamo hub that indeed it may be equivalent to riding 1:1500 all the time..'switched off', however add in the huge weight of the hub, the not insubstantial rims that are oft needed for such. requiring more energy to just get the wheels up to speed and that DOES make a difference. But again, that's for a top quality hub/wheel and NOT a budget bike..


The first reply had a link to a budget bike with a fitted decent quality hub dynamo and light. It might have been better if the thread had stopped there, rather than turn into another dynamo Vs battery debate, haven't we done this before? Of course there are choices to be made, I wouldn't consider a dynamo on my summer fun bike, the fact remains that in countries where a bike is considered a normal mode of transport, permanently fitted dynamo powered lights are part of that normality, just like they are for nearly all other road vehicles.
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Re: Budget Commuting Bike

Postby [XAP]Bob » Thu Jul 10, 2014 9:41 am

Tonyf33 wrote:
[XAP]Bob wrote:Drag? about a 1:1500 hill would be more draggy!
Lights off when you stop? Not likely, they pretty much all have standby capacitors, my rear light (the important one) does about 7-10 minutes after I stop.
Cost? My lights cost me less than £25 imported. I started with a few quid bottle dynamo, although I do now have a hub, they can be ~£50 imported, and that buys you a spare wheel as well!

Catch up with modern dynamos before you put up fight, it's doesn't feel fair otherwise :D :lol: :P

okay, whatever, now you're into the realms of ordering parts & having wheels built up specifically, firstly the OP has stated the person requiring the bike can't remember to charge a battery so ordering parts and getting a wheel built up is obviously not going to be possible. The title specifically states 'BUDGET' bike, a dynamo system is not only flawed but expensive your £75 in parts plus a wheel build is now around £150+ just for starters, then paying someone to fit the system (remember this person isn't capable of plugging in a battery!)
On top of that if you damage your wheel replacement wheels are not available readily from bike shops nor are cheap.
Yes some systems have capacitors but NOT on budget bikes.
I'll concede that on a high quality dynamo hub that indeed it may be equivalent to riding 1:1500 all the time..'switched off', however add in the huge weight of the hub, the not insubstantial rims that are oft needed for such. requiring more energy to just get the wheels up to speed and that DOES make a difference. But again, that's for a top quality hub/wheel and NOT a budget bike..
come back with a better all round inexpensive simple to use system that doesn't require complicated parts before you put up a fight as it definitely isn't fair.. 8) :lol:


No -£50 is in a wheel already, and you don't have to start with that - the £10 bottle will work quite happily.
The person is not incompetent. If they can't order a wheel then they can't order a bike so this whole discussion is pointless.
The bike is for someone who would struggle to remember to charge up batteries so a dynamo is best I think.


Have you ever ridden a hub dynamo? They are not a "huge weight", I can't work out why they might need heavier rims at all.

A nice cheap Shimano hub and B&M lights will outlast any battery setup, and will be more reliable in the mean time.


OK - So Dynamos:
AXA Quattro £7.28
AXA HR £13.51
Wheel with DH-3N31 £55.06

Rear light:
Toplight Plus £7.58

Front light:
B&M Lyt £14.35


So that's <£30 for a dynamo setup to German regs... With standlights front and rear. Hardly going to break the bank (the lights are what I use btw).
Now you need to find: Front light, Rear light, Reflectors, batteries that comply with either German or British regulations - not forgetting batteries... for £17 :lol:

On a £500 bike I don't think that 10-15% of the value in "practicality" (Mudguards, rack/bags, lights) is overkill by any means.
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Re: Budget Commuting Bike

Postby Bicycler » Thu Jul 10, 2014 12:21 pm

PH wrote:The first reply had a link to a budget bike with a fitted decent quality hub dynamo and light. It might have been better if the thread had stopped there, rather than turn into another dynamo Vs battery debate, haven't we done this before?.

Quite agree. Mods, is there any chance of splitting the dynamo debate from the commuting bike suggestions? At this rate the OP will have to sift through multiple pages with barely a single answer to their question
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Re: Budget Commuting Bike

Postby [XAP]Bob » Thu Jul 10, 2014 12:43 pm

Bicycler wrote:
PH wrote:The first reply had a link to a budget bike with a fitted decent quality hub dynamo and light. It might have been better if the thread had stopped there, rather than turn into another dynamo Vs battery debate, haven't we done this before?.

Quite agree. Mods, is there any chance of splitting the dynamo debate from the commuting bike suggestions? At this rate the OP will have to sift through multiple pages with barely a single answer to their question

Good idea - but can we leave a link in from here to there (where "there" would be in the technical section).

Even if only for the point that even a hub dynamo setup can be cheaply added to a bike.
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Re: Budget Commuting Bike

Postby BeeKeeper » Thu Jul 10, 2014 4:27 pm

I stopped reading this thread when someone was rude about my son - who has learning difficulties but I am grateful for the suggestions made at the start of the thread.
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Re: Budget Commuting Bike

Postby [XAP]Bob » Thu Jul 10, 2014 5:47 pm

BeeKeeper wrote:I stopped reading this thread when someone was rude about my son - who has learning difficulties but I am grateful for the suggestions made at the start of the thread.

Apologies for any offence, I think the request for a dynamo (of either type) is pretty well explained..
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way.
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