Sunday, 20 October 2013

New Toy For Winter: SP PD-8X QR15 Dynamo Hub

SP's latest QR15 Dynamo Hub
I must confess to being a long time convert to dynamo lights when combined with modern LED technology. But not just for touring and commuting, actually for mountain biking, proper mountain biking, on technical trails. The latest lights & hubs allow you to run discs and have more light for longer, without worrying about recharging between rides, burntimes or fiddling around in winter gloves to turn the light down.

There is one obvious problem though: Modern MTBs are moving rapidly to QR15 forks and at 6"4' I like the extra stiffness that these forks provide. I need worry no more. Just a couple of weeks before the clocks change and my long rides home are in complete darkness, I now have a QR15 dynamo, the latest offering from the clever guys at Shutter Precision, from the ever helpful guys at Intelligent Design Cycles.

Now time to start wheel building. Bring on the changing of the clocks!





12 comments:

  1. Hi Rob,
    I really enjoy your site, thanks for publishing so much useful info. I'm interested in the SP PD-8X but have reservations about the bearings, specifically their serviceability. Having to send the hub back to Taiwan to have the bearings replaced is a bit drastic. What is your experience with the life of the bearings? If necessary, have you tried re-greasing or replacing them yourself? I'm trying to gauge if this is a non-issue. Your feedback is greatly appreciated (even though you're a sponsored rider ;)
    Thanks, johnny

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    1. Hi, I have a couple of PD-8 hubs as I use a dynamo for MTB and on-road use. The MTB one has been in use for over two years and several thousand miles on it, and keeps on going strong with no play. As the PD-8X is still new I have only done perhaps 1500km on it but it is still as good as new. So nothing but good experiences to report here. I hope that helps.

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    2. Thanks, Rob. I ordered a PD-8 and PD-8X and am looking forward to getting them rolling.

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  2. Hi Rob,
    Is the PD-8x being use on a 29er rim - ie ztr crest?
    thanks for your blog, enjoy the read and stories , simon (australia)

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    1. Hi Simon, yes you are absolutely correct, I am using the PD-8X with a Crest 29er rim & thanks for your kind words :-)

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  3. Hi Rob, what's the reason you didn't use the Exposure labeled version of the PD-8X, is there any difference? I am a bit concerned about quality, that rejected production items could get marketed that way. What's your experience with the new hub so far? I planning to built up a TDR kit and contemplating between the SON and SP/ Exposure hub. Any advice? Btw, how heavy are you, Crest enough, which spokes and nips did you use? Thx and cheers from Nuremberg, ride on, Klaus

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    1. Hi Klaus, I used the SP version of the hub as I am supported by SP through the amazing folks at Intelligent Design Cycles as well as by Exposure, and they (unsurprisingly) had the production models available first :-)

      There is no need to worry about quality, they are all made to the same high requirements as far as I am aware, and no compromise is accepted to ensure long life. My experience so far is all positive, and, on the mountain bike, in gnarly twisty stuff, I really enjoy the extra stiffness of the QR15 axle. I am "comfortably" heavy at 1.95m, so stiffness really matters.

      Oh, and I used aluminium nipples, but I keep an eye on my spoke tensions and make sure they're even to ensure no problems with lightweight wheels.

      Have fun building your bike and good luck, either hub will do you proud I am sure, I would expect both to be durable and both offer excellent support in my experience :-)

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  4. Hey Rob,
    Great blog, ive used to it to piece together a dyno hub system for bike packing, but now that the time has come to wire it all together im running into problems. Im using a pd-8x hub with an exposure revo and a sinewave cycles usb charger. None of which have any sort of switch built into them. I saw you had a very neat set up with a handlebar mounted switch to swap between lighting and charging, could you explain how you had this wired (where the hub wires were run to on the switch) and what sort of switch it was?

    Thanks for the great resource. Al

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    1. Hi Alan,

      I wired my own switch in very simply. I used a SPDT toggle switch with three positions ON-OFF-ON, I then took one of the dynamo wires, it doesn't matter which one, and connected it to the central pin of the switch, the other two are then selectable outputs, each of the two outputs went to one of the devices, either the light or the charger. The outputs of each device then were wired together and back to the dynamo to complete the circuit.

      The wires to the switch were made long enough to place the switch on my bars. This then gave me the ability to turn everything off, or two have light or charging without needing to stop or plug and unplug anything.

      A typical switch is here - http://www.maplin.co.uk/p/sub-miniature-toggle-switch-b-on-off-on-spdt-fh01b

      Hope you enjoy your dynamo setup as much as I do :-)

      Rob

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  5. Hi Rob,

    Thank you for an excellent blog.

    I was wondering if the SP dynamos that you use have seen much wet weather.

    I ride all year in all weather, on and off road and am a bit concerned about how a SP dynamo will manage the British weather.

    The same dynamos seem to be sold as Supernova but with upgraded seals. To me that might suggest that the seals might be inadequate on the SP branded dynamos.

    What is your experience with that?

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    1. Hi Sigurd,

      Thanks for your kind comments. Yes, my dynamo sees a lot of wet weather. I did a multiday bikepacking race on my MTB were it rained every day for the first 8 days, and the same hub is still going strong and feels as good as new.

      I also ride all year round, commuting an hour to work and back every day, either on road, off-road, gravel paths or a mix, so my bike bearings and seals get a pretty tough time! Plenty of BBs and chains ave been worn out, but the SP hubs keep going strong.

      I know the Supernova hubs claim "upgraded" seals. But I suspect that is just their opinion. Form my contact with SP, they do all they can to maximise seal longevity at all costs. You have to ask yourself - who would know best what tolerances etc. were needed to help the seals and bearings operate as well as they can - the people who designed, developed and tested the hub, or a light manufacturer who licences it?! ;-)

      I have been using the SP hubs for years, and the riders who came first and second in the Tour Divide used SP hubs last year, I can't think of a tougher test.

      I hope you enjoy your SP hub when you get one :-)

      Rob

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    2. Thank you very much for replying. It does look like I will be investing in an SP dynamo sooner rather than later��

      Now to choose front and rear lights for mainly road riding��

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