Monday, October 13, 2008

Shimano DH-3N80

The little Cateye headlight I've been using for my early morning rides is less than ideal. It definately falls in the "be seen" category. My plan is to replace it with a dynamo hub and light. I would like a Schmidt Son 28 dynamo hub but the $275 price tag is a bit much for me right now.

I started researching the Shimano DH-3N70 dynamo hub. Much of what I've read indicated that most people were perfectly happy with their Shimano dynamo hubs despite the added resistance compared to the Schmidt. Many people actually recommend the Shimano over the Schmidt for city riding which is pretty much all I'm doing right now.

Yesterday in the Surly LHT and CC Group, Andrew from Austraila, posted pictures of his new Surly Cross Check built up with a Shimano DH-3N80 dynamo hub powering an awsome little Supernova E3 headlight. Here's a link to his Flickr page for more photos. Good looking bike Andrew.

These hubs aren't available in the U.S. but apparently they narrow the performance gap between the previous Shimano hub and the Schmidt. I couldn't find any reviews posted in english but I did find Roseversand, an online bike shop in Germany that sells them for 67 Euros ($97) plus 30 Euros ($40.00) shipping to the U.S.. That's a savings of about $138 depending on changing exchange rates and if I read things properly on the German web site.

By the way, I also discovered that there's a whole subculture of people who enjoy building freakishly bright headlights and modifying flashlights. You can find them at Candle Power Forums.


  1. Huge fan of the generator hubs in general. I now own at least 5 bikes with them on there. Three are the old Sturmey Archer Dynohub, one is an older Shimano hub the other is a 2.4w EU spec Shimano. I am very happy with all of them. The lights are what really make the difference. The original lights on my Raleighs make a firefly look like a super nova. On the one I ride most I cheated and used the B&M Retro I may get a couple more for the other bikes. On my more modern bike I use the B&M Lumotec IQ Fly. What an awesome headlight for the money. Being LED I don't have to worry about bulbs burning out anytime soon. Coupled with a nice tail light I am better off than most cars ;-)


  2. Hey Aaron, the B&M Retro is pretty nice. Which bike did you mount it to? I'd like to mount a light to the right of stay of my Nitto rack. I've seen that done with the E6 but that's a little pricey. I might go with one of the plain round Lumotecs.

  3. The Retro Light is on my Raliegh Compact RSW It is the same as the Lumotec just in a different housing. I have a base Lumotec on my Staiger Utility bike. Velo-Orange also sells the Spanninga/Jos Retro light. It isn't as bright as the generator powered lights, but does provide some light when mounted down low, it can also be used as a secondary marker light. But regardless it looks cool and is pretty affordable.


  4. that's a good looking light!
    Im very fond of my cateye at the moment but if I lose it/get it stolen I have a few options ;)
    get well over there cast-arm rider! looks epic. & thanks for the love

    xo/ meli

  5. Rose is one of the biggest in Germany. If you decide that you want/need the hubs from them, let me know and I'll get 'em and ship them too you. We can work it out.

    I'm still waiting for a quality disk brake gyro hub to arrive on the scene that's not $1000.

  6. Wunnspeed, I really appreciate your offer. If I get a little extra money together over the next few weeks I might take you up on that. Take care.