Bicycle dynamo comparison 2018

Purchase advice on the bicycle dynamo comparison or test 2018

  • Bicycle dynamos are part of the bicycle light system. They translate mechanical into electrical energy, which is fed as current into the front and rear lights on the bicycle and then becomes visible as light.
  • Basically, different types of dynamo can be distinguished from each other: Particularly widespread are mainly side-rotor dynamo, which are currently being slowly replaced by the technical high-quality hub dynamos.
  • For a bicycle dynamo to be approved in accordance with the Road Traffic Act (StVO), it must have a nominal voltage of at least six volts and a nominal power of at least three watts.

Bicycle dynamo comparison 2018: 2018

Bringing light into the darkness and ensuring road safety - that's the job of a bicycle dynamo. In contrast to classic bicycle accessories such as bicycle basket, bicycle lock or bike mirror, which can be purchased as optional equipment for the bicycle, For safety reasons, the Dynamo belonged for a long time to the prescribed compulsory equipment on the bicycle.

But despite this rule, in 2009, according to statistics from the ADAC, 39.4 percent of all cyclists with unlit bicycles on the road, which, although comparable figures for the last few years missing, probably should have changed little.Only since July 2013, the rigid dynamo obligation was relaxed a bit: Since then can be used as an alternative to the bicycle dynamo on battery-powered bicycle lights or bicycle lights with battery.

Bicycle dynamo comparison 2018: dynamo

Depending on the mounting option, the bicycle dynamo can be attached to the rear wheel or the front wheel.

If you too are anxious to equip your broken bicycle with lighting and want to go in search of your personal bicycle dynamo test winner, take a look at our bicycle dynamo comparison 2018. We bring light into the dark, clarify in our purchase advice Structure and operation of a bicycle dynamo, give you an overview of the different types and tell you what to look for when buying the best bicycle dynamos should pay particular attention.

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1. bicycle dynamo - structure and operation

Physical forces

The physics of a bicycle dynamo is easily explained: the mechanical energy applied by the cyclist is transmitted through the impeller to the magnet and coil where it is converted into electrical energy (electricity), which is then perceived as light.

The classic side runner dynamo is connected to a permanent magnet via an impeller, which is located within a housing opposite a coil. Now, when the wheel is pressed against the tire by a spring, it rotates while driving, causing the magnet inside the case to start rotating as well.

This leads to a change of the magnetic field enclosed by the coil, whereby, following the law of induction, a voltage is induced in the coil. This voltage, which is about six volts, together with the generated power of a few watts to bring about a cable, the front bicycle headlamp and the bicycle rear light to shine.

The advantages and disadvantages of having a dynamo compared to a battery- or battery-powered headlamp are shown in the following overview:

  • Can be used without batteries and batteries
  • Energy source virtually inexhaustible
  • Cycling is more difficult
  • if necessary, adverse effects from rain

2. Bicycle dynamo types at a glance

A good bike dynamo test should inform you about the different categories in which Dynamos can be divided for the bike. In our bicycle dynamo comparison we briefly introduce you to the most important dynamo types:

Dynamo typeSpecial features and properties
External Dynamo

Bicycle dynamo comparison 2018: comparison

  • Side rotor dynamo become attached to the front fork or to the frame.
  • A spring allows them to be pressed against the tire (with rim dynamos on the rim).
  • Turning the wheel inside the Dynamos leads to the conversion of mechanical energy into electrical energy.
  • The frictional resistance is sometimes quite high for cheap models.
  • you work less well in the rain and generally have one rather moderate efficiency.
  • Until the 1990s side rotor dynamos were the standard of many bicycles.
hub Dynamo

Bicycle dynamo comparison 2018: 2018

  • Hub dynamos are one Mixture of conventional front hub and dynamo.
  • They work through permanent magnets, which rotate through the circulation of the front wheel in the hub shell and thus contribute to energy conversion.
  • Since the entire process takes place within the hub, hub dynamos neither exposed to rain nor to other weather conditions.
  • Many models have one very high efficiency.
  • Hub dynamos are switched on via a switch on the bicycle light.
  • They have largely supplanted the classic side rotor dynamos on (high-quality) new bikes.
spoke Dynamo

Bicycle dynamo comparison 2018: comparison

  • Be spoke dynamos mounted next to the front or rear hub.
  • They have so-called "drivers" - parts that are detected by a spoke after folding down and so bring the entire Dynamo to co-rotate.
  • The operation is the same as the o. G. Types: mechanical energy is converted into electrical energy.
  • Spoke dynamos have one very low efficiency and thus are rather inefficient.
  • At present, they have largely disappeared from the market.
Dynamo role

Bicycle dynamo comparison 2018: comparison

  • Scroll dynamos are very similar to the side-rotor dynamos, except they apply on the tread of the tire.
  • They are usually installed behind the bottom bracket.
  • They, too, transform mechanical energy into electrical energy in their interior.
  • Just like side rotor dynamos they are very Weather dependent and less effective in the rain.
  • Their efficiency is also comparable to that of side rotor dynamos.
  • In general, roller dynamometers are hardly used.

However, many of the dynamo types presented above barely play a crucial role in the bicycle accessory market. In an interview with, expert David Koßmann explained to us what the current situation regarding the production and distribution of the different bicycle dynamos looks like:

"Side rotor dynamos are now completely passé and virtually no longer available on neurons. Whenever there is talk of bicycle dynamos today, one usually means modern hub dynamos. All other variants, such as reel or spoke dynamos, were inadequate fix solutions that clearly found their master in the hub dynamo. "

David Koßmann, pressedienst-fahrrad GmbH

3. Purchase criteria for bicycle dynamos: You must pay attention to this!

As you can see from our comparison of bicycle dynamos, there are different types of dynamo, which differ in their installation as well as in their effectiveness. What you should pay attention to when purchasing, you will learn in the following chapter.

3.1. Which dynamo type is suitable?

Whether you should operate your bicycle lamp with a hub dynamo, a side rotor dynamo or any other type of dynamo depends primarily on the importance of effectiveness and cost:

Bicycle dynamo comparison 2018: bicycle

In the rain, it is possible that a side rotor dynamo does not work continuously.

Side rotor and roller dynamos have the advantage that they are very inexpensive and have a low weight. As they use a running wheel to drive the bicycle lights, which runs on the tire of the bicycle while riding,Naturally, side runners and reel dynamos also have some disadvantages:On the one hand, the friction of the impeller makes the footstep heavier; on the other hand, an irregular flickering can occur in the case of poor processing. In addition, there is often not enough grip on the tire when it rains, which can cause the bike's light to fade only a little, but sometimes not at all.

inexpensive, light weight
stiff kick, high noise, hardly functional in rainy weather

Bicycle dynamo comparison 2018: dynamo

A hub dynamo is largely protected against rain and weather conditions.

The situation is different when the bicycle lights are driven by a hub dynamo. Hub dynamos have the advantage of sitting inside the front hub, what protects them against the weather and makes them reliable, low maintenance and quiet. In addition, the mechanical translation is better, so hub dynamos usually have a higher efficiency. The disadvantage, however, are usually the much higher price and the higher weight.In addition, it is hardly possible for laymen due to the complicated construction to repair or replace a seated in the hub bicycle dynamo.

weather and weather resistant, works reliably, quietly
higher price, higher weight

Tip: We strongly advise against the purchase of spoke dynamos. Most of them have a very low efficiency - such as the model, the Stiftung Warentest in the context of their bicycle light test from 2006 under the magnifying glass. This had only an efficiency of 24 percent, which it could never occupy a top position in a good bicycle dynamo test.

3.2. Approval by StVO

Bicycle dynamo comparison 2018: comparison

Battery operated bicycle lamp.

By July 2013, a bike had to be equipped with dynamo. Exempted from this were, for example, sports bikes that weighed less than 11 kilograms and which were even then allowed to fall back on battery-powered or battery-powered LED bicycle lights.

For a dynamo for bicycles in the sense of the Highway Code is suitable for traffic and is allowed, it must over a rated power of three watts and a rated voltage of six volts feature.

Danger: Anyone who wants to buy a battery-powered or battery-powered LED bicycle lamp, in addition to the prescribed performance, also make sure that he himself no flashing lights At length. These are still prohibited in road traffic. In addition, the LED bike light must have a brightness of at least ten lux at a distance of ten meters for battery-powered and battery-powered as well as dynamo-powered lamps. To find out if the bicycle lamp you have favored is also officially approved, you must make sure that there is a K-number with wavy line (test mark of the Federal Motor Vehicle Office) on the housing before you buy it.

3.3. Overvoltage protection

Each dynamo is subject to voltage fluctuations: This means that the Dynamo can temporarily produce too high a voltage to which the bicycle lighting set used is sometimes not designed. As a possible consequence, the lamp may suddenly blow while driving. In order to avoid this, it is worthwhile to look for a dynamo with surge protection, which protects the lighting from the effects of high voltages and electrical charges.

Bicycle dynamo comparison 2018: dynamo

4. Questions and answers around the subject of bicycle dynamo

4.1. How much does a bicycle dynamo cost?

Bicycle dynamo comparison 2018: 2018

Cheap bicycle lighting set with lamp, dynamo and accessories.

If you want to buy a cheap bicycle dynamo, only classic side-rotor dynamos come into question. They cost on average between 5 and 20 euros. However, individual models from well-known brands and manufacturers such as Busch & Müller can also cost more than 30 euros.

High quality hub dynamos are even more expensive compared to roller and side rotor dynamos. Depending on model, build quality and manufacturer you can Hub dynamos for prices between 30 and 80 euros purchase.

4.2. How can I connect a bicycle dynamo?

To mount a bicycle dynamo is relatively easy, as long as it is a classic side rotor dynamo. In principle, you have to simply attach the dynamo to the bike with a screw and pinch the contacts of the lighting system at a certain point on the dynamo. How exactly this works and how you can retrofit a bicycle dynamo when your age is broken can be seen in the following video:

4.3. What is the performance of a bicycle dynamo?

In order to ensure sufficient brightness while driving, the bicycle dynamo performance at at least three watts lie. In addition, a bicycle dynamo needs a Voltage of at least six volts respectively.

Did you know? Although the amount of current that a dynamo can produce can not be increased, a series of second lights can increase the voltage to 2 x 6 volts. It makes sense to increase the voltage of the bicycle dynamo to 12V for those who often travel fast at night and need more light for their safety.

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