Thursday, October 2, 2014
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The Death of a Dyno hub

The Death of a Dyno hub

My trusty Shimano Alfine Dynamo (DH-S500 model) hub bit the dust at some point over the last day of cycling through Slovenia. I’m not exactly sure when it died since we haven’t been riding in the dark, other than the occasional tunnel.  Although I had been using it to charge my iPhone via my newly purchased Biologic Reecharge Power Pack.  I have to say that I’m a bit disappointed in the the overall longevity of this particular hub.  It served me well, but only for about 5000km. Not exactly a stellar lifespan.

Over the previous days I noticed that my Biologic Reecharge wasn’t charging as fast as it should and then when we went through a tunnel in Rijeka, Coatia my lights wouldn’t come on at all.  At first I thought it was the Reecharge  fizzling out, but when the lights failed too then I quickly realized it must be the hub. Bummer.

At least we aren’t biking at night much, or at all hopefully, on this trip so we should be OK until we return home.  Upon close inspection there appears to be some play in the hub, as if the bearing cones are loose, although the cones are in fact tight.  Still the geek in me wants to crack it open to see if I can fix it.  Then again, perhaps I’ll wait.

About Tyler Robertson

Passionate about bicycling, photography and great tacos, Tyler is always happiest when in the saddle. Now living in and exploring Eastern Europe by bicycle, he often spends time analyzing how bicycles can change the face of travel and the economic landscape while planning his schedule around bicycle trips (instead of the other way around). If you would like an opinion or contribution on any of the above, please connect on Google + or contact Tyler .

6 comments

  1. I’ve had the same Shimano dyno hub for about 11 months and have pedaled 2,800 miles. I started having trouble with the light not coming on as quickly as it use to and a friend told me to try using a light abrasive on the contacts to make sure they are making a good connection. Seems to have work for me so far.

    • I’ll have to try that when I crack it open. Unfortunately I suspect there is more wrong than fouled contacts since it wobbles a bit side to side too. I’ll post an update when I get it apart, but that won’t be until October when I’m back home. :)

  2. It’s too bad to hear this. So far, my riding partner and I have put three Shimano dynamo hubs to the test. The first two (3N72) rode about 12,000 miles through all conditions, including freezing nights and several submersions in water. The current hub (3D80) only has about 7,000 miles, but under similar conditions. I leave my lights on all the time.

    Great blog!

    nicholas

    • Yeah, I’m less than happy with the longevity of this particular unit. I have had several other Shimano Dynos over the years and they have all worn well. This one was just a dud.
      Thanks for the kind words :)
      ~Tyler

  3. I fixed a dynamo hub it was a dh3n30 Its not that hard I can show you if you like

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