Back in Stock: SON Generator Hubs and Lights

With the 750-mile Paris-Brest-Paris coming up, demand for generator hubs and lights has been high. We’ve just received another shipment, and now all products are back in stock, plus there are some new items as well.

By far our most popular generator hub is the SONdelux Wide-Body. In addition to all the standard SON features of extremely low resistance and superior reliability, it features a wider body to create a stronger wheel. This is especially useful for wheels with low spoke counts. Even with 32 spokes, you can feel the difference when you climb out of the saddle: No matter how hard you pedal, the rim won’t touch the brake pads.

The SONdelux is also available in a disc model, both for thru-axles (shown) and quick releases. We now offer the thru-axle version with 24 spokes, in addition to the 28- and 32-spoke models. Running lights on your disc brake bike has never been easier.

SON hubs are available with the ingenious connector-less SL system: The current is transmitted from the hub to a contact plate on the fork, so there are no wires and no connectors.

Not only is it easier to remove the wheel – you also get rid of the wires that can break and cause problems. You do need a custom fork for this – currently, no production forks are available with the contact plates – to get the most elegant way of powering your lights.

Speaking of contacts, there is also the SON coaxial adapter that plugs onto your SON hub. It makes for a clean and reliable connection for riders who don’t like the spade connectors (which have the advantage of being 100% field serviceable).

To build your generator hubs into wheels, we carry rims that provide excellent seating for the tires, whether you run your tires with tubes or tubeless. We offer spoke kits to make it easy to source all the parts you need to convert your bike to generator lighting.

I’ve recently written about why I love the Edelux II headlights: With their carefully designed beam, they illuminate the road evenly without bright spots that can make night riding so fatiguing. All car headlights are required to work that way – why settle for less on your bike’s headlight?

Plus, the beam is cut off at the top, so you aren’t blinding oncoming traffic. It’s not just considerate, but also safer: Drivers who are blinded will be afraid to get off the road and steer toward the center of the road  – and toward you.

To mount the lights to your rack, we offer our custom-designed Rene Herse light mounts in different configurations. They allow adjusting the angle of your headlight without tools (lower in the city, higher on mountain roads). And yet, thanks to the clever design, the bolts won’t ever come loose.

The easiest way to mount your light is to attach it to the handlebars. The B&M light mount is perfect for that. If you don’t use a front bag, you can mount the light below the bars, where it’s out of the way. Then you just need to run a wire down to the hub, and you are done. (On the rear, you can use a battery-powered light. Taillights use less power than headlights, and the batteries will last a long time.)

If you are planning a new custom bike, the Rene Herse taillight mounts in a well-protected location on the back of the seat tube. The light uses an ultra-reliable LED circuit with a standlight that keeps you visible even when you are stopped. The lens acts as a reflector. This not only adds safety in the unlikely event that your taillight (or the wiring) develops a problem. It also creates a more diffuse light source that is easier on the eyes of riders following you – and yet it is as visible from a distance.

It’s hard to appreciate how much of a difference a great lighting system makes for night-time riding until you’ve experienced it. When my friend Ryan Francesconi mounted an Edelux II headlight for our recent 600 km brevet, he was blown away. Our all-night adventures wouldn’t be half as much fun without these lights.

More information:

Photo credit: Nicolas Joly (Photo 1).

12 Responses to Back in Stock: SON Generator Hubs and Lights

  1. James Roberts July 22, 2019 at 11:48 am #

    How much does the system (hub, lights etc.) weigh?

    • Jan Heine July 22, 2019 at 12:00 pm #

      Not much when you consider that you replace a standard hub. Compared to head- and taillight with batteries, you’ll probably save weight, because you eliminate the heavy batteries. The exact specs are on the Rene Herse web site (links at the bottom of the post.)

    • Dr J July 23, 2019 at 6:16 am #

      The SON hub weighs about 430g (differs a bit depending on version), Edelux is 85g, mount – about 20g, rear light – roughly 50g. That adds up to 585g plus the weight of wires and connectors. Now subtract roughly 100g for a high-quality front hub that you’ll be replacing, which means you’ll be adding almost half a kilo to your bike. It really isn’t about any weight savings, more a convenience of running a (nearly) maintenance-free system.

      • Jan Heine July 24, 2019 at 12:39 pm #

        You forget to factor in the battery-powered lights that the generator-powered system replaces. We did the calculations in Bicycle Quarterly a few years back… Of course, it all depends on how much run time you need – any battery light that allows riding at night for more than a few hours will be quite heavy.

        Modern bikes often have an amazing amount of weight in batteries. A recent test bike had five rechargeable batteries, all quite heavy: eTap front and rear derailleurs, front light, taillight, GPS.

  2. Chris Lowe July 22, 2019 at 11:53 am #

    Any chance of offering the 15mm thru axle version?

    • Jan Heine July 23, 2019 at 6:54 am #

      15 mm thru-axles are really mostly for mountain bikes, and we specialize in all-road bikes. So at this time, we don’t plan to add 15 mm thru-axles to our program.

  3. Scott Williams July 22, 2019 at 1:04 pm #

    Jan,
    Matched to the Edelux ll lamp, at what speed does the SON generator:
    – produce useable light?
    – reach its maximum output?
    Thanks, SW.

    • Jan Heine July 22, 2019 at 2:12 pm #

      It produces useable light at about 2-3 mph. By the time you reach about 6 mph, the light doesn’t noticeably get brighter as your speed increases, but there still is a very small, yet measurable increase. Basically, the SONdelux is sufficient even for slow riding, because modern LEDs are so efficient.

  4. Mark Beaver July 22, 2019 at 5:20 pm #

    I do look forward to Schmidt introducing a hypothetical Edelux-III using the led and reflector of the IQ-X… I own both the Edelux-II and IQ-X and I really prefer the beam pattern brightness of the IQ-X.

    • Jan Heine July 24, 2019 at 12:37 pm #

      When we talked to Schmidt about possible improvements to the Edelux II, we decided that we didn’t want it brighter. The current models already are a lot brighter than the first Edelux IIs – new LEDs and circuits were incorporated as running changes without much publicity. Perhaps you have an older Edelux?

  5. Peter Chesworth July 23, 2019 at 4:47 am #

    Once you have used a dynamo you will wonder why you had held out for so long. The sheer convenience, little to no discernible drag and great beam with Edelux or B&M. My advice? Grit teeth on the up front cost and reap the benefits for years.

    • GAJett July 24, 2019 at 5:28 pm #

      Completely agree. Going to a fully modern generator set has been a game-changer for me. No more worries about dead batteries, running out in the middle of a ride, forgetting to recharge, or any of that. Drag so minimal I don’t notice. ALWAYS on. I leave mine on at all times as I have found it helps to be seen during the day. I. never think about it.