Berthoud, Nivex Restock and New SON Hubs

Posted by: Jan Heine Category: Uncategorized

Berthoud, Nivex Restock and New SON Hubs

The new year is off to a good start: We’ve just received a shipment from Europe, plus we’ve made use of the days between the year-end holidays to assemble more Nivex derailleurs.

We’re excited to have Ted King’s favorite mirrors (above) back in stock, as well as the ultra-comfortable, fully rebuildable Berthoud saddles (and all associated spare parts). The last time we got the mirrors, they sold out in under an hour. This is your chance if you missed out then.

SON generator hubs don’t need much of an introduction. For many years, they’ve been choice of randonneurs, bikepackers and all those whose adventures don’t stop when the sun goes down. With their ultra-low resistance and light weight, they disappear until you need them. Their ingenious pressure compensation system prevents moisture from being sucked into the bearings—a real problem with other generator hubs, since there is a large air volume inside that expands and contracts with each temperature change. With that system, SON hubs last decades of hard riding. (I have one that’s now 20 years old, and still spinning smoothly and putting out as much power as it did when new.)

We’ve added a number of hubs to our program. For riders who want to charge their electronics while riding at moderate speeds, the SON28 hub is perfect. Compared to the popular SON Delux, the added weight and resistance are minimal, yet the power output at low and moderate speeds is significantly higher. We’re also offering a variety of hubs for modern bikepacking and mountain bikes, with boost standards, Centerlock and 6-bolt rotor mounts, etc. No matter what bike you ride, you’ll (most likely) find a generator hub in the Rene Herse program.

We also received more Edelux II headlights. They come anodized black or silver, as well as polished to a mirror shine. They are available for standing and hanging mounting. (With their sophisticated layered beam, you can’t just turn the headlight upside down, as you’d get the opposite of the desired beam pattern.)

It’s no secret that SON is working on a new headlight that includes a high beam and a charging port (with a buffer so that your electronics won’t get damaged as your speed varies). The new lights will be available later this year, and we’ll be among the first to get them. However, since the new headlight requires a dedicated switch on the handlebars and won’t be available for hanging mounting (at least initially), I’m unlikely to replace my trusty Edelux II headlights anytime soon. They’ve served me well in adventures ranging from the relentless hills of Paris-Brest-Paris to the rough gravel of Unbound XL. They’ve been 100% reliable, and their layered beam is one of the secrets to night-time speed on rough and curving roads: The Edelux illuminates far into the distance with an even beam—just like a car headlight—where other lights put a bright spot right in front of the bike that makes it difficult to see further ahead.

Finally, we’ve got all Nivex parts back in stock. The initial response has surprised even us—there are clearly many others who share our love of analog shifting. The first production runs sold out quickly. We’re assembling derailleurs and shift levers as fast as we can, but this process cannot be rushed. No supplier can make parts with the precision we want, so we use the same techniques as race car engine builders and mechanical watch makers: Each part is carefully measured and matched to the others—’blueprinted’ is the technical term—to ensure they work together in perfect harmony. That way, all Nivex derailleurs shift with the same clockwork smoothness. Don’t worry if this new run sells out quickly, too: More derailleurs and shifters are already being assembled, and more dropouts and braze-ons are in production, too.

We also got more crankarms in all lengths, including our tandem cranks. These are polished by hand, so they are trickling in slowly as the polisher finishes them. Supplies of 165 and 177 mm arms are still a bit limited, but more are on the way, too.

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