SON Generator Hubs and LightsJan Heine
Compass Bicycles has added SON generator hubs and Edelux lights to our program. We are excited to carry the best bicycle lighting systems ever made.
A few years ago, a reporter asked me what I considered the most important innovation in bicycles during the last half-century. After thinking about the many innovations that have been branded as “game changers,” I answered: “Generator hubs and modern lights.” (The only other thing that comes close are clipless pedals.)
Generator hubs have made bikes far more useful, because you now can ride as well at night as during the day. No longer do you need to worry how much charge you have left in your batteries. Nor do you have to ride the brakes on descents, so you don’t outrun the beam of your dim lights that are powered by a sidewall dynamo. In the rain, you no longer worry about your generator slipping on the wet tire.
Generator hubs have made bicycles as convenient as cars: When it gets dark (or you enter a tunnel), you just flip a switch, and the lights come on. They are always there, not consuming significant energy when they are off, and very little when they are on. (In fact, we didn’t even wire a switch on my son’s bike. His lights are on all the time, like those of modern cars.)
Schmidt Maschinenbau (above), a small company with 28 employees, developed the first modern generator hubs. They continue to make the best generator hubs and LED lights in their small factory in Germany. Most of their suppliers are within cycling distance, and they pick up many parts by bicycle.
For years, we have collaborated with Schmidt Maschinenbau on testing the resistance of generator hubs and the beam patterns of lights and have made suggestions for products, such as the SON 20R (now called Delux) and the connector-less hubs, which transmit the current to a special dropout without wires to unplug when you remove the wheel. We have been using their hubs and lights for many years on our own bikes.
We are proud to announce that Compass Bicycles now sells Schmidt’s SON generator hubs and Edelux headlights. Click here for more information.