SON – I’d heard of these guys before whilst researching a hub dynamo setup for my 29er bikepacking rig a year or so ago but I soon found myself drowning in overly technical information and potential expense and so quickly gave up on the whole thing.
So when I spotted the SON stall at Bespoked I seized the opportunity to have a chat with the their guy about what they’re up to.
Here are a few shots of their kit dynamo-lighting kit:
I mentioned that their hubs bear more than a passing resemblance to the ‘market leader’ in the offroad dynamo hub world and he was surprisingly honest and complimentary.
He agreed this brand-which-shall-not-be-named had been very complimentary to SON’s original design in creating such a visually similar product. He also said that this brands dynamo workings were very high quality and in no way low budget despite the low price tag. The difference, he explained, was in the bearings and other engineering areas. This ‘other brand’ has cut many corners in their attempts to lower prices and so the resulting hub is something which is likely to last a hell of a lot less time under trail conditions than the SON model.
I’ve rarely known a competitor to be so fair and reasonable about such things but he was a very nice fella!
Anyway, so on to the product…..
In short he was very German (precise and technical) and we had quite a long chat about the difference between Lux and Lumens (I still don’t fully understand it) as well as chatting a lot about the very complicated spread of their beams.
The beam has a lot of the strength focused at the top. As this part of the beam will hit the trail further away than the bottom of the beam you would normally expect the visual look of the light to be gradually faded but with their new spread it creates a mote even light over the whole area being lit. The logic seems sound even if my explanation is sadly lacking.
They’ve also developed a nice little dropout end for fork manufacturers to use on their forks that has a built-in connection to the hub and so there’s no disconnecting/reconnecting issues when removing the wheel. The wiring then runs inside the fork leg and up to the light – a great little idea.
I did take photos but nothing of any use came out and so I let you visit their website if you want more information about that particular innovation.
Further techno-chat (much of which went straight over my head) ensued and I was left with the feeling that not only do these guys really know what they’re talking about but also that they have a obsessive passion for their products – exactly what I want in a component manufacturer!
I’m in the process of trying to get a hold of some of their kit to try it in real-world conditions (they had a fatbike compatible hub but the guy had no knowledge of how their lights might perform on snow as it’s not been tried as far as he knew).
With a little luck there’ll be a field-test soon and more to report…..