I have never had any experience with a dynamo hub in the past, but having ridden with one over the past few months, I see nothing but positives from having one fitted on your bike.
When Shutter Precision sent us out a hub for our bikes to ride with on the remainder of our journey we were stoked. After the tall task of finding someone in Hanoi who could rebuild our wheels out of the way we were back on the road this time with power while pedalling.
We were sent hubs from the SP-8 line and both have similar models of the PV-8 hub for wheels using V Brakes, one 32 holes and silver, the other 36 in black. There are also PV-8 models for wheels using centre lock and disk brakes which come in a variety of different colours. The hubs have a great polished finish with simple and elegant graphics down the centre or spine of the hub which handily indicated the correct direction for wheel rotation. Both hubs are quick release, as are all other models of the SP-8 line of hubs.
Weight: 390 g
Spoke Holes: 20, 24, 28, 32, 36
Max output: 6 Volts 3 Watts
Our experience with the hubs have been amazing. The hub has been smooth and free running since it was fitted and I have experienced no noticeable change to the rolling resistance while in the saddle. But in fairness, when you are cycling with 40kgs of gear in addition to your own weight, chances are you won’t notice a big change in resistance anyways.
Also, despite the narrow 50mm flange width this hub has been up to the challenge of touring. It has remained strong and believe me it has been challenged since it was fitted. With a heavy full load on the front of our bikes for nearly the entire journey and at the worst when we were riding on the roughest gravel roads of our journey in China we never encountered any mechanical failures, broken spokes or broken hub flanges. Riding in the rain was also never an issue. At times we were cycling in on and off rain for a week and even after prolonged exposure to wet conditions the hub shrugged the elements off. This is a testament to quality engineering and construction and a testament to using aluminum end caps to cover the bearings of the hub.
Once fitted installation of any powered accessory is pretty simple. Route the cables down to the plug on the hub and install the SP clip, and you are finished. The hub provides AC current with a max output of 3 watts 6 volts, and claims to be the most efficient hubs on the market touting ~70% efficiency at 15 km/h! (Which is great, btw)
We were powering a Sinewave Cycles Reactor USB charger with the SP hub, and it was an amazing combination. We were no longer stuck with discharged electronics when we were camping or in remote areas.
The internal components of the PV8 do not use the “traditional” construction method of a dynamo hub. Basically it is a more efficient design that is easier to manufacture.
Shutter Precision hubs are not all that well known, but I think that will change in the not to distant future. They are well made, designed, and come with a lower price tag than other high spec dynamo hubs on the market, which is a big plus. We had a great experience and would recommend the hubs for touring or otherwise.
Price – £80