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May 02, 2017

Dynamo Lighting & Mobile Power Systems

When you’re out for the long haul, or riding into the night and out of the dawn, dynamo lighting & USB power systems give you freedom from mains power and the peace of mind of never running out of light on your bikepacking adventure or tour.

Dynamo systems have come a long way since the old style on-tyre roller generators, which were not very efficient and created a fair amount of pedaling resistance. The new breed is highly efficient and outputs at low speeds – perfect for the mixed riding and varied speed that touring and bikepacking encompasses.

A high quality dynamo hub paired with an LED light system will give you plenty of light even for low-speed technical riding, while also providing a charging output for electronic devices such as GPS, phone, camera and headtorch. It makes for a great remoyte expedition/backcountry setup or a complete system for fast bikepacking breveteers who don’t want to be limited by needing to stop to recharge or due to the onset of darkness.

If you are planning an adventurous bike tour, some out there bikepacking or long brevet rides such as the Tour Aotearoa, or even some heavy duty daily commuting closer to home, dynamo lighting & mobile power systems could be for you.

Dynamo system diagram for bikepackersCache batteries

An important part of your dynamo setup is a cache/buffer battery. This sits between the USB charger and any devices you want to charge/power. Cache batteries are pretty cheap - just make sure the one you pick has through-charging and auto-on, so that charging starts as soon as the hub is outputting enough. Plox and Limefuel are popular options. The cache battery soaks up any output from the hub (for charging/using in the evening, when your dynamo will be running your lights), and prevents the 'nag screen' from your GPS when your speed dips below the charging threshold.


We favour the use of connector plugs for joining the cables that run from the hub to the light and to the USB charger. This makes organising your charging cables much easier should you want to break your bike apart for travel or rearrange your bikepacking bags. It also saves a cable being pulled out of a hard wired connection - the plug will come undone first saving an expensive/difficult/untimely repair.

Complete builds available

We offer complete dynamo lighting & mobile powersystems using some of the best components available: lights and USB charging ports from Sinewave and SON, high-efficiency dynamo hubs from SP and SON (Schmidt Original Nabendynamo).

We can also supply custom built wheels with a front dynamo hub. We mainly build with DT Swiss, Stans No Tubes (Crest, Arch, Flow and Hugo) rims, with hubs from Shimano, DT, Hope and Chris King. We can build to your spec and requirements.

Get in touch with us if you have any questions about setting up your autonomous dynamo system for bikepacking and adventuring, we're happy to help!

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