Author Topic: Schmidt son28 v. SP  (Read 862 times)

FaustoCoppi

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Schmidt son28 v. SP
« on: January 17, 2021, 02:50:25 PM »
Are Schmidt son dynamos really £100 better than the Shutter Products dyno hubs?

julk

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Re: Schmidt son28 v. SP
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2021, 04:49:16 PM »
Difficult to know.
My Schmidt SON28 has given me 10 years sterling service and is still going strong.
Anyone have a long life SP to give feedback on?
Julian.


leftpoole

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Re: Schmidt son28 v. SP
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2021, 05:59:09 PM »
Are Schmidt son dynamos really £100 better than the Shutter Products dyno hubs?

Answer :- No, not in my opinion having used both types.

PH

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Re: Schmidt son28 v. SP
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2021, 06:40:55 PM »
I have two of the older style SON, a SP PD-8 and a Shimano LX, so no brand loyalty!  The SP is in a 24" wheel, the Shimano is 700c disc and the SON's are 700c rim brake.
For electrical performance, there's plenty of testing and some disagreement about whether the methods reflects real world usage.  There's also some differential depending on your speed and the load on the dynamo, not all lights draw in the same way, that's before you get into charging devices.  My experience with lights is that they all work fine and the differences are too minor to make it a big consideration.  There are some faster audaxers, who say the differences are more noticeable at faster speed, I'll take their word for it, it's not likely to trouble me!.
The older SON is from 2001 and other came in my Raven in 2004. Between them they've been in six bikes and one changed wheel size.  They've both been back to Germany for a service, via SJS. One was feeling rough after about 80,000 miles the other was accident damaged, in both cases the cost was £65 plus one-way postage to SJS.  These older type are serviced without removing the shell from the wheel, the modern ones requires dismantling and rebuilding.  Mine are polished silver rather than anodised and polish up like new.
The SP is four years old and in my folder, I wasn't going to bother but they were on offer and I needed a new front wheel, so... I've had no problem with it, though it's my least used bike.  The light flickers for a bit longer when setting off than it did on another, this is despite it being in a smaller wheel. We're not talking about a lot, by the time you get to about 7mph there's no difference.  The flanges on the SP (And the rebranded SP's like the Jtek on offer at SJS) are narrower than the others, that wasn't a concern on my folder, but it does build a weaker wheel and if I was planning on tourer use I'd choose something else.  They are not user serviceable and there are reports of bearing failures, ususally due to poor seals, though I understand they have been improved.  Out of warranty the UK distributor has been offering replacement recon units for £25, though there's nothing I've seen that guarantees they'll always do this.
The Shimano is the youngest, just a couple of years old, it's what you'd expect from Shimano, it just works. Again not designed to be user serviceable, though there's youtube vids of those who've successfully opened and repaired.

Phew, didn't mean to write so much... and I haven't answered if it's worth it, I don't know, but if I wanted something to last a lifetime I'd buy a SON
If you go for a SON and you're using rim brakes and you want the strongest wheel, there's a wide bodied version.  Originally made as a special for Peter White in the US, they're now generally available. And thinking of Peter White, it's probably has the most informative dynamo info out there.
https://www.peterwhitecycles.com/schmidt.php

« Last Edit: January 17, 2021, 06:44:04 PM by PH »

UKTony

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Re: Schmidt son28 v. SP
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2021, 08:04:32 PM »
Just found this which might be useful. I havenít read it.

https://www.cyclingabout.com/dynamo-hub-power-drag-testing-schmidt-son-shutter-precision-shimano/

I have a Son 28 in a 26Ē lightweight Grizzly wheel on a Mk3 Nomad bought new in 2013. 10700 miles  on varied lpotholed lanes, roads and cycle tracks, is as true as the day it was built up by Thorns. I donít use the light a huge amount - for example no nighttime riding/commuting but I do use it during the day especially when itís dull weather. No problems.

Not mentioned is The relative quality of the bearings which  might b e relevant viz a viz cost. When I bought the bike I asked about the Son 28 and Thorns told me ď high quality Swiss ...Ē and Iíve recently read somewhere that the quality of the bearings  is at least as good as Hope. I donít know about the bearings in the Shimano or SP Dyno  hubs and no experience of Hope wheel hubs but if the Son 28 is that good then it MIGHT  be worth paying the extra for the Son 28?

FaustoCoppi

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Re: Schmidt son28 v. SP
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2021, 10:44:20 PM »
UKTony, comprehensive and compelling, I have a son 28 which is going on our tandem, I am considering going to dyno hub for my nomad hence the enquiry, clearly SP are a lot less expensive, the Schmidt is pricier as itís for a boost 15mm thru axle disc wheel on the Nomad, therefore a consideration when a lamp and USB charger are in the cost plus wheel build!

Iím having my LBS build up the tandem wheel set with the already purchased (spa cycles) hub which was purchased some months ago at a significant saving in one of their sales.

Thank you for your input, on balance I think youíre probably right, thereís generally a reason why you have to pay extra for some things, quality and reliability are important factors. Thank you.

FaustoCoppi

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Re: Schmidt son28 v. SP
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2021, 09:44:49 AM »
PH, thank you also for your input and thoughts , all very helpful. 👍

steve216c

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Re: Schmidt son28 v. SP
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2021, 05:28:54 PM »
This is all too late for me  :'( as I had to make the decision for a new dynamo hub wheel build before Christmas. I ultimately went for a Shimano DH3N72 after reading some stories about bearing issues with the SP hubs on German forums and from an SP user I chatted with when I was curious what hub he had who had had to return it for repair during its guarantee period. Basically, he was fine but had never need guarantee returns with his Shimanos in the past.

I've only ever been able to destroy a single hub dynamo, a Shimano Inter L HB-NX32, and by destroy, I mean 25,000+ km in all weather over several years without touching a thing on it other than a couple of new rims being needed. The bearings had begun to resist and were beginning to judder noticeably at low speed, and my plan was to service those bearings to try and squeeze some more life out of it. On German Ebay you can replace the inners with a new Shimano dynamo cartridge which I found for around EUR 25 and I'd only need to do the bearings on the other side. But I didn't have the appropriate wrench, and used an adjustable spanner trying to remove the inners, which ruined the nut so I was unable to get any grip after all (tried a vice and a pipe wrench) and then gave up.

On my bikes I have the new DH3N72 on my Rohloff, an SRAM i-light on my derailleur 28" and a cheapo unbranded chinese dynamo on my 26" spare bike. My wife and eldest son both have entry level Shimanos on their bikes. My working spare in also a Shimano Inter L HB-NX32 which I also plan to fix with a new cartridge but this time AFTER I borrow a more appropriate tool from a mechanic friend of mine. But this wheel still works- but is beginning to feel tired on the bearings so can still be used for now. The SRAM and the unbranded dynamo all produce adequate power for bright LED lamps and none have let me down so far. In my opinion, the Shimanos in my shed do all run smoother than the other 2 brands I have though- although it is not that noticable. And being a belt and braces kind of guy, I tend to ride all year round with lights on so that car drivers have no excuse for not seeing me. Oh the joys of reliable LED lighting  ::)

A colleague with a Utopia custom built Rohloff has the SON, and openly admits his old Shimano on his old bike (that got stolen with around 30,0000km) was  just as maintenance free and reliable. He says he 'thinks'  the SON does rides better than the Shimano, but not necessarily 3 times the price better. And he was never able to compare side by side as the Rohloff/SON replaced the stolen bike.  He did say if it ever broke he'd probably replace with Shimano based on overall value. His Son is close to 50,000 km though and he's approaching retirement with knee problems and is cutting back on longer rides- so he said he expects the SON to outlive him  ;)

As Shimano are mass produced with huge sales network, there are often offers for off the shelf new wheel builds with DH3N72 for less than the list price of the SP or Shimano hub on its own. Of course, you might not get the rim of choice though. I managed to pick mine up for around EUR 45,  and could have saved a fiver if I had gone for 36 hole in silver vice 32 in black. And I matched it to an Andara 30 rim and spokes which I then built myself on Christmas day, with entire brand new wheel setting me back just under EUR 90.

Although I love the underdog, the Shimanos have a good reputation and test well against the SP hubs. But IMHO offer proven quality and slightly better pricing- plus easier parts/service network. But if I won the lottery, then I'd probably get a custom build frame with SON just to spoil myself, but not necessarily because it will prove that much better.

If only my bike shed were bigger on the inside...

PH

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Re: Schmidt son28 v. SP
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2021, 01:39:04 PM »
That's a good collection of hubs and experience Steve.  I hadn't heard of the SRAM i-light, so googled it, it looks similar to a Panasonic hub, I wonder if they're the same or connected.  A friend has the Panasonic, I don't know anything about it other than they're happy with it.

martinf

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Re: Schmidt son28 v. SP
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2021, 02:46:31 PM »
I ultimately went for a Shimano DH3N72

A long time ago I rode a bike with an entry level Shimano hub and noticed the drag. Which put me off Shimano hubs for a while. So I have SON hubs on my older bikes.

I later found out that mid and high range Shimano hubs are OK. I have three of the DH3N72 hubs and my wife's main bike has the similar but more expensive and lighter DH3N80.

For the two relatively recently rebuilt visitor bikes and my "new" utility bike I prefer the DH3N72, as it has a steel axle rather than the aluminium alloy axle used in the DH3N80, so I believe it should put up with more abuse.

I have SP hubs on 2 of our Bromptons, where small and light is useful, SON on the 3rd Brompton, because it was better than the only other option with narrow fork spacing available at the time (entry level Shimano).

Never had problems with any of them, and I don't notice any significant difference in light output or efficiency, the latter may still be an issue with entry level Shimano.
 

steve216c

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Re: Schmidt son28 v. SP
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2021, 10:34:57 AM »
That's a good collection of hubs and experience Steve.  I hadn't heard of the SRAM i-light, so googled it, it looks similar to a Panasonic hub, I wonder if they're the same or connected.  A friend has the Panasonic, I don't know anything about it other than they're happy with it.

Having googled a little more into this, there are several posts I could find suggesting that the SRAM i-light series were rebadged Sanyo/Panasonic hubs. They do look remarkably similar. And my experiences match comparisons other forums have made between the Panasonic and Shimano alternatives I do have experience of. It is a good hub, but the Shimano hubs feel a little nicer to ride on. And presumably in turn the SON (where I don't have the experience) tops the lot of them.
If only my bike shed were bigger on the inside...