There are three things that I initially think of when someone mentions biking and lighting in the same sentence. One is a proper bike helmet with lights attached to it, great when leaving for really dark routes. Then to comfortably ride when the sun is out, well-working daytime bike lights. Finally, dynamo lights stay permanently mounted on your ride and guide you through all those less illuminated but more fun alleys.
The trend of vintage dynamo bike light is pretty insane. There’s probably a bunch of reasons that can make you interested in availing and using the best dynamo bike light. From being fabulously environment friendly to serving major reliability goals, it’s definitely worth the hype.
However, sometimes this front-wheel housed hub light mechanism behaves weirdly. It fails to work as it should. And by learning a bit about fixing dynamo bike lights based on the corresponding issue, things will be easier. So, that’s what we will be talking about today, let’s get started!
So, You Want to Fix Dynamo Bike Lights.
There should be a relevant guide to dynamo lights that walks through a proper installation of this amazing thing. I hope, you have followed one of those to get it properly installed on your bike. Often due to improper installation, the light may stop functioning after a while. However, there are also other reasons, but quite often it’s simply the installation. Let’s try to list down a few issues that your dynamo bike lights might be facing…
What Could Possibly Be the Cause? (Find Out First.)
It could be as basic as empty batteries or perhaps just the switch getting out of work. However, there can also be more complex issues behind it.
Check if the battery is empty and, in that case, simply replacing it with a new one will be enough. Get a multimeter and with that, you can easily find out about the battery voltage. The multimeter’s probes need to be in contact with poles of battery. Then set it to direct current.
In case the switch is what makes a problem then you need to use the resistance measurement method. Simply getting the resistance measurement for the switch’s two contacts will be enough. A multimeter with a resistance setting will help here. The tool can also help identify any closed-circuit issue or even electricity-carrying elements presence.
The next thing that can be causing a problem is wiring. All connections must be tight. Also, there cannot be any sort of breaks or shorts. You simply need a multimeter to check this again. When testing, keep that specific section of your circuit isolated to get the best results. You will be able to verify correctly the sections between connections that way. The bicycle dynamo wiring diagram can be really helpful if you have confusion on continuity of wiring.
And finally, give a check to light source. If it’s not a hassle, go ahead and replace the bulb as well. You will need a 6v power supply. Simply use it for testing the functionality of light head. You’ll also be able to figure out other loop-situated problems with it.
Some General Solutions That Help.
There are two common fixes to get your dynamo bike lights back on working. The first one is trying to bend components a bit, very gently of course. And this will make them come into contact with each other to sometimes solve problems. The next one is cleaning switch or battery area. You should get rid of the dirt from those parts or corrode that may solve issue.
If the wires are not well connected and so lights are failing, then a wiring fix is necessary. You can ask an expert if wiring is something hard to handle. In case of a broken wire, you also might have to replace the light.
To avoid the breakage of wires, you can simply shape wire into a spiral right on spot where frame and fork are connecting. And this will simply protect the wire.
Sometimes because of light being rubbed against the tire side for more than just a few years, it gets broken down. And in such circumstances, you need to go for a replacement. You also want to be careful with soldering in the bending parts of wire. Because that thing usually will cool down and become prone to breakage.
Bottle dynamos are great and hardly show any issues with proper functioning. You just need to keep a few things in mind when using these. For example, when running them on the tire, use dynamo tread. And also make sure it is aligning right so that the running happens along with tread.
Sometimes due to bent wheels, there could be intermittent issues of lighting. As the low points are there, dynamo cannot operate as earlier and that causes such an issue. You need to get a new wheel for solving this issue. If you want to keep the existing one then maybe go for a rebuild. A spoke key can help with solving minor issues as well.
If you can notice a squealing sound along with intermittent lighting then there’s a good chance of damaged internal bearings. Perhaps just worn out. Often due to using very cheap dynamos or following the wrong setup with axis, such a thing happens. And once you reach this point, a replacement is unavoidable. This is why purchasing a good quality and not too cheap dynamo is always suggested.
Sometimes applying some light oil on bearings saves the old dynamo. You can try that as well before actually throwing it out. If that works, the old one probably was just dried out.
Time To Wrap Up
And that’s all for today. Try out figuring the problem and decide on solution to fix dynamo bike lights that you’re having a hard time with.
However, if things are hardly making any change, it’s best to go for a replacement. If you have earlier asked for help from someone to install the dynamo bike lights, make sure to contact them as well. Perhaps they’ll end up finding what is the actual problem and give you a specific solution accordingly.