Going Greener

Today was the first day of the year I managed to ride the full length home from work, boy am I out of shape!  By Rhode Island standards, we’ve had a snowy winter so far.  There has been snow cover on the ground pretty much from Christmas and there are still traces of snow in areas with tree cover.  Unfortunately, this includes the bike trail, so I’ve spent most of the winter months doing a combined bike and bus commute.  This method still let’s me get about 6 miles a day on the bike, but it’s pretty much devoid of hills.  Needless to say, my ride home tonight was both rewarding and humbling.

Towards the end of last year, my 9+ (can’t honestly remember exactly when I got it) front light was starting to become flaky.  I’d done surgery on it a few times.  It was behaving okay, but would occasionally decide to just turn off after going over a bump or need a little encouragement to turn on.  I didn’t fully trust it and, with Christmas coming up and heading into the season where I’d spend a lot of time riding in the dark, I decided to ask a few elves for some help towards the purchase of a new light.  A friend of mine convinced me I should seriously look at hub generators and associated lighting systems.  While they are more expensive up front, the money saved from not needing to charge them and the longevity, he promises me I can get at least twice the life out of one of these, I decided to take the plunge.  I went into my local bike shop in November, after doing my homework, and asked them to gather the various pieces.  I had heard rumors that these new LED lighting systems were hot in Europe and tough to get your hands on, the rumors were true.

Fast forward to a week ago and I now have a working lighting system on my commuter bike.  I ended up going with the Shimano DH-3N70 hub with an IQ Fly Senso.  The light has a standlight function, so it will stay on for a few minutes after you stop moving, it does dim down almost immediately once you stop rolling, but turns back on at full output once your on the move again.

Initial reaction… it’s everything I could hope for.  The hub generator is barely noticeable at speed.  I think the bike does decelerate a bit faster once you stop pedaling, but I can’t notice a difference when I’m on pedaling.  It’s also brings a smile to my face knowing that my already green commute is even greener!

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