Exposure to launch Dynamo system

UK brand branching out from batteries with new 450-lumen light

by Dave Atkinson   January 13, 2012  

Exposure dynamo system - light in Toro body

We're surprised it hasn't happened before, but now it has: UK light supremos Exposure have been working on a dynamo-powered system and they're showing the prototype at the London Bike Show at ExCel this weekend.

Obviously Exposure have a long and illustrious history of creating very good battery-powered bike lights; we've recently reviewed the Diablo, Joystick and Strada and all three received high praise. Now they're applying the same principles to a dynamo system running from a front hub.

The hub itself isn't the work of Exposure, they've sourced it from a company called Shutter Precision and they're using the ultra-small PD-8 disc-compatible model. Exposure didn't have a weight for the hub but it's listed variously as between 360g and 410g depending on where you look. Anyway, it's not heavy, and Exposure reckon it's about as efficient as they come. It wouldn't be unfair to say it bears more than a passing resemblance to the Supernova Infinity S.

The light itself is yet to be finalised. For the show Exposure had the gubbins running inside a Toro body but, since the light won't have a big battery, the actual casing won't be anything like as large as that. The dynamo system uses a 3-LED setup, of which two (lower power) LEDs remain on when you're at a standstill thanks to a backup battery within the light body. You can expect the production light to be about half the length of the Toro to accommodate the emitters and the battery, which will power the light for up to ten minutes at about half power, which will be plenty to read your map at a midnight junction or fix a puncture on a pitch-black trail.

Claimed output for the dynamo system is 450 lumens, and Exposure reckon you get all that power, flicker free, at a speed of only 5mph. They're aiming at both road and off-road markets and will offer the hub in 26", 29" and 700c wheel builds as well as separately. Design and beam patterns are still to be finalised and we're not sure whether there'll be different builds of the light to cater for the different beam-pattern needs of MTB marathoners and night-owl roadies, although we'd certainly expect that to be the case given their attention to detail through the rest of the range. They couldn't tell us how much it would cost, either, or exactly when it'll be available. But rest assured: it's coming.

11 user comments

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This is the dynamo hub which you can turn off so that you get no resistance when you're not using the light.

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1380 posts]
13th January 2012 - 11:54

5 Likes

SP do make one, but I don't think it's the one that Exposure are using

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7506 posts]
13th January 2012 - 12:08

7 Likes

Message to exposure: It would be great if the MTB/Road lenses were interchangable... not going to invest in a system where you have to buy two heads and two wheels... Please cater for us folk who ride all sorts of bikes!

alotronic's picture

posted by alotronic [305 posts]
13th January 2012 - 12:25

1 Like

cat1commuter wrote:
This is the dynamo hub which you can turn off so that you get no resistance when you're not using the light.

If there's no load on the dynamo (if the light's switched off) the extra resistance should be minimal; turning the dynamo off won't alter the extra rotating mass.

Andy

posted by ratherbeintobago [32 posts]
13th January 2012 - 13:02

6 Likes

It's actually a 650lumen light with a 450lumen standlight!

I've been using the SP hubs since the autumn, and fantastic super light pieces of kit they are too.

posted by robdeanhove [20 posts]
13th January 2012 - 13:29

4 Likes

Looks like a real step forward for MTB-ers. What would be super-cool? How about a hub that only engaged when braking?

APF

posted by alexpalacefan [7 posts]
13th January 2012 - 14:45

12 Likes

alotronic wrote:
Message to exposure: It would be great if the MTB/Road lenses were interchangable...

I'd bet my house on them not producing a "proper" road lens anyway - the nearest they get right now is the one on the "dip" beam of the Strada, which is just widened rather than dipped and still sends a good chunk of the light above the tarmac and into oncoming windscreens. To my mind the only true road beams are the German ones, which put all the light below the horizon. That's only achievable by not pointing the LED forwards, which would be a big design change for USE.

This light would, however, be the perfect main beam to accompany a B&M/Schmidt lamp, *if* (a) it isn't really expensive, and (b) the electronics will allow you to rig up an external DPST switch, to flip between a German lamp for a true dip beam and the Exposure for a powerful main beam.

I'd really, *really* love that setup, but I rather suspect it will fail at least one of those criteria. I'd be very happy to be proven wrong, though... Either way, it will still be a fantastic piece of kit for off-road use and for those who are happy using that kind of beam full-time on the road.

Bez's picture

posted by Bez [433 posts]
13th January 2012 - 16:57

7 Likes

hhhmmmm ... Electrical connections at axle height on
a mountain bike .... could be a "little vulnerable"
perhaps ????

still on the 3rd switch-back of Bwlch !

posted by therevokid [768 posts]
13th January 2012 - 20:44

2 Likes

ratherbeintobago wrote:
turning the dynamo off won't alter the extra rotating mass.

Rotating mass is a dodgy term really. Mass at the outside of the wheel is much more important than at the hub because what is actually the enemy is the MOMENT OF INERTIA. I've ridden with dynamo hubs a lot AND I'm a big fan of Exposure, this is great news for me!

Vin Cox

posted by Vin Cox [51 posts]
14th January 2012 - 10:50

5 Likes

therevokid wrote:
hhhmmmm ... Electrical connections at axle height on
a mountain bike .... could be a "little vulnerable"
perhaps ????

The connection is on the inside of the fork, much more protected than your disc calliper, which hangs out the back and is vulnerable from the side, let alone your super exposed and easily bent brake disk or flapping brake hose!

I've been running dynamo lights on and off road for 2 years and have never had any issue with the connection, which is well protected and stays remarkably clean in even the muddiest conditions (possibly as mud flies away from the wheel and this is one of the few bits on the inside of it?)

posted by robdeanhove [20 posts]
21st January 2012 - 8:04

5 Likes

ppf Don't worry Revokid,I have used dyno hub lights for 10yrs on mtb night,12,24hr events,ridden through axle deep rivers,gloopy mud,with not one failure (yet!) I have a shimano dyno hubs on all my commute and mtbs, The new supanova hubs will be my next investments! I do carry spare mini battery lights on every ride,however have never used them,(in fact one light was ruined by the unused battery leaking and corroding the internals!) Long term they work out cheaper to run. Also, the supanova front lamp I use is upgradeable for only £50 a time as the led tecnology improves.

peasantpigfarmer

posted by peasantpigfarmer [46 posts]
28th January 2012 - 9:40

6 Likes