I woke this morning at 3:30 am. I quickly gathered all my stuff for a what was to be a windy 400k. I arrived at the La Quinta, registered for my ride and went to get the Circle A together. I got the front wheel on and went to hook up my B+M Lumotec CYO IQ to my Schmidt SON28. Well, turns out one of the connectors got smashed. I spent a good 40 minutes attempting to get it straightened out, all attempts were unsuccessful. I packed it up and thought about adding some hair to my chest by driving home, grabbing my wheel with a Shimano dynamo hub, switching over my tires, driving back and maybe making the first checkpoint 44 miles away. But, I was easily persuaded not to return back to Brookshire.
I should note, I was offered to use someone else’s battery powered light, but I’ve attempted that before, and it isn’t pretty. I can’t imagine being stranded in the dark by myself with a sub optimal light (actually, I can imagine it, as I did it on my first rando ride). It’s fine if you have someone to ride with, but that isn’t always guaranteed. Anyway, tres uber randonneuring kindness. I’ll have to add this to my rando kit.
Nonetheless, since there was a communication error with Peter White’s shop, I ended up with a non-senso version of the B+M Lumotec CYO IQ. I need to call to straighten out the billing. But, since I have been using the light and just realized it, I am most likely stuck with it. Luckily, I already own a senso version and I’ve been meaning to switch the senso version over to my rando rig. Since I wasn’t on the 400k, I took the day off to get everything straightened out on my bikes. So…I added the senso version of the Lumotec CYO IQ to the Circle A, the non-senso version to the Holdsworth.
Then, I went to radioshack to find the appropriate connections. The guy working there told me “there are no sizes” for these connectors. Which confused me, because why do they have all these numbers like “1/4 inch” and “3/16 inch” all over the packaging? I could tell this flunky would be of very little help, and he eventually left me look through the trays without his compounding confusion. Since I spent 40 minutes of my day looking at this little connector, I thought I knew what size I needed. But, I hedged my bet and got a package of just female connectors in 3 different sizes. In case you are curious, the size you need for the Schmidt hubs is 3/16″. I got the fully insulated version, and will be adding a couple more to my rando kit.
I own two generator hubs, a Schmidt SON28 and a Shimano DH-3N80. By all intents and purposes the Schmidt hub is better (or so we are told). In two areas, however, the Shimano is superior. The most obvious is cost. The other is in the connector. The Schmidt hub ships with some metal connectors which you install, and then slide some plastic thing over and heat with a hair dryer. And are easily smashed.
The Shimano hub comes with a superior connection interface. It has a plastic housing which is neat and tidy, simple to use, clear instructions and never a hassle. I should point out, it is minor hassle setting up because with the Shimano hubs you need to get the correct wire to the correct terminal. There is no such hassle with the Schmidt. Regardless, it’s a 50/50 shot and once you have it set up, you never have to worry about it again. Of course, if the Shimano connector were ever to be damaged, it would more than a trip to radioshack…