Is an electric bike dynamo hub an actual thing? No, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t equip your e-bike with a dynamo hub.
This might sound a bit confusing but it’s not that complicated.
Depending on the function you would like it to fill it could be very useful.
Or totally ludicrous, here’s why.
A Dynamo Hub Electric Bike Does Not Give You Infinite Power
When I get this question, which happens from time to time, it’s usually for two very different reasons.
One of them is totally ludicrous while the other one is rather useful.
First of all, some people have probably been watching a bit too much science fiction. They seem to believe that they can create energy out of nothing.
So the idea is that you could mount a dynamo hub on an electric bike and use it to simultaneously charge the battery while riding.
This simply does not work. If you still want to challenge the Laws of Thermodynamics, then go ahead. If you do succeed you will have solved the world’s energy problems and most probably be awarded a Nobel Prize.
As my dear friend Albert Einstein once said “Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another”.
An Electric Bike Dynamo Hub Offers You Reliability
The other reason I get this question is that people are wondering if their idea is rational.
They are looking for the best and most reliable lightning-system possible for their ebike. It is especially useful on really long rides where you won’t always be able to find electricity to charge your batteries.
There are arguments to why these aren’t a good fit too. As you convert power you always lose some due to heat from friction.
This setup might not be the most optimized solution in terms of power efficacy. The loss of power however is extremely minimal and probably unmeasurable without expensive equipment. This is the prize you have to pay to be certain that the road ahead of you stays illuminated.
Your bike lights are usually powered by AAA-batteries and in some cases directly from your ebike battery. When you are out in the middle of nowhere with no streetlights, you can’t afford to have your lights go out on you.
A dynamo hub lightning-system powers your lights even when your batteries fail you. This could be invaluable depending on the surroundings of your travel plans. If you intend to go camping, bikepacking or on a cross-country tour this is definitely necessary.
Dynamo hubs can actually charge pretty much anything. There are adapters that allow you to charge your phone, GPS or any other usb-devices.
The dynamo hub that I am using is a Shimano Alfine. I’ve had it for about 2 years on my mountain bike and have used it frequently in both rain and mud. I am very happy with mine that I got from Amazon and feel confident recommending it to you guys.
Good luck on your new electric bike dynamo hub setup.