Hi, my name is Sam, and I’m a Dynoholic. (group: Hi, Sam) Today I’m here to tell my story of Dynoholism to help some of you out there who may be struggling with this sickness (or wanting to develop it) too. I’ve spent many years searching out the perfect light to pair with both my hub of choice (always Schmidt SON28, fyi), and intended use. I’ve used Supernova E3 Triples, B&M units, the Luxos lights with built in USB charging and remote switching (great units for touring/commuting, not great for off road riding), and most recently the K-Lite system, which is my favorite light/USB system for off road/long distance use, although it had one big drawback – two external boxes that require finding a home on your bike (newer units have a smaller usb conversion unit, made by Sinewave) I’ve also used the Top Cap USB unit and Sinewave Revolution in conjunction with non-usb capable light systems to give extra hours to my electronics (I will be reviewing that here soon, also). All in all, my Dynoholism has led me to where I am currently: testing the Sinewave Beacon.
Sinewave Cycles is a company based out of Cambridge, MA (also home to places you may have heard of like Harvard and MIT), that designs USB Dyno-power conversion products which are manufactured in the USA. Somewhere along the line these fine folks decided that they would skip to the chase and incorporate their proven products/tech into an all-weather light unit of their own. My first impression is that they pretty much nailed it.
The “Need To Get On My Bike So Here’s Some Quick Bullet Points” List:
- The Beacon is an all-in-one, completely waterproof unit sporting 3 led bulbs creating a symmetrical beam rated at 750 lumens. The innards are epoxy potted and the external connectors have gold contacts for corrosion free performance in the worst of conditions.
- The USB out on the light, and coaxial input that, when run with the supplied coax to USB cable, allow you to power the light with the same battery you are charging. This is perhaps the most impressive piece of new tech for dyno lights since the advent of USB charging. This means that when you are riding, you can either select to “charge only” or “shared power” (splits power between the lighting and USB charging) and your external battery will charge. If you stop or get into some heavy technical trails/steep climbs that would normally relegate you to relying on the stand light (if available on your unit), the battery that you are charging will act as a power source and kick the Beacon back up into full on light mode. WHAT WHAT? Yes, you no longer need to worry about the light situation when you slow down.
- Did I mention that it is all-in-one, so no external units to find homes for. Makes for very clean mounting, and if you add quick connects and use a mount like the Supernova handlebar mount, it’s very easy to switch between bikes. One unit can be used for all of your Dyno-hub equipped rides!
- Not only is it potentially easy to switch between dyno bikes, but with the Battery Input you can throw it on a standard hub bike and use an external battery to power the light! You can replace your battery powered or rechargeable lights with the Beacon. It’s essentially a do-all light. I will be testing the light on battery-only run time with both a 10,000 and 16,500 mA battery in the near future.
- The Beacon DOES NOT come with a mount. It’s compatible with all standard 10mm dyno light mounts from Supernova, B&M, etc, which you need to source yourself. This was initially a strike against it in my book, but after choosing my own mount (Supernova Handlebar Mount), it became apparent that this is a very smart way to do things. Sinewave need not anticipate users’ mounting needs and carry or manufacturer a wide range of solutions when they already exist in the real world. Smart.
- Comes in multiple colors or custom combinations.
- Two-ish week lead time, as they are built to order. My unit arrived in about 8 days.
- The list price of the Beacon is $350, which may seem a little pricey for some. After my first few weeks of use, the value of this unit has proven more than its cost. The Beacon is a super-versatile unit
This Dynoholic has high hopes and heady plans for the Beacon. More on that later…