blog header

blog header

Search This Blog

1 Nov 2010

Nordlicht bottle dynamo

My Cruiser is my 'back to basic' bike. Simple and elegant, fast and fun. Eight gears is enough and ordinary components will do fine. No mudguards, no rack, no profile on the tyres. Just to ride, a ride. Worry free, no high goals. However, for a ride in the dark, or in twilight, there was a problem. I depended on batteries for my head light. And batteries need attention. I wanted something that's always there when I need it.

'Go get a hub dynamo' is what some might say. For a special utility 'bent like my Pioneer, that is a good idea (just like mudguards and a protected chain). Lot's of light, always there, for a ride from dusk till dawn. The hub is also there when I don't need it. And also, a hub generator is exactly cheap. At least €70,- or so and close to €200 when you want a shiny, slightly more efficient, SON.

So the solution for your 'go fast' and/or 'basic' 'bent, is a bottle dynamo. No drag when not in use and always there when you need it. Low in weight and elegant. It's the same story for a town bike. People used to complain about slipping dynamos, but honestly, mine never slipped. Well, maybe when it was snowing. But than it was way difficult to ride on two wheels anyway. So reliability is not an issue.

Mounting them the right way is important. People often don't do that. The axle of the dynamo wheel should, if you imagine it longer, cross the axle of the bike wheel.

The Cruiser, her name is Yoska, now has a bottle dynamo. It's a shiny one, nicely made too. It feels well made when I spin it with my fingers. (Pjotr320 likes it already.) This is not just a bottle dynamo, it's a Nordlicht. I mounted it this afternoon and did a test ride after dinner. I feel a tiny bit of drag and I can hear it humming. But it does what it should do. There's another nice feature, it runs on the rim instead of on the tyre. The side of a  Kojak is to fragile to run a dynamo on.

Concluding I can say: 'I recommend this product'. Now, if you feel like buying such a shiny little pedal powered energy device, go visit That's where I got mine too. They also sell lots of other sensible bike related products.


  1. use it in and on any type of bike and still have only one device to look after!
    Than again her in te rural area of the capital I don't need more light than 'to be seen'. And I wear a reflective vest under it to alight my presence.
    CU, Mick

  2. Hi, I see some text has 'fallen off'? I was writing about my head lamp on AA's.

  3. Excellent review. How do you like/hate the Axa traction bottle unit? It's on my Nazca Gaucho 26 order.

  4. I've had several bikes with it, and it's commonly used on many bikes in the Netherlands. It's considered to be a very good bottle dynamo. I like it.
    However, my Nordlicht looks nicer and more exclusive. It's does cost a bit more. As far as I know, they're about equally efficient.

    Btw, I also personally really like it that Nazcas will be crossing the big pond.

  5. Your blog post made me take a look at my spare parts bin again... Yes, from an older m5 bike I still had an original made-in-switzerland nordlight.

    I wasn't happy with my cheapo battery powered front light so I screwed the nordlight in place and added a similarly old halogen front light. Much better :-)

  6. And for anybody having dynamo trouble: