After months of preparation, the Joule III dynamo hub was finally launched by Biologic.
And to make it even more meaningful, the new bike gadget had won the coveted 2012 Eurobike Award yesterday.
|Award-winner: the Biologic Joule 3|
I had the privilege to test and evaluate the hub and I must say that if you are seriously thinking of doing some touring on your folding bike, this gadget is a 'must have' on your folding bike.
|The hub, rigged on a 20" wheel|
FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, GERMANY – August 29, 2012 – BioLogic, a specialist in urban cycling gear, today unveiled the Joule 3 dynamo hub, featuring a patented design that sets a new benchmark for weight, size, and efficiency. The Joule 3 was also awarded a prestigious 2012 Eurobike Award.
“To put it bluntly, most dynamo hubs on the market are a bit of a drag to ride, literally.” stated Kevin Chan, BioLogic product manager.
"They add noticeable drag, and extra drag is the last thing you want to feel when you have five miles going into a stiff headwind. That’s why we’re so excited about the Joule 3 — it’s a benchmark design that is an incredible combination of low weight, compact design, high efficiency and high power output.
In controlled laboratory tests, the Joule 3 reaches 73% efficiency while most top-selling hubs on the market reach a maximum of 55%. The higher a hub’s efficiency, the lower the drag riders will experience. The lightest configuration of the Joule 3 weighs only 355 grams and can be built up into a 20" rim set weighing only 695 grams.
The Joule 3 comes in multiple variations — 100 mm OLD/32H/disc for traditional city/trekking/mountain bikes, and 74 mm OLD/20H for small-wheeled recumbents, trikes, and folding bicycles. The Joule 3 meets German StVZO standards.
In addition to the Joule 3, BioLogic also announced that the Joule HG On/Off dynamo hub is ready for the aftermarket.
The Joule HG is a dynamo hub that can be switched on or off: in the “on” position, the Joule HG is one of the most efficient hubs on the market and in the “off” position, the magnets are pulled away from the core of the hub so that there’s zero extra drag. The Joule HG weighs 656 g with an output of 6V, 2.4W.
I guess it can now be revealed that I also had one of these hubs and to date have over 800 miles on it. It performs as well as the original Joule dynohub I have been riding on for years, but it is much smaller and lighter. It also apears to me that the output connector will resist corrosion better than the older hub's connector; this wasn't really tested last winter as the weather here in Chicago was much milder than usual.
I have heard about the Joule HG, but the drag on the Joule 3 is so low that it is undetectable when riding even (to me) with the light on. So it's not clear to me what the advantage is with the HG weighing almost as much as the entire wheel built upon the J3. I wonder if testing would show the energy required to carry the extra weight is offset by the lower drag. Also, the hub producs 20% less power *and* requires fiddling with the hub to change the magnets' position.
There is not much doubt in my mind that the Joule 3 is the way to go. I may put one on my road bike!
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