Tuesday, August 28, 2012

First impressions: Biologic Joule III

Green energy
I received a package from Taiwan in July.
It contained a rim complete with spokes and a beta-version of the new Biologic Joule III dynamo hub.
A similar rig was sent to Chicago in the US for testing. 
I've had some experience with the Joule II hub and we've cycled it through 3,000km with the Dahon Speed TR.

The Biologic Joule II dynamo hub

The first thing I did, was to retrofit my Dahon Speed P8 with the Joule III. 
This looked nothing like its predecessor and is kinda similar looking if you compare it with Schmidt's SON (Schmidt Original Nabendynamo) dynamo.
From what I was told, the SON has a 50,000km lifespan without servicing. And this is a preferred tool for lighting (6V headlamps) and charging for small devices for long distance cyclists such as touring riders (reference made from Peter White Cycles).
The 20" rim which I received from Joshua Hon of Mobility Holdings (Biologic and Tern Bicycles) came in black and was a perfect match for my 2009 Speed P8.
It didn't require much knowledge for assembly, but the Joule III came without a dynamo kit and a light.
Josh had quickly followed-up by sending a dynamo LED headlamp and a Biologic dynamo kit.
When I fitted the Joule III, the wiring was split to power up the headlamp which worked very well and the dynamo kit (with power spike protection).
The only problem I had was attaching the coupler to the dynamo.
I found out that the screws on my fender were too long and was getting in the way.
This was solved by loosening the nut which allows the coupling to fit snugly on the dynamo's power connector.

The Biologic Joule III (beta version)
The rig on my Dahon Speed P8
Final production version of the Joule III
On-going evaluation
I've cycled the Joule III for 1,000km.
So far so good. 
There's hardly any resistance and for devices, it needs a constant speed of 9km/h to power up.
On my Garmin EDGE800 GPS, the power from the Joule III hub came as an auxiliary source to keep the device going.
Even in rainy and wet conditions, the dynamo hub had no issues.
The only thing that I need to keep a lookout for, is the power coupling. I need to check this for corrosion from use in our hot and humid weather.

Eurobike 2012
Biologic will announce the Joule III today in Germany as a new product in their accessory line-up.
I think the new hub will also be introduced on Tern Bicycle's 2013 premium models.
That said, I can anticipate high-quality bikes like the Tern Eclipse S11i as well as other high-end touring and city bikes fitted with this awesome power source..

1 comment:

Stephen said...

I can verify the satisfactory performance of the Joule 2 (or is it "1"? ^_^ ) over several thousand miles. In fact, I wore one of mine out due to bearing failure after several Chicago winters... we use a lot of salt here. It took me 3 years of fiddling with the dead hub to figure out how to replace the bearings. Anyone interested can see the process here:
It remains to be seen if a similar repair can be done to the Joule 3, because I only have about 1,300 KM on it and I am not inclined to mess with it yet!
Steve Weeks