In this article I’m going to explain how to install a Sanyo Dynapower bottom bracket generator in 3 steps.
I found this beautiful bottom bracket generator new in the box on our local online marketplace. Since I wasn’t happy with the setup of my classic bottle dynamo and this generator is a thousand times cooler, the choice of spending the extra cash was easy.
Installing the bottom bracket generator proved to be a bit more of a hassle.
Let’s get started.
What’s a bottom bracket generator?
A bottom bracket generator is a device that powers your bicycle light(s) by generating electricity the same way a bottle dynamo does.
The biggest difference with bottle dynamos is that a bottom bracket generator is placed on the wheel which also is into contact with the road vs. the sidewall.
The biggest advantage of bottom bracket generators appears to be that they don’t slip in wet conditions.
I have zero experience with bottom bracket generators but based on the looks of this Sanyo Dynapower the biggest drawback is the fragility of the power cord in combination of the placement in an area where by far the most dirt accumulates.
It also seems that at least my Sanyo Dynapower seems meant to power only the front light. Or else I don’t understand the placement of the power cord on the down tube.
Based on the experiences of other users it appears that bottom bracket generators’ bearings don’t last all that long either.
I’m a sucker for generator or dynamo powered lighting, because it’s the embodiment of vintage bicycles. And I also like it when people here me coming without ringing a bell.
Step 1 Installing the bottom bracket generator
As the name implies you install the bottom bracket generator between the chain stays near the bottom bracket. The Sanyo Dynapower came with an allen key I actually used. Thanks Sanyo.
Step 2 Connecting the front and rear bicycle lights
I first was going to test both lights, starting with the front. The Sanyo Dynapower only has a single connector, which means you’ll need a single wire as the current flows back to the generator using the frame. For more on dynamo installation please read “Selecting and installing dynamo lighting“.
Testing the front and rear light involved wrapping the copper coil around the bottom bracket connector (or “connection cord” as the manual states). Since I didn’t have a crankset installed on this bicycle I was left with spinning the rear wheel manually.
Step 3 Cable Management
My Koga Miyata Adventure has holes in the down tube to accommodate for the lighting wire to run through it. Since I would be replacing the original front wire I reused the rubber wire protector.
I pulled the new wire through the frame using the old wire.
Using zip ties I did some extensive cable management to correctly route the cables along the luggage rack, fork and chain stay and away from the tires but behind the frame.
The end result was a big pile of wires. But before I would tidy it all up I did one final test if the lights worked correctly
Then I snipped the wires, connected the copper parts of the front and rear lighting wire by curling them into each other and placed them into the connector that would go in the wire of the bottom bracket generator.
I used heat shrink tubing to offer some protective cover for the wires and connector before strapping it in place with a zip tie.
And that’s how you installed this vintage Sanyo Dynapower bottom bracket generator! If you like this article give it a thumbs up. If you have any questions or suggestions for new articles, let me know in the comments below. Cheers.