HALO EVURA & SHUTTER PRECISION SL9 DYNOHUB WHEEL BUILD
1319g (excluding skewers & disc) £216.98
The Halo Evura Shutter Precision SL9 dynohub build is a great looking, rugged, yet sprightly and very practical choice. Especially for those riders wanting to port a dynamo wheel, between their tourer and ‘cross/adventure/gravel bikes.
The hub’s bijous bulge is arguably much sleeker than a traditional hub dynamo, which is another aesthetic plus, regardless of whether it’s a lightweight audax/winter bike, or something with small wheels, such as Brompton or Moulton.
Pros: Sleek, reliable pairing, well-built wheel.
Cons: Built into 700c or 26inch wheels, output dips at low speeds.
The Halo Evaura is available several drillings from 24 to 36 hole. We opted for 32 holes, since this struck the ideal balance between speed and strength given the scope of our testing agenda. The rim itself is a relatively deep (31mm) section and made from heat treated niobium alloy.
Niobium is used in various applications, including aircraft, because of its heat and corrosion resisting properties.
These, like their Aerorage family are sleeved, rather than being pinned, or welded. Debate rages regarding the pros and cons. However, Ison tell me they’ve opted for a sleeved joint. Primarily, because of the stable and well aligned connection. This also avoids potential degradation of material strength, which can easily occur during welding. I opted for machined sidewalls but there’s a disc specific option. Tubeless ready design is another definite plus.
Talking of which, their relatively low profile, supposedly promotes a very compliant ride. I’ve run ours with tubeless ready tyres, such as Soma Shikoro and its narrower Supple EX counterpart, touring rubber including Vee Tire Co Zilent MK2 with no problems.
Regardless of pairing, run at various pressures have all delivered a comfortable passage, whether I’ve been hustling along lumpy lanes, battle scarred town centres, or moderate forest trails.
With the hub’s centre lock disc mount, I’m inclined to agree. While primarily earmarked for my disc braked ‘cross inspired fixed gear winter/trainer, I also wanted a hoop that could be ported between that and cantilever braked ‘cross/touring rigs.
This is laced two-cross via black chrome double butted stainless steel spokes, with ED coated brass nipples. Butting has a very gentle transition, meaning they are less susceptible to stress riser failure.
The Shutter Precision Super Light (SL) 9 dynohub. is golf-ball sized and reputedly, a good deal lighter than its PD8 cousin (which I am still delighted by, some twelve months later). Ironically, the complete wheel is 80g heavier than the Halo White Line Classic/PD8 pairing .
Not that I’ve noticed in the everyday, real world sense, running identical tyres and indeed, tubes. Talking of which, depending on the angle, its side profile is little bigger than a conventional hub.
Now, to comply with strict German StVZO regulations, the SL9 is listed as 6V1.5W. While output can dip very slightly below 6V 3W at very slow speeds, built into a 700c or 26inch wheel, at normal pace, you’ll get maximum output. Similarly, it is fully compatible with all 6V 3W lamps and accessories.
The shell is made from anodized 6061 aluminium alloy. Again, there are several alternative colours, if gloss black’s not your bag. The hub is designed for centre lock discs, such as this Shimano, although it will also accommodate the six-bolt type, with a suitable adaptor (Halo produces a very nice example).
Some have criticised the lack of user serviceability. As with the PD8, servicing is a return to factory affair. However, this applies to most contemporary generator designs-irrespective of brand. Shutter Precision hubs come with a two-year warrantee and Ison Distribution (their UK distributors) offer a shipping/return service, as and when units need overhauling. Much as a good jeweller would, with a premium grade, precision watch.
Cartridge bearings turn on a strong, lightweight Cro-moly axle- both extremely smooth and well-sealed from the elements. Bodes very well for long and happy service life, provided you’re not regularly subjecting it to river crossings, jet washing and other abuse. I’ve run our PD8 year-round, through snow, sleet and slush. Its never missed a beat, and still looks factory fresh.
Anecdotal comparison, running identical tyres, tubes and lamp over 50miles suggested the SL9 produces less drag than the PD8. The latter is comparable with my long serving Shimano Ultegra unit. However, whereas I’ve been inclined to switch the PD8 off, where appropriate, especially on longer rides. I’ve left the SL9 on, throughout.
Unlike Shimano and Exposure, SP don’t include skewers in the package. On the one hand, slightly inconvenient. However, any 100mm unit will do. This 25-year-old anodized purple unit was plucked from obscurity. In any case, I’d be inclined toward a good quality locking design on a “bike as car” machine (depending on your parking arrangement and locale).
The plastic connector seemed slightly better than those supplied with the SV8 last year. Not having to worry about polarity is another boon for me, so I’ve just added a slither of Vaseline to the contacts and plugged in/out as required. Primarily when I’ve been swapping tyres; or alternating between this 80 lux Trelok and my all-time favourite, Exposure Revo MK1 dynamo lamp.
The wheel has met my expectations in pretty much every regard. It arrived impeccably tensioned, perfectly true and remained so, throughout testing. I’ve run it with Soma Vitesse EX, Soma Shikoro and Vee Tire Co Zilent MK2, which are 34 and 38mm sections. I’ve even popped the 42mm Maxxis Roamer on with no problems.
Hustling along green lanes, country roads and moderate bridle paths, it’s taken all the lumps and accidental bumps in its stride. Though not overly heavy, or prone to wrecking rims, during the winter months, the most careful of us will clip a hole-especially when we’re weary at the end of a long ride/challenging day.
Paired with decent lamps, output is excellent, producing a very bright pool of useable light from around 7/8mph. Alternating between it and its PD8 cousin, over comparable distances (between 20 and 60 miles) the SL9 generates less resistance and I’ve had no problems producing a consistent 800lumens or so from the Revo.
Loss of output was only obvious at 5/6mph. Trickling through snails’ pace traffic, grinding up a 1in4 on the fixed, or waiting at a junction being the most vulnerable moments.
This was more apparent with the Trelok lamp. That said; I always used some form of secondary/contingency light, regardless whether my main is a dynamo, or high-power rechargeable system. A modern blinkey, such as this Moon Geminior Oxford Ultratorch F100, should render stealth moments academic.
I’ve been delighted by this wheel build’s chameleon characteristics. So much so, I would recommend it to anyone, seeking a middleweight winter wheel they can port between their 700c winter/trainer/tourer and commuter. With this specification, initial costs will be recouped in a couple of seasons. Skilled wheel builders could buy the components separately and save a few more quid.
As ever, there’s a horses-for-courses trade off. On balance, long haul tourists lugging heavy loads in hilly regions, or urban riders with tagalongs/trailer bikes en tow would, in my opinion be better served by the SV8 hub.