After having introduced their switchable dynamo (in my opinion a solution in search of a problem), at the 2011 Taipei Cycle Show SP announced what would be the lightest generator hub, the SD-8 (disc brake)/SV-8 (rim brake). These two hubs, however, only are rated to a power output of 2.4W in a 622mm wheel, making them not street-legal according to the German StVZO requirements. However, they also announced a slightly more heavy model rated at 3W, the PD-8 and the PV-8. The technical specs and the prototype tests by Wouter sounded promising, and when Wouter's shop, Gambiet Fietsen, offered them for pre-order in September I went in for two generators, one disc, one rim. The disc one will replace my Shimano DH3-N80 on the Cross-Check which I unfortunately messed up while trying to re-grease the bearings, and the PV-8 will be part of a second front wheel for Gunnar, finally allowing me to turn him into a real brevet bike.
The hubs arrived yesterday, at a total price of 180 Euro shipped. The actual wheelbuilding will have to wait for a little while longer, but I wanted to share some pictures and impressions.
|PV-8 in its original packaging. I'm not sure if all the color and spoke count variants are or will be actually available.|
|The hub looks quite similar to the current SON 28...|
|...but it does have the same terminal as Shimano hubs|
|Here you can see the German K-certification wave, making the generator street legal in Germany|
|The weight pretty much exactly matches the claimed weight.|
SP claims that the new generators do not only excel in weight, but are also "the most efficient" generators (this refers to the 2.4W ones) and their product sheets has a couple of graphs that show the generators to be more efficient than the SONdelux. I'm somewhat skeptical about those claims and am very much looking forward to some independent testing.
Measuring the dimensions of the hubs is a bit tricky with the tools I have and I've only been able to find the manufacturer's numbers for the 2.4W version. Probably they're going to be the same for the 3W, but I'll confirm this with Wouter or measure myself. The bearings are sealed cartridges and I'm not sure if they are user-replaceable.
I think that's all I can say for now. Once I have the wheels built up and ridden them a bit, I will post an update.
In the meantime I've found the website of SP's distributor, and their catalog lists the relevant dimensions as follows:
|PV-8||PD-8 (non-disc/disc side)|
They also have "replacement instructions" on their site that might contain instructions on how to replace the bearings. Unfortunately, the document is corrupted, though, and can't be opened. I've sent them an e-mail and we'll see if I hear back.
 If I remember correctly, the Velo Orange switchable dynohub got some bad reviews. At any rate, they no longer seem to sell it.
 There is also a 2.4W version, called SD-8/SV-8, suitable for those on small-wheeled bikes or those who don't care about the extra power/street legality in Germany.