How to Mount a Bicycle Dynamo

by Mary Lougee
Bicycle dynamos mount on the right side of your front tire.

Bicycle dynamos mount on the right side of your front tire.

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A bicycle dynamo generates electricity from the rotating front tire of your bike to power headlights, taillights or to charge your cell phone as you ride. The friction roller rests against your front sidewall on the tire and turns. The bottom of the friction roller shaft is a magnet enclosed in the dynamo that spins as you pedal. Stationary wire coils on each side of the magnet produce electrical output to power your accessories. Bicycle dynamo kits are available at bike shops and online retailers.

Items you will need

  • Dynamo kit
  • 2 pairs of adjustable pliers
  • Small, flat screwdriver

Installing the Dynamo Bracket

Step 1

Hold the dynamo in front of you with the round friction wheel pointing up. Align the first hole in the straight part of the longest mounting bracket with the hole in the straight piece of the dynamo bottom.

Step 2

Insert a bolt from the right side through the hole.

Step 3

Slide a locking washer and a nut on the protruding left side of the bolt and hand tighten them clockwise.

Installing the Fork Mounting Bracket

Step 1

Place the dynamo mounting bracket on the right side of your bicycle front fork. Align the two holes in the short dynamo mounting bracket with the two holes in the long one. The short mounting bracket is on the inside of the right fork.

Step 2

Insert a bolt through each of the two aligned holes on the outside of the bracket. Screw a nut on the left protruding sides of each bolt.

Step 3

Adjust the dynamo friction wheel to touch the front tire. Rotate the dynamo forward or backward at the front bolt. Press down on the lever on the right side of the dynamo and observe the friction wheel to see if it touches the tire on the sidewall. Place a pair of adjustable pliers on the front dynamo bolt and nut. Hold the bolt steady and tighten the nut clockwise.

Step 4

Place a pair of adjustable pliers on one nut and bolt in the fork mounting bracket. Hold the bolt in position and tighten the nut clockwise. Repeat this step to tighten the second nut and bolt.

Step 5

Insert the small set screw into the small hole that aligns with the center of the fork. Tighten the set screw clockwise with a small, flat screwdriver.

Tips & Warnings

  • A dynamo kit includes the dynamo and its mounting bracket, an additional fork mounting bracket and all of the hardware for installation.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images