I'm starting to spec out a dynamo hub wheel build for light touring/randonneuring. Was planning on going with a Shutter Precision hub, but just stumbled on these Panasonic hubs on sale at Soma for $21. While that seems suspiciously cheap, they retail for around $100 at other online sellers, which is on par with the SP hub I have picked out (plus I know I've seen some pretty insane deals on Soma in the past).

Just wondering if anyone has experience with these Panasonic dynamos (in terms of overall quality, but also with regard to how serviceable they are).

Don't want to pass up a great deal just because I'm suspicious of a sale price, but obviously don't want to pay for a full wheel build with sub-par components.

  • 2
    For that price you could buy two, and crack one open. Take photos and post on line. If it doesn't go back together, then that's $21 gone not $100.
    – Criggie
    Feb 11, 2021 at 1:24

1 Answer 1


I've built quite a few of these. They work very well. They are bulkier, heavier and marginally less efficient than the SP hub but have a good reputation for reliability.

As far as servicing goes, due to the complexity of the electronics within the hub and the necessity for components to be perfectly aligned, dynamo hubs are usually considered a closed box that you send back to the manufacturer or a specialist for service. You can of course change the bearings but it's easy to end up with a hub that no longer functions as a dynamo.

Kasai have just released a field servicable dynamo hub that is, as far as I am aware, the first of its type and the only one available. However, these things are generally reliable when not abused so I'm not certain it's the big selling point it's supposed to be.

  • 2
    +1, I've been around a few of the Sanyo ones that I believe share the same guts. Excellent for a shopping/utility/city type bike, but out of place on sportier builds. Feb 10, 2021 at 19:47

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