#PortablePower: Charge Your Lumia With Your Bike
Move over, automobiles. Make way for transport of the green, two-wheeled variety.
More traffic-choked cities worldwide are becoming more bicycle friendly, from developing designated bike lanes and offering bicycle-sharing systems to holding day-long events that ban cars on roads so bicyclists and bipeds can enjoy them.
If you’re a cyclist, you may already know that your Lumia is a great partner to have on the road. Apps such as Cycle Tracks GPS (covered here in April) and Cyclometer track a plethora of vital ride statistics, while Bing and HERE maps will always guide you in the right direction.
But did you know that your bike can help you recharge your Lumia? Whether you’re a commuter cyclist, long-distance roadie, or a weekend rider, with USB phone-charging kits and the kinetic energy you generate, your phone will never run out of power again.
Calories Burned=Power Generated
For most of us, the ability to power your smartphone or other USB device via your bicycle wasn’t possible until recently. DIY options have been available such as this one, but chances are, you’re not going to spend the time tinkering with electronics to create your own solution.
Now, companies such as BioLogic, Bike2Power and Siva Cycle offer all-in-one USB charger kits. The kits, which range from $80 to $100, are easily assembled and include a small, lightweight generator, a rechargeable battery, and a universal phone holder. BioLogic’s ReeCharge Power Pack even includes a splash-proof silicone case and specially concealed connectors to keep the kit working even in a downpour.
How does it work? As you pedal, the spinning of your bike’s wheels engages the generator, producing electrical current that passes through the kit’s electronics, powering the battery and your phone.
Bike2Power’s S1 starts charging your smartphone immediately, optimizing power when you pedal 10-15 miles per hour. Siva Cycle says that its Atom kit (pre-order; available in July) has a battery charge rate of 1000mA. That means that your Lumia will get as much electrical juice as it would if it were plugged into a wall socket.
Not bad for a little sweat equity!
Speaking of power, we’re holding a Facebook contest for our fans in the United States to win our industrial-strength Lumia Icon and a foldable commuter bicycle by Tern Bicycles, complete with a BioLogic charger kit. The contest closes in a few days, on May 27, so if you live in the U.S. and want to enter, don’t delay.
But whether you enter the contest or not, we hope these pedal-powered smartphone chargers will give you more incentive to hop on your bike and go for a spin!