Thursday, 9 August 2012

HANGING OUT IN THE...............

BOXED BIKE CHARGE

UN-BOXED BIKE CHARGE
When JD and I were on our cyclo-touring trip back from Gibraltar we seemed to spend a good chunk of our camp time hanging out in the toilets trying to charge various items of electronic kit...phones...cameras....garmin..etc.  
We were not the only ones either,  lots of other cyclo-tourists were there too doing the same thing... computers..i phones...i pads...all kinds of electronic equipment could be found in the gent's toilets...it often looked like a well stocked branch of Argos..

Out on the road I was using 'Freeloader' solar charging kit which worked well if you had a nice bright sunny day....the problems arose when you had a couple of overcast days. The battery units I was using to hold the solar charge did not have the capacity to charge my phone and garmin more than once before requiring a full days 'sunny' charge. 

I was also using a small bike mounted wind turbine....this had seemed OK as a backup during initial tests but out on the road on a proper long distance trip it failed to man up to the task. 

This year I have been sent a number of items that I hoped would help to sort the 'hanging out in toilets' side to my cyclo-touring trips. 
In this post I will tell you about one of these items.... 
I first saw this little unit mentioned in a cycling magazine....it said that it could be fitted and also removed quickly and easily and that it would fit ANY bike...
The idea is that it is fitted between the hub of your front wheel and the fork...it is clamped in place by your Q/R.

As with the small wind turbine.. I had high hopes for this little unit when it arrived here at Purple Towers for testing. 
My initial impression was that the Bike Charge seemed well built and a very solid bit of kit. 
I liked the idea of a unit that could be attached to my existing front wheel and could also be swapped between bikes, not that in my case that is something I would be doing. 
I also liked the built in lights on the bike charge, a nice extra feature.  

As I said I had high hopes ..... 
Unfortunately....... It would NOT fit...!!  

The problem with fitting to my bike was twofold....first of all there was insufficient clearance due to the lowrider racks that I have fitted on my tourer.... and secondly it would also not clear the fittings for the mudguard. 
This is a great pity as I really would have like to have been able to put the Bike Charge to a full test... 
The unit is supplied by 'RIDERMOUNT'' who have an EBay shop if you would like to see more of the unit for yourself....

Ah well !! It looked like I would be back in the gents toilets to do more charging..... However, in my next post I will tell you about something else that I have been able to FULLY test, that tackles the problem from a different angle.....

9 comments:

RANTWICK said...

What a bummer. I was getting all excited because that thing looked like a real, robust possibility.

I guess I'll just have to wait for this next thing you've aluded to...

ADRIAN said...

Am I being thick? Is it called the dynamo.Lucas did one for my bike. A pain in ass it was but probably better than standing in gents toilets.

Paul said...

There are so many chargers out there now, hard to pick the right one, without trying them out.

Trevor said...

*RANTWICK*
As I said, a different approach to the problem next time....

*ADRIAN*
Of course your not Adrian!...The problem is the balance between generating sufficient power to charge modern electronic equipment and keeping the rolling resistance caused by the unit as low as possible...
The old bottle dynamos don't do the walls of your tyres a lot of good and hub generators also give you extra rolling resistance...

*Paul*
Your right Paul....too many to trial them all....

Steve A said...

I do hope that when things settle down you will be able to provide photos so those of us without front racks, but with fenders, can consider if we might be able to find a way forward.

Steve A said...

More on Bikecharge - perhaps you were lucky it didn't work on your bike - see http://seenonthetrain.blogspot.com/2012/05/bikecharge-installation-and-review.html

Trevor said...

*Steve A*
Thanks for the link Steve....The Plano Cyclists test and additional comment say's it all....
I see he has some reasonable pictures of the fitted unit so hopefully you will be able to see from those if it is likely to fit your bike, although from your comment on the Plano Cyclists blog back in May I couldn't see you bothering......

Joan X said...

Hi Trevor.

I just put a link to your blog in mine. I have been "missing".  vacation time and this year I rested entirely on the bike, only to champion exits with my 4 year old.

Greetings from Barcelona!

Trevor said...

*Joan X*
Hi John....Nice to hear from you and thanks for the link.....