RAGBRAI LI Route Announced on Jan. 27!

Cell phone bike chargers

I’m a first time rider, and I’m riding individually. I’ve been looking for mobile phone chargers, and I’ve seen some solar chargers and battery chargers, but none that use the energy of the bike itself. Does anybody know of a good charger that works off the wheels/tires on the bike, or one that is just a good mobile phone charger in general?

29 Replies

giantron, April 10, 2012 at 8:46 am

I’ve never seen a charger based on the old dynamo or generator type headlights they used to make years ago that would run a wheel pressed against the sidewall of your tire. Seemed like a good idea to me. The only thing I’ve seen close to that is a dynamo mounted in the wheel hub. Which basically you’d have to either replace your wheel or have the wheel rebuilt around that new dynamo type hub. So it gets pretty pricey quick.
But some guys use the little solar panels to trickle charge their electronics.
I purchased an external portable battery for myself. I got one from Naztech, but New Trent and Eveready make them as well. It’ll charge your phone (or other device) a few times before you have recharge the portable battery.

#175402

mtbmed, April 10, 2012 at 11:45 am

They make em, most of em are still using the old style dynamo. Probably work great … for a while. I’d hate to a. have the resistance on my wheel and b. not sure what the wear rate would be on a normal “road” tire. Typical cruiser bike tires are thicker and more durable to sidewall friction unlike a road tire. Good Luck!
btw, my solution for this ride is – beyond turning off my phone during periods of riding, I have three spare battery packs that are chain rechargeable and USB compatible to charge my ipod and phone – http://www.duracell.com/en-US/product/instant-usb-charger.jspx I got mine on Woot.com for 10$ each. Figured I’d charge em ahead of time and 3 should get me thru the week. Plus, I use em all the time now, while away at work or play.

Back to the friction/gen chargers …
Here are 3 links I found with a Google search of “Bicycle Phone Charger”
http://www.ikonglobal.com/
http://www.amazon.com/SpinPOWER-S1-Universal-Smartphone-Bicycle/dp/B0051KID2Q
http://www.amazon.com/Nokia-DC-14-Charger-CR-124-Holder/dp/B00475BGHA/ref=sr_1_8?s=wireless&ie=UTF8&qid=1334079604&sr=1-8

#175430

petra, April 10, 2012 at 2:20 pm

A friend of mine just bought a new Com-Motion touring bike with a charger built into the front hub. Don’t know anythng else about it.

#175586

Ken, April 10, 2012 at 3:25 pm

giantron:
I’ve never seen a charger based onthe old dynamo or generator type headlights they used to make years ago that would run a wheel pressed against the sidewall of your tire. Seemed like a good idea to me. The only thing I’ve seen close to that is a dynamo mounted in the wheel hub. Which basically you’d have to either replace your wheel or have the wheel rebuilt around that new dynamo type hub. So it gets pretty pricey quick.
But some guys use the little solar panels to trickle charge their electronics.
I purchased an external portable battery for myself. I got one from Naztech, but New Trent and Eveready make them as well. It’ll charge your phone (or other device) a few times before you have recharge the portable battery.

I can vouch for the New Trent external batteries. I have two. One is the 500mA which is about the size of a cell phone and will keep my I-Phone going all day even tho I am running a navigation app (MotionX) using GPS constantly and screen on bright.

The second is the 11mA version. Over twice the power of the other one but also twice as big. 2-1/2″ square and about a 1/2 ” thick. I have not used that one enough to judge how long it will last but I am expecting good results.

#175697

Paul, April 10, 2012 at 3:36 pm

You can check out SON hub dynamos at Peter White Bikes.

They are great. I use one on my commuter with led headlight and tailight.

Also listed is an E werks device for charging devices from dynamos. I haven’t seen nor tried that thing out for real but am eager to hear from anyone who has.

#175722

Albert Hsu, April 10, 2012 at 4:59 pm

If you have a dynamo wheel (Amazon sell one for ~$85. I have one and it works great), Dahon makes a battery pack/USB adapter that can charge your phone.

http://www.amazon.com/Redline-XCE500-Front-Dynamo-Silver/dp/B004B6MYZI

http://www.amazon.com/Bio-21-2-01-BioLogic-ReeCharge-Unit/dp/B004EBZNSU

#175812

Den, April 10, 2012 at 9:03 pm

Unless you are serious about running and charging a host of electronics, don’t bother with a dyno hub or old fashioned tire dyno. Just get a Solo or similar solar charger and do your cell phone when you get to camp. No fuss no muss.

#176026

Michrider !!!, April 11, 2012 at 5:27 am

Since my cell phone does not work in Iowa, I don’t see much need to keep it charged, LOL!!!!!!

#176179

Ragbrai Nation, April 11, 2012 at 6:18 am

Michrider: Since my cell phone does not work in Iowa, I don’t see much need to keep it charged, LOL!!!!!!

What??? No curb reports???

#176186

Michrider !!!, April 11, 2012 at 6:49 am

Bacchettaman: What??? No curb reports???

Reports will be given,in person, from the Kurbs of Iowa!!!!! All women are welcome!!!!!!!

#176206

Iceman, April 11, 2012 at 9:33 am

Two suggestions. I recently got an Iphone and:

(1) Take the power cord to charge the phone at the places the other posters have suggested, and keep the phone off (especially if you have an Iphone) unti you use it.

(2) Go on Ebay. For about three or four dollars, you can buy an “emergency” battery setup. It’s nothing more than a plastic case with two AA batteries and Iphone compatible plug that will run your Iphone in an emergency. I think it will charge up the phone, but not too quickly.

#176414

Borasam, April 11, 2012 at 9:35 am

Check out the solar chargers we have at Rasmussen Bike shop. 301 Grand ave. West Des Moines, IA

#176416

Julia Leytes, April 11, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Dear Matt:
I work for a company Bike2Power, and we sell bicycle USB charger kits for smartphones and iphones called SpinPOWER Kits. It is a bike-mounted charger for USB-chargeable devices that uses a bicycle dynamo. Incidentally, our charger is now being tested by a RAGBRAI rider. If you are interested, please contact us and I will connect you with him so that you can obtain his feedback directly. So far, he is pleased with it and wants to take it to the RAGBRAI with him.
Julia
http://www.bike2power.com
info@bike2power.com

#176616

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#1089302

denise515, May 24, 2015 at 11:34 pm

We just take our charger with us all day and plug in at churches or ymcas. Google had charging stations last year on the route and we just bought our food and chilled by google and got to know the people around us. Make sure to turn your phone off or airplain mode while riding. Use text messaging

#1095373

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