Bicycle generators always seem like a good idea, but the friction caused by an old-fashioned pedal-powered dynamo can be a drag – literally. Miami-based startup Spinetics says its new CydeKick Pro generator can turn your pedal power into electricity for charging a phone and running a headlight without adding any friction.
The CydeKick Pro comprises a unit packing the LED headlight and USB port, a rotor disc, and a generator. The rotor disc attaches to the bike's wheel and the generator slides onto the axle. You then attach the headlight to your handlebars with the supplied ratcheted strap and plug in a small USB powered device, if desired.
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The headlight and USB port unit also sports a battery that holds a reserve of power, which should be enough to charge a smartphone. This battery can be charged either by pedaling or by plugging it in at home.
Intrigued by the "zero friction" aspect of the CydeKick Pro pitch, we reached out to Spinetics to find out how it works. CydeKick Pro inventor Nicolas Zamora explained that the rotor disc on the wheel spins, and the generator converts the changing magnetic field into power using coils.
"There is no contact between the generator and the magnetic rotor so no friction is created, albeit, there is a negligible amount of drag in the form of opposing eddy currents that are created in the generator by the changing magnetic flux," added Zamora. So there is going to be some drag using this thing, though he insists it will be a fraction of what you'd feel compared to a standard dynamo.
When asked about recharging times and energy figures, Zamora explained that these weren't final yet and were still to be worked out.
CydeKick Pro is currently on Kickstarter in a bid to bring it into production. If you'd like to take a gamble on it all turning out, US$150 should hopefully snag you a CydeKick Mini, which is basically the same as the Pro minus the USB charging capabilities. You'll need to stump up $275 to be in with a chance at receiving a CydeKick Pro, assuming all goes well. The former is expected to ship in July, 2016, while the latter is slated for September 2016.
Check out the promo video below to see more information on the product.
For another "contactless" bike light, which utilizes eddy currents to produce electricity, check out the Magnic Light.