Bicycles

CydeKick Pro promises to take the drag out of bike generators

According to Spinetics, CydeKick Pro will not just run a headlight and charge your phone, but also stores a reserve of power
According to Spinetics, CydeKick Pro will not just run a headlight and charge your phone, but also stores a reserve of power
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CydeKick Pro is currently on Kickstarter to raise production funds
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CydeKick Pro is currently on Kickstarter to raise production funds
According to Spinetics, CydeKick Pro will not just run a headlight and charge your phone, but also stores a reserve of power
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According to Spinetics, CydeKick Pro will not just run a headlight and charge your phone, but also stores a reserve of power
As of writing, $150 should hopefully snag you a CydeKick Mini, which is the same as Pro minus the USB charging capabilities
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As of writing, $150 should hopefully snag you a CydeKick Mini, which is the same as Pro minus the USB charging capabilities
You'll need to stump up $275 to be in with a chance of receiving a CydeKick Pro
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You'll need to stump up $275 to be in with a chance of receiving a CydeKick Pro

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.

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.

As of writing, $150 should hopefully snag you a CydeKick Mini, which is the same as Pro minus the USB charging capabilities
As of writing, $150 should hopefully snag you a CydeKick Mini, which is the same as Pro minus the USB charging capabilities

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.

Source: Spinetics via Kickstarter

Complete Bicycle-Powered USB Charger System (the CydeKick)

14 comments
Kaiser Derden
the energy to create the electricity has to come from somewhere ... it may have less drag than the old generators but that is most likely because it makes a fraction of the power ...
Malatrope
Yet another scam artist intending to take advantage of people with poor science education! The power any generator makes comes from your muscles (unless its nuclear or chemical) and energy put into a light will result in "drag" on the bike. The secret to this scam is that old bikes with tire-mounted generators ran incandescent lights. This one is paired with LEDs, and has a USB port that only takes milliamperes rather than amps. An old incandescent bike headlight draws up to two amps, whereas a nice bright LED may draw less than a tenth of that -- thus resulting in 1/10th the "drag". Oh, and any old ten dollar tire driven generator will have little or no "drag" until it has a load on it. Short one and try to pedal, if you don't believe it. Buy the ten dollar one and put an LED headlight on your bike, saving $265, mmm-kay?
Thijmen
This gets on my nerves. How is this product any different from a regular hub dyno? One you can get for as low as 30 euro? Those also have "zero" drag (which is just cheap marketing speak of course). I got excited for a second when I thought the dyno created enough current to charge your phone on the go, but the lack of actual numbers on the website indicate that you probably have to (slowly) charge the internal battery with which you can charge your phone after that. I wonder if its even possible to get a full charge, as the capacity of the battery is not mentioned. I'm not even addressing the technical problems/shortcomings this design has but I'll mention one word: dirt. I'm with Malatrope on this one, either the designer knows nothing about current bike tech, or he hopes his backers don't.
future me
This is the second article on gizmag recently that seems to be ignoring really basic physics (pointless energy producing tyre fallacy!). There's little point me repeating the previous comments which are both spot on. Does the author of this piece not understand that this is just a much lower power, less efficient dynamo, with the wheel as axle? If he does, why on wrath doesn't he point this out in the article? There is no new technology here and no energy creation improvement (apart from a minute amount of drag, which if an old type tyre dynamo were for on a rear wheel, behind the rider, as I used to have, can be completely ignored!) You'd undoubtedly get better drag and energy efficiency improvements by changing your footwear or shaving or wearing Lycra or pulling a funny face...
martinkopplow
It's a hub dynamo, and not one of the most efficient ones as well. The open design will make it 'attractive' only for all kind of iron debris. A nightmare to keep clean. Working hub dynamos have been around for half a century now. The better ones have always been 'frictionless', and so I'm sorry but I can see no innovation here.
SamSam
As others have said, magnetic dynamos have existed on bikes for ever. Here's one from 2007: http://www.wired.com/2007/10/reelight-magnet/ In general the only reason that they feel like they have less "friction" is because they're extremely low-powered. You need to cycle forever to get much energy out of them. They work great for small LED lights -- that's why they've been around for a long time -- but unlikely that they'll be great for charging phones. If you want to change something faster, you would need to feel it more. It's simple physics. Touting the fact that you barely feel them as an advantage is like saying that some plug-in phone-charger is "low energy" and "sips electricity" because it's only 0.1 Amps.
SamSam
> US$150 should hopefully snag you a CydeKick Mini, which is basically the same as the Pro minus the USB charging capabilities. I didn't even see that -- so $150 for a bog-standard magnetic induction LED bike light? The Reelight (http://www.wired.com/2007/10/reelight-magnet/) was $40 eight years ago...
wle
stupid it does DRAG on the pedals just because nothing explicitly rubs doesn;t mean it is free wle
esar
Why not just buy a solar powerbank, way cheaper and a lot more useful
Kevin Ritchey
Just goes to show you that almost anything gets on Kickstarter nowadays. Had an old Union generator on my bike when I was a kid. Still own the generator but I'll stick with batteries for my lights. The generator light was dependent on speed to stay bright. Anyone paying that much for a dyno should have their head examined. Really.