Anyone who watched the BBC’s Bang Goes The Theory show earlier this year featuring a pedal-powered “human power station” will be aware just how much cycling is needed to get even the least power-hungry household appliances up and running.
But one thing you can generate sufficient power for while out and about on your bike is a mobile phone, and let’s face it, there’s nothing more frustrating than stopping mid-ride to make a call only to discover you forgot to charge it before setting out.
Well, for Nokia owners at least, that is set to be a thing of the past, with the Finnish mobile phone giant unveiling a handlebar mounted charger that attaches to any of its phones that are equipped with a 2mm power jack.
Powered by a front-wheel dynamo, according to the tech website CNET, Nokia claims that “"To begin charging, a cyclist needs to travel around six kilometers per hour (four miles per hour), and while charging times will vary depending on battery model, a 10-minute journey at 10 kilometers per hour (six miles per hour) produces around 28 minutes of talk time or 37 hours of standby time. The faster you ride, the more battery life you generate."
The price – in the US at least – is $18, and it is expected to be available by the end of the year and the handlebar bracket also doubles as a phone mount, which is good news if you have a compatible Nokia smartphone that can double as a GPS.
As CNET points out, the product isn’t exactly a first – in 2007, Motorola showed a bicycle-powered phone charger at the annual Consumer Electronics Show, and last September, Dahon launched a product called the Biologic FreeCharge, costing $99, which powers electronic devices by harnessing the power generated by an existing dynamo set-up, and the same company also produces a dedicated iPhone mount.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.