Fledgling component brand NRG has designed a stem with a built in power bank, that can charge your devices with a universal USB port. It's now crowdfunding on Kickstarter, with a £190,000 target to bring it into full production.
Weighing in at 240g, the NRG stem is made out of heat-treated aluminium, and there's an LED light indicator on the top to show you how much charge you have remaining. A rubber cap fits over the top of the USB ports when not in use. Using the NRG stem means you can keep your GPS, lights and phone amongst other things topped up on the go without having to carry anything extra and/or worrying about running out of juice. The reach is 103mm with a 5° angle, and the battery capacity of 3500MaH; enough to give an iPhone a full charge. To recharge the stem itself, you plug in the 2 metres long charge cable into the port on the stem. It's also fully patented, designed and manufactured in the UK.
Although it's the first time we've seen charging via a stem, it's not the first instance of USB integration on a bike: way back in 2011 we reviewed the Tout Terrain touring bike that had a USB port fitted under its headset via a dynamo adapter, and Dave reviewed the Igaro D1 Mod 5 USB converter for dynamo hubs in December - but on first impressions the NRG stem looks like a wire and hassle-free solution, so we'll be following its development with interest.
When we first caught news of the stem a year ago we didn't have pricing info, but a year on NRG have now launched the product on Kickstarter to bring it into full production. They're looking for a total investment of £190,000, and you can get one with a super-early bird backing of £160 (50 are available at this price). The early bird price is £175, and the RRP will eventually be £210. Check out their website here and the Kickstarter here.
*This article was first published in February 2018
Arriving at road.cc in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of road.cc in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.