If you want to power your bike’s lights and charge your iPhone as you pedal, you should have specced a dynamo hub when you got the wheels built. But either you were too cheap (like me) or couldn’t see the point. Don’t worry! There’s hope for both of us in the form or the ECOXPOWER generator, an aftermarket power and lighting system for your bike.
The ECOXPOWER works with most front hubs, clamping to the fork using the wheel nuts already there. Once mounted, it engages with a pin you mount in a spoke, and turns whenever you switch it on.
Included wires run up to the handlebar to a switch (to turn on the headlight integrated in the main unit, and also to a rain-proof handlebar mount for your iPhone (or other USB-powered device).
Pro: More and more people are using iPhones as bike computers and GPS units, but the iPhone’s puny battery won’t make it through a day-long ride and still be juiced for in-tent Instapaper sessions. Charging as you ride is smart, and the built-in li-ion battery means that you can save the stored power for later.
Con: That headlight is down by the hub. This is great for seeing the texture of the road or trail ahead, but not so good for letting cars see you coming. On the other hand, you can always plug a bar-mounted light into the on-bar charging socket.
The ECOXPOWER will cost you $99, which isn’t bad for an aftermarket solution. It is also portable between various bikes. Available now.