Imagine the day’s workout beginning on a stationary bicycle. Perspiration emerges from your brow as you pedal off some calories. All you can hear is your breathing becoming heavier and heavier until the sound of a blender erupts beside you mixing strawberries and bananas into a frothy smoothie. Oh yeah, this particular bike is attached to a motor which has basically converted your sweat into watts of electricity powering that blender. Mmm, exercise has never tasted so good.
Bicycle generators offer the world a greener energy source. By pairing the sustainability mentality with one’s need for exercise, this machine reduces fuel dependency and encourages people to get fit. Many homeowners, commuters and musicians are pedaling to produce the juice necessary for their appliances, chargers and amplifiers.
The models of bicycle-powered generators vary within the DIY scene. Preferences range from builder to builder with each choice depending on the gadgets you want to power and the equipment available. Generally, bicycles are stationed to stands equipped with motors or alternators which activate as the rear wheel spins. The direct current (DC) produced is portioned accordingly by a regulator, which then distributes it to the intended devices. If DC isn’t your thing, it can be turned into alternating current (AC) with an inverter to get blenders spinning and strobe lights strobing. Also, with the Siva Cycle Atom, a compact generator that attaches to the bicycle’s back axel, riders can now pedal outdoors and gain enough power from the rotations to charge their bike lights and phones.
Like any energy source, these machines have some drawbacks. Critics point out the bicycle generator’s inefficiency at creating electricity, declaring that the amount of physical effort outweighs the power created. A semi-fit person can produce 100 watts during an hour’s “ride”—just enough energy to run a laptop for two hours or a toaster for 7 hours. Despite the briefness, the benefits from exercise and the feeling of self-sufficiency which follow will last much longer. Toast is ready!