David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
11/14/11 9:25 p.m.

Remember when your bike lights involved a generator powered by the rear wheel plus a ton of wire? It was time to finally replace my little bike light, so I visited our local bike shop this evening. Who knew that today's bike lights are rechargeable from a USB port?

Trans_Maro
Trans_Maro Dork
11/14/11 9:31 p.m.

You can get USB coffee cup warmers..

I bet that's good for the traces on the motherboard.

Shawn

alex
alex SuperDork
11/14/11 9:58 p.m.

USB wall outlets, dude. Wave of the future.


Coming soon to a box store near you, I'm sure.

foxtrapper
foxtrapper SuperDork
11/15/11 5:16 a.m.

Ya know, I wouldn't mind that USB outlet in a few locations around my house.

Luke
Luke SuperDork
11/15/11 7:01 a.m.

We've started stocking little solar powered lights at the shop now. Helmet or handlebar mounted. They work pretty good, too, not gimmicky/useless like I was expecting.

stuart in mn
stuart in mn SuperDork
11/15/11 12:36 p.m.

Some of the bicyclists I see on my daily commute have Really Bright LED headlights, I'm impressed at how good they are.

I had one of those generators on the rear wheel of my bike when I was a kid, flipping that thing on would just about double the pedaling effort. They didn't regulate voltage to the headlight either, the light would just get brighter and brighter the faster you rode. I remember one night pedaling down a hill really fast, and the headlight burned out just before I had to make a turn.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 SuperDork
11/15/11 1:21 p.m.
stuart in mn wrote: They didn't regulate voltage to the headlight either, the light would just get brighter and brighter the faster you rode. I remember one night pedaling down a hill really fast, and the headlight burned out just before I had to make a turn.

I LOL'ed, while simultaneously hoping that no harm came to you.

I want to put something like a bike generator on my kid's go-kart, so I can run headlights which he thinks would be really, really cool!

stuart in mn
stuart in mn SuperDork
11/15/11 6:44 p.m.

Bart Simpson, riding his bike with the generator on: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emKxCCvQLZg

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
11/15/11 10:21 p.m.

That's right, the faster you pedaled, the brighter the light. I remember my first battery-powered bike light. It seemed so trick. I want to say it ran of D-cells.

stuart in mn
stuart in mn SuperDork
11/16/11 8:54 a.m.

I used to have a roommate who was really into bikes - raced semi-professionally, even welded up his own frames. On his daily rider he figured out the seat tube was just the right diameter to hold the D-cell batteries for running his lights, it made for a slick installation.

njansenv
njansenv HalfDork
11/16/11 11:24 a.m.

I've been reading a bit on this since I hope to get back into riding this winter (in the dark). There have been some incredible changes thanks to LED technology. I'm looking at the MJ-872 right now - terrific lighting for a fraction of what it would have cost 10-15 years ago as a halogen 'niterider' set.

asterisk
asterisk New Reader
11/16/11 11:35 p.m.

I got tired of trading out lights every couple years for commuting and threw down for a generator hub. Combined with the excellent current generation of LED lights it's been maintenance free and no more charging batteries! They are bit more upfront but worth it for commuters.

donalson
donalson SuperDork
11/29/11 7:25 p.m.

one of the guys at the LBS is rocking some awesome "blinkies" that are powered by magnets...

anyway the modern LED lamps are amazing... the local MTB trial rides every wed night and some of those light kits are just WOW... here is a cheap one that is kind of what a lot of the DIY guys on the bike forums are building... lithium ion batteries give HUGE power, light weight (remember those horrid lead acid batteries?) and good power length http://www.dealextreme.com/p/mj-808-ha-iii-ssc-p7-c-sxo-3-mode-900-lumen-led-bike-light-set-44459#open%20full%20view

anyway... if you miss your generator you can get them built into your hubs now :)... no trashing your tire anymore...

Curmudgeon
Curmudgeon SuperDork
11/29/11 8:45 p.m.

You mean these are not the shizznit any more?

914Driver
914Driver SuperDork
11/30/11 6:51 a.m.

A young man in our Soaring club has a German made bicycle that has a dynamo in the front hub. Way better than the one pictured above.

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