Hack: DIY Bicycle Generator
Last week we posted about Fenix’s forthcoming Velo Bicycle Generator, which rekindled my interest in do-it-yourself bike generators. There’s all kinds of information out there on the subject, but I think this version is one of my favorites because it combines blue collar ingenuity and frugality with green minded eco-consciousness. Basically take a car’s alternator, run a belt from your back wheel to drive the alternator, throw on a 12 volt battery to get the system started, connect to a power inverter so you can charge or run items via a conventional plug, and voila, you’ve re-created a car’s electrical system for your stationary bike. Another viable option that you’ll find kicking around youtube is to use a DC treadmill motor instead of an alternator and battery. If you already have a battery bank for solar panels, it looks like you could just plug right into that and charge away. I haven’t built one yet, but when I do someday I’m sure it’ll be interesting to see what I can get myself to run with it. — even if it’s just the TV and fan I normally run while on the trainer.