Power banks are the common go-to power source when traveling with a smartphone or any gadget. But when it runs out and you’re staying for days or weeks on a place past the edge of civilization, a power bank may not be enough. Lower tech power solutions like a hand crank chargers and pedal power generators can help. With a pedal power generator, your pedal power can generate energy to charge devices or to store in a power pack. A pedal power generator is not for backpackers, because it’s a bit bulky, but for emergency use or when you’re using your RV or car to travel to a remote place you’ll be staying in. The plus point about it is that you generate energy while giving your legs some workout.
Featured are some pedal power generators you can check out from Amazon:
Where to Buy
One of the top-selling devices of its kind, K-Tor Power Box Pedal Generator is a 120-volt, 20-watt generator that has got the standard bike pedals. It’s intended for charging smartphones, camera, radio, walkie-talkies, flashlights, external batteries and more. Simply plug in your ordinary charger in its multi-plug socket and you can charge up your electronics at the same rate as plugging in a wall socket (as long as you pedal at 90 revolutions per minute or 1.5 per second). It converts a generator output to 12 volts DC with 85% efficiency.
It’s smaller and more portable than other pedal generators in this list, and it’s even foldable to a small size. You can set it up easily after unboxing. Its pedals look like those of a real bike’s, making pedaling ease. It’s made of a mix of polycarbonate plastic and aluminum with rubber pedals. All moving parts are made of aluminum.
However, be aware that it’s a manual generator with no built-in battery. If you’re not pedaling, you won’t be able to charge anything. If you want to store energy for future use, you can charge up a power bank. You can charge up an external 12-volt battery to power devices like laptops or small appliances. Also, since it’s small with no handles for the hands, you may find it unsteady, so you need to screw it up or clamp it down to something so it remains stationary.
- Has 120 volt, 20-watt output
- Folds to a small size and easy to set up
- Uses standard bike pedals
- Can charge portable electronics directly
- Can be screwed down for stable operation
- Most affordable kit in this list
- No built-in battery
- Produces an annoying sound
Pedal Power Bicycle Generator (PPG-B300) is a belt drive pedal power bike generator dynamo with a belt and lets you create emergency power and do some fun educational learning projects. It’s a pedal generator that can be connected to a 12-volt battery via a fuse and a blocking diode. It’s perfect for charging your 12 V batteries, power banks and more. It can create up to 300 watts of power max, and it offers 40% more efficiency than a roller-style generator system. The permanent magnet generator puts out DC voltage with no rectifier needed.
The great thing about this generator is that you can attach it to your real bicycle (with wheels 18-27 inches in diameter) with the help of its adjustable length V-belt. This way, you can create power as you bike. Plus, it comes with a lifetime warranty for its parts.
This comes with a warning though. When using as a charger to lead-acid batteries, you have to be more careful. These batteries may have a lot of stored energy and it can melt the wires in your hands if you touch them together, so you must take better care while connecting it to lead-acid batteries. When choosing to store produced power through a power pack, the manufacturer recommends Duracell power packs.
- Can charge 12 V batteries and devices
- Attachable to bicycle
- Handy and lightweight
- Permanent magnet generator
- Needs a lot of add-ons to be usable as a charger
- Lacks directions on how to hook it up to a battery
Pedal Power Generator’s Stationary Exercise Bike Pedal Power Generator System is a stationary exercise bike system that helps you deliver up to 300 watts of power for your energy needs. It works both as a generator and an exercise tool perfect for your home gym or garage. This generator can be used to provide emergency power for charging phones and lighting, charge 12 V lead-acid batteries through a fuse and blocking diode, and charge power packs through a charge controller. You can also use it to teach your kids about science and technology, or drive an electric water pump, fan, wheat grinder or floating ball.
This system can put out a variable DC voltage ranging from 0 to 90 volts depending on how fast it is pedaled. It can sustain a constant 15 Amps of current.
This system requires some assembly, as this exercise bike comes in several pieces that need to be bolted together. Anyone – from small kids age 5 to a full-sized adult – can get on this stationary bike and generate power. It’s quite heavy, weighing 70 pounds, but it’s a good thing so it can remain stationary.
- 2-in-1 generator and exercise tool
- Can charge 12 V lead-acid batteries and power packs
- Can deliver up to 300 watts of power
- Fits both adults and children
- The bike can be too low for some adults
- Needs some assembly
- Very, very expensive
Tesla Energy Solutions LLC eSpin Bicycle Generator is a portable bike generator that needs a bit of assembly. It takes up a small space, it can easily fold up. You can use it to charge your phones, tablets and other portable electronics. You need to connect it to an external deep cell battery to store created energy. According to the manufacturer’s testing, this generator can produce up to 280 watts.
The kit includes a stationary bicycle stand, a DC LCD power meter, generator mounts, threaded rod, two-star knobs, electric generator, roller, and support brackets. You need to set them up yourself, and improper installation may cause injuries or damages. The LCD power meter display shows voltage, on the battery, the current used, and the number of watts generated.
Besides an external battery, you need a 26-inch bike tire. A mountain bike tire is not recommended, as it may cause slippage on the roller.
- Portable and simple to use
- Can charge phones and other portable electronics
- Can produce up to 280 watts
- Comes with an LCD power meter
- Setup can be difficult for beginners
- Needs a lot of add-ons to be usable as a charger
- Lacks more product information