This new bicycle sports a built in dynamo-powered USB port to charge your gadgets while you ride.
Would you pedal your bike just a little bit harder if it meant arriving at your destination with a fully charged smartphone or MP3 player? German based bicycle designers and manufacturers, Silverback Technologie, are betting that you would – and they’ve got the bikes to make it happen. Silverback’s latest crop of city bikes includes the Starke 1 and 2 which are furnished with a USB port in the head tube of both bike’s frames. A hub dynamo powered by the rotation of the front wheel provides the USB port with enough juice to run the bike’s Supernova lighting system or charge “low-voltage” USB devices including iPhones and iPods.
“Seventy percent of humans will be living in cities by 2050 and Silverback has realized that effect urban mobility will play a vital role. We have thus embraced the innovations of integration and automation.” -Silverback Technologie
The Supernova E3 Pro lighting system included on these bikes speaks directly to Silverback’s forward thinking; this dynamo powered line of LED lights is designed to withstand the heat of California, British weather and German winters. Both the Starke 1 and 2 are nine-speed bikes and are built around a “Flow Formed Nickel Alloy” frame. The stylish and functional pair employ both front and rear disc brakes and weigh in around 30 pounds. The Starke 1 comes in lime green, silver or black and the Starke 2 in either red or white.
The Starke 1 and 2 are one-size-fits-all, with the stem being adjusted for different rider heights. One of the main differences between the two models is that the Starke 1 features motor-assisted travel which offers 100w towards climbing those hills. If 100w isn’t cutting it, there’s an extra 100w available by holding down a button on the handlebar for five seconds – let’s hope it’s labeled “turbo boost”.
These types of innovations rarely come cheap and while the Starke twins aren’t the most expensive bikes on the block with the Starke 1 at $2,999 funding the purchase may involve selling a couple of the very gadgets it could charge. In addition, being a “low-voltage” system you’re still going to need another solution for charging your tablet – one step at a time. Whether or not a little extra sweat is worth being able to charge your gadgets off-the-grid may be debatable, but one thing is for certain – if you’re heading down hill, it’s all gravy.
Would you pedal harder to charge your gear?