Cydekick looks funnier than it sounds, but the name doesn’t stand for something gimmicky. In fact, Cydekick might just be one of the forerunners of consumer technology in a “green” age. Cydekick connects your bicycle to USB, and thus becomes the means through which you can effectively harvest energy while exercising. Spinetics Inc has just published their Kickstarter for Cydekick, which is an add-on bicycle generator that can charge your phone. While the gadget itself is pretty neat, the concept behind it is what might suggest what the future of energy consumption looks like.
With Cydekick, a cyclist can easily connect their phone through a microUSB cable hosted by the add-on generator that harvests the energy you create while biking. It’s an age-old concept brought into the modern world, the world of technology. Dynamos, which are still a very important part of a cyclist’s life, are at the base of the Cydekick as a concept. The generator collects and harvests energy, having its own storage and delivery system for electrical energy, but it doesn’t drag on your wheels – it doesn’t add mechanical friction to your journey.
With the Cydekick, bikers can charge their smartphones and keep their bike lights on in an economic and ecological way. It’s the greener way to use electricity, and it’s inherently useful. Bikes are becoming primary methods of transportations in the world (mainly Europe, actually) and smartphones are slowly, but surely, becoming universally owned by everyone. Combining the two elements results in the Cydekick, one of the most useful tools a commuter or even a competitive biker can have. The idea is great and the Cydekick is rather useful, but it’s also a bit pricey.
Note that the Cydekick comes in two versions. One that is in fact an LED headlight, rotor and generator, called the Cydekick Mini, which lacks USB charging capabilities and another called the Cydekick Pro, which is the same thing, but with a USB cable and charging. The Mini costs $150 and the Pro $275 on Kickstarter. Production has not yet begun, so there are some risks with the project, but the idea is great.
According to the maker, the Cydekick will only drag a fraction of what a dynamo drags, which could be appealing to many commuters, cross-country bikers or whoever else uses bikes for longer routes. When you go to the store with your bike, you don’t produce the energy you would while commuting from town to city, for example. Lessening drag is the most important benefit of the Cydekick, and the maker says the generator harvests magnetic energy through a series of coils, instead of harvesting the energy created by friction. He admits to there being a bit of drag, but stresses the fact that it is insignificant in comparison. The device also comes with a mount to hold your smartphone, which will keep it safer than it would be in your pocket. Unless you fall, of course.
Cydekick is a green solution and if the energy levels of the device are as impressive as they are made out to be, Spinetics could be in for a couple of very good years. Analysts say that more and more citizens of the U.S. and Europe are beginning to consider matters like climate change, animal safety, working conditions, wildlife preservation and similar issues that have not been as acknowledged as they should have been in the past decades when making purchases. Green technology and green energy, solar panels and sustainable energy solutions are becoming more easily attainable and more widespread. Cydekick can be an important part of this process.
If Cydekick does change the way in which we use energy from our bikes, the company and the concept have a lot of potential. Although a bit expensive for the average cyclist, the bicycle add-on can be a good investment. The Kickstarter has an $85,000 goal which would start en-masse production, with delivery of the Cydekick Mini and Pro estimated for July 2016. That’s a long time to wait. Imagine how much energy our bikes produce in a year! Hopefully, the project gets funded and Cydekick becomes a widespread accessory, and it does have a good shot at doing so. But the waiting time is long and the concept is out, keep your eyes peeled because similar products might begin appearing.