I’ve seen a few mentions recently about the Tigra BikeCharge, an all-in-one plastic contraption that combines a dynamo with cheap lights (front and rear) and a USB charging port for your mobile electronic devices.
I personally don’t think the device charging aspect is especially interesting, but the mounting method looks intriguing. The “gearbox” shown in the diagram fits between the fork end and spokes. It’s not shown in the diagram, but a “clutch” — a little plastic tab — engages the gear box to one of the spokes, so when the wheel turns, the gearbox turns and generates power. You can see this a little better in the installation video below.
London Cyclist sells the Tigra BikeCharge at his online store and says it works as advertised. The install method is a clever hack that seems much easier than installing a sidewall bottle dynamo or a hub dynamo. In the USA, the identical twin rebadged as ECOXPOWER is available from Amazon; Amazon Prime is available for the Ecoxpower dynamo.
Disclosure: If you buy by clicking through the Amazon link, I get a buck or two from that sale.
I have seen two reviews. In one case, the cyclist was unable to install it due to front rack and fender interference. In the other, little screws fell out, making it useless after a week. Email me if you’d like and I can send you both blog links.
We’ve had a couple of returns on the BikeCharge because of issues with the charging cables and so forth. It’s very much a product in its infancy so there’s still teething issues. However, I like the concept behind it. Especially for bike tourists. The company behind it, Tigra, are pretty responsive with solving customer issues so I’m sure it will eventually be a refined product.
100 bucks buys a lot of batteries…
Exactly. I considered a hub dynamo for my rando bike, but then I realized I could get a much brighter light, and two lithium batteries for less than the dynamo-light, dynamo and wheel rebuild. And I can remove the battery light against theft. LEDs have killed the need for dynamos.
THanks for that update, Andreas.
Hi im interested in buying this product. Whats the issues with the cables??
I feel like the opposite is true. LEDs mean that you can now power a very bright light with a dynamo, whereas in the past, the brightness was limited by the amount of power it took to get decent light out of an incandescent bulb. I have some reservations about this particular product, but I have never had a light go out on me partway home from work since I switched to dynamo lighting. That’s worth the money to me.