The Bike-Powered USB Charger

USB ports on bikes have been around for a while in DIY form. But now, Silverback Labs developed an integrated USB power generating system for their 2012 Starke series—finally, I can keep my Toddies hot while en route to the office!

The Starke series of City/Commuter bikes features a front hub-mounted dynamo that powers the integrated lighting system. And, when it isn't illuminating your way, it can be re-purposed to charge your cell phone, GPS, or other USB-powered device via the USB port located on top of the head tube. Simply plug it in and start pedaling.

The lower-end models, the Starke 1 & 2, feature a traditional derailleur and chain setup as well as a battery pack hung from the seat tube that stores energy generated from the front hub dynamo and provide pedal-assistance for up to 45 minutes under full load. The top-of-the-line Starke Sub Zero (pictured above) forgoes the battery pack -- saving you 2.7kg -- and swaps out the derailleur/chain combo for an internally geared rear hub and belt-driven drive chain. The entire series is slated for Silverbacks 2012 lineup so, unfortunately, no word yet on pricing or availability date.