Stop It with the pedal power. Throw your solar panels away, and let’s not even go there with kinetic charging options. What you really want is a sure way to keep your phone charged while cycling.
How to charge your phone while cycling?
Using traditional dynamo-mounted accessories, which are attached to the rear of a bike frame or even replace the hub on a bike wheel, is just not efficient enough for most cyclists.
They are sometimes a pain to assemble and are not portable to take with you when you leave your bike.
Then there are also kinetic energy phone chargers that claim to generate electric energy from your normal movements throughout the day or by a hand crank.
These seem to fall short of what the manufacturers tell you and are only good until they die.
In this article, I’ll share with you 8 solutions that not only are portable but practical and very useful for anyone that’s a cyclist or outdoor enthusiast.
1. Fugoo Style XL
For the music-loving cyclist who can’t leave home without some beats – This Portable Bluetooth speaker will blow your expectations away. The Fugoo speaker is not a charger only, because it does so much more.
The Core XL patented system has 6 speakers built-in which is protected by a stylish or rugged jacket that keeps the speaker intact.
If you would like to hear the sound of this device and a few more features on the speaker you can check that out here.
You can pair an iPhone or Android device and use their Siri and Google voice control options.
The speaker is “everything proof”. But although the speaker is waterproof and dustproof, exposing any external ports of the device could damage it. (You should never use the speaker core outside of its jacket.)
The speaker has a long-lasting battery, which will give you 35 hrs of playtime. It also charges mobile devices via its USB charge port out and provides 1 amp of power. This is enough to charge a tablet or mobile phone.
In order to charge your other devices, the speaker must be turned on and or plugged into the wall using its AC adaptor
Fugoo makes attachments called XL accessories which allow you to mount this speaker on a bike, pole, or clip on a bag.
2. Zendure A8 QC External Battery Portable Charger
If you have been looking for a Quick Charge portable charger then this power bank is an excellent companion for you and your devices.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, “This charger is kind of on the chunky side”, but don’t let the looks dissuade you.
This may not be a power bank for everyone but if you want something that will last and give you more for your money check out the Zundure A8 QC.
The Super High Capacity Power Bank uses Quick Charge Qualcomm 3.0 technology and the capacity is an amazing 26800mAh.
Quick Charge Qualcomm 3.0 is the latest charging technology out right now so you are able to charge your phone quickly and whatever other devices you use.
Compatible phones are listed below:
- Various tablets and other devices
The best thing about the Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 technology is that it also supports 2.0 tech, so it won’t damage older devices. Also, there are 4-USB ports to charge from.
Depending on where you charge the Zendure, it will take approximately 12-14 hrs for a fully charged power bank.
But once fully charged it packs enough power to last you on long cycle tours or to take on vacation or a plane.
Some say this is the best power bank they have ever owned despite the size and would give this product 5 thumbs up on its build quality and capacity.
3. Bike Bone Phone Mount Pro 3
This device is similar to what I would have put together with a silicone handlebar mount and my mobile phone but in a much nicer package that’s easier to take on and off without dropping the phone.
This is a 2-in-1 Bike Mount USB Portable Charger that can be mounted on a bicycle handlebar, stroller, and more.
The Bike Bone Phone Mount is one of many streamlined ways to mount and charge your cell phone.
It uses a Samsung lithium battery (sold separately) that provides 6700mAH of power. The output expected from this battery is 5v/2.1 A output. The portable battery will give you approximately 4-5 hrs charge time.
One setback of using this battery pack is that it doesn’t support Qualcomm 3.0 so your newer phones will charge slowly.
It can fit a variety of handlebars and it’s easily detachable due to its stretchy silicone strap. You can also use the power bank it comes with separate from the mount if needed.
The compatible phones and USB types this will work with are listed below:
- iPhone 11 Pro Max, X, 8 Plus,
- Samsung Galaxy S10, S9, S8, Edge, Note Series,
- Micro USB Type-A & B
This is definitely a holder for larger phones so if you have a different mobile device, just make sure its screen size is between 5.8” to 7.2”.
4. Knog PWR Headlight
This headlight is not like any other headlight you have seen on the market.
The Knog PWR Headlight has a modular interchangeable setup.
Lightheads come in 600 lumens up to 1800 lumens.
The brand labels its headlights for these bike types:
- Road bike
- Trail bike
- Mountain bike
The headlights are powered by the removable bank that comes in 3350mAH up to 10000 mAH.
In my opinion, the Knog PWR Headlight is a major compliment for those who like to ride at night and you can check out more details on Amazon.com
Duration running the lights is about 2 hrs on its maximum setting but can range up to 190 hrs on eco-flash according to Knog.
What’s great about this headlight is that if you prefer not to use the light portion, it’s a perfect mobile or backup power bank.
It is able to charge USB devices with the USB to Micro USB cable included or you can use the USB input to charge other devices via USB.
The power bank alone takes about 5 hours to fully charge.
LEDs illuminate by tapping the power bank to easily show what power is remaining.
The quality of this headlight power bank is solid and sealed to prevent dust and other particles.
It comes with a durable plastic mount that’s easily adjusted by a tension lever.
Because the mount slides into the side of the headlight, personally, I would find a strap that would tightly fit this headlight underneath the handlebars.
You want to ensure that the investment you put into this device does not slip out from underneath you.
I would somehow retrofit my headlight using something like the K-Edge mount and a clamp mount holder for security and ease of installation.
5. LuminAID PackLite Max 2-in-1 Phone Charger
Here’s where you really have to think outside the box.
No seriously, this has got to be the neatest invention that’s neatly packaged but yet very useful in multiple ways.
This portable LED lamp with 8 LEDs, is a very simple yet convenient light source if you are out bike camping, or just out hiking and enjoying the outdoors.
LuminAid made this LED light out of durable TPU material and it’s 100% water and dustproof.
If you were wondering where you have seen this product from, it originally was a pitch on the TV show called Shark Tank. You can view a clip from that show on the site here.
It easily inflates into a little lantern so you can share a little light around and doubles as a portable charging source with the built-in 2000 mAh lithium-ion battery. Also, great for power outages and backup charging.
The LED light/charger also has a solar panel on the top to recharge while you’re out in the sun and it can also be recharged via USB from a computer, and or wall charger.
Getting a full charge, will take 12-14 hrs with the solar panel under direct outdoor sunlight and 1-2 hours via USB cord and wall charger.
The charger is small but provides a 5v/ 2.1 amp output port that can charge most smartphones and tablets. But just be mindful that it may not be compatible to support phones with 3.0 quick charge technology.
It’s not a bike-mountable device but you could easily attach or place this in a smaller Camelbak or bike messenger bag.
If I were out biking at night or camping on the beach with friends this device would make a great addition to the occasion.
If you would like to lookup more details about the LuminAID Packlite Max and see the current price you can find it at Amazon.com
6. Anker PowerCore 20100
If you just need something for small trips, rest-stops, and the occasional century ride then a portable external power bank will do just fine.
I usually prefer to carry a slim external power bank to slip in my cycling jersey pocket or in a Jandd triangle bike frame bag.
Many consumers are on the go and need something lightweight and portable that will hold enough power to charge not only their mobile phone but other devices.
One benefit of the Anker Powercore is that it’s lightweight, about 2x as heavy as a hamster, it holds a lot of power at 20100 mah, and has enough charge right out of the box.
The power bank uses Power IQ and Voltage boost technology.
Basically, Power IQ uses smart charging technology that will charge a device as fast as possible with as much power as the device can take. A voltage boost is exactly what it sounds like, it’s a voltage converter that boosts voltage.
Unfortunately, it does not support Qualcomm 3.0 Quick charge and is NOT a USB-C charger but you can use this for both iPhone (Using separate USB-C & Lightning cable) and Android devices.
Don’t worry if you have an older phone, because as I mentioned the smart charge technology will charge older phones up to the power it can take, so it will be a standard charge for older devices.
The time it takes to charge the power bank will take 10 hrs with a 2 amp charger, so you definitely want to keep this plugged in overnight to fully charge it.
Anker also made this power bank with 4.8A Output and puts out 2.4 amps per port and this should be enough for most devices you charge on the go.
If I’m out cycling or just out-and-about, I would much rather pack this power bank in my jersey pocket or a small sling bag and be on my way.
If you would like to find out more details and current pricing on this power bank you can check out the Anker PowerCore 20100 available on Amazon.com
7. PowerGo One SS 10,000 mAh
If you are not looking for the largest power bank capacity but still want enough juice to last you hours, then you might want to consider this external battery.
This specific device is a little different from the other power banks mentioned earlier as it will support older phones with Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0.
The power bank is a beautiful aluminum sleek compact design and features Swift Charge 2.1 technology.
Swift Charge 2.1 means it’s designed to charge most smartphones and tablets 1.5 to 2.5 times as fast for tablets and phones.
If you would like to learn more details about this and view the current price of the PowerGo One SS 10,000 by Tech. Get. Go., you can visit their site at TechGetGo.
The max power input for this device is 15V /6.0A and the power output is 2.0 amps. So, like similar power banks on the market today you can use this to charge your device fairly quickly.
It only has one USB port and one fast charge Micro USB port. But if you don’t plan on carrying multiple devices you will be just fine with just these features.
What’s nice about the PowerGo One SS is that it recharges in only 30 mins using the wall charger. So if you are really on the run you’ll have a fully charged power bank in a short amount of time.
Tech. Get. Go. states on their website that this power bank is compatible with Apple and Android devices and tablets, including Nexus 7.
But it does not work with the following:
- iPod nano
- iPod Classic
- HP TouchPad
- LG G2
In my opinion, this power bank is a GO if you’re looking for something simple and light and don’t need a whole lot to keep your mobile phone charged on the go.
8. Imazing Portable Power Bank
This portable charger packs a punch to not only jump-start a car but yet safe enough to reboot your mobile phone.
The full name of this device is called the Imazing Portable Car Jump Starter.
To be honest with you, I don’t think anyone is talking about this unique device and it’s definitely worth considering.
This 20,000mah high capacity external battery provides 2000 amps of power to jump-start or power almost any 5L vehicle and mobile device.
The battery type Li-Polymer is a slightly higher specific energy and a higher-end quality power bank than a lithium-ion battery, in my opinion.
To find out more details in relation to the car jumper capabilities and mobile charging, you can see the Imazing Car Jump Starter Portable Power Bank, available on Amazon.com.
You can charge this battery pack off a 12v car lighter or a wall outlet. But with so much capacity it will take a while to charge fully.
It features an output of 5v/2.4 amps and has 2-USB ports and a Micro USB port, a flashlight, and all the accessories you need to jump-start a car.
There are some fair reviews that the Imazing device does not jump-start cars as well as other devices. Despite that, you should test it out yourself because there are plenty of positive reviews that say it jump-starts great.
Many would say its included feature being able to charge up mobile devices very quickly is a huge benefit.
If you travel a lot or intend to go on a cycling tour or road trip, then you definitely don’t want to leave home without this portable power bank.
Are Batteries From Wish.com Legit?
Type in “best apps like wish” in Google Search and you’ll get a bunch of discount shopping app results.
Many people have bought products from apps such as Wish, Alibaba, and Banggood with good experiences. But buying cheap power banks and other battery charging products could come with some risk and safety issues.
I’m a huge fan of saving a few bucks on products I know will be used over and over again. But it’s also important to check the reliability of the products you purchase online.
Buying from the discount apps mentioned above, you’ll run into many no-name goods that may not have a reputable quality or meet FCC standards for battery-powered items.
There are usually a lot of products with low prices and attractive looks but this can be deceiving.
These applications and stores are designed to promote impulse buying on things we may not even need. Also, many of the prices on items are too good to be true.
Despite the cheap pricing and prolonged shipping estimates, the matter at hand is whether cheap power banks from discount shopping apps are legit.
Here are some things to look for:
- Capacity is difficult to find with generic power banks
- Compatibility is not clearly stated
- No clear user guidance manuals
- Difficult to obtain info from Seller/Manufacturer
- No quality guarantee
If you are still having thoughts about purchasing one of these cheap power banks consider asking questions through the suppliers support page (if available) and check for the speed of response and answers.
Get second opinions from others who may have bought this product before maybe through forums or product reviews.
One thing you can be sure of is that a branded power bank will be more reliable than a cheap or knockoff power bank regardless of safety or quality guarantees.
It’s easier to find the capacity and compatibility with branded power banks in the manual and or search for it online.
In most cases, the seller/ manufacturer will outline plenty of details on their website or store with a Q&A list showing what others may have asked about the product.
When you are in doubt, it’s probably better to avoid buying cheap no-name power banks, to begin with.
Does Charging With A Power Bank Damage Battery?
Most cell phones and portable electronic devices can charge off a wall outlet that puts out approximately 5 volts. This is enough to provide at least 1 amp of power to mobile devices. Unfortunately, there are many knockoff portable chargers that can harm your mobile device. Using a portable charger that uses high or low voltage than what your mobile device requires could damage the battery. The best thing you can do to ensure this doesn’t happen is to check out the brand and make sure it’s from a reputable company. Do your research and find out what type of batteries they are using. You want to protect your investment so if possible I would even email the manufacturer just to make sure it’s legit.
I Dropped My Power Bank, Will It Explode?
Unlike individual batteries, you buy a pack of 4 or more (AAA or AA), the battery cells in a power bank are enclosed by a protective case or covering. You still want to protect the device and try to avoid dropping if possible as this could cause internal or physical damage. I once dropped a Mophie power bank many times removing it from my bike’s handlebar mount that it got all marked and dimpled up. It still worked like a charm but this may not be the case with every power bank. If you drop things very often or worry about damaging your power bank, then you might want to consider buying a tough case or protective sleeve for it.
Is It Ok To Use A Cheap Cell Phone Charger?
If you see many portable charges at the gas station or on a rack near the front aisle of the store, you’ve probably wondered if those are any good. Cheap cell phone chargers will vary in quality and safety. There are so many knockoff cell phone chargers that it’s a challenge to find out if it’s ok to use or not. It’s recommended to first check the brand and see if it’s one you recognize or is reputable. You also want to make sure it provides the right amount of volts and amps required to charge your mobile phone. Lastly, if you are in doubt that the charger may not be safe, don’t buy it and avoid the possibility of damaging your mobile phone’s battery.