Nokia DC-14 bike charger
There’s a rubber seat which clips onto the handlebar with a couple of stretchy rubber straps which hold your mobile in place while it’s charging. These worked particularly well – easy to stretch around the phone with no buckles to fiddle with and easy to adjust too. They seemed tight enough with several different Nokias that it tried too, from a slimline C5 to a chunkier E71 with Qwerty keyboard.
Better hope it doesn't rain
Though Nokia assured me that the charger should work with any phone with a compatible port, I couldn’t get it to work with the new C5, though with my trusty E71, now a few years old, it seemed to work fine.
If you cycle like a granny, this may not be the best charger for you. The manual says you’ll need to get up to at least 6kph to get it working, but I found it was more like double that to get it started, though once it was working I could bring it down to considerably sub-Lance Armstrong levels (namely, walking pace) and it kept charging.
Once it got going it seemed to work much like a standard charger, and the power bars on the screen ran upwards in the usual way to show that it was indeed putting some juice into my phone’s battery.
Ten minutes pedalling was enough to put another bar on the charge meter, which gave cause for rejoicing. But after a further half hour of near constant pedalling (OK, pedalling and free-wheeling, but the wheels were going round for almost all that time), there was still no sign of another bar. The impression was that you’ll need to do a fair bit of leg work to keep your phone fully charged.
It’s kind of old school technology but it does at least work, and offers a green alternative to cutting down on your emissions and, indeed, the number of chargers you have sitting around the house. But you’ll need to do quite a bit of pedalling to make it worthwhile, so it’s probably only worth considering if you have a lengthy commute to work or plan to use it on an extended cycling trip to the wilds, if you can get a signal that is. ®
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