Pedal Power: Ride a Bike, Charge a Phone

New generator harnesses sweat power and turns it into electricity

A gym fully powered by indoor runners and cyclists, producing energy as they sweat it out on stationary bikes and treadmills. You’ve heard the rumors about places like these, right? While I’ve yet to come across any (correct me if you have!), the world may have just gotten a bit closer to this dream:

While the new Velo Bicycle Generator from Fenix, which will be released soon, won’t power a full gym, after just 10 minutes of sustained cycling, it will capture and produce enough energy to fully charge a cell phone or power an LED light for more than two hours. Awesome? Yes. Granted, it must be used with Fenix’s ReadySet charger, a generator that can also store and harness solar power but that comes with a $150 price tag, and the generator can’t be connected to a bike that’s moving (it requires a stand).

But ultimately, this tech isn’t meant for gearheads—it was designed with developing countries that lack access to electricity. And for these people, whose bike can sometimes be directly tied to livelihood, the ability to generate some additional juice with energy as their only expenditure could be life changing.