Portable gizmos can be a great boon when you’re out riding. For many cyclists there’s definitely a place for a camera, a phone and increasingly a GPS device on a long day in the saddle, be it on or off-road. But if your batteries pack up, all of that expensive hardware is instantly transformed into a pile of useless ballast.
So if you simply must have fully functioning electronic devices with you on the bike, here’s one more that you can add to your collection to ensure that the others never let you down. The HY Mini Wind Turbine is a portable charger that powers up its own on-board battery using either natural wind power or, if you buy a special clamp sold separately, the flow of air created by your forward motion on the bike.
Once charged, its stockpile of power can then juice-up other gadgets, from iPods and mobile phones to digital cameras and PDAs. You simply plug the HY Mini into the dead device using one of the supplied adapters and watch as your potentially dead-weight gizmo comes back to life courtesy of 100% eco-friendly wind power.
The turbine works in winds of between nine and 40mph and according to the manufacturers a 20 minute charge (at 19mph wind speed) should give 30 minutes playing time on an iPod, four minutes talk time on a mobile, or 20 snaps on a digital camera.
The makers say the device is “weather proof but please avoid using it if it might get drenched” so you might want to consider how that squares with the type of riding you do. As well as day riders, touring cyclists - especially those who favour wild camping - may find plenty of applications for the device when out on the road. The HY Mini can also be charged via the mains, is priced at £39.95 (approx . €51.00 or US$78.30) and is available from http://www.firebox.com