Pedal Powered Stage Gear

This is the gear we use at our own Pedal Powered Stage events, including the San Francisco Bicycle Music Festival.

 

A Pedal Powered Stage is a system that must include ALL of the following:

– generator(s)
– loudspeaker(s) and audio gear
– protection circuitry and voltage buffer
– wiring and interconnects
– pedalometer

The following elements are optional:
– lighting

Creating a system yourself can be a great team-building experience but has a serious learning curve. Working with Rock The Bike, by buying our gear outright or scheduling a ‘barnraising’ (collaborative build), will get you up and running much more quickly and with higher quality components. You’ll be able to put your focus on organizing events much sooner.

Let our experience work for you. We’ve been Pedal Powering music events since 2007.  This will translate to less frustration and more empowering moments when you use our gear at your events.

We would be happy to assist you in customizing a quote for your Pedal Powered Stage. Please note that the items in this category are often made to order. Please help us help you by giving us enough time to do our best work.

Please read: “What are the technical elements of a Pedal Powered Stage?”

  • Rentable Pedal Powered Activities

    You can green your event by renting our Pedal Power gear, reducing your carbon footprint and inspiring people at your event. Pedal Power gives your event attendees a unique experience that they will never forget. Check out all our great Pedal Powered activities for rent, and let’s start talking about your upcoming event. Equipment Overview [...]

  • How many people will it take to power my laptop and projector, or pedalboard (or any device)?

    Pamela Parker’s pedal board at the Peace Day SF rally. Photo: Nio. Okay, so you have a device or set of devices in mind (like a laptop and projector), and you want to know whether it’s possible to power them with people on bike generators. Here are the steps to figure it out: First you [...]

  • Basic questions to consider when crafting your Pedal Powered Stage

    The technical needs of a Pedal Powered event vary greatly depending on audience size, venue, and power needs of musician’s devices. The questions in this post will help you to know what features are most important for you, and how much power you’ll really need. Please answer these questions and email us using the contact [...]

  • What are the elements of a Pedal Powered Stage?

    What follows is an explanation of the key elements of a Pedal Powered Stage. If you are ready to buy individual components, please see the Pedal Powered Stage products section of our online store. If you’d like a custom quote for a Pedal Powered Stage, please start by emailing us with the answers to our [...]

  • Combining RTB activities to engage crowds at conventions and other large events

    This latest video, shot by our friend and partner, Natan Lawson of Wheely Good Smoothies in Baltimore, shows how eight of our rental activities created a large cohesive space with a large exhibit at the recent Democratic National Convention in Philly.

     

    Producers of large events are used to working in large spaces. Spaces that are typically empty and in need of shape, definition and life when they arrive. Just as it is the job of the wedding producer to remember the flowers, it is the job of our customers and rental clients to plan for both the visual impact and the function of everything in their spaces. (more…)

  • York Catholic School Board remixes Toaster Challenge at energy awareness assembly

    Toaster Challenge Recreated

    Sitting on the stool on the right side of this photo is an unassuming white form, but push the lever on it and you have a beast of a challenge — match the energy needs of an electric toaster by pedaling your hardest on an efficient bicycle generator. (more…)

  • Activist rapper Boots Riley's spoken word at the People’s Climate Rally Oakland, Rock The Bike's biggest event ever.

    Thanks to the 350.org Bay Area and System Change Not Climate Change organizers, volunteers, and attendeeds, and Rock The Bike crewmembers who came together for the People’s Climate Rally this past September 21 on the shores of Lake Merritt in Oakland. A major highlight of the event was Boots Riley’s spoken word and song during the peak of the event when at least 2500 people were in attendance. Skip ahead to 5:15 to hear the poem (warning, language!) Check out the awesome dance moves of the pedaler on the Tree during the song Ghetto Blaster (at 3:12). It’s inspiring to hear an activist talk about people power while using a people-powered PA system.

    In this second video, Rock The Bike’s Fossil Fool induces an outage in order to reenforce the message of people power:

    It was our largest audience size to date by more than double,  the previous being the 2013 San Francisco Bicycle Music Festival in Golden Gate Park at about 1000.

    The crowd size meant lots of new information to take in about live sound. (more…)

  • When a bike gets stolen, activate your networks to get lots of eyes looking for you. And then get that bike back.

     

    After a recent Bicycle Music Festival volunteer meeting one of our best cargo bikes, a Mundo 500, was stolen. It was locked to itself. This electric cargo bike was heavy, immobilized and impossible to push. The thieves must have had to lift it into a truck. I realized it the next morning and felt dejected and ashamed.

    I gathered some resolve to ask around for my bike. I remembered my friend Kipchoge’s story of recovering his stolen laptop by spending 3 days lurking in the underworld of San Francisco’s seediest Tenderloin and Mission neighborhoods. When he finally found himself face to face with the man who’d stolen it, in the hallway of a dingy hotel, the man admitted he hadn’t yet wiped the hard drive or sold it yet because he liked a video on the desktop. The video showed Kipchoge and his friends riding into the woods on Xtracycles carrying chainsaws, in order to do trail maintenance.

    I printed out the photo below and headed out to talk to people in the nooks and crannies under highway overpasses and in the Plaza at Civic Center.

    I also reached out to crewmembers and friends on facebook for help. I posted it everywhere, in all the group pages for which I was a member. RTB’s Nio connected me with Jenny Oh, who has built a bike theft recovery network that is remarkably effective at getting stolen bikes back to their owners. She reposted my photo and shared her tips for getting bikes back. Following the advice I filed an online Police Report.

    I found that friends and even the people on the street were overwhelmingly sympathetic with my cause.  Alas, they weren’t giving me any leads. (more…)

  • Generators available from Rock The Bike


    Above: The Generator Pro

    We sell three types of complete Generator Bikes:

    – Generator Pro (our custom frame with wide size range and great branding possibilities)
    – Electric Fender Blender Pro (same but includes a bike blender so you can do two activities)
    – Mundo 500 (cargo bike generator)

    Rock The Bike's low cost, high-performance, smooth rolling generator.

    Rock The Bike’s low cost, high-performance, smooth rolling generator.

    And we sell two solutions for turning any bike in to a generator:

    – the Roll Up Generator Stand

    – the Generator Wheel 

    Electric Fender Blender Pro:

    human powered bicycle blender

    It has all the features of the Generator Pro, plus you can blend smoothies. For more info, please go here.

    Cargo Bike Generators: 

    cargo bike generator
    Examples include the Mundo 500 (above) and Xtracycle Generator. Each of these is capable of riding to your events with a load, then converting to generator use. Cargo bike generators can also become electric cargo bikes; though we no longer offer this conversion, we’ll point you in the right direction.

    Generator wheels to turn any bike into a generator:

    frictionless pedal powered generator

    The most affordable way to access our frictionless generator technology. You simply swap the rear wheel of your current bike and throw it on one of our stable stands. Great for custom bikes like El Arbol above, or for low-cost generators. Still extremely quiet and powerful.

    bicycle generator

    Above: Your bike can now be a generator, every bit as powerful and quiet as the ones we use at Rock The Bike events.

    Special lightweight or higher/lower voltage generators:
    We’ll consult with you to find lighter weight options for bike touring or specific application.

    Want your bike to generate power? Now you can, with a hand-built generator wheel from Rock The Bike.  You can also use it to upgrade your Mundo into an electric bike.

    These generators have gearing that is optimized for 24V systems but will function on 12V system. In order to use the power you generate, you’ll also need a Pedal Power Utility Box.

    Requires 2-3 weeks to build from time of payment. Please specify desired output connector.

    What kind of bike makes a good generator for our generator wheels?

    • Bikes with a wide size range
    • Bikes with good standover height
    • Bikes without rear suspension. Suspension (or “shocks”) makes a bike less stable when it’s mounted on a Stationary Stand.
    • Bikes with a front derailleur and 2-3 chainrings. These have a wider gear ratio, making it easier to find the right gear ratio.

    Cost:
    700 c – $450 (not suitable for cargo use) or $425 as add-on to Fender Blender Pro purchase.
    26″ – $525 (suitable for cargo use)
    24″, 20″ – $525 (not suitable for cargo use.

    Rentable: Yes

    In the Box:

    • Wheel with Generator Hub (in selected size)
    • Rectifier cable with 2′ lead to wheel and 20′ cable for the DC output.
    • 7-speed freewheel with 11-tooth cog for highest voltage range, or 1 speed on Electric Fender Blender Pro

  • Festival Grade Pedal Powered Stage

    2 Bamboo Tripods for elevating precisely arrayed speaker clusters / 16 bikes / Stage lighting / AC power.  

    The Festival-grade package is both sonically and visually rich and serves as a prominent landmark at your event. Designed for the largest audiences, with large tripods angling the loudspeakers at distant rows. Beautiful at night.

    Crowd Size: 500-2500
    Setup Time: 3-4 hours
    Crew size: 8
    Getting it there: The entire sound system can fit on 6-8 cargo bikes and cargo trailers. Terrain will affect exact choice of roadie gear. Please consult with us!
    Generators: We recommend 5 Mundo 500, 1 Boda Boda, 4 RTBGen, 2 Electric Fender Blender Pro, 4 generator wheel and stands.
    Event space: We recommend a 12 x 24  stage. Additional space for Pedal Power generators, approx. 8×20.
    Storage space: All gear will fit into a 10×15 storage space. Please see our storage recommendations for more info.
    Lighting: Includes Stage Lighting panels for night events. Tripods have integrated lighting.
    AC Power rating: 1000 W, Pure Sine Wave.

    Audio Gear: 2 * Modified JBL PRX 635 mains, 2 * Modified JBL PRX 612 monitors, 2 * Modified JBL PRX 618XLF Subwoofers.

    Budget: $49000 +-
    Options / Upgrades:
    You supply:

     

  • Pedal Powered Stage packages from Rock The Bike

    After producing over 150 Pedal Powered music events, Rock The Bike has designed and created a dependable, reproducible system for you. The packages on this page show possibilities and rough budget ranges. Most likely, you will customize your package somewhat. Please use this page to get an idea of budget as it relates to crowd size:

    One Bike One Speaker Bike Pedal Powered Stage

    One Bike / One Speaker:

    Specifically catered to the Live PA performance artist. Cello Joe lives by the words, “Make the world your stage.” Our most popular, simplest, lightest and most affordable Pedal Powered Stage package.

    1-Minute Setup, 1 Bike, 1 Speaker, Audiences up to 300
    $3,100.00   |   More Info

     

     STAGE-band-ready

    Band Ready:

    Power up a live band. A robust system designed for a live band, complete with AC power, for instruments such as amps, keyboards, and effect pedals.

    30-Minute Setup, 4 bikes, 2 speakers, Audiences up to 500
    $13,950.00   |   More Info

     

     STAGE-live-concert

    Live Concert:

    Power up a live band. A robust system designed for a live band, complete with AC power, for instruments such as amps, keyboards, and effect pedals.

    2-Hour Setup, 10 bikes, 2 speakers, Audiences up to 500
    $27,200.00  |   More Info

     

     STAGE-festival-grade

    Festival Grade:

    Make history.

    4-Hour Setup, 16 bikes, 7 speakers, Crew of 8, Audiences up to 2,500
    $54,000.00  |   More Info

    Please answer the questions in the following survey to clarify your event needs e.g. target audience size, crew size, etc: http://www.rockthebike.com/basic-questions-to-consider-when-crafting-your-pedal-powered-stage/

    We also recommend you read and see the following posts and videos before diving in to the packages above.

    What: Here’s a post that explains the components of a Pedal Powered Stage. Here we describe the basic building blocks of Pedal Power: Generators, Loudspeakers, circuits, etc.

    Why: Check out Paul Freedman’s “Fossil Fool TED talk” to get the motivation for Pedal Powering music events. It’s about teamwork, community building, fun, and replacing gas generators.

    Where: You can do it anywhere, but outdoor music events are the best settings. Our system uses cargo bikes to carry all the gear to events. Then we convert the cargo bikes into generators. See photos of past events:

    Who: Your crew should include strong cyclists, outgoing ‘coaches‘, techs, and performers. See pictures of the Rock The Bike crew in action.

    How: Call us to get an estimate going for your gear package. We ship almost anywhere and specialize in building gear you can learn quickly and use dependably. You can also come to a Rock The Bike event and learn from us directly. Typical lead time for a Pedal Powered Stage is 6-8 weeks.

     

     

  • Band Ready Pedal Powered Stage

    An awesome demonstration, great boom for your buck.

    4 Bikes / 2 Speakers / AC Power

    Audience: 250-500 people

    Cost: ~ $13950

    Also known as the SHAKE YOUR PEACE! rig (named for the band for whom we develop it). This is the smallest system we sell that allows you to truly power up a band. This option provides AC power; most bands have at least one performer who needs AC power for their instruments (amps, keyboards, effect pedals).

    Setup Time: 1 hour.
    Crew size: 4
    Getting it there: 2 of the bikes are cargo bikes. 1 tows another.
    Event space: Generators will take up about 12 x 8. Recommended stage size 10 x 14 including loudspeakers.
    Storage space: All will fit in 5 x 10.
    Lighting: Stage lighting panels can be connected directly to a bike or the included Utility Box.
    AC Power rating: Comes with a 600 Watt pure sine inverter capable of delivering 1200 Watt surges in power. However, for practical purposes, AC power will have to be less than 200 Watts (continuous) for a successful event.

    Optimized for what types of performances? Bands without many AC Power instruments.
    Other notes: With a Medium sized Pedal Powered Stage, you need to be conscientious about what types of bands you work with. Specifically, instrumentation.

    We recommend:
    Generators
    2 Electric Fender Blender Pro
    2 Mundo generators (upgradeable to Electric Cargo Bike):
    3 Generator wheel + stand (upgrade any bike)

    Circuitry: Split-Rail Utility Box with integrated 600 Watt AC inverter.
    Pedalometer: 4′ tube, visible across a wide area.

    Barebones downgrade:
    No Pedalometer tube.

    Bass upgrade:
    Get a subwoofer.

    Required additional gear purchase / sourcing:
    2 speaker stands.
    Modified JBL PRX 635 Loudspeaker with built-in Dubla and single Ultracapacitor brick.
    All cabling included.
    $5000

    Substitution: Pedal Powered DJ Booth. Add 1-2 subwoofers. Keep only 1 monitor. Now you’ve got a righteous rig for dance music. If you’re working with a great DJ, your audio needs will be different than if you’re planning to Pedal Power bands.

  • Large Pedal Powered Stage

    10 Bikes / 2 Subs / 2 Mains / 3 Monitors / 1000W AC

    Be at the forefront of the Pedal Power movement. Make history. The large Pedal Powered Stage includes enough loudspeakers, generators, circuitry, and interconnects for you to entertain a 1000-person audience, or larger.  ‘No compromise’ sound for performers, thanks to ample monitors and AC power. The experience of playing on a Large Pedal Powered Stage is about the same as playing on a conventionally powered stage. To the audience it also feels and sounds like a medium-sized festival stage from a major festival.

    Crowd Size: 300-1000
    Setup Time: 2-4 hours
    Crew size: 6
    Getting it there: The entire sound system can fit on 4-6 cargo bikes. Use of cargo trailers will help reduce the number of roadies needed! Also, terrain will affect how much each roadie can haul.
    Generators: We recommend 3 Mundo 500, 1 Boda Boda, 2 RTBGen, 1 Electric Fender Blender Pro, 3 generator wheel and stand.
    Event space: We recommend a 10 x 20  stage. Additional space for Pedal Power generators, approx. 8×20.
    Storage space: All gear will fit into a 8×10 storage space. Please see our storage recommendations for more info.
    Lighting: For nighttime events, we recommend 3 stage lighting panels, plus additional decorative elements like speaker grill lighting.
    AC Power rating: 1000 W, Pure Sine Wave.

    Audio Gear: 2 * Modified JBL PRX 635 mains, 2 * Modified JBL PRX 612 monitors, 2 * Modified JBL PRX 618XLF Subwoofers.

    Budget: $27200 +-
    Options / Upgrades:
    You supply: 3 bicycles for the Generator Wheels, mics, mixer, snake, audio cables, speaker stands.

     

  • Many thanks San Francisco Bicycle Music Festival: World's largest Human Powered Music Fest.

     

    The 6th Annual San Francisco Bicycle Music Festival was our biggest ever and a milestone for our grassroots Human Powered Music Fest. Many thanks to the bands, fans, and our huge volunteer crew. Any one of the 3 phases of the day would have been epic enough. But we had a beautiful, idyllic daytime music festival in the park, an outrageous mobile party, and a post-modern urban block party all in one day. Daytime: 500+ people in a meadow, enjoying live music in the beautiful sunshine… Followed by a fire-truck dodging, freeway underpass screaming, Fossil Fooling LiveOnBike session, with captain Ariel using no electric assist to pull 3 performers and audio gear weighing 250 pounds on our Mobile Stage… Followed by a street party with an elevated stage,  a glowing Bike Tree, and a 3-person pedal powered stage lighting system.


    Rupa & The April Fishes perform at Golden Gate Park’s Log Cabin Meadow. Photo: Volker Neumann.


    We had 19 pedalers at the peak in Golden Gate Park! Plenty of power for our 10000-Watt sound system to run. In the distance you can see our Pedal Powered Line Array hanging from its bamboo tripod.
     
    We mobilized the entire festival on an outrageous LiveOnBike ride with yours truly, Fossil Fool, the Bike Rapper, performing with two bandmates on an elevated Mobile Stage towed by a Mundo. Above: the view from the Mobile Stage.

  • We're Pedal Power people.


    A mom and her son Pedal Powering a music performance on a Mundo 500 generator at the Oregon Country Fair. Rock The Bike built the Pedal Powered Stage used at the Fair.

    We help our event partners engage their communities to provide the greenest source of power possible. Read on to see how we do it!

    (more…)



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  • Modified JBL Loudspeakers

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  • Pedal Power Utility Box

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