Pedal Powered concerts are a treat for Earth Days on college campuses. Students work together to power student bands and local bands.
Pedal Powered concerts are a treat for Earth Days on college campuses. Students work together to power student bands and local bands.
While walking around, Sara found a Roll-Up, our portable pedal-powered generator, brought to Standing Rock by friend/collaborator/co-conspirator Mike Cobb, and gave it a spin. Check out the video below:
An homage to the original Fender Blender bike blender. You can toss this in one of your Mundo bags, roll to an event, set up your rig, and put your High Performance pitcher to work making blended beverages, sauces, soups, or whatever else you can think of.
The Fender Blender Mundo fits the Mundo V3, V4, and V5 models.
The Mundo and the FBM are a great combination. During the week you commute and do the shopping. On Sunday, you roll to the park and crank out smoothies at the Barbeque. You don’t need tools to set up your bike for blending. This version gives you 2x the volume and power with the High Performance upgrade.
The FBM fits the Mundo V3, V4 and V5 models*. You can blend using the Mundo’s centerstand. For extra stability and if time allows, take the side loader bars off the Mundo and install our stationary stand. Or, for a faster stable stand, put milk crates under the side loader bars and attaching them with cam straps, –as you can see the in the photos from Yuba above!
*Note: it is necessary to remove or modify the rack deck and rear fender for the blender to mount properly
Please inquire for SpinArt compatibility.
When you do events with Pedal Power, especially with groups of pedalers, it’s good to have a simple, comfortable bike that looks inviting and leaves no option but to get on and pedal. The Generator Pro is that bike. It has no gears, no brakes — only the seat to adjust. The handlebars don’t even turn. Nothing rubs the tire, nothing gets hot, and no parts wear out when people pedal for hours on end at events.
What it does have is a large and effective brushless generator wheel. The size of it creates a flywheel effect that smooths out people’s pedal strokes. The magnets and coils inside the hub never touch each other. The power comes through a cable at the center of the wheel. The hub is rated for more power than even the strongest Tour de France riders can summon.
The frame of the bike has a very wide size range. You’ll see 7-year-olds high-fiving adults as they pedal alongside each other. All you have to do is make sure the seat is adjusted for each rider. The ease, comfort, and fun of people pedaling in groups are what this bike was designed for.
This generator is for customers who want the best, like the way it looks in a group, and desire the benefits of its simplicity. The lack of unnecessary features in this high-performance generator allows your staff to direct their attention to other things at your events, like people!
Watch this video and see all the different ways the Generator Pro was used at PoliticalFest2016 at the Democratic National Convention.
-Compatible with any Rock The Bike electrical activity, such as the Recharge Station, the sLEDgehammer, the Utility Box.
-Consistent performance thanks to its large flywheel-grade generator hub.
-Cruise-y looking and comfy. Looks great as a group at events.
-Powerful gear ratio. Those who want to crank won’t be disappointed.
-Uses the same frame as our Fender Blender Pro — with the same wide size range. You can add that activity later.
-Can be branded — see our examples.
-The Generator Pro is not a complete activity by itself. You must match it to one of Rock The Bike’s compatible Electrical Activities, which each have their own level of difficulty. For example, if you want usable AC power, you’ll want to match up the Generator Pro to the Pedal Power Utility Box. If you pedal the Gen Pro on its own with no matching circuit, it will have no resistance and the wheel will just spin faster and faster.
-Voltage output is nominally 24, but will be pegged to the load you connect. It will work best with 24V systems (all of Rock The Bike’s systems are 24V systems).
-A 20′ Rectifier Cable is included, terminating in a Neutrik NL-2 connector. Without the Rectifier Cable you won’t have usable DC power but 3-phase AC power. If you want a different connector or bare wires at the end of your Rectifier Cable, please let us know at the time of your order and we’ll do our best to accommodate your needs. A common alternative to the Neutrik NL-2 in the Pedal Power world is the Anderson Powerpole connector, which we can easily substitute upon request.
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. Read More
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.
Rock The Bike is helping Pure Austin Fitness pedal power their spin class. Pure already owns two of our Fender Blender Pros, and the goal of the current project is to convert these bike blenders to pedal power generators using our latest technology, then use them to pedal power the audio in their spin class. Here are some shots from the work I did in Austin over the past five days.
On Friday I met up with Pure Austin’s Beto Boggiano at his workshop. We chopped off the dropouts on the Fender Blender Pro frames, in order to respace them for the new generator hubs.
We used the generator hub itself to position the dropouts at the correct width, rather than, say, measuring the distance with a caliper and then holding the dropouts with a pair of vice grips. The gym mats and wood are to lift the hub and hold it at the correct position for tacking.
Here’s a shot of the inside of our generator hub. The copper coils move past rare earth magnets that are bonded to the inside of the aluminum hub shell, creating an electric charge that makes current flow through a cross-bridge rectifier. From the Wikipedia page on generators:
A generator forces electric charges to move through an external electrical circuit, but it does not create electricity or charge, which is already present in the wire of its windings. It is somewhat analogous to a water pump, which creates a flow of water but does not create the water inside. The source of mechanical energy may be a reciprocating or turbine steam engine, water falling through a turbine or waterwheel, an internal combustion engine, a wind turbine, a handcrank, compressed air or any other source of mechanical energy.
Above: Beto tacking the dropouts back on in their new position.
After welding the dropouts back to the frame at the correct width, it was time to rebuild wheels around the new hubs. The rim and tire add mass that creates a flywheel, smoothing out the pedal power. Plus, with a tire back on, the tire-rubbing bike blender interface will still completely functional (though optional). Pure Austin will be able to rotate the blender’s roller away from the tire during the spin class (to minimize noise and power loss), and then move it back to crank out smoothies for the cyclists after the class.
Before the trip, Rock The Bike’s engineer Leif had encouraged me to build the wheels ahead of time so that I could devote my time to installing the system once in Austin. Unfortunately I ran out of time preparing for Austin and instead brought rims and spokes with me. I ran into a number of issues. In the photo above, note the spoke nipples poking way out of the rim. I’d built up the wheel as a one cross when the spokes were spec’ed for a two-cross pattern.
Fortunately, these missteps and delays gave me a chance to bike around Austin on a bright blue Mundo and meet several cool salesmen and mechanics at Bicycle Sport Shop, Austin Bikes, and Mellow Jonny’s. I was impressed how much people in Austin already knew about the Mundo and its development, considering there are only a few Mundo riders there. I got stopped in front of bars for test rides and one rider even flagged me down… “Is that a Mundo?” It’s amazing how well educated and networked bike people can be about the products they buy.
The Monday 6PM spin class came and went without Pedal Power. I did get to see Beto, the gym’s owner and most experienced spin coach in action, which was great. The big black box on the floor between the palm tree and the instructor’s podium is a digitally powered JBL PRX subwoofer. The main speakers are mounted to the ceiling. You can see one of them at the top of this image just right of center. The mains are powered by two rack-mounted amplifiers, out of view. Hopefully we’ll be able to Pedal Power both the amps and sub. But we won’t know until we try.
Above: Bob Farr, an old-school Austin Xtracycle rider, and pedicabber, showed up Monday for the Pedal Power Workshop at Pure Austin. The technical delays described above limited our ability to fill the sweaty gym air with solder fumes at the workshop, but I was able to show Bob lots of good data and parts on paper and on Pure’s public iMac. The next day Bob showed up to help me bust out the last few details of installing the generator wheels. Here Bob is pedal powering 80 watts of LED lighting, a successful test of the Electric FB Pro.
Above: tracing a round object to mark a cut in the wheel covers, making room for the larger hub.
We succeeded in electrifying both of Pure’s Fender Blender Pros. The next step on the project is to build them a Pedal Power Utility Box. I would have liked to have the triumph of a pedal powered spin class, but at least we finished the primary goal of converting the two FB Pros they had, and I won’t have to fly back to Austin to complete the project.
Pure will have time to thoroughly test the system before using it at their fitness expo, March 6.
I love how the pedalers get grossed out as they see the father of the house preparing to take a shower. It’s always cool when you can let the pedalers get the best seat in the house at a music event or let them in on a secret. At Rock The Bike’s Pedal Powered Stage events, we serve up smoothies to the pedalers, bike blended of course. We’re thinking of putting the pedalers on a raised stage and lighting them at our Feb. 5th event.
The other moment that’s just classic about this video is when people continue running into the room to add more power and bring the system voltage back to the green. At first, they’re wearing the nice uniform: red jersey and cycling shorts. But as the system voltage continues to get clobbered by the energy hogging electric shower, the producers themselves run into the room wearing street clothes.
And you gotta love the cheering from the crowd when they successfully bring the voltage back from the brink.
A hot shower is, of course, one of the hardest things you can possibly pedal power. Apparently it takes 70 people to do so, (approximately 6000 watts!) Music is just the opposite. 1 person pedaling can get generate about 50-80 PDW (people dancing wildly), reminiscent of how an ant can carry 50 times its own weight in food.
Why is music so efficient? Is it just a coincidence that pedal powering music is easier than pedal powering lighting (even LED lighting), projecting a movie, or cranking out a smoothie, in terms of the number of people who can enjoy one person’s effort?
I think not. Think back to the ancient roots of music: drumming in the Savannah of Africa or the plains of North America that would bring people from a wide distance to gather at the fire. Music and dancing may be a cosmic gift of our evolution, a tool for humans to form communities, and therefore better band together, meet challenges, and fight external threats. This is the theory put forward by Barbara Ehrenreich in her book “Dancing In The Streets: A History of Collective Joy”
We had a blast last night at the Urban School, pedal powering their first dance of 2010. Thanks to Lucy, Lucas, Catherine and all the students and teachers.
As with any Rock The Bike event, we invite people at the event to pedal. The kid in the foreground is pedaling the Choprical Fish, which is powering the lighting at the dance.
Justin’s pedaling the Mundo 1000 during the sound check, one of our two bikes equipped with our Grasshopper generator system.
Despite their abundance of energy for gogo dancing and freaking, the Urban School students were a bit hesitant about joining in the pedal power effort. I felt good that we had shown up with a 6 person crew, including Adam, Masha, Hugh, Justin, and Ally. But we were doing 90% of the pedaling. Normally, the GP (general public) does more like 40-50% of the pedaling. I tried pulling students in and there were a few cool students who kept pitching. But honestly the freaking on the dance floor was so prolific, that it was obvious that’s where their minds were. So after a while, I stopped walking out into the crowd using a Down Low Glow like an airport landing guide, and just pedaled. I thought back to David Butcher and how he holds it down at festivals, pedaling away on the Prime Mover. I found new time trial position I liked on the Fender Blender Pro, and entered a crank, sprint, lactic acid! cycle. Out of saddle sprint! Lactic acid. Two students get on, both girls. I adjust the seat for one of them and the indicator on our inverter already drops into the red.
“Pedal hard! Go for it. ”
I look around for crew and don’t see any one. The LED is floating in the red, occasionally hitting blinking red. I know I’m going to need to save this party. I hate having to be intense with the pedal power coaching, but I was yelling, “Pedal, Pedal, Pedal!” every time I saw that blinking light. I was trying to get in a hamstring stretch, but I kept having to coach the girls on the bikes. And my communication with the DJ wasn’t to the point where I could make eye contact with him. He was killing it anyway, and I liked the fact that we were driving the PRX hard. Screw the stretch. I tap out with one of the girl and go into another sprint on the FB Pro.
Justin’s back! The other girl taps out and we bring the LED back to orange, and green. It was kind of like that all night. Three electrics would have helped, but really we just needed more from the students. I think some type of introduction would have helped. The students probably didn’t know what the function of the pedal power bikes was, other than to climb all over them and have a blast. No, they knew, but the hormones were too strong. Freaking trumped!
Rock The Bike has left the building.
We only brought one of our PRX speakers this time. The other is in the shop on a pedal power integration project.
See more photos from the night on Flickr.
To our delight Jay Leno climbed on a stylish white and orange step-through cruiser with a properly installed Fender Blender Universale bike blender (FBU) and blended what appeared to be a daiquiri, about 15 minutes into his show as part of the Last Minute Gifts segment. He pedaled for about 15 seconds, though to be honest I was too busy celebrating and making rock signs to count accurately. Jay had a medium-slow cadence and seemed very comfortable on the bike, smiling his trademark chinny grin and joking as he went — “for the active alcoholic!” Although his leg extension wasn’t optimized for power output, he had no problem crushing ice. He did not tuck in his pant leg prior to pedaling.
Watch the segment on Jay’s site: fast forward to 25:00 if you’re in a rush.
Above: The Fly Stick Van De Graaf effect levitation wand, one of the cooler toys on the segment.
Of the 13 products he selected, only three — the FBU, the Fly Stick Levitation Wand, and Snow To Go instant snow — fell into the category of positive, educational, or amazing. The others were novelty gags.
Six of the products were off-color: a stripping, singing Santa, a pole dancing alarm clock, and two products that involved sticking something (a pencil to be sharpened and a beer bottle to be opened) into the backside of an animal.
Two were personal care products gone awry — a head massager and a facial treatment system.
At $249 The FBU was the most expensive product on the segment. The others (apart from the Deer Rump bottle opener) were all in the $30-and-under price bracket. All of the products were available through the internet. Not a single mainstream store such as Target was mentioned.
When the producer emailed today to say that Jay had selected the FBU for the show, I had to think for a minute where I’d be able to watch it — there hasn’t been a TV in my place for two years. Luckily Adam had one and was willing to host a viewing party. Four of us from the Rock The Bike crew, plus his two housemates, were there to take it in. At the top of the show, we took bets on whether Jay himself would pedal the bike, or an assistant. Heading into the segment, 4 out of 6 in our SF viewing party thought he’d do the deed. But at the last moment Grace changed her bet and it was 3 and 3.
above: Adam updating Facebook status to “Jay Rocks The Bike” moments after Leno cranked out a frozen cocktail.
When the show first contacted us a few weeks ago to request an FBU, we offered to send it to them complete and built up on a Jamis city bike. We figured that they’re busy TV people, not bike people, and they’d probably rather have us install it. No thanks, they said, just send hthe boxed FBU. Clearly installation was straightforward for them. The rack was perfectly level and the pitcher sat directly over the rear wheel.
Invented in 2006 by Nate Byerley, the FBU is our most affordable bike blender, and it’s the one that a lot of schools, nonprofits, and summer camps buy. Earlier this year our engineer Leif redesigned the FBU so that it goes on and off a bike without tools (once you install the aluminum rack). When the blender base is removed, you’ve got a strong, light, functional rack you can use to commute, carry groceries or boxes. Every FBU we sell is adding carrying capacity to the bicycle fleet of America!
Bike blending is the most approachable, affordable way to demonstrate human power at an event or school. It’s a great conversation starter — literally an awesome ice breaker — and one of the few products that can raise environmental consciousness without a guilt trip. It gets people pedaling at events, which reminds them how awesome bikes are. Kids love it! Check out the awesome testimonials we’ve posted for the product.
We also recently came out with a human power generator that’s compatible with every Fender Blender we’ve ever sold, so that a school that bought one, say, in 2007 can now add the generator and use their FBU to make power for a music system, lighting display, etc.
Many thanks to Jay and the producers for helping to spread the cheer and magic of Pedal Power at the holidays.
Late night Haunted Hay Ride on the Biker Bar, cruising down 18th from the Castro to the District, with five European tourists along for the ride.
Whoah. Amazing weekend. So much gratitude to the crew, the people of Fair Oaks St., and the Yes Men!
Kai and Pastana showed up Saturday afternoon to help mod the Biker Bar into a Haunted Hay Ride.
Tara had texted me earlier to “try 6th and Bryant as a source for $15 hay bales.” Then on the way there I realized she was sending me to the wholesale flower market. Thanks for the tip, T! I pulled in and immediately saw a bale in a stall. One cam strap on the Mundo. Back to the house.
We reduced the hay to useful cushion sizes and cam strapped Kai’s birdcage to the Biker Bar.
Kai bringing Pooh into the mix.
We kept the dancing going for the big kids for another couple hours.
Heading to the San Francisco debut of the Yes Men’s touching and hilarious “The Yes Men Fix The World”
Adam practicing one of the building block skills for no-hands surfing.
The lucky recipients of three $4 million Survivaballs.
Escorting the Survivaballs from the Roxie to the closest Chevron.
The Yes Men used the march as an opportunity to tout the
benefits of the Survivaball. Rock The Bike supplied the mobile P/A and
later the Pedal Powered Stage for the rally.
We turned up the dance music, including an exhuberant “I Will Survive.”
After the Chevron protest, we kept the afterparty going.
The Mundo 1000 has been holding it down as our most efficient pedal power bike.
If you’ve read this far and you’re local, you’ll probably want to join our SF Cruisers email list, and come out Monday night to Dia De Los Muertos with the Rock The Bike crew.
It was a big weekend.
We hit the road Saturday to Pedal Power the 350.org rally at Justin Herman Plaza.
Lauren from Greenpeace on the mic.
The Biker Bar’s swingarms were recently gusseted (the triangles). They’re much stiffer and the bar is functioning well these days, though our electric bikes have the edge in efficiency.
After the rally, we got an afterparty going.
photos: Steve Rhodes
Adam and Tara clowning around after the gig.
We packed up and cruised the Embarcadero. Above, Leif following a tight path through the crowd.
The Mundo 1000 was short a battery all weekend. so we developed ways to get it around the city.
Sunday morning in the park with Scott McDowell of Hyde Street Studios, Rock The Bike’s most experienced sound guy.
Soul Medic getting the Pedal Powered Stage jumping at West Fest.
Kai and Pam powering Oona. Kai went big, powering the show for about 50 minutes.
Rock The Bike pedal powered the Grind For The Green hip hop conference this past Saturday in San Francisco.
JMellion and another rapper.
Two bikes held it down. The Choprical Fish and...
A Mundo 1000
Smoothie break at Lunch.
Speakers included M1 of Dead Prez.
One the way back we hit the Bicycle Film Festival Street Party.
Borrowed Jay’s tux for Mission High’s Green Prom. We’ll be pedal powering 4 hours of dance music for one of San Francisco’s largest high schools.
Big thanks to Lincoln High School and ESLI for inviting Rock The Bike to two days of environmental assemblies and education.