What chargers do you suggest for bicycle touring?

Our Fuse series of solar chargers and solar kits offer the flexibility to charge a wide range of devices and attach easily to bicycles. You can mount these on your bicycle so that you are always charging when the sun is out. If you want to go more minimal, you can mount individual solar panels on your bike (we call these kits) connected to one of our batteries. The kits are less weight, but add a little bit of complexity in terms of cable management.

^back to top

 

How do you attach the chargers to the bike?

We're showing the attachments on Lynskey Touring Bike with Ortlieb Panniers provided by the knowledgeable and Brooklyn-based Red Beard Bikes. For the Fuse 4W and Fuse 10W The strapping system is pretty flexible and will allow you to attach to almost anything, but in the ideal situation, you strap the female clips onto your panniers or other part of your bike and then clip in the male end of the clips and tighten the straps. Here's the clipping system on each of the Fuses.

charger_attach_bike01.jpg
charger_attach_bike03.jpg
charger_attach_bike02.jpg
charger_attach_bike04.jpg

For the panel kits, our favorite way to attach the individual panels is to screw a few pieces of webbing on to the corners of the panel.

charger_attach_bike05.jpg
charger_attach_bike06.jpg
charger_attach_bike07.jpgt

Then you can use the webbing to tie the panels where you want them. These panels are quite strong, but do not strap them down so tight that they start to bend.

charger_attach_bike08.jpg
charger_attach_bike09.jpg
charger_attach_bike10.jpg

Tuck the battery away in a dry compartment. If it is a long reach, you can use our 3511-Extension Cable to give you a bit more reach.

charger_attach_bike11.jpg

This connection can be made waterproof with a piece of silicone tubing.

charger_attach_bike12.jpg
^back to top

 

How do I get fastest charge times on a bicycle?

The three biggest determinants to charge times are the weather (sunny/cloudy), shadows and angle of panel. You cannot control the weather, but you can control the last two.

Shadows ‐ Try to get the panels as far away from your body and seat posts as possible. This will decrease the likelihood that you create a shadow that falls across the panel and decreases output.

Angle ‐ The best orientation for the panel is perpendicular to the sun. It depends on your route, time of year and geographic location, but you might want to setup your panels so that you can adjust them over the course of the day. Example: if you are pedaling due West across North Dakota, you would want to tilt them so that they point to the left (South) of the bike. When you stop for a break, make sure to adjust the panels for optimum charging.

charger_attach_bike13.jpg
 
 
^back to top

 

Stories From the Field ^back to top