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How to Make Your Own Bicycle Generator

You can generate your own electricity with a simple bicycle generator.

The first time I heard about generating power by pedaling, it was how some parents required their kids to do an at-home spin class on their bike hooked up to generate enough energy to watch tv. At that time I was a kid, so I’m glad my parents didn’t end up doing that, but it’s really not a bad idea.

Human Generators

We are basically human generators. We can literally create energy by using energy in our body, and create muscle by exerting force. Energy and muscles in our body are renewable resources that we have the power to create, and which—uniquely—no one else can do for us. So when we experience hard times and power outages, it’s great to realize that there are things we can do to generate energy.

“The solution is to make your own electricity.” Hackett

Later in this article you will see how Hackett was motivated to create a bicycle powered generator as a result of his experience of the massive power NYC power outage from Hurricane Sandy in fall of 2012.

Pedal Power, bicycle generator
QUEENS, NY – NOVEMBER 11: Bicyclists making pedal power at night to charge mobile phones for residents of the Rockaway after Hurricane Sandy in Queens, New York, U.S., on November 11, 2012. Image credit –

First, back to the exercise connection:

What exercise has taught me is how we can literally create energy from nothing… well, from movement. I can be working away at the computer and getting sleepy. Rather than taking a nap—I’m impatient with naps—if the weather’s nice I go out for a brisk walk with the dogs and a jog and/or biking up our hills and come back refreshed and energized. If it’s too cold or raining, I just do 3 sets of something like this:

3 Minute Natural Energy Boost

Just doing these each once through will give you more energy in under a minute. Do these three times through in 3-5 minutes and you will be amazed at the difference. Try it! Do:

  • 10 squat jumps (squat down, then jump up)
  • 10 push-ups (drop for 10)
  • 10 crunches

Repeat 1-3 x

If you like this sort of thing you’ll find more here.

Meanwhile, back to our topic of creating a DIY Bicycle generator!

Back to Generators

Sorry for that digression, but I’m leaving that in there for those who may be interested. The point is this:

We have the power to create power.

So drag that old bicycle out from the garage and put it to good use. Even if you have a generator or plan to buy one, for the ultimate preparedness, we need to have options like this on hand that we can use to create electricity even if we don’t have fuel. So to supplement that power, this may be the DIY project for you.

This first video explains how simple it is to use an alternator, mountain bike, bike stands and an inverter, to build a bicycle generator that will make 110 volt electricity running a 220 Watt food processor.

Then on the next one you will see how to hook up this bike generator to charge cell phones, tv, and charge a deep cycle battery plus a bicycle powered water pump.

Bicycle Generator

But… if you want an extra ready-made one to have on hand, there are a number of these on the market and wide price range, such as this one pictured from Amazon. Scanning these will also give you an idea of the value of your homemade version.

We haven’t yet tried them so if you have direct experience with these, please let us know so we can share your experience with the GardensAll community. You can comment below, visit our Facebook page and post a comment or private message, or send an email.

Turn that Old Bike into a Power Generator!

Now this video shows how to hook up this bike generator to charge cell phones and watch TV.

On the next page you will see how to use bicycle power to charge a deep cycle battery, and for pumping water.

Bicycle Generator to watch TV…and more

Hack it with Hackett

When Hurricane Sandy hit New York in autumn of 2012, Hackett took this picture showing Manhattan dark, from half the bridge to the entire city on the right. Brooklyn is on the left.

Still shot of New York City power outage in 2012 from Hurricane Sandy.

Screen Shot 2016-02-05 at 10.45.08 AM

After that experience, Hackett hacked making his own bike powered generator, and he shares how in this video.

“The solution is to make your own electricity.” Hackett

You Need 3 Things

Hackett says 2 things, but he already had a stand. We’re assuming you have a bike, hopefully one you use regularly, but if not, dust that thing off and dig it out of the garage or basement! Of course you can probably rig up your own stand too, being a good DIYer, but we’ve included a link for that in case you want a shortcut.

And… if you want more, here’s one more thorough explanation of a DIY Bike Generator.

Keep on Growing!

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