USB port-packing Starke bikes deliver pedal-powered mobile charging
By Darren Quick
October 31, 2011
With the proliferation of battery-hungry mobile devices that people now carry on their person when biking, we've seen a number of solutions designed to keep said devices charged up while on the go - from solar charging clothing and backpacks to add-on dynamo kits that allow devices to be charged via USB using power captured by the rider's pedaling. German bicycle maker Silverback has seen the need here and addressed it with its Starke 1 and 2 models, both of which feature a USB port powered by a dynamo hub.
Both the Starke 1 and Starke 2 feature flow formed nickel alloy frames and Shimano components including front and rear hydraulic disc brakes. The dynamo-powered USB port is located in the head tube of the bikes' frames and when the dynamo isn't being used to top up low voltage devices, such as a mobile phone or MP3 player, it reverts to the traditional dynamo task of powering the bikes' lights. The Starke 1 also sports an integrated electric motor that provides electric pedal assist for around 1.5 hours or 32 km (20 miles).
Silverback will offer the 12.5 kg (27.4 lb) Starke 1 in "Lime Fresh, Liberty Silver and Aston Black" (we're guessing that's green, silver and black for the non-interior decorators out there), while the 11.9 kg (26.1 lb) Starke 2 will come in Exotic Spice and Liquid White (red and white). The bikes will be part of Silverback's 2012 line up, with pricing and availability yet to be announced.