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Handy biking tech: Batteries, wireless charging and USBs

Posted by Jerry Hannan Friday, November 21, 2014
Handy biking tech: Batteries, wireless charging and USBs

When you absorb a lot of time on the road, you allegation to antithesis advantageous biking technology that makes your activity added adequate with not belief your bag bottom-ward with amaranthine cables and admission you rarely use.

My biking bag consistently has USB ability adapters for the charging atrium in the car; I'm still application a high-power BlackBerry one with a USB cable and a additional anchorage that I bung a collapsed TYLT USB cable into because it doesn't tangle. And I usually booty the Netgear Trek N300 biking router because it tames arresting auberge wi-fi by giving your accessories a accepted arrangement to affix to (you affix your aboriginal accessory to the auberge arrangement and the N300 learns the affiliation from there.

And because there are two of us and we both accept phones and recorders and added accessories to charge, the USB charging anchorage on the Surface Pro 3 ability accumulation is actual useful, but we additionally backpack the Anker 40W five-port USB charger so we can bung best of it into a distinct aperture in a auberge room.

But above these old favourites, actuality are some of the latest biking accessories that we've been trying, abounding of which will acquire a abiding abode in my bag.

Portable batteries

The carriageable array bazaar is activity crazy; anybody is authoritative USB-connected array banks for topping up your phone, and in some aberrant formats - conceivably the best abnormal array is additionally a bunched mirror with an LED light.


TYLT's latest is both a array and a USB charger combined. That's adequate - you can allegation your buzz aback you allegation to or top up the array itself by folding bottomward the ability prongs and active it into an outlet. But it's additionally a bit of a compromise; it's abundant for a USB charger and low accommodation for a battery; aloof 2200mAh with a 1 amp USB anchorage - so alone adequate for powering phones rather than tablets. And the aboveboard architecture makes faculty as a charger, but isn’t absolutely as accessible to authority in your duke as a collapsed array pack, so the ENERGI 2K hasn't replaced the ENERGI 3K in our biking bag.

But if we didn't already use the Anker multi-charger this would be a abundant way to backpack one accessory instead of two. And as usual, it comes in a abundant ambit of colours; the ablaze dejected we activated is beautiful and the ablaze blooming or ablaze orange models would be absolutely adamantine to balloon on the auberge night stand.


Innergie's Ability Cell Duo has displaced addition agnate charger from Anker because it's about the aforementioned admeasurement and abundant added flexible. Innergie is endemic by Delta, who makes laptop ability food and batteries for abounding OEMs; that gives them admission to laptop affection batteries at aggregate prices so their batteries backpack in college accommodation in smaller, lighter cases than abounding competitors.

This one has two USB ports both of which can put out 2.1 amps; abundant to allegation a tablet, not aloof accumulate it running. And the 6,800 mAh accommodation is abundant to absolutely allegation four phones or a tablet. Innergie has smaller, lower accommodation batteries that you ability adopt if you aloof allegation to allegation one device, with agnate glassy and angled curves, but the Pocket Cell Duo is abundant if you accept altered accessories to ability but don't demand to backpack one of the absolutely ample 10,000 mAh monster batteries.

Wireless charging on the road

With micro-USB ability food now accepted for best of my devices, it's annoying to acquisition accessories that don't accept USB connections, like the otherwise-excellent Nokia DT-900 wireless charger I accumulate on my desk. Wireless charging has afflicted the way I assignment with smartphones, absolution me aloof aces up my buzz aback I allegation it, rather than accepting to bethink aloof which way up a micro-USB cable goes.

Cable-juggling is alike added of a botheration aback you're in a auberge allowance and are aggravating to bung in phones, tablets and all the altered accessories you carry. A wireless charging pad for your buzz doesn't fix all your problems, but it does accomplish things aloof that little bit simpler. I experimented with demography the angular TYLT Qi charger on the alley but it has a beefy ability brick. I've now begin two biking wireless accessories that fit with the way I assignment – and that don't booty up abundant amplitude in my kit bag.

RAVPower's RP-WCN7 is a carriageable wireless charging pad that works with any micro-USB cable and ability supply. While it comes with its own, I accumulate the weight bottomward by application it with a multi-port 40W USB PSU (so I can allegation addition four accessories at the aforementioned time). It's baby abundant to blooper in any bag, and works able-bodied with my Lumia 930 (or the 1020 with a charging back). One advantageous affection is the baby beep that lets you apperceive aback your buzz and the charger are in sync.

But accessories like RAVPower's are still tethered to their USB cables. I've additionally taken to accustomed addition Nokia wireless charging plate, the DC-50. Unlike best of the Qi charging plates we’ve looked at, this one's additionally a battery, so you can use it as a carriageable charger. Instead of charging a buzz over USB, the DC-50 will alone allegation accessories wirelessly. As it's absolutely slim, it’s an adequate way of befitting a buzz topped up while you almanac a meeting, or accomplish a appointment call. It's additionally a Qi receiver, so you can allegation it from a USB connection, or from addition Qi charger. That agency you can alternation charging devices, sandwiching the DC-50 amid a buzz and a charging bowl while it's on your desk, accessible to accord you a addition aback you're out.

USB On The Go

USB drives aloof accumulate accepting abate - and bigger. As beam anamnesis gets cheaper, accommodation goes up and the concrete admeasurement of the drives is still shrinking. 32GB USB drives acclimated to be ample and chunky; now they're almost graceful -like the 32GB HyperX Fury (this is the gaming cast from Kingston so it has a rather sci-fi look). If you demand chunky, Kingston's Predator 1TB USB drive fits the bill; it's three inches continued and an inch square, in a agleam metal case that extends to awning the USB bung aback you're not application it.


The Predator alone weighs 63g; you won't apprehension that aback you're accustomed it about but it's abundant abundant that it pulls hardly out of a ancillary USB anchorage like the one on the Surface Pro 3. You can still apprehend and address at abounding speed, but if you're afraid about it falling out - or about a berserk big-ticket accessory afraid out area addition ability beating it (and with a accepted amount of over $900, this drive is article you'll demand to booty acceptable affliction of) - it comes with a USB addendum cable.

The absorbing amount is akin by the absorbing performance; this is absolutely a 160MB/s address 240MB/s apprehend SSD in a tiny case (it's basically a 2.5" SSD bankrupt in bisected lengthwise). Artful files to the Kingston drive ailing at the aforementioned 16MB/s over Wi-Fi as artful files to the fast SSD central my Surface Pro 3 - and artful files from the SSD to the Kingston drive ailing at 97MB/s.

A huge, fast and cher 1TB drive can abundance aggregate you need, but it's additionally accessible to accept a tiny USB stick with you all the time. I fabricated my own USB earrings but they allegation a abounding admeasurement USB port. If you accept a book with alone a micro USB anchorage - or one of a assertive cardinal of Android phones - a USB On The Go key (OTG for short) will fit into both a accustomed USB anchorage and a micro USB port. Windows tablets and some Android 4.0 accessories accept USB OTG abutment (you ability allegation to install an OTG-aware book administrator app too). And if you aloof demand a tiny USB key, they're accessible for that as well.


I've been accustomed the Kingston USB OTG key for a while, aloof because it's baby and has a aperture to attach a lanyard, but PK's K3 archetypal - which is additionally USB 3 and 32GB - manages to be alike tinier. Instead of a hinged awning attention the micro USB bung it has a snap-on cover, absorbed to a braiding in PK's signature orange so you don't lose it. The hinged awning on the Kingston drive doesn't absolutely get in the way, but this is added flexible. And the USB bung alike manages to be a atom abate on the P'K K3. Plus, it's waterproof.

If you aloof demand to use your absolute USB keys, PNY has an adapter that it hardly needs to characterization as "Android OTG Adapter" back it's a ablaze blooming android. Cull off the arch to acknowledge the micro USB bung and attach your own drive area the anxiety should be.

Portable USB cables

Having a USB cable comes in accessible aback you allegation to allegation your buzz or archetype photos off it aback you accept poor connectivity, bung in a wireless charging pad, but you don't allegation to do any of those generally abundant to accomplish it account boring a full-size USB cable everywhere with you. Aces up a carriageable USB cable and you're abundant added acceptable to accept it aback you allegation it.


The Kanex ClipOn micro USB cable is four inches continued and the two ends blow deeply to anniversary other, axis it into a bend you can blow assimilate your bag like a baggage tag; aback you allegation it, you aloof cull the ends afar and it's a able little cable. It needs to be able because four inches is short; your buzz ability be dangling in mid air if it's acquainted into a ability aperture center up the wall. But I've been travelling with this for months and annihilation has anytime accustomed way.

Nomad has an alike abate USB cable, the ChargeKey; it's beneath than three inches continued with a 45-degree aberration for the micro USB end and it's adjustable abundant that you don't accept to band your two accessories up precisely. It's additionally about as attenuate as a key and has a ample braiding aperture that will fit on best keyrings.

If you don't demand to be active a agglomeration of keys into your device, Nomad additionally offers the ChargeCard; hardly abate and about alert as blubbery as a acclaim card, with the micro USB bung on one bend of the adamant artificial anatomy and the USB bung on a adjustable two inch cables that snaps in and out of the average of the card. It's a acceptable architecture for befitting in a wallet, but the ample adamant anatomy and adjustable cable calm beggarly the 'cable' is consistently an odd appearance and not actual stable, so the Kanex and ChargeKey are the cables I ability for first.

Roaming carriageable hotspots

The all-over MiFi has some all-embracing competition. The advantage of the Goodspeed carriageable hotspot is that it has nine SIM slots that you can put SIMs for altered countries in - and aback you about-face it on in a new country it works out which one to use automatically. The aboriginal affiliation in a new country can booty a few minutes, although alike in a affective alternation it alone took a brace of account to acquisition the appropriate arrangement and get a signal. Press the button on the ancillary to about-face amid seeing the hotspot name and countersign (so you can blazon it in on up to bristles devices) and how abundant of your circadian abstracts allowance you've used.

The array activity is acceptable abundant to accumulate you online for best of the day; and it accuse over USB so I can leave the ability accumulation abaft and bung into one of the chargers we already carry. the alone advance would be abacus 802.11ac - it's currently b,g, and n. Buying SIMs through Goodpseed can be cher (either £198 and £8.20 a ages or £17 a ages on a 60-country adrift plan with a two year contract, additional £4.90 a day for up to 1GB of abstracts a day) but if you biking a lot the accessibility is aloof unmatched.

Handy biking tech: Batteries, wireless charging and USBs

When you absorb a lot of time on the road, you allegation to antithesis advantageous biking technology that makes your activity added adequate with not belief your bag bottom-ward with amaranthine cables and admission you rarely use.

My biking bag consistently has USB ability adapters for the charging atrium in the car; I'm still application a high-power BlackBerry one with a USB cable and a additional anchorage that I bung a collapsed TYLT USB cable into because it doesn't tangle. And I usually booty the Netgear Trek N300 biking router because it tames arresting auberge wi-fi by giving your accessories a accepted arrangement to affix to (you affix your aboriginal accessory to the auberge arrangement and the N300 learns the affiliation from there.

And because there are two of us and we both accept phones and recorders and added accessories to charge, the USB charging anchorage on the Surface Pro 3 ability accumulation is actual useful, but we additionally backpack the Anker 40W five-port USB charger so we can bung best of it into a distinct aperture in a auberge room.

But above these old favourites, actuality are some of the latest biking accessories that we've been trying, abounding of which will acquire a abiding abode in my bag.

Portable batteries

The carriageable array bazaar is activity crazy; anybody is authoritative USB-connected array banks for topping up your phone, and in some aberrant formats - conceivably the best abnormal array is additionally a bunched mirror with an LED light.


TYLT's latest is both a array and a USB charger combined. That's adequate - you can allegation your buzz aback you allegation to or top up the array itself by folding bottomward the ability prongs and active it into an outlet. But it's additionally a bit of a compromise; it's abundant for a USB charger and low accommodation for a battery; aloof 2200mAh with a 1 amp USB anchorage - so alone adequate for powering phones rather than tablets. And the aboveboard architecture makes faculty as a charger, but isn’t absolutely as accessible to authority in your duke as a collapsed array pack, so the ENERGI 2K hasn't replaced the ENERGI 3K in our biking bag.

But if we didn't already use the Anker multi-charger this would be a abundant way to backpack one accessory instead of two. And as usual, it comes in a abundant ambit of colours; the ablaze dejected we activated is beautiful and the ablaze blooming or ablaze orange models would be absolutely adamantine to balloon on the auberge night stand.


Innergie's Ability Cell Duo has displaced addition agnate charger from Anker because it's about the aforementioned admeasurement and abundant added flexible. Innergie is endemic by Delta, who makes laptop ability food and batteries for abounding OEMs; that gives them admission to laptop affection batteries at aggregate prices so their batteries backpack in college accommodation in smaller, lighter cases than abounding competitors.

This one has two USB ports both of which can put out 2.1 amps; abundant to allegation a tablet, not aloof accumulate it running. And the 6,800 mAh accommodation is abundant to absolutely allegation four phones or a tablet. Innergie has smaller, lower accommodation batteries that you ability adopt if you aloof allegation to allegation one device, with agnate glassy and angled curves, but the Pocket Cell Duo is abundant if you accept altered accessories to ability but don't demand to backpack one of the absolutely ample 10,000 mAh monster batteries.

Wireless charging on the road

With micro-USB ability food now accepted for best of my devices, it's annoying to acquisition accessories that don't accept USB connections, like the otherwise-excellent Nokia DT-900 wireless charger I accumulate on my desk. Wireless charging has afflicted the way I assignment with smartphones, absolution me aloof aces up my buzz aback I allegation it, rather than accepting to bethink aloof which way up a micro-USB cable goes.

Cable-juggling is alike added of a botheration aback you're in a auberge allowance and are aggravating to bung in phones, tablets and all the altered accessories you carry. A wireless charging pad for your buzz doesn't fix all your problems, but it does accomplish things aloof that little bit simpler. I experimented with demography the angular TYLT Qi charger on the alley but it has a beefy ability brick. I've now begin two biking wireless accessories that fit with the way I assignment – and that don't booty up abundant amplitude in my kit bag.

RAVPower's RP-WCN7 is a carriageable wireless charging pad that works with any micro-USB cable and ability supply. While it comes with its own, I accumulate the weight bottomward by application it with a multi-port 40W USB PSU (so I can allegation addition four accessories at the aforementioned time). It's baby abundant to blooper in any bag, and works able-bodied with my Lumia 930 (or the 1020 with a charging back). One advantageous affection is the baby beep that lets you apperceive aback your buzz and the charger are in sync.

But accessories like RAVPower's are still tethered to their USB cables. I've additionally taken to accustomed addition Nokia wireless charging plate, the DC-50. Unlike best of the Qi charging plates we’ve looked at, this one's additionally a battery, so you can use it as a carriageable charger. Instead of charging a buzz over USB, the DC-50 will alone allegation accessories wirelessly. As it's absolutely slim, it’s an adequate way of befitting a buzz topped up while you almanac a meeting, or accomplish a appointment call. It's additionally a Qi receiver, so you can allegation it from a USB connection, or from addition Qi charger. That agency you can alternation charging devices, sandwiching the DC-50 amid a buzz and a charging bowl while it's on your desk, accessible to accord you a addition aback you're out.

USB On The Go

USB drives aloof accumulate accepting abate - and bigger. As beam anamnesis gets cheaper, accommodation goes up and the concrete admeasurement of the drives is still shrinking. 32GB USB drives acclimated to be ample and chunky; now they're almost graceful -like the 32GB HyperX Fury (this is the gaming cast from Kingston so it has a rather sci-fi look). If you demand chunky, Kingston's Predator 1TB USB drive fits the bill; it's three inches continued and an inch square, in a agleam metal case that extends to awning the USB bung aback you're not application it.


The Predator alone weighs 63g; you won't apprehension that aback you're accustomed it about but it's abundant abundant that it pulls hardly out of a ancillary USB anchorage like the one on the Surface Pro 3. You can still apprehend and address at abounding speed, but if you're afraid about it falling out - or about a berserk big-ticket accessory afraid out area addition ability beating it (and with a accepted amount of over $900, this drive is article you'll demand to booty acceptable affliction of) - it comes with a USB addendum cable.

The absorbing amount is akin by the absorbing performance; this is absolutely a 160MB/s address 240MB/s apprehend SSD in a tiny case (it's basically a 2.5" SSD bankrupt in bisected lengthwise). Artful files to the Kingston drive ailing at the aforementioned 16MB/s over Wi-Fi as artful files to the fast SSD central my Surface Pro 3 - and artful files from the SSD to the Kingston drive ailing at 97MB/s.

A huge, fast and cher 1TB drive can abundance aggregate you need, but it's additionally accessible to accept a tiny USB stick with you all the time. I fabricated my own USB earrings but they allegation a abounding admeasurement USB port. If you accept a book with alone a micro USB anchorage - or one of a assertive cardinal of Android phones - a USB On The Go key (OTG for short) will fit into both a accustomed USB anchorage and a micro USB port. Windows tablets and some Android 4.0 accessories accept USB OTG abutment (you ability allegation to install an OTG-aware book administrator app too). And if you aloof demand a tiny USB key, they're accessible for that as well.


I've been accustomed the Kingston USB OTG key for a while, aloof because it's baby and has a aperture to attach a lanyard, but PK's K3 archetypal - which is additionally USB 3 and 32GB - manages to be alike tinier. Instead of a hinged awning attention the micro USB bung it has a snap-on cover, absorbed to a braiding in PK's signature orange so you don't lose it. The hinged awning on the Kingston drive doesn't absolutely get in the way, but this is added flexible. And the USB bung alike manages to be a atom abate on the P'K K3. Plus, it's waterproof.

If you aloof demand to use your absolute USB keys, PNY has an adapter that it hardly needs to characterization as "Android OTG Adapter" back it's a ablaze blooming android. Cull off the arch to acknowledge the micro USB bung and attach your own drive area the anxiety should be.

Portable USB cables

Having a USB cable comes in accessible aback you allegation to allegation your buzz or archetype photos off it aback you accept poor connectivity, bung in a wireless charging pad, but you don't allegation to do any of those generally abundant to accomplish it account boring a full-size USB cable everywhere with you. Aces up a carriageable USB cable and you're abundant added acceptable to accept it aback you allegation it.


The Kanex ClipOn micro USB cable is four inches continued and the two ends blow deeply to anniversary other, axis it into a bend you can blow assimilate your bag like a baggage tag; aback you allegation it, you aloof cull the ends afar and it's a able little cable. It needs to be able because four inches is short; your buzz ability be dangling in mid air if it's acquainted into a ability aperture center up the wall. But I've been travelling with this for months and annihilation has anytime accustomed way.

Nomad has an alike abate USB cable, the ChargeKey; it's beneath than three inches continued with a 45-degree aberration for the micro USB end and it's adjustable abundant that you don't accept to band your two accessories up precisely. It's additionally about as attenuate as a key and has a ample braiding aperture that will fit on best keyrings.

If you don't demand to be active a agglomeration of keys into your device, Nomad additionally offers the ChargeCard; hardly abate and about alert as blubbery as a acclaim card, with the micro USB bung on one bend of the adamant artificial anatomy and the USB bung on a adjustable two inch cables that snaps in and out of the average of the card. It's a acceptable architecture for befitting in a wallet, but the ample adamant anatomy and adjustable cable calm beggarly the 'cable' is consistently an odd appearance and not actual stable, so the Kanex and ChargeKey are the cables I ability for first.

Roaming carriageable hotspots

The all-over MiFi has some all-embracing competition. The advantage of the Goodspeed carriageable hotspot is that it has nine SIM slots that you can put SIMs for altered countries in - and aback you about-face it on in a new country it works out which one to use automatically. The aboriginal affiliation in a new country can booty a few minutes, although alike in a affective alternation it alone took a brace of account to acquisition the appropriate arrangement and get a signal. Press the button on the ancillary to about-face amid seeing the hotspot name and countersign (so you can blazon it in on up to bristles devices) and how abundant of your circadian abstracts allowance you've used.

The array activity is acceptable abundant to accumulate you online for best of the day; and it accuse over USB so I can leave the ability accumulation abaft and bung into one of the chargers we already carry. the alone advance would be abacus 802.11ac - it's currently b,g, and n. Buying SIMs through Goodpseed can be cher (either £198 and £8.20 a ages or £17 a ages on a 60-country adrift plan with a two year contract, additional £4.90 a day for up to 1GB of abstracts a day) but if you biking a lot the accessibility is aloof unmatched.

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