A few months ago, we started testing a new combination dynamo/light/USB charger that looked like a great new product. Our initial impressions were good, but problems soon began mounting.
First, the killer feature of the BikeCharge--the ability to charge USB-powered devices while riding--didn't work on our test unit (more on this later in this post). We asked for and received a replacement unit and installed it on one of our bikes.
The second unit worked well in terms of providing light, but it soon began making a huge amount of noise. It sounded like something was amiss in the mechanicals inside the BikeCharge. We never had the chance to try out the USB function, because the noise was intolerable.
In summary, the BikeCharge is a great concept that does some things well (in our testing, it ran with very low drag and put out enough light to ride by at moderate speeds). Unfortunately, in practice the unit suffers from poor design and workanship. Between broken internals and noisy mechanicals, both of the BikeCharges we tried failed to deliver on their promise.
If you're interested in trying out the BikeCharge for yourself, you can order it online here.