September 22, 2011
Silverback Labs has developed a new series of innovative bikes that do more than just get you from Point A to Point B. The newly-released Starke bike is equipped with a front hub that converts forward movement into power for your iPod.
The full line of city bikes offers four models, but the Starke 1 and 2 have been getting all the gadget-frenzied attention. The head tube of either bike’s frame contains a USB port that will charge any of your low-voltage devices.
Founder Deon Retief and his team fitted the bikes with a “tiny hub dynamo” – basically an electric generator built into the wheel – that can produce enough power to light two bike lights. Combined with the USB port, with the rider going at a speed of 7 to 9 miles per hour, that’s enough to charge an iPhone, iPod, or GPS. The lights will even stay illuminated up to 5 minutes after you stop pedaling. (See the full specs here.)
If you want the Cadillac of high-tech bikes, I’d go with the Stark 1 – it’s the only two-wheeler of the bunch that has an integrated electric motor-assisted cruise. Otherwise, either nine-speeder will look sharp on the streets, sporting sleek anodized metal in colors like “exotic spice,” “liquid white” and “aston black.” Both bikes weigh in at about 30 lbs.
Catering to the tech-savvy in both function and design, the Starke bike is the perfect solution for the contemporary city rider. The model is the first of its kind to offer both lights and USB as a standard feature, drastically increasing bikers’ visibility and safety during night-time rides. It goes without saying that the USB port packs plenty of convenience – having a constantly charged nav system or phone can be a relief if you get lost or need to call for help if you need it.
If the Starke bike sounds like your kind of 21st century ride, you can check it out here.
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