Author Topic: PedalCell  (Read 1070 times)

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Offline Scotty0424

PedalCell
« on: January 29, 2022, 04:30:04 pm »
Anyone have experience with PedalCell, a rim dynamo setup, which is apparently more efficient and less expensive than a hub dynamo? All I read is glowing reviews. Any discouraging words out there?

Offline HikeBikeCook

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Re: PedalCell
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2022, 09:25:32 am »
I am curios as well. I have been totally barraged with ads for it on YouTube this past week and to be it just looks like a bottle style rim dynamo I used to use in the way-back. I invested in a Schmidt SON Hub for my upcoming TransAM but was thinking about that for my wife's bike or my other bikes. They are not cheap, they cost about what the SON hub costs, but they do come with a USB charge port, which is an add on for the SON hubs. They are portable between bikes, which is a nice feature, since all 4 of my bikes have different wheel sizes.

You might want to check out this comparison https://www.cyclingabout.com/rim-dynamos-can-now-generate-more-power-than-hub-dynamos/
« Last Edit: February 11, 2022, 12:20:48 pm by HikeBikeCook »
Surly Disc Trucker, Lightspeed Classic, Scott Scale, Klein Mantra Comp. First touring bike Peugeot U08 - 1966

Offline HobbesOnTour

Re: PedalCell
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2022, 10:39:33 am »
Back in the summer there was a user's review posted on several cycle fora. On one thread Pedalcell themselves contributed.

I use a SON dynamo for charging and respect the apparent increased efficiency of the Pedalcell.
However any reviews I have seen all seem to be sponsored as in the reviewer got one for free.
A big part of the tech has to do with "communication" between the charger and an iphone. I asked about compatibility with android and didn't receive an answer. I would be worried about future changes in tech (in phones) that couldn't be accommodated on the Pedalcell.
Personally, I'd worry about the safety of an item like that on my fork, especially on tour when my bike can find itself in unusual situations and conditions. I'm specifically thinking of times I had to kick out at a dog or encountered deep mud.
I would also think of longevity of the device (and the tech behind it).

I am not power hungry and am happy that my Dynohub suits me. Others that use lots of power may be happier with the higher generation rates. I may well be a luddite but other than (rarely) plugging in my gps I only ever charge to a powerbank.

One thing I will say about Son is that their service is unbelievably good. I consider my Son to be an investment, a unit like the Pedalcell to be a cost.

Another thing to consider is that the hub dynamo consists of two separate systems - the hub itself and the converter. It's possible to upgrade the converter if and when that tech improves. Indeed, if Pedalcell could supply their "smart technology" to an interface between hub and gadget it would be the best of both worlds.




Offline avrin

Re: PedalCell
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2022, 12:00:59 pm »
Here are excellent video and blog reviews of the product by Joe from 718 cyclery in Brooklyn.
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQ1ijMwKBY0
http://www.718c.com/blog/2021/7/20/gear-review-pedalcell

My bicycle, with dynamo hub, was recently stolen.  The capability to move this from bike to bike an outstanding feature that , and Joe makes a great real world case for its increased power output.
 I'm just about there, but would love to hear others' thoughts.   

Offline HikeBikeCook

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Re: PedalCell
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2022, 12:19:53 pm »
Make sure Joe is not a paid sponsor. I had included a link above from Cyclingabout as well.
Surly Disc Trucker, Lightspeed Classic, Scott Scale, Klein Mantra Comp. First touring bike Peugeot U08 - 1966

Offline wildtoad

Re: PedalCell
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2022, 03:46:42 pm »
I, too, have been intrigued by the PedalCell and have been thinking about picking one up. I guess we are all standing on the sidelines:)

I have 3 very different bikes that I take on "tour" depending on terrain, type of tour, etc. Conveniently (not!), each bike runs a different wheel size (26, 650b and 700c). So, a non-hub battery charging system that I can swap among the bikes would be ideal. To date, I have had decent success carrying small power banks and a solar panel (plus opportunity charging when available), but adding an additional self-contained power source would be a bonus.

Similar product is the Velogical from Germany, specifically, if I recall correctly, the blue version that is designed for charging batteries as opposed to lighting. It seems to be an elegant unit (more attractive than PedalCell IMO), but maybe not as easily "integrated" and swappable between bikes as PedalCell. Fun stuff.

If I take the plunge, I will report back after a couple of tours.


Offline Scotty0424

Re: PedalCell
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2022, 06:17:56 pm »
Found this comparing geological and Pedal Cell. This guy is pretty straightforward - that is I don't think he's a shill. So I'm leaning toward PedalCell.

Offline Scotty0424

Re: PedalCell
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2022, 06:20:06 pm »
Make sure Joe is not a paid sponsor. I had included a link above from Cyclingabout as well.

Right. I keep seeing glowing reviews for PedalCell and basically no negatives. That's why the skeptic in me was looking for some "discouraging words" about the unit. Still looking ...

Offline wildtoad

Re: PedalCell
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2022, 08:51:16 pm »
Yes, I think I saw that same comparison b/w PedalCell and Velogical last year.

So, if some folks are really fussy about cosmetics of their black, disc specific rims, I suppose they might be unhappy that the PedalCell will create a silver ring on their rims! LOL, but I know a couple of folks who fit that category.

More seriously, I do share HobbesOnTour's concern about safety in some applications...if I put this on my hardtail for bikepacking purposes, do I have to worry about the unit getting bashed into my spokes? Weird stuff happens. Rode portion of the Arizona Trail late last summer w/ a guy who had a couple of bizarre wheel/fork calamities. If I'm running a fork cage w/ bag, perhaps that protects the unit. Probably an issue worth asking PedalCell about if I decide to maybe take the plunge.

Wonder if the restriction against use w/ carbon rims will cause longer term problems re adoption/success for them? I don't run carbon rims and have no plans to, but that doesn't matter. Regardless of whether you are pro-carbon rim, anti-carbon rim or indifferent, there are more and more of them around including those being marketed as "adventure" carbon wheelsets for bikepacking and gravel. Some of those wheelsets are in line price-wise with mid-upper aluminum wheelsets. Obviously not a limitation for a hub dynamo. And not a short term limitation.









Offline wildtoad

Re: PedalCell
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2022, 02:32:07 pm »
Posed the safety question to PedalCell today and received a prompt and thoughtful response from the Founder, italicized below. I am placing an order, upside pretty good for me. I've recently added yet another device that needs charging (Garmin inReach mini) and will be doing more tours in NE US and Canada as we slowly relocate from CA to Vermont....so my trusty solar panel won't be as reliable w/ more prevailing cloud cover.

Will check back in here at the end of Summer to share my experience. Happy Spring/Summer touring to all.
______

Thanks for reaching out on our site. Funny enough, we've seen less than 5 instances where slippage occurred on the fork. Each one of these times was attributed to either:
a) using no rubber spacer when needed or using an incorrect size
b) Poor install
c) Not checking the tightness for an extended period of time
When installed properly, PedalCell will not slip off of your fork. Been used in countless offroad/bumpy settings.

PedalCell's clamp design mitigates twist and provides higher grip/clamping force, even on tapering forks via
1. PedalCell's clamp is comprised of Nylon 6/6 (30% Fiberglass). This material is strong (used on car panels). However, it is also flexible. Upon tightening, the flex ensures that the physical clamp structure molds around the fork to create a much higher clamping force.
2. PedalCell uses integrated rubber "teeth" on both sides, which flex and mold to the fork's geometry and increase contact surface area.
And we do have a fail-safe: Our spring force is quite aggressive. A user who fails to mount PedalCell with sufficient torque would immediately notice the spring pushing the product "away" from the rim. This can also be seen if the clamp loosens over time. A clear indication that something needs to be tightened!


Offline rmball28

Re: PedalCell
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2022, 08:27:02 pm »
I own a pedal cell and a couple of shimano hub dynamos.
One of the hub dynamo's is on my commuter bike and I use it frequently.  I like it because i ride and the headlight goes on.  It has not given me trouble except when i forget to detach it when removing the wheel.
I have used dynamo's touring with a sinewave usb converter. That also works OK.
I have taken my pedalcell on one tour around the top of Lake Michigan on my touring bike.  The pedalcell charged well, perhaps better than the hub, and it was nice to be able to swing it off the wheel when i didn't want to use it. It is a bit clunky and big.  There is a slight noise which might annoy some but did not bother me.  My trip was rainy and it was here that i had some problems with the pedalcell, the rain and grit that accumulated on the rim of my bike caused the pedalcell to lose its grip and stop turning occasionallyI don't know how much it affected charging but it was a bit disconcerting.
In the end i took the pedalcell off my touring bike and am currently not using it.  My last tour was a group tour and I didn't use any dynamo just charged at night in camp.
If I were going on a solo or small unguided tour I would probably put the pedalcell back on the bike.  For commuting I will stick with the hub dynamo's.  On a guided group tour i will go without a charger.

Offline wildtoad

Re: PedalCell
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2022, 09:48:56 am »
Great feedback, rmball28, much appreciated. Ordering the pedal cell was on my 'to do" list but was I struggling a bit with adding yet another accessory to my bikes... all the while a decent power bank, sometimes supplemented w/ solar, has met all of my touring power needs. Based on your feedback I am going to pass at this point.

Offline avrin

Re: PedalCell
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2022, 01:09:05 pm »
Excellent review by rmball 28 above. I have been using mine for about six weeks only on club rides so far.  My past experience is with a SON dynamo /sinewave revolution for 10 day solo tours and club riding (bike was stolen).  The pedalcell charges better/faster than the dynamo. The slight noise is bothersome a little to me.  Definitely looks clunky, which doesn't bother me.   I still like the feature where I can swap it bike to bike.    Install was easy as pie.  For my use, riding ACA allegheny loop in september, and probably also a weekend bikepacking on my mtn bike in July, I think the pedalcell will be good. Particularly if you have a lot of electronics.  I was real happy with the customer service and the pleasant purchase process.  They are great guys there, and that counts for a lot with me.

Offline cblinzer

Re: PedalCell
« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2022, 12:45:43 pm »
I have had a Pedalcell on my bike for about 8 months. A friend purchased it and gave it to me to try out as I am a daily commuter and he only rides a trainer in the winter months. Installation is easy and first thoughts were great. There are 2 charging ports and the trial and error for which was best to use was a quick turnaround. Initially it only worked for a couple rides. I reached out to Pedalcell and they advised I purchase some new chargers for my iPhone and tray again. I wasn't happy about having to purchase additional cables but did. It still didn't work. I was frustrated and reached out to them again. they promptly sent out a new unit and advised they would check out the unit on their end and let me know what the problem was. He threw in an extra cable and some O-rings to make up for my purchase of additional cables. He have me some technical info about the failure. I didn't really understand.  The second unit was the same as the first. Worked good for a couple rides and then stopped working. I was extremely frustrated and reached out to customer service. I received a phone call the same day from "The Guy" who had some questions for me. Highest Speed, installed properly, connections were tight. We talked for 25 minutes. He was apologetic and advised that it was rare to have a failure and even more rare for 2 failures from the same customer. He did not want to lose a customer. He said I was either extremely unlucky or there were bigger problems with their product. He offered to give a full refund or send a 3rd unit. I opted for the 3rd unit. This was my friends Pedalcell. My friend was out of town so I was working on this unbeknownst to him. I received the 3rd Pedalcell. It worked as good as the reviews I read and watched. I have since purchased my own Pedalcell Package and am very happy. It charges at low speeds and has high output with high speeds. It has very little drag when working,. My current unit has been problem free with regular riding. Their Customer Service is very responsive and strives to make things right.  The cons in my opinion. I've been running it on the front wheel. This is in the way of the "anything cages" I want to use on my Fargo for bikepacking. I am going to play with putting it on the back wheel. Haven't figured out a good way/place to store the cables. Will figure that out. I have used solar in the past with limited success. I had also considered a dynamo before buying Pedalcell. I am very satisfied with Pedalcell. I had problems and was frustrated wondering if I had done something wrong. They made everything right. I am a satisfied customer.

Offline Scotty0424

Re: PedalCell
« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2022, 03:16:34 pm »
Thanks. I was impressed enough with reviews and response to questions from the company to order one. But it's been several weeks and no unit has arrived. The company is very apologetic, and I believe it's not their problem - it's the supply-side nightmares many businesses are experiencing. I'm patiently waiting meantime and looking forward to getting it.