How to build a pedal powered bicycle generator

Today with regular sources of power like power from fossil fuel and nuclear power getting expensive by the day, people need to find alternative methods of generating power that are easy to use and are cost effective.

As people look around for better power sources, we come across innovative ideas of alternative power sources. One such innovative power generation idea is using a pedal powered bicycle generator. A pedal powered bicycle generator is made using a regular bicycle and attaching a generator to its wheel. Energy to the generator is passed on from the person who pushes the bicycle pedal on to the crank system of the bicycle and then to the generator.

A bicycle generator may not be able to produce large amounts of energy; however, it can definitely produce enough energy to power small gadgets like a phone charger, portable DVD player or even a TV if the right amount of power is generated.

Let’s take a look at how to make a pedal powered bicycle generator on your own using easily available parts.

Difficulty level: Moderate

Time required: 2-3 hours

Resources required

  1. V-belt
  2. Bicycle Stand
  3. Battery Powerpack
  4. D.C. Motor/ Generator
  5. 2V Charge Controller
  6. Blocking Diode
  7. Metal Adapter Plate
  8. Charge controller wiring kit
  9. Wire Cutter
  10. Wire Stripper
  11. Digital multimeter


Let’s look at how to make a pedal powered bicycle generator, by following these steps given below.

  1. Start by removing the tyre and tube of the bicycle rear wheel.
  2. Now place the bicycle onto a training stand, if you do not have a training stand you can make one out of wood or metal tubing.
  3. Using a wooden board or metal bracket, create a mounting for housing the DC motor
  4. Now mount the DC motor on the bracket or wooden frame.
  5. Take the V-belt and run it over the rear wheel of the bicycle, now run it over the fly wheel of the motor.
  6. Connect the motor to the battery charger controller
  7. Connect the battery charger controller to the blocking diode
  8. Connect the blocking diode to the Battery power pack.

Your assembly of the pedal powered bicycle generator is complete. Now you would need to mount the bicycle and start pedaling, the faster you pedal the more power would be generated and stored in the battery power pack that can then be used to power various gadgets.

Frequently asked questions

What type of gadgets can I power using a pedal powered generator?
Depending on the power generated you can power small gadgets like a cell phone charger, iPod or even a small TV, however, it depends on the amount of power generated and stored.

Where can I buy the required parts to build a pedal powered generator?
The parts required for a pedal powered generator can be easily procured from the shelf of a hardware store. You can also try sourcing parts from the local scrap yard.

Can I use a car alternator to generate power?
A car alternator will not work on a pedal powered generator as a car alternator, car alternators produce AC power that would need to be converted to DC causing substantial power loss.

Can I generate more power if I connect my generator to the rear wheel of the bicycle directly?
No the power generated would be the same.

Can I store power in the battery and run my TV on it later?
Yes you can, you can produce enough power and store it in the battery and later on you can connect the TV to the battery.

Quick tips

  1. You can easily get these parts by taking them from unwanted bicycles; this is a much cheaper option than buying these parts from the store.
  2. Ensure that the bearings are in good condition to avoid unwanted friction and loss of power.
  3. You can try using an exercise cycle which is in good working condition. Exercise bikes come with built in stands and would save you the hassle of getting one made.
  4. If you are using an exercise bicycle, ensure that it has a fly wheel and bearings that are in good condition.

Things to watch out for

  1. Ensure that you use good quality wiring and connectors.
  2. The bicycles bearings should be in good condition, bad bearing can lead to wastage of power and unwanted friction.
  3. Wires should be crimped and cut properly and connectors are fitted in the right way
  4. While attaching the V-belt to the rear wheel of the bicycle, ensure that the rear wheel is aligned correctly with the frame if the bicycle.

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