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The Entwined Fate of Electricity and Cycling

By Christopher Ashley

The advent of e-bikes should have you all thinking about electricity and cycling. Faraday’s discoveries of the electromagnetic fields have as long a history as cycling – and they both came of age at the same time. 


I remember my dad buying a bike that had a dynamo on it when I must have been younger than 10. He was a physics teacher and explained to me what a dynamo was, how it worked by taking energy from the spinning wheel and converting it into electricity. I was amazed! He then threw away the dynamo. But why?

As the channel explains, for people worried about speed and power efficiency, dynamos do sap a bit of both to keep the lights on. But now that hubs are far more efficient, my dad would probably give them another go. Maybe bicycles will borrow power-recovery braking from cars – if you know a start up doing this, link us below!


We know that the performance and efficiency of electronic motors has improved dramatically in recent years. If you haven’t ridden an electronic bike yet – take one for a test ride! But electronic cycling isn’t just about motors. What about electronic gear shifters – are they durable?

This video proves that modern water proofing standards are beyond impressive. There’s also lots of data to back up manufacturers claims that wireless shifters are more reliable than cable when both are maintained properly. Be brave and consider upgrading your groupset to electric.


The 2nd day I wore my smartwatch to work it buzzed me after 2 hours asking me to rate my sleep. I assure you I was awake – 60 minutes of that time was in a Google Meet! It’s shocking to find out how sedentary my 9 to 5 is. Data is revealing, but telemetry is the holy grail:

I love this video. While I’ve stopped looking at the watts I put out on my commutes, I’m still fascinated by the telemetry of a hill.  Maybe it’s because going up is always the least (and most) fun part of cycling. Forget aerodynamics and weight by the gram. The electricity you generate on a climb tells you the most about your body.