Since the Trafalgar Way ride, I've been looking at new means to gain portable power on a bike; I was sure that there was a slicker and better method than insulation tape and elastic bands. Last month I found the Notstrøm pack from the German brand Znex, and it looked like the perfect solution; I was keen to test it out.
The Notstrøm is a waterproof, shockproof and vibration-proof high-capacity outdoor back-up battery. It is designed to charge USB powered devices like lights, phones and cameras, in tough conditions.
It's around the same size as a small hand-pump, and fits into a neat and discrete pump bracket under the water bottle cage. Power is fed to your USB device through a two outlet Y-cable, which screws into the power bank with a waterproof seal, and then can be linked to your device using its existing USB cable. A cable is also available to charge Apple devices, through the lightning cable connection.
The unit will provide 10,000mAh of charge, which is around 4 charges of an iPhone 6 from dead. Because of the Y-cable design, you can also simultaneously charge two devices at 2.1Amp output (pretty quick). Remaining capacity is easily monitored through an LED juice-gauge, and the gauge gives a visual flashing warning when power is running low.
I've been testing out the Notstrøm on my commute over the last month, and it's a really well thought-out design. Once you've figured out the best way to route the cables up to the bars, it's a simple case of strapping them on with the supplied Velcro straps, and then plugging it into your device. I've used it to charge my Garmin GPS, as well as an iPhone mounted in a Rokform mount; it's worked well for both, and has provided some much needed back-up power at times (Monday mornings when you've forgotten to charge your Garmin after the weekend!). Although you shouldn't keep the battery plugged in when it starts to rain (unless your device is in a waterproof case), it's fairly easy to seal out the worst of the weather with insulation tape, and that seems to work OK. Tape also helps to keep the cable junction in place, which can fall out if you leave it dangling with too much weight of cable.
To summarise, I think I've found my solution to the GPS charge problem on long touring trips and endurance rides. Notstrøm to the rescue! Not much larger than a Lezyne pump, and weighing in at just 291 grams, this is a lightweight, discrete and easily transportable power pack. It's got a higher capacity than most outdoor batteries, and it's well designed and engineered. Great work from the German brand Znex.
View the Notstrøm at Znex.de (Link)
Also check out the review of the ØM3 Znex Lamp
|I was impressed by the quality and design of the Notstrom|
|The Y-cable features a USB female plug and a Micro-USB plug|
|A Micro-USB cable is provided for charging|
|The Notstrom is attached to the bike using a hand-pump bracket, and velcro straps are provided for loose cables.|
|The unit charges through a port in the base, and a Micro-USB cable. The port is covered by a screw-on plug when not in use.|
|LED power capacity indicator|
|An optional silicone case can be used to protect the Notstrom from chips|