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Author Archives: Luke

  • Dec 13 2019

    Next Generation of Dynamo Charging Units

    The Plug5, Igaro D2 and Appcon3000
    The Plug5, Igaro D2 and Appcon 3000

    In the past 6 months we’ve seen 3 new dynamo usb charging units come to market and in my view these products represent the next generation in dynamo charging. Don’t get me wrong, I love my Plug III and have used it to charge my phone a lot, but that unit is soon to be moved to my commuter so I can make room for one of these newer, higher tech models.

    Two of them I see as a response to what is a clear trend among long distance and touring cyclists that rely on their dynamo charging unit. This trend is to use their dynamo charging unit to charge a power bank, then use the power bank to charge their device (phone, garmin, wahoo, etc). There are a large amount of devices needing to be charged on the road, yet info regarding how these devices manage being charged is hard to find (in particular, how each device would handle a low, fluctuating power supply). Thus, the safest bet is to charge the power bank. Specifically the Smart Power Pack II because this power bank is designed for getting charged via dynamo power and can be charged while charging a device (pass-through technology).

    The third option is strictly a dynamo charging unit with a usb-c port with some tech advancements that we’ve dreamed about, though this is the first time they’ve been available to us. The biggest advancement that we are most excited about is auto-reconnect. This is an answer to my comment above about not knowing how well a device can be charged when the flow of power fluctuates (namely drops to a tiny flow on a hill climb). Often devices stop receiving power when the current dips too low and then it ignores the incoming power…even when the power supply increases. Auto-reconnect solves this problem by recognizing the issue and reconnecting to the device when the power supply is at a level that the device will accept.

    Here are the 3 options (plus a runner up):

    Appcon 3000 w/ Bag Option

    Appcon 3000: The Appcon 3000 has a lot of tech happening in a nice little package. A 3000 mAh power bank is integrated into this unit. It can be mounted a few ways on the bike. Using the steer tube mounting setup is probably the cleanest solution, though you need to know that the headset cap is not the USB port (like some other units), but the USB port and the incoming power lines come out of the cap with a few inches of durable cable. Whatever mounting setup you go with, the Appcon 3000 is designed to be easy to remove from the bike. This is because you might want to take it in the tent and use the power bank, or you may want to bring it into the cafe and charge the power bank via usb wall plug. Another added feature of the Appcon 3000 is an iOS or android App. The App uses bluetooth to connect to the Appcon 3000 and gives you tons of information about incoming and outgoing power.

    Cinq5 Plug5 Plus

    Cinq5 Plug5 Plus: The Plug5 Plus also has an integrated power bank. The power bank on the Plug5 Plus is 1000 mAh and is not capable of being charged from a wall mount and there’s no app for your phone, but there’s loads of tech in this unit. The Plug5 Plus has power management built into it so that charging a device AND having your lights on is a possibility, though we must understand that the hub only has so much power to give and the charging will happen much better when the lights are turned off. The Plug5 Plus is designed to fit into a steer tube. When this is possible, it’s an awesome setup as the USB-C plug is built into the top cap and the power bank along with all the electronics are hidden inside your steer tube. If you prefer a less permanent solution for mounting the Plug5 Plus (or you have a carbon steer tube), you can keep it external by using a length of 1-1/8” aluminum tubing to act as your mock steer tube. This will easily fit it into a frame bag or handlebar bag.

    Igaro-UK D2

    Igaro-UK D2: The Igaro-UK D2 is a simple, super lightweight and very techy dynamo charging unit. All Igaro D2’s have Auto-Reconnect technology built into them. With Auto-Reconnect you can successfully charge a variety of devices that might fail otherwise. The fail happens because the the device being charged might lock on to a very tiny stream of power, or possibly stop charging altogether because of the drop in power supply on a big climb. The D2’s will see this issue as it’s happening and automatically restart the charge process when there’s a higher power supply available. This charging shut down is a somewhat common struggle when using a  dynamo charging units that are not incorporating a pass-through power bank, so this is a pretty exciting feature to have. The Igaro D2-Standard has charge optimization built into it which is set for 12 MPH. This adds a nice little boost to the power output that the D2-Lite (or any other dynamo chargers) do not have. 

    Worth Mentioning (runner up):

    Cinq5 Smart Power Pack II

    Cinq5 Smart Power Pack II: I would be remiss to not mention that while the Smart Power Pack II is not a new product, it is something that’s been gaining in popularity in the past 18 months. This is due to the fact that this power bank is pretty awesome. It is capable of adjusting it’s power intake with the power supply being offered AND it can charge and be charged (act as a pass-through). These are features that all 3 of the next generation of dynamo chargers are working to address. So if you have a charging unit that you’d like to breathe new life into, you might want to consider getting the Smart Power Pack II

    •   •   •   •   •

    Looking for more info about using dynamo power? Check out these blogposts:
    - Dynamo Lighting Basics
    - USB Charging w/Dynamo Power

    Here are some relevant links for our shop:
    Dynamo Charging Units - Dynamo Products - Dynamo Lights  -  Dynamo Wheels

  • Nov 13 2019

    Poketo x Thousand Helmet: Perennial Cycle Product Highlight

    Thousand is a company that believes that it is important to keep human-centered design at the forefront of crafting a helmet. Poketo is a lifestyle brand that creates exclusive products reflecting a philosophy of “Art for Your Every day.” Together, they have created a series of inspired designs that folks will actually want to wear every day!

    At Perennial Cycle this type of stuff gets us excited. One of the top reasons people don't like to wear helmets is because they don't like the way they fit, look or make them feel. Thousand Helmets fix these perceptions with good design.

    Coral Reef Helmet

    Poketo reflects its Californian roots with its bright and light pastel colors. The Coral Reef pattern features nebulous patches reminiscent of the ebb and flow of the oceans and all the colorful life within them.

    Color Blocks Helmet

    This Color Blocks pattern lets you channel your inner abstract artist. Inspired by Ellsworth Kelly and their use of colorful, pattern and geometric shape.

    Memphis Movement Helmet

    Not unlike a lot of creative movements, the Memphis movement was born from a rejection of the status-quo. With playful, squiggly shapes, this pattern reminds us of the fun and vibrant designs of the Memphis Group.

    There is so much to discover when you explore Minneapolis, and there is no better way than going on a two-wheeled adventure! We hope these new Thousand x Poketo helmets inspire you to get out into the world.

  • Jul 15 2019

    Mia Bike Night

    Third Thursday in July is Minneapolis Institute of Art Bike Night and we'll be there with face painting, art projects, spin the Brompton Wheel as well as a custom Mia Bike Night x Perennial Design that we'll be live screen printing at the event. If you bring a dark colored item for screening, we'll do it for free. Ink color is WHITE, so bring something darker than white : ) We'll also be screen printing bandanas and print grade paper. The design will be used exclusively at Mia Bike Night 2019!
  • May 27 2019

    See You at Open Streets Lyndale!

    Join us at Open Streets Lyndale on Sunday June 2nd. We'll be at 34th and Lyndale from 11-5 with lots of fun! - Demo a variety of folders, cargo bikes and Electric Bikes all day - Open Streets coupons as well and super special deals on products at the event - Anti-Theft and Lock Training by Will & Willa (SHS Experts in the Field) - Face Painting 12-3 - Live T-Shirt Printing (Open Streets 2019 commemorative design) 12-3. We'll screenprint an item you bring for FREE! Our ink color will be black, so bring a light colored item. Unfamiliar with Open Streets? Our Streets Minneapolis organizes several Open Streets event throughout the summer. The Lyndale event is Sunday, June 2nd and Lyndale Avenue will be blocked from car traffic all the way from 22nd to 54th street! While the available street is long, it will be crowded with a massive mix of pedal powered vehicles. Whether you are mixed in with the crowd on bike or foot, or you are observing from the sidelines, this is an event worth checking out. Click on the image below to see an album from lat year's Open Streets Lyndale

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