Author Topic: Forumslader V5 - Recent Experiences  (Read 250 times)

Aushiker

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Forumslader V5 - Recent Experiences
« on: February 15, 2021, 08:32:40 AM »
The Forumslader V5 received a mention in the Australian forums, Bicycle Network Australia and it has piqued my interest to take another look at it. Hence I was interested if anyone had experience with it. I see the last mention of it in these forums was in 2016.

Background

I tend to do more bikepacking than road touring now and my choice of weapon is my Salsa Mukluk. My riding is often off-road, that is beaches, 4WD tracks, dirt roads and so my speeds are on the lower side. I tend to average between 10 to 20 km/h, with the lower end been the norm on this bike.

For an upcoming 1,500 km outback ride I am going with Schwalbe tyres which according to https://www.bicyclerollingresistance.com/ have a rolling resistance comparable with the tyres on my Surly Long Haul Trucker so I am hoping this might help improve the average speed at least somewhat.

During the day riding, I use the dynamo to top-up my cache battery. I then use the battery to charge the various devices as needed overnight.


So to the issue:

My current interface between my cache battery and the dynamo is a prototype version of K-Lite's kLite DUAL USB charger. This is fine on the Surly where I tend to average around 20 km/h but on the Salsa Mukluk, it is struggling according to my rough testing using one of those inline USB output testers.

Hence I am looking at an alternative for the Salsa Mukluk.  The Forumslader V5 looks interesting if the lower speed output is as claimed, however, I am struggling to find any user reviews on it. My other possible option is the Sinewave Cycles Revolution which appears to be genuinely well regarded and does not seem to be too bad at lower speeds.

One comment on the Sinewave website that caught my attention is this response to the question, does the Revolution have a built-in battery:

Quote
No - and this is a good thing. Most chargers that include a "cache battery" do so because they are not efficient enough to directly charge a phone - they must slowly charge a battery, then charge the phone from the battery. This adds further inefficiency to the system, as well as a delay while the internal battery is charged. The Revolution is able to directly charge your phone, making the cache battery unnecessary.
Some chargers have a larger built-in battery, meant to store a large amount of energy. There are several reasons we don't like this system:

Product lifetime. Batteries wear out. Even the highest quality lithium-ion battery is rated for about 3 years from manufacturing, independent of how much you use it. There's nothing in the Revolution that wears out. When you build up a touring bike you select parts based on reliability and durability first, and everything else second. We want the Revolution to be the same way.

Efficiency. The extra steps to charge the battery, then use the battery to power the output is a significant hit on efficiency. Most users directly charge their phone, and the extra conversion steps mean wasted energy.

Flexibility. A product with an internal battery is stuck with that one battery, which may be too small for some users and too large for others. There are many USB battery packs available in all sorts of shapes and sizes and capacities. The freedom to use a battery that fits your bike and your tour is lost when an internal battery is used. This also allows the Revolution to be as small as possible.

Thoughts on the Forumslader V5 versus the Sinewave Revolution or maybe the Igaro D2 [just seen this so have to look into it a bit more]? Other options?

Thanks in Advance
Andrew

Images to go with the post:


Two Peoples Bay Beach - {Day 11- 16} by Andrew Priest, on Flickr


The Fence - {Day 11- 12} by Andrew Priest, on Flickr


Track, What Track? by Andrew Priest, on Flickr


Back on the Road Again by Andrew Priest, on Flickr










steve216c

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Re: Forumslader V5 - Recent Experiences
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2021, 07:39:51 PM »
Have you considered a USB solar charger given that you appear to be in somewhat sunnier climes?

I am thinking of something like https://a.aliexpress.com/_uIMOG7 which I imagine you could hang on Paniers or on carrier top. It might even work suspended across handlebars.

Note that I have no idea how effective such a panel is and I have no experience of that actual article or vendor, but just throwing such an idea out there as a possible alternative or complementary solution to charge while on tour. Perhaps somebody has tried a solar charger on tour and can suggest how effective it was?
If only my bike shed were bigger on the inside...

Danneaux

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Re: Forumslader V5 - Recent Experiences
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2021, 09:15:47 PM »
Quote
Perhaps somebody has tried a solar charger on tour and can suggest how effective it was?
Yes, many have -- check "Solar" (no quotes) in the Forum search engine.  :)

Off topic for Andrew's query, but...
I've had good luck with my Joos Orange Solar panel with built-in Li-po accumulator battery. Not for everyone, it has worked well for me. It is heavy but exceptionally rugged (mine has been dropped and once was run over by a car and stepped on by a cow) and even (trickle) charges in the rain or inside my tent. Requires about 12 hours of full sun to charge the internal battery from empty to full. Except for my separate external pile and weekly mains power, it was my sole touring source of renewable power during my 4-month 2014 European double-crossing and has worked nicely in my desert touring. Obviously older now but still running fine after so long, unlike folding models I have tried before and since that soon died at the panel connections or cracked across the panels. The charging cord/socket problem on early models was quickly rectified under warranty and did not return on either if my two examples. See...

http://thorncyclesforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=13839.0
https://www.outdoorgearlab.com/reviews/camping-and-hiking/solar-charger/joos-orange
https://solarjoos.com/products/

Best,

Dan.

Danneaux

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Re: Forumslader V5 - Recent Experiences
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2021, 09:41:09 PM »
Andrew,

After a little checking, I found some recent experiences related to the building, use, and performance of the Forumslader V5 here; just go past the early posts and you'll see ones from 2020 and 2021:
https://www.bikeforums.net/touring/1060916-forumslader-usb-charger-first-impressions.html

Here, too with additional considerations:
https://www.reddit.com/r/randonneuring/comments/i5z7co/power/

..and an older review/impression dating from 2017:
https://www.lafraisecycles.com/news/2017/11/26/little-kraftwerk

Best,

Dan.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2021, 09:45:20 PM by Danneaux »

Aushiker

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Re: Forumslader V5 - Recent Experiences
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2021, 06:39:42 AM »
Thanks Dan. So much for my searching skills.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2021, 08:28:02 AM by Aushiker »

Aushiker

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Re: Forumslader V5 - Recent Experiences
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2021, 06:50:01 AM »
As is my wont when I start looking into items such as this, my options keep blowing out. I have now come across the https://www.igaro.com/d2 which looks more promising than the Formslader, but I cannot find any independent data on performance. That said still to do some seriout searching.

in4

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Re: Forumslader V5 - Recent Experiences
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2021, 07:41:53 AM »
Also this one which Iíve used quite happily for two years now. My choice is to charge an Anker power bank with it.
 

http://thorncyclesforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=12890.0

https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00X5RV14Y/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_imm_c_dlT1_912KER4RKZW3KXR8PM7H?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

Aushiker

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Re: Forumslader V5 - Recent Experiences
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2021, 08:37:23 AM »
Thanks for the link in4.

PH

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Re: Forumslader V5 - Recent Experiences
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2021, 12:15:39 PM »
As is my wont when I start looking into items such as this, my options keep blowing out. I have now come across the https://www.igaro.com/d2 which looks more promising than the Formslader, but I cannot find any independent data on performance. That said still to do some seriout searching.
I have the D1, bought from someone who upgraded to the D2, they asked if I'd like to sell it back to them (Half jokingly, but I think they regretted selling it) there's been lots of issues with the D2.  He's on his third and there have been some modifications to the design. These may have been teething problems that have been resolved, I haven't seen him in ages, but it's something to be aware of, particularly as your location would complicate any returns.
As for the D1 - I haven't used it much (Last year was going to be it's first extended use...).  It's easy to fit and drop in a bar bag, I'm not permanently fitting as I may want to use it on several bikes, neither do I expect to use it at the same time as the lights. On the couple of test rides it's worked fine, charges a power bank OK, the iPhone stayed connected or re-connected if dropped, but if the Garmin lost input it didn't automatically reconnect. Neither of those are recent models and of course the D2 will be different.  It's small and unobtrusive, looks well made but as with much kit I wonder if being slightly larger might have increased the robustness.  Maybe even more  relevant to the D2, those pins look vulnerable to me.

Aushiker

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Re: Forumslader V5 - Recent Experiences
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2021, 04:35:11 AM »
Thanks, PH. You have confirmed the conclusion I was coming to after tracking down a bit more on it. I think I am back to the Forumsladder V5 or Sinewave. I have emailed Jen (?) about the updated price and lead time on a built-up Forumslader V5.

There is one local rider here I know of who swears by his Forumslader and he does a fair bit of riding with it I believe.

Regards
Andrew