5K40.83 Bicycle Generator


Generators, work, energy conservation


Pedalling the bicycle generator supplies power to a bank of lights: incandescent, fluorescent, and LED. The pedal work required to turn on the lights depends on the energy efficiencies and luminosities of the active lights, which can be switched on and off.

The additional effort required to power more lights is most obvious to the cyclist, but can be explained to a large audience, if required.



  • [1] Bicycle generator
  • [1] Light bank
  • [1] Screwdriver  

Classroom Assembly

  1. Position the generator and light bank so the users/audience can see them.
  2. Connect the light bank electrodes to the bike. Attach the black wire to the labelled "black" terminal with the screw and washer. Tighten moderately with the screwdriver.
  3. Connect the other two wires. Each should have only one possible connection point.


  1. Turn on the switches for the lights you want to operate.
  2. Mount the bicycle and pedal as quickly as required to turn on the lights.
  3. Repeat steps 1-2 as required.


Additional Resources


  • PIRA 5K40.83


  • Don't attempt this at home!

Last revised

  • 2019


  • The handlebars and stem were replaced 2017-ish with parts from Cap's Westwood Cycle, which was later bought by Trek Bicycle.

Related AV

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If you have any questions about the demos or notes you would like to add to this page, contact Ricky Chu at ricky_chu AT sfu DOT ca.