Carbon fiber batteries!


To solve the "my legs last longer than the battery" problem, I've been playing with a few ideas.  To keep the Garmin going for longer than 24 hours, I can either power from the dynamo or use a battery.  As I intend on using a standard wheel during the day and dynamo at night, I'm opting for the battery.  For a bit of background, by reading a number of audax, randenour and touring sites that have linked to the specs and functions of the Garmin 510, it appears that in functionality the Garmin will use an external power source in preference to it's internal source.  This means that should I be setting off at 8 am, the internal batter may get to around 10pm - 12am before exhausting based on light use.  If the Garmin dies before I swap wheels, this could be an issue.  Therefore if I use a battery during the day I can be assured the whole ride is tracked.


So how can I hide a battery neatly somewhere on the bike?


I bought a USB battery off eBay.  There are various options to try and often very cheap - a couple of quid for a 2600mAh to less the £10 for a larger capacity mini-brick.  So I bought a couple to go along with my corporate freebie (thank you Thermo!).

First try and I had way too big a battery so I'm using it as a "portable power supply" for my phone, tablet, generic use.  There are smaller, single cell options which are far more suitable and coincidentally the outer barrel is a similar diameter to a standard handle bar tube, so I removed the battery internals - battery, PCB and carrier - and slid it into the bars.  It fits!

At the moment I am using the Concorde with standard Ultegra STI's, so the normal gear cable ports on the extension bars are empty.  These make the perfect cable runs for the USB power and charge lines so I've fed 300-400mm cables through the holes.  The power cable has a male micro-USB for the Garmin with the other cable has the mini-USB to standard USB-A male for charging the battery.  I'll swap the charge cable to a mini-USB extension cable to reduce the chance of weather damage and hide the port under the elbow cup.

Tech wise, I have an additional 2600 mAh of charge.  The Garmin 510 has a 800 mAh battery as standard so this should give me 3400 mAh of charge to play with - plenty of charge to allow me to navigate and track. Using previous data and a back-of-a-napkin bit of maths, I could potentially have 63 hours of charge.

Carbon fiber battery.


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