Power Banks that work with Exposure Lights

Some updates here. Most significant finding is at least one brand that charges the Strada if you use a USB-C to A adapter and charge via the C port instead of the A. I’ve tested this on two different sized batteries from the same brand with success, and on one other where it doesn’t work. So it’s still going to be hit or miss, but I think this may be a workable option to make a much bigger selection of power banks useable!

I’m currently sitting on a few to try and return:

  • Anker 737 - 627g on my scales - as linked in original post. This thing really is the bees knees. I just wish it wasn’t so so bulky and heavy! But it works with everything and tells you exactly what’s going on and is really fast. Was going to hold off buying as it’s kind of my in-reserve backup option but a sale brought it down to like £99 - made it a good enough buy that I might consider keeping it regardless of whether I ever take it on a bike.
  • Baseus 65w 20,000mAh - 464g - cheap for what it is, has a metal casing, and at least as fast as any charger I’m willing to carry right now. Charges Exposure lights using a USB-A to C adapter but not through the USB-A ports themselves (more on this below though). Further testing required before I’m willing to rely on it in a race.
  • Baseus 30w 10,000mAh - 215g - got it with a voucher code for £17 I think so might keep it even if I decide not to add it to my bikepacking rig. Heavy for a 10k but metal casing and 30w speed is good. Will do Exposure lights through the USB-C port just like its big brother above.
  • Ugreen 145w 25,000mAh - 506g - was really hopeful about this one given the overall Ugreen product line. No joy with Exposure lights through A or C ports so it’s not for me, but it seems to offer the same speed and battery capacity as the Anker 737 but with a more useable form factor and about 100g less weight.
  • Zendure 10,000 - 181g - only one that arrived shrinkwrapped, so I might struggle to make a return. I think I’ll still end up opening it though. It’s significantly lighter than the Baseus 10k and should be smaller too. If it can handle Exposure lights it will be my small capacity preferred option.

More on A to C adapters etc: both Baseus models actually do charge through USB-A #2 (but not #1), and only if I plug in using a little USB power monitor thing I bought for all this testing. It continues to charge through A-2 if I remove the tester from the chain and plug the Exposure cable back in fairly quickly, so there’s obviously something about the tester that is smoothing out the power draw and putting the powerbank in the right mode, which it will stay in as long as I don’t remove the USB for long enough to allow it to reset. The power tester is a really cheap and flimsy bit of kit so there’s no chance I’d rely on it during travel to make this work. The USB-A to C adapter seems reliable though so I might be willing to go down this route.

(The idea for the adapter came to me when I brought my Strada and charge cable with me to the Apple store - was there getting the failing battery in my iPhone replaced in prep for the same race. I got the rep to pull every single power bank they sell and we were going to do a test there on the bench. Only issue is Apple only sell special edition versions of Mophie power banks that have USB-C only and no USB-A ports on them, so we never ended up testing. Not sure if I have the patience to go back and try again now that I’ve bought the adapter. Their power banks are all relatively expensive anyway so probably wouldn’t be my main choice.)

EDIT: Sub-100w Recharge Rates:
(Tested using the cheapie tester, a 65w Ugreen GaN charger, and a 100w Ugreen cable)

  • Zendure 10k - 20w (this is over the spec listed online)
  • Baseus 10k - 18w (a shame given the 30w output)
  • Baseus 20k - 57w (spec is 65w - not sure if the powerbank or the charger is the limiter here)
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