Electric bikes are definitely useful for getting up hills or for pulling you along when you’re too tired to pedal. The problem is, they also tend to be heavy, bulky, expensive, and attractive to thieves, a lot of people simply prefer standard bicycles. Luckily, an exciting new technology is attempting to bring the benefits of an electric bike to the bicycle you already own. The UrbanX takes almost no time to install, weighs only 15 pounds, and boasts an impressive range of 30 miles per charge—more than enough fuel for the average commute.
Available in six sizes ranging from 24 to 29 inches (plus 650c and 700c), the UrbanX wheel is designed to fit 99 percent of bicycles and works perfectly with both rim and disc brakes. The apparatus is entirely attached to the front wheel and does not directly connect to the bike’s gears or pedals. This means you can swap the UrbanX wheel out for a regular bicycle wheel in less than a minute.
The one-click removable battery is ultra-compact and makes for easy switch-outs when it’s time to recharge, which itself only takes about 90 minutes. Two motor options offer different levels of power and speed: the 350W motor can reach a speed of 20mph, while the 240W motor maxes out at 15mph. Both versions are street legal in the United States.
The UrbanX offers three modes: full-electric, pedal assist, and traditional bike. In full-electric mode, all you have to do is sit back, relax, and press down on the throttle while the electric wheel does the work. Pedal Assist uses your pedaling speed to determine when to activate and even then, will only help you as much as you’ve told it to in the accompanying UrbanX mobile app. In traditional bike mode, you’re in charge of all the pedaling.
“By using our patent-pending Sinus Algorithm Controlling System to convert electric energy that’s stored in the battery to kinetic energy from the motion of your wheel, UrbanX is able to minimize energy loss, increase output and ultimately extend the riding range of your battery,” say its creators. “Additionally, the 36V, 3500mAh & 126Wh lithium ion battery pack is rated at 125Wh and meets the International Aviation Transportation Association requirements allowing it on board flights should you travel.” The company is leaving its clientele no excuses, not even air travel: they want to see everyone biking as much as possible.
By creating such an easy-to-use product, the team at UrbanX also hopes to reduce the use of harmful fossil fuels. Their FAQ page reads:”Our dream is to make cycling accessible to everyone while saving the planet’s resources as well as your money. By making the best use of your own existing bike frames to turn your bike into an electric bike, you are helping us achieve that dream.”
UrbanX is currently seeking crowdfunding on Kickstarter. You can pre-order your own by pledging $299 to the project. The price might seem steep now, but remember that it’s the most budget-friendly option to hit the market yet. If that doesn’t win you over, its easy installation, light weight, and inconspicuous design surely will.