Don’t ditch that old single-speed for an electric bike - upgrade it instead.
GeoOrbital’s electric upgrade kit can give any bike a battery-based helping hand, replacing the front wheel for a whole lot less than buying a brand new electric bike.
The crowdfunded kit has already smashed its Kickstarter funding goal with 43 days remaining, but you’d expect as much from the team - they’ve come from big names like Ford and SpaceX.
Instead of traditional spokes, GeoOrbital’s wheels hold the motors, batteries and electronics to help you get up hills or commute to work without ending up a sweaty mess on the other side.
There are 26in and 700c (28in/29in) versions, which should cover most bikes, and each one has a custom foam wheel, which doesn’t go flat if it gets a puncture. It takes 60 seconds to fit, and you don't even need tools if you've got quick release skewers.
It’s powerful enough to take you up to 20mph for around 20-50 miles on a full charge, and regenerative braking recharges the battery as you pedal, brake or coast down hills.
That battery can be put to good use when you don’t need the extra assistance, too. A built-in USB port means your phone will be at 100% when you reach your destination.
Sure, it’ll make your bike a bit heavier: 11-17lb depending on the model, compared to 3-6lb for a regular front wheel, so a lot less luggable.
Kickstarter backers don’t seem to mind the extra weight, though. The discounted early bird specials have been snapped up already.
If you want to get your hands on one when the first wheels ship in November, you’ll have to put down US$650.