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Turn (almost) any bike into an electric bike with the UrbanX wheel

Why it matters to you

UrbanX lets you own an electric bike without compromising on design.

If you’re in the mood — but not the market — for a conventional electric bicycle, a new Kickstarter campaign might have you covered with UrbanX, a wheel that converts almost any standard bike into an ebike.

“During my years in the e-bike trading business, I learned that customers have their own unique idea of the perfect ebike design, and most cyclists have their own favorite bikes lying at home,” Eric Chow, UrbanX founder and CTO, told Digital Trends. “So I thought, ‘Why not make a kit that is easy enough for anyone to install without any skills needed, that would help customers save their money, help the planet saves resources, and help the customer get their very special ebike to their own best taste?’”

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UrbanX boasts 350 watts of power, a 20 MPH top speed, and 30-mile range on a single battery, according to the company. They’ve packed that into just 15 pounds. Perhaps most impressive of all is the company’s claim that it takes just 60 seconds to attach the UrbanX. “Simplicity is one of the key features that we emphasize from the beginning,” Chow said.

To be sure, you’ll need to detach your original wheel, attach the UrbanX in its place, secure the throttle to the handlebar, and then connect the wheel to the throttle cable — so one minute might be a bit optimistic, but the transition should still be quick.

With UrbanX attached, the bike can function in three modes: full-electric, hybrid pedal assist, and as a traditional bike. An UrbanX app also offers distance, speed, and battery life tracking.

Chow said the UrbanX doesn’t yet fit fatbikes.

A limited number of UrbanX Booster Throttle versions (350w motor, 20 MPH top speed) are available on Kickstarter for $399. The cheaper models (240w motor, 15 MPH top speed) are available for $299. At the time of publishing this article just over 100 backers have pledged over $48,250 with 40 days to go.