As many popular transportation options make the switch to electric, bicycles are definitely not getting left behind. But if you aren’t interested in splurging on a fully electric bike, a company called GeoOrbital may just have the perfect solution for you. The GeoOrbital wheel is a fully contained electric update that snaps on to virtually any bike in place of the front wheel. In less than 60 seconds, it lets you go from sweaty morning commuter to electric-powered ease.
Powered by a 500W Brushless DC motor and Panasonic 36V Lithium-Ion battery, the wheel lasts for roughly 30 miles on a single charge, or up to 50 miles when using pedal-assistance. It won’t exactly achieve racing speeds but it does offer the ability to go from zero to 20 miles per hour in just six seconds — an impressive feat for any bicycle. All that power is tucked away within the triangular gear house that replaces a normal bike wheel’s spokes. Additional batteries help power longer rides but even without electric support, a dead GeoOrbital just leaves you with a normal bike.
The wheel’s orbital design is admittedly modeled after the hubless wheel made popular recently by the light cycles 2010’s TRON: Legacy. The only part of the GeoOrbital system that isn’t housed within the snap-on front wheel is a throttle piece which clips onto your handlebars and features a power button and a discreet string of lights to indicate remaining battery life.
The company also says it solved the problem of flat tires, and constant tire pressure checks that cyclists frequently face, thanks to constructing its tires out of high-density foam. GeoOrbital promises that it will feel and act like a regular bike tire, except that it’s also flat-proof. A USB outlet built into the GeoOrbital wheel allows you to charge your phone (or bike lights for night rides) while you’re on the move.
After launching via Kickstarter, GeoOrbital was a massive success, amassing more than $1.2 million in funding — which easily surpassed its modest goal of $75,000. Now available for purchase, the GeoOrbital wheel retails for $995 via the brand’s website, which also offers a riding jacket, a mini bike frame, replacement clip-on throttles, extra batteries, and a host of other accessories. Judging by the high volume of glowing reviews, it appears as though GeoOrbital remains one of the few Kickstarter campaigns that offered a game-changing product, met a high demand, and continues to flourish.