While it’s not the first detachable e-drive for bikes to hit Indiegogo, ShareRoller’s design is unique among detachable e-motors for the combo of features. First, its detachable battery comes in three sizes. The mini weighs in at 4.5 pounds with a 15-mile range, the standard adds a pound and another 15 miles, and the ultra adds nearly two pounds, weighing 7.25 pounds with a 55 mile range. All the battery packs double as USB chargers.
Second, the motor is designed so that the roller folds inward. It seems like a small thing, but it keeps detaching the drive from being messy, and the battery tote an easy shape to manage. Other systems have separated the roller and the battery, leaving you with two items to manage. But in this case you end up with one piece about the size and shape of a lunchbox. ShareRoller’s one-piece battery, motor, and foldable roller make it easy to tote around.
Lastly, there’s no throttle cable; it connects via Bluetooth. The app includes cruise control-like Tailwind and Pedelec modes that keep you at a constant speed. A proprietary belt and RainLock mechanism to keep out water work with traction control built into the software to keep things rolling even when the tire gets wet.
It seems like the kind of thing that should have been around forever, and there are detachable traction e-motors for bikes out there, but they’re all either heavier, more expensive, or lack some of ShareRoller’s features. While ShareRoller needs a mount, the name hints that it was designed to fit rideshare bikes without a separate mount. The thoughtful mount setup lets you use it on rideshares, or on your regular ride with the mount. In either case you don’t have to leave the expensive e-bike parts outside.
The ShareRoller with a standard battery goes for $800 on Indiegogo (plus $40 for a scooter mount or $50 for a universal V-brake bike mount), or a ShareRoller mini with a bike and scooter for the same amount. Having surpassed their $50,000 campaign goal, the company plans to ship in May 2016. The expected retail is $1,300.