No electric bike? No problem.
That is, if you have the motorized smart wheel from UrbanX, a new project heralded as the “world’s most economic electric bike solution.” Hoping to turn anyone’s road bike into a motorized commuting dream, UrbanX kicked off a Kickstarter campaign for its smart wheels UrbanX Eco and UrbanX Booster. By replacing your non-motorized bike’s front wheel with either one of these smart solutions, UrbanX promises to convert any BMX, cruiser, hybrid, mountain, road, or touring bike into an ebike boasting a 30-mile range. It takes just 60 seconds to install but will save you a whole lot more time whether you’re looking to commute to work or explore the world.
“Over the last several years, we have seen a resurgence in cycling that is especially prevalent in urban spaces across the globe,” says Eric Chow, founder and Chief Technical Officer of UrbanX. “This urban transportation revolution, due mostly to common city problems such as congestion, pollution, and parking woes, has inspired various electronic developments designed to make urban commuting more efficient and rider-friendly. UrbanX has taken these advances and created an economical solution that democratizes ebike technology for all riders.”
The UrbanX Eco comes with a 240-watt motor, whereas the UrbanX Booster has 350 watts in power, allowing bikes equipped with these smart wheels to hit top speeds of 15 and 20 miles per hour, respectively. And thanks to the Direct Drive Mechanism, your bike will be able to utilize 100 percent of the motor’s output to power your ride. Moreover, the company’s Sinus Algorithm Controlling System claims to further improve efficiency by turning more electric energy stored in the smart wheel’s battery into kinetic motor power.
Of course, because these are smart wheels, both models come with Bluetooth connectivity and a companion Android or iOS app, allowing riders to keep tabs on their riding status with data like battery life readouts, distance and speed tracking, a riding map, and speed levels. You can also use the app to set your wheel’s pedal assist level at low, medium, or high.
UrbanX’s smart wheels are constructed with aviation-standard aluminum capable of supporting up to 300 pounds, though the wheel itself weighs just 15 pounds. Thanks to a 36-volt Panasonic Lithium Ion battery, UrbanX provides a pedal assisted range of up to 30 miles per charge. If you act quickly, you can get the Eco at the early-bird price of $299 or theBooster for $399. The smart wheels are expected to ship to backers in June or July.