The case for riding a bike is pretty strong, such as enhanced physical fitness, fuel savings, less traffic congestion, and reduced emissions. Still, depending on the weather and the distance, you could end up at the office soaked in sweat, which is why e-bikes are becoming more popular.
E-bikes, that is, bicycles with electric motors, might properly be classified as HHEB (Human Hybrid Electric Bicycle), are gaining popularity with bicyclists around the world, but they can be quite expensive. If you want to buy an e-bike, be prepared to spend a few thousand dollars, for some e-bikes are built from the ground up as e-bikes. In spite of the savings associated with not driving a car, including fuel, parking, tools, and insurance, to name a few, not everyone has a few thousand dollars to spend on an e-bike.
On the other hand, there are plenty of people that already own conventional human-powered bicycles (c-bike?), who could benefit from an e-bike option, if only it was cheaper. To that end, there are a couple of ways you can go about converting your c-bike into an e-bike, such as DIY (Do It Yourself) modifications or add-on power, such as that offered by Rubbee, which converts your c-bike to an e-bike in about 30 seconds. Rubbee is pretty darned expensive at $1,000, and isn’t much more than a battery and motor with a throttle cable.
Developed at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), the SuperPedestrian Copenhagen Wheel is a cheaper and smarter e-bike-conversion option, although it might take a little longer to install…
Basically, for around $700, you get a wheel designed to replace the rear wheel on your c-bike, which might take a couple of minutes. The battery pack, electric motor, and bluetooth connectivity are all self-contained in the oversize hub. The Copenhagen Wheel e-bike conversion monitors your pedaling and seamlessly adds power to help you go further, or even up hills, with less effort. SuperPedestrian’s Copenhagen Wheel even features regenerative braking when going down hills or slowing down. All of this is monitored and controlled via smartphone app.
Image © SuperPedestrian [Screenshot]