There are millions of bicycle owners in the United States alone, and over ten times as many throughout the world. The bicycle is one of the healthiest, reliable, and efficient methods of transportation for people from all walks of life in all kinds of situations. There are of course some limitations that separate bicycles from motorized vehicles, most of which take the human element out of the equation that the bicycle is so notorious for having. Despite its simple design, the bicycle industry is susceptible to modernization and design upgrades, both of which the startup team at UrbanX have utilized in their latest product.
UrbanX developed a wheel that’s capable of converting a regular bicycle to an electric bike in under a minute. The wheel is composed of aviation-grade aluminum, weighs around 15 pounds, and is capable of handling loads up to 300 pounds The 36-volt 3500 mAH Panasonic lithium-ion battery is built into the bike wheel itself, but doesn’t negatively affect the bike’s handling. The addition of the battery has led to the development of two models. The UrbanX Echo is 240 watts, while the UrbanX Booster has 350 watts. The battery takes just 90 minutes to fully charge, and comes with USB ports to charge electrical devices.
The wheel’s developers built the UrbanX e-bike wheel based on the figuring that so many people own bicycles throughout the world, and would lavish at the convenience of receiving an added degree of thrust to their ride. The startup team’s builders decided to install the wheel on the front of the bicycle to prevent riders from literally “powering themselves into a wheelie,” an issue that won’t happen in this current design format.
The e-bike can let its rider reach speeds up to 30 mph of pedal-assisted range, and comes with an optional thumb throttle. Riders can use the throttle to have an extra degree of control, whether they don’t like the pedal assist, or want to gain a firmer grasp on how fast their ride is going. The UrbanX can also sync to a smartphone via Bluetooth, which gives riders a variety of options that they can access through a downloadable mobile app. Riders can switch between three levels of pedal assist (low, medium, high), can display how much battery life is left in real-time along with your speed, distance, speed levels, and can display riding maps.
UrbanX hopes to reach its Kickstarter fundraising goal of $50,000, and is currently selling early bird specials on both its models. The Eco can be bought for $299, while the Booster can be purchased for $399. The startup team hopes to make its first shipments by the summer.
Filed Under: M2M (machine to machine)