Joining other developments in electric bike technology, a compact electric drive called Rubbee electrifies most regular bicycles in less than a minute. Cyclists looking for the occasional extra boost on the road can clamp the electric drive just below the seat (fitting tubes ranging from 22-35 mm), where its polyurethane cast friction wheel meets the bike’s back tire. A throttle, installed on the handlebars, stays on the bike with or without the drive. Pedaling is optional once Rubbee is switched on; its wheel turns the back tire, allowing the cyclist to travel for 15 miles and reach a top speed of 15 miles per hour without needing to pedal.
Its integrated battery pack ensures easy travel on level terrain or at an incline, and can be charged every day for 5 years without loosing range. Its integrated suppression system, enabled by a removable fixation pin, keeps a constant force on the tire. Rubbee can stay on the bike without touching the back tire with the pin put in place, useful for when Rubbee’s out of juice or when a cyclist would rather travel by pedal power alone.
The London-based company, currently seeking funds via Kickstarter, states that Rubbee gets its name for the way the friction wheel rubs the bicycle tire without significant wear. It weighs 14 lbs, which could take some getting used to for those keeping Rubbee installed while it's turned off, but only takes 2 hours to fully recharge, and includes an LED tail light for more visible travel at night. While it costs £699 (roughly $1073), for those who can afford it, a drive like this would give cyclists some help up those hills.
image via Rubbee Ltd
written by Michelle E., August 01, 2013
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