$500 Will Turn Any Bicycle into an Electric One in Just a Few Seconds

Geoorbital electric wheel 1 photo
Photo: Screenshot from YouTube
Green lobbyists (I feel like saying "don't you just love them?" both sarcastically and actually meaning it) are presenting bike commuting as one of the solutions for decluttering our streets of cars, making the air cleaner and helping the population stay in shape.
It sounds like the magic silver bullet, so why isn't everybody jumping on board as we speak? Simple: sweat. Yes, those drops of water that come out of our bodies are a major impediment in the way of global usage of bicycles as the main means of transportation. So the next time you need something to blame for the 86 degrees you had in January, don't think of the oil industry, think of sweat.

All joking aside, arriving at work or at school in a pool of your own sweat isn't something most people are comfortable with - not to mention those around the offender. Pedaling in the sun over a few miles tends to convince every last drop of liquid present in our bodies to make its way out through the skin, and there's nothing we or any kind of antiperspirant can do about it.

As usual, the solution lies with the engineers. They've come up with the electric bicycle: a two-wheeled vehicle that's still small enough to fit in an apartment, but it can provide enough assistance to turn any commute into the proverbial walk in the park. You just have to pretend you're pedaling, and the electric motor will do the rest.

However, they were not spared of issues, two of which were the massive weight increase and, most importantly, the prohibitive price. A new e-bike will set you back at least $3,000, which is more than some people spend on cars their entire lives. Luckily, a very clever (and obvious, once you've seen it) solution might go into production.

It's called the GeoOrbital and it's essentially an electric bike fitted inside a wheel. Installing it is as easy as replacing your bike's front wheel with the GeoOrbital, and you're good to go. It won't take more than a few seconds, and it's really simple. Well, the motored wheel does weigh a little more than your regular spoked configuration, but it's all negated by the power provided.

Speaking of which, the GeoOrbital uses a 500-watt motor and a 7.5 pounds 360 watt-hours battery pack. The great thing about the batteries is that they are removable, so you don't mind carrying 7.5 pounds (3.4 kg) in your backpack, you can double the maximum electric range. Which isn't too shabby in the first place, being rated at 20 miles (30 km). The top speed in electric mode is also limited to 20 mph (30 km/h), while recharging takes about four hours. tried it, and as you would expect, getting used to it takes some time. Provided you still use your legs, the GeoOrbital turns your bicycle into a two-wheel-drive vehicle, so handling the bike will require some adjustments. The project is being developed by a man called Michael Burtov, and will soon go on Kickstarter where reservations will cost $500.

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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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