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Veelo Looks Funky, Is Here to Provide Electric Propulsion to Traditional Wheels

This sounds like the silliest, most insane idea ever: an electric wheel that pulls you when you’re rollerskating, so you won’t have to move by your own power. And it could actually work.
Veelo, the electric wheel that pairs with your skates or board for propulsion 4 photos
Veelo, the electric wheel that pairs with your skates or board for propulsionVeelo, the electric wheel that pairs with your skates or board for propulsionVeelo, the electric wheel that pairs with your skates or board for propulsion
Meet Veelo, the seemingly most redundant invention in the current electric-everything-centered context. Veelo is an electric wheel that pulls you when you’re skating or riding a skateboard, so you can move at higher speeds, on almost any terrain and even uphill. It’s currently crowdfunding on KickStarter, in case this has piqued your interest.

Veelo is created by Brice Jamieson, an engineer and inventor from Canada. He calls it a lockdown project, since it was in early 2020 that he finally found the time to work on an idea he had mused on for long: a device that would help a novice skater develop his or her own style, and her daughter to keep up with him on longer or faster rides.

The idea is simple: if you’re just starting with skates (inline or rollerskates), you could use something to pull you so you can develop your own riding style. If you’re already past that early stage, then the same device can help you unlock your full potential and take you on longer, faster rides. If you’re advanced, then this is the same device that will allow you to explore new, wilder and more fun ways of riding.

Veelo, the electric wheel that pairs with your skates or board for propulsion
That device is Veelo, “an advanced electric mobility product designed to enhance wheeled sports equipment by providing electric propulsion,” according to the official website. Veelo is a powered wheel with an extended frame and adjustable handlebars, offering control, stability and various customization options to riders. It’s basically the front wheel and the handlebar on a bike, complete with brakes, some form of suspension / springs, display and even lights.

“Veelo isn't something that you ride, it's something that moves you in a way you've never experienced before but so completely intuitive to control that it feels familiar and natural. Riders say it's like finding the missing piece of the puzzle,” the designer says on KickStarter.

Veelo has a 20” rim with 4” fat tire for good stability and grip, with front and rear light and even turn lights. It’s powered by a powerful BLDC hub motor with regen braking, and has the battery modules on the frame. Jamieson says the batteries will be swappable, with an estimated range on a single charge of 32 km (20 miles). Top speed will be of 32 kph (20 mph) and Jamieson promises the motor is powerful enough to take riders even up the steepest hills.

Veelo, the electric wheel that pairs with your skates or board for propulsion
Since Veelo can be used by kids older than 8 and parents might not be comfortable with letting them zoom away at this kind of speed, it comes with parental controls that limit the maximum speed. All settings are done on the handlebar display, and Jamieson aims to offer app compatibility if extra funding is secured past the first stage of the campaign.

Veelo claims to be incredibly stable and all-terrain capable. Jamieson, his family and his team have tried the prototype on a variety of terrains, including sand, grass and offroad, with the sole limitation being the size and capabilities of the wheels under your feet. He believes it can also be used on snow with a snowboard or skis, but he’s waiting for snow to see if the theory checks out.

Pricing for Veelo starts at $1,300 for early backers, with deliveries estimated for mid-2021. Those not entirely sold on the idea of a framed wheel for propulsion when skating can also pledge a smaller amount, like $300, for a first-hand experience – but they have to be in or willing to travel to Canada to get to ride it.



Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third party.

 
 
 
 
 

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