Entrepreneurs are generally told not to reinvent the wheel. And you probably shouldn’t, unless the wheel you have in mind transforms regular bicycles into powerful electric bikes in a minute flat. That’s exactly what the GeoOrbital Wheel does, and it pulls off the feat with style points, thanks to a design inspired by the high-tech transportation in the movie Tron.
Adding an electric powertrain to bicycles isn’t an unheard-of capability. There are a number of aftermarket add-ons involving battery packs and motors that can be retrofitted to channel electric power to the wheels of standard bicycles. However, none of these accessories rival the simplicity of the GeoOrbital Wheel.
The modular wheel can be fixed in place of the front wheel in any bike – no tools being required to complete the installation. And it’s a one-size-fits-all solution in the best way possible; the design has been tested on hundreds of of bikes across styles and eras, and found to be perfectly functional in all cases.
The only component of the system that isn’t housed within the body of the wheel is the throttle, which goes on the handlebar, as you’d expect. There’s a power button on it and lights to signal how much juice remains in the wheel’s battery.
There are two sizes in which the wheel is produced: a 26-incher, and a 700C, which should also be compatible with bikes that have 28- and 29-inch wheels. The foam tires the GeoOrbital uses are flat-proof, so getting a flat or even checking tire pressure isn’t something you have to worry about.
At the centre of the GeoOrbital Wheel’s design is a 500W brushless DC motor, which draws power from a 36V Panasonic lithium-Ion battery. The battery lasts 12 miles if used exclusively; it can be sustained up to 30 miles if riders supplement the electric power with pedaling. The higher range in the latter case is because the wheel has a regeneration mechanism; pedaling, slowing down, going downhill – any motion of the bike that doesn’t draw power from the battery – will result in electric power being regenerated in small amounts each time.
The motor and battery combine to produce a top speed of 20mph – not exactly breakneck pace, but sufficient for city use. Output from the battery can also be used to (obviously) charge a phone using a built-in USB outlet, or even to power lights for bike rides in the night.
It may not make for the fastest makeshift electric bikes in the world, but there seems to be a great deal of demand for the GeoOrbital Wheel nonetheless. The KickStarter campaign has raced well past its $75,000 goal by raising over $300,000 with over a month to go. The Super Early Bird and Early Bird pledges are all gone, so the least you can get the wheel for now is $699, which is still 27% off its eventual $950 retail price.
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central banks says
For her, that will be the ultimate moment of
happiness because not simply she actually is about to commence with a brand new life, she has used a substantial promise of all of the upcoming moments of joy.
No other investment could make this claim because it seems
almost too-good-to-be-true. Why has gold investing been far
more easy (predictable) than silver investing the last few years.
$200 ok, $950 no way!
i think it is very cool! lots of modern tech to offer. now just get rid of that stupid music to goes to that video.
Cosmic Ray says
It’s not a bicycle, it’s a motorcycle. I already have a motorcycle. You still have bicycle brakes, steering and suspension. It doesn’t even have a safer pneumatic tire. I goes fast. It’s more dangerous than a bicycle or a motorcycle.
One thing that hasn’t been addressed that hub motors have a problem with is that the fork mounting to the spindle are not made for that added stress and this occurs from the hub motor strung into the rim which is much lighter than this assembly. All that extra mass on the fork would easily snap the mount as you go face-planting into the asphalt !
The foam tire is what I question the most. It may be puncture-proof but how is the traction on wet and dry pavement compared to rubber? Also, how comfortable of a ride does the foam offer compared to air? Lastly, how durable is it? How many miles/km can one expect before it degrades and needs changing? And can one change the foam tires themselves or does it require specilized tools or skill?
Yes to all ur ?
I’d imagine it’s like my wheelchair tires which are made of the same thing. Stops on a dime…well a quarter anyway. If you couldn’t fit these on a wheelchair I’d bet it would be a third of the asking price!! You know because all of us guys n gals in wheelchairs are loaded…..ripoff…
How easy is the wheel to steal? I live in a city where regular bike wheels are stolen a lot. And I do not wish to carry a wheel around with me all day when shopping or having fun.
Very easy to steal and Very expensive to replace that is if you also find the rest of your bike.
I see it has no spokes so maybe a keyed mechanism could be installed across the forks.Also ,there are coin sized gps based devices that your smartphone can track currently on the market for about $20.usd,I have one hidden in my bikes frame.I prefer nut and solid axle to quick release because of strength and security.You make a valid point so I give you a thumbs up.
Should design one for the rear also then one could charge while the other is used. HMMM!!
Add a comment…Great idea!
JC Whitney says
You mean a perpetual motion machine?! Good one!! Hahahahahaha!
I want a 700c wheel lol
can you tweet with it?
Jan Pavelka says
I like to know how the motor will survive under water in rain ?Look to me is in wrong spot ,top side be much better .
Bob Hunnicutt says
invent that yourself if it will be “much better”
When will you have 20″ wheel. I have a Sun recumbent trike with 20″ front and 2 26″ rear wheels.
The design flaw…..The motor should be at the top.
actually, the weight of the rider should provide more pressure/friction in any given situation.. it appears to be a friction drive set up. Mounting up top may present drive issues as designed.. and most electric motors can run underwater,,so puddles arent an issue. plus if the motor is sealed then its weatherproof anyway..plus low center of gravity perks
You get it. The other’s that are saying the drive motor should be up high don’t know much about mechanical engineering.
I want a unicycle
think about these on wheelchairs
think about these on wheelchairs
Liza May says
Sounds great for the elderly, like me, who are no longer fit enough to use a normal bike
Asking to be nicked (Quick Release)
I hope the buyers don’t see a moped, cause that would change the playing field.
Would love to see how well the thing works in rain, mud, slush, and any other street/road crap (like construction debris) bound to fly into it.
Thaings that will fail says
Doesnt that defeat the purpose of a bike
Or lose weight, get fit and you should be doing 18+mph average on a $500 full bike.
Price is way too high – but then again 500w brush-less motors are not cheap. Parts cost – motor around 200, battery 100 other 100 – so profit seems to be over 100% (prices quoted are retail as well)! I wait till it costs something more reasonable like 200 for everything.
Valerie Brooks says
They are saying….our product is easy and looks good we should have a thousand for it but they are NOT helping the poor so the poor are using all kinds of gas devices and welders getting really cheap new looking bikes that make a bit of noise. Electric has ONE advantage only. No noise. All these electric bikes are only for the spoiled people. The poor are using dual chains to go twice as fast, it takes training and serious care of safety to ride a dual chain or just plain muscle buildup. The problem isn’t getting a bike of any kind to take us around the city, it’s that nobody hardly is out there but the poor because bikes get stolen and nobody has solved that. The cops are selling the stolen bikes at their auctions but in Los Angeles, I don’t know anybody that doesn’t ride a stolen brand new bike or has their brand new bike stolen unless they carry it into their living room every night. Balconies are no obstacle for meth and heroin addicts…they have the muscle to get up 17 stories and get that bike, and they drive around in vans and trucks to get bikes or parts and even got a whole rack of bikes at the Costco, S-rack and all and behind it they get into people’s yards and houses if the bike is valuable enough…..
So when the cops start selling stolen cars at auction for their profits people will ride bikes and little motor cars that can be brought indoors and put next to their bed. For now my two pawn shop bikes are absolutely stolen, but they are legal and I have reciepts because the law sais that pawn shops can sell stolen property….they are only obligated to get ID from whoever brings property in for sale.
The cops of course are protecting the auto industry by returning stolen cars…..This is clearly stacking the deck in favor of people spending money, like for mechanics, and gasoline, and insurance companies….It’s a set up on the public and nobody has beat it no matter how many cool, and cost efficient designs are invented….every one of them is just a toy so far.
Mk4 will be worth a look
Meh… I did this to the front wheel of my Mother’s adult Trike for LESS money and neat as a pin for a 24″ wheel and it has power for LED lighting and a USB too if I want it. I used the same size motor – 500 watts at 36 volts but I installed 18 amp hours of battery capacity to extend range. Cost was $600 all in and installation took me one hour. The result – awesome actually. These things are really viable transportation.
John Redman says
Wonder how much; It weighs, the battery weighs, the (extra) batteries cost, the drag induced while peddling on a surface where motor/generator help is not needed. Thanks. The cost seems reasonable considering I just spent that in equipping a vintage frame I just bought from Bristol, UK.
just me says
I like the idea of regeneration. Even a small amount would help in controlling downhill speed on steep hills.
I already have an E-bike but this might be a nice addition. It would really extend the range & be a big help in climbing steep hills. My bike has to be pedaled & if the hill is too steep I wind up having to push a 65 pound bike up the hill.
Doesn’t take much of that to find a different route.
Oh come on, REAR wheel drive, God damn it. ????
Have you given any thought to WHY they made it front wheel drive??
I don’t ride a bike because of my age,but the music in video is great. I’d get one just because I love the excitement in video.
How does it work on a muddy trail
Seems way to expensive for something so slow. There are plenty of ebikes you can buy for less than just this wheel.
Its not pedal assisted, so isn’t legal in the UK
The flykly is cheaper and it has better range
How is €999 cheaper than $699?????
Why not just pedal and reap the health benefits of exercise?
A small detail but it is too powerful for the UK market.
Bob cat says
Of course it is. Stay in the EU slow down
Klaus Schmid says
Low efficiency of the friction drive and enough structural strength (!) of the front fork are major drawbacks …
Pete Cheshire says
I wonder how well it will run with mud and water on the rim?
D wood says
In the UK to register this bike as a moped it will require an engine num er and a frame number. A clever idea but it needs to have these problems sorted.
Ofay Cat says
So, don’t register it. Do you have e-bike police in your socialist quagmire?
D wood says
Any electrcally assisted bicycle which has a speed over 14MPH is classified as a moped in the UK and requires a moped license, roadtax, MOT, registrationn, number plate and insurence.As it is this is illegal.
Not insurmountable. Simply change the officialdom who deem it to be illegal. Part of the process of returning power to the people and not the corporates.
Unfortunately it wouldn’t be legal as a ‘bicycle’ in many jurisdictions because it isn’t “pedal assist”. That would mean it may not be legal on bicycle paths, and may even require the rider to hold a licence etc., unlike a regular bicycle. Looks like a neat design though.
Pedal assit shouldn’t be a problem as that feature is incoperated in the control electronics.The only legal issue is the 500w power output.The EU limit is 200w.
I am not too sure the stability and handling with all that weight on the front wheel.And surely it’s going to need beefed up front forks to handle the torque?
I have been riding a front wheel drive 700 watt, 700c bicycle for the past 7 years. The major problem over time is the substandard plastic wire connectors. Have had to remove them with soldered connections. When applying full power, the front wheel flexes forward approximately 1/4″ so no problem with almost twice the power. It is like riding downhill at all times, even uphill. Speed, top, is 24.5mph, or 39kph, while pedaling reaching around 40 miles range, even now after 7 years, with 15amp/hr lifepo4 batt. Approximately 6000miles. For a cost of approx total 430.00. Probably the cheapest transportation ever devised. Have used 6 rear tires and 5 front tires not counted as cost, as they are consumables on every bicycle.
wondering about the make of your bike
Ofay Cat says
Sounds like you have too many little laws and rules … And that you take them oh so seriously like good little bots. Have some fun … Disobey for a change … Regain some god damned freedom!
Make a version that can be fitted to a wheelchair and you will corner the market. I would love to try a pair on my wheelchair instead of the pathetic E’motion wheels. Well done and keep developing this.
I assume it means ‘DISC BRAKES’ not breaks.
is there a version that can accommodate disk breaks?
Thats what im wondering
do you mean disc brakes?
Hunter Falkner says
Very high tech if you ask me. Also very logical and I hope it is something that turns out for the company. It would be cool to see and ride one personally.
Tasha Martin says
This is very advance technology. It is also a great way to ALWAYS have an electric bike.
Curtis Williamson says
It would be quite convenient to only have to buy one of these, so long as it fits onto your new bike.
Polly Tillman says
Perfect! The system seems pretty solid and I appreciate the Kickstarter with all the details. The one question I had is, how much is a fully electric bike if just ONE wheel is almost $1,000 retail?
Thousands, but check out the flykly