Evelo is an electric bike company that already produces a range of complete e-bikes. To help those that wanted to keep their own bike, or had specific challenges such as cargo bikes, recumbents, or other special rides, they have created the Omni Wheel, which is a simple replacement front wheel incorporating the full battery and motor into one easily installable unit. Because of this, the company claims that almost any bike with a 26″ or 700c wheel can become an e-bike in as little as 30 minutes.
Another benefit they tout is that the Omni Wheel costs significantly less than a complete e-bike, starting at about half of the typical e-bike starting price. The unit also comes with a handlebar-mounted remote to adjust the boost needed, but it is not a throttle, it is only pedal assist, so it complies with e-bike rules and is not considered a motorcycle. It also has a sensor that must be applied around the bottom bracket to work with the pedal-assist function, and then a wire that runs up to the handlebar remote.
The company is ready to deliver the wheel in March of this year, so they are starting to take pre-orders now. Check out the details after the break…
Evelo acknowledges that they are not the first to think of this idea, yet they say as a profitable, self-funded e-bike company, they are the first to actually get it done and bring it to market this March. Installation as a front wheel eliminates a lot of the technical hurdles and compatibility issues of a rear wheel, as this product is aimed at commuters or casual cyclists who may not be very technically adept about bicycles.
“For many people, barriers like hills, age, fitness levels, or even the simple inconvenience of getting to work sweaty, prevent them from using a bike for commuting or recreation,” says EVELO CEO Boris Mordkovich. “The Omni Wheel helps riders overcome those, and brings the price point down to $1K level, making use of the bikes that people may already have. And perhaps even more importantly, we are able to tap into our existing experience and infrastructure to streamline production, provide a service network around the country, and deliver our renowned, high level of customer service before and after the sale.”
• Available in both 26” and 700c sizes
• Lightweight at 19 pounds
• Compatible with caliper, disc and V-brakes
• 350W motor offering max speeds up to 20 mph
• 15-40 mile range: Charge time from 4 hours
• Front-wheel means easier install with no effect on current gearing
• Handlebar-mounted remote included (no smartphone app needed)
The unit sells for $999-$1049 (depending on wheel size) with a 15-25 mile range battery and $1249-$1299 for a 25-40 mile range. All the motors are 350w, which is actually a pretty big motor for e-bikes. The installation video below gives a good idea of how easy it is to set up the Omni Wheel