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GeoOrbital turns any bike into an e-bike by simply switching the front wheel

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geoorbital-e-bike-motorized-front-bicycle-wheel-0

Most e-bike conversion kits require some form of modification to the bike, even if it’s just running wires from a battery pack to a hub motor and control switch on the handlebar. Even the Evelo front wheel motor/battery unit required running a sensor to the bottom bracket to detect pedaling cadence. The GeoOrbital simplifies it one step further by eliminating any additional sensors and using only a simple throttle switch that quickly snaps onto the handlebars.

That’s right, throttle. Unlike the Evelo’s pedal-assist design, the GeoOrbital front wheel motor can pull you along without any effort on your part. Pedal if you want, coast if you don’t…

geoorbital-e-bike-motorized-front-bicycle-wheel-1

Everything but the throttle switch is contained inside the wheel. And since the only thing spinning is the actual rim and tire, non of it adds rotational weight to suck battery life or throw off your handling.

geoorbital-e-bike-motorized-front-bicycle-wheel-2

Available for 26″ and 700c wheels, it simply snaps into your fork using a standard quick release dropout. The unit’s body uses Velcro straps to fix its position to the fork, and then you clip the throttle to your handlebar. The battery is removable, so you can bring spares to extend the range, and it has USB ports to charge your phone (ideally when parked, but the temptation is there…).

The front tire is filled with a high density foam that they say rides and weighs the same as a traditional tire and tube but won’t go flat. The rim is shaped like normal, so it works with your bike’s existing front brakes.

The promo video above was uploaded on January 1, but now the full Kickstarter campaign is live…

…and completely funded many times over with 37 days to go (as of this story posting). As in, more than half a million dollars have been pledged, blowing past the $75,000 ask. And all the super early bird deals are gone, too, but you can still grab one for $699 before it ends, which is a steal compared to the planned $950 MSRP. Check the Kickstarter campaign here, and their website here.

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26 Comments
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Sanchez
Sanchez
8 years ago

Why is everyone riding with a foot down?

Jared
Jared
8 years ago

What happens when the rim gets damaged? It will eventually lose its roundness. Seems like a system with to many possible issues. Could be wrong, but can’t see how this will run smoothly long term.

Jason Miles
8 years ago

I can’t imagine what it is like to ride a bike with a 20lb front wheel. Also I call BS on a foam tire weighing a riding the same as a pneumatic tire.

JH Aberschmidt
JH Aberschmidt
8 years ago

a throttle, which makes it illegal to use as a bicycle in the majority of states

Thor29
Thor29
8 years ago

A lot of the comments on Bikerumor are needlessly negative, but this time the negativity is absolutely required. Put this on your bike (the one without disc brakes) and you’ll be happy for a few minutes when you hit the throttle. Then you’ll notice the terrible handling due to the foam filled tire. A month later you’ll try to loft the front wheel over an obstacle but won’t be able to because of the weight and, oops, that front rim is bent and you can’t fix it. If you somehow manage to live with this horrible thing for long enough you’ll eventually need to replace that front tire. That will be a lot of fun…

Sorry, this is a very bad design and was obviously designed by a non-cyclist.

Allan
Allan
8 years ago
Reply to  Thor29

well I’m glad we have your approval of negative comments on *this* article!

Ryan S
Ryan S
8 years ago

So a shallow a box rim only supported in three places? Terrible design. It must feel like steering a wet noodle, flexing around the place. My money says these rims will go out of true very quickly….and of you hit a curb dead-on or deep pothole, even taco. And this doesn’t even consider that horrid solid tire.

meanie
meanie
8 years ago

I have this perfectly good bicycle, do you have a really complicated and expensive way to turn it into a bad electric scooter?

the biz
the biz
8 years ago

fun-proof tire

Pit
Pit
8 years ago

I am a fan of regular bikes, but there is one thing that could be cool about a wheel like that- using it to commute in nice clothes without getting as sweaty. I’m sure most of us could finesse that thing better than the people in the vid.

Groghunter
Groghunter
8 years ago
Reply to  Pit

Sure, but there’s lots of crappy(we call them “licqourcicles” since DUI people buy them) & a few very nice bikes that already fill that niche, & do it far better than this will.

That, & the KS page screams either “scam” or “wildly incompetent with unrealistic designs & expectations.” Hell, I may contribute a dollar just to have access to updates & comments so I can watch everyone who funds this melt down when it craters.

jlg
jlg
8 years ago
Reply to  Groghunter

So you like to watch people suffering too ?

Groghunter
Groghunter
8 years ago
Reply to  jlg

Schadenfreude is real

jlg
jlg
8 years ago
Reply to  Groghunter

Do you follow a therapy ?

VazzedUp
VazzedUp
8 years ago

Oh look a motorbike on BikeRumor.

Papi
8 years ago
Reply to  VazzedUp

Is there a rear wheel option as well?

Ryan
Ryan
8 years ago

This thing has to be secured to the fork near the top or it would just spin wildly. There’s no way a skewer could keep the torque from making the whole motor spin. Are the forks stressed for this?

Dave
Dave
8 years ago

Pedaling is so hard.

Rob Bowers
Rob Bowers
8 years ago

I vote a big fat “No” to any ebike info on bikerumor.

TomM
TomM
8 years ago

Pretty sure I saw Cancellara riding one of these in P-R a few years ago, and around that time Hesjedal crashed and was caught on camera with one. I’m going to buy one so I can win the next masters crit in my area.

NeatoSkeato
NeatoSkeato
8 years ago

Some folks are mentioning the wheel trueness as a potential issue. It actually wouldn’t matter too much on this design as the wheel is driven at the contact patch, not from the hub area. So it could hit both sides of the fork up top, but would contact the road in the exact same spot as it is pulled through that drive wheel, so you wouldnt feel any hops. However, flat spots could become an issue. I also wonder how the system holds up to debris being pulled in between the rim and the guide/drive wheelst

Now the reason the riders appear to be having a hard time riding smoothly, may be due to a reduced gyroscopic effect as only the rim and tire move in this system. I’m no gyroscope expert, but it seems like the silver drive wheel spinning a couple inches off the ground and the rim/tire moving around the hub center could create some weird steering effects.

otherwise it’s a neat all in one solution that may be easier to manufacture than something like the Copenhagen all in one wheel where all the weight spins and therefore has to be accurately balanced.

Chubidubaba
Chubidubaba
8 years ago

This is a moped and has nothing to do with an E-Bike. From the videos it looks like the bikes almost become unridable and unsafe.

David Tidy
David Tidy
8 years ago

Whilst i agree that this is an utterly terrible thing to clamp to the front of your bike and filled with far too many potential issues, i think the creators have aimed at the wrong market.

Sticking two of these onto Wheelchairs would be a far better place for them and of far more benefit to a lot of people.

Groghunter
Groghunter
8 years ago
Reply to  David Tidy

Agreed, I’m pretty sure I saw Professor X have similar wheels on one of his chairs. The future is now!

Dsand
Dsand
8 years ago

Your rear tire is flat in the video, just like the people’s tires who would buy this.

mikefford
8 years ago

Lets put an electric motor as close as possible to those big splashy puddles of water on the road and just see what happens shall we?

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