As E-Bikes continue to grow in popularity, we’re seeing tons of innovative ideas emerge for full-on electric bikes or adaptable motor kits like the Share Roller. Originally designed for bike share programs, the Share Roller adds electric power to any bike (or scooter) in a few seconds, with no modifications required. The updated consumer-friendly version includes a new mount system that makes the Share Roller work for a wide range of different bicycles.
Electric add-ons are quickly getting better and better, and the Share Roller contains tons of clever features including a zero-resistance freewheel mode, a TailWind feature that provides three levels of constant assist, an optional pedal assist sensor, a Rainlock mechanism that ensures good power transfer in wet conditions, and it even has built in head and tail lights. All of that is contained within a compact, easily removable body with a slew of options for different batteries and power output levels. Charge past the break for all the info…
The Share Roller sits above the bike’s front wheel on a bracket mounted to your fork blades, and drives the tire with a urethane roller. The roller was extensively tested to ensure good power transfer in dry and wet conditions, and features a staggered tread pattern to help evacuate water. Also, a Rainlock mechanism holds the roller tight to your wheel to ensure efficient power transfer in slick weather conditions. The urethane roller won’t cause undue wear on your tires like grip taped or knurled metal rollers would.
The Share Roller’s wireless throttle unit mounts to your handlebar. In throttle control mode, the spring-loaded ‘go’ button offers infinite power modulation rather than incremental settings. There’s also a TailWind cruise control mode, which provides three levels of steady assistance. Finally, a pedal-assist sensor can be added to the system so you can forget the throttle and just crank away (or stay within your local laws).
The motor has two operating modes: It’s freewheel mode leaves zero resistance on the wheel when the motor is turned off, so you can pedal unencumbered with the device still in place. Continuous mode is intended for riders using the constant throttle or TailWind cruise control modes, and enables regenerative charging when the motor is not providing power.
There are three different battery options- Mini, Standard and Ultra, and not surprisingly they grow larger and heavier as they get more powerful. With the mini batteries, the unit’s overall dimensions are 8” x 7” x 3” (with the roller retracted), and it weighs in at 4.5lbs. Those figures go up to a maximum of 7.25lbs, and dimensions of 9.6” x 7.7” x 3” with the ultra batteries.
The mini batteries provide a range of 8-15 miles, standard brings that up to 15-30 miles, and ultra takes you 27-55 miles on a charge. Depending on your settings and local laws, the motors can operate between 250 to 1000 watts and drive bikes up to 20mph on throttle alone.
The accompanying smartphone app is not required to control the Share Roller, but it can be used to adjust operating modes and power settings (EU and Canadian shipments are software-limited as regulations require), plus monitor your speed, battery life, and projected range. With all that power just sitting there, the Share Roller also conveniently doubles as a portable power bank for charging up smartphones, tablets or other devices.
The Share Roller mounts to a triangular adaptor which is the same as what Bixi Bikes use to dock into parking stations, so it already compatible with bike share bicycles in the USA, Canada, Mexico and the UK. Once you’ve installed the mount on your bike, the unit can be easily attached and detached so thieves don’t run off with it.
The adaptor’s legs mount to your fork- for bikes with V-Brakes, the brake mounting bolts secure the bracket. If you have discs, side-pull or top-mount brakes, you’ll use Share Roller’s brackets that clamp to your fork legs instead. There are three different bracket sizes, so to determine which one you need you’ll have to measure your fork blades. The company has even made custom mounts for folding bikes, and has plans to keep going with more options.
The Share Roller has already surpassed its funding goal on Indiegogo, and there’s only seven days left in the campaign so if you’re keen buy in now! Its retail price will eventually settle at $1100 USD, but early supporters can currently pick one up (with the mini battery) for $649 plus shipping.
If you’re looking for the whole kit and caboodle, there’s also an Ultimate Bundle deal that gets you the Share Roller (mini battery), plus a Schwinn Sidewinder mountain bike, a Razor A5 scooter, and all required hardware for just $799.
The first units are expected to ship out for May 2016. Check out the Share Roller’s Indiegogo campaign for further details.