Despite the boom in ebike sales over recent years, there are still far more non-ebikes on the road than ebikes.
E-bike conversion kits have been around for many years. But they are relatively expensive and labour intensive to install.
There have been some attempts to make conversion simpler such as the much hyped Copenhagen Wheel, which performed brilliantly when we rode a sample at the Eurobike Show in around 2015, but for whatever reason, failed to take off as a viable business.
Now a new solution has been launched (by an unrelated company) that is even simpler and lower priced, at US$399.
The Clip is not yet on sale but open for pre-orders.
It attaches to the front wheel of a bike in seconds. Two arms lock around the bike’s fork, and the other end connects with the front of the wheel. A tiny controller attached to the handlebars has a button that you can push to boost your bike’s speed as you pedal up a hill. It has a maximum speed of approx. 25 kph and weighs just over three kilograms including the motor and battery with a range of 16-24 kilometres.
Only time and widespread use will prove how effectively this unit works and in particular whether it causes significant bike handling issues.
One interesting concept is that the unit can be carried in a backpack and attached to bike share bikes to use for a single ride, then detached. This idea has not yet been endorsed by Citibike, the bikeshare operator in Clip’s home city of New York.
You can see more details on Clip’s website here. According to the site, their first batch is sold out. The company is Brooklyn, NYC based and appears very USA centric, with no mention of availability in other countries including Australia.