Skarper DiskDrive: Transforming bikes into e-bikes

The Skarper DiskDrive can be set to different assistance modes, depending on rider preferences. Images © Skarper

There’s two ways to get an electric bicycle. The first is to buy an electric bike outright. The second is to convert an existing bike into an electric one with a kit. Most conversions involve replacing the rear wheel or rolling a device against the tire. However, the Skarper DiskDrive sets out to do something a bit different. Let’s talk a bit more about how Skarper has innovated with e-bike conversion kits.

Skarper DiskDrive powers the rear brake rotor

Unlike other methods, this solution is a clip-on device for your bike. This powers the rear brake rotor to drive the bike forward. Before installing the device, users need to do a few things.

  1. Add a wireless cadence sensor for the cranks.
  2. Strap a tab onto the non-drive-side chainstay.
  3. Swap the bike’s existing rear brake rotor for one that’s specific to the system.

Once this is all complete, DiskDrive can be attached and detached at will. Users may detach the DiskDrive for charging convenience, or they might attach the device to another bike if they’d like.

Specifications

The Skarper DiskDrive has some interesting specs.

  • Battery capacity: 202-Wh (lithium)
  • Motor: 250 watt
  • Weight: 3.3 kg (7.3 lb)
  • Range: 60 km (37 mi) on 2.5-hour charge.
  • Top speed (motor assisted): 25 km/h (16 mph) for European model, 32 km/h (20 mph) in North American model
  • Taillight
  • Price: £1,000 (US$1,217)

The device has some impressive performance when it comes to range and speed. The portability of the system makes it easier to charge as well. All that users have to do is detach the DiskDrive unit and plug it in somewhere. As a result, the entire bike does not need to be placed near an outlet to be charged.

How Skarper DiskDrive works

To push the bike forward, the device assists the rider by making pedaling more effective. It drives the brake rotor while taking into account cadence and incline of the road. Additionally, the device doesn’t impede the rider’s ability to brake when needed. This works whether or not the device is attached.

The DiskDrive can be quickly removed for charging.

The great news is that DiskDrive works on any bike that has a disc brake. This means that nearly any bike can be easily converted into an e-bike. With that much flexibility, the sky is the limit on building your dream electric bicycle.

Who this is perfect for

DiskDrive may not be the best choice for bikers out there for fitness. However, this is a great choice for people who need a bike for commuting and travel short ranges. It’s cheaper and easier than traveling with a car, and better for the environment too. College students going to and from classes can definitely benefit from DiskDrive as well at certain schools. This is especially true for larger campuses.

How much will it cost?

Skarper system will be commercially available sometime next year, at a price of approximately £1,000 (US$1,217). Not all of the details are available yet, so there will be more information to come soon.

Source: Skarper

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