Electric Gobike, a DIY project from the Thirties

A DIY projects from the Thirties: the electric GoBike

This is how the technical drawings looked.

Today we’re talking about the GoBike: it could be presented as a DIY version of the Wall Auto Wheel we talked about previously in this column, the History of Ebikes.

GoBike was an idea of LeJay Manufacturing Company of Minneapolis, US. LeJay’s business model was quite unusual: they printed and sold a cheap handbook. Within the handbook you could find a number of DIY projects, most of which were about the electrification of common objects like bicycles.

The Thirties were the years of the Great Depression in the US: the economic depression was so severe it is considered way worse than the one we’re living today. Anything that could make the American middle class save money was more than welcome.
DIY projects answered two specific needs: saving money and feeding the entrepreneurial and independent spirit of the American people.

Electric Gobike
The finished product.

LeJay actually sold ready-made versions of the projects. The handbook served the purpose of attracting potential customers, “deceiving” them with the idea of the do-it-yourself. Most of them surrendered to the complexity of the projects and bought the ready-made products from the company instead.

The GoBike was described as an amazing product: copywriters told the potential customer that the bike had a range of 70-75 miles for every recharge, even without pedaling. Those numbers were extremely optimistic for the time’s technology.
Like Wall Auto Wheel, the motor was mounted laterally on the back wheel, pushing the bike through a smaller wheel.

We don’t know if this product was actually ever sold, and there are no photographic evidences of the GoBike itself.

Electric Gobike
Just reading the handbook  on your comfy armchair is not enough!

Source: “Electric Bikes, di D. Henshaw & R. Peace”

A DIY projects from the Thirties: the electric GoBike last modified: 2015-02-26T11:00:53+00:00 by Paolo

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