A few days ago we told you about an ebike which mounts solar panels on the wheels; today is the turn of other bicycles with special wheels. Or rather, with A special wheel. These are the bicycles that mount the Omni Wheel ebike kit by Evelo.
The American manufacturer has designed a wheel that can transform an ordinary bike into an e-bike. It must be said that it isn’t the first case. Already some companies including Superpedestrian with its famous Copenhagen Wheel have made these “special kit” but Omni Wheel differs from the others in some forms.
For example, in the Evelo ebike kit, compared to other brands, the wheel concerned is the front one, which allows quick assembly of the kit, as shown in this video:
The wireless display (on which are displayed real-time informations about the status of the device) to be attached to the handlebar doesn’t require the installation of any apps. Evelo has produced two different types of kits: both are based on a 350W hub motor, which allows a maximum speed of 20 miles per hour (approximately 32 km/ h). Both kits are differentiated by the Panasonic battery, which in one case is 24V 8.7Ah to a range of 25-40 km, while in the second case it is a version with greater capacity, with a 24V battery and 14.5Ah and a range which can vary from 40 to 65 km.
We believe that the real range will be much closer to the lower figure. The charging time of the battery may vary however from 4 to 9 hours. At the moment you can reserve the Omni Wheel for a price that varies depending on the kit and the wheel size from $ 999 (equal to 803 €) to $ 1,299 (€ 1,046). Deliveries are expected to start from the beginning of March 2015.
But we pass to dealing with the negative points about the Evelo ebike kit: unfortunately this kit is not compatible with all models of bicycles; Evelo specifies that although the size of the wheels (26 inches or the 700c) are suitable for most of the classical bicycles, there may be problems of mounting for those bicycles that mount eg forks, brakes or bottom brackets of a particular size. In this regard, on the site of the manufacturer there is a page that allows the potential buyer to see if his/her bicycle is compatible or not to Omni Wheel. Another negative point is the fact that a full wheel could create problems of stability in conditions of strong side winds. It is important to note that the weight is greatly unbalanced forward. In short, this is an interesting idea, but it’s important to be aware of its limitations: low autonomy, weight badly distributed, discomfort in conditions of side winds.
Here’s a video presentation of Omni Wheel: