20th Apr 2016
Electric bicycle conversion for under €100
If you ever wished you could just pop a motor on your bike to give you a hand up those hills or to get you started then a new invention could be your answer. The Semcon bike engine, is a motor that simply attaches to your bike and its creators claim it could cost under €100.
Electric bikes or e-bikes are growing in popularity around the world, but they aren't cheap and they're often heavy. The creators of the bike engine set out to design a product that supplied the benefits of having a motor – less effort required to get up hills, pedal assistance on the flat – but that came in a package that was easy to use, could be swapped between bikes, fitted to any type, and used on old machines as well as new ones.
Semcon describes the invention as a smart engine. It fastens onto the seat tube of a bicycle and drives the wheel using a battery powered motor via contact with the tyre. It provides an output of 150 watts, and will only add drive between 7 and 25 km/h. The engine contains a small computer and sensor which detects when the rider is pedalling, and only kicks in to provided an assist at certain speeds. This on-board computer also means, Semcon says, that it can develop different apps in the future, including a way of prioritising speed or reach for managing battery life, theft control or tracking.