E-bikes have been on the rise for the past couple of years, with sales reaching $41 billion in 2020 and expecting to triple by 2030. But as we all know, e-bikes are pretty expensive, and not everyone can afford to shell out a grand or two for one. To this end, inventor Alastair Darwood invented a motor and battery pack that you can clip-on to any bike with disc brakes, and it will turn it into an e-bike.
How does it work?
Darwood calls this clip-on motor, The Skarper. The Skarper requires you to change your bike’s rear disc-brake and replace it with DiskDrive, which looks and operates like a traditional disc-brake rotor but is just associated with The Skarper.
In addition to the replacement of the rear disc-brake, you’ll also have to add a 6.6 pound unit that houses the battery, along with a 250-watt-hour motor, which would go into the bike frame. The DiskDrive goes into the clip-on attachment and works with the gearing inside the unit. The motor’s internal gearing will then turn the brake roto, making the rear wheel spin.
Additionally, there is a sensor that you can clip to your bike’s crank in order to measure your speed and cadence as you pedal.
“Skarper have engineered a full gearbox into the space of a rear disk brake. When not electrically driven, the disk behaves exactly as a normal disk without any compromise on performance or function. Your bike is ready for electric drive at any moment. Precision features on the disk allow the direct connection of a Skarper motor drive unit whenever desired.”
Once installed, The Skarper offers up to 40 miles of assisted cycling. After reaching your destination, you can unclip the unit and recharge the battery, reaching a full charge in a little less than 3 hours.
Darwood is originally an inventor in the medical field. But when the COVID-19 lockdown hit in 2020, he wanted to get an e-bike, but couldn’t really afford one with a good price point. So, he looked at existing conversion kits and managed to maneuver new technology to make turning a regular bike into an e-bike an easy task.
The Skarper is expected to retail for $1,000, you can sign up on their website to be notified at launch.
Photo via Skarper Technologies