As many popular transportation options make the switch to electric, bicycles are definitely not getting left behind. But if you aren’t interested in splurging on a fully electric bike, a company called GeoOrbital may just have the perfect solution for you. The GeoOrbital wheel is a fully contained electric update that snaps on to virtually any bike in place of the front wheel. In less than 60 seconds, the GeoOrbital wheel lets you go from sweaty morning commuter to electric-powered ease.
The GeoOrbital wheel is powered by a 500W Brushless DC motor and Panasonic 36V Lithium-Ion battery, which can last for about 30 miles on one charge, or up to 50 miles with pedal assistance. We’re not talking big racing speeds, but going from zero to 20 miles per hour in just six seconds is pretty impressive for a bicycle. All that power is tucked away within the triangular “gear” house that replaces a normal bike wheel’s spokes. Additional batteries could help power longer rides, but even without the electric support, at least you’ll know you’ve got wheels to get where you’re going.
The wheel’s orbital design is admittedly modeled after the hubless wheel that was made popular most recently by the light cycles in the 2010 reboot film, TRON: Legacy. The only part of the GeoOrbital system that isn’t housed within the snap-on front wheel is a throttle piece that clips onto your handlebars and features a power button and a discreet string of lights to indicate remaining battery life.
GeoOrbital says it has also solved the problem of flat tires and constant tire pressure checks that frequent cyclists face. With a tire made of high-density foam, GeoOrbital promises to feel and act like a regular bike tire, except that it’s also flat-proof. A USB outlet built into the GeoOrbital wheel lets you charge your phone or even bike lights for night rides while you’re on the move.
Since launching on Kickstarter this morning, GeoOrbital is already fast approaching $150,000 in pledges – far beyond its original funding goal of $75,000. Almost three full rounds of early bird pledges are already marked as Out of Stock, so you’re looking at a $699 Kickstarter pledge to get your hands on the GeoOrbital wheel sooner rather than later. GeoOrbital is expected to cost $950 when it makes it to full retail price, so there are still big discounts on offer in exchange for helping to bring the electric bike wheel to life. And although there are other electric bike modification systems on the market already, the wild support on Kickstarter so far suggests consumers are still looking for the perfect fit.