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Kickstarter project provides power assistance for standard bikes

A company called Rubbee is seeking crowd funding for an electric drive that can be mounted to most bicycles in a few seconds.

The Rubbee system is an electric friction drive with an integrated clamp and battery pack that’ll keep you moving for 15 miles.

The design is complete; Rubbee are looking for backing on Kickstarter to move the product into full scale production. You’re probably familiar with the concept by now. People put their inventions onto the Kickstarter site and ask for financial support to get their project off the ground. The more you pledge, the more you get in return. It’s a bit like Dragons’ Den but without the air of smugness.

The system consists of an electric motor that powers a polyurethane friction wheel that works on your rear tyre. It features an integrated suppression system that provides a constant force on the tyre to avoid slipping.

Rubbee reckon that one of their system’s major selling points is the fact that it’s so easy to install. You just clamp it to your seat post, remove a pin so that the friction wheel contacts your rear tyre, connect the throttle (which stays on your bike’s handlebar), and press the on/off button.

Rubbee’s own video makes it look very simple…

The Rubbee system weighs 6.5kg (14lb), has a peak power of 800W and can get a bike up to a top speed of 15mph. The range is 15 miles and the recharge time is two hours. The battery has a lifespan of over 2,000 cycles – so if you recharge it once a day, five days a week, it should last well over seven years.

Last time we checked, Rubbee were getting on for halfway towards the £63,000 that they’re seeking, with three weeks remaining.

Go to Rubbee's Kickstarter page for all the details. 

Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over the past 20 years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for seven years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.

17 comments

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ribena [179 posts] 3 years ago
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Looks similar to that old Sinclair one.
http://www.nvg.ntnu.no/sinclair/vehicles/zeta.htm

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cakewalk [14 posts] 3 years ago
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Nice and easy to nick ...

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Mat Brett [628 posts] 3 years ago
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cakewalk wrote:

Nice and easy to nick ...

Excellent point. They should have made it far heavier, more cumbersome and difficult to mount/dismount.

Or - crazy idea - maybe you could take it off if you lock your bike somewhere public.

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DrJDog [376 posts] 3 years ago
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And carry around 6.5kg of motor and batteries?

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dave atkinson [6258 posts] 3 years ago
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Technically not legal in the uk as it has a throttle rather than pedelec, I think?

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drfabulous0 [409 posts] 3 years ago
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These sort of things really need to be discouraged, bikes are for pedalling, if you're too lazy to pedal get a Ducati Monster.

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sidesaddle [90 posts] 3 years ago
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Looks good. Get it before the feds realise how many rules it breaks. Ideal for cargo duties, so a pity about losing rack and mudguards.

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SteppenHerring [330 posts] 3 years ago
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I want to know what this will do to my tubs on the TT bike and whether it will clamp to an aero seatpost.

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horizontal dropout [281 posts] 3 years ago
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Dave Atkinson wrote:

Technically not legal in the uk as it has a throttle rather than pedelec, I think?

There's pedelecs and there's ebikes. Pedelecs only supply power when you pedal ie pedal assist but I think are still seen as a type of ebike for the purposes of regulations. Other ebikes have a throttle control.

Ebikes are limited to 200W and 15mph. This one produces up to 800W so that is what stops it being legal as a bicycle, rather than the type of control.
https://www.gov.uk/electric-bike-rules

I wonder how a 200W version would perform...

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Mat Brett [628 posts] 3 years ago
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DrJDog wrote:

And carry around 6.5kg of motor and batteries?

Would you struggle with that? Richard Branson, 63, and that girl in the vid seem to be all over it.

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Not KOM [79 posts] 3 years ago
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SteppenHerring wrote:

I want to know what this will do to my tubs on the TT bike and whether it will clamp to an aero seatpost.

Power assisted TT riding? I like that idea - it might means I was even vaguely competitive in those races  1

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Bez [602 posts] 3 years ago
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drfabulous0 wrote:

These sort of things really need to be discouraged, bikes are for pedalling, if you're too lazy to pedal get a Ducati Monster.

Apologies if my irony filter is failing, but what arrogant nonsense.

Electric bikes are great - they get more people on bikes who otherwise wouldn't or couldn't be, which means more demand for proper cycling infrastructure. And they're far more space- and power-efficient than electric cars. What's not to like?

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PJ McNally [591 posts] 3 years ago
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drfabulous0 wrote:

bikes are for pedalling, if you're too lazy to pedal get a Ducati Monster.

E bikes are for the lost generation. Those adults who think that bikes, and exercise in general, are kids' things, and who stopped exercising too long ago to be fit enough to just pedal.

As a side effect they also suit people with chronic diseases who are similarly unable to pedal hard. Would you deny these people their bikes?

This Rubbee thing would seem to need a road bike, though - no mudguards, no rack. Pretty impractical.

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bikecellar [268 posts] 3 years ago
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In the video it is clamped to the seat post, not the seat tube.

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TheHatter [770 posts] 3 years ago
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its not as good at the one spartacus had concealed in his down tube.

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Osprey [19 posts] 3 years ago
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I know the TT bike thing is sarcasm, but the motor cuts out at top speed, so the aero seatpost doesnt make a diffence, might as well use your town bike, now wouldn't that be a funny sight.

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Cauld Lubter [135 posts] 3 years ago
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Quote:

These sort of things really need to be discouraged, bikes are for pedalling, if you're too lazy to pedal get a Ducati Monster.

My leccy motor gives me the range I used to have, before my knees got knackered, tiling bathrooms for the likes of you.