When TreeHugger originally reported on this amazing electric assist motor that converts any bike into a "stealth electric bike" a commenter questioned: "Does it actually exist? Doubtful."
We still cannot be sure it actually exists: can you find the electric assist motor even in this close-up?
Trust us. It's there. We saw the Vivax electric assist motor in action at the Spezi bike show, a highlight for anyone who loves special-purpose bikes.
The cylindrical motor of the Vivax Assist can be retro-fitted into any bicycle with a sufficient diameter seat post, to provide a 200 watt boost for preventing an underarm drench on the way to work or smoothing out the hills on your daily commute. The battery pack, available in 5.5 Ah/30 V or 8.25 Ah/30V configurations, fits under the saddle, looking for all the world like a small tool kit or accessories bag. A "smart" on/off button on the handlebars completes the stealth bike configuration and saves some settings.
According to the product literature:
The auxiliary drive, with a length of almost 22 cm and 200 watts of power, is permanently connected torque-proof with the crank through a bevel gear unit; gear changing is still possible.
Thank to the free-wheel you continue cycling as normal, without resistance, when the drive is switched off. When the system is on, the personal contribution gets supported by the vivax assist with 200 watts extra power, you have to pedal furthermore. A optimal performance-output is from 60 rpm. The cycler will be supported till 90 rpm. With the help of a clever and patented special tool, installing the retrofit kit is child’s play. Errors in assembly are therefore virtually eliminated!
At 1.8 kg (under 4 pounds) for the entire installation, this changes the electric bike game entirely. Suddenly, jumping on and off a bus with your e-bike becomes possible. And face it, even the "sexy" electric bikes make you stand out when you meet up with the guys and gals around the bike rack. With this motor, the secret is all yours.
The 2550 euro (US $3400) price will be a barrier for any customer not imagining to use their e-bike in place of a small car, but with some volume this price could come down. The distributors currently all represent European countries. We bet any American firm looking for a promising partnership would find a welcoming market for this lightweight, invisible retrofit motor in the booming e-bike business.