This is how the early motorcycle companies started out. We've all seen those clunky clamp on engines designed to convert your bicycle into a highly efficient mode of transportation, the only problem is, after all of the clamping and assembly is done, it still looks like a clunky clamped on engine. Well, sometimes old ideas are the best, they just need elegant execution. This is elegant.
RevoPower, a company based in Denver, Colorado, has come up with The RevoPower Wheel, a 25cc two stroke, self contained engine and gear assembly inside the 14 inch diameter hub of a 26 inch bicycle wheel weighing about 15 pounds that replaces the existing wheel in your own bike. There is a throttle assembly and fuel tank that attaches to the frame, but after about 15 minutes of work you have a bicycle that can travel about 20mph under power and gets around 240 miles per gallon. There are no external moving parts, no rollers, belts, chains or anything else. Like I said, elegant.
The engine shuts down if you fall off and if you want to go faster than the 20mph you can pedal normally. The engine only takes over when you are moving slower than 20mph. You can also use the bike normally without the engine running at all.
In most cases, RevoPower says you need no license of any kind, however, that may not be true in all jurisdictions. The Wheel will be sold separately except in those areas where licensing is required. In that situation, RevoPower will sell the complete bicycle with The Wheel installed. Expected pricing will be around $600 for the wheel, about $1000 to $1200 for a complete bicycle, delivery is expected late this year.
A video on their home page shows a number of people riding a Wheel equipped bicycle and it seems to work as described with a very low exhaust note. Although this would obviously not be suitable for highway riding, the number of situations where this would work is enormous, especially in some countries where bicycles are such a large part of the transportation equation. I hope this does very well. I like it.
Thanks to Tom for the tip.
Link: RevoPower Wheel