Bicycles

Clip ebike conversion kit powers up the front wheel

Clip ebike conversion kit powe...
Presently available for preorder, Clip is priced at $399
Presently available for preorder, Clip is priced at $399
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Clip is compatible with 26 to 28-inch front wheels
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Clip is compatible with 26 to 28-inch front wheels
Presently available for preorder, Clip is priced at $399
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Presently available for preorder, Clip is priced at $399

While there are now a number of kits that allow you to convert your existing bicycle into an ebike, many of them involve adding a lot of … "stuff" to your bike. Clip keeps things simple, consisting of just a front wheel drive unit and a wireless remote.

Developed by a Brooklyn-based group of entrepreneurs, Clip is the result of a successful crowdfunding campaign. It has now entered production, with US shipping of the first units planned to take place this Spring.

At the heart of the setup is the aluminum-sided friction-drive module, which gets attached to the fork of a road or hybrid bike – as long as the front wheel is 26 to 28 inches in diameter, it should work. The module contains a 36V/144-Wh lithium battery, which powers a motorized rubber roller. That roller sits snugged up against the front tire – thus causing the front wheel to spin as the roller does – taking the bike to a top speed of 15 mph (24 km/h).

Clip is compatible with 26 to 28-inch front wheels
Clip is compatible with 26 to 28-inch front wheels

"Once the sensor integrated into the device detects the movement of the wheel, the motor can be activated via a Bluetooth remote clipped on the handlebar," Clip co-founder Clément De Alcala tells us. "Our proprietary algorithm builds on the rider’s effort, till 15 mph. The motor automatically stops if the rider brakes, or after 15 mph. When the motor is not activated, the roller behaves as a freewheel on the tire. A regenerative braking feature can also be activated [via an accompanying app], transferring the energy to the roller to recharge the battery."

De Alcala adds that one 40-minute wall-outlet charge of the battery should be good for 10 to 15 miles (16 to 24 km) of use.

The whole thing weighs a claimed 7 lb (3 kg), and is actually not unlike a front-wheel version of the existing rear-wheel Rubbee kit. By making it front-specific, the idea is that Clip can be more easily attached and detached, allowing users to quickly swap it on and off of shared bicycles.

Clip can be pre-ordered via the link below. A deposit of US$50 is required, which will be applied toward the total price of $399. It's currently only available to US customers.

You can see it in use, in the following video.

Source: Clip

How does CLIP feel?

5 comments
5 comments
Yosua
So it's like an electric VéloSoleX (usually just referred to as "Solex").
Vélosolex made bikes powered by a small gaz engine with front wheel friction transmission from years 1946 to 1988. The tires where larger, I don't think that ordinary bike tires will last long with a friction transmission motor on it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V%C3%A9loSoleX#/media/File:Velosolex.jpg
Nobody
Friction drive has been tried many times. Standard bicycle tires and spokes are not made for it and lose traction when the friction drive wheel gets wet. After you upgrade the tires and spokes for over $100-200 and then add the $399 unit, you could buy a cheap purposely made electric bike which would be more rugged. Everyone I know with an e-bike has been disappointed and sold them a year later. The usual complaints were limited range and too hard to pedal when the battery went dead.
Username
Walmart sells a whole electric bike for the same price
Rustgecko
In reply to Nobody " Everyone I know with an e-bike has been disappointed and sold them a year later. The usual complaints were limited range and too hard to pedal when the battery went dead."
I get over well over 100 km per charge out of my ebike, and if I lived in a flat area I would get a good deal more, this going at a speed of 25 kph or so most of the journey. Either Nobody has friends who are hyper fit and doing over 100 km a journey, or they are buying very poor quality bikes.
Pablo Mora
144 wh on 36 volts is 4Ah. I had a 500w front wheel 3.8Ah ebike and it could barely make 12 km per charge. Of course "16 to 24" is imposible on earth