Brake-mounted Elevate makes mountain bikes electric
There are now a number of kits that allow users to temporarily convert their regular bike into an ebike. While most of those involve swapping in a powered wheel or wheel-roller, Elevate is different – it's installed over the rear disc brake.
Developed by San Francisco-based startup bimotal, Elevate is made specifically for use on mountain bikes. Company founder Toby Ricco invented it after a skiing injury reduced his ability to cycle up steep hills.
The system consists of four main parts – a 750-watt motor that sits above the rear brake, sharing the existing brake mounts; a system-specific brake rotor that has a toothed gear on the inside, which replaces the existing rotor; a cylindrical 250-Wh lithium battery that sits in the bike's water bottle cage; and a handlebar-mounted remote.
When triggered by the remote, a powered gear on the motor engages the one on the brake rotor, thus turning the wheel. A top speed of 28 mph (45 km/h) is then possible, along with an estimated range of 15 to 30 miles (24 to 48 km) depending on usage. It should be noted that in its current form Elevate is hard-wired and throttle-only, although Ricco tells us that Bluetooth connectivity and a pedal-assist feature are on their way.
On occasions when riders don't wish to use the system, the battery is just pulled out of the cage, and the motor is released from its mounting posts simply by squeezing its two quick-release tabs. The whole setup is claimed to tip the scales at 5.9 lb (2.7 kg), although part of that figure includes the rotor which takes the place of the one already on the wheel.
Elevate was announced this Thursday on Sea Otter Play, the online version of the annual Sea Otter Classic mountain bike festival. The system can be reserved now via the link below, and will be priced at US$1,950. Deliveries are expected to commence early next year.