Powered bike wheel creates indoor/outdoor e-bike
A year-round cycling solution for those that like to live in the saddle, the all-new Falco eDrive is an electric bike drive that doubles as an indoor trainer. This indoor/outdoor cycling system drops a powered wheel onto your bicycle for up to 100 miles (161 km) of e-boosted range, then docks in the included stand and lets you regenerate battery power while rolling through virtual courses. There's no excuse not to get pedaling.
The Falco eDrive looks a lot like some of the other aftermarket electric bike wheels out there. The market has no shortage, and we've tested the Evelo Omni Wheel and FlyKly Smart Wheel and looked at a few others, including the hub-less GeoOrbital Wheel.
Like those electric add-ons, the Falco eDrive is an electric wheel built to turn a standard bicycle into an electric one by adding output from either a 250- or 350-watt five-phase electric motor. Unlike on all-in-one e-wheel designs, the eDrive's 400-Wh lithium battery is external, mounted water cage-style to the frame.
Falco estimates up to 100 miles (161 km) of electric-assist range per charge, though that will certainly vary wildly depending upon the rider, terrain, settings, etc. The included regenerative brake helps to get every last mile of power out of the battery before it's time for a six-hour recharge (four hours to 75 percent charged).
Top speed varies by model, from 15 mph (25 km/h) for the standard European pedelec version, to 20 mph (32 km/h) for the US version, up to 28 mph (45 km/h) for the speed pedelec model.
Other electric bikes and aftermarket kits finish up the day's work at the doorstep or garage, but the eDrive is meant to roll inside and continue working. Falco calls it the world's first indoor/outdoor electric drive, and it comes with a bike stand for use as an indoor trainer. It can be used in conjunction with an iOS, Android, Windows or Mac device and indoor cycling programs like Zwift, Trainer Road and Falco's own app to create interactive training sessions.
The trainer features electromagnetic resistance and can automatically vary resistance to match changing terrain and conditions in the accompanying software. It'll even vibrate to simulate road feel. The e-drive system can also be used to recharge the battery pack via pedal power during indoor training sessions.
The eDrive kit comes in a number of common bicycle wheel sizes, including 20-in, 26-in and 700c. It will work with several drivetrains, including single speeds, eight-speeds and 10-speeds. Falco lists weight at 13 lb (5.9 kg) for the motor, 5.5 lb (2.5 kg) for the battery and 11 lb (5 kg) for the training stand. The kit includes ANT+ and Bluetooth wireless connectivity.
Falco launched the eDrive at CES last week, where it began offering it for a US$1,149 pre-order price. That price will go up to the full $1,649 at the end of January and the company expects to begin shipments in late June. It offers a five-year motor warranty and two-year battery warranty.
Falco is also offering the eCiti, a full bike with eDrive and trainer, for a pre-order price of $1,995 ($2,595 estimated retail).
Source: Falco eMotors