Bicycles

LIFEbike takes a fresh approach to ebike design

LIFEbike takes a fresh approac...
Toronto-based entrepreneur Henry Chong, riding the LIFEbike
Toronto-based entrepreneur Henry Chong, riding the LIFEbike
View 11 Images
The LIFEbike is short and compact compared to regular bicycles
1/11
The LIFEbike is short and compact compared to regular bicycles
The LIFEbike features internal cable routing
2/11
The LIFEbike features internal cable routing
The LIFEbike weighs 15 kg, or about 33 pounds
3/11
The LIFEbike weighs 15 kg, or about 33 pounds
When it’s time to carry the LIFEbike in or out of buildings, its handlebars can be lowered and turned sideways plus its pedals can be folded in, all within about 10 seconds
4/11
When it’s time to carry the LIFEbike in or out of buildings, its handlebars can be lowered and turned sideways plus its pedals can be folded in, all within about 10 seconds
Henry Chong with the LIFEbike
5/11
Henry Chong with the LIFEbike
Because it has no chain, riders don’t have to fret over getting oil stains on their clothing when carrying the bike
6/11
Because it has no chain, riders don’t have to fret over getting oil stains on their clothing when carrying the bike
Due to its small size, the LIFEbike is easier to store in places such as offices
7/11
Due to its small size, the LIFEbike is easier to store in places such as offices
In its current form, the bike has a 250-watt geared brushless hub motor in its 16-inch rear wheel, powered by a lockable 36-volt 10-Ah lithium battery
8/11
In its current form, the bike has a 250-watt geared brushless hub motor in its 16-inch rear wheel, powered by a lockable 36-volt 10-Ah lithium battery
Toronto-based entrepreneur Henry Chong, riding the LIFEbike
9/11
Toronto-based entrepreneur Henry Chong, riding the LIFEbike
10/11
11/11

For the most part, electric bicycles are configured like regular bikes, with the addition of a motor and battery. Because they're essentially just conventional bikes with extra stuff, they also tend to be pretty heavy. The Revelo LIFEbike, however, is an ebike with a difference. Its wacky design runs the pedal axle through the front wheel hub, thus drastically shortening the aluminum frame and eliminating the chain. As a result, it weighs in at 15 kg (33 lb) – about the weight of a non-electric cruiser bike.

The LIFEbike (Lightweight, Intelligent, Flexible Electric bike) was created by Revelo founder Henry Chong, as the thesis project for his Industrial Design degree. After spending two years developing the concept, and winning four awards for it in the process, he's now setting about getting it into commercial production.

In its current form, the bike has a 250-watt geared brushless hub motor in its 16-inch rear wheel, powered by a lockable 36-volt 10-Ah lithium battery. That battery can be removed and charged from empty in four hours, after which it should provide about 30 km (19 miles) worth of motor-only travel. The motor is controlled using a thumb lever on the handlebars, and propels the LIFEbike to a maximum speed of 25 km/h (15.5 mph).

When in electric mode, it's possible to swing both pedals downwards, so they can be used like the footpads on a scooter. Should the rider wish to save their battery by pedaling for a while, the pedals can then be locked into the more traditional "active" orientation.

The LIFEbike weighs 15 kg, or about 33 pounds
The LIFEbike weighs 15 kg, or about 33 pounds

From the looks of things, pedaling is only possible in a direct-drive, fixed-gear-like arrangement – not unlike the case with a penny farthing. Given that the fixed gear is in this case the 20-inch front wheel, riders probably won't be able to get up a whole lot of speed by pedal-power alone. It should be fine for riding on things like pathways, but road riding will likely be a motor-only affair.

When it's time to carry the LIFEbike in or out of buildings, its handlebars can be lowered and turned sideways plus its pedals can be folded in, all within about 10 seconds. Because it has no chain, riders don't have to fret over getting oil stains on their clothing when carrying the bike.

Chong is currently raising production funds for the LIFEbike, on Indiegogo. A pledge of US$1,800 will get you one, when and if they're ready to go. The bike can be seen in action in the pitch video below.

Source: Indiegogo

Revelo LIFEbike - Revolutionary Personal Transportation

18 comments
BJB
19 mile range? I weigh 220 lbs. How much do you want to bet I'd get much less???? Come on Henry, give it a real battery!! My money is on the Neo Volt!! With a 56 mile range, you don't stand a chance!
The Skud
Put a luggage carrier on top of the battery pod and affix a small generator for in-ride charge - Almost unlimited range! Many Japanese generators weigh only a few pounds so would not affect the handling much, they could still be left running in a suitable space to recharge fully while the rider is in a store, for instance..
zevulon
This design in a recumbent style cruiser bike ( crank forward posture with a seat even lower) AND a banan style seat which has room for a second passenger behind the first. That would be ideal. Of course youd need a more powerful hub motor but this would be much heavier.
Asoka Nelson
the designer of this design should look at the outrider trike as an example of excellence
Daishi
Every time someone posts an eBike everyone complains about the price and limitations of the vehicle. The pattern is consistent enough for me to suspect the problem has much more to do with the technology than the companies deploying it. I doubt there is a bunch of companies sitting around capable of building a perfect ebike but just not interested in all the money that would be thrown at them for doing it. Most the eBikes I have seen with half decent capabilities are priced higher than you could pick up a motorcycle for.
Roy Murray
Looks perfect for downtown but not much opportunity to pedal with only one speed. What about a Sturmey Archer type hub for the front wheel drive so that some gearing would be possible?
VoiceofReason
Diachi hit it right on the head. For 1800, I can get a decent bicycle and a scooter for when I need to go more than 19 miles.
Michael Crumpton
I find myself wondering what the advantage of this over a standard folding bike with a aftermarket hub motor front wheel and battery setup would be. You can get a decent folding bike for about $250 (citizen bikes), and a really nice wheel/battery setup for about $1400, and it would fold up smaller and be far better for use as a pedaling bike(6+gears). It might weigh a tiny bit more, but it would be a much more practical vehicle. If I wanted something unique and I was going to spend $1800 I would probably spring for a Yikebike.
Larry English
3 mph pedaling speed would be faster to just walk home wle
Mark in MI
The front wheel is far to close under the rider. This design would have to be limited to slow (like 10 kph) speeds to allow safe emergency braking without flipping over the handlebars. Good compact design for light weight, but it has limitations like all current ebikes do.