Cycling
Lightweight kit makes e-bike conversions quick and easy

Every day, more and more people choose to use bikes instead of cars to get around. This is an eco-friendly attitude anyone can get behind — unless, of course, where they’re going is too far. At that point, a little help is warranted. Unfortunately, most conventional e-bikes are bulky and expensive, and conversion kits add too much weight for a bicycle to still feel agile.

The add-e conversion kit is designed to alleviate the problems common to most conversion kits through its pared down, intelligent design. add-e consists of just two main parts adding about five pounds to the bike: a drive unit installed into the frame underneath the pedals, and a battery pack installed where the water bottle usually goes.

When turned on, the drive unit works by using a small wheel that makes contact with the back tire to assist riders only when they pedal. The drive unit is disengaged without someone pedaling, a smart design choice that saves energy and renders any extra equipment unnecessary. The drive unit’s output is adjustable up to 600W, achieving speeds anywhere from 15 mph to 28 mph. Meanwhile, add-e’s lithium battery can reach a fully charged in under an hour, giving riders up to a full day of riding depending on how frequently it’s used. The add-e campaign ends on June 1st, 2015, and is looking for about $114,000. About $1,000 gets backer a conversion kit, to be shipped in September 2015.

The add-e is a standout when it comes to weight; there is simply no conversion kit out there this light, easy to install, yet still so functional. The Dillenger e-bike conversion kit is a close runner-up, offering smartphone integration and replaceable batteries, but requiring the entire front wheel to be replaced.

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