In parts of the world, bicycles are the foremost method in getting from A to B. Europe is particularly famous for this, while the US is beginning to embrace bicycles with bike friendly initiatives designed to get people out and about. For the most part, it’s relatively easy to get around in these cities, however biking obstacles such as hills can be a challenge. Without a bulky electric bicycle to help, sometimes hills can make a short ride into one filled with burning thighs and sweaty faces.
Inventor Alex Baldwin’s Piston Pedal Power marries the lightweight design of most bikes with a pneumatic air canister to give riders small assists whenever they need it, turning it off whenever they don’t. The addition adds 6.5 pounds to the weight of a bicycle which isn’t too much, but still enough to be noticeable unless the product takes away the sense of the extra weight. In any case, he is still refining the design which is why he is asking for $15,000 to complete a third prototype and obtain a patent. A donation of $20 gets you 20% off the final price, estimated to be a saving of $240 — pretty pricey compared with other electric solutions like the ion Smartscooter which costs $399.