Ebikes are great, but if you already own a bicycle, it makes a lot of sense to convert it into an ebike. The only problem is that conversion kits are often unwieldy, expensive and a real pain to fit. Not Pikaboost from LIVALL, however. A compact ebike conversion kit that’s just smashed its funding target on Kickstarter, Pikaboost can be installed in less than 30 seconds. It’s more like fitting a new rear light than upgrading your drivetrain to a motorised one.
All you have to do is clamp the unit onto your bike’s saddle stem and seat it on the rear tyre. The powerful motor inside then spins your rear wheel for you, using intelligent sensors to react seamlessly to how fast you’re pedalling, and whether you’re riding on the flat, uphill or downhill. There’s also a brake sensor that is equally quick and easy to fit. This detects when you are braking, and cuts power to the motor, for safer and more efficient deceleration.
Voila: your bike is now an ebike. It still feels and rides like your old bike, but now you’ll receive assistance when the going gets tougher, taking the effort out of hill climbs and pulling away from traffic lights.
Thanks to a dual-axis sensor, gyroscope, accelerometer and a clever algorithm, Pikaboost detects whether you’re cycling uphill, downhill or on the flat road, and whether there is a trend of acceleration or deceleration. It then dynamically adjusts the motor’s power, providing a smooth transition as your speed changes.
You have the option of receiving assistance at all times or on hills only. Or you can turn it off entirely, of course. If you’re taking on long rides and steep hills, Pikaboost is great news for your knees.
Compact size, long battery life
Despite its compact size, and weight of only 3 kilos, Pikaboost packs in a 234Wh battery that gives you a range of 18 miles (30km). Battery life can be further extended thanks to regenerative braking and the clever ‘Exercise mode’. This reverses how Pikaboost usually works, turning off the assistance and recharging the battery from the power of your pedalling.
The other available modes are Cruise and Eco. Cruise is for short trips in town, and provides motor assistance at all times. Eco extends the battery life by only lending a helping hand when you go uphill.
The battery can be fully charged from the mains in just 3 hours.
And that’s not all…
Pikaboost also finds room for fall detection, slip detection and even a powerful rear light that doubles as a brake light. The unit is rated IP66 for dust and water resistance, while the wheel that spins your bike’s wheel is made of a rubber material that is wear-resistant and durable. The wear caused is less than what your tyre suffers by being in contact with the ground, because only ‘static friction’ occurs during riding.
Pikaboost is controlled via an app, and for added peace of mind, it can be locked via your phone’s Bluetooth. The app also lets you set speed limits to match the laws in your part of the world, up to 21mph (35kph).