An English startup A new e-bike conversion kit from Skarper features a disc brake rotor that has been precisely developed to supply power to your bike.
Because it takes work to replace a wheel, wires, batteries, and fittings on an electric bike, most conversion kits are difficult to remove.
The new Skarper system, on the other hand, solves that problem by combining everything into a single, small device that drives the back wheel of your bike using a special, patent-protected design.
After utilizing the system for an exclusive first-ride evaluation for the better part of the day, we’re impressed.
What is it?
A single drive and battery unit contains Skarper’s electric bike conversion kit. You connect the specifically made tabs to your non-driveside chainstay and the device hooks onto them.
After that, the motor powers a specially designed rotor that the company has named the DiskDrive. The majority of electric bike conversion kits employ a rear-wheel motor, a front-hub motor, or a bolt-on mid-drive unit for propulsion.
Skarper’s technology uses a cadence sensor that mounts to the cranks to regulate power output, just like the majority of ebike conversion kits.
The Skarper Ebike Conversion Kit’s Creator Is Unknown.
Skarper claims that its London headquarters employs over a dozen engineers and designers. Dr. Alastair Darwood, an inventor, is leading development.
Due to his medical background, Dr. Darwood has already achieved several advances. These include medical gadgets created while employed by the NHS for orthopedic and anesthetic purposes.
Darwood’s unique electric bike conversion kit is being funded by a group of riders who have all contributed privately to the business.
Sir Chris Hoy, an 11-time world champion and six-time Olympic medallist, is one of the investors in the Skarper and has also played a significant role in the device’s testing and development.
He explains: “I’ve always been an advocate for getting more people on bikes, regardless of their age, ability, or level of fitness, and I’ve found that ebikes can really help to increase accessibility to riding for everyone.
“It opens up opportunities—whether it’s enabling an otherwise unfeasible commute, maintaining a competitive pace on a strenuous bike ride with a fitter friend, getting back into riding after an illness or injury, or simply cycling farther and seeing more for the same amount of effort.”
Skarper hasn’t revealed all the information, but in addition to the road/urban model seen below, the company has been developing an off-road variant in collaboration with Red Bull Advanced Technologies.
This unit offers “huge amounts of power and plenty of torque,” according to Skarper. This implies that you may ride the trails on your own without having to worry about the extra weight and cost of an e-mountain bike after clipping on the system to take you to the summit of the mountain, unhooking it, and putting it in your pack.
What Time Will It Be Accessible?
Now that he has committed to full production, Skarper plans to deliver in 2023.
The goal price, according to Skarper, is £1,000. No specific price has been announced as of yet.
Skarper further states that it is in talks with well-known bike manufacturers on the possibility of offering the DiskDrive disc brake rotor as standard equipment.
Initial thoughts after riding the Skarper electric bike conversion kit
I installed a prototype system on a small Merida hybrid while I was working at Skarper’s office. This required turning on Skarper’s DiskDrive’s center-lock disc rotor, mounting the device to the back chainstay with its driveshaft inserted into the rotor’s keyed slot, and fastening the Bluetooth cadence sensor to the cranks.
It only took a few minutes to remove the unit from the box, power it up, and have it ready to ride.
I set out to test the system on the streets of Camden, London.
From a standing start, the technology rapidly assists, gently boosting power over time and enabling swift escapes from traffic lights.
We made our way to Highgate Hill, which is around 60 meters above sea level. The ease with which the Skarper handled this little urban ascent left me pleased
The Skarper responds to the terrain and your input using a mix of sensors and control algorithms, which sets it apart from most other electric motorcycles. Smooth and reliable power delivery was present.
It’s comparable to the help provided by lighter ebike systems like the mid-drive system from Fazua or the ebikemotion system from Mahle. But without a separate high-capacity battery, this standalone machine won’t have the same range as those two systems.
Although the Skarper is essentially self-sufficient and self-operating, the company is also developing a smartphone app that will enable the owner to adjust the system and carry out firmware changes.
I enquired about potential long-term issues with using the brake rotor to drive the back wheel. According to Darwood, the force a rotor encounters while braking is far more than the power the Skarper system produces. This indicates that the system is claimed to function well within current norms, he claims.
I’m not ready to commit to a full-test opinion just yet, having spent 45 minutes riding the Skarper and in prototype form with a manufactured casing around the patented internals.
But the system feels so fantastic that I was delighted.
Enough power is available for urban hills, and the power curve is instantaneous, smooth, and progressive when turning on or off. When the technology is not in use, it also feels virtually drag-free (beyond the 25 kph EU limit).
After my brief test ride, Uri Meirovich, COO of Skarper, was quick to clarify that the system’s goal is not to replace current conversion kits, but rather to provide a cost-effective substitute for pricey mid-drive and hub motor systems without requiring the purchase of an entirely electric bike.
We’ll have to hold off on making any judgments until we can test the Skarper over an extended period of time, but the objective of creating a respectable substitute for current ebikes while allowing you to continue using your own bike has the potential to change the game.