For those who are curious about electric bikes, conversion kits can open up a whole new world of riding. And while they’ve been around for years, most of them are difficult to install and leave your bike looking like a Frankenstein creation with control mechanisms bolted to the seat tubes and a tangle of zip-tied cables that ruin a once-in-a-lifetime bike. pretty.
In the future, electric bike conversion kits may become so small and powerful that they fit inside your bottom bracket and other riders will have no idea that you have a motor built into your bike. A British start-up called Skarper is already moving the needle in this direction.
How the Skarper electric bike motor works
Electric bike conversion kits are a great choice for people who love to ride bikes and do research into Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Transportation Research found that those who rode electric bikes got more minutes of exercise per week than those who rode regular bikes. The Skarper motor aims to give you the benefits of an electric bike with as little hassle as possible.
The Skarper electric bike motor differs from most motors you would consider when building your own DIY electric bike in one important way: it powers your bike with a specially designed disc brake rotor called a DiskDrive instead of a front or rear wheel. aftermarket with an integrated motor, friction drive system, or intermediate drive bolt-on system.
Due to its design, the Skarper can be installed on any disc brake bike with 160mm rotors, which is the most common rotor size on disc brake equipped bikes. Bikes with a 140mm rotor will work with the Skarper when using an inexpensive brake caliper adapter.
Skarper’s vision is for a cyclist to attach a motor to his mountain bike for climbing, then detach it and put it in his pack to descend. While this can work well on quiet road climbs, it can present a challenge for mountain bikers riding any kind of technical climbs or anyone who doesn’t want to carry a 3 kilogram weight in their bag.
Skarper has also designed their ebike motor to be completely detachable, further setting it apart from any other ebike conversion kit on the market. This means you can fit a Skarper rotor to more than one bike in your stable and transfer the motor between bikes!
If you already own one or more bikes, you will be able to transform each of your existing bikes into an electric bike using a single unit.
Skarper Bicycle Engine Features and Benefits
What makes electric bikes so popular is that they come equipped with a motor, battery, and control mechanisms that are perfectly integrated into the bike. The problem is that many riders who already have a decent bike aren’t ready to invest in a new one. Or they don’t want to transform what they currently ride into a mechanical abomination.
Fortunately, Skarper’s minimalist design can be attached to any bike with disc brakes, from high-end carbon gravel bikes to super-comfortable commuter bikes, in a clean, wireless way that doesn’t compromise rideability. It can also be easily removed, returning the bike to its original configuration.
The best part is, when the motor is not in use, your bike will look and ride like nothing has changed. Most people won’t notice the slightly different looking rotor, and it will add minimal overall weight to your bike.
The Skarper motor weighs just 300 grams, while the unit containing the motor and battery weighs around 3 kilograms. The unit connects to tabs that sit on the chainstay on the non-drive side.
Sharpen the engine battery and autonomy
E-bikes come in a variety of different classes, each with its own battery size, range, speed, and power. Skarper claims that the range of its 202 Wh battery is up to 60 kilometers with a charge time of 2.5 hours. If you’re running low on power and need a little extra power in a pinch, Skarper claims a 30 minute charge will give you 15-20km of range.
While there are other long-range e-bikes that can travel more than 300 kilometers on a single charge, most people who use their bikes in urban settings only cycle a few kilometers each day, so the Skarper should work for you. most people. like those commuting to work looking for a little extra help to avoid arriving in a sweaty shirt.
The unit comes with its own charger and you can charge the battery while on or off the bike. One major downside to the Skarper, however, is that the battery is fully integrated and cannot be replaced like on most purpose-built e-bikes, which means if you need service, you won’t be able to visit your local bike shop. You must return the product to the manufacturer.
Sharpens engine power
There are some really fast electric bikes out there. Skarper is not one of them. That said, the modest 250W motor generates 50Nm of torque and ensures a top speed of 32km/h (restricted to 25km/h in applicable countries).
To detect the level of assistance required, Skarper claims to have developed something they call DynamicClimb™, what they call a custom algorithm, which measures your performance and the inclination of the road. By measuring the amount of effort you put in, Skarper can adjust your performance to match your speed and cadence.
Skarper engine installation
Skarper claims that the disc brake rotor can be installed by an experienced mechanic at a local bike shop in 5 minutes, while the average DIYer should be able to replace their rotor in 10-15 minutes. You will need to add a few extra minutes to connect a wireless sensor to the pedal crank for the DynamicClimb™ algorithm to work, and a few minutes to connect the brackets to the chain stay where the motor and battery will be attached.
Once installed, simply push the single button on the unit, wait for the status light to come on, and hit the road.
Is the Skarper E-Bike Conversion Kit for You?
Skarper’s electric bike conversion kit is attractive because it allows you to transform your existing bike into an electric bike without compromising ride quality. There’s no need to replace any of the wheels or install a battery and control mechanism in the frame, and you can remove it at any time, which means you can ride your bike normally or store the electric motor somewhere safer than storage bike public. cupboard.
Alternatively, if you’re ready to fully commit to the world of e-bikes, there are plenty of options that come with larger replaceable batteries, more powerful motors, and from companies that have proven themselves in the market.