EcoSpeed founder Brent Bolton was on a
search for an electric bike that would leverage gears on his bike and couldn’t find a
high-quality electric motor system that could
be installed on the bike of one’s choice. And
so EcoSpeed was born. EcoSpeed uses a
motor mounted near the cranks with a chain
to an added sprocket mounted to the crankset. The innovative company makes a wide
variety of kits for cargo bikes, recumbents
and various types of recumbent trikes. Kits
are sold without a battery or a computer.
EcoSpeed has a custom shop that will adapt
this powerful drive to just about any bike.
EcoSpeed drives are made in Portland,
Oregon, using as many locally sourced materials and components as possible.
Downhill mountain biking—or rather how
to get back to the top of the mountains to
then go downhill—was the inspiration for
Ego-Kits. As a result, Ego-Kits makes powerful mid-drive kits that use brackets to mount
a motor near (usually in front of) the bottom
bracket. Like similar kits, it uses an additional sprocket mounted to the chainrings so
the motor helps spin the chainrings as you
pedal. A freewheel built into the chainrings
make it all work. Most Ego-Kits work with the
10-pound battery carried in a backpack. The
point here is to be your own shuttle. Kranked
Bikes ( www.krankedbikes.com) is the U.S.
distributor of the Ego-Kits and sells complete
bikes with the kit installed.
eProdigy’s proprietary 350-watt Coaxial
bottom bracket motor fits into an oversize
bottom bracket, and the motor shares the
same spindle as the pedals. This design is
intended to be applicable with the funda-
mentals of a regular pedal bike—that is, drive
the chain to utilize gears and place the bike’s
mass in the center. The 350-watt motor
provides five levels of assistance. Prices are
really reasonable for mid-drives, and the
motor is very compact.
Evelo uses a unique mid-drive that
mounts the motor in line with the frame. The
motor is mounted to a complex polished
casting that bolts to a motor mount on the
frame. There is obviously some sort of gear
system inside the casting that redirects the
drive power 90 degrees to drive the cranks.
Evelo offers the drive in 250-watt, 36-volt
and 500-watt, 48-volt versions. It offers bikes
with pedal assist and throttle control.