Crowdfunding project of the week: UrbaNext turns any bicycle into an electric one

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The ‘Crowdfunding project of the week’ series is where we highlight the coolest gadgets coming from websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. We know you have no time to be navigating through dozens of campaigns, so we take care of the grunt work and bring you only the creme de la creme. Let’s take a look at today’s featured gadget.

Other featured projects:

We all want one of those cool electric bikes, but they are pretty limited in terms of options, availability and pricing. Not to mention the fact that you may have a bike you already love. What if you could turn any bicycle into an electric one? This is exactly what UrbaNext promises with its electric wheel, which is said to work with about 99% of all bicycles.

UrbaNext is an electric front wheel that can transform any bicycle into an electric one “in 60 seconds” (or the time it takes you to replace a front wheel). It is available in six sizes, accommodating for the vast majority of bikes out there. These sizes are: 24”, 26”, 27.5”, 29″, 650c and 700c.

Once set up, you are in for a very nice ride. The user can pick between 3 modes: full electric, pedal assist and traditional bike. The full electric mode allows users to ride along without pedaling. Simply push the throttle button and get going. Meanwhile, the traditional bike mode will leave all the work to you.

Pedal assist mode is where things get interesting, and smarter. This mode uses an app to regulate how much help you want from the battery. The more you physically pedal, the longer the charge will last. There are 3 levels, so choose wisely.

Now, how fast a bike can go and for how long will depend on which model you get. The company built a couple electric motors in order to comply with both USA and European regulations. The American version features 350W of power, with a top speed of 20 mph and a 30 mile range.

Meanwhile, the European model is powered by a 240W motor and can reach speeds of up to 15 mph. The range is similar at about 30 miles, which pretty much equates to a couple hours of riding. It’s even possible to get rid of the throttle button to keep it all within the boundaries of the law in some European countries. This would leave users without full-electric mode, of course.

Interested? Some of you may already love your bikes, so we can see how a gadget like this would be enticing. Prices start at $319, which is great considering Indiegogo backers are getting a $380 discount over retail price. And it’s really not too much considering current electric bike prices. Are you signing up?

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