There are a growing number of aftermarket motors that can be added to any conventional bicycle to provide some mechanical assistance. British company ARCC Innovations has developed the e2-pod power system which can “provide intelligent bike power” with adjustable and variable levels of power assist.
ARCC has developed the e2-pod power system to provide automatic assistance on hills and also, excitingly for quick getaways from the traffic lights, a “launch control” mode which can deliver maximum power for three-seconds.
The e2-pod uses a readily available Bosch battery and is claimed to provide a range of 30-miles, enough for most commutes. It can be recharged in an hour.
The power is delivered to the front wheel, using a modified front hub with a 250W geared brushless motor. The system also comprises a bottom bracket torque sensor and brake lever sensors, providing the system with the intelligence for turning up the power when it is needed. There is also an onboard inclinometer/accelerometer which helps to determine how steep a hill is.
Handily, there are two USB ports for charging a GPS computer or smartphone.
The e2-pod and the battery slots onto a special dock on the head tube of the frame. There are control switches on top of the unit, easily reached from the handlebars, and used to select a manual power mode, where the motor matches your output with a choice of 12 settings, ot the intelligent assist option, with the e2-pod able to recognise hills and gradients.
“This mode has been developed to deliver a non-intrusive level of power, and to ensure a natural riding experience,” says the company.
The motor adds claimed 2kg to the whole bike, and the battery is 1.3kg. The company claims a Cinelli fixed wheel bike with the system fitted weighs a claimed 12.4kg.
We’re not sure how or if that will affect the steering of the bicycle. Because the motor system can be attached to the bike in seconds, it can also be removed quickly too, reverting the bike back to a regular bike. That means you could use the motor for the weekly commuting, and whip it off for leisurely weekend rides, for example.
ARCC can provide the motor system readily fitted to a Moulton TSR and Cinelli Mystic Rat, with the gearing customised to suit the assistance of power. The bikes can also be customised with a choice of handlebars and saddles.
The pod is machined from a solid billet of aluminium at the company’s facility in Cambridge and uses “industrial grade” processors and electronics. It’s apparently sealed to withstand British weather conditions and comes with a five-year warranty.
A Cinelli with the e2-pod fitted costs from £2,700, with a Moulton costing £2,950.
If the ARCC e2-pod sounds interesting to you, and you’d like to take a closer look, you’ll be able to see it in the flesh at the London Bike Show which runs from 11th to 14th February.
More at www.arccinnovations.com