Vinka has developed a rear hub motor that will automatically adjust the power assistance given to the rider. The Japanese firm believes that its new Auto VA+ system will offer a more ‘natural’ feel.
Bike Europe reports that the system comprises Vinka’s RH60 motor, a torque sensor mounted in the bottom bracket and a battery integrated into the bike’s down tube.
It’s a fairly unremarkable 250W motor capable of delivering 30Nm of torque. The interesting thing is how that power is applied.
E-bike motors’ various assist levels are typically percentages of the pedalling effort of the rider. Percentages being percentages, the harder you pedal, the more assistance you’ll get.
Riders will still switch between different assist levels however, asking for higher percentages of assistance when going uphill, for example, and perhaps knocking it down a level or two on the flat.
What Vinka seem to be saying is that their VA+ system will automate this process. It’ll move from 40% assistance to 100% to 150% (or whatever) according to how the bike is being ridden.
“It is able to recognise the road situation, and automatically increase or decrease assistance, with the goal of being to provide a more natural pedalling feel,” they say.
All sounds good on paper, but this is very much the kind of feature that will hinge on how the concept is executed. We’ll report back once we’ve given it a try.