If you’re interested in experiencing an electric bicycle, but are on a tight budget, perhaps the idea of converting your standard bicycle to electric has crossed your mind. Indeed, there are tons of e-bike conversion kits out there with varying degrees of complexity and price. What nearly all conversion kits have in common, however, is the fact that they need to replace a few vital components of your bike—be it the crank set or the rear hub.
Furthermore, the process of installation can be rather long, daunting, and complex, and reverting your bike back to the way it was can be rather challenging. That being said, one company seeks to change that with its innovative e-bike conversion kit that requires hardly any assembly, and is applicable to virtually all types of bicycles. Rubbee first entered the scene in 2013 when it introduced its revolutionary conversion kit. Now, Rubbee is back, and is better than ever, with its X, which is by far the simplest, most easy to install e-bike conversion kit I have ever seen.
At a glance, it could be difficult to pinpoint exactly what the Rubbee X is, especially when it’s not installed on the bike. It looks like a car vacuum cleaner, an iron, or some other household gadget. However, once installed, it becomes pretty clear exactly what it is. It’s kind of like a treadmill for your bike’s rear wheel. However, instead of the rear wheel turning it, the X provides an ample power boost to turn any old bicycle into an e-bike. In theory, it’s a flawless concept. In reality, well, I’m not so sure.
For starters, Rubbee claims that it’s applicable to a whole range of bikes—anything with 16 to 29 inch wheels. The only issue, in this case, would be the type of frame. The Rubbee X can mount to any frame with a standard seat post. However, full suspension bikes may be excluded, as the rear wheel needs to be at a constant angle with the seat post at all times—this just isn’t the case with full-sus bikes. Furthermore, I can only imagine the accelerated wear and tear this device would endure if used off-road.
The Rubbee X has a modular battery design for added versatility, too. In its base form, it comes with one battery pack capable of returning a range of 10 miles on a single charge, and a top speed of 16 miles per hour. With a maximum of three battery packs, range is extended to 30 miles, and top speed at 20 miles per hour. Rubbee claims that it takes three hours to charge one battery pack. Clearly, a device so simple and affordable—retailing for the equivalent of just $620 USD—will have its drawbacks. I imagine the Rubbee X conversion kit would shine brightest in the urban setting where roads are mostly even and paved, and riding demands are relatively pedestrian.