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Make your bike electric with this swap-in tire

The fully-funded Kickstarter project trades an ordinary tire for a battery-powered one.
Make your bike electric with this swap-in tire
David Lumb
David Lumb|@OutOnALumb|May 2, 2016 5:20 PM

Electric bikes have been around for decades but haven't broken out of their niche audience. Instead of building a bicycle around electric power, GeoOrbital is a universal wheel you can swap into your existing bike to power your ride.

GeoOrbital's creators had previously worked at SpaceX and Ford, companies that know a thing or two about renovating traditional transportation. The device replaces the front wheel in bikes with 26-inch or 700c (28-inch/29-inch) size tires; either way, its proprietary foam wheel won't get a flat when punctured. Additionally, its lithium-ion battery boosts your bike up to 20mph for up to 50 miles, has a USB port to charge your devices while you ride, and recharges as you pedal, brake, or coast downhill.

All this powered assistance comes with a tradeoff: added weight. Whereas traditional tires weigh three to six pounds, GeoOrbital is 11 to 17 pounds depending on the model. While the early-bird specials are already sold out, you can still pick up one for $650 on the company's Kickstarter campaign, with units expected to ship in November.

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Make your bike electric with this swap-in tire