GeoOrbital Wheel
Joe Lingeman for TIME

Hacking the E-Bike


Electric bicycles are great for quickly zipping around town without breaking a sweat. But they can also be ­expensive—some models cost several thousand dollars. With ­GeoOrbital’s electric bicycle wheel, cyclists can upgrade their pedal-­powered bicycle into an e-bike in minutes for a fraction of the cost: $1,495. Riders control the electric motor, and their speed, with a throttle connected to their handlebars. A three-hour battery charge gives riders a range of up to 20 miles, depending on the model, the bicycle and how much pedaling the rider does. Founder and CEO Michael Burtov says the design, inspired by the sci-fi Light Cycles in the movie Tron, takes advantage of what he considers formerly wasted space. “Regular wheels have a lot of empty, wasted space in them, and now they don’t,” he says. GeoOrbital has sold about 3,000 wheels so far and raised $2.8 million on crowdfunding sites. —Alex Fitzpatrick

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