Omni Wheel E-bike Conversion—Easy Wheeling.
This new all-in-one electric conversion wheel from EVELO might be “just what the doctor ordered” for your bicycle. EVELO is known for their great riding mid-drive E-bikes already, and now they have entered the E-bike conversion market. It installs quickly in place of your original front wheel and tire, with no wires to make it difficult. It is a fast and inexpensive way to flatten the hills and calm the headwinds with every bike ride you take.
The Omni Wheel can be controlled by the hand throttle or with the included automatic pedelec sensors. It has a display unit that mounts on your handlebars to let you be in charge of its actions and feed you your riding information. There are so many reasons a conversion like this can be a great way to get the electric-assist you might want and need. Let’s have a look, you can even see my videos of it and its use by following the links at the bottom of this article.
I had the prototype Omni Wheel last year. It was exciting to be sure, yet they have made some updates and modifications to ease the mounting and increase the performance. Some of this was due to my input, and some just made sense for all of the riders they hope will become E-bike converts. I have been told they will continue to track its use and do everything it takes to keep the Omni Wheel fresh and fit in with the modern trends.
The Omni Wheel has the battery, controller and motor all hidden inside its covering. The display on the bars hooks to either the throttle or bottom bracket sensor to allow it to run when you want for the ease of riding you desire. There are some interconnecting wires with those units, yet the wheel itself get all its directions wirelessly. On the whole, it is easy to install (and remove, more on why in a minute). You can get your bike electrically boosted very quickly.
Because it mounts on your front fork there is no fussing with the chain and gears. I like this part of it as opposed to a couple of the few other conversion wheels out there. Other reasons I think this is good have to do with ones you might agree with me on. Some people don’t have space or the money for a second bike that has an electric-assist. With the Omni Wheel you can use your existing bike with or without it as the need arises. It might be your bike fits you perfectly, so getting a ready-to-ride E-bike isn’t in your future anyway.
There are many bike shops across the country that won’t service electric bikes. With the Omni Wheel you can easily convert it back to regular for that purpose if needed. You can get the benefits of an E-bike without many of the inconveniences, hard to beat that. It isn’t as powerful or fast as some of those pricey electric bikes out there though, yet for most rides it will get you up the hill and back with a smile. Everyone that I let ride it seemed to be fine with the smoothness and performance.
Before I talk more about the pluses, let’s hit the couple things that I noticed you should consider. It does weigh down the front of the bike some, nothing you will notice while riding it, but maybe when lifting or moving it. Do make sure you have a solid kickstand, as when parked that weight can make the bike a bit less stable. In crosswinds you can feel the steering get buffeted some (because of the solid side covers), but once again not too bad. That solid covering of the wheel has one more issue that I noticed. When the bike is on my bike rack it hides the rear lights of the car. You might want to add extra trailer type lights on your rack if you transport it that way often.
EVELO set it up so it can be controlled one of two ways. The normal way is with the hand (thumb) throttle. This allows a full range of the power available easily, yet you need to hold that whenever using the power. This can cause some hand fatigue for long rides. They offer 3 different mounts (and two sensor discs) for the pedelec sensor system that mounts on the BB (bottom bracket—pedals) of your bike. With that installed, the motor powers up whenever you pedal (and stops when you stop) and the display allows you to choose one of three different assist power levels.
If you use the throttle for your bike, the install is easier, only needing to remove one handgrip to get it on. The BB sensor set-up can be a bit tougher (not too bad on most bikes). They include a pair of brake levers with safety motor cut-off switches that are optional to install, and if you use the pedelec control system I would recommend using them (unless you have a beach cruiser with a coaster brake that has no brake handles). EVELO will check out your bike (through photos and the model) to give you the thumbs up (or down) how the Omni Wheel will work for you.
I had the Omni Wheel on several of my bikes. I tested the 26’ wheel (which fits many mountain bikes, beach cruisers and townies). It also comes in a 700c model that fits hybrids and road bikes. I got the one with the standard battery (24 volt—8.7 Ah), yet an optional extra range battery can be had for a bit more of a buy in (24 volt—14.5 Ah). It comes with the tire and tube already on, yet you can swap that out with your original tire if you like. More specs—350 watt motor—19 lbs. with the standard battery—21 lbs. with the extended range battery—16 mph—you can get one that will fit your disc brake equipped bike.
I just think the Omni Wheel has so many great things going for it. I tried to list them all above, and more can be found in the videos linked below. If you want an assist for your bike with the least amount of hassles and expense, then definitely consider trying one for yourself.
Get boosted, Turbo Bob.
“Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling”—James E. Starrs.
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Here are some of the videos I posted with the Omni Wheel from EVELO.