Published on January 21st, 2016 | by admin0
Mechanical Doping – Road Bikes That Pedal Themselves
Around 5 or 6 years ago a video posted online claimed to show the bike of professional cyclist Davide Cassani apparently pedalling itself. The video caused a major storm online plus launched similar unfounded stories that Fabian Cancellara might too have used such technology. I must state that there is no real evidence that any “self-pedalling bikes” have ever been used in professional races. At the time I remember thinking how crazy some must be to actually believe such bikes exist.
It is now fact though that such technology not only exists but is now available to anybody who is willing to part with around £4000 of their hard earned cash. A UK Company based in Somerset, Electric Mountain Bikes, will launch this month their new brand, Goat Bikes. Their road bikes with magnesium alloy frame with a carbon fork and Shimano groupset look just like a standard road bike. Unbeknown to all but the bike’s owner concealed in the standard frame is a powerful motor powered by a battery hidden in the water bottle. The total weight of the “hidden engine” is only 1.8kg.
The new technology has been developed by Vivax Assist who state..
Sophisticated motor power is hidden in the bike‘s seat tube. It only weights 1.8 kg (inkl. battery). Press the button and the motor delivers 200 watts to the crankshaft. Press the button again and the motor stops. Without motor power the bike functions as normal without any kind of resistance. The Lithium-Ion high-performance battery, which fits into a conventional saddlebag, provides you with motor-assisted cycling lasting for min. 60 minutes (6 Ah) or min. 90minutes (9 Ah). The special design of the drive unit allows it to be built into any bicycle frame with the requisite seat tube internal diameter of 31.6 mm or 30.9 mm and is therefore invisible on the bicycle – except the on/off switch, which is unobtrusively located on the bar end.
Vivax Assist offer a range of bikes and even an upgrade kit so you can convert you standard bike. Most of their models hide the battery in the saddle bag or water bottle.
From test reports we have found online it seems that the invisible motor can indeed give any rider an additional 150 to 200 watts just with the press of the button, which would of turn an average club ride instantly to very good club rider. Although we hope that in years to come as the technology improves and prices fall that this technology is not used to cheat in sportives and club activities. For those though that perhaps struggle with health and fitness what a great aid to keep them active and on their bike!