Kickstarters We Dig

As this is my third installment of this little feature, I’m going to level with you about something: Searching for cycling-related products on Kickstarter and Indiegogo is not a particularly straightforward endeavor. Why this is could be a matter of the people who create the projects aren’t good at metatags, or it might be that there isn’t a great way to create metatags within those platforms (I don’t know either platform well enough to say), but either way, it’s a problem for bike fans and I lay the responsibility for this failing at the feet of the platforms.

Case in point: An ebike I found today that did not turn up by searching the terms “bicycle” or “cycling.” I only found it by searching the term “bike.”

My point here is that if you’re interested in this or any other category of product, be prepared to do some searching, or you can just follow our links. Now, about that ebike:

Ultra Ebike
Ebikes are coming down in cost. The reduction in pricing reflects a few different factors. One, manufacturing has become less expensive. Two, very often middlemen or retailers, sometimes even both, have been eliminated. Three, some of these bikes are equipped with components of questionable quality.

Ultra Partners is producing an ebike retrofit kit, which eliminates most of the cost of a ebike. to be produced for £395 ($540), making it the least expensive ebike I’ve run across.

Certainly, a big factor contributing to the bike’s affordability is that it uses a hub motor rather than a mid-drive, like those made by Shimano, Bosch and Yamaha. This allowed the producers to eliminate what is otherwise an underperforming bike in those budget models. They offer choices for wheel size and additional options include a button throttle, though at an extra cost. Whether that button throttle is a good idea is left to a different post.

What separates this from other retrofit kits is the lack of cables zip-tied to the frame. A bluetooth sensor detects movement and spurs the 250W motor to action and a six-axis gyroscope in the batter/control unit helps to control the motor. They’ve created an app to control the unit, in both iOS and Android version.

The project is fully funded, with six days left to go.

Flectr 360
This is a reflector that professes to offer 360 degree reflectivity. They are stickers meant to be stuck on rims £15 ($20). Each pack of reflectors includes two sets and each set is comprised of two stickers, so four stickers per pack.

There’s not much time left. They blew through their $6682 and have $202,195 in pledges, but if you’re interested, act quickly as there is less than a day left.

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