One Day left to preorder a ShareRoller on Indiegogo

Nirmala

Active Member
In case anyone is interested in this easy to install add-on electric assist, the lower preorder prices on Indiegogo are good for only one more day until Dec. 2nd. It has met it's funding goal already, so hopefully it will be come a reality. This version is V3, so it is well beyond a concept:
uybigayco7nrc7r5dymu.jpg


Here is the campaign page:
http://igg.me/at/shareroller/x/12713097

And here is Court's review where he gave Version 1 a 9.5 out of 10 rating:
http://electricbikereview.com/shareroller/version-1/
 
Last edited:

Marty

Member
Wow, what a great idea. A friend thought the city bikes were electric because of the battery and the internal geared hub.

As a French guy (where they have electric bikes for years) told me at Burning Man, once the battery is dead all you have is a heavy bike to ride. The City bike starts off with that handicap.
 

Nirmala

Active Member
Yes, with this ShareRoller, you could put it on a 25-30 pound bike, and even if the battery ran out,you would still be pedaling a fairly lightweight bike the rest of the way. The complete system only weighs 5-8 pounds depending on the size of the battery. Or you can buy a spare battery which only weighs an additional 1.5, 2.5 or 4.25 pounds depending on the size, and swap that in to ride even further.
 

Nirmala

Active Member
They said it would end Dec.2nd (today), but it appears that it is going to last through tomorrow, the 3rd.
 

Nirmala

Active Member
The pre-order buttons have been removed, so I guess someone would have to wait now until the ShareRoller is released.
 

EddieJ

Well-Known Member
Being friction operated, I bet that they have conveniently forgotten to mention it's tyre wear and shredding capabilities. No way would I use something like that on a conventional cycle tyre.

I also suspect that it won't be of much use when things get damp or wet either.

I would also suspect that the weight is also poorly placed in relation to bike stability.
 
Last edited:

Nirmala

Active Member
According to the developer, they have spent a lot of time trying out different materials for the roller, and the urethane they ended up using will last as long as the motor and also minimizes tire wear. They minimize the need for extreme grip by having a system that adjusts the amount of pressure on the tire and increases the pressure only when needed as in when it is raining, which also allows it to work well in wet weather.

There are other friction drives out there that use a kind of sandpaper covering for the roller! Sandpaper! It of course causes a lot of tire wear and also the covering itself wears out quickly and needs to be replaced. This unit's roller is not like that.

The position of the weight is possibly less of an issue since the entire system including battery and motor weighs between 4.5 and 7.25 pounds when it is installed. That is much less than most other electric drive systems, and less than some of the available front wheel motors by themselves before you include the weight of the battery. I ordered a version with a mid-sized battery that weighs about 5.5 pounds, and I figure if I want more range, I could pick up a spare battery to carry elsewhere on the bike. But even the system with the largest battery is only about 7.25 pounds total weight. There are front racks for panniers that weigh 3 pounds just for the rack itself! And some handlebar bags weigh a pound and a half just for the bag. This unit mounts half way between the position of a set of panniers and a handlebar bag, and of course even lower on a bike with small wheels. I have thought about someday getting a Moulton bike with 20 inch wheels if I like the performance of the ShareRoller.

I think they can get by with a smaller and lighter motor because the position at the outer edge of the wheel gives it much more torque and allows the motor to run more efficiently at higher RPMs. It is effectively like having a mid drive running a 4-5 inch gear on a bike. Every inch of rotation at the circumference of the roller equals one inch of forward travel, no matter what size tire/wheel you are using.

Without actually trying it out, it is difficult to know if it causes undue tire wear or damage, or if the weight unduly affects handling. I will report on my actual experience when my unit arrives. Court did give Version 1 a 9.5 out of 10 rating here: http://electricbikereview.com/shareroller/version-1/ but in an email, the developer, Jeff, shared how he really needs to get a newer version over to Court for a review since the product has improved so much since the first version and is quieter and lighter now.

If it works well, it could be bring the benefits of electric assist to a much bigger audience, so I am hopeful that they really have solved some of the problems with other friction drives that have been produced.
 
Last edited:

Nirmala

Active Member
Being friction operated, I bet that they have conveniently forgotten to mention it's tyre wear and shredding capabilities. No way would I use something like that on a conventional cycle tyre.

I also suspect that it won't be of much use when things get damp or wet either.

I would also suspect that the weight is also poorly placed in relation to bike stability.
PS: I would strongly suggest that you watch the video review by Court of Version 1. It is encouraging to hear about all of the details and forethought that went into the creation of this device, and according to the developer, Versions 2 and 3 are much better still than the one Court tried out that day.
 

Jim123

Member
Nirmala, this project has beautiful engineering in all parts. I really thought this was more of a gimmick, Jeff the engineer even said the older rollers were useless in the rain. I had heard inefficient mechanical connection also made them wasteful and short range. Just like urethane changed the steel and clay skateboards in the 1970s, this shareroller application is revolutionizing the enjoyability of rollers. Safety and quality issues have been engineered the heck out of. Center drives and hub drives have their pros and cons. The image left about rollers was that the cons dominated any value. But it is never smart to shut down an option in propulsion because modern engineering can change the game. Good find Nirmala.
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
Hope this kit works.. I've contributed to other friction drive group funding projects, and the feedback from user is that it doesn't work well at all on rough pavement or uneven paths. And that a lot of adjustment is needed to maitain enough force on the drive wheel.
 

Nirmala

Active Member
I am also hopeful that this unit has solved some of the problems that friction drives have had in the past. I had not thought of the possible problem with riding on rough surfaces. Maybe @Jeff Guida could comment on that. I did find it interesting that according to the video, when the ShareRoller accelerates, the roller is pulled harder onto the tire and then when you coast, the roller pressure lessens to reduce drag. And on top of that it does do some regeneration when coasting.

There are some folks who are already using the earlier version. Maybe one of them will show up on this discussion.
 
Last edited:

Nirmala

Active Member
There is another approach being tried which applies the driving force to the rim. It makes for a tiny lightweight friction drive, although the stock battery has only 193 watt hours so that is partly how they get their sub 4 pound total weight:
http://www.gizmag.com/velological-worlds-lightest-e-bike-drive/31976/
http://www.velogical-engineering.com/velogical-velospeeder.en
It does not appear to be available for purchase yet.

Still, it might be a good choice for someone who only wants an occasional boost, as just like the ShareRoller, it can easily be disengaged, allowing for no drag when pedaling. Although the ShareRoller would appear to be easier to remove completely when not needed, which is also a big plus if you are going to lock up your bike and could therefore take your entire electric assist system with you to avoid theft.
 
Last edited:

Nirmala

Active Member
I just heard from @Jeff Guida that they are working on a new mount to allow use on the rear wheel to accommodate those who prefer to use it on the rear. He also mentioned that there potentially are other improvements to the versatility of the ShareRoller coming, without saying what they were exactly. I think something like this where the ShareRoller mounts under a rear rack would be great as it would still allow some storage above the rack: http://www.gizmag.com/conodrive-electric-bicycle-drive/39256/

Also, he said that there will be another round of preorders in January at prices in-between the Indiegogo campaign and full retail.
 

Jeff Guida

New Member
Hi everyone, just wanted to address the question raised about off road / rough road performance of friction drive. Here are the challenges FD faces, and how ShareRoller addresses each:

1) Overall mount flex over bumps: If the mounting mechanism holding the FD system in place has too much flex, large bumps will cause the entire assembly to 'bounce' slightly off the tire, resulting in temporary loss of power. Our prototype universal mounts suffer a little from this since they're made from 3D printed plastic and an OTS aluminum rack modified for use, so they're not nearly as stiff as they should be. Our custom-engineered V3 Universal Mount will be vastly stiffer, which should eliminate this issue in all but the most aggressive off-road use. And we have a solution that will address that aggressive off-road case that we'll be announcing soon.

2) Undesired motor pivot away from tire: Separately from flex in the overall mount, many FD systems use a pivoting motor assembly to allow the motor the pull itself into the tire when power is applied. A big enough bump can bounce-pivot the motor away from the tire, likely to an even greater degree than mount flex. ShareRoller's Patent-Pending Dual-Mode motor pivot system and Rain Lock pressure adjustment selector allow you to 'lock' the pivot so that the motor cannot pivot away from the tire if you so desire, rendering this a non-issue.

3) Grip with knobby off-road tires. For reasons we'd prefer not to discuss in detail, ShareRoller's treaded urethane belt has a far better ability to grip knobby treaded tires than other FD systems we've seen. In fact in slippery conditions, grip is superior with off-road tires than with smooth on-road tires, which is helpful since off-road riders tend to encounter slippery conditions far more often.

I hope that helps people understand the challenges Friction Drive systems face in off-road use, as well as how we've addressed them.
Thanks for the interest.

Best,
Jeff
 

Nirmala

Active Member
Thanks Jeff. I appreciate your addressing this question, and I continue to be impressed with how thoroughly you are developing the ShareRoller to fix the problems that friction drives can be prone to. I do not tend to ride off road, but it is good to know that the ShareRoller should work in that application and also with knobby tires.