The new Livall PikaBoost electric motor system is a Kickstarter project designed to clamp to a non-assisted bike’s seatpost, turning it into an electric bike in a claimed 30 seconds.
It has a self-locking mechanism and up to 250 watts of additional power via a roller that sits on the rear tyre.
The PikaBoost unit is claimed to weigh 3kg (6.6lb) and provide a range of up to 30km (18 miles) from a charge.
The PikaBoost offers regenerative braking when you’re heading downhill or slowing down, helping to boost the range.
It’s powered by a 234Wh battery pack, which recharges in three hours. You can buy additional battery packs to plug into the unit and double its range.
’30-second’ ebike conversion
Rapid attachment to the bike without any assembly work is, in theory, an advantage over many ebike conversion kits, where you need to plumb the motor into your bike.
Livall claims you can add or remove the PikaBoost in 30 seconds, so it’s easily transferable between bikes, according to the brand.
The PikaBoost’s motor is housed within its wide rear roller, which is claimed to be wear-resistant and designed with a slight tread, so it can work with a range of tyre widths and in wet conditions.
That, Livall says, includes knobbly tyres, as well as tyres with a smoother tread. The unit is said to be IP66 waterproof.
As well as the battery, the PikaBoost’s body includes a range of electronics to sense when you’re moving, while a set of accelerometers detects if you brake and cuts out the motor power, activating the regenerative braking in the unit too.
The accelerometers mean the PikaBoost can also detect a fall and cut the power, according to Livall.
The electronics are also said to detect changes in pedalling frequency and gradient, and adjust power output accordingly.
The integrated rear light can act as a brake light when it detects deceleration. The PikaBoost also includes a USB port so you can use it as a power bank for your phone and other USB devices.
Other features include a Bluetooth lock that automatically locks the unit so it can’t operate once you’re out of Bluetooth range.
Livall says the PikaBoost can be used in three different modes, depending on your preferences.
In Cruise mode, the unit will hold your speed automatically, even when you stop pedalling. This might not be much use in many territories, including the UK and EU, where electric bike laws require an electric bike motor to only provide assistance when you’re pedalling.
In Roll mode, the unit comes in to provide additional assistance when you hit a hill or are riding over uneven ground, but switches itself off on the flat and downhill.
Finally, in Exercise mode, the unit applies extra resistance via its regenerative braking, so you get more of a workout while you ride.
Launching on Kickstarter
The design of the PikaBoost is similar to the Rubbee Drive, which we’ve covered previously, although it looks, based on these images, more slickly executed.
Livall’s previous designs have included a smart cycling helmet, with speakers, heart rate monitoring and more built in.
Livall is launching the PikaBoost on Kickstarter with a 50 per cent discount for early backers, bringing the $599 post-launch retail price of the unit down to $299.
The estimated delivery of the PikaBoost worldwide is March 2023.