The Future of E-Bikes Might Be One ‘Clip’ Away

Clip attaches to the front wheel of any bike and gives an e-bike boost whenever the rider presses a button on the handlebars. Photo: Gersh Kuntzman
Clip attaches to the front wheel of any bike and gives an e-bike boost whenever the rider presses a button on the handlebars. Photo: Gersh Kuntzman

Finally, a clip-on that’s perfectly in style.

We don’t write about consumer goods very often at Streetsblog, but, the other day, we encountered a new product — called a Clip — that could eventually make electric bikes far more accessible, more widely used and, thus, more likely to replace unnecessary trips in the family car.

Somnath Ray and Clement Dealcala, based at Newlab at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, have designed and manufactured what is basically a portable e-bike in the form of a seven-pound battery powering a wheel that can be clipped onto the front of any bike. The boost comes at the touch of a button — which sits on the handlebars and connects via Bluetooth to the 450-watt battery-wheel.

CLIP from the top
Here’s what it looks like from the top. The battery is housed in the side panels. The wheel, which drives energy to the cyclists front tire, is in the vertex. Photo: Clip

The Clip turns any bike into an e-bike. Even a Citi Bike.

Production has just begun, Ray said, and only 100 devices, priced at $400, are being manufactured during the first go-around. But Ray said he hopes the price will decrease during larger production runs. That will allow him to sell more widely than early adopters — very widely, perhaps, given that there are close to 200 million bikes in the country already sitting in garages and in too-small apartments.

“Our target buyer is the urban commuter — someone who needs to commute to work regularly and understands that bicycling is the most-affordable, cleanest and healthiest solution, yet concerned about or deterred by the effort that is required to do so,” Ray said. “They do not want to arrive to work sweaty or out of breath.”

Clip also allows for what Ray called “a flexible bicycling lifestyle” because “if you buy an expensive e-bike to replace your normal bike, you get locked into a mode of transportation [and] no longer get the benefits of exercise or the pleasure of healthy cardio from a regular bike ride. Clip allows you to choose when to use it.”

Somnath Ray shows off his bike attachment called The Clip. Photo: Gersh Kuntzman
Somnath Ray shows off his bike attachment called The Clip. Photo: Gersh Kuntzman

 

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

DSNY Needs to Devise a Better Fix for NYC’s Abandoned Bike Problem

|
Unusable, forgotten bikes are mainstays of the NYC streetscape, hogging bike parking for months and even years before they meet the Department of Sanitation’s standards for removal. DSNY has proposed a rule change to loosen its criteria, but advocates say it doesn’t go far enough to solve the city’s abandoned bike problem. Reports of abandoned bikes have increased 43 percent this year compared to 2015, […]

East Village Bike Shop Manager Speaks on NYPD Bust

|
Yesterday we reported that police have shut down the Busy Bee bike shop in the East Village for criminal possession of stolen property. In a phone call with Streetsblog last night, store manager Joe Malewich said he’s not sure what his staff could have done to prevent the three arrests which resulted in the store’s […]

Girls Try Bikes, Discover New Freedom

|
The question of how to get more women on bikes has received quite a lot of attention recently, in part because of a recent article in Scientific American that suggested women are an "indicator species" for bike-friendly communities. A group of people in Darlington, United Kingdom, decided to approach the problem of getting women on […]