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Skarper: Innovative Kit Turns Ordinary Bikes Into E-Bikes Using Disc Brake
Jan 25, 2024
Most e-bike conversion kits have, until now, been unwieldy devices that aren’t easy to install and result in a cluttered array of leads running from the motor to the handlebar. We’ve looked at conversion kits and examined their many pros and cons. One new innovation aims to improve upon that.
Skarper is a new motor that mounts to the rear of a bicycle and uses a special disc brake motor to propel the newly minted e-bike. To use Skarper, a rider replaces their rear disc brake rotor (just the rotor, not the caliper) with Skarper’s special DiskDrive, in which a proprietary gearbox is housed within the brake rotor’s mounting area.
Skarper houses the motor and battery within a small unit that attaches to the frame. The motor drives the DiskDrive rotor. The obvious question is what that does to the rear brake, but Skarper says that the brake functions as normal.
The Skarper motor is a 250W unit that produces up to 45Nm of torque; it will reach a top assist speed of 15 mph (25kph). The battery has a capacity of 240Wh, which Skarper estimates will offer riders up to 31 mi. (50km) in Eco mode or up to 18 mi. (30km) in Turbo mode. A complete charge takes 2.5 hours, though a 30-minute charge can give a rider 6-9 mi. (10-15km) of range.
The DiskDrive unit is built around a 160mm rotor, but they will add a 180mm option once production ramps up.
The unit is reasonably lightweight, coming in at 10 lbs. (4.6kg) including both the motor/battery unit and the DiskDrive.
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