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Gruber Assist electrifies just about any bicycle

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May 5, 2009

A bike retrofitted with the Gruber Assist - you wouldn't know it was there would you?

A bike retrofitted with the Gruber Assist - you wouldn't know it was there would you?

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May 5, 2009 There’s a few reasons why cycling has remained a popular form of transport for over a century. It’s cheap, keeps you fit, is environmentally friendly and it’s fun - usually. Unfortunately it can get a little less fun when you hit a steep hill or have neglected your fitness for a while. This is where electric assist devices such as the Gruber Assist can come in handy. They still let you do most of the work, but help to make the job that little bit easier. Whereas electric bikes such as the E+, the eneloop and the Gocycle electric bikes require the purchase of a complete bike to get some electric assistance, the Gruber Assist can be retrofitted to practically any bicycle provided it has a seat tube with an inner diameter of 31.6mm.

The Gruber Assist auxiliary drive consists of a 22cm cylindrical unit that houses the motor, gears and freewheel and an electronic control unit that serves as the brains of the drive. Both the drive and the electronic control unit are hidden from view – the drive is inside the seat tube cavity and the control unit is built in to the supplied seat post. This means the only way someone will be able to tell that your sudden burst of speed was provided by the drive is by the electric whine of the system as you cruise by. That is assuming no one notices the small button placed on the end of the handlebars, used to control the system, or the saddlebag containing the rechargeable battery, used to power the system.

Although the auxiliary drive is permanently connected, the system employs a freewheel when not in use to ensure the device doesn’t generate any additional friction. The NiMH battery weighs 900g and fits into a conventional saddlebag. It provides you with motor-assisted cycling from 45 minutes to 1.5 hours, depending on how hard you pedal, while an optional 1kg lithium-ion Mangan battery provides assistance for longer.

Gruber is not only aiming the Gruber Assist at those who want some extra help getting from A to B, but also serious sportspeople who want to maintain a constant pulse rate regardless of the terrain they are riding on. That's just as well since casual weekend riders are likely to baulk at the £1649 (about USD$2,473) price tag.

Darren Quick

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag.   All articles by Darren Quick
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3 Comments

Not a patch on the BIONX kit. I get 32km/h with light pedassist, on the flat, for up to 45kms. $1750 for the High torque 350 kit. It is simply awesome.

sutski123
11th May, 2009 @ 07:55 am PDT

The stealth aspect of this is cool, but the cost with NiMH seems way too high given the limited power that this stealth system delivers. Even with LiIon, about $2500 seems very excessive. The market may not support this.

ELV
18th May, 2009 @ 01:34 pm PDT

way over priced, when you consider the development of li-ion in the us for car bateries,

micciagan and the us giov has dunped over 30b this year alone so any battery assist system should be way down now, at this price you should be getting a bike to. to to mention 30 other countires working on battery tech and yet the trickle down has not seem to affected thease small developers the mark up on their batteies must be insane or their getting ripped off.

Dennis Labossiere
21st September, 2010 @ 08:29 pm PDT
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