GPS tracking added to Vekkit electric bike conversion kit for added peace of mind
Sales of e-bikes have exploded recently and the uptrend is expected to continue for some time. But for those who can’t afford the often high prices of dedicated e-bikes, conversion kits offer a cheaper way to give your ride a boost. Velotton introduced a fairly lightweight solution called Vekkit last year, and now version two has been announced.
While e-bike conversion kits may offer a way to join the electric revolution without having to shell out thousands of dollars, many can add significant weight to the host race, making pedaling a chore when the battery is depleted or so you want to use it like a regular old bike without having to swap out a non-motorized wheel to do it.
Last year’s Vekkit system lightened the weight of the wheel by removing the battery and electronics, packing them in a bag, and hanging them from the handlebars. When the user no longer needed the help of the motor, the bag could be removed and left at home, with the wheel rocking the motor’s packing hub deemed light enough to stay in place for regular trips.
The new version offers a similar package, but the company has now added a GPS + LTE module to keep an eye on your converted e-bike when you’re not around.
When the module’s sensor detects movement, for example when a light-fingered opportunist tries to run away with the bike, it sends a notification to a smartphone and signals the location of the route using GPS. It was designed to work without needing to be connected to the main kit battery for up to two months, and can be installed on previous versions of the Vekkit.
Other sensors in the module monitor air quality, record the slope of slopes, track acceleration, etc. And Velotton says all of that data can be saved without needing an active connection to a smartphone running a companion app.
The kit now comes with three battery options – there’s a new 5 Ah Li-ion battery that tips the scales at 900 g (1.98 lbs) for up to 25 km (15.5 miles) per charge , a 5.2 Ah battery suitable for airplanes at 1.3 kg (2.8 lb) for approximately 30 km (18.5 miles) and a 1.7 kg (3.7 lb) battery with 10 Ah up to ’80 km (50 miles). Kits are also available for wheel sizes ranging from 16 to 29 inches, as well as bikes with disc, rim or roller brakes.
The waterproof Cordura bag does not necessarily need to be suspended from the handlebars either, it can be mounted on the seat post or in a saddlebag on a rear rack (if the host bike has one), for example. . A single cable connects the battery bag to the low noise 36V / 250W hub motor, which can provide pedaling assistance up to 25.5 km / h (15.8 mph) on public roads or 30 km / h (18.6 mph) on private roads (maximum speed can be adjusted via mobile app). A wireless cadence sensor attached to the pedal starts the engine, with a wireless remote control mounted on the handlebars to activate assist modes.
Installation should take around 5-10 minutes, depending on the host bike, and the kits come with all the tools you’ll need. Pricing for the new Vekkit starts at € 670 (around US $ 800). The new GPS + LTE module will be available from October as an option for 195 € (230 $).