By Tony Barthel
With electric bicycles becoming ever more popular with RVers it was only a matter of time before someone sat around in winter, bored, and one-upped that idea. Enter ENVO, a company that already makes kits to transform your regular bicycle into an electric one. Now they’ve developed a kit to go further and turn it into a snow bike.
The kit is essentially a track that replaces the rear wheel of the bicycle and a snowboard type arrangement that replaces the front wheel. With this the company has provided yet another electrified way for RVers, or anyone, really, to get around once winter buries the landscape in the white stuff.
From what I’ve seen from the company’s materials, this is a really well-thought-out device. The rear track mechanism has a bicycle hub motor in it and then five ground-level wheels on which the rubber track rides.
Motivating the whole thing is a geared hub motor capable of 120nM of torque. This can also serve as an e-brake when the brake level cut off switch is activated.
The company has taken their experience in providing kits to transform regular bicycles to e-bikes and the electric drive has a pedal assist sensor with five levels that can provide boost to your efforts or just let you do it all yourself.
According to the company, the kit delivers a top motor-assisted speed of 18 km/h (11 mph) and is good for a range of about 10 km (6 miles) – or two hours of use – per 8-hour charge. It should be noted that the bike’s chain length needs to be adjusted and its rear derailleur has to be removed, so installation isn’t necessarily something that anyone can do quickly, without any help.
The ENVO Electric SnowBike Kit is currently available for preorder. It’s priced at $2,789 Canadian (about $2,145), although that figure doesn’t include the battery, which is an additional CA$895 ($688), or the snowboard at CA$149.99 ($117.33).
At present the company is calling this a limited engineering prototype and calls the adaptation kits a DIY kit for those who are interested in undertaking this challenge.
If you choose to upgrade your electric bicycle to a snow bike, I’m hoping you’ll share video of the upgrade path along with some video of you enjoying the ride. However, I will tell you I’ll be watching from a place where the weather better suits my clothes – which are shorts, flip flops and a tropical print shirt.