If you have a regular bicycle but want to try electrifying it for a change (perhaps because you need a break from strenuous exercise), then the Rubbee, a device that brings electricity to any bike--and for less money than most dedicated e-bikes--could be for you.
The Rubbee is essentially a power-pack that you fix to the seat post and rest over the back wheel. When you twist the throttle (placed on the handlebars), it spins the wheel at up to 15 mph--a respectable speed. The device, which can be charged up in two hours, is good for a range of up to 15 miles.
The Rubbee is built in the U.K., though its creators hail from Lithuania. It recently completed a $100,000 funding round on Kickstarter; the company plans to bring it to market next year. "As of now, we have sample units to ship to future distributors in every continent of the world, except Antarctica," says Gediminas Nemanis, who came up with the concept two years ago before teaming up with friends to develop it. "We plan to open distribution centers in 2014. In the meantime, we're launching our e-store in September to accept further pre-orders."
A speed of 15 mph isn't as fast as some e-bikes (the new Specialized Turbo can go double that, for example). But the Rubbee is generally cheaper. The Kickstarter campaign offered units at less than $1,000. The Turbo costs $5,900 at the moment.
At 14 pounds, the Rubbee isn't exactly light. But Nemanis promises that it won't upset your balance. "It is close to your body and perfectly symmetrical with the axis of the bicycle, so only a very small shift in balance is felt, if any at all," he says.