About this project
An electric drive like never before
Rubbee is a high-efficiency electric friction drive for bicycles. It changes the way regular bicycles used to be converted into electric ones. With an integrated clamp mechanism it can be mounted on bicycles in just a few seconds and the innovative drive motor with an integrated battery pack keeps You going without having to pedal for more than 15 miles !
A new choice
All e-bikes on the market right now have multiple design and user-experience flaws. If it is a factory-made electric bicycle it will probably be very heavy and will look... Well, lets say boring is the word for it. And what happens to Your beloved regular bike You already have? It gets sold or forgotten somewhere in the basement.
If we look at the conversion kits available right now we will see that all of them require a toolbox and some skills in electronics and mechanics to install them. And don't forget all the wires and the battery pack - both of them make Your bike look like a DIY experiment. Conversion kits also add about 10-15 kg of weight to Your bicycle.
Well, Rubbee provides a solution to all of those problems. Enjoy the benefits of a high-power electric bicycle without getting Your hands dirty or ruining the aesthetics of the bicycle You already have.
- You don't need to buy a whole electric bicycle if You want one
- You can switch between a regular bicycle and an electric in just a matter of seconds
- You don't have to carry a heavy and inconvenient battery pack or a whole bicycle to recharge it
- You can share it with Your family members and friends
- Your bicycle can be electric without any hassle that comes with regular conversion kits
- Range (without pedaling): 25 km (15 mi)
- Top speed: 25 km/h (15 mph)
- Weight: 6.5 kg (14 lbs)
- Peak power: 800 W ( 250 W Rated )
- Integrated battery pack: 20000 mAh
- Full recharge time: 2 hours
Rubbee is full of innovative solutions and features.
Cast friction wheel: The friction wheel is where the rubber meets the road, or meets the rubber should we say. We cast these rollers from a special polyurethane formula we've developed for this application. It provides maximum grip while keeping Your bicycle's tire from wearing off too much. This is where we make sure the power is transferred via rubbing and not grinding. And that's where the name comes from - Rubbee. The muscle of Rubbee - electric motor electronically limited to allows peaks of power up to 800W is integrated inside this roller. With the help of some ultra-cool mechanical parts, of course.
Multifunction power button: The power button functions as an ON/OFF switch and as a battery level indicator. Integrated blue-colored LED blinks corresponding to the state of charge of the battery pack. The faster it blinks - the less power You have left. It also shows the status of the batteries when the Rubbee is being charged.
Integrated suppression system: It makes sure Rubbee always provides a constant force on the tire of the bicycle thus allowing minimum slip even in wet conditions. This feature also enables Rubbee to be used even on the bicycles with rear wheel suspension where the geometry of the bicycle is always changing. Suppression system only engages when the fixation pin is removed. That means that You can ride around with Rubbee on Your bicycle even without it touching the tire. This feature comes in handy when Rubbee "gets out of breath".
Battery pack: Rubbee has an integrated battery pack custom made just for this product. It delivers extremely high currents to power You up the hills. The lifespan of this pack is over 2000 cycles - this will make sure You can recharge Rubbee every single day for 5 years without loosing any range. We also integrated a custom made electronic battery management system just to make sure the battery pack delivers what is expected.
Multipurpose connector: Rubbee has only one electronic plug. It uses the same port to connect the throttle / PAS sensor and to connect the charger. Ingenuity in simplicity.
Waterproof construction: Versatility is the word for Rubbee. And that includes weather conditions. Rubbee can be used even when it is raining outside because all electronics and the drive unit itself are waterproof. Our suppression system and custom cast roller makes sure that there is minimum power loss even when the tire gets all wet and muddy.
Rear LED light: Safety first! We care about the riders and understand the need to be visible at night. Rubbee has an integrated super-bright LED rear light which shines bright red. It turns on automatically when You turn Rubbee on. And it also looks cool.
It is simple - that sums up everything. Take a look:
Rubbee can be mounted in few simple steps:
Clamp it on the seat tube;
Remove the fixation pin to enable suppression system (You can leave it in if You want to ride around with Rubbee disengaged from the wheel);
Connect the throttle/PAS sensor;
Press the ON/OFF button;
Just reverse the order to remove Rubbee from the bicycle.
Rubbee can also operate with PAS (Pedal Assist Sensor), we include it for free to Your order together with a throttle so You can choose which method of control to use. Here's how it looks:
Rubbee can be used on an extremely wide range of bicycles with only few requirements:
Seat tube diameter: Rubbee fits on circular seat posts with a diameter of 22 - 35 mm. This covers the majority of seat tubes used in standard bicycles.
Vertical height: Rubbee needs 80 mm (3.2 in) of seat tube. If there is not enough space, just lift Your seat up a little bit and You are good to go!
Throttle: The throttle must be fitted only on the first initial installation of the Rubbee. It stays on the bicycle event without using Rubbee. We supply throttles which fit standard handlebars with 20 - 23 mm diameter. It is most likely Your bicycle has handlebars with this diameter.
Wheel size: We don't have a strict limit on the size of the wheels. Rubbee can be fitted on any size between BMX and the largest 700c wheels.
Frame type: The unique thing about Rubbee is the way it works with most bicycles. And that includes full suspension bikes. Take a look.
The Rubbee team
We have a small, but powerful team. In two years we've worked through 5 generations of Rubbee and a countless number of mechanical, electrical and design challenges. Our team currently consists of four core members:
Gediminas Nemanis: The project manager and inventor of Rubbee. Built the first prototype two years ago and haven't stopped ever since. Has a degree in mechatronics and a flair for management. Coordinates production, supply chain of the components and every little thing to keep the project on-time and going forward.
Mindaugas Bliujus: The design engineer. Has a masters degree in vehicle mechanics and a passion for everything with wheels. He is also a SolidWorks professional. He is our go-to guy when it comes to design and engineering of mechanical parts for Rubbee. Gained his experience designing various electric vehicles.
Laurynas Jokuzis: The electronics guru with a degree. Knows everything there is to know about electric vehicles and electronics. Responsible for making Rubbee go faster and further. He also gained his experience building various electric vehicles - from scooters to electric vans.
Jonas Juralevicius: Our latest addition to the team responsible for marketing, legal matters and logistics. Coordinates all our abroad operations and distribution from our London headquarters. Currently studying marketing at Middlesex university in London. Passionate about entrepreneurship, sales, international trade and everything on two wheels.
We joined forces two years ago after the first prototype was built. Worked long and hard before getting it right. After many sleepless nights and dozens of pitches made we made our way here, where we are now. We have a perfect balance of skills between all four of us and that allowed us to reach this point - having a finished product, steady supply of tested components and standing on the verge of bringing Rubbee to the masses. Our mission is to change the way electric bicycles used to be.
Story of Rubbee began two years ago from a single sketch on a piece of paper:
After about two months of work, the first working prototype was built in Gediminas's garage. It weighted 16 kg but was good enough to prove that the idea can actually work. Here's how it looked:
The first prototype was enough to impress Mindaugas and Laurynas so they joined the team and a version 2.0 was born, structure of it is shown below:
This time it went faster and further.. But still it was just a prototype. So we worked to improve the structure and overall look of Rubbee. Here is what we came up with, the version 3.0:
We knew we are getting close to having a working product so we did not stop there. We rethought the suppression system, improved the looks and electronics and made a pilot production run of version 4.0:
With new electronics inside it had all the technical specifications we were looking for but the design was still a bit off for the consumer market. So we concentrated purely on the looks of Rubbee and did not stop until we were finally happy with every aspect of it. That's where we understood that we not only have an idea of a revolutionary product but the actual product itself. So we needed a guy who could take care of marketing, business and future logistics - that is where Jonas joined our team. Here is what we have today, the latest version of Rubbee:
You can already see that Rubbee is a sophisticated piece of engineering. We worked really hard to make sure we get all the components needed to assemble Rubbee. We already have trusted suppliers and manufacturers with many years of experience lined up and ready for production in any scale we might need. They are ready to manufacture custom battery packs and custom motors, all CNC, laser cut and cast parts. We have already tested sample batches with pilot production runs of every Rubbee component manufactured and supplied by our partners.
For now, electronics like the brain of Rubbee - a custom battery management system with an integrated battery level indication and signal processing (picture above) are being manufactured in our in-house laboratory. Part of the funds raised on Kickstarter will be directed towards scaling up the production for manufacturing this piece of electronics. You can see our in-house electronics R&D lab in the picture below:
We have already agreed on time terms with our hardware manufacturers. Within a week of having the exact number of orders our partners can start the production because samples have been made and tested, no more trial and error, just manufacturing itself. You can see some of our sample components here:
We have also planned ahead and foreseen pretty much every step until the final delivery.
- August - Kickstarter campaign ends, arrangement of hardware manufacturing, small pledges fulfillment;
- September 1st-30th - Hardware manufacturing and components gathering, finalizing packaging design and preparing battery management system for mass production, preparing facilities for assembly;
- October 1st-31st - Assembly of the hardware components and testing of the electronics, testing of fully assembled Rubbees, acquiring certificates and packaging for shipping is carried out;
- November 1st - First Rubbee units start rolling from the production line ready for users, shipping commences.
It may look like we've already made a lot of progress with Rubbee. Well, we did. But there are still some things to be done before we can bring this product to the market. Here is what we are planning to do with the money raised on Kickstarter:
- Start a first production run to bring the manufacturing cost down
- Buy components, equipment and tools to assemble large quantities of Rubbee
- Hire people to help kickstart our production
- Acquire certificates (CE, ISO:9001, RoHS etc.)
- Prepare Rubbee electronics for mass production
- Set up facilities for assembly
- Test more samples
It's the same shirt our team member is wearing in the picture above. Shirt has front and back logos and a QR code on the right hand. And yes, that is Sir Richard Branson posing with Rubbee. Female version of the shirt also available:
The backpack is large enough to fit anything You can think of. It has a special compartment for carrying shoes. Same logo and the QR code linked to our website as the polo-shirt.
It comes with a charger (You will specify the type of plug You need in the backers survey):
And the throttle:
We appreciate Your support.
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Music used in the videos - Broke For Free
Intellectual property notice:
Just to be safe, this system and its components are patent pending.
Risks and challenges
SUPPLY OF THE COMPONENTS
Although we already have contracts and product samples from most of our suppliers we might run into problem with shortage of some electrical components. What we did regarding this possible obstacle - we already found secondary suppliers just in case we run into problems with our main supplier. There is always a solid plan B in our way of work.
As You could see, our team is talented but relatively small. We can get our hands full pretty quick. That is a problem but actually a nice one to have. If we have enough orders to outsource our human power we will hire more people. Expanding the team is a thought-through process here at Rubbee and we already have people who are ready to join our team.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Yes You can! You can pedal together with Rubbee, pedal on yourself, and even pedal without Rubbee helping You. It all depends on how much You twist the handlebar-mounted throttle. Rubbee simply free-wheels when the throttle is not applied.
Well if You encounter a large downhill or some times just like to pedal very fast Rubbee will not get in Your way. When the maximum speed is exceeded Rubbee just free-wheels until You slow down to a normal riding speed.
Yes ! It has a rated power of 250 W, tops speed of 25 km/h and we include a free PAS sensor together with a throttle so You can be street-legal anywhere You go.
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