This post will be a little off-topic, but I’ve just found out an interesting product I did not know existed. You’ve probably all seen electric bicycles, but YUNZHILUN iMortor 36V-X wheel allows you to convert your existing bicycle into an electric bicycle with up to 50 kilometers range by simply replacing the front wheel.
The electric motor and battery are all built into the wheel, and GearBest sells for $199.99 plus shipping to customers based in Europe.
iMortor 36V-X specifications:
- Wheel Size – 26″
- Range – 25km mileage in pure electric power mode. 40 – 50km in “moped power mode”
- Motor – 30V 240W permanent magnet brushless DC motor
- Control driver – FOC (field-oriented control) intelligent drive controller
- Thumb gear shifter with 5 gears
- Smartphone Connectivity – Bluetooth 4.0 and USB for charging.
- Battery – 36V 115.2Wh lithium-ion battery
- Dimensions – 66.00 cm ∅ x 10.00 cm
- Weight – 11.57 kg
- Materials – rubber tire, aluminum alloy hub, ABS motor shell, nylon battery shell
The wheel ships with the battery, a charger, a gear shifter, a phone holder, an accessory set, and an English User manual. Assembly seems easy enough as shown in the video below.
The iMortor mobile app is available for Android and iOS, but users are not especially pleased with it. The product is new to me, but it was released last year or before, so we already have some feedback from actual users mostly positive except for the app. The good news is that the smartphone is only needed to select one of the 3 speeds, but once you’ve selected a gear (e.g. 2nd gear), it’s possible to ride without smartphone at all. People also mentioned the real range in pure electric mode is closer to 15km, and “moped” mode is when combining electric and human power. Another complain is the apparent lack of spare battery.
Your user experience may also depend on your weight, as one person over 100 kg explains on Amazon, the thing won’t climb hills:
… Unfortunately as the second video shows, it is not just the battery that is limited, the hub motor itself does not have the capacity to assist much on even small hills. I weigh 110 Kg and the iMortor manual says it has the capacity to handle 180 Kg. But even smaller people than me would not find that this hub motor provides much assistance on inclines and hills – perhaps it would work for someone 60 Kg, but not much more. On the flats and downhill, it certainly can boost speed, but that is not what I need a hub motor for.
I JUST LOWERED MY RATING DOWN to a 1 star from a 2 because they now expect me to pay the shipping fee back. Given the false advertising about the performance of this system, they need to pay for return postage.
iMortor also offers 20″, 24″, 27.5″ and 29″ wheels with either disc brakes or rim brakes (aka V brakes) as you’ll find out on Aliexpress.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.
26 Replies to “iMortor 36V-X Wheel Converts your Bike into an Electric Bicycle for $200”
11.5Kg is heavy, would double the weight of even a steel frame bike.
Especially since all the weight is on the front wheel, it’s probably very difficult and maybe even dangerous to use.
Weight on the front wheel mostly affects acceleration and twitch steering. If you’re too lazy to pedal your own way you probably won’t be on the losing end of the acceleration proposition. If you’re that out of shape you won’t be trick jumping or running cyclocross courses or racing… rather you’ll be cruising flat paths at pedestrian speeds, and then you won’t notice the few milliseconds slower steering response.
In my country electric bikes are becoming quite common and typically users will go between 20-25 km/hr. Not exactly pedestrian speeds. And ad those speeds the steering response does matter!
(it is becoming more popular to use e-bikes for work commute where people used to take cars)
A good quailty electric bike conversion kit will add about 16 kg to your bike if you want decent torque and 20-40km range, using lithium manganese batteries.
If you want to save weight, eat less. It’s way cheaper than an e-bike kit and way better for your heart.
It looks like GearBest has the battery here:
The specs look wonky compared to the AliExpress link. They list it as 30,000 mAh @ 5V, and 3,200 mAh @ 36V which seems more accurate. Unfortunately a 250 watt motor won’t be launching from a stop or propel a large adult uphill, but it is still interesting to see some of the stuff available.
I’ve been told they don’t ship those batteries to most countries though.
There are 250W hib motor kits than can do it, but they are not direct drive hubs so they are a bit less efficient, have lower top speeds, they whine, and of course they will need replacement gears after a few tens of thousand km.
Front wheel motors are not great. The fork is not designed for pulling and will eventually break.
Yep, although, smaller power like this (250W) does not kill it that fast.
I also think that mid and rear motors are the way to go. A nice mid or rear-motor Bafang retrofit is better than this (altough usually more expensive).
Actually so long as the it’s installed right it will be fine. Take it to a bike shop to get it properly installed. They’ll add torque arms if the kit doesn’t come with them. The torque arms will transfer the torque further up the fork from the center of the axel so you don’t get axel spin-out. As for breaking the fork – if a disc brake doesn’t break your fork, a power hub at 1/3 the max torque certainly will not.
No, seriously now you need a smartphone to start your front wheel? That’s getting totally crazy! It’s not this way that we’ll manage to convince bikers to stop watching their phone while driving! Sometimes I dream someone hacks such devices to kill their users so that people start to think how absurdly dependent they become on their gadgets. It doesn’t appear *that* complicated to me to only have a two-wire cable and a push button for the speed, it already works everywhere else in fact, it’s cheaper and more reliable.
“dream someone hacks such devices to kill their users so that people start to think”
Is that not that expressing an incitement to others to commit a criminal act and/or a conspiracy?
And if the stupid people who need to think start to are dead, they will not be able to start to think.
It is never wise to suggest killing people other than when it is to be done by the government military (eg drone missile strikes on wedding parties).
No idea if these are legal. E.g. in my country speed boost should stop at 25 km/h
> speed boost should stop at 25 km/h
The text talks about range (25km or ‘up to’ 40-50km in ‘moped power mode’). But I agree that potential buyers should probably at least check something that primitive as the respective wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_bicycle_laws
To me personally this is just another example how to deal with these ‘smart’ product categories: ‘smart’ is just a warning label. To buy such a smartphone attached ‘smart’ wheel adding this weight to the front fork you must be relatively stupid IMO.
Hmm, I interpreted range as “how far can you get with a full battery” but rereading it, it could well mean that it is about speed.
In any case, “upgrading” your bike to go 40-50 km/hr is quite dangerous as both the frame and the brakes are not designed for those speeds.
I’m pretty sure the wheel can’t reach 40 km/h (or maybe going downhill).. Those are range numbers only.
Comment from somebody on G+
Well if the fork breaks you’re going to kiss the ground. No fun at 40 km/hr especially not if you aren’t wearing a helmet, or if there is a car just behind you. Might qualify for a Darwin award though.
Perhaps the reason this is sold as a complete wheel replacement, and not as an “add-on” has something to do with safety.
The fork won’t break, but it will spin out of the axle mounts if it is mounted incorrectly.
With a rear wheel motor and battery the weight is more on the rear tyre giving better grip. I have owned a Pedelec since 2012. As mentioned there are speed limits and motor limits in some countries.
How many children will have to be injured or die before the government bans the import and /or sale of these devices?
How many children will need to be injured or die before the government bans trolls from speaking, or better… being born?
… answer: none. The government doesn’t stop people from making stupid purchasing decisions, or from making stupid parenting decisions, or from having sex and having children who should probably take SSRI’s before they write in public forums.
To all concerned:
E-Bike tech is barely at a point where a $1500 kit is going to perform well enough to make it worthwhile to carry the extra weight around. If you buy a cheap chinese POS kit, you are throwing your money away and you will get a bad impression of what the technology can do.
https://www.ebikes.ca/fblog is an enthusiast site with comparison graphs of various motors and good writeups of the DIY products for those who want a decent chance at a positive outcome. Read it to educate yourself before spending a dime.
For eur 1500 you can have a decent e-bike in my country (taxes are a bit higher so I guess this would roughly equate a $ 1500 bike in US.
Actually I think more than half of the new bikes sold today in the Netherlands are e-bikes.
(but yes, buying an upgrade kit as mentioned here is throwing away money).
PS: it is best to have a middle motor mounted near your pedals as that has the lowest point of gravity.
Second best is rear wheel, Worst is front wheel (due to the additional weight it is a bit more difficult to control)