A New Kickstarter Campaign Can Transform Any Bicycle into an Electric Bike

by , 08/11/14

If you’ve ever wished that your regular bike were an electric one, you’re in luck: a Pittsburgh-based engineer named Micah Toll has created a kit that allows any bicycle to transform into a perky little E-bike, at a fraction of what electric bicycles cost. Each kit comes with a battery, controller, motor (contained in the hub of a bicycle wheel, which you swap in for one of your current ones), and throttle, all of which are super-easy to install and use. Once put together, your regular bike is now a clean, green moped that can take you wherever you need to go. You’ll still get all the exercise and health benefits of a regular bike—you can turn off the motor any time you like and pedal to your heart’s content—but when you need a bit of extra “oomph” to get over a hill, or pick up a bit of extra speed, you’re golden.

The Kickstarter campaign is now underway, with shipping estimated to begin in December.

+ Barak Electric Bicycle Kickstarter

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1 Comment

  1. Jason Kraft August 16, 2014 at 9:48 am

    Mr. Toll solicited free samples and advice from all the top kit companies (including us) and now he has taken that generosity and turned it into a competing product. Not only that, but the entire angle of his KS campaign is that everyone else is over-promising and under-delivering, which I find insulting. The only thing worse than Mr. Toll’s deceptiveness, is his self-righteous attitude. In a tight-knit industry, it demonstrates a lack of business acumen and professionalism; it’s careless.

    There is nothing new here with regard to the product. Directly competing products can be found with a Google search for “Hill Topper”. Toll is using KS and the media connections he established on three previous KS campaigns, to sell something that already exists. Not only do inexpensive 24 volt kits like this already exist, but they are much better quality than what he is attempting to sell.

    I (and others in the industry) have personal correspondence with Toll promising product
    promotion (most recently an upcoming video series on conversion) in exchange for free samples. Is he going to promote the companies that helped him now that he has developed his own competing product? I don’t think so. Was it deliberate and planned this way?… maybe. In the end, he is using the generosity of the people and companies that helped him write his e-book, in a desperate attempt to compete with them and elevate his own industry persona.

    Mr. Toll is late to the kit business; he has chosen the wrong time and the wrong avenue to
    enter the business and he has offended the people that supported him so far. The electric bike industry is a small group and one’s reputation is valuable. Mr. Toll has now risked his reputation by proving himself untrustworthy.

    Toll’s KS campaign proves he doesn’t have the business savvy to succeed if funded. To set the funding goal of $12k is either an indication of his inexperience, or it is deliberate, and his real goal is cheap publicity (like this article here). Either way it’s a slap in the face to his prospective KS project “backers/pre-buyers”. Twelve thousand dollars is not nearly enough to produce quality kits, provide solid customer service or fund a sustainable business. It is a joke from an investment view and it will fail.

    Anyone who is deceived into believing this is a new product or that Mr .Toll is an honest entrepreneur doing something unique for the greater good (or for the good of his prospective investors), is being naive. That includes any media that support him (like the author of this article); it shows a lack of research and professionalism. Make no mistake, you are being used for Mr. Toll’s self-promotion.”

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