Brighton inventor's electric bicycle pedal close to hitting UK stores

The Argus: Stephen Britt Stephen Britt

A Brighton inventor believes he is one cycle revolution closer to taking the effort out of uphill biking - by designing a pedal that transforms a bicycle into an electric one.

Stephen Britt has designed a battery-powered motor and gearbox which is powered by pressure being applied to the pedal.

The pedal is powered with a sensor on one side and, as the user pushes down, it provides power to turn the axle inside and helps turn the crank - which helps the cyclist go uphill or carry heavy loads.

He came up with the idea while sitting in his car in a traffic jam as he drove to work at the University of Brighton

The lightweight mechanism can be fitted to any bike in 15 minutes and continuously propels it for up to 10 miles before it needs recharging.

It also allows the full range of gears to be used in the normal way, making climbing hills much easier, according to Mr Britt.

The former University of Brighton graduate is carrying out further product development and tests and says he intends to use a crowd sourcing funding platform to put his retro-fit cycle propulsion system on sale.

Mr Britt, who is a technician in the university's School of Education, said that being stuck in traffic gave him time to think about how he could beat the congestion and ease the struggle of climbing hills on a bike.

The Argus first reported on his invention in July 2010, when he won £50,000 in a competition to turn his idea into reality

Three years on he has further developed and refined his idea and is close to seeing the invention on UK streets.

Mr Britt said: "Initially, the product will be trialled with small user groups and designs will be updated based on feedback.

"Crowd sourcing will be used to create pre-sales. This is likely to be towards the end of the year.

"Once significant volume can be reached the system will be able to retail for less than £250, considerably less than the competing products.

"The system has real potential to revolutionise cycling and how people use bikes.

"This is the opportunity to open up powered cycling to the masses, globally. This is real game-changing, disruptive technology."

Mr Britt is not alone at the University of Brighton in designing revolutionary cycling products. 

Graduate Emily Brooke's Blaze bike light, which projects a laser image of a green bicycle onto the road, is now available for pre-order.

Comments (14)

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10:50am Wed 29 Jan 14

JerryOnly says...

Impressive and ingenious! Well played Mr Britt.
Impressive and ingenious! Well played Mr Britt. JerryOnly

11:42am Wed 29 Jan 14

Spanners says...

a
a Spanners

11:44am Wed 29 Jan 14

The Prophet of Doom says...

Spanners wrote:
a
Well said.
[quote][p][bold]Spanners[/bold] wrote: a[/p][/quote]Well said. The Prophet of Doom

11:51am Wed 29 Jan 14

Spanners says...

"about to hit UK stores" ?!? How on earth do you work THAT out Argus ?

He will start crowdfundiny in latter part of the year. so thats 6 months away minimum

IF thats successful, and its a big if, then it will be another year till those first pre orders are delivered

IF those are successful, and its a big if according to every engineer I spoken to about this idea, then he will try to bring it to the UK mass market

So basically its years away from hitting the market by any sensible analysis of the facts

I betcha it never makes it. Its too expensive, too low range and the actually physics of assist are doubtful

a perfectly servieable hub motor kit with a proper sized battery can be bought from China for 350 quid or less now. In a couple of years it will be cheaper still.

And I speak from a position of someone who knows a fair bit about electric bikes including building my own and building my own battery packs.If the concept was really that great it would have been snapped up and money thrown at it. This is the very definiation of vapourware
"about to hit UK stores" ?!? How on earth do you work THAT out Argus ? He will start crowdfundiny in latter part of the year. so thats 6 months away minimum IF thats successful, and its a big if, then it will be another year till those first pre orders are delivered IF those are successful, and its a big if according to every engineer I spoken to about this idea, then he will try to bring it to the UK mass market So basically its years away from hitting the market by any sensible analysis of the facts I betcha it never makes it. Its too expensive, too low range and the actually physics of assist are doubtful a perfectly servieable hub motor kit with a proper sized battery can be bought from China for 350 quid or less now. In a couple of years it will be cheaper still. And I speak from a position of someone who knows a fair bit about electric bikes including building my own and building my own battery packs.If the concept was really that great it would have been snapped up and money thrown at it. This is the very definiation of vapourware Spanners

11:51am Wed 29 Jan 14

Spanners says...

The Prophet of Doom wrote:
Spanners wrote: a
Well said.
sorry about that - fat fingers !
[quote][p][bold]The Prophet of Doom[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Spanners[/bold] wrote: a[/p][/quote]Well said.[/p][/quote]sorry about that - fat fingers ! Spanners

12:01pm Wed 29 Jan 14

Seventh Circle says...

"This is real game-changing, disruptive technology."
What a ****-nerd... talk about big yourself up.... it's taken him 3 years to do nothing..... done give up the day job just yet
"This is real game-changing, disruptive technology." What a ****-nerd... talk about big yourself up.... it's taken him 3 years to do nothing..... done give up the day job just yet Seventh Circle

12:21pm Wed 29 Jan 14

Martin999 says...

Spanners wrote:
The Prophet of Doom wrote:
Spanners wrote: a
Well said.
sorry about that - fat fingers !
Don't call me fat fingers!
[quote][p][bold]Spanners[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]The Prophet of Doom[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Spanners[/bold] wrote: a[/p][/quote]Well said.[/p][/quote]sorry about that - fat fingers ![/p][/quote]Don't call me fat fingers! Martin999

12:22pm Wed 29 Jan 14

billy goat-gruff says...

As the Argus petrolheads are always advising cyclists that Brighton is too hilly for them, this sounds like a great idea. Conventional electric bikes don't have a clutch so hill starts are a problem as the power kicks in only once you've started cycling… hope this fares better.
As the Argus petrolheads are always advising cyclists that Brighton is too hilly for them, this sounds like a great idea. Conventional electric bikes don't have a clutch so hill starts are a problem as the power kicks in only once you've started cycling… hope this fares better. billy goat-gruff

3:00pm Wed 29 Jan 14

clubrob6 says...

Martin999 wrote:
Spanners wrote:
The Prophet of Doom wrote:
Spanners wrote: a
Well said.
sorry about that - fat fingers !
Don't call me fat fingers!
See what trouble 'a' can cause.
[quote][p][bold]Martin999[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Spanners[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]The Prophet of Doom[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Spanners[/bold] wrote: a[/p][/quote]Well said.[/p][/quote]sorry about that - fat fingers ![/p][/quote]Don't call me fat fingers![/p][/quote]See what trouble 'a' can cause. clubrob6

3:03pm Wed 29 Jan 14

clubrob6 says...

Now we need someone to invent a hoist to get onto the bike to cut out all exercise.
Now we need someone to invent a hoist to get onto the bike to cut out all exercise. clubrob6

4:48pm Wed 29 Jan 14

ttt121orig says...

As an empire/society gains more prosperity it gets lazier and lazier.
As an empire/society gains more prosperity it gets lazier and lazier. ttt121orig

5:44pm Wed 29 Jan 14

Maxwell's Ghost says...

I am thinking of getting my missus an old NSU Quickly.
Take a look at them.
There were some lovely old moped type bikes on the road 30 odd years ago and I think there would be a market to return to this style of 'moped' more so than the chunky ones people use today.
Much easier to park in small city gardens and nice to ride with feet either side of a bike and free parking.
I am thinking of getting my missus an old NSU Quickly. Take a look at them. There were some lovely old moped type bikes on the road 30 odd years ago and I think there would be a market to return to this style of 'moped' more so than the chunky ones people use today. Much easier to park in small city gardens and nice to ride with feet either side of a bike and free parking. Maxwell's Ghost

7:24pm Wed 29 Jan 14

Morpheus says...

No picture of the actual device. I won't hold my breath based on the description given by the Argus. Will it get up Elm Grove without peddling?
No picture of the actual device. I won't hold my breath based on the description given by the Argus. Will it get up Elm Grove without peddling? Morpheus

9:53pm Wed 29 Jan 14

whoee! says...

Maxwell's Ghost wrote:
I am thinking of getting my missus an old NSU Quickly.
Take a look at them.
There were some lovely old moped type bikes on the road 30 odd years ago and I think there would be a market to return to this style of 'moped' more so than the chunky ones people use today.
Much easier to park in small city gardens and nice to ride with feet either side of a bike and free parking.
Oh how marvellous lol You shouldn't spoil her so much hahahahaha
[quote][p][bold]Maxwell's Ghost[/bold] wrote: I am thinking of getting my missus an old NSU Quickly. Take a look at them. There were some lovely old moped type bikes on the road 30 odd years ago and I think there would be a market to return to this style of 'moped' more so than the chunky ones people use today. Much easier to park in small city gardens and nice to ride with feet either side of a bike and free parking.[/p][/quote]Oh how marvellous lol You shouldn't spoil her so much hahahahaha whoee!

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