I have mixed feelings about electric bicycles. On the one hand, there is no feeling better than blowing by one (tri-bike passes are a close second). On the other, it can take a lot of work to blow by an electric bicycle… And that’s the beautiful thing about them, they widen what’s possible on a bike. Whether that’s expanding who you can ride with, the duration or terrain of your route, or just making so you get to work without breaking a sweat.
Cost, and complexity, are major barriers to adoption though. E-bikes are expensive, the ones worth owning anyway, and and the DIY kits a hurdle most aren’t willing to jump. That’s what makes this “kit” (maybe there’s a better word?) from Rubbee so interesting. One, if you can turn a screwdriver, you can bolt it to the seat post (I imagine no carbon seat posts here though), and two at 499 € (~$550) it’s not crazy money.
The downside to their approach is in the interface though. Because it works by interfering along the top of the tire. Which will almost certainly impact tire longevity, but also might not work so well when it’s wet or snowy, but of course you’d want fenders (mudguards) in that scenario anyway. And the Rubbee won’t work when those are in place.