A University of Brighton engineer has designed an innovative pedal connected to a battery system that enables cyclists to use electric power to propel them uphill.
The system, developed by Stephen Britt, a technician at the University of Brighton’s School of Education, consists of a battery-powered motor and a gearbox that relies on pressure applied on a pedal.
On one side of the pedal is a sensor, which provides power whenever the user pushes down the pedal, helping to turn the axle inside.
The inventor believes his invention, making it easier for cyclists to conquer slopes and carry heavy loads, will revolutionise cycling.
"This is the opportunity to open up powered cycling to the masses, globally. This is real game-changing, disruptive technology," said the inventor.
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. Developing his invention for three years, Britt know plans to launch a crowd-funding campaign to help the device to the market.
"Initially, the product will be trialled with small user groups and designs will be updated based on feedback,” he said.
"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 competing products.”
The idea first entered Britt's mind when he was stuck in a traffic jam in Brighton in a morning rush hour on his way to work. He said the traffic jam gave him time to think about how he could help beat congestion.