Submitted by Ali Kazemkhani
After the development of the ENVO Electric SnowKart a new idea came to me. Why don’t we use the same track mechanism we used to develop the SnowKart to create something totally different — a SnowBike! Starting with the same track module as the SnowKart, the SnowBike track module was built by changing the motor position to ensure the rider would have room to pedal. We used the same 48V/17.5Ah battery and 48V/25A controller system and fixed the motor axle to the bike frame. For the front, we used a regular snowboard with a readily available attachment of standard height. The SnowBike has a 48V, 750W motor and a peak torque of 100Nm. Since the power is directly transferred to the snow track through sprocket the transmission loss is very low.
Initially, the motor axle was attached to the track module system and the same motor axle was also attached directly to the bike. Unfortunately, this meant faced the following issues:
- The motor axle was too short if the track module was attached to a fat bike
- The chain was not aligned and would often fall off the chain ring
We used the same components for the track module as we did for the SnowKart but the structural design was different.
SnowBike Track Module:
The next design change we required was for the front of the SnowBike. I also wanted it to be lightweight, so I decided to use aluminum to reduce the overall weight and maximize the strength.
Fork Adaptor Attachments:
The first test was held in Vancouver BC and we were very happy with the performance of our new rendition of the SnowBike. It was fun to ride, had great stability, and climbed snow piles with ease. The turning radius was low and it performed well in deep snow and also ran evenly on the snow’s surface without slipping.
Another important feature we tested was the brake cut-off sensors. When the brake was applied, the brake cut-off sensors ensured that SnowBike stopped immediately.
Electric SnowBike 2nd Generation:
When developing the 1st generation SnowBike, we used many different structural materials to complete the assembly. The front attachment could only be attached to a single bike fork and we wanted to ensure that the 2nd generation could be used to attach the snowboard to forks of all shapes and sizes.
We also made a major change to the rear track module. Previously the motor axle was attached to the bike frame. For the 2nd generation, we decided to move the motor axle and add an intermediate plate between the rear bike fork and hub motor. This change allowed the rear track module to be attached to any rear bike fork including fat bike forks.
We made a single plate to hold the motor to reduce unnecessary assembly and increase the strength. We also developed the plate profile so it could function as a torque arm to prevent the 750W axle motor from rotating. The multipurpose plate eliminated the need for an additional torque arm making the rear track module even lighter. We used the same track belt as SnowKart. The rubber material and V-shaped spikes ensure good traction in the snow.
We also added a step in the sprocket and moved it from the middle of the motor to the face of a single side, this way the inner teeth of the belt cannot touch the motor, which reduces the risk of the belt slipping from the teeth. In addition, the sprocket is made of polyethylene a very lightweight material that reduces the weight of the entire rear track module.
We also changed the size and material of the guide rollers. Initially we tested the SnowBike with PU guide rollers but they had high friction with the rubber belt which meant it required more power to function and the range was reduced. We decide to replace it with a polyethylene guide rollers to ensure the belt slides easily increasing the efficiency of the module.
During the testing we measured the following parameters:
After a year of experimentation and development, we are thrilled to launch the ENVO SnowBike Kit for innovators and DIYers to experiment with!
Important points that make this product significant to the market:
- Easy to assemble and disassemble
- Great stability
- Can be attached to any bike