The bike share programs that have popped up in major cities around the world make for a cheap way to get around town for a few hours—unless you're lazy. So if you find yourself suffering from "let's just take a cab" syndrome, you might want to consider funding this clever little briefcase called the ShareRoller that adds an electric drivetrain to bike share bicycles in just ten seconds.
Since the bike share programs in cities like New York, Montreal, London, San Francisco, and Toronto all use the same basic bike, the seven-pound ShareRoller—which is roughly the size of a 500-sheet stack of paper—can be easily taken with you while traveling. On a two-hour charge, you can expect to ride for about 12 miles without pedaling, and cruise past other riders at a brisk 18mph.
To interface with the bike, the ShareRoller uses a retractable powered wheel that relies on friction to drive the front tire. Acceleration is adjusted using a simple throttle control, temporarily mounted to the bike's handlebars, that propels the bike at varying speeds when pushed, but automatically turns it off when released. And braking is, of course, handled by what the bike already has in place.
The creator of the ShareRoller, Jeff Guida, hopes to raise $100,000 on Kickstarter so he can put his creation into production. And when the funding campaign officially goes live on February 28, you'll be able to score one of the devices with a $995 donation. That's a little pricey when you consider you also have to pay for the rental bike itself, but in the long run, it could be a cheaper alternative to taxis or renting a car. [Kickstarter]