an electric friction BMX

an electric friction BMX

An American engineer had fun equipping a BMX with electric propulsion. A slightly wacky project, but which requires a dose of ingenuity.

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Here’s the kind of quirky and ingenious DIY that we love at Futura. Shea Nyquist, an American aerospace engineer, has made an electric version of a BMX to give himself even more thrills when he does his acrobatic tricks in the skateparks. A nice technical challenge given the small size of a BMX frame and the need to find a good distribution of masses to keep the bike all its dynamic qualities during aerial tricks.

Shea Nyquist therefore opted for a custom assembly, with two small electric motors developing a total of 5 kW of peak power. They are synchronized via a toothed belt and mounted on a plate fixed inside the triangle of the frame. A central position that avoids unbalancing the bike. Suddenly, for the transmission, the engineer opted for a clever friction mechanism on the rear wheel thanks to a belt return system. He explains that the power delivered to the wheel is 7000 rpm.

Shea Nyquist details his work to achieve this transformation of his electric BMX. © Shea Nyquist

A derisory autonomy, but …

For power, two LiPo (lithium-polymer) batteries of 5,000 mAh each were chosen for their weight / power delivered ratio. Shea Nyquist indicates that the range is about five kilometers, which is obviously paltry. But keep in mind that the electric BMX is designed for walking in skate parks for sessions of a few minutes and not for strolling. Acceleration is controlled by a dial on the handlebars.

Judging from the video, the result is quite convincing. This electric BMX seems to have a hell of a torque and power to spare. On the odometer, we see that the maximum speed climbs to 38 km / h. Great job! Shea Nyquist is not at his first attempt. He works on an electric motorcycle to break the land speed record. Its goal is to reach 480 km / h this year.

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