BionX: Man Meets Machine

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BionX: Man Meets Machine

BionX is a name that pops up frequently whenever someone searches electric bike motor kit or best electric bike kit on a search engine. What makes BionX so good, you ask? Without getting into technical terms or spewing out numbers of volts or watts, we're going to break down the BionX electric motor kit for the average non-technical person. As long as you know what a bicycle is, you can follow along with us.

BionX History

The word Bionics was coined in 1958 by Jack E. Steele (Yes he was a real scientist, not a character on prime-time television), and is a fusion of biology and electronics. Over the past 50 years, we've seen Bionics become a prominent field of science, in some cases using technology to actually assist a physical handicap (The Bionic Man, anyone?). When the Canadian company BionX traded the -ics suffix for the cooler looking -X for their electric bike conversion kits, they developed a recognizable name that electric bike aficionados know and love. Of course, we still see searches for Bionics, Bionix, and Boinx (boinks?).

It's not surprising that the BionX electric motor kit, by definition, is a merging of human power and motor power. Keeping with the idea of the Bionic Man, BionX wants to create a system where technology aids human effort, but doesn't replace it (think RoboCop, not Terminator). The BionX company started in 2001, when Manfred Gingl started making small electric bike motors for his family and friends. He eventually caught the attention of Jean Yves Dube, a successful entrepreneur, and in 2007 they started manufacturing the BionX electric motor kit for global distribution. Based in Canada, BionX is one of the most popular, as well as one of the best quality, electric bike kit manufacturers in the world.

So now that you know about the company, let's check out what's in the BionX box:

BionX Motor

The BionX electric motor is one of the best hub motors out there. It's available in three different power ratings (250 watts, 350 watts, 500 watts), and can actually sense how hard the rider is pedaling. A built-in torque sensor measures the pedal power and gives the corresponding motor power as a percentage, depending on the setting on the control panel. The motor arrives already built into a BionX brand rim (20", 26", or 700c), so if you know how to change a flat tire on a bike, you can install a motor wheel. Additionally, if you also like to ride the bike without electric assist, the BionX motor is compatible with rear freewheels from 6 speeds to 9 speeds, and will spin without any resistance if the system is turned off. Pretty cool, right?

BionX Battery

"Heart of Lithium" may not have the same ring as "Heart of Gold," but this BionX battery stands the test of time just as well as any catch phrase. BionX concentrated most of their effort in making this battery small and lightweight. It is typically installed on the water bottle mount of a bike with enough clearance, but it can also be installed with a rear rack on more unique frames. I'm talking to you, electric recumbent riders. What separates the BionX battery from the competition is the ability to charge while riding. Pulling on the rear brakes, or setting the console to "Generate" mode allows the rider to charge the battery without using a wall outlet. This is intended to extend your trip for a few more miles, not charge a dead battery back to full life. Unless you're pulling the brakes while riding down Mt. Everest, you should rely on the wall charger.

BionX Console

The BionX control console is like that chest plate on Darth Vader, except more user-friendly and with less blinking lights. It controls and regulates all of the functions of the battery and the motor. You can almost say this is the 'brain' of the BionX kit. Motor power can be adjusted up and down using "+" and "-" buttons, and a throttle provides a speed boost for bigger hills. As the Swiss army knife of electric kits, the BionX console also has an odometer, clock, speedometer, and distance traveled. Oh, and there's that alarm system as well. Ear-piercing beeps prevent theft if the code is entered incorrectly, so arm at your own risk.

Click here to see the different options for our BionX systems. Simple to install, simple to ride. So the next time you start getting winded when you're riding your bike, just think about us at NYCeWheels. We can rebuild it. We have the technology. We can make it better, stronger, faster.

Article written by Mark