MIPS 25th Anniversary Profile: BIKETOO–enhancement of dual-use, motorized/pedal cycles

Leading up to (and beyond) the Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPS) 25th Anniversary Gala, each weekday we will briefly profile one of the 500+ companies that have utilized MIPS funding to bring innovations to market and create jobs in Maryland. These profiles will be collected in a commemorative book, released at the celebration on November 7.

Project Manager:  J. A. Phillips, III;  Principal Investigator:  Chandrasekhar Thamire, UMD
Location:  Fruitland, Maryland – Wicomico County;  Project Start Date:  8/1/2011

Business Description
BIKETOO Inc. was founded in 2002 by Phil Adkins, Drew Phillips, and Andy Phillips. The company is developing Biketoo®, a patented, multi-speed, motor-driven cycle that allows riders to use only pedals and/or a motor, and uses gasoline or propane as its power source. The 49 cubic centimeter motor is California EPA-approved. Shifting between pedal and gas/propane motor modes is very easy, using a patented “kick-out”.  The bike features zero drag from the power drive-train when in pedal mode.

Challenge
BIKETOO needed vibration and stress tests conducted on the entire bike. The transmission gears also had to be thoroughly tested and analyzed for the possibility of selecting better materials for the gears. In addition, the transmission housing had to be redesigned to help reduce the weight of the bike and reduce production costs.

MIPS Role
While the project is still in progress, the bike’s vibration and stress tests have “passed with flying colors.” UMD engineers have reduced the transmission housing weight by six pounds, with further reductions likely.  They are currently working on the final set of gears.

Results
BIKETOO has found vendors for 75 percent of its bike parts, including the MIPS team-specified components. All meet DOT or EPA specifications where required, including the tires, rims, brakes, and lights. When customers purchase the bike they can select from either of two motors: gasoline or propane.

MIPS-Related Quote
“Without MIPS, we would have had little chance to get this bike in production. The work they are doing for us would have cost us upwards of $250,000.”
–Phil Adkins, CFO, BIKETOO

Interesting Fact
Drew Phillips invented the bike after considering the biggest problem with bicycling for long distances— you always needed to select a point to turn around so you were not too tired to return home.  His goal was to create a bike that you could pedal until you are ready to drop, and then flip a switch to the power mode and comfortably ride home at speeds up to 30 MPH.  It took the company three years to build its prototype. The bike has multiple patents that cover the engine location in relation to the frame structure, and drive line design, among others.

Pictured, from left to right: Dinesh Agarwal, Andy Phillips, Drew Phillips, Phil Adkins and Norman Conway.

Download the BIKETOO spread from the upcoming book, “MIPS 25thAnniversary Commemorative Collection: Creating Partners in Innovation,” to be released at the MIPS 25th Anniversary Gala on Nov. 7.

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