By Andrew Liszewski
I’ve never read the rule book, but I assume the addition of an electric motor to your bike during the Tour de France is not allowed. But if you opt to cheat using the Gruber Assist, no one will know you didn’t really earn that yellow jersey. That’s because the Gruber Assist’s electric motor is designed to hide inside a bike’s seat tube (minimal diameter of 31.6mm required) and provide a bit of extra help with the pedaling, instead of powering the back wheel. So not only is it almost impossible to tell it’s installed, but the Gruber Assist can be retrofitted to any bike, as long as the seat tube is large enough.
However, I say “almost impossible to tell it’s installed” since you’ll still have to carry a set of NiMH or LiON batteries (good for about 1.5 hours) which are somewhat hidden inside a saddlebag. So if someone starts poking around your ride, your secret might not be safe. But lying and cheating aside, the Gruber Assist is definitely a very clever way to retrofit your bike with an electric motor, even if the complete NiMH version will set you back about $2,400.