Tag Archive | "bicycles"

Audi Freestyle Wheelie Electric Bike Review

Audi Freestyle Wheelie Electric Bike Review

Audi Electric Bike Review

The German car and motorcycle manufacturer Audi is about to enter the electric bicycle market –  the top-of-the-line electric bicycle market. Audi unveiled their electric bike prototype at the Wörthersee car expo In May 2012. (Each May, the Volkswagen and Audi car show is held in the Austrian town of Reifnitz, adjacent to Lake Worth (Wörthersee) The car expo is typically just called Wörthersee.)

Audi’s entry into the electric bike market is significant for many reasons. Firstly Audi purchased the Italian motorcycle manufacturer Ducati in April this year for a reported $1.2 Billion. This gives Audi access to a worldwide dealership and distribution network. Automakers are realising that the future of transport will cover the full spectrum of vehicles and fuel types. The big auto brands have an unprecedented opportunity to expand their product range and brands into new markets that have traditionally not been their domain of expertise. The lines will continue to blur and Audi along with BMW and Smart are introducing commuter and performance electric bikes.

Also, while Europe and Asia have embraced the electric bike, citizens of the United States are still dragging their heels on adopting this technology (as well as that of electric motorcycles and electric cars.) Many US cities are undergoing planning changes that will increase cycle ways and reduce the reliance on the motor vehicle. Combined with the electrification of many forms of transport the combined effect on the electric bike market look promising.

Audi, which is owned by Volkswagen, is one of the largest car companies in the world, with the finances to conduct research into electric vehicle technology and bring a design successfully from the prototype to the display floor. Audi’s prototype electric bike, provisionally called the Wörthersee, has been making currents (that’s an attempt at a pun…) since it was unveiled. This is for many reasons – but the main one is that it is pushing the limit of what an electric bike can do and push beyond the traditional rider. The Audi ebike is a trick cycling bike, coming with two “wheelie modes,” automatic stabilization while tricks are being performend, and the capability of recording those tricks and uploading them to Facebook right from the bike! It’s this integration with software and social media that makes these bikes really interesting. They’ll connect the real world with the virtual world. It is those features that will likely sell this bike to the American sporstperson and convince them that an ebike is so much more that a bicycle with an electric motor.

Lightweight Carbon Fiber Frame

One of the drawbacks of electric bikes to date has been their weight. The battery pack has always been very heavy. This if fine when the battery is fully charged and assisting the bicyclist. But when the bike runs out of juice and the bicyclist needs to ride back home, it can be twice as difficult to reach home – especially if one has to do it by going up a significant grade. The Wörthersee incporporates not only a carbon fiber frame but also wheels of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (if you’re an anagram junkie, that’d be CFRP). The frame weighs 3.53 pounds, and the wheels weigh just 1.32 pounds. (Never fear, the frame is reinforced at load points, so it can bear a hefty amount of weight.) Add the battery to that and the total bike weighs only 46.3 pounds or 21 kg which is an amazing accomplishment in engineering.

Integrated & Interchangable Battery

In addition to being heavy, some electric bikes also looked rather clunky, as the large battery had to be strapped to a carrier on the rear of the bike or attached to the downtube. As the technology improves, ebike designers are coming up with ingenious new places for that battery – as well as the rest of the electronics necessary to run the bike. For the Wörthersee, the Li-ion battery pack and the computer to run it are located within the frame. The battery is easily removable, allowing the rider the choice to bring extra battery packs or ride naked. The battery will charge in about 2.5 hours from a 230 volt plug in.

The Motor

This electric bike is powered by a magnet synchronous motor. Basically it relies on magnets rather than the traditional coil. They are usually used to covert mechanical power to Electricity in large gas, steam, hydro and wind industrial turbines. The introduction of this technology show just how much engineering and design work went into this ebike. The motor has a peak output of 2.3 kW. The maximum torque delivered to the rear wheel is 250 Nm (that’d be Newton meters). The motor and battery is situated at the lowest point on the frame giving the bike a very low center of gravity. The rider controls the output of the motor using a traditional twist grip and can also control the ride modes through the on board computer.

Gears and the Brakes

The Wörthersee has nine gears, and shifting is ridiculously easy and fast with the nine-speed hydraulically actuated gear shift. Which was inspired by the R Tronic Clutch in the Audi R8. Bringing the bike to a stand still is no trouble with the fron and rear hydraulic disk brakes.

On Board Computer & Travel Modes

The Audi has five travel modes. The rider can choose between different balance between the motor and pedals.

  • Pedal-power only
  • Pedal assist
  • Electric only
  • Powered Wheelie mode
  • Balanced Wheelie” mode

‘Pure’ mode allows the rider to pedal the bike without electric assistance. ‘Pedelec’ mode assists the rider with the electric motor up to speeds of 80 kph (50 mph) for a distance of 50 – 70 kilometers (31 – 44 miles). ‘eGrip’ mode powers the electric motor using the standard twist grip found on a motorcycle. ‘Wheelie’ mode controls balance and power output of the electric motor to assist the rider in maintaining balance and control in the wheelie.

Speed

In pedelec mode (pedal assist) the bike can achieve a top speed of 80 kph or 50 mph, with a range of about 70 km or 44 miles on a single charge. In electric-only mode, the top speed is 31 mph.

Wheelies

The Audi Wörthersee is a sport bike, which means riders can pop wheelies and show off their skills. For beginning riders, the Power Wheelie mode allows the rider to adjust the angle of the rear wheel. The Balance Wheelie mode is for experienced riders. (Sounds like a Segway, doesn’t it?)

The Computer and Wi Fi

Everything about this bike is controlled by a computer, and it is also equipped with Wi Fi. In addition to riding, the bicyclist can actually record his ride via his or her smartphone, and upload footage to Facebook if so desired. There’s also an app that lets riders compete against each other with this video footage. The computer screen also shows the speed one is travelling, the distance one has travelled, and the remaining charge in the battery.

The Design

The bike looks slick. There are loads of unique and innovative  design elements on this bike. The Carbon Fiber weaved texture of the frame and wheels helps tie the whole design together. The red accents on the seat, brakes and pedals break up the black and grey of the Carbon nicely. Also, the white of the suspension and battery pack help lighten the design and draw the eye away from the battery. Compared to other traditional sport bikes the Audi is clearly the brain child of a sophisticated industrial design team. It has the right balance between performance and simplicity rarely seen in the over-the-top branding of most sport and mountain bikes.

Availability and Price

Currently the bike is just a concept. Based on the prototype’s materials and high-end components it’s likely to cost upwards of $20,000. This puts it our of reach of most consumers, but then again this is a performance bike. It sits in a new category that is a crossover between freestyle bicycle and motorcross. With all that in mind it’s well within the reach of performance riders who are used to paying upwards of $10,000 for performance mountain bikes. I’m certain Audi will broaden the appeal and lower the price point, as long as they don’t compromise on quality and performance which is unlikely. Either way I’m looking forward to see what the Audi design team comes up with.

The Audi e-bike Wörthersee from MultiVu Video on Vimeo.

Audi e-Bike Wörthersee – Bicicleta electrică ce poate atinge 80km/h from LaCurentNET on Vimeo.

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Ohm Cycles – Video

Ohm Cycles – Video

Take a look at the Ohm Electric-assist bicycle, with these videos uploaded at YouTube.

Features of Ohm include the Intelligent Drive System is a multi-functional LCD command console. The console features a Multi-function meter displaying your speed, remaining battery charge and level of assistance or regeneration. Backlit LCD screen to view during day or at night. Anti-theft alarm to protect your bike.

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A Review of the Kona Electric Ute

A Review of the Kona Electric Ute

Road.cc presentes a review of the Kona Electric Ute:

The Kona Electric Ute is a fun companion, and it’s given me a glimpse of true, sweat-free utility cycling even in the hilliest bits of hilly Bath. It’ll carry huge loads and the power assistance means that shifting them is a doddle. It doesn’t feel like the finished article though; it needs better electrics to fully justify that £1,800 price tag.

So what’s in the box, assuming that they make boxes this big? Well, the Ute is built around a 7005 aluminium frame that’s fairly standard upright geometry at the front but extended at the back to include room for a massive pannier (one supplied) and a rear platform that’s big enough to give a mate a lift back from the pub, or nip round to school with a couple of kids. That’s mated to the ever-dependable P2 cromoly fork and Deore/Alivio MTB running gear. The brake set up is reversed from the non-electric version, with a disc at the rear and a V-brake at the front, since the front hub motor isn’t disc-compatible. It’s all dependable kit and eminently upgradeable if your Ute is destined for a long and hard life.

Read the complete review at:
Kona Electric Ute

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Check Out Fort Collins, CO For E-bikes

Check Out Fort Collins, CO For E-bikes

Fort Collins, Colorado — Josh Kerson, the manager of Small Planet E Vehicles, is passionate about one thing: electric bicycles.

“They really have so much potential and are truly my life’s work,” Kerson said. “I could seriously talk about them all day.”

Kerson became enamored with electric bicycles in 1998 after attending a trade show where he saw 25 Asian manufactured electric bicycles that hadn’t yet caught on in the U.S. Seeing an untapped market, he immediately quit his job and went back to school at age 30, studying the mechanics of electric vehicle design and business.

This ultimately bloomed into Small Planet E Vehicles and Run-About Cycles, two businesses owned by Kerson that focus on bringing eco-friendly, electric cycling technology to the masses.

Read the complete article at:

It’s electric! Charging the cycling world

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Check Out the Tommy Bahama E-bike

Check Out the Tommy Bahama E-bike

The new Tommy Bahama Electric Bicycle made its debut at the new opening of the latest Tommy Bahama retail store in Laguna Beach, CA on Saturday, November 6, 2010.

These beautiful bikes feature a 500 watt rear hub motor powered by a lithium battery that will take the bike 20 – 40 miles at a top speed of 20 mph. Representatives from the manufacturer will be available Saturday and Sunday to answer questions and give demonstrations of the benefits of the Tommy Bahama Electric Bike.

The retail store located at 400 South Coast Highway Laguna Beach will be open Saturday: 10 am – Midnight and Sunday 10 am – 11 pm.

Learn more about the Tommy Bahama Electric Bike at www.TommyBahamaEBikes.com.

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San Fransciso Pursues Green Projects

San Fransciso Pursues Green Projects

San Francisco, CA — According to SFGate, seventeen innovative Bay Area transportation projects that aim to combat climate change – ranging from electric taxis and mobile bicycle repair shops to pavement recycling and dynamic ridesharing – will soon get the chance to show their stuff.

On Wednesday, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the Bay Area’s transportation and financing agency, approved spending $33 million in federal transportation funds on the experimental projects.

Read the complete article at:
Green transportation experiments get go-ahead

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Take a Peek At The PiCycle

Take a Peek At The PiCycle

Los Angeles, CA — Powered but not especially powerful, many people consider ebikes to be “bicycles-that-aren’t-really-bicycles.” E-bike riders are a small niche within the overall bicycling population of the US.

The new PiCycle is designed for the commuter, but it values style as much as substance. Critics consider it an “exceptional art piece” that is both practical and affordable, it almost requires its own category.

Read the complete article at: PiCycle brings high style to the eco-commute.

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Tandem Electric Bike Is Twice As Nice

Tandem Electric Bike Is Twice As Nice

Irvine, CA – The PEDEGO tandem e-bike, which was introduced during the September 23-25, 2009 Interbike International Bicycle Expo, consists a beach cruiser design with two wide, cushioned seats, relaxed handlebars and a rear motor.

The bike has the same type of quality components as other PEDEGO bicycles, and operates much like a regular tandem. However, it has a parallel electric drive system that includes a 750 watt motor and 48 volt lithium manganese battery. The battery will last about 15,000 miles and costs less than 10 cents to recharge.

The throttle is controlled by the rear rider gently revving the right handlebar grip. (As such, the rider in front may want to give up the view for a while to be in charge of the throttle!)

Read the complete article at PEDEGO Develops World’s First Electric Tandem Bicycle.

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Karbon Kinetics at London Cycle Show

Karbon Kinetics at London Cycle Show

London, England – Karbon Kinetics Limited (KKL) displayed their Gocycle(R) BlackR model weighing 12.9kg at the Cycle Show in London on October 13, 2009. It is the lightest electric bicycle ever produced by an original equipment manufacturer (OEM).

The Gocycle BlackR uses KKL’s breakthrough Magflow(R) technology, sharing the same frameset, PitstopWheel(R), patented three-speed Cleandrive(R), and motor/control system currently available on the GBP1,198 MSRP Gocycle, which weighs 16.2kg. The Gocycle BlackR saves approximately 3kg by employing a lighter saddle, pedal crank assembly, handlebar stem assembly and lithium battery.

Gocycle is the first injection-moulded magnesium bicycle in history.

“The Gocycle BlackR demonstrates continued optimisation and development of Magflow – our groundbreaking magnesium production process for bicycles,” said Richard Thorpe, KKL’s founder and Gocycle’s design engineer.

The majority of electric bicycle manufacturers and developers design and produce single components only, such as frames or wheels, motors or batteries. KKL is different and operates as a true OEM-designing, testing and manufacturing all key components of the Gocycle, from the frameset and the drive train, to the electronics and the motor.

Continued Thorpe, “Typically what you find in the electric bicycle industry is a ‘pick-and-mix’ approach to design and manufacturing. Batteries are now standardised to clip onto the bike frame or rear luggage rack, and a wide variety of motors are available to fit standard bike wheels. So it is relatively easy for new players to enter the e-bike market, but with little product differentiation, competition is fierce. Making a true breakthrough and delivering innovation into the marketplace requires different DNA. Gocycle and the 12.9kg BlackR represent clean-sheet designs employing OEM component integration.”

About Karbon Kinetics Limited and Gocycle

Based in London, Karbon Kinetics Limited (KKL) was founded in 2002 by Richard Thorpe with the aim of developing and commercialising light electric vehicles. Developed and manufactured in the United Kingdom by KKL, Gocycle is specifically designed to operate in a city environment. Gocycle received the GOLD Award at the 2009 EUROBIKE show in the electric bicycle category. Gocycle meets EN 14764, BS 6102 North American Bicycle Standards and has CE certification on electric components.

Gocycle is available for purchase through a Gocycle Certified Dealer or directly online at http://www.gocycle.com with delivery throughout the European Union. MSRP GBP1,198. Visit http://www.gocycle.com.

Source:
Press release: Karbon Kinetics Displays 12.9kg Electric Gocycle(R) at London Cycle Show

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Seattle Mayoral Candidate McGinn on Bike Riding

Seattle Mayoral Candidate McGinn on Bike Riding

Seattle, Wa — On November 3, 2009, a run-off election was held. Both Mike McGinn and Joe Mallahan had beat Mayor Greg Nickels in the primary election Aug. 18. McGinn won this run-off election, and is Seattle’s new mayor.

McGinn had made the news early in October, when a rumor was spread that if he were elected mayor, he will only use his bicycle for daily transportation.

McGinn denied the rumor.

“Even during my campaign I drive places,” said McGinn, a Greenwood resident. “Some places are too far to bike. But I do plan to bike when it makes sense. Short trips are often times faster by bike than by car. I started mainly for exercise. I discovered I really liked it, and saved money because I didn’t have to pay for parking and it’s about as fast as the bus.

“But, yes, if elected, I do hope to bike as often as I can. You can just roll your bike on at a light rail stop, and also use those racks on buses. Of course there are some times you have to drive. That’s the way the city’s designed.”

McGinn also rides an electric pedal-assist bike.

“The electric bike gives me a lot more freedom,” he said. “I could bike around and get to events without being sweaty while going from event to event. Every once in a while some cyclist will say to me, ‘Hey, you’re cheating.’ The rider will give me a hard time. So, I have a stock answer, ‘I’m using a small electric motor rather than a large gasoline one.”

See the original article at:

Ballard News Tribune: McGinn on biking

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China’s Love Affair With The E-Bike

China’s Love Affair With The E-Bike

bikes-in-china

Shanghai, China — China is considered to be the world’s bicycle kingdom , because one of every three inhabitants rides a bicycle.

And more and more of them are riding e-bikes, from workers tired of jam-packed public transport, to those tired of pedaling long distances to work. Even some who can afford cars are takig to ebikes to avoid traffic jams and expensive gasoline.

Thirty years ago, practically no one in China owned a car and bicycling was the only way to get around. Today, it still has 430 million bicycles by government count, outnumbering electric bikes and scooters 7-1.

But production of the electric two-wheelers has increased from fewer than 200,000 eight years ago to 22 million last year, mostly for the domestic market. The industry estimates about 65 million are on Chinese roads.

Read the complete article at:
Commuters switch on to electric power as bicycles get an update

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Japanese Take Advantage of Lack of Regulations

Japanese Take Advantage of Lack of Regulations

Tokyo, Japan – There’s an old saying, give someone an inch, and they’ll take a mile. That’s what is happening in Japan, and very likely in every country which does not – yet – classify e-bikes as motor driven vehicles.

Quite simply, in Japan, riders of battery-boosted bicycles don’t have to “worry” about traffic rules.

E-bikes sales are skyrocketing in Japan for that very reason. Last year, more e-bikes were sold than electric scooters – which do have to obey traffic laws.

“I started riding it a few months ago,” said a mother, pausing on a sidewalk near the Imperial Palace, with her two boys strapped into child seats. “You couldn’t do this on a moped, it would be illegal.”

The bikes, which have a brick-sized battery tucked behind the seat post, aren’t bound by traffic laws because they’re not classed as motor vehicles. “That appeals not just to housewives, but also companies such as Fuji Xerox Co., which bought a fleet of them to avoid parking tickets.”

However, as more and more riders flout the rules and avoid the parking tickets, you can bet the government will step in to impose some rules.

Read more about this trend in Japan at Japan’s Moms Dodge Law, Pedestrians on Panasonic Battery Bikes.

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Austrian Minister Promoting e-Bikes

Austrian Minister Promoting e-Bikes

Austria – Großglockner mountain is, at 3,798-metre-high, the highest mountain in Austria. Environment Minister Nikolaus Berlakovich scaled that mountain on an electric bicycle to promote a new subsidy programme.

After reaching the peak, the People’s Party (ÖVP) Minister said that local councils, tourism unions and other institutions will get a 200-Euro subsidy if they acquire the eco-friendly bicycles.

Read more about this at The Austrian Times.

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How About A Stimulus For City Bikes

How About A Stimulus For City Bikes

Soraya Nasirian visited the Netherlands, saw the Dutch on bicycles, and wondered “Why aren’t more Americans riding bicycles like this? Why do Americans ride hunched over, on bikes with no racks, carrying their stuff in all kinds of bags and riding so fast and aggressively?”

Nasirian decided to team up with Dutch husband Oscar Mulder to open up a new business to peddle Dutch pedals: My Dutch Bike on Market Street just east of Second Street in San Francisco. Their shop sells a few high-end Dutch city bikes, as well as the bakfiets, the Dutch answer to cargo bikes. Their sales are good enough to keep them in business, she says, although most of their business is online, and they will be moving soon to another location.

Read more

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Can Cars and Electric Bikes Share The Road?

Can Cars and Electric Bikes Share The Road?

brammo-riding

Ontario, Canada — As e-bikes grow in popularity, more and more of them can be seen on the roads. Because they can go up to 15 miles an hour, they aren’t allowed on sidewalks. And just as pedestrians hate regular bicycles on sidewalks, so motorists hate bikes and e-bikes on the road. (Well, not all. But a significant number.)

Certain ebikes are scooters – with a wider profile than ebikes or bicycles, and need to be given more room from cars when they pass.

Chatham-Kent Police Service Constable Michael Pearce, public information officer, said the Ontario Ministry of Transportation is nearing the end of a three-year pilot project for the E-bikes.

Pearce pointed out as long as the pedals are attached — which doesn’t mean it has to be pedalled — it remains classified as a bicycle. This means the operator doesn’t need insurance, drivers license or licence plate, he added.

“If you take those pedals off . . . it then becomes a motorcycle and you need a M-class license, you need to have insurance, you need to have it plated, etc,” Pearce said.

Other rules for the E-bikes is the rider has to be 16 or older, but only needs to wear an approved bicycle helmet. The scooter are supposed to travel at a maximum of 32 km/hr.

Pearce said local police haven’t had any issues the E-bikes, but have received several inquires, including a lady who wanted to know if she could ride the scooter to another community.

The scooters are not allowed on any 400-series highway, but can travel on just about any other roadway.

“People need to use common sense,” he said. “Just because you’re on a vehicle that propels you, it’s still considered a bike and drivers need to treat them as bicycle riders, and the people operating them need to behave as if they’re a bicycle rider.”

He said scooters are not afforded the same right as a motor vehicle, so operators need to travel on the side of the roadway.

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Italian Government Works to Popularize The E-bike

Italian Government Works to Popularize The E-bike

electric-bike-italy

Rome, Italy — The Italian government allocated € 8.75 million at the end of April to help popularize the consumer purchases of bicycles. The plan was such a success that the money was spent in just a few weeks. Now the Ministry for the Environment has decided to add another € 10 million towards the purchase of bikes, and expects that it will lead to the sale of 120,000 bicycles.

The government incentives are having a huge positive impact on bike sales. It contributes as much as 30% (up to a maximum of € 700) of the retail price of a bicycle or e-Bike. This financial reward caused sales to double in April, and the spurt continued over to the first weeks of May.

Italian bike suppliers are glad of the extra 10 million. Bike sales in 2008 were reported to have dropped to about 1.7 million units. In 2007 bike sales stood at close to 2 million units, according to statistics from ANCMA.

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Toronto Facing Requests To Segregate E-bikes

Toronto Facing Requests To Segregate E-bikes

toronto-electric-bike

Toronto, Canada — Electric bikes are at the centre of a bylaw controversy in Toronto. E-bikes are becoming more numerous on the roads, and that is posing some problems.

Toronto’s public works committee is being asked to close a loophole that allows electric bikes on sidewalks, after having received complaints.

The co-chair of the pedestrian committee, Dylan Reid, says the e-bikes have smaller wheels than regular bikes, and that lets them get around a bylaw intended for children that allows bicycles with less than a 24-inch wheel on sidewalks.

“So what we’re asking for is the city to simply clarify the situation and say that anything electrically powered or motorized can’t travel on the sidewalks,” said Reid.

Pedestrian complaints aren’t all, though.

Yvonne Bambrick of the Toronto Cyclists Union wants the city to go further and ban e-bikes from bike lanes and paths. “I believe that any type of motorized vehicle whether it’s an electric motor or a gas motor belongs with other motorized vehicles in the main part of our streets,” she said.

At the root of the cyclists’ concern is Ontario’s new Road Safety Act. According to the law, e-bikes are allowed everywhere that regular bikes can go — bike lanes, bike trails, even bike stands and lockers.

Bambrick says she’s not against e-bikes, it’s just a matter of safety.

E-bike riders protest that e-bikes are here to stay, so just get used to them.

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Dirt Rider Test-Rides the Zero-X

Dirt Rider Test-Rides the Zero-X

zero-testing

Santa Cruz, California — The Santa Cruz, California-based company, Zero, has recently debuted its new Zero-X Electric Motorcycle, the result of years of work by Neal Saiki, founder, and inventor of the new e-cycle. Saiki is a former NASA engineer.

The overall design of the frame and plastic of the Zero-X is revolutionary, according to its reviewers from Dirt Rider, who also comment that the layout of the electric motor is innovative as well.

The bike is powered by a proprietary lithium-ion rechargeable power pack, and has an aircraft-grade aluminum frame and swingarm. There is also a massive power module cradled in the center of the frame – which weighs 45 pounds and taking up most of the room in the motor area.

To start the bike, you simpy turn the key, flip the on/off switch to “on” and then wait about 0.562 seconds for the green light to come on.

Because the bike is silent, it is easy to forget it’s on. Flick the throttle and the cycle moves forward immediately, with no hesitation.

The Zero-X’s has a 20 horsepower engine. A test rider was able to climb Glen Helen’s famed Mount St. Helens with little trouble. There are two switches behind the handlebar-that can  alter the Zero-X’s power. According to the reviewer, the “hit” switch doesn’t seem to make a massive difference, but the “low” setting makes the overall speed of the electric motorcycle much mellower. You have to toggle the key to go from low to high, which is a good safety feature.

The test rider pointed out that compared to a full-size 250, the Zero-X is fragile, but that’s because you’re contrasting it with a big bike. In relation to a mountain bike, though, this motorcycle is quite strong.

You truly have to ride it like a bicycle – that means no blatantly hard landings and no slamming into things; you have to use finesse to ride the bike. At 151 pounds, the Zero-X is about all that the mountain bike-style fork and shock combo can take, and the entire chassis takes on a nimble, flickable feel in the dirt. Although not as stable as some would like, the lightweight feel of the machine certainly is a benefit to the power-to-weight ratio, and though the Zero-X can’t take super-hard hits or big drops, it is still capable for mild trail scenarios.

It takes a while to get used to the layout of the bike. With two hand brakes and a throttle being the extent of the controls, there’s no need for your feet to do anything.

Some components-the chain guide, for instance-are low, obtrusive and simply not designed for serious off-road use (but then again, neither was the bike).  The brakes are yet another mountain bike-inspired part and do a good job of stopping the bike when new, though Dirt Rider reviewers have heard from customers who bought this bike in late ’08 that the pads wear out almost immediately.

It was the battery duration that would be extremely important.

The testers ran three batteries out at the Zero-X intro, and they all died in different fashions.

One battery slowly grew weaker and chugged to a stop, another felt as though it operated at one-third power forever and then fell out, and yet another battery dropped dead like someone had turned the key off. This variation is most likely because the speed with which the battery runs out, much like a tank of gas, is dependent on which mode you are in and how hard you are on the throttle.

Swapping out a battery with a replacement takes less than three minutes, but an extra batter costs $2950 (plus shipping) for the replacement.

Otherwise, it takes about two and a half hours to recharge the battery.

Right now, the major competitor to the Zero is the Quantya electric bike.

Specifications
MSRP: $7750
Claimed Weight (with battery): 151 lb
Fuel Capacity: None.

Source:
DirtRider.com

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Go Go Gocyle in England

Go Go Gocyle in England

gocycle-test

London, England — the gocycle is a brand new, sleek electric bike. It is a”a revolutionary, lightweight electric two-wheeler designed to shake up the urban cycling industry with its sleek design and pioneering technology.”

Helen Pidd tests the new Gocycle electric bicycle. Photograph: Martin Godwin

The gocycle is like any other bicycle, except it has a red button on the left handebar. That triggers the electricity, and the bike quietly continues on without benefit of pedaling.

The Gocycle manufacturers note that riders can obtain 20 miles out of a single battery charge.

When the battery does die, the bicycle still functions, of course.

It takes three hours to recharge the battery, by simply plugging it into the mains (or an outlet, as they say in the U.S..

Cost: £1198 – but it could be £599 if bought using a voucher from the government’s Cycle to Work Scheme

Pros: Powers ther rider up even steep hills. The bike can be taken to bits quite easily and transported in a carry case.

Cons: Too heavy for carrying up or down stairs very often. With its price tag, fear of theft is a big concern.

Links: gocycle.com

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Colorado Commuters Save Money with Electric Bikes

Colorado Commuters Save Money with Electric Bikes

colorado-ebikes

Denver, Colorado — If you fit a couple of simple criteria, an electric bicycle mighthelp you make ends meet in these tough economic times.

Bruce Campbell of Green Machines, Inc. proudly shows off the IZIP electric bike.

Work downtown? Pay to park and live within 10 miles of your office? Exchange the car for en electric bike and you can save the $200 to $300 a month you spend on parking and gas. Over the course of three or four months – your ebike will have paid for itself.

There are a few ebike retailers in the metro area including Bird RV in Aurora, the Electric Bike Shop in Castle Rock, Green Machines in Edgewater, as well as Boulder and Longmont.

“You have two different modes of propulsion,” explained Bruce Campbel, owner of Green Machines (5217 W. 25th Ave). “On some models you can go on power alone, without having to pedal, or you have the choice of pedaling and using less power. Other models you have to pedal but as soon as you start a sensor notices the motion and assists you.”

“It’ll go 13 to 15 mph under it’s own power, which is a fairly typical bicycle speed,” he said. “Right now I am only selling new bikes that are all electric. I do have some used bikes for resale.” Campbell accepts bike donations as well and fixes them up, donating any proceeds to charity. “It’s more of a charitable contribution to the recycling effort – just to try and stay green.”

The new bikes come in a range of models and power levels starting with the IZIP, which retails for $499 plus shipping and taxes. “The mid-range is roughly $799 to $875 and the high end is from about $1,799 up to $3,000 for the real top of the line. It’s a monster – a really great bike.”

For people with medical conditions that limit their abilities, the hybrids are a dream come true.

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