Tag Archive | "tour de france"

Introducing Shimano’s Latest Creation

Introducing Shimano’s Latest Creation

How much would you spend for an upgrade to smooth shifting on your next road bike? If $4,000 to $8,000 is in the ballpark, then a Shimano-powered electronic bike may be in your future. We took the cycling giant’s latest gear for a spin in Central Park, drawing envious glances from various spandex-clad bikers during the ride. Outfitted with the company’s newest Ultegra 6770 Di2 series of gears, the shifters gave us a taste of technology normally reserved for Tour de Francers — at new, more affordable pricing. So what was it like to be the envy of cyclists everywhere? Jump past the break to find out.

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Shimano showcases the Ultegra Di2 electronic bike gears, we go for a ride

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Electric Bike Speeds the Commute

Electric Bike Speeds the Commute

Here are some thoughts from Rick after his first month of commuting with the Pietzo Milan electric bike. He writes:

“Much of my riding is along paved roads on my 6.5 mile commute to work and I’ve made this trip 4 times over the past week. The Pietzo Milan is well constructed, shifts easily, and can be handled as a normal mountain bike with easy removal of the front wheel. Although it is only available in a single frame size, it has sufficient adjustments to fit riders of different sizes including my 6ft/210 lb size. With the 700 watt electric boost as the bike starts off, it can easily start off in top gear. The controls have proven to be well thought out and implemented. High power is used for cruising at 20-25mph, Medium for bumpy roads, and Low for more crowded areas. The thumb control throttle is particularly useful for maneuvering on sidewalks at low speed with people and obstacles. It is very handy when crossing the road in traffic even when using a tall gear and with the pedals not positioned at the top of the power stroke.

One particularly interesting benefit occurred while I was out on a maiden voyage trying to kill the battery in order to determine the safe range for my riding style. After 25 miles of heavy power use I was still going strong as I approached one of the many local tour-de-France motivated riders, complete with spandex, racing shoes, and tires about 1⁄2 inch wide. As I caught up with this rider, I didn’t have the heart to pass him. It would have crushed his ego being passed by this slightly overweight old guy with blue jeans and sneakers on a mountain bike with groceries. I doubt he would have suspected my bike is electric powered, as the bike has only a slight whir easily mistaken for tire noise. He likely could beat my speed in a burst due to his tall gearing, but the relentless power of 350 watts would crush him in the long haul or especially on a long hill. Like my addiction to the power of hydrocarbon fuels, the extra boost from this powerful little motor does provide some satisfaction. In spite of the power assist, I still find that I am getting good exercise and am striving for many miles of safe riding with personal form improvements along the way.”

Stay tuned for the next post that will include some of Rick’s calculations about the Pietzo Milan electric bike power consumption relative to other motorized vehicles.

This post was originally made at ebikenews.com and is reprinted here with permission.

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UCI to check for electric bikes at Tour de France

UCI to check for electric bikes at Tour de France

LIESTAL, Switzerland — Cycling’s governing body, the International Cycling Union, intends to perform tests at this year’s Tour de France to ensure that racers are not cheating by using motors hidden in their bicycle frames.

There has been speculation, most recently on Swiss rider Fabian Cancellara, who denied he won Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders this year with the help of a motorized bike.

A video posted on various websites appears to show Cancellara pushing a button on the handlebars of his bike during both races.

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UCI to check for electric bikes at Tour de France

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The A2B Metro

The A2B Metro

ultra-motor-a2b-metro

London, England — Every street in any city has its own, official name – the name the city planners give it. And then there are the names that other groups give it – the cyclists, the roller bladers, the skateboarders – names that describe the features that these individuals care for most/

For example, in South London there’s a “Crafty Slope,” a long, subtly sapping stretch of terraced houses”; “Death Row”, a “steep road that skirts the cemetery”. And then there is “Cardiac Crest”, a South London cliff-like crest that puts riders in mind of a Pyrenean climb in the Tour de France.

Neville Hawcock, who writes for the Financial Times, recently got a chance to take the A2B Metro out for a test spin.

“In appearance at least, it resembles a chunky version of an old-fashioned shopper, minus the basket at the front and with a shoebox-sized battery at the back. The motor sits on the rear hub, and is connected via a chain to the pedals in case extra power is needed and via cables to a twist-grip “”hrottle””on the handlebars. The saddle is broad and comfortable, and there is front and rear suspension. It’s sturdy and solid. Built, I thought uncharitably, for comfort not speed.”

Read the rest of the article at Ultra Motor’s A2B Metro electric bike.

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