Mint.com has an infographic showing which cities spend the most and least on gas per month. San Jose, CA is at the top of the list with $216 while not surprisingly, New York, NY is at the bottom with $102.
It is interesting to compare this to Bicycling.com’s list of top 50 best bike cities.
The Ridekick Trailer gives cyclist another option for electric assist. The trailer attaches to a normal bicycle, instantly turning it into an e-bike with a range of 15 miles (24 km).
The electric-assist trailer format is very clever as when you need a boost, it is often when you are carrying cargo. This solution serves dual purpose and quickly disconnects when not needed.
- 19 mph (30.5 km) maximum assistance
- 15 mile (24 km) range
- 10 minutes installation
- $729.00 including shipping
- Available for now for online ordering
There are no batteries or electronics to ruin the lines of your pedal bicycle. All of the heavy electronic components are protected from the elements. The unit can be wheeled "carry-on style" indoors for charging. Check out the video of the Ridekick in action.
This is a well written article which documents the moment when the mental switch is flipped and the rider discovers how e-bikes fit into the transportation paradigm.
The city of Las Vegas has launched a program to provide five e-bikes for employees to get around town. The program is funded by the Sustainability Initiative Grant. Follow the link to view the video from the local news coverage.
While one city gears up for electric bicycles, across the Pacific, authorities in Shenzhen, China are actively banning their use. The ban is in place until December 5th when officials will study the impact on road congestion and safety. The ban is intended to reduce traffic accidents involving e-bikes.
Technically electric bicycles are illegal to use in New York. That does not stop some brave deliverymen from making drop-offs up to 80 blocks away according to the article from New York Times City Room Blog.
In China, it is very common to see delivery guys on e-bikes. Fast food restaurants even international brand-name establishments have a fleet of e-bikes exclusively used for delivery.
Sources: New York Times
Replacing the carbon fiber with aluminum adds 3.2 kg (7 lbs), but reduces the price by a whopping $1,800. That works out to $562.50 per kilogram! The Fusion can be ordered online for $1,995 and ships in four weeks.
The Hybrid offers A2B Metro styling but complies to Europe’s pedelec Limitations of 250W and 125km/h (25mph). Along with the smaller direct drive motor comes the lower MSRP price of 2,299 USD.
Electric bicycles have found their way into the hands of the police -but for a good reason. According to a story by L.A. Times, a few e-bikes are being tested alongside standard issue police pedal bicycles in Los Angeles.
The LAPD has 450 regular bicycles in its fleet, all of which are mountain bikes. Electric bicycles will not replace the mountain bikes, Bygum said.
"I wouldn't want all LAPD officers riding them because part of being an officer is being physically fit, so it takes away some of the physical conditioning required," Bygum said. "Electric bikes just give us another capability."
It is a shame that mountain bikes are recruited for patrol duty, considering that the officers are not patrolling a mountain. Hopefully this test program will find that e-bikes can greatly extend the area which can be covered by an officer rather than serving to make him less fit.
NBC San Diego Channel 4 featured a video highlighting Ivan Stewart’s Electric Bicycle Center. The shop, managed by Gary Stewart, son of racing legend Ivan Stewart, is situated in San Diego’s trendy Little Italy.
The Electric Bicycle Center stocks bikes ranging from $1,700 to $2,500 which can reach 25 to 40 miles (40-64 km) with only a few cents worth of electricity. This is good news for locals who are looking for relief from 2-year record prices toping $3.60/gallon for regular gasoline.
Ego Kit Details
Ego Kits, not to be confused with eGO Vehicles, introduces a mid drive kit. The 1200W motor can peak out at 2400W while only weighing 3.1kg. The Ego claims to be compatible with 70% of the bikes on the marketplace. The kit includes a 48V 12Ah LiFePO4 backpack battery. No word on pricing or availability. Other similar Mid-drive kits include Cyclone and Eco-speed.
Hub Motor vs. Mid drive Motor
The ongoing debate over Mid-drive Motor vs. Hub motors continue with no clear winner as they both have distinct performance tradeoffs.
Hub motors are easy to manufacture, install and maintain, but are usually stuck with one motor gear and makes for a heavy hub. Additionally, if the hub motor is used on the rear wheel, it can limit the transmission to single speed or Derailleur shifter.
The exposed Derailleur is vulnerable to impact and weather damage. Derailleur systems also need periodic adjustments for the shifting mechanism to function correctly.
Mid-drive motor systems power the drive chain which provide the option of using either internal hub transmissions or Derailleur systems. The actual motors are generally lighter, but introduce the added complexity of a gear reduction sub-system or second chain. The critical advantage is that the efficiency is greater as the optimal gear ratio can be selected for the motor and the rider to use.
The additional hardware needed for the Mid-drive to operate can make for a louder (nosier) e-bike when compared to the nearly silent Hub motor. OEM mid-drive systems are popular in locations where local regulations limit the motor’s power output. Manufactures are forced to squeeze every Watt from the under-powered motors.