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.
For some E-bike enthusiast, a simple bicycle computer is not nearly enough. The true e-bike geeks will want to record Wattage, Amperage, Voltage, Watt-hour per Mile/Kilometer along with other parameters. Two products have arrived to record the data and even include GPS tracks.
Cycle Analogger by Grin Technologies (Ebike.ca) ($99.00 / $150.00 with GPS)
The Cycle Analogger takes the serial data output of the Cycle Analyst and stores it on an included 1GB MicroSD card. There is also the option of acquiring tracks from its on-board GPS. The data from each trip can be downloaded, graphed and even displayed on Google Earth.
SpeedDict by SpeedDict Technology ($104.26)
The Speeddict e-Bike computer has Bluetooth connectivity for connection to a Android mobile phone. Data can be displayed real-time and recorded to the 1MB onboard memory. Additional software can be used to help analyze trip statistics.
"The purists don't like it," he said. "They think you're cheating. I tell them I'm not in a race."
This is common remark heard by an e-bike cyclist. It is unfortunate that many people see any sort of bicycle as a device used for racing. Most will be put off by the price tag of an electric bicycle. However when you consider the positive benefits of exercise, the reduction of energy cost, and the light load on the environment, the car is soon exposed as the bigger cheater.
Links: Electric bicycle gives commuter a boost on 22-mile way to work - BaltimoreSun.com
Optibike - High Performance Electric Bikes
Psychokopf from Germany posted a series of videos which show what appears to be a linear motor being used for e-bike application. A series of coils attached to the fork attract magnets attached to the rim of the front wheel.
The videos show the detail of the setup, a static spin test and another where someone is riding around. The power is approximately 50W. Other videos of powerful DIY motors appear on Psychokopf's YouTube page.
Static Spin Test