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
Hanebrink all-terrain e-bike wins the Interbike LEVA Hill Climb Challenge. The event, held for the first time in 2010, was intended to be a fun race between e-bikes and pedal powered bicycles. The course was a short one-third mile uphill run up to Bootleg Canyon.
The “stock” Hanebrink gained a significant advantage over the other e-bikes because of its 2000W Crystalyte 5-series motor and its huge gearing which allowed the rider to pedal at high speeds. The pedal cyclist finished second, trailing by 1 second.
The Copenhagen Wheel is in the final prototyping phase and will go on sale in about 12 months. The cost is targeted for about $600 which is slightly lower than a decent lithium e-bike kit.
The advantage of the Copenhagen Wheel is that there are no “messy” wires to deal with. All of the electronics are housed inside the wheel and controlled wirelessly via smartphone. A torque sensor measures the pedal effort and assists the rider when needed.
New details include:
Van Mansum’s design goes one step beyond the BULLITT bakfiets with the addition of electric assistance. This combination could “essentially replace a car” for most trips.
The Urban Arrow prototype was nominated for an Eurobike 2010 Award and is on display at the entrance to the show.
Daniel Fikuart from Aktiv Radfahren gets the latest news from the floor of BikeExpo 2010. There are many new European e-bike models hitting the market for 2011. Nearly all of the major bicycle manufactures have a line of electric-assist bicycles.
The speed of e-bike acceptance is much higher in Europe than in North America. Europeans tend to use bicycles as a means of transport, while in North America bicycles are typically used for recreation. Electric-assistance is often seen as "defeating the purpose" of riding a bicycle in car-centric United States.
TransX Folding bicycle with electric assist
Bulls Neuheiten 2011
Panther eBikes 2011
Hercules eVersa 2011
Hercules eOne 2011
Kettler Layana 2011
KTM ebikes 2011
Kalkhoff Highlights 2011
Ultra Motor A2B
Sixt, one of Europe's largest car rental companies debuts a trial e-bike rental program. The promotion, in cooperation with E-Motion Technologies has on offer three different e-bike models from € 6/hour to € 18/day (8 hours).
The 90 day "Bike with Horsepower" program is available at two locations: