May 13, 2009 As you read this, 66-year-old Briton Eddie Sedgemore is powering his way all over the UK mainland, a 1,655-mile journey on an electric bicycle to raise money for the British Heart Foundation. The steed chosen for what is (somewhat contentiously) described as a world record attempt is the Powabyke, a regular looking bike that has a 250 watt motor which slots into the water bottle holder and weighs only 2.5kg, allowing riders to coast along at a steady 15mph (add another 10mph in pedal assist mode).
According to the publicity Eddie is aiming to break the previous world record of 1,654.6 miles for the longest journey on motorized bicycle. However, ebikeblog, while in no way detracting from the worthy nature of Eddie’s ride, questions the validity of the attempt, pointing out that the record they are claiming to break was on a motorized scooter, not a motorized bicycle. Ebikeblog also says that Spaniard Guim Valls Teruel is this month beginning an Electric Bicycle World Tour which will cover considerably greater mileage.
Eddie’s efforts are still to be commended. No stranger to challenges, he has completed numerous marathons and finished the Lands End to John o' Groats challenge four times, setting the world record on a push-scooter in 2001. He has also raised hundred of pounds for charity. And this journey will hopefully bring electric cycles further into the public eye.
Powabyke says their bykes cost only about 1.5p (roughly USD 0.022) per mile to operate and can be charged from any mains power supply: charging time is about five hours. A 130mm x 55mm x 30mm pocket charger is also available. Range is 10 - 15 miles on a single charge on flat ground; pedaling will obviously increase this distance, and a second battery is an option to give you further pedal-free range.
With rising fuel costs, overcrowded and often unreliable public transport and increasing interest in all things ‘green’ and eco-friendly, Powabyke has sold over 30,000 electric bikes around the world since 1999. Anyone over 14 years of age can ride a Powabyke on the road without a license, tax or insurance.
Nick Child, Managing Director of Powabyke Ltd said, "Electric cycles have really come of age. We've been producing them since 1999 and over the years we have been busy developing the technology to create a sleek, lightweight electric bike that's ideal for commuting."
“Cycling for fun has always been popular, but when it comes to commuting by bike, people are not always so keen to get onto two wheels. We can change that, offering the rider power assistance when it’s needed, and the option of pedaling for some gentle exercise if they feel like it."
Top of the Powabyke range is the X-24 with a RRP of £929. It has 24-speed Shimano gears and weighs 23kg with the battery fitted. Mountain bike suspension forks are available as an option. Powabykes come with a five year warranty on the frame and one year on the Li-Ion battery, motor drive and the electrics.