Remember when the Segway
was launched in 2001? The company proclaimed that it was going to revolutionize personal transportation, but... well, although Segways are still around, they’re hardly a common sight. What could soon be
a common sight, however, are electric bicycles. While a variety of styles were on display at this year’s Eurobike
show, commuting ebikes were by far the most common. An electric drive makes sense on a commuter – you still get some exercise and don’t have to register it as a scooter, yet you also don’t arrive at your destination all hot and sweaty. As with all electric vehicles, however, range is always an issue. That is now being addressed, however, with ebikes that can travel up to 160 kilometers (99.4 miles) on one charge. If your commute is longer than that, you really might want to consider, you know... driving.
Tech developer the Bosch Group
and bicycle maker Cannondale
are collaborating on a new electric drive system for bikes. The motor is rated at 250 watts, with a peak power of 350 watts. It’s powered by a 36-volt lithium-ion battery pack, which is good for 288 watt-hours, 500 charge cycles, and recharges in no more than 2.5 hours.
The Austrian KTM eGnition was definitely one of the more interesting bicycles at last week's Eurobike
show in Germany. It has the frame and components of a freeride mountain bike, but with a 1,000-watt Clean Mobile electric motor that delivers extra power when the rider is pedaling. The fact that the electric assist is only available when pedaling was a key factor in the design of the eGnition, as KTM wanted it to be clearly different than an electric motorbike. The folks who run Eurobike obviously approved, as it received their Design Award for this year’s event.
You may have just read our take on the KTM eGnition freeride bike
that was on display at this year’s Eurobike
, but it wasn’t the only electric mountain bike in attendance. German bike-maker Conway also used the event to premiere its burly-looking E-Rider. Its motor can generate up to 2,000 watts, which definitely separates it from the commuting ebikes, while its weight is somewhere under 20 kilograms (44 lbs.) – not bad for something with a motor and a battery.
It’s no secret that as gas prices soar and battery technology evolves, electric bikes are fast becoming the next big two-wheeled thing. That trend is clearly evidenced by the strong showing ebikes are making at this year’s Eurobike trade show, currently taking place in Friedrichshafen, Germany. Over the next several days, we’ll be showing you a few examples that we’ve spotted at the show, but to start things off... well, let’s kick out the jams and go with the “Oh come on, you can’t be serious” ebike. It called the BlackTrail, and with a top speed of 100 km/h (62 mph), it’s officially the world’s fastest commercially-available electric bicycle – and probably the most awesome-looking, to boot.