E-Bike Family (Part II) Sec 4 and 5: Pre-Production E-bike Build and Testing

In the next morning, we went over to the final assembly factory to make a pre-production build. While I wait for some critical parts to arrive by carrier, I explore the section of the facility where cargo e-tricycles are made. By the time the bike comes alive, it's time to clock out and get some dinner with more suppliers.


Nov 2, 2010: Today was the last day in China before I returned to the states. We got a chance to take the e-bike out for a little trip around the factory before lunch. There was just enough time to test the normal bicycle version before I left. The bikes will be painted and later flown to San Diego for more testing.


E-Bike Family (Part II) Sec 3: Battery Enclosure Factory

We had breakfast with the Bafang guys in the morning and then drove over to Kunshan, China to the factory where the battery enclosure is made. I can see now we need to reduce the amount of plastic we use - even if that means an increase in cost.

We later made our way back to Shanghai for a night of rest. The next morning we drove the van to Jinhua where we do the final assembly. In the next days, we will build up a pre-production sample to evaluate the sourced parts and figure out how to efficiently manufacture the bike.



E-Bike Family (Part II) Sec 2: Frame and Bafang Motor Factories

The next morning, we headed over to the frame factory to check up on the samples. There was no way to escape without having lunch and booze with the factory managers. That made us really late getting into Suzhou and the Bafang motor factory was about to close. Another big dinner with the Bafang managers rounded off a long day.


E-Bike Family (Part II) Sec 1: Battery Factory Visit

Just posted is the video from the first section of The E-Bike Family Documentary Part 2. Part 1 can be seen here.
Early the next morning and still somewhat hungover. I head into Shanghai to meet up with my team. Together we drove to Hangzhou to check out a battery supplier. Later on we drove to Ningbo -arriving just in time for dinner and a little Karaoke. 
There is a big week ahead of us.
Sources: Vimeo , YouTube

E-Bike Family - The Documentary (Part I) Posted

In Part 1 of the video documentary, I head to Shanghai to help Justin Lemire-Elmore over at Tech with his parts suppliers before meeting up with my team in Part 2. It was an epic journey through China where we visit the The Controller GarageThe Nine Continent Factory and later spend a little time in Shanghai.

See the E-Bike Family (Part 1) page


Video: Running on Empty

Imagine the possibilities. 

Sources: , Vimeo


The national average is $177 per month on fuel according to 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’s list of top 50 best bike cities. 

Sources: ,


Ridekick trailer provides cyclist with an electric boost

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. 

Key Figures: 

- 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.



Flipping the switch on transportation

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. 

Source: Look, It's a Cheatercycle! by Lynn Rapopor -


Las Vegas takes a bet on e-bikes while Shenzhen folds

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.    

Sources: , , 


Bosch bottom bracket motor dismantled (video)

The Bosch e-bike system is take apart on video. It is interesting to see how many different parts are used for this motor system.

Additional Sources:


New York City deliverymen put electric bicycles to work

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



YikeBike Fusion promises not to melt your bank account

The YikeBike Carbon arrived on the scene with a relatively expensive price point of $3,795. The folding electric scooter has a Formula 1 inspired carbon fiber body and lithium (LiFePO4) battery pack. 

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. 




BIke Radar review of the A2B Hybrid posted  

Bike Radar gives a favorable review of Ultra Motor’s A2B Hybrid e-bike. 

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. 

Related: - A2B Metro review , Ultra Motor A2B Metro


LAPD testing the value of electric bicycles 

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. 

Source: LAPD experiments with electric bicycles, Susan Carpenter -
Related:  City of London police trial electric bike -


Update after two weeks of commuting on e-bike (Video)

Steve Benning, a Flagstaff radio DJ has been using an e-bike to commute to work for two weeks. Here is an interview where he shares some of his experiences. 



Update: Week 4 video


First interview video with Steve (YouTube) ,


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