Thursday
May122011

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 - latimes.com
Related:  City of London police trial electric bike - bikeradar.com

Wednesday
May042011

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) , 
commutebybike.combikeshophub.comflagstaffbiking.org

 

Sunday
Mar272011

Electric Bicycle Magazine issue 1 and 2 available online


The UK based Electric Bike Magazine has made available volume 2 online as well as hardcopy. Other issues can also be downloaded via their webpage 

Tuesday
Mar222011

Transportation visions from Taipei

Various pictures from the 2011 Taipei International Cycle Show.

Sources: www.taipeicycle.com.tw

Thursday
Feb242011

Record electric bicycle sales for one San Diego retailer

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.

 

 Resources: NBC San Diego, ISElectricBikeCenter.com , SignOnSandiego.com

Tuesday
Feb152011

Wired Gadget Lab takes a look at some e-bikes from the DIY scene

Thursday
Jan132011

The Ego Kit makes your trip up easier

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.   

Related Links:
Ego Kits ,   Cyclon Kits , Eco-speed Kits , Engadget.com

Thursday
Dec232010

E-bikes get data logging and GPS with a new wave of products

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.

 

 

Monday
Nov292010

Sometimes "cheating" is not a bad thing

Daniel Rowell takes his Optibike to work. The Baltimore Sun has a nice story detailing his “unique” mode of transportation. 

 "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

Tuesday
Oct192010

DIY linear motor wheel could become the world's lightest e-bike configuration  

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. 

Setup

Static Spin Test

Short Ride

Monday
Oct182010

Excellent review of the Pedego Classic Cruiser

Pete Prebus of ElectricBikeReport.com Posted a nice video review of an orange Pedego Classic Cruiser which retails for $1,975 and available directly from Pedego.com webpage.

Links: ElectricBikeReport.com , PedegoElectricBikes.com , @EBikePete

Friday
Oct152010

The Aerobic Cruiser recumbent e-bike featured on local news

Memphis investor hopes his recumbent-styled e-bike cruiser will catch on with local residents. After four years and "several million dollars" of investment, Charles McVean and his team of a dozen or so have created the Aerobic Cruiser.
 
The bikes range in price from $2000 for the Commuter model up to $5000 for the Deluxe version which can achieve 20 mph (32km/h) for 75-100 miles (120-160km) range per charge. Memphis will be a test market with plans to expand nationwide. 

 

 

Related news and links:
AerobicCruiser.com , CommercilAppeal.com , MemphisFlyer.com , Center of Mass Blog

Wednesday
Oct132010

2010 Interbike Mobile Social Group Ride Video

Wednesday
Sep222010

Interbike Hill Climb Challenge Report

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. 

Video and Pictures of the event

Links: LEVA Association , Fortune Hanebrink , Interbike

 

Pictures of the Event: 

 

Tuesday
Sep072010

More details about the Copenhagen Wheel


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: 

  • The wheel has an average run time of 5 hours with medium assistance level and 70kg rider.
  • There will be 700c / 26" shipping versions. Alternatively, it can be re-spoked to any sized wheel. 
  • The controlling software will not be limited to the iPhone, but will also include Android platform. 
  • A stanalone control unit is also in the works. 
  • Batteries are normally charged by regeneration, but will also have the ability to be removed and charged through a wall socket. 
  • There is a “exercise” mode where the rider has the option to put more effort than is necessary to move the bicycle, the extra energy is stored in the battery pack. 
  • The final prototype will be about 4-5kg (9-11 pounds). 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday
Aug312010

Urban Arrow: Taking the “Car” out of Cargo

Wytze van Mansum, designer of the Cannondale Dutchess concept bike, creates the Urban Arrow, a modern take on the bakfiets cargo-style bicycle.

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.

Additional Links

Bicycle Design.net article 
TreeHugger.com article 
BULLITT cargo Bicycle: Larry vs. Harry 
UrbanArrow.nl 
Bakfiets.nl
Wytze van Mansum / Twitter: @fytze

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