From the monthly archives:

February 2013

The Interbike Electric Bike Media Event—2013, the Year of the E-bike, by Turbo Bob

Interbike E-bike Event

Interbike E-bike Event

The new year kicked off with an exciting day of E-bikes here in the Southern California sun. Interbike has launched what should be an annual event and the start was worthy of a repeat. Many firms gathered to showcase their products to the reporting world and to the Electric Bike retailers that hope to get the public nestled in the saddles of these fun and useful machines.
Although the day revolved around the electric bikes themselves, the event had two key speakers to help things along. After the well attended breakfast on one of the large patios, we moved into a conference room to hear Bill Moore of EV World.com relay thoughts on E-bikes. His topic was about the history of E-bikes and it was covered well. Of course when you consider history, you are doing so with the future in mind. With the American market for E-bikes growing daily, there was much to discuss about new electric bike technology and the future of electric bike legislation.

Interbike E-bike event

Interbike E-bike event

Time to test ride some E-bikes

Then we moved outside to view and ride the bikes on hand. The Terranea Resort, where the event was held, is a coastal gem. This LA location has much to offer and the area for the rides was perfect. A long graded asphalt drive and a big level parking lot is surrounded with great lawns where the booths were located. The selection and types of E-bikes to ride was extensive.
One of the goals for Interbike was to draw lots of non-bike media groups to find out more about the feel and uses of E-bikes for their readers. Many publications sent reporters to learn for themselves what Electric Bikes are all about. With the hope of spreading the word of electric-assist bikes to a larger audience, the wheels turned for a few hours before the lunch break. E-bikes could be seen riding all over with the matching smiles on board.
There were celebrities and press taking to the bikes. Men’s Journal, US Weekly and Oprah Magazine are just a few of the many who made the trek to this seaside location. I shot some videos I have posted on my You-Tube channel that show some of the activities taking place. Of course I rode just about every E-bike on hand, some simple, some expensive and some just downright fast.

http://youtu.be/3ymVJEGz0l4

Interbike E-bike Event

Interbike E-bike Event

E-bike Advocacy

Lunch was served before long and seated in the conference room again, we were treated to a presentation from Bikes Belong. Bruno Maier told us of the many programs and advocacy lobbing they are involved in. We got to learn about the progress they have made in getting more people on bikes on safer and more complete bike infrastructure. There is still much to do, but the ball continues to roll in the right direction.
The riding session after the meal was geared for the media and the e-bike dealers. The firms that brought bikes and products were knowledgeable and helpful to pass on their message to the interested crowd. There were so many people that changed their views on E-bikes that day and even more that were introduced to them for the first time. This event has done much to help bring E-bikes more into the forefront and minds of the American people.
Due to the time span on many magazines from the initial story until the publications hit the newsstands, the word of E-bikes will be trickling into the minds of the general public for months to come. Some reports, including this one and several others I will write (including one for my own bike blog), are coming to you only days after the close of the event.

The future of E-bikes

I was glad to be able to attend. I thought I would be representing and speaking for Momentum Magazine to promote my feature article on E-bikes they published last year. Although Momentum was not able to come, I still got a chance to make my own personal big splash at the event. That came in the form of me taking a couple full-speed runs down the course on a Kranked Kustoms 1200 watt mountain bike conversion they offer. I am not the biggest fan of over-powered off-road E-bikes, but the thrill was hard to pass up and I saw no one else give it a try. Somewhere around 50 mph I would guess.

Test rides at Interbike!

Test rides at Interbike!

Most all of the E-bikes on hand are more geared for legal road use. There were many folding E-bikes, including the new Dahon based model from a locally based firm. BionX had a sales rep there and the Solex E-bikes were sporting their systems. I rode another BionX equipped bike that was decked out with some fantastic pieces. Commuters, sport, three-wheeled, cargo and mountain bikes of all sizes and shapes filled the test area. They even had a bike-share E-bike for us to try.
The day was a big success and I do expect it to be a yearly addition to the main Interbike venue in Las Vegas. I had a great time and the word of E-bikes will be added to the vocabulary of many as the year continues. The year of the E-bike? I do think so, Turbo Bob.
“This is a pretty extreme occupation—it isn’t the kind of job you can separate from the rest of your life. It completely affects your health, your habits.”—Travis Brown.

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Stromer Electric Bike – Super Charged!

by Jack R. on February 5, 2013

Stromer Electric Bike

Today I had the chance to test ride the Stromer Electric Bike. This Electric Bike is absolutely gorgeous.  Dressed in a coat of satin black paint, baring no flashy decals or anything, just a bold face “Stromer” decal letting you know its the real deal.  As I took it around the block, I saw a lot of heads turning, and whenever I stopped at a light, I felt like the center of attention.

Power on Demand

The Stromer is one of the most powerful Electric Bikes in the shop, sporting a 500W motor, powered by a 36 volt lithium ion battery, good for at least 20 miles on a charge.

One of the great things about this Electric Bike is that it gives you the option of using a power on demand throttle or activating an advanced pedal assist technology via a console.

Console for the Stromer

Console for the Stromer

The throttle works like you would expect: give it a twist, and the motor is activated, powering you down the road at 20 miles per hour with no pedaling necessary.  The pedal assist option is a little more complicated.  Using an electronic console mounted on the handlebar, you can select 1 of 4 different levels of electric assistance.  At the lowest level, the motor will help you out just enough to keep you from getting tired.  It is at this level that the Stromer Electric bike has the most range as the battery will be draining at a slow rate.

At the highest levels of assistance, you’ll feel the motor kick in like somebody floored the gas.  You’ll be rocketing along going 20mph without breaking a sweat.  But your range will be a little less.

An E-bike with Power and Agility

Stromer Electric BikeI was pleasantly surprised by how smooth, agile, and nimble this electric bike felt. The Stromer Electric Bike gives the rider a sense of owning the road, with the power of 10 peoples legs all at once. On a flat road, just using the throttle, this powerful electric bike is easily capable of over 20 mph with little to no assistance.

I also made sure to see what a hill would be like. What looked like a steep incline was quickly overcome thanks to power assist. All that’s required is a pedal stroke. Virtually any amount of power to the crank awakens the electric motor and pulls you through nearly any situation. I personally weigh about 230 lbs and was expecting the bike to feel a bit sluggish to pull up a hill, but there was no hesitation whatsoever. The handling on this electric bike is also superb, I had no shudder in confidence through a few twisty turns in the park.

Overall, the experience was great and, in my opinion, the Stromer Electric Bike bike is one of the best.

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