From the monthly archives:

March 2013

Electricity and Bikes?

by John on March 14, 2013

My coleague Eric on the electric brompton

My colleague Eric on an electric folding bike

As a complete neophyte to electric bikes, it came as a complete shock that you could combine the two elements. Electric?…. Bike? I always figured that you would always want to pedal the bike that you happen to be on. Chalk this up to a lifetime of easy, relatively flat urban riding. To end my ignorance, this week my friend Eric introduced me to the concept of electrified rides in the form of various dedicated E-bikes, as they are coined, such as the pony packing Stromer, powerful eFlow, and the highly adaptable BionX Conversion Kits that can turn near any bike under the sun into an E-bike. You can even make an electric folding bike – Now that’s innovation.

My E-bike education

My education began with the sleek Stromer electric bike, this sporty steed of a bike is a full blown E-bike designed for maximum efficiency with a lithium 500W battery built into the down tube. Fast, powerful, and comfortable, with a frame modeled after a traditional mountain bike that has some nice front suspension and disc brakes. Amazing.

Stromer electric bike

Stromer electric bike

Another impressive e-bike, which just arrived at the shop, is the eFlow nitro. Like the Stromer, the eFlow Nitro also does not shy away from clever design. Where Stromer hides the battery inside the down tube, the eFlow Nitro is designed with the battery cleanly hidden away in the seat tube, cleverly distributing the weight underneath the rider.

Both the Stromer and the eFlow Nitro offer the most bleeding edge technology and innovation to take up any nasty hill or incline. Some may worry about the duration of the charge and range, but if you pedal along with the assistance provided by the motor, commutes of 30-40 miles should be a breeze.

For a detailed review of the eFlow check out TurboBob’s eFlow Nitro Article.

Electric conversion kits

Crosstown BionX Bike

Crosstown BionX Bike

If a fully designed E-bike may be out of your wallet’s range, don’t worry, there is a solution in the form of the BionX Motor Kits. This enables you to convert any standard bike into a speedy commuter so you may also take part in this very green solution to commuting. The kit uses a lithium ion battery, nicely mounted to the bike’s frame, or in some cases to a rear rack.

There are three different types of BionX kits which differ in power. The least powerful kit, the BionX Pl250 uses a 250 watt motor and a 24 volt battery, capable of powering you for up to 20 miles, at around 20 mph. As the least powerful kit, it’s battery is going to be smaller and therefore lighter, which is a major plus if you live up a walk up!

The next kit up is the Pl350 BionX— fit with a more powerful 350 watt motor and 36 volt battery, you’ll have a better range and more power at any given time, but it will be a few pounds heavier than the PL250.

Finally, there is the premium 48 volt bionX kit. With a higher wattage battery coupled with a 350watt motor, you’ll have increased power and range, and it’ll be 20% than the standard as well. Pretty sweet.

After taking test rides on these different models of Electric Bikes I was definitely riding high. If you get a chance, come by the shop take a few free test rides on some great electric bikes and you’ll see what I’m talking about!