Eurobike: E-bikes creating a buzz
By Simon Withers | Wednesday, September 2, 2009 3.15pm
There’s a buzz about this year’s Eurobike – literally. Everywhere you go you’re accompanied by the buzz of e-bikes and pedelecs. The test track is humming with electric bikes, trikes, scooters and all manner of weird and wonderful machines.
It really does seem that, in mainland Europe at least, the age of the electric bike has not just arrived but is here to stay. The following are just a snapshot of the machines that are around this year. Check out the thumbnails on the right for more images and information.
Probably the single most distinctive electric bike here, the New Zealand-made YikeBike has seemingly reinvented the penny-farthing for the electronic age.
Weighing 9.8kg, the Yike folds very neatly around its front wheel – which also contains the motor and battery – to create a genuinely portable package.
Maximum speed is 20km/h and range is around 9km. Maximum rider height is 193cm and weight 100kg. It’s due to be launched in Europe in early 2010 with a projected price of 3,500 euros.
The YikeBike – effectively an electric mini penny-farthing – folds into its own bag
In among the production bikes on show at Eurobike are quite a few prototypes, some of which you're not even allowed to photograph. We tried and got some very stern comments... but we were allowed to shoot Utopia Velo's electrically assisted touring bike, which is due for release in 2010.
It's hand-built from chromoly in Europe, has a Rohloff 14-speed hub gear, an enclosed chain and Magura hydraulic brakes. The basic setup has a claimed range of 60-70km, which rises to 60-100km with the double performance kit. This ups the power from 324 WH to 474 WH.
Utopia Velo were showing off this prototype electrically assisted touring bike
A lot of smaller companies are displaying electrically assisted bikes here, but there are some big name brands too, including Raleigh's European arm. Here we're looking at the Tailwind bikes from Schwinn. These have Toshiba batteries with a claimed charge time of just 30 minutes. A full charge of the 250w motor should get you around 20 or so miles. Price is 1,999 euros.
The Toshiba battery on Schwinn's Tailwind can be charged in as little as 30 minutes
Kreidler Light Concept
Around every corner of Eurobike's display halls you're likely to come across another manufacturer from Germany or Holland with their take on the electric bike. Kreidler are just one of them – and their prices are among the cheapst.
Their Light Concept model is available in numerous setups, including with a seven- or eight-speed Shimano Nexus hub gear or 27-speed derailleur setup. Price is 1,599 euros for the eight-speed and 27-speed systems, with the seven-speed hub model 100 euros cheaper.
Maxx Cross Max
Maxx are another German manufacturer who makes a huge range of electric bikes. These include models for comfort, city riding, rehabilitation and even off-roading. The Cross Max is the company's touring bike and is available in numerous build options – the model shown will lighten your wallet by a hefty 4,292.98 euros.
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