SRAM to develop new electric bike system?

Motor and three-speed hub expected

An industry rumour suggests SRAM are set to launch a new electric bike system in 2011.

All eyes will be on the 2010 Taipei International Cycle Show where, it is said, the component makers will unveil a new e-bike motor and three-speed hub.

SRAM’s initial attempt to introduce an electric system back in 2002 – the 16v SPARC – was sophisticated and light but widely criticised for being underpowered.

2009 saw a joint venture between SRAM, auto parts manufacturers Magna (via their e-bike spin-off BionX) and bike company Trek which produced a new hub motor with integrated three-speed gearing. The BionX IGH3 premiered at Eurobike.

BionX are one of the longest standing e-bike players. Their EPS (Energy & Propulsion system) was first introduced in 1998 and now comes as a retro-fit kit or ready fitted to some 2010 Trek bikes.  

Vincent Lamoureux, international sales director of BionX, explained the rationale behind the IGH3: “We developed this product to target individual commuters, large cities' rental programs, communities and business use like postal and police services, in using our proven BionX technology.

"We were looking at the ideal partner to launch it together with us and naturally opted for Trek thanks to their in-depth involvement with BionX in their European and more recently North American ‘powered by BionX’ pedelec programs.”

SRAM was created in 1987 in Chicago, Illinois, as the result of purchasing Sachs. From just six employees then, they now have manufacturing plants across the globe and by 2000 had more than 1,000 employees.

Another industry rumour has it that component giants Shimano are also working on their own e-bike products.  

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