Browsed by
Category: electric bikes

What I learned at the Portland Electric Bike Expo

What I learned at the Portland Electric Bike Expo

Keola Munos with A2B's heavy-duty lineup.(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Keola Munos with A2B’s heavy-duty lineup.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

As Jonathan wrote on Friday, this weekend’s Electric Bike Expo has been a milestone for Portland, a metro area that offers a rich bike-friendly culture but also has enough hills that many people are effectively shut out of it.

Enter e-bikes. And enter the expo, a free event outside the Lloyd Center movie theater that brought in vendors from around the country. As an e-bike newbie — I’ve written about them plenty but only ridden one before — I spent a few hours there on Saturday to see some of the products and talk to the customers and sellers. Here’s a quick tour of what I found.

Trek’s urban e-bikes

david studner

The first seller I spoke with Saturday was David Studner, Wisconsin-based product manager for city bikes at Trek. It’s great to see pedal-assist e-bikes being treated as just one more segment of that product category. Their new Trek Conduit+, which goes for $2,999, comes with built-in automatic front and rear lights:

conduit plus

and a rear cargo rack:

conduit plus rack

They’re also offering the Lift+, which sells for $2,799 and offers an extremely upright seating.

lift plus

“I don’t care if you have a carbon fiber $7,000 bike — you cannot average 25 mph.”
— David Studner, Trek

“It delivers on a promise that this is what a bike should feel like to someone who hasn’t ridden a bike in a long time,” Studner said.

Or for a bit more cash you can get the XM700+, which has a 28 mph top speed, enough to more or less keep up with car traffic on many city streets.

“I don’t care if you have a carbon fiber $7,000 bike — you cannot average 25 mph,” Studner said. The XM700+ retails for $3,499.

Studner doesn’t personally specialize in mountain bikes, but we took a moment to talk about the state of e-bikes in mountain biking. He made the interesting argument that bikes should eventually be regulated not based on their equipment but on the behavior of their users.

“Every car in America is capable of breaking every posted speed limit,” Studner said. “With the current state of mountain biking, there’s nothing to say an aggressive biker can’t bomb down a certain trail.”

KTM: Mountain biking specialists, thinking ahead

ktm bike 2

Fans of mountain e-bikes say they have huge promise both for mountain biking (apparently they make the climb slightly easier) and for e-bike retailers. But there’s that nagging fact that many states and the federal government restrict their use on off-road trails.

“People are like an e-bike weighs more. I’m like, no, what if you had a rider that was 20 pounds heavier? You could say the same thing for a fat bike. Fat bikes wear the same as an e-bike.”
— Freddy Viera, KTM

Freddy Viera of KTM respectfully disagreed with Studner, saying he thinks the country is moving toward allowing Type 1 mountain bikes — no throttle but a pedal assist of up to 20 mph — on almost all mountain biking trails.

“Having a speed limit and a governor that can’t be turned off is a good idea,” he said. “If you don’t have some sort of limit, the liability for the parks is going to be higher.”

Viera, who lives in Miami, described himself ruefully as “the No. 1 hated guy right now on the mountain bike trail, because I’m an advocate” for e-bikes, he said.

“The wear and tear on the trail is dependent on the rider,” Viera explained. “People are like an e-bike weighs more. I’m like, no, what if you had a rider that was 20 pounds heavier? You could say the same thing for a fat bike. Fat bikes wear the same as an e-bike.”

Ultimately, Viera said, every vehicle is only as sensible as the person using it.

“If you’re driving your car going too fast in the rain down a mountain, at some point you’re going to be like, oh fuck, I’m going too fast,” Viera said.

KTM offers three Type 1 mountain bikes, all with mid-drives (at the pedals) to improve their handling, ranging from $4,295 to $5,370.

ktm hybrid

freddy viera ktm

As I wrapped up with Viera, Jonathan Crutcher (right in the photo above) got back from a test ride of KTM’s hardtail.

“It’d be nice if it went a little bit faster,” Crutcher said. “Other than that, it was awesome.”

Price buster: A $1200 e-bike

EG Athens 250 tyler desjardins

At the booth of southeast Portland shop Cynergy E-bikes, I saw the EG Athens 250, which retails for a startling $1,199.

“It’s pretty uncharted territory,” Cynergy’s Tyler Desjardines said. “At least for an e-bike that isn’t…” He trailed off.

“Shit?” I offered.

“You can say it, I can’t,” he said. “You talk about failure percentages, this is the best bike. They go out the door and they never come back.”

I asked Desjardins what the price secret was. Basically, he said, it’s the entry-level components, including rim brakes. (Desjardins mentioned that if he had his druthers, EG creator Wayne Hui would also make a version with hydraulic disc brakes.)

Desjardines said the 54-pound Athens 250 doesn’t make major sacrifices on its battery, which puts out 250 watts and offers 40 miles per charge.

Sleek beauty: The Faraday Porteur

faraday

Cynergy was also showing off an e-bike that doesn’t look like an e-bike: the Faraday. With its batteries slipped up the downtube (they’re accessible through the bottom bracket) and basic controls beneath the seat, Faraday looks and feels simple. Its carbon belt drive keeps the service costs down.

“I call it the iPhone of e-bikes,” Desjardines said.

The Porteur retails for $3,500; the cheaper S version uses a chain drive and costs $2,700. For this weekend, Cynergy had it outfitted with a bamboo-trimmed front rack ($225) and a leather U-lock holster ($85).

Local pioneer: The eBike Store innovates on service

wake

Wake Gregg with the $2,000 Juiced Rider.

Portland now has a jaw-dropping seven e-bike specialty stores. At least, that’s the count from the guy who started the first one.

“About a third of our customers are getting out of their car.”
— Wake Gregg, eBike Store

Wake Gregg, who founded north Portland’s eBike Store after a 2008 trip to China, said competition has brought pluses and minuses but on balance it’s forced him to keep coming up with new ideas. His latest is a new roadside assistance program and rapid-service guarantee.

“About a third of our customers are getting out of their car,” Gregg said. When an e-bike is your primary vehicle, Gregg said, you need to be ready when something goes wrong with it. So, to accompany this weekend’s show, Gregg rolled out what he said is Portland’s first service maintenance plan for e-bikes. For $195 per year, he’ll be offering:

• 24/7 roadside assistance from the Better World Club, including up to two rides of up to 30 miles
• up to 10 flat repairs per year
• unlimited immediate brake, shifting or seat adjustments
• a free tune-up

For another $90 per year you can upgrade that tune-up to an overhaul, plus a 10 percent discount and a free loaner bike for scheduled services and emergencies.

Among other one-less-minivan type products, Gregg showed off the Juiced Rider (pictured above), a longtail with a throttle and 330 ounds of cargo capacity (not counting the rider) that gets 60 miles of median range assuming three hours at 20 mph. It retails for $2,000.







A2B’s motorcycle-inspired lineup

a2b lineup

A2B is a distinctive brand that originated in the United Kingdom but has also put down stateside roots.

“It was one of the first purpose-built e-bikes in the U.S.,” said Keola Munos, the western U.S. sales manager.

“These actually took a close resemblance to World War II motorcycles,” Munos said. “That’s how a lot of my customers relate to it — it’s just a little motorcycle.”

Though as long as the top stays below 28 mph, Munos noted, they don’t require a driver’s license.

The oldest, sturdiest A2B model is the Octave, named for an aviation pioneer who worked with the Wright Brothers. It weighs 90 pounds and offers dual battery capacity (it comes with one). Each battery has a 15-20 mile range and retails for $3,500 to $3,800. Their newest version, not yet widely available, is the $5,000 Entz, which offers an option between automatic or manual shifting.

a2b folding

But the A2B’s leading model in the U.S. is its folding Kuo electric bike, which goes for $1,700 and offers an 18-20 mile range at up to 18 mph speeds. Munos said it’s about 60 percent of his business, thanks to popularity among people who combine it with RVs, airplanes and boating.

Opening politicians’ eyes

rich fein cynergy

Rich Fein of Cynergy, left.

There wasn’t enough time to get to every vendor, sadly. But as I was wrapping up my round and getting ready for a few test rides of my own, Rich Fein, the owner of Cynergy E-Bikes and a co-organizer of the expo, flagged me down.

Fein wanted to make sure we didn’t neglect another benefit of the show: a visit that Milwaukie Mayor Mark Gamba had arranged so various regional elected officials could try using e-bikes — and realize that as they spread, they have the potential to open biking as a regular transportation option for many more people.

“I took them on a ride up Alameda Ridge,” Fein said. “They got really giddy. They really got it. … Nobody understands these bikes until they’re on them.”

Fun on the test-ride track

I expect to be in the market for a longtail e-bike in a few years myself, so before things wrapped up Saturday, I wanted to try getting some time in a few saddles — but first I got a few shots of other folks shopping or enjoying themselves on the temporary circular track that had been set up in the Lloyd Center movie theater’s parking lot.

getting ready

helmet dude

classy customer

two riders

downhill gal

older downhill

uphill kid

waving kid

Among the great things about this event was that it was attracting people I don’t see at many of the bike events I attend: more women, more older folks, speakers of more languages (I think I overheard four) and more variety in people’s colors and cultures. I don’t know what the reason might be. But organized bike advocacy can sometimes feel like a small tent. If e-bikes can help us build a bigger one over the years to come, that’ll be exciting.

— Michael Andersen, (503) 333-7824 – michael@bikeportland.org

Our work is supported by subscribers. Please become one today.

The post What I learned at the Portland Electric Bike Expo appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Dispatch from the Portland Electric Bike Expo (photos and video)

Dispatch from the Portland Electric Bike Expo (photos and video)

Portland Electric Bike Expo-3.jpg

All the test rides and information you want, all in one place.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The electric bike revolution has landed in Portland.

All weekend long at the Electric Bike Expo the world’s top e-bike brands are offering free test rides of over 100 different models. I swung by on Friday afternoon to get a closer look.

The tents and the test track were buzzing with activity. And one thing immediately stood out: The faces of the people riding were not the same faces I see on my regular commute or at various bike events around town. And that’s one of the most exciting things about this e-bike boom: It’s getting a whole new demographic on bikes.

Just like the cargo bike revolution redefined our idea of what bikes could do, e-bikes are expanding the realm of cycling possibilities for a whole new crop of riders.

And yet there are still many haters out there who cling to the notion that e-bikes aren’t really bikes, or that the people who ride them are cheaters. Hogwash.

Chris DiStefano, former marketing guy at Chris King Precision Components and Rapha who’s now with River City Bicycles, says much of the pushback from industry-types is simply due to a lack of understanding. “The biggest misconception,” he said, after doing a few laps on the latest Stromer ST2, “Is they think it’s a throttle. The bikes don’t move unless you pedal them.”

DiStefano was at the expo with his new boss, River City owner Dave Guettler. They were pedaling lots of bikes looking to sell in their shop — a shop known for its deep roots in Portland’s road, cyclocross, and mountain bike racing scene.

For more on the state of the e-bike market in America, below is a brief chat I had with Pete Prebus, the man behind Electric Bike Report and one of the organizers of the expo:

And here are a few more scenes and faces from the event:

Portland Electric Bike Expo-1.jpg

Portland Electric Bike Expo-2.jpg

Mike Minnick and his dog Bixby!
Portland Electric Bike Expo-4.jpg

Portland Electric Bike Expo-5.jpg

Portland Electric Bike Expo-6.jpg

Portland Electric Bike Expo-7.jpg

Portland Electric Bike Expo-8.jpg

Now that’s a headlight.
Portland Electric Bike Expo-9.jpg

Portland Electric Bike Expo-10.jpg

One of my favorites.
Portland Electric Bike Expo-11.jpg

This Kalkhoff with 20-inch wheels is billed as a one-size-fits-all.
Portland Electric Bike Expo-12.jpg

Portland Electric Bike Expo-13.jpg

Portland Electric Bike Expo-14.jpg







Portland Electric Bike Expo-15.jpg

Portland Electric Bike Expo-17.jpg

Portland Electric Bike Expo-18.jpg

Portland Electric Bike Expo-19.jpg

The Stromer ST2s is just amazing.
Portland Electric Bike Expo-20.jpg

Portland Electric Bike Expo-21.jpg

This “BigBud” model from eMotion has all-wheel-drive. You can choose front, rear, or both.
Portland Electric Bike Expo-22.jpg

Portland Electric Bike Expo-23.jpg

Portland Electric Bike Expo-24.jpg

Portland Electric Bike Expo-25.jpg

Portland Electric Bike Expo-28.jpg

Portland Electric Bike Expo-27.jpg

Portland Electric Bike Expo-29.jpg

Patrick Mok from north Portland on the Faraday. He loves how it looks and the simple operation of the motor. He commutes by bike most days, but says “Some days when I don’t feel like riding I think I’ll just jump in the car; but with this I would bike more.”
Portland Electric Bike Expo-30.jpg

Lois Golden lives in the southwest hills where she and her husband are trying to go grocery shopping and do other errands without a car. “These bikes give you just that little extra bit to get you home. I’ll get out on the bike more with outo of these,” she said. Her husband already has an e-bike and she tried many different models looking for something that fit just right.

The Expo runs Saturday until 7:00 pm and Sunday until 4:00. Admission is free. Full details here.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

Our work is supported by subscribers. Please become one today.

The post Dispatch from the Portland Electric Bike Expo (photos and video) appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Electric Bike Expo coming to Portland in May

Electric Bike Expo coming to Portland in May

e-bikeexpolead

Test riding bikes is the big attraction.
(Photo: Electric Bike Expo)

Despite big advances in battery technology and ever-increasing availability, electric bike sales still lag in the United States compared to other countries. Organizers of the Electric Bike Expo — which is coming to Portland for the first time ever in May — think the reason many Americans aren’t enthused about e-bikes is simply because they haven’t spent enough quality time with them.

The focus of the two-day show is an e-bike test track. Attendees will be able to try bikes from many different brands and talk to e-bike experts. “The best way for people to truly understand what an electric bike is all about is to provide them with the ride experience. That is why we are taking electric bikes to the people,” is how Ray Verhelst, President of the Electric Bike Expo, puts it.

The Electric Bike Expo is a strategic partner with Interbike, the producer of the nation’s largest annual bicycle industry trade show held every year in Las Vegas. The Expo is being held in six cities this year and organizers say they chose the locations, “based on the weather during the first half of the year, the level of friendliness towards electric bikes, and the economic demographics of both the residences and the visitors during specific events.” The Portland edition happens May 20th-22nd in the parking lot of Regal Cinemas in the Lloyd District (NE Multnomah and 13th).







To get a taste of what to expect at this event, check out this promo video:

It’s no surprise Portland has been chosen as a stop on the Expo’s tour. We have a growing number of bike shops that specialize in electric bikes and local businesses that make electric bike accessories. I’ve personally noted a steady uptick in the number of e-bikes in local bikeways, but it hasn’t quite reached a critical mass. Not yet at least. Events like this Expo could be key in tipping the scales.

For more about Portland’s e-bike scene, check out our archives. And stay tuned for a report from the Expo in May.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

BikePortland can’t survive without subscribers. It’s just $10 per month and you can sign up in a few minutes.

The post Electric Bike Expo coming to Portland in May appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Shop Visit: Pedego Electric Bikes now open in downtown Portland

Shop Visit: Pedego Electric Bikes now open in downtown Portland

2224

Pedego’s storefront on SW 2nd
(with new awning that just went up today!).
(Photo: Tommy Connell/Pedego)

Pedego is one of the largest and well-known names in the electric bike world and now they’ve got a retail outpost in downtown Portland. We mentioned the shop a few weeks ago and now that they’re open for business I swung in the other day for a peek.

The shop itself is located on a busy intersection on Southwest 2nd Avenue south of Stark — just across the street from legendary brunch spot Mother’s Bistro & Bar. (Store employee David Peters said he’s already had nearly a dozen people from Mother’s wander into the shop.)

Inside the shop Pedego has its full line of e-bikes on display, as well as several non-electric models from Creme Cycles.

Read More Read More

Bike shop news: GenZe e-bikes now open, Crank moves and doubles in size

Bike shop news: GenZe e-bikes now open, Crank moves and doubles in size

Crank Bike Shop-1.jpg

Crank’s new storefront on Southeast Ankeny.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The only constant in Portland’s bike shop scene is change. On that note, I bring you updates on two southeast Portland shops that have opened up new doors in the past few weeks.

Crank Bike Shop moves to Southeast Ankeny

When Crank opened in 2010 I rolled over to look for it and, given what I knew about its general location near Southeast 28th Avenue, I just assumed it would be on Ankeny. But it wasn’t. It was one block over on Ash. That was a bummer because Ankeny is the very busy bike boulevard in that part of town. So imagine my delight when I found out the other day they’ve moved to… Ankeny! Yes, after many months of hard work, the folks at Crank are enjoying twice the space in a wonderfully remodeled retail store on Ankeny just before 28th.

Crank Bike Shop-2.jpg

Crank Bike Shop-3.jpg

Crank Bike Shop-4.jpg

Crank Bike Shop-6.jpg

Crank Bike Shop-5.jpg

Justin Tutor.

I talked to Justin Tutor during a visit earlier this month and he said they always wanted to be on Ankeny and the opportunity finally arrived. Now they’ve got 4,000 square-feet of space that includes a nice and open showroom, a bar to relax on, and a large service area. The shop sells great looking bikes from Soma, Public, Marin and Felt. And if you’re into bamboo, they also build bikes for the local Zambikes importer and have a few of them on display. Crank is a great neighborhood bike shop and now they’ve got a prime location. Stop in next time you ride by and say “hi” to Justin and the crew.





GenZe Electric Bikes (and scooters)

Portland has another e-bike business in town, and it’s a big one. GenZe is an off-shoot of Mahindra, a massive, Mumbai-based company that makes all sorts of vehicles and happens to be the largest manufacturer of tractors in the world. Last week I swung by their new Portland retail store (their firs in the U.S.) on the corner of Southeast Main and Grand (1235 SE Grand) to learn more about their e-bike offerings and meet their Portland area Marketing Manager Tim Navarrette.

GenZe e-bikes-1.jpg

GenZe e-bikes-2.jpg

GenZe e-bikes-4.jpg

GenZe e-bikes-5.jpg

GenZe e-bikes-6.jpg

Tim said GenZe is a result of the company “innovating around urban mobility.” They offer both an electric scooter (which is really cool by the way) and a few e-bike models. With their vast manufacturing resources and know-how, GenZe wants to lower the bar for electric vehicles (Tim said it’s about the “democratization of EVs”). GenZe’s Michigan-made and designed scooter is just $2,999 while their e-bikes sell for around $1,500. That’s low in the electric market.

The GenZe e-bike comes in three sizes and two models (a standard frame and a step-through). The energy boost comes from three sources: your own pedaling; a twist-throttle, or via pedal-assist. The 36-volt lithium-ion battery is integrated into the downtube and can be easily removed for charging. The 250-watt motor is in the rear hub. The bike tops out at 20 mph (as per state law) and comes with 26-inch wheels. Roll over and give one a test-ride. You’ll also find GenZe e-bikes at Field Electric (1408 SE Cesar E Chavez) and The E-Bike Store (809 N Rosa Parks Way).

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

BikePortland can’t survive without paid subscribers. Please sign up today.

The post Bike shop news: GenZe e-bikes now open, Crank moves and doubles in size appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Electric bike news: Nomad Cycles emerges from Ecospeed and Pedego arrives in Portland

Electric bike news: Nomad Cycles emerges from Ecospeed and Pedego arrives in Portland

33f88183-54f7-4a32-bb6f-54ca4d8c446a-2

A Nomad Cycles e-assist system on a Soma mixte.
(Photo: Nomad Cycles)

12391252_10153253326953321_7430365980070907352_n

In case you hadn’t noticed Portland is home to a thriving electric bike scene. We have e-bike dealers, e-bike enthusiasts, and of course e-bike companies. Now there are two new businesses in town that are riding the surging interest in battery-powered bikes: Nomad Cycles and Pedego Electric Bikes.

Nomad Cycles* is not exactly new. It’s a new spin-off of Portland-based Ecospeed launched by two former employees, Brad Davis and Tad Beckwith. Brad and Tad have purchased the bicycle portion of the Ecospeed business from its owner Brent Bolton. Ecospeed will continue to do engineering and licensing of electric-bike products, but Nomad Cycles will build and sell the bolt-on electric-assist systems that Ecospeed was known for. It’s a bit confusing, so here’s the statement from Nomad:


Brad Davis, EcoSpeed’s General Manager, purchases the complete rights for EcoSpeed’s mid drive system and launches his own company Nomad Cycles. Brad will continue to focus on creating retrofit electric assist for bicycles using the EcoSpeed mid drive design. The same great product made in America offering people a viable form of alternative transportation for their daily lives.

Nomad Cycles begins with a 15-year history of creating innovative products for the electric bicycle market through the EcoSpeed mid drive system. Moving forward, Nomad Cycles will continue to work on new products for the surging electric assist market with new controllers and systems for bikes of all types and size.

logo

In other local e-bike news, national brand Pedego Electric Bikes plans to open a Portland dealership next month. In yet another sign of the arrival of e-bikes into the American market, this new shop is one of five new stores the company is opening. Pedego, based in Irvine, California, makes a full line of e-bikes that are sold in 75 branded stores and 800 dealers in 40 countries. The new Pedego shop will be located on at 412 SW 2nd Ave. They’ll also offer rentals. For more info contact Tommy at (503) 241-2912 or tommy (at) pedegoportland.com.

(*Note: Nomad Cycles is not to be confused with Nomad Cargo, a separate Portland business that builds cargo bikes.)

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org


The post Electric bike news: Nomad Cycles emerges from Ecospeed and Pedego arrives in Portland appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Riding the latest e-bike system from Bosch

Riding the latest e-bike system from Bosch

Bosch e-bike system test ride-4.jpg

Murdered out e-cargo bike.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Electric bikes have a very bright future in Portland. There are many reasons why: Many Portlanders love cycling and our city encourages it, we have hills and steep bridges to pedal up, our expensive housing is forcing longer bike commutes, and e-bike technology — as technology tends to do — is always getting better/lighter/cheaper.

On that note, I had the opportunity to test ride the Bosch eBike System last week. From what I’ve heard around the industry, their new mid-drive system is the best on the market. As the largest automotive parts supplier in the world and with over a century of experience, it’s not hard to fathom that Bosch could jump into this market and deliver a solid product.

I also noticed that Xtracycle decided to spec the Bosch system on their Edgerunner cargo bike. That alone is a good sign that the Bosch system is worth paying attention to.

Last week Bosch sales and marketing manager Jonathan Weinert showed up outside my office with an Edgerunner for me to ride. On the rear rack he had strapped a suitcase that added about 25-30 pounds to the load. We pedaled over to the Waterfront and did a short loop around the Willamette River.

Bosch e-bike system test ride-3.jpg

I zoomed up the corkscrew between the Esplanade and
Morrison Bridge on a loaded cargo bike without
even pedaling hard at all. (That’s Jonathan in front of me.)

The first thing I noticed about the Bosch system was how good it looks on the bike. I’m a stickler for aesthetics when it comes to bikes, and I believe e-bikes will never reach their potential in the U.S. market unless they look cool. The Bosch system is very well-designed and all you see on the bike is the drive unit wrapped around the bottom-bracket area and the battery which is about the size of a square two-liter drink bottle that fits on the downtube.

Bosch e-bike system test ride-5.jpg

Bosch e-bike system test ride-8.jpg

– Advertisement –


Bosch e-bike system test ride-7.jpg

Bosch e-bike system test ride-6.jpg

Bosch e-bike system test ride-10.jpg

Charger with hand for size context.

Bosch’s system also has an intuitive user interface. It only took a few seconds before I understood all the modes and how to cycle through them. There are four riding modes (five if you count “off”): Eco, Tour, Sport and Turbo. Eco gives you the least amount of boost (50% of what you put in) and Turbo gives you the most — a whopping 275% of your own power input. Put into wattage numbers, if you put 100 watts of power into the cranks in Eco mode you’ll get 50 watts of assist from the motor. That same power applied in Turbo mode will give you 375 watts from the motor.

And of course your range (how far you can ride before the battery dies) goes down as the power-assist goes up.

In Eco mode, you get a range of about 75 miles on a full charge in “ideal conditions” and 45 miles in “difficult conditions.” Those numbers go down to 30 and 15 in Turbo mode. If you mix between all four modes you’ll have a range of about 50 miles in good conditions.

Bosch e-bike system test ride-1.jpg

Bosch e-bike system test ride-2.jpg

The riding experience was really nothing much of an experience at all. And that’s the point. The bike I was on felt like just a regular bike — except of course that it had a boost of power whenever I pedaled. The feel of the e-assist’s power was amazingly smooth to the point of being non-existent, which is a huge credit to he quality of the Bosch system.

The ride was so effortless that – even on this heavy cargo bike — I found myself maxing out the speed at 19-20 mph with very little effort. (As per current laws, the motor stops working at 20 mph.)

This test ride also confirmed for me once and for all that e-bike systems that use a throttle are inferior to gear-driven ones. Having the assist react automatically to my input (instead of me having to twist or push a button for power), means I just pedal like normal, without even thinking about the motor.

Weinert pointed out that the Bosch drive unit has a microprocessor inside it that monitors your wheel’s speed, cadence, and torque whiling making measurements 1000 times per second. Those measurements are then fed into the motor to “give you just the right amount of power to make it imperceptible.”

And lest you think Weinert is just an industry flack paid to sell a product (he is actually, but hear me out), he’s also a former academic from UC Davis. Before his job at Bosch he was in China researching e-bikes’ impacts on health, transportation, and urban planning.

Bosch e-bike system test ride-9.jpg

Jonathan Weinert.

If you’re the market for an e-bike, definitely test ride a bike with the Bosch system installed. The one consideration is that it’s more expensive than other systems. As a comparison, the Bosch-equipped Edgerunner I rode retails for $5,750 and the Yuba Spicy Curry I rode back in May which also has a mid-drive system, retails for $4,500.

In addition to Xtracycle, you can find Bosch on several other brands including Felt, EMotion, Haibike, Lapierre and Cube. In Portland, there are four shops that have Bosch-equipped bikes in stock: Clever Cycles, Cynergy E-Bikes, Splendid Cycles, and The eBike Store.

Browse more e-bike coverage in our archives.


The post Riding the latest e-bike system from Bosch appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Industry Ticker: Xtracycle brings electric cargo bike tour to Portland

Industry Ticker: Xtracycle brings electric cargo bike tour to Portland

xtra

An e-boost makes toting the kids easier.
(Photo: Xtracycle)


Even though they’re based in Oakland, California, the history of Xtracycle will always be intertwined with Portland. Their Freeradical conversion kit began taking over Portland back in 2008 and has turned thousands of locals into cargo bike believers.

Now Xtracycle (like many cargo bike makers) believes the next revolution for carrying stuff on bikes is electric power. The company plans to share their latest “Electric Family Cargo Bike” with Portland as part of their multi-state “Be Moved” tour.

Check out the details in the press release below:

Xtracycle Introduces New Electric Family Cargo Bike on U.S. Tour
Xtracycle launches all new EdgeRunner electric family cargo bikes on the multi-state Be Moved tour

OAKLAND, Calif. – June 18, 2015 – Family-friendly longtail cargo bike maker Xtracycle is inviting local community members to join them at bike shops along their multi-state Be Moved tour to test ride their all-new electric bike line. Equipped with integrated, maintenance-free Bosch electric motors, EdgeRunner electric bikes deliver a 50-275% boost whenever you want it. Neither hills nor sweat stand in your way — ride anywhere with ease, even when hauling large loads or with kids in tow.

– Advertisement –


Crowning the new collection of bikes is the EdgeRunner 10E— the ultimate cargo bike. The pinnacle of cargo bike design, its longtail cromoly-steel frame and fork offer a stable and resilient ride, while the powerful integrated Bosch electric drive system, Shimano Deore hydraulic brakes, and premium puncture-resistant Schwalbe Big Ben tires round out the package.

“The 10E is everything I love in a cargo bike,” says G&O Family Cyclery owner, Davey Oil, of Seattle. “It’s freaking awesome.”

The Be Moved tour will have two stops in Portland.

  • Splendid Cycles on Thursday, June 25, 2015 between 4 and 6 PM
  • Clever Cycles on Sunday, June 28, 2015 between noon and 6 PM
  • Come out to test Xtracycle’s unprecedented line of electric bikes and meet Xtracycle’s inventor and cargo-bike pioneer Ross Evans. You can experience the Xtracycle EdgeRunner 10E, the Limited Edition 9E, and more on mini-bicycle adventures with up to 3 kids. The tour will be stopping in over 15 cities including Eugene, Portland, Seattle, Bend, Boise, Boulder, San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland, and more. Tell your friends.

    For tour locations and details, please visit: http://blog.xtracycle.com/news/xtracycle- be-moved-tour
    For more information about Xtracycle, please visit: www.xtracycle.com

    — Want more bike industry news? Check out the Ticker archives.


    The post Industry Ticker: Xtracycle brings electric cargo bike tour to Portland appeared first on BikePortland.org.

    ‘Transit on Tap’ event will highlight Kaiser’s folding e-bike loan program

    ‘Transit on Tap’ event will highlight Kaiser’s folding e-bike loan program

    ebikelead

    A few employers own bicycles that they can loan to their workers as an introduction to bike commuting, but a Kaiser Permanente Northwest pilot program this year is taking that to the next level.

    The health company is loaning folding e-bikes to 180 of its employees.

    The goal is, in part, to increase active commutes by introducing more commuters to the transit-friendly vehicles that can address one of the biggest reasons workers neither bike or bus to work: they live too far away to bike, and too far from a bus stop to take transit.

    Folding bikes with an electric assist, though, make it easy to pump up suburban hills to a bus stop a mile or two away.

    Supporting the program is a $148,000 Metro grant that will also help monitor and analyze the behavior of the 180+ people who receive one of the 30 loaner bikes for cycles of three months each. We first wrote about the program last year.

    “The plan is to create a replicable model for deployment within Kaiser as well as other area employers,” according to the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium’s description of the project.

    Curious about how Kaiser’s loaner program is working so far? We certainly are. You can find out more in two weeks at TriMet’s next “Transit on Tap” event on Tuesday, July 29, from 5 to 7 p.m. It’ll cover “Bikes and transit in the Portland area.” TriMet active transportation planner Jeff Owen and Kaiser consultant Lauren Whyte will be the featured guests, discussing this program and other bike/transit crossover issues.

    The post ‘Transit on Tap’ event will highlight Kaiser’s folding e-bike loan program appeared first on BikePortland.org.

    Infographic expands on local e-bike research, but the biggest puzzle remains

    Infographic expands on local e-bike research, but the biggest puzzle remains

    ebikes_OTREC

    (Infographic by Portland State Transportation Research and Education Center)

    A new poster summarizing research from a Portland State University scholar has some interesting factoids about electric bike users, but it doesn’t answer what’s becoming one of the biggest mysteries in American biking: why haven’t e-bikes taken off yet in the United States?

    “If we can sell a lot of e-bikes in Germany, than we’ll sell a lot of e-bikes in the U.S. too over time. Yes, we love our cars, but Germans love their cars too.”
    — Rob Kaplan, Currie Tech

    In China, according to one estimate, 200 million people own e-bikes — that’d be 15 percent of the country’s population.

    More recently, e-bikes have been rocketing across Europe. Rob Kaplan, VP of sales and marketing at Currie Technologies, a large developer and distributor of e-bikes under the iZip, eFlow, and Haibike brand names, said during an event in Portland last April that about 80,000 e-bikes are sold in the U.S. market per year. Compare that to Germany where 400,000 units are sold annually. In the pancake-flat Netherlands, e-bikes now represent 19 percent of new bike sales by quantity, even though they cost four times as much as a non-electric model; that’s how much Dutch people have come to love e-bikes.

    Moms are one segment of the market that have been quick
    to realize the potential of e-bikes.
    (Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

    Here in the United States, e-bike sales continue to grow rapidly, in part due to reasons illustrated in the graphic above. Kaplan of Currie Tech says their dealer sales are up 46% overall and up 286% year-to-date.

    Locally, there are signs of growth too. If you’re heading north on Grand Avenue this month, you can admire a big billboard for Cynergy E-Bikes on Southeast Powell; in North Portland, the eBike Store recently moved to a larger location with expanded hours.

    Rob Kaplan in Portland back in April.
    (Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

    But even here, electric bikes are far from mainstream.

    Currie points to several factors that might be keeping a cap on U.S. sales growth: acceptance, education, and infrastructure. Bike shop employees aren’t familiar with e-bikes and many of them aren’t exactly huge fans of the technology, says Currie, and that lack of enthusiasm spills over into their sales pitches. The market itself is also relatively uneducated about the latest in e-bike technology (“most people still confuse them with scooters,” he said). And then there’s the lack of bike-friendly infrastructure in the U.S., which is a problem for cycling growth in general.

    But Currie is very optimistic about future growth. “If we can sell a lot of e-bikes in Germany,” he told a crowd of e-bike industry leaders at a talk hosted by Drive Oregon, “than we’ll sell a lot of e-bikes in the U.S. too over time. Yes, we love our cars, but Germans love their cars too.”

    His other reasons for optimism include: aging demographics, re-urbanization, concerns about the environment, and improvements battery technology.

    As companies keep working to crack the American e-bike code, the sort of market research being done by John MacArthur through OTREC at Portland State University will come in handy. For more on his research, read our story from last fall: The appeal of e-bikes: 5 facts from a new study.

    Editor/Publisher Jonathan Maus contributed to this post.

    The post Infographic expands on local e-bike research, but the biggest puzzle remains appeared first on BikePortland.org.