Charged Up: eBikes Energize the Cycling Industry
At the Interbikes and Outdoor Retailer's recent electric bike expo, entitled Charged Up, eBike manufactures broke out their newest innovations in the eBike industry. If you've ever reached deep down into your inner strength for that little extra juice for a mountain excursion or an urban trek, it can get much easier when you add in an electric motor to help you handle the dirty work. Here’s a run-down of some of the top new 2014 electric bikes that were featured at Charged Up:
Urban sleek. This German-made bike can travel 40 miles on one charge of the 500-watt silent hub motor—stashed in the rear fender—with a top pedal assisted speed of 28 mph. Break it down into two pieces for easy transport. And you don’t have to fret about durability as this fully carbon construction has all the modern technology you could desire.
Go off-road with this airplane-grade aluminum frame and double-crown magnesium suspension fork (motorcycle riders love this style). With a 750-watt motor, this eBike can reach speeds up to 28 mph—some of the fastest around—and last 20 miles per charge.
Built to handle off-road riding with hydraulic brakes, ample suspension and a 1x10 speed drivetrain, this bike also has the power to assist with a 400-watt battery that can get you to 20 mph on a 35-mile range. With an aluminum frame, the bike boasts high-end suspension.
The rear hub 500-watt motor pushes the Dash to a zippy-ineed 28 mph. A low center of gravity helps the aluminum-frame bike handle better in the urban traffic it was designed for. The 48V high-capacity design aims for better efficiency for long rides.
The 250-watt Panasonic mid-drive crank motor is the number-one selling motor worldwide, the company says. Ranging up to 65 miles depending on the battery, the mid-range price helps the urbanite with a city-upright style bike.
With a get-in price below $2,000, this model reaches top speeds of 20 mph and has a battery range of 36 to 50 miles on the 500-watt motor. Hydraulic disc brakes and RockShox suspension fork on the aluminum frame give this bike some bells and whistles for the price, part of what made its predecessor, the X2, the top-selling e-bike model in Europe.
Tim Newcomb covers stadiums, design and gear for Sports Illustrated. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.