Posts Tagged ‘electric bikes’


01
JAN

Vince Adams says:
10 reasons to buy an electric bike in 2016


Category: Electric Transport, Uncategorized
Tags:


Electric bike technology and the amazing array of new models makes this the most trendy of ways to travel in 2016.

Checkout the options carefully. Visit real electric bike specialists and insist on test rides and take your time choosing the model for you.

We know one great shop in Poundbury where the owner and staff really know their business. Always a happy welcome and full back up should you decide to buy.

http://www.theguardian.com/electric-bike-revolution/2015/nov/27/10-reasons-to-make-your-next-bike-electric?CMP=share_btn_tw



06
OCT

Simon Jonathan Naish Rayson says:
Dorset Energized at the Eden Holistic Fair


Category: Electric Transport, Sustainable Energy Stories, Sustainable Living
Tags: , , , , , ,


Eden Holistic Fair

On Saturday just gone (4th October) Dorset Energized along with our friends from Cyclelife Wessex attended the Holistic Fair, organised by Primrose Matheson of Primrose`s Kitchen, at Eden Park, Buckland Newton, Dorset – and what an enjoyable, and well organised event it was.

View from Eden Park

View from Eden Park

Holistic being a description of how all things are interconnected there were a wide variety of exhibitors at the Fair. People offering meditation and retreat, technology to prevent harm from electro-magnetic radiation, herbal remedies and massages, organic vegetables, scented soaps and essential oils (wonderful aroma`s from that stall), Compassion toward animals (our friends Compassionate Dorset), organic hot food, Homeopathy, organic Tea, and of course Primrose Kitchen`s naturopathic mueslis and food supplements. And not to forget Teatonics who came to the rescue with some of their lovely and remarkably restorative Yerba Mate tea when I arrived somewhat damp from the cycle ride there in the rain.

Ourselves from Dorset Energized and Cyclelife Wessex were of course there to talk renewable energy and all things environmental and to demonstrate the fun and practicality of riding electric bikes. Our side of the Holistic “coin”, being that (and this is my own take on it) the Earth, this planet, also has a mind, a body and indeed a spirit – and being friends with the Earth (in all it`s aspects) is essential and actually makes you feel good as well. After all if we neglect the Earth and do not treat it as our Friend then we alienate ourselves and in practical terms endanger our own long term survival. Which of course is the whole point of Wholism and being Holistic (it`s all connected . . . .).

So during the day Jeremy Molger – from Cyclelife Wessex – gave a number of people the opportunity to ride an Ebike and without exception everyone who took a test ride came back full of enthusiasm – that`s the effect they have, though you have to try one to know.  Indeed our very own resident Illustrator Stu Jones (who shot the photos here) took an e-bike for a test run around the beautiful rolling countryside that the new Eden Business Park is surrounded by, and said it was brilliant and that he was really surprised how well it worked and how easy it was to use and to go up hills! Meanwhile myself, Vince Adams and Keith Wheaton-Green talked a lot about Ebikes – and other things renewable, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and made new friends. It was a good day – and eventually the sun came out, which at the end of proceedings made my and Keith`s cycle ride to our respective homes that much more enjoyable.

Vince & Simon & Ebike

Vince & Simon & Ebike

Vince and Jeremy and Ebikes

Vince and Jeremy and Ebikes

 

 



29
SEP

Lets Get Energized says:
Communities Living Sustainably – Bridport Events, 20th – 23rd October


Category: Eco Homes DIY & Tourism, Electric Transport, Energy Efficiency, Energy Events in Dorset, Sustainable Living
Tags: , , , , ,


Communities Living Sustainably – Bridport Events, 20th – 23rd October

Save money, turn waste to something useful, and have fun

Inspired by the idea of ‘Living Differently’, the themes of One World Week, Communities Living Sustainably in Dorset is staging a series of events to encourage, promote and champion sustainable alternatives in our food, energy and financial systems as well as in our personal lives. Come and join us – most are free, and should appeal to a wide range of interests!

On Wednesday 22nd October CLS in Dorset and many others will be helping you to Waste Less and Spend Better. This FREE event will be held between 12pm and 6pm in the Town Hall and Bucky Doo Square, will host experts on energy, water, waste, food and transport, as well as lots of fun activities. In the square we’ll be serving hot soup, offering your bicycle a check-up, and hosting the Real Food Shop. Upstairs in the Town Hall, enter our best driver competition, get money saving tips, and use your crafty skills to convert your “rubbish” to a “resource”. Emily Bullock, CLS event organiser says “This event will offer very practical ways of saving money on household bills, and you’ll be able to cash in your savings – by claiming your free chocolate coins!”

In the evening (19.30-21.30hrs) CLS is bringing filmmaker, creativity czar and founder member of dance music group Faithless, Jamie Catto, to Bridport’s Lyric Theatre to talk about the Deeper Roots of Sustainability. Jamie speaks in universal truths, and will show us that it is not just about what we eat and where we buy it, but also how we change our relationship to the world around us. We will have a chance to see an extract from his award-winning films, and local food producers will join in a Q&A session so we can find out more about solutions on our doorstep.

To help us consider how to keep money in the local economy, the think-and-do tank New Economics Foundation will be delivering a FREE workshop — Plugging the Leaks: Local Economic Development as if People and Planet Mattered (Thursday 23rd October, morning, in Dorchester). Since the financial crisis of 2008, local communities have been demanding a greater role in our financial system through ethical investment, participatory budgeting and the creation of local currencies that support economic resilience and promote personal wellbeing. The workshop will encourage local communities to take a different approach to economic development: one that is local, community-led and puts the needs of people before profit.

On October 20th (14.00-17.00), CLS will also be collaborating with West Dorset Friends of the Earth to host Alan Heeks’ and Serenna Davies’ workshop on Personal Resilience: Staying Happy in Changeable Times, at Bridport’s Chapel in the Garden. This event offers practical skills — a resilience toolkit — to help manage the chaos of climate change, public service budget cuts, and the general pressures of modern life. There is a small charge for this workshop.

CLS in Dorset is one of 12 programmes funded by the Big Lottery Fund’s Communities Living Sustainably programme. This has made it possible for most of the events to be free. For further information, and to book your free place for the Jamie Catto evening and the Plugging the Leaks workshop, visit HYPERLINK “http://www.clsdorset.org.uk/one_world_week.aspx” http://www.clsdorset.org.uk/one_world_week.aspx.

For Further information:

Media enquiries contact: Candida Blaker, Dorset CLS Programme Manager: candida.blaker@dorsetcommunityaction.org.uk

For further background, visit www.clsdorset.org.uk

CLS in Dorset is supported by the Big Lottery Fund for a three year period from March 2013. Dorset is one of the Big Lottery Fund’s 12 Communities Living Sustainably (CLS) programmes in England, and is the only such programme in the Southwest.

CLS in Dorset aims to help people adapt to climate change and to live more sustainably. The project strives to act as a catalyst for action, building on the great work already taking place in the local area and exploring some innovative approaches. The programme will be delivered in Bridport, Dorchester and their surrounding areas.

CLS in Dorset is focusing on Greener Choices and Energy Efficiency; Renewable Energy; Local Food; Eco-Schools; Climate Change Adaptation with fishing and farming communities and older people.

CLS Living Differently - Poster

CLS Living Differently – Poster

 



08
AUG

Lets Get Energized says:
Dorchester`s new Ebike Shop


Category: Electric Transport, Sustainable Energy Stories
Tags: , , , ,


Dorchester`s new Ebike Shop

Last Saturday, 2nd of August, the first ever Raleigh Bicycle shop dedicated entirely to selling Electric Bikes opened in Poundbury, Dorchester. Having started the Dorset Ebike Centre on his farm at Chalmington, Peter Claxton decided that the levels of interest warranted a shop in town, so Cyclelife Wessex was born.

The shop will be selling the full Haibike range and Raleigh`s own brand electric bikes – so choices for all styles of riding and backed by Raleigh`s class leading after sale service.

Having tried several of the range of bikes ourselves we know how good they are – and after much good feedback after demoing a Haibike and a Raleigh at Dorchester`s recent Ecofair we know that these bikes only take one ride for someone to start wanting one.

We have a few pictures – first one is of a lady who took a ride on a Raleigh Ebike at the Ecofair and loved it. And then some pictures of the new shop and it`s owner Peter Claxton and some prospective customers:

Having Enjoyed a Raleigh Ebike ride

Having Enjoyed a Raleigh Ebike ride

 

Peter Claxton in Cyclelife Wessex

Peter Claxton in Cyclelife Wessex

Cyclelife Wessex - off for a test ride

Cyclelife Wessex – off for a test ride

Cyclelife Wessex - happy to be open

Cyclelife Wessex – happy to be open

 

 



12
JUN

Simon Jonathan Naish Rayson says:
Electric Assist Tricycles


Category: Electric Transport, Sustainable Energy Stories
Tags: , , , , ,


Electric Assist Tricycles

I recently wrote a piece for this Blog (Ebike Fun in the Sun) in which I mentioned people enjoying riding Electric Bicycles for the first time. And how my own bicycle, which is fitted with a Mojo Crank Motor, proved popular with one electric bicycle first timer.

Well yesterday we were contacted, via the Comments section of the Blog, by John Thraves who also has a Mojo equipped bicycle. But John has his motor fitted to an ICE Trike. John it turns out is an amputee and is keen to spread the word about how Electric bicycles can assist those with such a disability to get back out on the road – an excellent project indeed, so we thought it would be great to post some of John`s photo`s and his introductory words.

John has sent us some photo`s of his Trikes – like many of us cyclists he has more than one bike (they just seem to accumulate :-)

So below are the words from John and then the photo`s of his rather excellent Trikes:

3 Great Trike`s

These trikes have helped to give me my independence, confidence since I lost the lower half of my right leg nearly 4 years ago. I was a keen cyclist before then but I found that I could not ride two wheels anymore due to the balance problem. However it is worth noting that the electric assist on all of them provides me with the ability and enjoyment of managing around 30 miles in one ride with no pain or discomfort and as I have said I would like to link other amputees to the benefits of this facility.

If you require further information or advice then please do not hesitate to contact me (which you can do via the Comments Box at the foot of the page – Ed)

The Scorpion is the next on the list for conversion to the MOJO and I am thinking of selling the Adventure.

The bikes are pictured below: The top one is of the ICE SPRINT with the MOJO motor, the second one is the HPV Scorpion, my first trike, and considered to be the Rolls Royce of the trike world. The third and fourth are of the ICE Adventure, my general workhorse and both the Scorpion and the Adventure are both powered by BIONX, which I do consider to be the best of the hub motors around. (Editors Note: Hub motors are, as the name implies, mounted in the center of a wheel, which can either be front or rear. Crank Motors (or Mid Motors) such as the Mojo are mounted by the front chainring/crank and drive the bike via the chain and can use the rear gears)

ICE Sprint with Mojo

ICE Sprint with Mojo

 

Scorpion with BionX Motor

Scorpion with BionX Motor

 

ICE Adventure with Bionx

ICE Adventure with Bionx

 

ICE Adventure

John with ICE Adventure



23
APR

Simon Jonathan Naish Rayson says:
Ebike Times


Category: Electric Transport, Sustainable Energy Stories, Sustainable Living
Tags: , ,


Ebike Life

After writing about the Mojo electric bike motor a few month’s ago I finally decided to go and visit Tony Castles the developer and importer and try it out for myself. So with a friend we went to his workshop near Marlborough and after much ebike related conversation with Tony (who’s been involved with electric bikes for many years, after becoming disabled and finding himself unable to pedal a bicycle) I went out for a test ride on one of his Mojo equipped bicycles.Well, I was impressed. The motor was all but silent and yet powerful, assisting me effortlessly up inclines and being a crank drive, as you go down through the gears the motor keeps purring along as its power goes through the gears via the chain in the same way that the riders own pedaling does. I loved it – and decided there and then to buy one for myself.

The Mojo crank motor

The Mojo crank motor unit

 

This was a few weeks ago – and on Tuesday the big day came. Tony came down with motor which had just arrived in the country (as this is early days he’s not holding large stocks yet). And we set out to install it. The wiring side of things proves to be easy – it comes with a well made wiring “loom” with excellent waterproof connectors. But a possibly unexpected problem presented itself – being a crank drive, to install the Mojo it’s necessary to remove the existing pedaling mechanism from the bike (the cranks, the front cogs, and the bottom bracket/bearing). My donor bikes is quite an old Marin mountain bike – and the bottom bracket proved a little stiff – we resorted in the end to a large spanner with a sledge hammer to hit it, to get the bracket to turn. Took a few blows but eventually it came – I’d asked my neighbor if I could borrow his sledge hammer to adjust something on my bicycle, his curiosity was clearly piqued at this unusual tool for bicycle maintenance but he didn’t inquire further.Anyway once the bottom bracket came off the Mojo motor went in easily- and to be fair for most bikes removing the original parts would be a lot easier – it is an older bike (and it’s great to be able to reuse an older but still rather good machine this way) after all.With all the work done the bike is transformed – and myself and Tony left with that sense of satisfaction that comes from doing your own mechanical work (although of course not everyone finds the same enjoyment doing that sort of thing – and Mojo’s and all other Ebike conversion kits can be fitted for you if you don’t want to take on the task yourself).

Someone else discovers the joy of Ebiking

But for an interesting and useful comparison – on the Wednesday I happened to visit Peter Claxton’s new Dorset Ebike Centre with our Vince Adams in order for Vince to try out one or two of Peter’s ebikes with a view to buy. I went along to provide advice and also I wanted to try some the bikes out myself and for sure Peter Claxton has got a well stocked showroom with a wide selection of different Ebikes. Vince being interested in buying tried 3, I had a go on two – one equipped with a Bosch crank motor and the other with a Panasonic crank motor. Both systems are superb, the Bosch motor being more “kick in the”pants” while the Panasonic is quieter (you can just hear the Bosch) and more subtle – both though providing all the assistance you might need up a hill.

Riese & Muller Charger with Nuvinci gears and belt drive

Riese & Muller Charger with Nuvinci gears and belt drive

An Ebike motors keep on improving

To sum up I was impressed as was Vince. Vince having got a better idea of which bike he’d like to buy, while I now have something to compare my own crank drive (Mojo) equipped bike with. And the Mojo at under £900 for the kit compares very well with those £1800+ bikes, albeit the Mojo needs to be fitted. The Mojo being quieter even than the Panasonic and providing a similar amount of assist.More than anything it shows how the Ebike market is maturing, with many very capable machines becoming available – though it is still (in comparison to combustion engine powered vehicles, and ordinary non assisted bicycles) early days yet, and that brings with it a rather enjoyable sense of being pioneers when out riding Ebikes.

For more info on the Mojo: http://www.mr-motorvator.co.uk/Mojo/index.html

Dorset Ebike Centre: http://www.dorsetebikecentre.co.uk/



16
JAN

Simon Jonathan Naish Rayson says:
Get Your Mojo!


Category: Electric Transport
Tags: ,


For many advocates of electric bicycles the preferred way of delivering the power of the electric motor is so it goes through the gears in the same manner as the riders own effort. To make this type of assistance possible means having the motor installed at the crank (where the front chain ring is) or between the front chain ring and the rear wheel (attached to the chain).

Until very recently the only way to have this type of motor fitted onto an existing (non electric) bicycle was by putting it between the front chain ring and the rear wheel – a reasonably efficient method, but not always easy to install and set-up, and to many eyes a rather inelegant solution, but all the same an effective method of electric assistance – see some examples here: www.eclipsebikes.com

However, now a new product is available which can be installed on an ordinary non-electric bicycle (your own favourite maybe) and give the same level and manner of assistance as the excellent but expensive electric bikes built around the Bosch or the Panasonic Electric Motors – www.nationwideebikes.co.uk/gepida-ebikes for example.

The Mojo is a light, quiet and powerful system that adds electric assistance to any bicycle

The new motor aptly named The Mojo is being marketed by a long term exponent and developer of electric bikes, Tony Castles, under his Mr Motorvator trade mark. The Mojo system is installed by removing the existing cranks and front chain ring on the donor bicycle and then replacing with the Mojo. Something any reasonably competent cycle mechanic could do, and well within the abilities of many a DIY-er. See more here:  www.mr-motorvator.co.uk/Mojo/index.html

Mojo motor unit

I must say having coming across this motor only a few days ago I am still slightly (and apologies) drooling over it – in short, I want one!

Having had dealings with Tony Castles before (and aware of the great enjoyment the Nano drive electric conversion kit for Brompton Folding Bikes, that Tony developed, has brought: www.nanoelectricbikes.co.uk). I’m sure that any product he shows his confidence in, by selling, is likely to be a good’un. And for product support – well it’s good to deal with someone who really understands the technology.

If I give in to my urge to get one of these Mojo drives (and resistance is not necessarily futile, but at least rather difficult) I’ll do a write up of my on road experiences using it.



28
SEP

Simon Jonathan Naish Rayson says:
Ebike Innovation


Category: Electric Transport, Renewable Energy Film/Video
Tags: , ,


So we have a bicycle, and it has two wheels, a seat and pedals, and it gets you from A to B. Bicycles, they’ve been around a long time and perhaps it seems little is new in the world of cycling. But in the Ebike sector, innovation is bursting out everywhere – perhaps this is understandable, it’s a relatively new field and a growing market for manufacturers to sell to? (In Holland now the latest data shows that 1 in 5, or 20%, of a ll new bicycles sold are electrically assisted – and the Dutch do know a thing or two about cycling after all. See here for full story: http://www.bike-eu.com/Sales-Trends/Market-trends/2012/9/E-Bike-Marketshare-Grows-to-20-in-Holland-1068901W).

Of course the innovations that we are seeing maybe in part due to the legislative restrictions that Ebikes have to conform to? After all legislation can create a market – thus in the majority of the EU (inc the UK) a standard electrically assisted bicycle must be limited to 250watts (nominal power) and the motor is only permitted to power the bicycle up to 15mph (25kph). This presents challenges – how to make the motor perform well on the hills (give it lots of torque), how to get the motor to run without too quickly draining the battery, and so on. Various manufacturers meet these challenges in different ways – and although a motor may be limited to 250watts nominal power, many at peak power are producing nearer a 1,000watts (and all quite legally). Another factor in some parts of Europe is that there are now different permitted classes of Electric Bicycle – for instance in Germany beyond the standard 250w/25kph class, there are others including a 45kph/28mph class which are still permitted on bicycle paths (within local speed limits), but the rider is required to wear a helmet and to have motorcycle insurance. So far in the UK we only have the one type of electric bicycle standard (250w/15mph) but many are lobbying to include more flexibility, such as they have in Germany. The faster bikes making things such as longer distance Ebike commuting a more practicable possibility maybe?

Here’s an example of such an Ebike in action – the Grace One: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFfqJ9hh9b0&feature=player_embedded

Of course innovation is not only driven by legislation, sometimes new solutions to existing problems are sought, or simply new ways of doing things that might work better, or need less maintenance, or maybe just look better?

From Germany a couple of new innovative bike systems are coming along – new ways of propelling the bike along.

Firstly, and already in production and shortly to be available from Wisper Bikes in the UK, are Grace Ebike’s with Belt Drives. A Belt Drive being oil free is one way of reducing the chances of getting mucky on your bike, and they do tend to require less maintenance than a chain as well – and on these bikes they also look pretty cool.

Here’s a video of one in action: http://www.grace.de/produkte/grace-mx/?L=1

Secondly, and shortly to be in production, how about shaft drive? Something you see on some (top end) motorcycles, and of course the standard system on cars, but on bicycles not a common thing – there have been one or two shaft drive bicycles, but the new system from a company called Protanium is the first in which the shaft is driven by an electric motor (as well as by the pedals). A shaft drive electric bicycle, will mean little maintenance, no dirty chain, potentially “cleaner lines”.

Now there is innovation, have a look here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDAfvgAuh48&feature=player_embedded

Bikes using such innovative technology perhaps won’t be the cheapest, but they will be made to a high standard and last well (with a good guarantee). Perhaps the saddest thing is the paucity of British manufacturers in this sector – maybe, and returning to the legislative aspect, if we had other and faster classes of electric Bicycles then they would become more of interest and more widely purchased and encourage British manufacturing companies to get involved?

Heck Bosch now make on of the best Ebike Motors – a crank drive (as pictured above) – http://www.bosch-ebike.de/en/ebike/homepage.html (as used in the belt drive bike mentioned above, as well as in many others), so perhaps Dyson or someone similar might one day get involved? (Interestingly some German manufacturers who initially shipped the production side of making electric bike systems, to the far east, are now bringing production back home – it seems the Made in Germany badge increases sales, as does the Made in Britain – if you can ever find it!).



10
AUG

Simon Jonathan Naish Rayson says:
The Wiggins Effect


Category: Electric Transport
Tags: ,


There’s been much talk recently, in the media and elsewhere, about the Wiggins effect. It being wondered if, as a result of the recent successes of Bradley Wiggins in competitive cycling (in Tour de France 2012 and the London 2012 Olympics), more people will take up cycling.

Much of this focus is of course on the competitive element of cycling and it might well be the case that people will start to take an interest in the sport – and possibly might even boost the numbers taking part, who knows. It’s interesting though that Bradley Wiggins and Chris Boardman (who set the ball rolling with the recent British successes in cycling sport) have both mentioned cycling as a means of everyday transport as well as for sport. To my way of thinking that is a good thing. Bicycles can be a practical means of getting around, doing the shopping, and so forth.

Of course if you haven’t cycled in years or aren’t quite as fit as you might be, then cycling can seem more chore than fun, impractical as it seems just too hard, rather than practical. And that of course is where an electric bike can come in – it did for me some years ago. Got me back into cycling despite not being as fit as I once was back in my teens – and once riding the bike with the electric motor, well the realisation came that this is fun, as well as practical.

The problem might be of course that although an electric bike can make cycling accessible to those less fit – the fact that electric bikes are often very expensive can be itself a reason why cycling again seems inaccessible. There are many expensive electric bikes available, and many of those expensive electric bikes do perform superbly, while the cheaper ones might often perform well at first, but soon problems arise, especially with the batteries, and then…. Well perhaps the bike goes into the shed or garage and is forgotten, the purchase regretted?

However their are reasonably cheap and affordable routes into electrically assisted cycling – one such method is buying a kit to fit (or to have fitted) to an existing bike. Again many are available and again there are some that are very expensive (and work very well) and others that seem cheap, but perhaps might not last very long.

From my own experience though, I would say there is a reasonably cheap option available which will do the job and that will give good service over many years. I’m talking about the Currie Pro Drive – an American made kit. I bought one second hand off the internet years ago and it has served me well – I’ve fitted it to a variety of bikes; my Rebike recumbent, where it worked well pulling me up steep hills on what is a rather heavy bike, and also on a mountain bike where it helped me get places pretty quickly on the road and even took me along some rather muddy and bumpy bridleways and forest tracks while doing a bit of off roading. All in all I’d say the Currie Pro Drive is a practical and fairly affordable route into electric cycling – tried and tested technology that perhaps looks a little less sophisticated than some of the more recent and/or expensive kits, but it works and it works well. Powerful little motor which on a 26″ wheel bike (standard mountain bike sized wheel) will take you up to the legal limit of 15mph, it will pull you up hills if you do your share of pedalling as well – and with the Lead Acid batteries that come with it as standard you know you have the energy available to take you 10 miles or so on mixed terrain if you pedal a bit as well.

So how much might you pay – well from Electric Mountain Bikes near Glastonbury the Currie kit is available for £400 (http://electricmountainbikes.blogspot.co.uk/2008/04/currie-electro-drive.html) and possibly second hand ones might come up on Ebay now and then.

Oh and a little word on batteries – many electric bikes now come with Lithium Ion batteries and they are generally considered state of the art, but they are expensive and have been prone to malfunction on the cheaper electric bikes – meaning expensive replacements and so on – it’s definitely a good idea to check what guarantee there is on the battery, the better packages include a proviso that if a Lithium Ion battery loses it’s ability to hold a set level of charge within 1 or sometimes 2 years of purchase it will be replaced. The Lead Acid batteries as used on the Currie Pro Drive (and elsewhere) are old technology, and hold less charge per kilogram – but they are reliable and cheap to replace.

Anyway to return to the Wiggins Effect – let’s hope there is one, and if you feel too unfit to participate, why not try electric. You might even find that you are fitter than suspected or maybe after a few months cycling electrically assisted, discover fitness returning and either move onto a non assisted bike or just enjoy the whole cycling experience more and find yourself out there on two wheels when you used to be on four.



01
AUG

Simon Jonathan Naish Rayson says:
In awe of Tour De France and the specialized turbo electric bicycle


Category: Electric Transport
Tags:


It is such an extraordinary experience watching the Tour de France, something I did for the first time this year. Cyclists travelling 100+ miles at speeds almost unimaginable to the non racing cyclist. To put their performance into perspective – if an Electric Bike could go at the average speeds the Tour cyclists do, that bike would be considered illegal.

15mph is the speed Electric Bikes are allowed, in the UK and most of Europe too, yet on many days 28mph was the speed the Tour cyclists averaged – extraordinary. A real exhibition of human energy – as an Electric assist cyclist myself, I stand back in amazement and awe.

Here’s an example of an Electric Bike made by Specialised (who also make bikes for the actual Tour de France) that is capable of doing 28mph – it’s not road legal of course, but sure looks fun – especially for those of us not quite as fit as the pro cycling teams.



18
JUL

Simon Jonathan Naish Rayson says:
The showstopping Audi Electric Bike (I’ll stick with mine though!)


Category: Electric Transport
Tags:


Check out these short films featuring the Audi Electric Bike…

It is an extraordinary piece of kit, however being capable of 50mph it does not qualify as an Electric Bicycle as far as the law in the UK and anywhere else in the Europe is concerned!

It does though showcase what Electric Bikes are capable of when money is no object; things such as a wheelie mode where the riders balance is maintained automatically, while the carbon frame of the bike weighs only 1.6kg. Perhaps this Audi might best be regarded as a Concept Bicycle, but if there was such a thing as an off road Electric Bike Championship this bike would in all likelihood be a contender, and an awful lot of fun!

Meanwhile Audi have apparently scrapped their plans for an Electric Car – who knows perhaps Audi foresee a more bicycle based future? Though industry commentators suggest that Audi have been put off by the current low demand and high prices. I guess we’ll see, but in the meantime I’m happy with my Heinzmann electric bike! See my previous post on My Route Into Electric Cycling: www.letsgetenergized.co.uk/archives/2012/03/09/my-route-into-electric-cycling/.



18
APR

Theresa McManus says:
Take a breather… and get on your bike!


Category: Electric Transport
Tags: , , ,


Pollution experts from MIT in Massachusetts estimate that combustion exhausts across the UK cause nearly 5,000 premature deaths each year. They also estimate that exhaust gases from aeroplanes cause a further 2,000 deaths annually.

Road accidents in 2010 accounted for 1,850 deaths. Lead author Steven Barrratt says “We estimate that the premature deaths [from air pollution] are costing the UK at least £6 billion a year, and perhaps as much as £60 billion.”
See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17704116 for more details.

Canadian studies have shown that whilst this air pollution is bad for cyclists, drivers have higher respiratory problems than cyclists because of their higher exposure to volatile organic chemicals in vehicle exhaust.
“In stop-and-go traffic, [drivers] have more exposure than a cyclist who stays 15 feet or more from the tailpipes,” said Rebecca Serna, executive director of the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, a cycling advocacy group.

The health benefits of cycling still far outweigh the risks from air pollution and traffic collisions relative to car driving… so… get on your bicycle or electric bike!!!



09
MAR

Simon Jonathan Naish Rayson says:
My Route into Electric Cycling


Category: Electric Transport
Tags: , ,


First steps

It was in 2000 that I first discovered Electric Bikes. I was living in Dorchester, having moved to town from Tolpuddle and living in a flat with no parking I had given up the car. But I was beginning to get bored with walking everywhere so thinking it would be fun I went out and bought myself a Dahon folding mountain bike from Halfords. It struck me though as I was riding the bike home from the shop that although my mind seemed to think I was fit enough to zoom along as I had when I was a teenager, my body was altogether less sure.

A week or so later, during lunchtime at work, I happened to be wandering around the internet and came across a cycling shop called Kinetics that sold kits to turn a bicycle into an electrically assisted machine. I was intrigued – perhaps this might help me. Trouble was the price for the kits was about 6 times what I’d payed for the mountain bike. It just seemed too much to pay – but one evening at home I noticed that Kinetics had a bulletin board on their site where people were selling things and lo and behold there was an electric bike kit for sale and at a decent price. I quickly contacted the vendor and we agreed the price and the cost of the postage and shortly the kit arrived.

The kit in question was manufactured by a German company called Heinzmann and it seemed the person I had bought the kit from was fluent in German as the instructions were in that language. However there were plenty of illustrations and the Kinetic website had many pictures of Heinzmann kits fitted to customers bikes.

So without too many problems and only a few bruised fingers I managed to add the kit to my bike – although not the Dahon, as I had realised that maybe carrying a mountain bike to my second storey flat with the electric kit installed might not be much fun, so I’d bought the cheapest mountain bike that Halfords sold, and had fitted the kit to that.

My first electric bike ride

The first ride was a revelation – the motor would not it seemed pull away for standstill without me pedalling as well, but once I was moving I found myself pedalling to keep up with the motor. How fast I was going I had no idea, but it certainly was fun and there was definitely a lot of wind ruffling my hair.

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