Long popular in Europe, interest in e-bikes is growing in the United States among both cyclists and environmentalists. E-bikes are reportedly up to 18 times more efficient than a car. It’s time to fully embrace the merits the electric bike can bring to the United States: E-bikes significantly reduce carbon footprint, and both air and noise pollution and will certainly help to achieve environmentalists’ eventual target goal of net-zero carbon emissions (it’s 2050 in the United Kingdom).
Earth Talk reported: “An e-bike needs only about 10% of the energy required to power a car, and is 13-times more energy efficient than a typical four-door sedan and six-times more efficient than rail transit.” With the styling of a normal push bike, e-bikes have a motor that (for most) is only active when the bike is pedaled. An e-bike derives its power from a battery and features a sensor that will engage the motor as soon as a ride begins.
“The past year has highlighted the need for smarter ways to travel, especially in cities. Cars and cities don’t mix, while public transport is often busy and can be pretty expensive,” said Peter Reynolds, creator of the urban cycling blog Discerning Cyclist.
China (which makes 36 million e-bikes annually), Germany and Holland are the top e-bike markets, Reynolds said, and added, “Holland sells more e-bikes than any other type of bicycle, and in 2018, in excess of one million bikes were sold to the Dutch, with electric bikes accounting for 40% of these sales. In 2017, they represented 31%.”
He cites six main types of e-bikes: Mountain e-bikes for off-road; cruiser e-bikes designed for comfort; road or commuter e-bikes, which are lightweight e-bikes designed for daily commutes; cargo e-bikes reinforced to haul extra weight; folding e-bikes; and fat e-bikes, which have the biggest tires and designed to be driven over “any surface.”
Sample an e-bike. The easiest way would be to try a rent-an-e-bike; many cities have these available–try riding one in conditions that may mimic a commute (different times of the day, experience rush hour).
Reduce those carbon emissions and check out 10 of the latest e-bikes.
Bosch eBike Systems Cannondale Tesoro Neo X1
Cannondale Tesoro Neo X1 from Bosch eBike Systems is part of the Performance Line Sport Drive Unit, which accelerate smoothly and quietly over 20 mph and have a maximum speed of 28 mph and a torque of up to 65 mph. The Performance Line Sport (starting at $3,300) will be launching with Bosch partner brands Benno, Cannondale, Electra and Tern.
Gocycle GXi fast-folding e-bike
Gocycle’s GXi, as well as the GX, can be folded down in less than 10 seconds and features the patented magnesium Cleandrive system, which means no visible cables or wires, which the manufacturer said makes for a smooth, greaseless ride. It has PitstopWheels (six bolts fasten the wheels to the hubs like a car for a faster fold and provides easy access for fixing a flat tire without removing the wheel), too. A quick removable battery housed in the GXi’s fast-folding frame has a range of up to 50 miles and a four-hour charge time. It comes in Gunmetal Grey, Matt Black and White.
The Gocycle GX (front brake left) is $3,299 and available in Blue, Matt Black and White/Gloss. It weighs less than 40 lbs. It has three gears, a top speed of 20 mph and a 40-mile range, seven hours recharge time (four with optional fast charger).
The Gocycle G3+ is a limited edition of 300, weighs 36 lbs and comes in Matt Black, Grey, White, Red, Green and Yellow. It has a top speed of 20 mps and has a range of 50 miles. The G3+ e-bike sells for $4,999.
The price listed below is for Gocycle’s GXi.
Aventon Level Step-Through
Aventon Bikes has a range of 10 different electric bikes. The Level Step-Through is a Class III e-bike, which can reach 28 mph and has a five-pedal assist and a removable battery that charges in four to five hours. It’s available in two sizes (height based) and two colors, and it has a range of 40 miles.
Orbea Gain M20 Ultegra 11 speed Electric Road Bike
The Orbea Gain M20 has a new motor for smooth and reliable pedaling assistance and a new Torque Simulation Algorithm, which means that the assistance mode is closer to natural rolling qualities you see on a manual bike. There is also a larger, easier-to-read display. It’s available in three colors, five sizes (XS to XL) and for pre-order (available August/September 2021).
Comfort e-bike from Charge
Charge’s mission was to make cycling easy, accessible and affordable. Each bike has smart solutions like folding pedals and handlebars and automated tire pressure sensors that turn red when air is needed or green if you’re good to go. The bikes are sent almost fully assembled and can be put together in about 10 minutes. It has a 250W motor, with up to 50 miles per charge, as well as pedal assist and a thumb throttle for up to 20 mph.
Rad Power Bikes RadMission 1
The RadMission 1 is a single-speed electric metro bike designed for city riders. It has a 500W high-torque motor and a battery range of up to 45 miles, according to the manufacturer. Rad Power Bikes said it’s roughly 30% lighter than the company’s other e-bikes.
Rambo Bikes The Megatron
The Megatron has two motors and two batteries for extreme power (30 mph) and long range (80 miles). It comes in one size, has a Bafang 1000w Hub Motor x2 and weighs 77 lbs. It has a 300 lb. rider-cap. The Megatron’s frame is called Aluminum Alloy 6061.
Greyp G6 and G5
The company was started by Maté Rimac, the founder of the all-electric Hyper car manufacturer RIMAC.
The bikes have a GPS chip (with an app you can have bike navigation), as well as a three-axis gyroscope and accelerometer, a barometric pressure sensor, two wide-angle 1080p cameras (front and rear) that can continuously upload video to your phone, and a three-inch screen that shows info such as battery life and speed, as well as heart-rate monitoring and power assistance. It also comes with Bluetooth and a USB-C port and is always connected to the internet via a built-in e-SIM (Greyp will cover the data costs until at least 2022). Data connectivity is handled by T-Mobile. There are four models of the G6 and two of the G5.
The bike is equipped with Wi-Fi, which it transfers data to and from the app and also receives over-the-air updates. Pricing ranges from $5,499 to $16,999. The price listed below is for the G6.1 Bold FS.
Wing Bikes' Freedom X
The just launched Freedom X has a new torque sensor, an optional add-on “Turbo Boost” throttle that helps riders accelerate quicker and eliminates the need to pedal and coast on the electric motor. It weighs 40 lbs and features a removable battery, built-in alarm system controlled by remote, integrated front and rear lights, and swept back handlebars. Speed is 20 mph (street legal in the U.S.), but this cap can be removed to increase the speed up to 28 mph depending on the model. The price listed is the starting price.
VanMoof’s S3 electric bike has built-in lights, a keyless lock, GPS tracking and splash guards, and the manufacturer describes it as a smart bike for commuters. It features automatic electronic gear shifting and integrated anti-theft tech. It also won a 2020 Red Dot design award. It comes in light (designed for riders 5′ to 6’5 tall) and dark (designed for riders 5’8 to 6’8 tall).
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