Car Companies developing eBikes

Seems that everyone is jumping into the eBike market these days as we can see from some recent announcement by Tesla, General Motors and Maserati.


Tesla Electric Bikes?

We know that Elon Musk is always working on something. From electric cars to rockets, and solar energy systems to underground roadways… he’s got a lot going on.

In a recent interview he mentioned that Tesla maybe looking at developing an electric bike, specifically designed to compete with Uber and Lyft ride share systems. No details have been announced but if past experience is anything to go on, we can look forward to some rather interesting technology coming from the Tesla brand,


General Motors Announces  New E-bike… and it needs a name. 

GM is looking to be very close to launching a new propriety eBike developed by their Urban Mobility Solutions division in Oshawa Ontario.

Under the guidance of director Hannah Parish (who brings a wealth of cycling industry experience to the project) it appear this eBike will be available in two models… one that folds and one that does not.


GM’s CEO Mary Barra said in a press conference that a concept eBike would be “designed to help people stay mobile in an increasingly difficult-to-navigate urban landscape.”

At the current time GM has not released and technical specifications, but based on images it appears that the bike will have a great deal of integration, delivered in a sleek and compact package.

The bike is yet to be named… as such GM has also announced a public naming contest with a rather healthy $10,000 USD for the winner and $1,000 for the other nine finalists.


Bafang Powers New Maserati E-road Bike

From the high-performance world, Maserati has just announced the Trofeo e-race bike which features Bafang’s ultra-compact M800 mid motor.

The Bafang M800 has a 200W power output and a max torque of 55Nm. The claimed total weight of the system is less than 4.4k, including the integrated 200Wh battery, 2.2” TFT display and ‘satellite shifter pods’.


According to the official Maserati press release, ‘Since an e-road bike will very quickly exceed the legal motor assist speed threshold, the drive unit has been tuned to perform optimally when starting off and accelerating on short sprints and steep climbs. But even more important: when the limit is reached, the drive train runs almost resistance free and the rider’s own pedaling effort is not affected.’

The Maserati Trofeo will be available in Europe from Spring 2019 at a suggested retail price of € 9999.

There is no word yet, if this technology will be available in North America. We can hope.


Guest Blog: The New Bike in Town

Thanks to Explore Magazine for the permission to re-run this editorial in our eBike Emporium Blog.


E-bikes have hit the mountain bike world full-force — what does this mean for trail networks and users?

By Ryan Stuart (Explore Magazine)

As an Olympian, World Cup racer, two-time national champ and winner of multiple mountain bike stageraces, Andreas Hestler is no slouch on knobby tires. He can race through roots and rocks faster than most, but when he jumped on an electric mountain bike he still saw the potential.

Andreas Hestler, Canadian cycling legend.

“They’re a lot of fun,” he says. “They open up a lot of possibilities and new kinds of riding and open the sport to people who wouldn’t ride otherwise.”

Hestler is not unbiased. He works for Rocky Mountain Bicycles, which launched a motorized version of its Altitude mountain bike this year. Hidden in the drop-tube of the bike is a small electric motor that’s integrated into the bike’s gear system. When the rider pedals, the motor kicks in about one horsepower of assistance, enough juice for any of us to keep up to someone like Hestler. (Most e-bikes max out at about 30 km/h.)

It adds distance for people without the time or inclination to build the stamina themselves. Which is why they’re selling. According to one retail tracking company, mountain e-bike sales in North America increased from $500,000 in 2015 to $2.5 million in 2017. Just about every major brand sells a mountain e-bike now. There are even e-bike categories at some races, and a dedicated magazine.

The problem is where to ride them. Even whether to allow them on paved bike paths has cities conflicted. When it comes to mountain bike trails, uncertainty paralyzes land managers and clubs as they fret over everything from increased traffic and corresponding trail impact to how to allow e-bikes without opening networks to electric dirt bikes. A sure sign of the indecision comes from the International Mountain Bike Association Canada, the grand poobah of mountain bike advocacy.

“It’s a very challenging topic to have a consistent, countrywide recommendation for clubs,” says AJ Strawson, the group’s executive director.

“What might make sense in one community might not in another.” He notes that everything from traffic, terrain type, drainage and weather and other factors come into play.

Generally, most trail networks consider e-bikes motorized, which makes them illegal on humanpowered trails, though many jurisdictions are reviewing their status. The biggest issue with changing the rules, says Strawson, is liability, which generally rests with mountain bike clubs or land managers. “Right now trail networks are designed to use distance as the filter, putting harder trails farther away or at the top of long climbs” he says. “Only the strongest, fittest and most skilled riders can get to them. E-bikes disrupt that system.”

Not all clubs think that will be a problem. Rob Sanders, general manager of the Mountain Bike Club of Kingston, one of Ontario’s largest clubs, says none of the 1,400 members have asked about e-bikes yet.

“Most people that mountain bike do it for the workout,” he says. “The guys who are going to buy these bikes are the ones that can barely get around our easiest loop right now. They’re going to give a group of people who couldn’t mountain bike otherwise a chance to get on the trail.”

On busy trail networks that’s enough reason to ban them. “Our trail builders are telling us they can’t keep up with maintaining the trails with the usage they already have,” says Strawson. “Adding another user group is not something they’re ready for.”

But, as motors shrink further it will become difficult to tell an e-bike from a normal one. Then there is the blurring lines between pedal-assist and throttled electric dirt bikes. Where to draw the line between what’s allowed and what’s not, how to distinguish between the two and then how to enforce any rules is only going to get harder.

In some ways the tables have turned. For three decades mountain biking fought for legitimacy with other user groups and land managers.

Now mountain biking is one of the most popular sports in the woods. Mountain bikers learned to share the trails before and they will figure it out again, says Hestler. It will just take time.

“The problem,” he says, “is that everything is changing and growing so fast in this sport it’s getting harder and harder to keep up.”


Editors Note: Click here to to subscribe to Explore Magazine

This week in ‘E’


E-bike Round-Up; Sept 4, 2018…

Self-Driving eBikes? Why not? The German city of Magdeburg is the testing grounds for a developing program from the University named after the city. In the next couple of weeks, test rides will start with a person being able to use an app on their phone to have a self-driving eTrike come to them, and then take them to their destination. The experiment is being conducted under the direction of Professor Stephan Schmidt who is very quick to point out the difficulties for the eTrikes to navigate through all the hazards presented in a busy city. This is not meant to be just an exercise in engineering however, the plan is to have them operational by the year 2020.

Thinking they are better than self-driving cars, Professor Schmidt feels they are ‘a charming alternative to car traffic – an environmentally-friendly alternative for urban transport.’

Full Sus eRoad Bikes – Is There No End to eBike Innovation? Known for their innovative approach to cycling, French bike company Lamere is at it again, teasing the e-bike world with a full suspension electric road bike. Featuring a Shimano E8000 mid-drive system and a Lauf suspension fork, their latest awesome bike comes in at 38 lbs.

New Display from Bosch. None of the big players are standing still when it comes to the booming market of eBikes, they are all upping their ‘game’ and Bosch is very much in the lead group. Their new Knox colour display unit exemplifies their commitment to the e-bike market. Sporting new features, the display/ computer tells riders if they are riding above or below their average speed, and through a Bluetooth-connected heart rate monitor, it allows riders to monitor their heart rate throughout a ride. Updates can also easily be done through the low-energy Bluetooth interface, and more features are promised to come.


“Kiox is our best and brightest display” says Claudia Wasko, V P & GM of Bosch eBike Systems Americas, and “… our first step in North America connecting eBikes to the eBiker’s digital world.”

BH Launching X-Tep eMtn Bikes for 2019. As a follow-up to the innovative Atom X, Spanish manufacturer BH Bikes debuted the latest demonstration of their deepening commitment to electric mountain bikes, the XTep product line. Although based on the frame of the frame of the Atom X, it doesn’t use the Brose motor, but instead was designed to use either the Shimano E8000 or E7000.

BH_X-TepOne of the models in the line-up is the X-Tep Lynx sports the E8000 motor and shows off with a 720Wh battery uses 21,700 new energy-dense cells that claims to provide 150km range. BH Bikes are really well-known in Europe and are starting to build a solid reputation in North America on the US race circuit. The European market will no doubt get these beauties first since they are considerably ahead of the US and Canada. As Toronto’s exclusive BH dealer, we will be receiving news on this exciting new series soon – stay tuned.

eBikes and Kids Trailers. It seems intuitive that one of the things you would use an eBike for would be pulling children in a trailer. New products are entering the market to supply this demand as it grows and here are a few that are designed for off-road riding. The gift of thrill-inducing trail-riding is offered to parents and their young ones with the one-wheel Tout Terrain Single Trailer. Minimal resistance, only 45cm wide, a solid steel roll cage and an incredible 200cm of travel provide the confidence to take your child along on more challenging trails offering them a totally unique perspective. The summer bug screen and rain-proof cover make for all-weather adventures. The Thule Chariot Lite is a bare-bones version of their classic child bike trailer. Like all Thule products, it has a quality feel about it. Handling is very good with a wide range of movement on the flexible connector allowing the Chariot to turn and manoeuvre easily even when churning it out of the saddle. Not meant for anything more than wide family-friendly paths. It rolls easily but additional resistance of two wheels is noticed.

The Burley D’Lite uses chunky aluminum tubes and supports, coil sprung suspension and with a 45 kg load limit, gives parents with multiple children and those who need to pack extra gear a great solution. A very large cargo space, if loaded up, requires serious leg power and a noticeable effort to get rolling. With its variable tilt, suspended seat, tinted windows, adjustable sunshade and coil suspension, the D’Lite provides a very cushy ride for its occupants as long as rides are taken on relatively calm, wide trails.

781km Canadian Adventure. Demonstrating the spirit of eBikes, a 12 day loop from Montreal around Kingston and Ottawa then back to Montreal gave a middle-aged couple a camping trip to note. Riding two NeoMouv eBikes equipped with Brose mid-drive motors, Patrick Goulet, former racing pro, and his wife Claire toted their camping equipment an average of 70 km per day (their longest was 87km), and never running out of power proves the claim that the eBikes can easily deliver 100+ km per charge.

Haibike Reigns in the Mountains. Underscoring their position in the electric mountain bike category, Haibike has launched their new FLYON series featuring, at the top end, the XDURO NDURO 10.0 and including two other models (XDURO NDURO 8.0 & XDURO NDURO 5.0). The carbon framed models also feature a fly chip that allows riders to adjust the head angle and bottom bracket to their preferences. Getting into this league costs a healthy $9.600 and going full send will set you back a serious $13,700. We’re not sure this serious series will be seen in Canada any time soon; he can only hope.



More coming from this week – later on…

Gears eTeam

Weekly e-Round-Up – Aug. 27, 2018


More news items about e-bikes are increasingly grabbing the headlines in bike industry media, and our hope is that this weekly e-Round-Up provides an ongoing source of information re e-bikes.

New Smart e-Bike Helmet. Hi tech has moved into bike helmets, and the LIVALL BH51M smart helmet has the functions to illustrate the point. In addition to it being a smart helmet, it is smart-looking (commuter-style). What makes it ‘smart’ are the rear indicator lights, microphone & speakers allowing for phone calls and music listening, and with the built-in short-range communications technology, riders with similar helmets can talk directly with each other. Once it is turned on, the helmet’s functions are controlled by a handlebar-mounted control unit with seven buttons. It pairs via bluetooth with a phone and comes alive to make its wearer safer when riding daytime and night.

Improved Security Systems. More and more people are coming into the shop inquiring about e-bikes, and one of the most frequently asked questions is about locks and security systems to keep e-bikes from being stolen. Addressing this issue, Abus has introduced the Bordo 6000A with a 100 decibel alarm that triggers when tampered with, and is meant to deter would-be thieves.

Conveyor – Pedego’s New Mid-Drive Commuter. With their new commuter e-bike, Conveyor, Pedego enters the mid-drive market with the premium motor from Brose. Some of the other impressive features are the belt-drive and internally-geared hub which create a seamless, quiet ride with easy and smooth gear shifting, even when stopped. A built-in GPS theft protection seems right for the times and for this model since it looks good and is somewhat upscale in price.

Harley Davidson’s New e-Bike. We just got our first peek at the new concept e-bike from Harley and thought showing you the visual would provide additional insight into the e-bike market. After all, if Harley is heading in this direction, then e-bikes must have great promise for them as well the many other new movers into this highly active market.


Stronger Chains for e-Bikes. Mid-motor drive systems deliver higher torque outputs than human-powered-only bikes, therefore e-bike chains have to offer better durability than ever before. TAYA’s exclusive DHT self-lubricated hardness treatment applies on pins to strengthen the hardness over HK2000, 30% harder than average in the market. It is the key to be strong enough against powerful torque produced from the mid motor systems.

The Strong Move to Cargo. Within the e-bike category, e-cargo bikes are really making a splash. Last month, even Eurobike paid close attention and dedicated a special ‘cargo area’ to that interest. Cargo bikes have been in use for more than 100 years in Europe, and now last-mile companies and young families are looking at the added benefits of e-powered cargo bikes to make their lives even more efficient.

Editor’s Note: Be sure to checkout the Cargo Bike Championships coming to Toronto September 8th.

Sea Otter Classic & Bulls. Giving its enormous and growing popularity and attendance, BULLS Bikes announced a three-year sponsorship agreement to become the official e-bike sponsor of the Sea Otter Classic through 2021. Started in 1991, the event now plays host to over 9,600 athletes and 72,500 fans. The Sea Otter Classic and is regarded as the world’s premier cycling festival. The Sea Otter is cycling’s celebration of cycling and the North American season opener. Both professional and amateur athletes enthusiastically attend Sea Otter to participate in some of the most competitive and enduring events. With their new sponsorship, Bulls e-bikes will take centre stage in the lead-up to the 30 year anniversary of Sea Otter.

e-Bikes for High End Road Cyclists. Now that the last hold-outs are falling away, it seems every category of bikes, including road, is going with the way the market is driving it, to some version of pedal-assist. At last month’s Eurobike, high end road brands like Pinarello, Wilier Triestina, Bianchi, and Focus debuted their entries into the e-road bike category, and more brands are designing their models to be in market asap. The power system that all these manufacturers crave these days is the compact Evation by Fazua, a German company. Fazua expects approval in the US in early 2019. Brands like Pinarello, Orbea and Bianchi will be in US stores this year because they use another drive system rather than Fazua, so we will start to see this category develop over the next year and beyond.

Montreal eBike-Share. Last but certainly not least, Bixi eBikes in Montreal launched a 3-month eBike share pilot program with the introduction of 20 e-Bikes, and the possibility of expanding based on results. It’s an example of what’s to come in The 6ix over the next few years.


See you next week with more news from the ever-expanding world of e-Bikes.

The Gears e-Team

Weekly e-Bike Roundup – Aug. 20/18


Taking a look at the e-bike market developments elsewhere in the world shows where things are going here in The 6ix as the demand for e-bikes builds.

Here are some of this week’s headline stories:

As previously reported, Uber purchased bikeshare company ‘Jump’ e-bikes earlier this year making them available through the Uber app in New York’s Staten Island and Bronx areas after rolling out at the end of July. Unlike the other bike-share companies chosen to participate, Jump is exclusively electric and dockless. The Big Apple seems to have made a u-turn from their previous stance when they banned e-bikes in general, now they are starting to embrace them.

Broadly reported in media all over the world, the US will impose a 25% tariff on many Chinese products and that includes electric bikes and kits. Taking effect August 23rd, the 25% penalty will play havoc with the development of the e-bike market, and as a result, big players such as Uber. This Financial Times article reports that ‘Uber, Bird and Lime have hit out at proposed US tariffs on electric bicycles and scooters imported from China, pitting some of Silicon Valley’s fastest-growing companies against US President Donald Trump.

Storck, a German bike company, launched a top-end e-Mtb. Storck was once known as manufacturers of high quality carbon framed racing bikes. The 2019 model range features three e-bikes including an interesting looking full suspension e-mtb, the e:drenalin with a total weight of 46.3 pounds (21kg) – really good for a full on e-mtb with powerful Brose 90Nm mid-drive motor and a whopping 600Wh battery.

Mid-drives & Gearbox – mid-drives that integrate the e-bike’s gears in one unit may become common on the e-bikes of the future. Last week, two European companies (Mubea and Kerevelo) seemed to think so with their announcements proclaiming this as the direction they were moving.

Inaugural France to China Solar e-bike race. Belgian cyclist Raf van Hulle rode 12,000km from the city of Lyon to the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou in just 49 days and won the inaugural solar-powered electric bike race. On the route through Germany, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan and China, Raf peddled an estimated 270km daily. The route included a section in the Gobi desert where he had to cycle without assisted power to prevent the batteries from overheating.

MILWAUKEE, USA – Although presented as one of the Harley-Davidson’s options for blazing new trails, it doesn’t fit with the image of the iconic motorcycle brand. H-D recently released an advanced look at a full suspension e-bike along with three lightweight electric motorcycles.

Germany’s e-bike market is growing at a record pace. 2017 data from industry association ‘Zweirad-Industrie-Verband’ (ZIV) clearly shows e-bikes in Germany as a preferred mode of mobility as well as for leisure and sports, representing a clean, quiet and space-saving alternative for city logistics.

Giant Records Double-Digit growth in Europe Driven by E-Bikes. Thanks to a strong e-bike demand as well as favourable exchange rates, Giant Manufacturing Co. Ltd. saw its net income grow by 31.8 percent in the first half of this year. Consolidated group revenue increased by 7.9 percent up to a total of TWD 29.17 billion (€ 830.2 million).


All the e-bike activity in Europe and Asia, plus our own anecdotal stories of the increased interest at the 4 Gears locations, indicate an accelerating climb to record bike ownership. The trend is fast becoming a large movement!

More news next week from around the world and around The 6ix.

Gears e-Team

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