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_eBike

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.

https://www.ebikebrandchallenge.com/call-for-entries

 

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’.

MaseratiERoad

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.

#RideTheFuture

Guest Blog: The New Bike in Town

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


THE NEW BIKE IN TOWN

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
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.”

ExploreMag


Editors Note: Click here to to subscribe to Explore Magazine

The LAPD Go Electric…

Editor’s Note:  This interesting announcement came across our desk today about the LAPD launching a pilot program to utilize Bulls eBikes with their “cycling” officers.

Originally Written by Haley Holston, Bulls Bikes USA

LAPD Police Chief Charlie Beck, announced yesterday a pilot program that is part of the department’s ongoing Green initiative, that includes a custom-designed fleet of 20 BULLS Sentinel eBIKES. The new eBIKES are capable of reaching speeds of up to 28 mph across varying terrains. BULLS Bikes USA, a leader in the mountain, specialty, and eBIKEcategories, worked closely with the LAPD over a nine-month RFP process to build eBIKES to meet the specific needs of the department’s urban law enforcement and patrol division, giving LAPD the largest eBIKE fleet in the nation. BULLS is offering a new level of mobility to officers with the added assistance of the motor-powered eBIKE.

LAPD_01

LAPD |BULLS Sentinel eBIKE Key features:

  • Pedal assist with speed up to 28 mph
  • Bosch Performance Speed motor
    Aluminum frame designed for easy mounting and dismounting when carrying police gear
  • Brake cables routed externally for easy and fast service maintenance
  • 180x200mm Magura hydraulic rotor discs for aggressive braking
  • Schwalbe Super Moto tires that ensures a smooth ride and stronger puncture protection
  • Rock Shox Pike heavy duty front suspension for better handling on urban scenarios like pedaling up and down hill
  • Black color for stealthy operations

LAPD_02

If you aren’t familiar with the brand, BULLS Bikes USA has the most extensive eBIKE product line in the United States, offering nearly every rider the bike they desire from eMTB hardtail and full suspension to eCity/Treking and eSpeed. While many brands can make traditional bikes, very few have the technical knowledge and infrastructure to produce truly remarkable eBIKEs. The BULLS team is offering more eBIKE systems and innovating at a higher rate than any other OEM. BULLS presence and leadership in Europe has allowed BULLS Bikes USA to more quickly and efficiently introduce the latest global trends to the US market, typically beating the nearest competitor by six months.

#RideTheFuture

(Photos from Bulls Bikes USA)

The ‘E’ Wave Is Washing Over The 6ix

It started as a ripple about 3-4 years ago. Last year the ripple grew, and with the growing size of the wave, we wondered if it would sustain or subside. With the start of 2018, we’re witnessing the wave grow, and the news from off-shore suggests it’s going to be a tsunami!

Evidence of what our e-bike future will look like is very much on display in Europe now. There the wave has settled in and they are awash in the e-bike movement. Germany leads the way with 720,000 e-bikes sold in 2017 – an increase of 19% from 2016, however other countries like France, England, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy, Austria and many more are also witnessing the transition to a more ‘e’-based transportation and leisure-time society.

eWave_Pic_03

All in, more than 35 million e-bikes were sold around the world in 2017. By way of caparison, in the same period, Canada sold less than 20,000 units.

One of the major projected growth sectors is e-mountain bikes which, because of special technical needs, is driving the development of a new battery technology; Nickel Cobalt Aluminum (NCA). This technology promises a battery with 30% more capacity in the same dimensions and weight, or 30% smaller and lighter. Of course, this will have trickle-down effects for the rest of the burgeoning electric vehicle market.

The continuing rise in popularity for e-bikes here is felt very directly in our shops with people coming or calling in daily inquiring about them. Usually those who come in for the first time are pleasantly surprised with the number of e-bikes we have available. Invariably though, it narrows down to one or two models that appeals to them and fulfils the riding goals they want to achieve.

eWave_Pic_01

One of our favourite things to do is chat about e-bikes with customers who are in the shop waiting for service on their regular bikes, and suggest they test ride one. Invariably they are delighted with the experience and it leads to conversations usually based on who in their lives might be able to use one. Sometimes, it turns that customer themselves into an e-bike owner.

Last Saturday, Chris, a new customer, came in with his wife (Brenda) to get her a bike. While waiting for a bike to be prepped for her to test, he took a few laps on an e-bike. Yesterday he returned with the regular bike he bought from us a few days previously, and purchased one of our high quality e-bikes instead. He and Brenda own a thriving business together and he wanted to use his bike for sales calls as well as leisure outings together. Once having taken one for a ride, he knew immediately that an e-bike was part of his (and perhaps Brenda’s) future.

Yesterday, another couple came in for the first time inquiring about e-bikes saying he wanted to get back into exercise, and was considering an e-bike since he was once an avid cyclist. Earlier in the day, I had read an interesting article discussing a health study that was done regarding people diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes*, and it came up in our conversation. The study found direct disease-fighting benefits from the use of e-bikes as a form of enjoyable, regular, on-going exercise. Tim confided that was his exact situation and why he was in the shop checking them out and learning about them firsthand. No doubt, Tim represents many in Ontario dealing with the same condition, and e-bikes may be helpful for them as well.

eWave_Pic_04

These two stories reflect a couple of other groups who can reap the rewards from having an bike in their lives. It will be interesting to see how the rest of the 2018 season unfolds in the bike market, but all indications tell us it will continue to grow rapidly.

The little wave we started splashing around in 5 years ago with our first investment in e-bikes has made us market-ready allowing us to ride the growing size of the e-wave. ! !!

See you out there!!

Cycling The 6ix!

  • Bristol University (England) suggests riding e-bikes might help treat type 2 diabetes!
  • Ashley Cooper (Professor of Physical Activity and Public Health at the Centre for Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences at Bristol University
  • Study involved 18 people
  • Two leading factors are lack of activity and a high calorie food intake
  • Enjoyment from an exercise activity is key to success – achieved by riding e-bikee
  • Fitness levels improved by 10.9% overall compared to traditional bike fitness which improves fitness by around 8%!
  • Importantly, patients must adopt long term maintenance of their condition and the fun of e-bikes help with that goal!
  • 14 of the participants on project bought their own e-bike

 

#RideTheFuture

Review: Cannondale Moterra SE

Written by Brigham DuBois-Hammond (Gears Canary Staff)

Talk about being psyched! For sometime now I have been thinking about and anticipating the rush I was going to experience for a whole week of riding a Cannondale Moterra SE.- a full-suspension e-mountain bike. Now I’ve got one. In fact, I’ve got two. Let me explain.

Neil, our Cannondale rep, who in wanting to encourage me and others in the shop to be able to recommend his eMTB bikes with confidence, said he would drop off a couple of demo Moterra models for a week allowing us to ride them and learn. And, now they’re here.

Moterra_02

On my first ride I dipped into the Don Valley to get a sense of Moterra’s capabilities. After ripping down some trails and hitting some challenging climbs I had two take-aways; the bike will confidently roll over just about any obstacle you might encounter riding trail (bear in mind I’m talking about cross trails here, not pure down hill). It will also take you up climbs that otherwise would have taken longer or might have to be hiked. You get a real feel for the torque and power of the Bosch Performance CX motor especially when in Sport (eMTB) mode, and that provides a very solid platform to build confidence on the trails.

The Don, with its amazing network of trails, took me up to our Leaside location. It was a good halfway destination and I wanted to show the crew up there the Moterra. From Leaside, my plan was the Beltline from Mount Pleasant using mostly non-paved surfaces to get home. For the most part that worked out, but the times I was forced to ride in the street showed that the Moterra is definitely not ideal for commuting. Its pure and unadulterated purpose is off-road, preferably in hilly terrain.

Let’s get a little nagging thing out of the way; the Bosch Intuvia display seems a little over-sized for a mountain bike and the separate control unit, as it’s positioned, rubs against your hand when riding, which is irritating.

On the plus side, there are key features to consider re the over-arching theme of trail-riding, but basically, the plus size tires combined with weight & power create serious grip. Although my ride was dry, I suspect the Moterra’s character would provide similarly hard-on-the-ground benefits when the going gets slippery.

Of course the added weight and power of an ‘e’ system raises the question of stopping ability and I quickly learned the SRAM hydraulic disc brakes are confidence-building in their consistently high performance. Braking was always solid and controlled.

A short note on the Moterra’s looks and beautiful finish; understated yet powerful, and the tan-wall tires simply smack of cheeky confidence.

Other important components:

  • DRIVETRAIN – SRAM EX1 Group
  • BRAKES – SRAM Guide RE Hydro Disc
  • TIRES – Onza Canis 27.5×2.85”
  • FORK – Fox Performance 34 Float, 140mm Travel Front – 130mm out back
  • SUSPENSION – Fox Performance Float EVOL Shock. 130mm Travel
  • MOTOR – Bosch Performance CX
  • BATTERY – Bosch 400Wh
  • DISPLAY – Bosch Intuvia

Moterra_01

At the end of the week Neil showed up to claim his bikes, and I was left with strong urge to test out more of these awesome machines. For those out there with the notion that using an eMTB is in someway “cheating” or replacing skill with power, I promise you it’s not. You need to really work these bikes to get the enjoyment and exercise they offer. And I can’t wait to grind out more trail time with the next one.

#RideTheFuture

The Age We Live In

For those of us born in what is seemingly another era – pre-digital times – the world has time-warped into a wacky and wonder-filled place in which we exist and have to try to navigate. Almost daily, we witness the ever-accelerating emergence of new technologies.

BlogImage_FutureOld

New tech is affecting almost every aspect of human (and non-human) life including everyday transportation. Whether it’s Uber, self-driving cars, taxi drones, hyper loop tunnels, new technologies are driving the frontiers of transportation down entirely new roads.

Still, old adages die hard for a reason. Old adages resonate through the ages because they contain truth and wisdom. One of those wise sayings is ‘everything old is new again’ and it makes me think of transportation.

In this day of hi-tech transportation trends, it seems that bicycles, the 200 year-old marvellous invention that harmoniously and beautifully blends mechanical science with human power to provide an efficient solution to personal transportation, might again be the way to go.

That’s right, a metal frame, two narrow wheels, a pedal mechanism, handle bars attached to a steering post and a seat, and once again planners of major cities are looking at this most pure invention as the solution to road congestion.

Of course, the ensuing 200 years of cycling has brought its own technical developments, and more recently, hi-tech has entered the bicycle arena just like all other aspects of life.

Bikes are made of lighter metals; with the addition of gears, they go faster and are able to be pedalled up hills; brakes make them safer; bright headlights and piercing taillights make nighttime cycling safer, and in every way, bicycles are a reliable modern-day vehicle for transportation, leisure, sport and fitness.

BlogImage_Future01

New tech is also making the two-wheeled wonder more available to more people through the advent of smaller more efficient electric motor pedal-assisted

systems. The cycle industry has fully embraced this new direction, and has created pedal-assist e-bikes in virtually every bike category that exist. Both cycle enthusiasts and people who have not been on a bike in years are realizing the value of adding an e-bike into their lives to accomplish their goals.

Along with lighter, less expensive batteries and smaller motors, further pushing the adoption of e-bikes is the plethora of companies venturing into the bike- share market. The idea is made viable because of hi-tech developments in smartphones, mobile-payment, Bluetooth, GPS tracking and RFID.

The latest major piece of news in this area was from Uber and their purchase of Jump, a big player in the bike share business. From early markets tests in Washington and San Francisco featuring dockless e-bikes, it was found that a much broader demographic made use of the service.

Dockless bike share works similarly to car share programs where you locate the nearest vehicle on your phone app, book it, unlock it, ride it, and leave it locked up at your destination. This is Jump’s business model and e-bikes will be their future. “The number of people willing to ride e-bikes is probably ten times that of those willing to ride a regular one” rationalizes CEO Ryan Rzepecki.

Now we find ourselves almost 1/5 into the increasingly hi-tech 21st Century where in cities, things are flying overhead, self-driving over ground and following tunnels under ground, and a 200 year-old simple machine is made ‘new again’.

BlogImage_Future02

Of course, the bicycle is new again because another old adage has fallen by the wayside; you know, the one that says you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Well in the case of dockless e-bike sharing and the increase of personal e-bike ownership, it has taken almost a total overhaul of the ‘wheel’ to elevate the humble bicycle to the prominence it is enjoying once again.

Cycling The 6ix
See you out there!

#RideTheFuture

Review: BH Easy Motion Rebel Gravel-X

Written by Derry Bunting (Gears Oakville)

I recently had the opportunity to ride the BH Easy Motion Rebel Gravel-X eBike from our Oakville shop home to Mississauga and back again on my 24 kilometre daily commute! I couldn’t be more excited about this bike!

The Rebel Gravel X is a High Performance Electric Pedal Assist Gravel Bike that will takes you anywhere you want to venture, offering real fun and confidence that almost no hill is too high and no ride is too far. The Rebel Gravel X will always get you there and back, whether you are riding on gravel, off road, or on pavement.

BlogImage_BH_RebelGravel_01

At first glance, the Gravel-X looks like a pretty conventional gravel bike in every way, except that is has a Yamaha PW Mid-Drive electric pedal assist motor and battery built into the frame bottom bracket and down tube, ensuring a low center of gravity and minimal visual impact.

 

FEATURES:

  • BH Aluminum Alloy Frame & Fork
  • Shimano 105 2 x 11 Drive Train
  • FSA Crankset
  • Shimano Mechanical disc brakes with Ice Tech rotors
  • Schwalbe G-One 700 x 40c Tires
  • Shimano RX31 Rims Laced with bladed spokes to Shimano RX31 Disc Compatible Hubs
  • Yamaha PW 250W 36V Pedal Assist Motor built into the bottom bracket of the frame
  • 400W Battery mounted to the downtube

 

IMPRESSIONS:

As mentioned earlier, I just had the opportunity to ride the Rebel Gravel-X from from our Oakville shop home to Mississauga and back again on my 24 kilometre daily commute and this is one awesome pedal assist bicycle!

The Rebel Gravel-X, and most all of the current generation of eBikes, are electric pedal assist bikes, and what that means is that you ride the bike and shift thru the gears the same way you would with any other bike, but also set the electric pedal assist system to your desired assist level. As you pedal at your normal cadence, the pedal assist system seamlessly comes on and acts like a wind at your back help you get up and over hills, buck those wicked headwinds, or just keep up with your riding partners who are just happen to be a little faster than you are!

Gravel Bikes are my go to ride because of their versatility on and off road, their drop bars allowing you to duck under headwinds, and their more comfortable riding position. 

The BH Easy Motion Rebel Gravel-X is a gravel bike in every way, and the Yamaha electric motor is the smoothest pedal assist system I have ridden. There is virtually no noticeable surge in power when the assist comes on, but there is plenty of power there when you need it. 

There is a 1.6 kilometre long steady uphill stretch on my ride home that I normally dread, but with the Rebel Gravel-X I cruised up and over that incline easily. With the pedal assist helping me overcome a prevailing headwind and that long uphill climb, my homeward commute took me 2 thirds the time it normally does! On my commute back to work the next morning, downhill and with the prevailing wind at my back, the pedal assist allowed me to arrive in time to grab a second cup of coffee before we opened the doors!

Bottom Line, I could not be more excited about the BH Easy Motion Rebel Gravel-X! Whether you are looking to extend your gravel rides farther than ever before, looking to make cycling a more feasible option for your daily commute, or perhaps looking for a bike for your not quite so cycling obsessed partner so you can do those weekend gravel rides together, the BH Easy Motion Rebel Gravel-X is an excellent choice!!!   

#RideTheFuture