Who has tried out the latest electric bikes?
A few questions:
- Does the overall concept make sense if what you like is bicycling? Most of the bikes seem to weigh about 50 lbs., which I guess makes them super light compared to a scooter or motorcycle, but very heavy if you want to pedal them uphill.
- Are they more or less fun on a 2-hour road ride than a standard road bike?
- Do you actually get any exercise when using one of these?
- Are they way better for mountain biking because you can maintain momentum even uphill?
- Why do a lot of them cost more than a used Toyota Prius? (maybe that is an unfair question since there are non-electric bikes that cost more than a new Toyota Prius) If this were a mass-market product would they need to cost much more than the $600 that you’d pay for a good hybrid/city bike?
- Why aren’t the big bike companies, such as Giant, Trek, and Specialized, leaders in this area?
- Are they amazingly great for keeping up with a friend who is in killer shape and is on a non-electric bike?
- pedal-linked or throttle control for the electric motor?
- is there any point in having more than three gears once the electric assist is available? Why not ditch the low gears in favor of software that automatically adds electric power if the cadence falls while the rider is putting a lot of torque in? (maybe they are already doing this)
- shouldn’t tandem bikes all have electric boost? Tandems are already crazy heavy and expensive.
It is sad that, at least for the weather-wimpy, we don’t have a long biking season here in Massachusetts (not long enough to justify a $3000 electric bike anyway!).
- gallium nitride (GaN) power electronics to lower the weight and/or extend the range