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Electric Bikes Get More Elegant Every Year (Video)

Roblimo posted about 8 months ago | from the he-huffed-and-he-puffed-his-way-up-the-hill-because-he-forgot-he-was-riding-an-electric-bike dept.

Transportation 164

Tim Lord first saw Faraday Bicycles at CES, where their bikes drew plenty of attention and a fair amount of media interest. The company ran a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2012, and 2014 is when they are starting to ship their pre-ordered bicycles and hope to get new orders for lots more. Tim's travels later took him to San Francisco, where he had a chance to visit the shop where Faraday bikes are made, and to talk with some of the people who are designing and making them. (If you don't see the video below, please use this link.)

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what a difference 6 hours makes? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46338629)

this morning's whipping post now a hopeful newcomer http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/the-exchange/is-the-mt--gox-failure-bullish-for-bitcoin-165639508.html

Still ugly (3, Interesting)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 8 months ago | (#46338719)

I don't get why all these electric bikes have you sitting in such an upright position. I don't see why nobody takes an existing touring bike (like a road/racing bike, with drop bars, but a beefier frame and ability to add fenders and panniers), and adds an electric motor to that. With a much more aerodynamic position the motor would be much more efficient, and as most cyclists know, these bikes are much more comfortable anyway. Plus it would be a nice advantage to not have a completely unride-able bike in the case where your battery runs out.

Re:Still ugly (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46338803)

Because nobody can see you in traffic and you will be killed. The same reason people do not ride recumbent bikes on city streets.

Re:Still ugly (4, Funny)

ne0n (884282) | about 8 months ago | (#46339085)

No problem, just bolt a giant shark-like fin onto your recumbent so it sticks up into driverspace. Mount LEDs or even lasers to further enhance visibility. Patent pending, of course.

Re:Still ugly (2)

Roblimo (357) | about 8 months ago | (#46339663)

I have an upright "old people's" trike and because you sit lower on it than on a standard bike, it has a flag. The flag is pretty much standard equipment for Florida old people's trikes.

This morning I was sitting out on my front porch and an old lady (mid 70s, I'd say) zoomed down the street on an electric trike. Dead quiet, fast as most cars go in our quiet little trailer park. 20 mph at least. Her hair was flying out behind her, and her flags (the real Kool Kids have 2 flags on their trikes) were bent aft at maybe a 30 degree angle.

I can go that fast on my 7-speed low-rider beach cruiser bike (which I made out of used stuff, pretty much), but my cruising speed in more like 8 - 10 mph.

So I'm selling my old trike, then I'm going to look for a new (or at least newer) one that I will motorize. Or maybe I'll just figure out a dual-front wheel setup for my lowrider bike. Hmmm....

Re:Still ugly (1)

Cinder6 (894572) | about 8 months ago | (#46340199)

Apparently people in my area didn't get the memo. It seems like I see more recumbents than anything else--and yes, they're easy to see. Of course, I don't drive an SUV.

Re:Still ugly (1)

Trax3001BBS (2368736) | about 8 months ago | (#46340619)

Because nobody can see you in traffic and you will be killed. The same reason people do not ride recumbent bikes on city streets.

That's just standard with a motorcycle, people just don't see you. A flashing light is almost a requirement. A home security system comes with such a light (12 volts DC),
that I almost hooked up to mine.

I had a lady that had stopped and could tell she was confused, she turned in front of my motorcycle then pulled to the side of the road - thinking she had just noticed me and pulled to the side to let me pass; I gave it gas to pass her, when she flipped a U'ie on me - I hit her in the car door.

I opened her door and was really going to wail on her (she had just tried to kill me), but pulled back at the last second and the helmet just touched her. bit of trouble out of it, but I got a new bike out of the deal.

Her kid was standing up in the middle of the front seat, we both looked at each other while I was flying into the window. She said the kid was wearing a seat belt and I let it go; one of the most clueless people I had come across in sometime, I actually felt sorry for her (ignorance.)

I'm always weary of intersections or cars in general, but she baited me into a situation.

Bike are different they make no noise and seldom have lights. There's a short hill and a stop sign at a blind corner at the bottom. I had a biker all deck out saying I'm a pro - came flying around that corner and almost hit my car, passed right in front, so close I was hoping they were wearing a diaper as well.

Re:Still ugly (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46338813)

I wouldn't call road/racing bikes comfortable, i find an upright bike much more user friendly. Those racing bikes feel like my butts up in the air and my chin is about to scrape the pavement. How is that more comfortable? Besides being a man i prefer my, ahem, "manliness", un-squished, as happens every time on a road bike.

Re:Still ugly (2)

cruff (171569) | about 8 months ago | (#46339701)

I wouldn't call road/racing bikes comfortable, i find an upright bike much more user friendly.

I agree 100%, riding in a lowered position causes numbness in my arms (noticeable after only 10-15 minutes) and causes neck pain. Not everyone who might like an electric bike is 20 years old! Same thing goes for motorcycles.

Re:Still ugly (4, Informative)

hey! (33014) | about 8 months ago | (#46339711)

Depends on the number of hours you put in the saddle. If you just ride an hour or two on the weekend, then a cushy seat and upright posture feels comfortable. If you ride many more hours per week it's a prescription for saddle sores and cut off circulation near the tops of your femurs.

If you ride a lot, you get used to the drop handlebars, which afford a number of small but significant changes in posture over a long ride, and allow you to use more of your body muscles (along with cleated shoes). Also with drop handlebars you support more of your weight on your hands and legs, so no manhood problems. When I was riding over a hundred miles per week, I found the most comfortable saddle was hard plastic with no padding at all.

Re:Still ugly (1)

Cinder6 (894572) | about 8 months ago | (#46340239)

The trick with road/racing bikes is to move around in the saddle. Even on shorter rides, I tend to change hand and sitting positions freqently. Also, don't lock out your elbows. If numbness/"squishing" is an issue, then you might consider using a saddle that has a cutout or depression for the perineal area. After a week or two of riding, it shouldn't be uncomfortable anymore. Actually, it should be more comfortable than well-padded seats over long rides.

(If you don't do long rides, though, it's probably not worth the time or effort).

Full disclosure: I'm in my 20s :)

Re:Still ugly (1)

hey! (33014) | about 8 months ago | (#46340479)

Subjectively, the bike becomes comfortable when it feels like an extension of your body. It's natural to shift around and be loose rather than stiff. If you were running you'd naturally move around obstacles or change your gait.

Re:Still ugly (1)

emj (15659) | about 8 months ago | (#46340635)

If you just ride an hour or two on the weekend, then a cushy seat and upright posture feels comfortable. If you ride many more hours per week it's a prescription for saddle sores

I've biked 300km during three days in upright position, it's easy and I had not problem. Further, there are thousands of people doing at least 100 km a week in upright position over here.

Re:Still ugly (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | about 8 months ago | (#46340321)

It's more comfortable because you have less weight bearing on the saddle. With a sufficiently high cadence your legs will support most of your upper body so your arms aren't as burdened as you might suspect. With the sit up and beg riding position your leg muscles are not configured to bear the bulk of your weight on the pedals.

I ride a road bike with my hands on the drops 99.9% of the time and it is not tiring unless I ride with slow people who prevent me from using a high enough cadence to support my upper body. I have a sport touring motorcycle with less forward lean that is more fatiguing in the arms because of the lack of pedaling.

Re:Still ugly (1)

kheldan (1460303) | about 8 months ago | (#46340367)

Don't blame incorrect saddle selection and sizing and poor (or no) bike fitting on the bike. Most bike shops don't know how to fit a bike properly to the rider or adjust it so you don't end up with a repetitive motion injury, all most of them know how to do is adjust the height (sort of at least) and ask you "does it feel right?". A shop that knows how to do a proper fitting will get you a the right bike for you, with the right frame size, the right saddle width, adjust the saddle height, level, and fore/aft shift, as well as adjust the height of the handlebars (replacing the stem even, as necessary) to make it as comfortable and efficient as possible. Even Saturday-only recreational riders that maybe ride for an hour or two can benefit from this sort of service, and you'll only need to have it done once.

Re:Still ugly (2)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about 8 months ago | (#46340539)

If you have a battery and a motor adding pounds and horsepower to your bike, the old "shave every last gram of weight and drag" axioms become kind of moot.

Why put up with the discomfort if you can still "get there" at a decent speed without hunching over?

Re:Still ugly (1)

lord_mike (567148) | about 8 months ago | (#46341133)

They also cause impotence due to extra pressure on the perineum from the skinny seat and bent over posture [medscape.com] . It's much better from your manly bits to be in an upright position. Much less pressure on the nerves and blood vessels supplying those vital areas.

I never liked the old "ten speed" or racing bikes. Maybe it's because I'm older now, but I'm much happier on a "comfort" or "cruiser" bike. It's easier on my carpal tunnel wrists as well.

Re:Still ugly (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 8 months ago | (#46338915)

With a much more aerodynamic position the motor would be much more efficient

With the speed limitations in place for e-bikes in the legislature of many countries?

Re:Still ugly (3, Informative)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 8 months ago | (#46339025)

A more efficient motor would mean that the battery could last longer, even if you were limited to low speeds. Speaking of speed limitations though, the literature for the Faraday Porteur says that it has a 350 W motor, which means its too powerful [wikipedia.org] to qualify as an electric bicycle in Europe and many other places. Personally I find that the speed limitations are another big problem. The highest speed limitations I've seen are 32 km/h, which I can easily maintain on my non-electric bike.

Re:Still ugly (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about 8 months ago | (#46339157)

Speaking of battery life, there's no mention of regenerative braking on this thing. That's not going to help much when cycling long-distance, but it will in cities where you'll be accelerating and stopping a lot.

Re:Still ugly (3, Insightful)

SpankiMonki (3493987) | about 8 months ago | (#46339563)

Speaking of battery life, there's no mention of regenerative braking on this thing.

Their FAQ claims "Regenerative braking may be great for cars, but it's not as good for bikes." Other e-bikes and the Copenhagen Wheel [superpedestrian.com] have regenerative braking, so I wonder if Faraday is making unfounded excuses.

Re:Still ugly (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about 8 months ago | (#46340563)

Lots of e-bikes make the excuse - it may be a minimal return for the added cost and complexity. Figure that a car is decelerating a huge mass compared to the wind-drag.

Re:Still ugly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46339389)

The highest speed limitations I've seen are 32 km/h, which I can easily maintain on my non-electric bike.

Good for you. I see that you're a very fit cyclist, however, most people are not. Plus, in many parts of the world, like the eastern half of the US in the summer, just pedaling a bike at 10 mph will leave you drenched in sweat in seconds. I think the designer of the bike is targeting commuters who don't have showers at work and who are not extremely fit.

Re:Still ugly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46339605)

When I lived in Florida, I started bicycling the Pinellas Trail [wikipedia.org] in August, where at 97 degrees and 97% humidity, standing still in the shade leaves you drenched in sweat. Riding the bike was actually better because at least you were moving and there was a breeze. I typically averaged 15 MPH over my ride, and I was not fit (but I did have a good bike).

This was for weekend recreational riding however; your points about commuting are completely valid. I did manage it here in Chicago over one summer, but it was only about a 10-minute ride, so if I paced myself I didn't get that hot. That was the best commute ever: 15 minutes door-to-desk, got to ride, secured garage bike parking... *sigh*

So what's the point of all this? I like stories.

Re:Still ugly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46340201)

People in the eastern half of the US are pussies. Do you know how many millions of people bike in that kind of weather and don't have a problem with it? See also most tropical countries.

People in the eastern half of the US are too used to their fucking air conditioning.

No comment on your overall point except to say that I am sure the designers appreciate y'all's speculation on their motives. Who, after all, can be said to know their own mind, until told what it contains by an anonymous netizen?

Re:Still ugly (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 8 months ago | (#46339429)

A more efficient motor would mean that the battery could last longer, even if you were limited to low speeds.

It would, and most likely more than any aerodynamic contribution. So would high pressure tires, regenerative energy storage, and driving on quality roads. I think that around 25 km/h, aerodynamics is not likely one of your greatest worries.

Personally I find that the speed limitations are another big problem. The highest speed limitations I've seen are 32 km/h, which I can easily maintain on my non-electric bike.

"Big problem?" These are not racing bicycles, and as far as practicality goes, I'm not sure I want to see swathes of people riding around at 40 km/h just because they can.

Re:Still ugly (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about 8 months ago | (#46340547)

I like the Florida laws in this regard: anything under 5bhp qualifies.

Re:Still ugly (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46338927)

If you want aerodynamic, make it a recumbent. No one except for hard core road racers like the traditional racing position. People like that probably don't want to bother with an electric bike in the first place. Upright is more comfortable for most people, and certain recumbents even moreso.

Re:Still ugly (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 8 months ago | (#46338997)

I find sitting in an upright position to be far more comfortable.

But if you want an electric with drop bars, Google is your friend. Here's the first that came up. There are doubtless more.
http://www.nycewheels.com/bion... [nycewheels.com]

Re:Still ugly (1)

xaxa (988988) | about 8 months ago | (#46339131)

I don't get why all these electric bikes have you sitting in such an upright position.

The racing position is favoured by people who race bikes. Those people wouldn't want an electric bike.

The upright position is preferred by most people going to work, school etc by bicycle -- there's a better view, and it's more comfortable. Most people aren't bothered by the slight inefficiency, especially if the motor is helping.

Not in my experience (2)

langelgjm (860756) | about 8 months ago | (#46339245)

The racing position is favoured by people who race bikes. Those people wouldn't want an electric bike. The upright position is preferred by most people going to work, school etc by bicycle -- there's a better view, and it's more comfortable.

That really depends on how far you have to go. In my experience, upright seating might be more comfortable for short distances, and it's probably easier to get on and off. But I bicycle to my office most days, about 4.5 miles one way (which is not long) on a road bike outfitted with a rack and panniers. It is not a "racing" position, but I do lean forward and have drop handlebars. The seat is level with the handlebars.

That position removes a lot of weight from your crotch area, and transfers it to your arms. I find sharing the weight between two areas to be more comfortable, although it requires proper positioning of the handlebars, wearing gloves, and switching grip positions to keep hands and wrists comfortable.

The view is fine, and is amplified by a rear view mirror. Also wearing a high-visibility vest will do much more for your visibility than the difference between the two positions.

Then, the nice thing is I can remove the panniers and easily ride 30 miles or more on a weekend in a reasonable amount of time without needing a second bicycle.

Re:Not in my experience (2)

xaxa (988988) | about 8 months ago | (#46339335)

I also cycle to work, and it's about the same distance (6.5km). I use an upright position.

Out of about 80 bikes that are locked outside my building, only 4-5 are racing bikes. If I was in the Netherlands, Germany or Denmark it would be more like 1 / 80.

Re:Not in my experience (1)

emj (15659) | about 8 months ago | (#46340675)

Out of about 80 bikes that are locked outside my building, only 4-5 are racing bikes. If I was in the Netherlands, Germany or Denmark it would be more like 1 / 80.

Far less than that, normally people do not use racing bikes for everyday use. I stood in a busy bicycle intersection and saw ~200 upright bicycles not one racing bike.

Re:Still ugly (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 8 months ago | (#46339151)

Because drop bars suck big donkey balls if you're not trying go as fast as possible.

Re:Still ugly (1)

lightBearer (2692183) | about 8 months ago | (#46339209)

If I were designing an electric bike, I'd look at my clientele.

First, the types of people I find most likely to want an electric are not going to be biking for performance but for practicality and an upright position does several things for you.:

  • Better visibility both for you being able to see and for others being able to see you
  • More comfortable riding position. (sure this is subjective but I ride both and find upright more comfortable)
  • Less frightening for beginners. As someone else said earlier, having your ass up like a cat in heat is not an intuitive position for a beginner

Second, the mass added by making a bike electric undoes all of the weight savings and aerodynamics provided by having a racing position. It's like those people who ride in all spandex with their sperm-shaped helmet putting panniers on their bike. Why bother? You're counteracting all of the benefits. Might as well be upright, visible and able to look around.

Re:Still ugly (2)

Bartles (1198017) | about 8 months ago | (#46339313)

Because the target market is the urban, manicured, hipster. Can't you see the natural toned brown leather and creme colored paint? The whole thing is supposed to look like a bicycle that someone found in Aunt Jane's backyard shed. It's not supposed to look cool, comfortable, or modern.

Re: Still ugly (1)

Noah SILVA (3457047) | about 8 months ago | (#46340235)

Which is pretty much what I dint like about it. It looks very retro, and not in a chill kind of way. Maybe tesla could roll out a new line of cars designed to look like the Ford model t.

Re:Still ugly (1)

SpankiMonki (3493987) | about 8 months ago | (#46339507)

I don't get why all these electric bikes have you sitting in such an upright position.

Did you actually look at the Porteur? The handlebars are lower on the frame than the seat. That's not exactly an upright position, particularly for a "utility" bike.

One thing I find odd about this bike is the lack of regenerative braking. Faraday's FAQ notes that "Regenerative braking may be great for cars, but it's not as good for bikes." Anybody know why regenerative braking would be a disadvantage for an electric bike?

Re:Still ugly (1)

Roblimo (357) | about 8 months ago | (#46339677)

Adds weight and complexity, for one thing.

Re:Still ugly (3, Informative)

rolfwind (528248) | about 8 months ago | (#46339591)

If you wants decent aerodynamics, you don't get a a "traditional" racing bike, you get a recumbent. Recumbents hold the world records for speed by a far margin and it's because they cut the aerodynamic profile in half.

They are known widely for being way more comfortable than traditional bikes (which is why most exercise bikes these days use 'bent form). You don't get saddle sores from them, but they are much better for your lungs and midsection as well, as bending down in the proper form in racing bikes practically crushes your middle. So I don't get your comfort assertion at all.

Of course, recumbents often are bigger and that's a down side, as well as visibility being a factor (the aerodynamic win trades off with being lower to the ground). And the ability to "hop" over objects. Uphill is reportedly tougher but I find that is more with newcomers because recumbents exercise different muscles, particularly midsection, and endurance comes from riding a long time.

I think a lot of the bad characteristics of recumbents is mitigated in the "crank forward" design of recumbents, which is a hybrid of the traditional frame of the bicycle and recumbent - pushing the crank forward like the name suggests, elongating the frame slightly but still being high enough and able to jump objects.

Google images has a ton of crank forward bikes to view.

As to the topic, I've been looking into a 1500 watt scooter. Can stand or sit. Can go up serious hills. Looks possibly small enough that I can take mass transit without them bitching about my luggage. Has a 20+ mile range, a little more if I don't go all out. Since it can go 35+ miles, 15 more than I'm willing to go on a scooter of that type, I think I can exceed that easily.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... [youtube.com]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... [youtube.com]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... [youtube.com]

I would consider it seriously if my area rained a lot less than it does, like if I lived in Arizona. $1500 is still a lot, but compared to 5 or 10 years back, leaps ahead of what I could have gotten.

Previously, I was considering a gas powered Sym Symba (a Honda Super Cub remake) but I think that costs $3K, and only goes 45mph. With the electric scooter, I can go on bike paths, but on this, I would have to take roads, and that is too slow plus I would have to get a motorcycle license.

Recumbents are great if you're gong straight, and (1)

markass530 (870112) | about 8 months ago | (#46341169)

not so much if you want to turn. or having to hug the side of the road

Re:Still ugly (1)

hey! (33014) | about 8 months ago | (#46339625)

You can certainly add a conversion kit to a frame of your choice -- they're out there for well under $1000.

I think the reason for the upgright position is that it appeals to people without any experience bikes. I suspect that's the target market: people who find the idea of bikes appealing but are intimidated by being the motor.

I used to be a regular bike commuter riding about 120-150 miles/week, but when I got a job with a 100+ mile round trip commute I gave it up. When I turned 50 I hadn't been on a bike in fifteen years and confess I did some thinking about an electric bike as a way to get back into it. Instead I bought a folding bike with the idea I could mix public transit and cycling, only to discover, low and behold, that despite being older and fatter, my legs still work well enough. Soon I was going on twenty or thirty mile rides with no motor assist wanted, even on the hills. Young people may blast by me on the hills, but one of the bonuses of age is I don't give a damn as long as I'm having fun.

Re:Still ugly (1)

Tugrik (158279) | about 8 months ago | (#46339649)

Racing bikes / drop bars are for the spandex clad assassins who'd view any EV assist modes as 'cheating' and the batteries/motor as unnecessary weight. Normal humans who happen to ride bicycles (instead of 'bicyclists') are quite happy with sit-up-comfortably-and-be-able-to-see postures. This is why the Electra Townies and their ilk are so popular with the casual bike commuter set. The SRS BZNS bike commuter types who want the monkey-humping-a-football position aren't the target market here.

Re:Still ugly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46339759)

The same reason most hybrid/recreational bikes have flat bars - for many people it's more comfortable (less weight on your hands, no arching of the back) and rider height gives you better visibility, both for you to see surroundings and drivers/riders/pedestrians to see you. "Most cyclists" don't find drop bars more comfortable. Check out any site, like bikeforums.net to see the questions of drops vs. flat bars and you'll find people saying the pro's/cons of both with the ultimate advice being to try and see which feels better. And big, heavy cruiser or recreational bikes are used all the time for people who ride regularly for fun or commuting. I ride a hybrid that's almost 30 lbs plus panniers 35-70 miles per week.

Re:Still ugly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46339917)

It's for the hipster posture.

Re:Still ugly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46339989)

The aerodynamic position, beefier frame, and drop bars would be too much for the average spindly-armed-tight-pants-wearing hipster.

Re:Still ugly (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 8 months ago | (#46340113)

You're thinking too small. Think a bit more radically, and you'll eventually land on the idea of an electric velomobile [wikipedia.org] , which is already readily available. Plus, it also offers better aerodynamics than your proposal, more comfortable seating, and shelter from the elements, in addition to the benefits you cited. Alternatively, you can think even more radically and get something like the ELF [kickstarter.com] , which was successfully funded on Kickstarter about a year ago, adds in shletered cargo space, and has solar panels to recharge the battery for you on-the-go.

Re:Still ugly (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 8 months ago | (#46340251)

Ergonomics. Your back is not going to like the "efficient" position because it's not natural for human back to be bent like that.

I am something of a cycling oldie, I've been actively riding since I was little and I've come to despise the racing style handlebars that make you want to go into aerodynamic position. Instead I have the wide "horns" style handle bars that let me sit straight.

And mind you, my average riding speed, including all the stops and climbs is around 20km/h according to my bike's computer, and my normal riding speed on the road is around 30km/h. I will bend down a bit when I go fast using the "horns", but not much unless it's really windy and wind is in my face, making drag too harsh.

A bit of boasting to show the quality of bikes I ride - I have a downhill slope of 12 degrees that is over half a kilometer long in my city, and I've cloked over 80km/h speed at the bottom of the slope. It's my testbed if I want to check a new bike - it must remain controllable at those speeds. That means at least two point shock absorbers on the frame but also a solidly built frame and wheels that remain stable at those speeds.

Re:Still ugly (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | about 8 months ago | (#46340267)

Two reasons: One is that the target user base are people who want an assistive utility bike or are too out of shape to ride at a safe speed in traffic. The people who buy these are pedal mashers who want as little effort as possible to make the bike go.

The other reason is that E-bikes are legally restricted to 20-25 MPH which a competent road/racing cyclist can exceed with ease without the burden of carrying around a heavy motor and battery pack. It would be sweet to be able to do 35 MPH hill climbs without breaking a sweat on a road bike but that isn't going to happen in a commercial product.

Re:Still ugly (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about 8 months ago | (#46340515)

There are e-bike motor kits galore - Golden Motor (Chinese with a Canadian distributor option) comes to mind, but there are many others.

Put a motor and battery on whatever bike configuration your heart desires - some of the motors have integrated controllers, others - like the Green Hornet - still require an external controller.

There are also a number of pre-engineered battery mount solutions, of varying merit.

End of the day, you'll need $400+ to get any decent range / performance out of a LiPo based conversion kit, you might trim than by a hundred or so if you don't mind using lead acid batteries.

Pretty cool but.... (4, Insightful)

tempestdata (457317) | about 8 months ago | (#46338747)

I think that bike is pretty cool, and I've been lucky to never have a bike stolen, but at that price tag, they better have put a LOT of thought into security before I would consider buying one.

Also, is it just me or does that bike scream hipster?

Re:Pretty cool but.... (4, Funny)

Cornwallis (1188489) | about 8 months ago | (#46338767)

At that price it does nothing but scream hipster.

Re:Pretty cool but.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46338791)

Hipsters who drag their bikes into the office because they are afraid of theft

hee hah hoo

Re:Pretty cool but.... (1)

ZorinLynx (31751) | about 8 months ago | (#46339115)

Rightfully afraid; this is Miami. Bikes will vanish relatively quickly if locked outside. Also assholes who realize they can't steal it because you used a good lock will just vandalize it instead.

Re:Pretty cool but.... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46338855)

It screams hipster so much so that I actually want to punch the bike itself...

Re:Pretty cool but.... (1)

ZorinLynx (31751) | about 8 months ago | (#46339099)

Yup, no way in HELL I'd commute on this bike unless I had a secure place to keep it at work.

(I actually do; I could just tuck the bike into one of our server rooms. Mmm, climate controlled bike locker! But most people don't have this luxury. Also I bet if all the employees started bike commuting, management would put a quick stop to it)

Re:Pretty cool but.... (1)

number6x (626555) | about 8 months ago | (#46339109)

Regardless of what you pay for a bike, it is worth about $25 US.

Because that is what the guy who stole it will get at the junkyard for it when he sells it. Unless it is made from carbon fiber. Then it is worth less than $25 because it has less metal.

The best place to get a bike to commute on is at a garage sale. Let the hipsters ride the expensive dutch bikes and the nu-freds ride the road bikes.

Re:Pretty cool but.... (1)

InitZero (14837) | about 8 months ago | (#46339291)

Theft isn't anymore an issue with this bike than a regular bike. My non-motorized bicycle costs about the same as the Faraday Poser. Heck, at more than 40 pounds - twice what my bike weights - the Faraday is probably safer than a regular bike.

As a regular cyclist, I'm of two minds on electric-assist vehicles. On one hand, anything with two wheels, quite, minimally polluting and fun has my seal of approval.

On the other hand, my experience has been that people who tend to ride electric bicycles (and gas-powered pit bikes and powered scooters of the Razor style) tend to be jerks who ride on sidewalks and terrorize pedestrians.

Cheers,
Matt

Re:Pretty cool but.... (1)

hondo77 (324058) | about 8 months ago | (#46339371)

On the other hand, my experience has been that people who tend to ride electric bicycles (and gas-powered pit bikes and powered scooters of the Razor style) tend to be jerks who ride on sidewalks and terrorize pedestrians.

+1

bike security (1)

SuperBanana (662181) | about 8 months ago | (#46339613)

1)Buy a U-lock.
2)Change out anything "quick release" (aka quick-steal") to bolts or security skewers.
3)Put the U-lock through the rear wheel, inside the frame's rear triangle. Now neither the wheel nor frame can be stolen.
4)Attach the U-lock to something that is solidly and directly attached to the ground. Signposts that are bolted to something don't count. Porch railings don't count. Etc.
5)Remove lights and such.

Don't subscribe to the "cheap crappy bike nobody would want to steal." Guess what there's a large market for, and guess which bikes are the easiest for criminals to unload? It's hard to sell a $1k bike. Not so hard to sell a $100 beat-up bike.

Don't buy bikes from guys selling them out of the backs of vans, fly-by-night-looking shops, flea markets, etc. THEY ARE PROBABLY STOLEN.

Lastly: REPORT STOLEN BICYCLES. One of the reasons they continue to be stolen is that nobody bothers to report their bike getting stolen.

Re:bike security (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 8 months ago | (#46340295)

"Don't buy bikes from guys selling them out of the backs of vans, fly-by-night-looking shops, flea markets, etc. THEY ARE PROBABLY STOLEN."

those horrible poor people selling bike they are all criminals, don't trust them. THAT IS HOW YOU SOUND, Jack ass.

Here is you precious uLock Security:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... [youtube.com]

Re:bike security (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46340397)

A u-lock is only slightly better than any other kind of lock, in that it might be a little tougher to cut through. You can open them with a bic pen fairly easily though, depending. Locks which are both thick enough to resist bolt cutters (angle grinders or oxyacetylene torches being a foregone conclusion) and which have a non-trivial lock are not common. That as much as anything is the reason why bikes are commonly stolen.

The best bike lock is the electronic one on the door to wherever you keep your bike. Anything else is a challenge only to the uninformed.

Obama awarded four Pinocchios (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46338833)

The Washington Post’s fact checker on Monday awarded President Barack Obama with a flunking grade for claiming recently that approximately 7 million Americans now have “access to health care for the first time because of Medicaid expansion.”

The president’s claim, which the Post awarded four Pinocchio’s, was made on Feb. 20 during a dinner with the Democratic Governors Association.

“The Congressional Budget Office estimates that because of the ACA, the number of Americans on Medicaid will increase by 8 million in 2014,” the Post reported, noting that Medicaid figure was revised downward recently from 9 million.

“Most of those people would be in the new pool of applicants, but it could also include some people who were previously eligible for Medicaid but had never signed up before all the publicity about new health-care options,” it added, explaining that these folks are known as coming out of the “woodwork.”

This is where things get tricky.

The Medicaid figures come by way of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which is division of the Department of Health and Human Services.

The figures from DHS lump “together all sorts of Medicaid applicants, including people previously enrolled in Medicaid who are deemed eligible for another year as well as people who would have been eligible under the old law.”

The report explains that these individuals are generally referred to as “normal churn.”

“The most recent report gives a top-line figure of 6.3 million people deemed eligible from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, which is presumably where Obama got his 7 million figure,” the Post added.

Re:Obama awarded four Pinocchios (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46339857)

Welcome to slashdot, Glen Beck! One of the first things you might want to do here is friend cold fjord. [slashdot.org]

Happy posting!

Re:Obama awarded four Pinocchios (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46339981)

Oh I understand you lot just can't stand to have your sacred cows challenged and always fallback to ad hominem attacks rather than using actual substance or logic.

Yes we understand that.

You know, unless you are somehow trying to assert that in fact 7 million Americans now have access to health care that did not prior to the ACA, because we all know it to be complete and total bullshit.

But hey, if it makes you guys feel better than that's all that really matters huh?

Keep voting for socialists! Someday one of them might actually do something good!

so its a moped? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46338941)

I'm confused why anyone would buy this when you could buy a cheap moped, scatter or motorcycle for less than this. Not only that a cheap motorcycle gets great mileage and will get you everywhere... They're also not so easy to steal as seems to be a hshugeissue in bit cities

Re:so its a moped? (1)

Roblimo (357) | about 8 months ago | (#46339709)

Got me. My 1996 Jeep Cherokee cost me less than an electric hipster bike -- and I don't think I've ever paid more than $150 for a bike in my whole life. I've got maybe $125 in my current (highly customized) bike, including lights and a pretty good lock.

Re:so its a moped? (1)

emj (15659) | about 8 months ago | (#46340831)

You can not get a good bicycle that cheap, sure you can spend lots of time renovating old bicycles, but they probably did cost a lot more than $150 when new.

Austrian E-Bike concept from vivax looks better (1)

Mastacheata87 (1759916) | about 8 months ago | (#46339017)

You should take a look at the product of this austrian company if you're looking for good-looking E-Bikes that don't look like E-Bikes at all.
They put their motor in the seat tube and it merely assists the pedaling,
Aside from the battery pack that disguises as a tool-pack right underneath the saddle you can't see it's an electric bicycle on the outside.

Their system is supposed to work in almost any off-the-shelf frame (with limitations for carbon frames).
They also have some carbon frames that work with their system, though apparently this doesn't work with most "stock" carbon-frames.

Have a look at their website: http://www.vivax-assist.com/en... [vivax-assist.com]

They aren't really bicycles. (2)

Eevee (535658) | about 8 months ago | (#46339043)

The main problem with e-bikes is they don't fit the bicycle category; they're really underpowered motorcycles. One of the first things I noticed in the clip was a brag about being able to go 20mph--most urban bike traffic will be going at half that speed, say 8-12 mph. (For example, one of the local biking groups shows that 18-20 mph [potomacpedalers.org] is for top cyclist in a paceline.)

These really don't belong on multi-purpose trails or in bike lanes. The speed differential between them and normal bikes is just asking for accidents.

Re:They aren't really bicycles. (3, Informative)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 8 months ago | (#46339191)

20 mph is 32km/h. I can easily maintain that on the flats with my bike, and my bike isn't amazing, and I am not in that good shape. The speeds you see quoted on that website are the overall average speed for the entire ride, which will most likely contain a few hills. The stopping distance of a bike, or even an e-bike is short enough that even going 30 km/h when everyone else is going 15 km/h will still give you plenty of time to react to other cyclists.

Re:They aren't really bicycles. (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 8 months ago | (#46340271)

In cities, that may also include stops at red lights.

Re:They aren't really bicycles. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46339221)

Secondly you can go 20+ mph without a second of experience. These are really death machines for almost everyone involved.

BTW they are not legally allowed on most every separated bike/multi-use path in the United States due to federal law.

Re:They aren't really bicycles. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46340357)

Pedal assist ones are allowed. It wouldn't be a federal issue anyways.

Re:They aren't really bicycles. (1)

xaxa (988988) | about 8 months ago | (#46339257)

I think those figures are average speeds. My top speed (on the way to work) is about 30km/h, which is just under 20mph. I don't attain that speed for long before I need to slow to turn or stop at lights, so my average is much less.

The British recommendation is, "As a general rule, if you want to cycle quickly, say in excess of 18 mph/30 kph, then you should be riding on the road." (that seems a bit fast to me, but I'm not sure what kind of non-road they mean.)

Re:They aren't really bicycles. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46340213)

To expand on this...I live and cycle-commute near Cambridge (UK, not MA) - one of the areas with better-than-usual cycle infrastructure in this country.

I would say that my commuting route (NCN11, for those playing at home) is a good (for the area - one should really look to the Netherlands for real bike provision) and well-used shared-use cycle/pedestrian trail at about 2 metres wide, and with a reasonably well-maintained surface, with sightlines of >200 metres when the weather is good.

I would feel uncomfortable averaging more than 30 km/h (18 mph) along it during daytime and good weather - more likely averaging 26 km/h (16 mph). At night, or in poor visibility, I would ride below 24 km/h (15 mph) even with excellent bike lighting.

Re:They aren't really bicycles. (1)

Jhon (241832) | about 8 months ago | (#46339459)

"The main problem with e-bikes is they don't fit the bicycle category; they're really underpowered motorcycles."

I have an e-bike that I would not classify as an "underpowered motorcycle". It's a power assist bike. The motor doesn't activate unless I pedal.

The bike will go zero mph if I don't move my legs. With "lazy" pedaling, maybe ~10 mph. I an also set how much "help" I get.

The advantage of a bike like this is that the battery can be smaller, last longer and keep the overall weight of the bike fairly low.

I USED to ride this daily to work (with power assist) so I didn't show up hot and sweaty. I would ride home with the power assist turned off. My responsibilities changed so I now use the bike more for leisure.

Re:They aren't really bicycles. (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 8 months ago | (#46340253)

And motorcycles don't move unless you are pulling back on the throttle. your point?

Re:They aren't really bicycles. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46339821)

You don't have to ride at maximum speed in a bike lane or MUP on this bike or any other bike just like I don't have to peg the speedometer when I'm driving down the road. The bike is throttled via the computer by the cyclists pedaling speed. Like any traveler on any surface, you just have to use good judgement on speed given your surroundings. While many, including me, cycle for commuting, recreation and chores just fine under human power, e-bikes will help and encourage those who might not be cycling or cycling less because of some combination of fitness, distance, terrain and resulting sweat/fatigue that currently discourages them.

Re:They aren't really bicycles. (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about 8 months ago | (#46340579)

I don't know about "top cyclists" - I do know that the pro women's cyclists do "pleasure rides" through Miami before and after events, I followed a couple of them a couple of times, and they "cruise" at 18mph - once (when I was 20 years old) I hung with them for about 20 minutes at that pace on my mountain bike, then sprinted past them, turned down a side road and then virtually collapsed from exhaustion.

what to wear becoming an issue (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46339051)

avoid messing up our hair teeth eyes etc... http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=morgellons even graphene will not save us unchosens?

Price? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46339135)

They may get more elegant but they never seem to get any cheaper. My car plus operating costs are cheaper than most electric bikes and my car is a lot more versatile.

A real hodpodge for the price (5, Informative)

CaptBubba (696284) | about 8 months ago | (#46339233)

For $3500 the components are a real mixed bag. Sure no visible battery is nice, but other bikes have that too and 195Whr is very low as far as e-bikes go. A brooks leather saddle is very nice, but Avid mechanical disc brakes are entry-level. That's not to mention the really questionable choices of a belt drive and bamboo fenders.

Compare it to something like the Stromer Elite: http://www.electricbikesla.com... [electricbikesla.com]

Same price, nearly double the battery (approx 350Whr), no visible battery, a standard shimano sora chain drivetrain any bike mechanic can work on, and hydraulic disc brakes.

Re:A real hodpodge for the price (1)

zacherynuk (2782105) | about 8 months ago | (#46339441)

I too was looking at the avids and thinking what the weight of overall system was, for stopping distance.

Unsure of the the demographic audience but I can see a few upper-class WAGS walking their dogs with these.

Re:A real hodpodge for the price (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46339951)

While the high price may command better components than those offered, there are benefits of the belt drive over chain - low/virtually no owner maintenance especially if you commute in or after the rain where muck could just cover everything in the drivetrain in a single ride. Again, though the high price might be better justified with more expensive hydraulic brakes, mechanical has enough stopping power and any more might be dangerous for the casual commuter rider. The Faraday also has integrated lighting, which is a just one less thing for the commute worry about (charging, stowing off-bike.)

I built one 10 years ago (2)

jakedata (585566) | about 8 months ago | (#46339457)

http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/04/10/03/2137229/e-bike-e-xperiences/ [slashdot.org]

Based on a steel mountain bike frame, it's decidedly INelegant and heavy, but super-effective on a commute that rarely exceeds 20 MPH by car.

I got a solid 7 years out of a 36V 10AH NiMH battery pack before it croaked. Now it is resting in the basement until I decide to re-power it with some flavor of lithium.

In the original post I asked if the Golden Island machinery motor was any good. Neither the motor nor the controller gave me a day's trouble though the original wire was too thin.

I also asked about lead-acid batteries. They were garbage. Too heavy and the power faded below a useful level long before they were considered discharged. I got a good deal on an NiMH pack and was very pleased with it overall.

I have since lashed up a 48V test pack and really enjoyed the power it gives. The original controller seems to work fine at 48V, the capacitors are all rated 60v.

The best thing I did was add a Watts-UP meter so I can keep an eye on remaining capacity and monitor power flow.

The most alarming thing about the bike is the brakes which are marginally adequate for the combined weight of bike and rider. They need to be upgraded before I hit the road again.

Re:I built one 10 years ago (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 8 months ago | (#46340311)

If you're slapping NiMH batteries of any reasonable capacity on top of a steel frame, you will want disk brakes. The weight of the whole package including the rider is going to be far too much for anything less.

pffffft.... (1)

Radical Moderate (563286) | about 8 months ago | (#46340761)

Oh please. I know 200+ pound guys who were bombing on mountain bikes before disks were invented, they survived just fine with cantilevers. A decent steel frame doesn't weigh much more than aluminum or carbon fiber, maybe a couple pounds, plus another 10-20 pounds for the battery and motor. [goldenmotor.com]

Not saying disks are a bad idea, but no, an electric bike isn't so heavy that it just can't be stopped without them.

Footage / sound (2)

timothy (36799) | about 8 months ago | (#46339465)

I know the sound varies from OK to less OK on here; that's because I somehow flubbed the audio recorded separately. Robin (Roblimo) Miller in editing the footage together did a great job of patching over some of the crazy industrial noises from the adjoining shop (which makes, of all things, electric motorcyles; the places are not related). I didn't realize I'd have a chance to shoot this video, so the footage is all from a point-and-shoot Canon camera that I bought via Craigslist for $80 a few weeks before; I think it did a credible job of focus, etc.

timothy

Re:Footage / sound (1)

wjcofkc (964165) | about 8 months ago | (#46339915)

Actually Timothy, that was one of the first Slashdot videos I have really enjoyed and watched the whole way through. I really do mean that as a compliment, but I see how you could take it either way ; )

Keep up the good work and I'm sure it will only get better.

Re:Footage / sound (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46340155)

The one thing you need to do next time is to narrow the stereo field to around 25%. And you had the channels backwards. When the guy on the left was talking the sound came out of the right speaker and vice versa.

Honestly, you'd be better off just mixing down to mono for a piece like this. There really is no reason to have stereo dialog.

Elegant isn't important. (0)

SuperBanana (662181) | about 8 months ago | (#46339541)

The problem isn't elegance (by which I assume they mean style. Bicycles have been refined over 150 years, and are VERY elegant when it comes to their mechanical design, provided you're not shopping at Wallyworld or the very bottom of the market. NEVER buy a "big box" store bike, for a ton of reasons.) People ride all sorts of bikes. The problem is safety (the number one concern people have is fear of being hurt by drivers. Nobody answers "why aren't you biking?" with "oh, if only the bikes looked better"), infrastructure (on many levels, ranging from traffic sensors that detect bikes, to intersections and roads designed to accommodate more than just motor vehicles, to secure lockups, to being able to take a bicycle on other transit systems, etc...this is slowly starting to change), and societal attitudes. Namely that bicycles are toys, not serious transportation, and thus should not be accomodated...which is a bit circular...and a lot of attitudes and bias that should seem oddly familiar to anyone who has studied gender and racial bias. There's a great article out there from a psych magazine noting that cyclists are treated like any other minority outgroup. For example, emphasis of negative attributes, assumption of guilt, harassment and violence against them, etc.

Which is why so many cyclists now use helmet cameras to record their travels; it's to document the harassment (because people claim it doesn't happen, when it does), but also to have evidence if you're hit, because the driver is going to claim "I didn't see them" and they were doing nothing wrong, witnesses are going to think you were "flying" even if you were well below the speed limit, etc. There's a famous case of a DC cyclist who was cut off; the driver and two witnesses claimed he ran a red light. Surprise! Traffic camera video shows the light was green, and continued to be green as he lay on the ground unconscious after having slammed into the side of the car that had just cut him off. I generally find that drivers have far less understanding of the basic rules of the road and what cyclists are allowed to do or aren't, which is ironic, given that they're the ones piloting the massive machine that can (and does, to the tune of 40,000 a year in the US alone) kill people.

We live in a country where we had a network of well-maintained roads, which were the result of cycling clubs petitioning the government for roads that were rideable. Bicycling was HUGE in the late 1800's; it even factored into women's rights, believe it or not. Then the motor car came along. And people were horrified at the deaths and injuries; speed limits were imposed. The automobile industry panicked; customers wanted to go fast, unimpeded. So they fought back with a campaign of ridiculing pedestrians and cyclists. As the automobile became a symbol of success and achievement, suddenly if you had a car you were the elite, and if you were on foot or on a bicycle, you were not. You were poor, or stupid, or whathaveyou. And the American Dream became driving a car to your suburban house which was nowhere near the market, post office, bus stop, train station, your office, etc. We've only just started to slowly realize the idiocy of this and do more mixed zoning and transit-oriented development.

Just as it became the fault of the "jaywalker" for daring to step into the street except where specifically allowed to, suddenly it became the fault of cyclists when motorists plowed into them. We expect someone operating a power saw or a gun to be careful around others...but put them in a car, and suddenly we expect everyone else to be careful of them. And to protect themselves against you by dressing in foam hats and clothing that makes them look like traffic cones with all sort of blinking lights. Drivers can spot a 2 foot pothole, but can't spot a 6 foot tall, 3 foot wide object in the road? Riiiiiight....

This attitude spread in many places, except for the Netherlands, for example, where the car came relatively late...and Dutch society revolted after the skyrocketing injuries and deaths, particularly of children (children also represent a very disproportionate number of deaths in the US to this day.) That's why you have an assumption of guilt, until proven innocent, for drivers if they hit a cyclist or pedestrian (if witnesses saw the cyclist do something illegal, or you have a dashcam, or so on, then yes, the driver isn't at fault. It's not condition-less.)

Right now drivers have zero impetus to behave. If you crash, you're protected by an amazing collection of active and passive safety devices; no physical danger. Insurance means there's no financial risk to them, and current US law means you practically have to scream, in front of witnesses, "DIE!" when you hit someone in order to be charged or certainly convicted...so no fear of criminal punishment. DUI is almost a joke; something like a million people a year regularly drunk-drive, and even when convicted, have their license revoked...they keep right on drunk-driving. But insurance money doesn't undo the injuries, pain, suffering, disabilities, and death that can result of the people you hit, particularly if they're not in a car, which is why injuries per mile are dropping for passengers of motor vehicles, but climbing for everyone else (peds and cyclists.)

Also: electric bikes generally solve a problem that doesn't exist. Bicycling is the most energy-efficient way to move, which means you don't need much energy in the first place. If you don't get any other form of regular cardio exercise (by which I mean by a few hours a week), yeah, the first week or two is gonna suck a bit, but it gets better quickly; the human body is amazing at adaptation. And if you take it easy. you don't sweat like crazy (this is the other big "fear" people have) and you won't burn yourself out.

By and large, electric bikes are heavy, less reliable, and more expensive. That's their problem...

Re:Elegant isn't important. (2)

Roblimo (357) | about 8 months ago | (#46340115)

I live in the part of Florida (Manatee & Sarasota counties) that has the highest bicycle accident rate in the state. The bikes rarely cause accidents - crappy drivers do, and we've got a load of them around here.

Because of this, combined with poor balance and general weakness since my 2010 heart attacks, I don't ride on the main roads but stick to side streets around my home that have low speed limits.

Sometimes I think it would be nice to have a powered bike so I could keep up with traffic better but then I remember that I have a car. So I'll probably do a 6-speed or 7-speed trike as my next cycle-type transport device. And it probably won't have an electric assist unless one pops up really cheap on Craigslist. And even then, probably not. I need more exercise.

Re:Elegant isn't important. (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 8 months ago | (#46340153)

That's right it's all the car driver. The Bicyclist never tuck into blind spots, jump on and off the side walk, and violate nearly ever pedestrian and vehicle law there is.

Re:Elegant isn't important. (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 8 months ago | (#46340241)

You got it all:
Elitist:
". NEVER buy a "big box" store bike, for a ton of reasons."

Entitled:
"infrastructure " i.e. we want you to design the city for us..at other peoples expense.

Persecution
" and societal attitudes. Namely that bicycles are toys, not serious transportation,"
"noting that cyclists are treated like any other minority outgroup."

Superiority
" I generally find that drivers have far less understanding of the basic rules of the road and what cyclists are allowed to do or aren't"

Exaggeration. Also out of context factoid
"and does, to the tune of 40,000 a year in the US alone"

Pointless factoids:
"Bicycling was HUGE in the late 1800'"

Paranoia
"So they fought back with a campaign of ridiculing pedestrians and cyclists. "

Lies:
Just as it became the fault of the "jaywalker" for daring to step into the street except where specifically allowed to, suddenly it became the fault of cyclists when motorists plowed into them.

"Bicycling is the most energy-efficient way to move,"
nope.

Re:Elegant isn't important. (1)

emj (15659) | about 8 months ago | (#46340981)

"Bicycling is the most energy-efficient way to move,"
nope.

Yes it is. [wikipedia.org] (I'm not going to bother with the rest since it's just your opinions)

Why buy a whole bike? Just upgrade yours! (1)

IonOtter (629215) | about 8 months ago | (#46340005)

The Copenhagen Wheel is a much better concept, and cheaper, too. [superpedestrian.com]

It goes farther, runs longer, weighs less, uses regenerative braking to charge on the go, and best of all, you can remove it easily for security purposes.

Re:Why buy a whole bike? Just upgrade yours! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46340229)

This is much more pragmatic. I wouldn't leave a $3500 bike locked up anywhere. Removing the wheel in shady neighborhoods (most everywhere?) is the only practical solution to problem of theft.

Sadly (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 8 months ago | (#46340145)

the riders aren't.

Strongly disapprove (2)

kheldan (1460303) | about 8 months ago | (#46340405)

People are getting fatter and fatter, they need to be the engine so they can lose the excess baggage, not spend $3500 on something that allows them to continue to be lazy. Also E-bikes are way overpriced for what you get. I recommend getting a regular bike and saving yourself $2500 to $3000 instead. If it's really just for transporation then buy a used scooter or small motorcycle, they're a much better value.
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