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Tag Archive: pedego

Interbike 2012: Pedego Electric Bikes

Interbike 2012 Sign

Pedego, a company based in Irvine, makes electric bikes that function a lot like scooters with pedals. Their designs are catchy, colorful, and cater to those that don’t bike often.

Tricycle

I had a chance to talk to Jenny Nguyen, Director of Social Media for Pedego, and when I asked her why anyone should consider purchasing a Pedego, she said that Pedegos are for those that may “have never ridden a bike–it’s convenient, fun and perfect for the non-cyclist.” I know that most of the readers, if not all, of Bikecommuters.com already own a bike but maybe I could shed some light on what she meant. At first, the idea of making a bicycle (let alone a bicycle company) for those that don’t ride a bike seemed like a crazy idea. But then I remembered when I didn’t like bikes. The only bike I wanted, if I were to ever buy one, was a beach cruiser. And even when I rode that beach cruiser, I thought that it was too much pedaling to be relaxing. So, in other words, I wanted a bike that could both be pedaled and throttled like a Pedego.

Comfort Cruiser Step Through

Comfort Cruiser, Men's

Shown above are the Comfort Cruisers. They offer the bikes in a variety of colors as shown in their catalog.

City Commuter

City Commuter in White

Battery

Display

Front Light

I spoke to two different employees of Pedego and both talked more about the City Commuter model. It makes sense — it’s a pretty bike. While priced similarly at around $2,ooo, the slightly more expensive City Commuter was the prettier of the two. Nothing against the Comfort Cruiser, I just dig the looks of the City Commuter better. It can go 15-30 miles per charge without pedaling and 30-50 miles per charge with pedaling. The really cool thing is that the bike can go 20 mph! To most, that’s normal for an electric bike but I know what it means to ride 20 mph without any assist and it’s not easy to maintain.  The City Commuter weighs about 50 lbs plus an approximately 7lb battery.

Product site: Pedego

Interbike 2010: The Electric Revolution!

As we reported back in August, E-bikes were supposed to be a huge presence at Interbike this year. Since this was my first year attending the massive tradeshow, I have no way of gauging whether or not electric/e-assist bikes were so visible in previous editions, but I can say with confidence that they were EVERYWHERE in 2010. It seems like every major manufacturer had one or two e-bikes on display, with a number of large booths displaying a number of different models. And I saw every setup under the sun: batteries hidden in the racks or built-in to the frames, hub motors, friction-drive setups or motors built into oversized bottom brackets. I took a ton of photos of various e-bike flavors, but don’t have a lot of information to accompany them. In many of the photos, the manufacturer will be visible. Take a look at some of the stuff we spotted:

Here’s one from Achiever Bike that incorporates an electric-assist motor in the oversized bottom bracket shell. The battery pack is under the rack and the drivetrain is mated to the new NuVinci N360:

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Here’s a sharp-looking cruiser by Pedego, with large rear hub motor. Pedego had a big display with a lot of varieties to choose from:

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Here’s another by Pedego, this one a trike with some smart cargo boxes instead of a typical wire basket:

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Here’s a friction-drive electric assist kit by Pedalix — their “Hidden Power” system . It won a gold award at this year’s Eurobike, and appears to be mountable to most bicycles. In this photo it is mounted to a Specialized Langster NYC:

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IZip had a large floor display with a number of e-bike setups. I liked this one in particular due to its stout rear rack, “angry bee” paint scheme and color-matched basket on the front. The battery pack on IZip bikes is hidden within the frame’s downtube.

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This is an e-bike by Kilowatt. One of the things I noticed about some of the more “complete” e-bike offerings was that the smart companies were choosing the tried-and-true BionX system. More on this in a bit…in the meantime, check out this Kilowatt:

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We’ve already seen the Torker Interurban-E drop-bar touring bike in a previous post, but here it is again…so nice! Alfine rear hub, disc brakes on both ends, sweet pedal assist…a great setup:

interurban e

Here’s a sneak peek at the Urbana electric-assist bike. We’re hoping that we can get an example of this beauty to test for you:

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Urbana (a Bikecommuters.com “Editors’ Choice” winner for 2010) also chose the BionX system for this model. As I was talking to a respected industry representative, I asked “what do you think is holding the U.S. back from embracing electric and electric-assist bikes the way Europe and the Far East have?” This rep had an interesting take: three or four years ago, electric bike kits flooded the market in the U.S. Many of them were comprised of sub-standard or immature technology and were prone to early failure. This sort of turned off many potential e-bike purchasers and the current crop of bikes using the (relatively expensive) BionX system is an answer to those earlier problems. The BionX has a great track record and is worth the extra investment, or so our industry rep indicated…she might be onto something, because as I mentioned earlier, BionX appeared on all the top-shelf models.

Here’s an interesting one…spotted in the Stromer booth. I can’t find my notes, but this one appears to be a folder with the battery hidden in the center of the pivoting portion of the frame:

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The above is just a sampling of the myriad e-bikes on display at the Sands this year. Some rough general observations — most of these bikes have a range of about 20 miles with heavy e-assist use/40 miles or so when the user pedals more. Top speed of the e-assist motors hovers around 20 mph (the top speed might be regulated in different states; check your municipal and state laws for specifics). Battery voltages range from 24V to 36V, and charge times vary but with most in the 4-5 hour range. And most importantly: e-bikes are coming! This segment of the market is maturing rapidly, and as battery technology improves, this segment is just going to get bigger and bigger.

Of course, there is some evidence that not all U.S. consumers…or even sellers…are “getting it”. One Clearwater, Florida-based retailer is selling moped-style e-bikes as “DUI Scooters“. Looks like we have a way to go before things get more serious in the electric/electric-assist bicycle field….