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posted by Fnord666 on Tuesday July 25 2017, @06:52AM   Printer-friendly
from the stay-off-the-sidewalk dept.

The Super Commuter+ is built on an aluminum frame with a carbon fiber front fork, and it integrates a 350W Bosch Performance Speed mid-mounted motor powered by a 36V 500Wh Bosch lithium-ion battery pack mounted on the down tube. The bike has a range per charge of up to 92 miles, depending on the riding mode and the terrain of the route, with a total charge time of about 4.5 hours. A control unit and display on the handlebars allows for quick access to ride and bike data, as well as selection of the pedal-assist mode (Eco, Tour, Sport, Turbo).

It weighs in at about 52 pounds, features Schwalbe Super Moto-X 2.4" tires, includes a Shimano XT/11-speed drivetrain and has dual Shimano Deore hydraulic disc brakes for stopping power. A large LED headlight and small red LED taillights help with visibility, and front and rear fenders help keep most of the road grime off the rider, while the low-riser Bontrager handlebar and Satellite Elite grips offer a comfortable and effective hand position while riding. The removable battery pack can be charged either on or off the bike, and a lock secures the battery to the bike.

Amid news about Teslas and other new transportation options, electric bikes have been quietly growing in variety and number. Could an e-bike be a viable option for you, perhaps even a car replacement?


Original Submission

Related Stories

E-Bikes Encounter Rocky Road to Approval Despite Popularity 38 comments

Phys.org:

E-bikes are the fastest-growing segment of the bicycle industry. They're popular with commuters and baby boomers who might not otherwise be able to get out on a bicycle.

The bikes, which can cost $2,000 or more, combine the frame of a regular bike with lightweight batteries and electric motors for extra zip.

Their sales jumped 72% to $144 million in the U.S. last year, helping to breathe life into bicycle sales that have been relatively flat, according to the NPD Group, which tracks retail bike sales nationwide.

Their popularity has led to conflict.

In bike-friendly southern California, as local land managers take cues from agencies like the National Park Service, some are banning e-bikes from bicycle paths. That has angered riders, said Morgan Lommele, of PeopleForBikes, a bicycle advocacy group and trade association.

[...] Maine and 21 other states have adopted laws that classify e-bikes into categories. Most are treated like regular bicycles under such laws, said Lommele, who has been working with states to create uniform definitions. Only the fastest e-bikes are restricted to roads.

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  • (Score: 2) by Joe Desertrat on Tuesday July 25 2017, @08:16AM (1 child)

    by Joe Desertrat (2454) on Tuesday July 25 2017, @08:16AM (#544079)

    It is certainly not a top of the line one, it has limited range and speed, but I got it from someone who was practically giving it away. I stuck a milk crate on the back and now I use it to go food shopping and do laundry. It saves me money on gas (charging it seems to have negligible effect on my electric bill) and I don't need a motorcycle license for it. The e-bike in the article seems like it might be a step up. On the other hand, for the $5,000 it cost you can pick up a motorcycle and extend your range even further. Probably cover a year's insurance as well.

  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 25 2017, @08:57AM (8 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 25 2017, @08:57AM (#544095)

    50 lb is too much. These are expensive, you can't leave them on the street so you have to carry them up and down stairs.

    An ebike should have just one control - a handle throttle. That's it! Pedalec (autopower when using pedals) is confusing. When you need to go slow it is too much and you have to keep braking. There's no perfect control method but the throttle seems to work well enough.

    Any other electronic display and "smart" wank are non-essential and add a mess of cables. Keep it simple. 5 gears is plenty. The low gears don't get used much anyway.

    Couple other things. It needs front and rear shocks for traveling at 20+ mph. Integrated front and rear lights that use the battery.

    And weatherproofing! Duh!!! Keep electric parts high up (away from tire spray), don't allow water to pool around electric connections.

    • (Score: 2) by kazzie on Tuesday July 25 2017, @09:14AM (5 children)

      by kazzie (5309) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 25 2017, @09:14AM (#544097)

      The lack of hand throttle is one thing the reviewer likes about this bike:

      Mashing on the pedals and shifting through the higher gears will result in a rapid pick-up in speed, but done so smoothly that there's no feeling of being propelled faster than you'd like (which is something that some throttle electric bikes and scooters are prone to).

      One really good reason to have an electronic display is displaying battery charge. Other than that, sure, get rid.

      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 25 2017, @10:19AM (4 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 25 2017, @10:19AM (#544110)

        Yes but I've also used pedelec on my own ebike - it sucks. I already have an "intelligent" sensor to detect when I want to go faster. I call it my brain. Adding smart guff that dicks with the pedals means I have to retrain my intelligent sensor to work around their intelligent sensor. Waste of effort - get rid.

        As for battery meter - after a week or 2 you learn how much range you've got. Anyway, you'll want to charge it every day. Deep discharges are not good for battery life. Get rid :)

        Anything else you'd like me to dispose of? :p

        • (Score: 2) by kazzie on Tuesday July 25 2017, @01:00PM (3 children)

          by kazzie (5309) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 25 2017, @01:00PM (#544141)

          Adding smart guff that dicks with the pedals means I have to retrain my intelligent sensor to work around their intelligent sensor.

          A fair point. I suppose it's similar to my attitude toward automatic gearboxes in cars: I'll choose when to change gear, thank you. (Automatics are still an optional extra in the UK.)

          I've not tried an electric bicycle: I'm still pedalling away on a 24-year old steel frame bike.

          • (Score: 2) by captain normal on Tuesday July 25 2017, @05:42PM (2 children)

            by captain normal (2205) on Tuesday July 25 2017, @05:42PM (#544254)

            Sounds like you haven't driven a car with an automatic trans built after around 1990. Hint: drag racers don't use manual transmissions anymore.

            --
            When life isn't going right, go left.
            • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Tuesday July 25 2017, @11:26PM

              by bob_super (1357) on Tuesday July 25 2017, @11:26PM (#544354)

              Econoboxes still have woefully sluggish auto transmissions, which coupled with their small engines make any good hill quite a pain.

              I'd rather keep my manual Versa than get anything auto under $20k.

            • (Score: 2) by kazzie on Wednesday July 26 2017, @11:35AM

              by kazzie (5309) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday July 26 2017, @11:35AM (#544592)

              It's worse than that: I've never driven a car with an automatic gearbox. This is partially by choice, but partly by circumstances.

              All the cars I've bought have been manuals, because they're more common on the second-hand market. (Private listings site autotrader.co.uk has twice as many used manuals as automatics for sale.) When hiring cars, UK hire firms charge extra for an automatic gearbox, so I've always opted for the cheaper, familiar manual.

              I know from watching some motoring programmes (e.g. Top Gear) that modern automatics and semi-automatics are gaining acceptance from (petrol-head) presenters, but I don't anticipate switching to an automatic gearbox before switching away from the internal combustion engine.

    • (Score: 2) by theluggage on Tuesday July 25 2017, @04:00PM (1 child)

      by theluggage (1797) on Tuesday July 25 2017, @04:00PM (#544199)

      An ebike should have just one control - a handle throttle. That's it! Pedalec (autopower when using pedals) is confusing.

      ...except in many countries, the "pedalec" thing is key to making them legally power-assisted bicycles that you can ride without license or insurance and take on cycle tracks etc. as opposed to electric motorbikes.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 27 2017, @12:16PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 27 2017, @12:16PM (#545120)

        *citation needed

        What I've read is that it depends on the maximum power and maximum speed. I can find no explicit requirement that the assist must be activated by pedal sensor, except for Finland ("assist may not replace pedaling"). The rest of the EU, UK, USA and Australia are fine with throttle - didn't read all the other countries.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_bicycle_laws [wikipedia.org]

  • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Tuesday July 25 2017, @02:28PM

    by tangomargarine (667) on Tuesday July 25 2017, @02:28PM (#544172)

    Apparently this one is Electric, not Electronic or Environmental.

    Although presumably there are electronics involved and one could easily argue it's environmental inasmuch as it pollutes less than a car.

    --
    "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
  • (Score: 2) by choose another one on Tuesday July 25 2017, @04:00PM (2 children)

    by choose another one (515) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 25 2017, @04:00PM (#544198)

    With TFA quoting a top speed of 28mph it does indeed become a viable replacement for at least a moped/scooter for urban commuting at least.

    However, it also comes with all the same costs, and because it does >15mph it _is_ legally a moped (where I am in UK at least, and I think all of EU), therefore you need a driving licence a full motorbike standard helmet, license plates, insurance, road tax (probably zero rated but you'd still have to register it).

    After all of which you might as well just go buy a moped.

    And therein lies the problem - actual e-bikes (as opposed to e-mopeds) are 15mph top speed, effectively less than a real bike, and therefore little market for replacing anything other than a bike (particularly for older / less able folk who can't ride as fast).

    • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Tuesday July 25 2017, @11:23PM

      by bob_super (1357) on Tuesday July 25 2017, @11:23PM (#544352)

      You forgot to mention the two heavy chains required to secure your $5000 bike.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 26 2017, @02:23AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 26 2017, @02:23AM (#544426)

      You could probably bring your electric bike into the office. Someone would have a shit fit if you brought a moped in.

  • (Score: 2, Informative) by LAV8.ORg on Wednesday July 26 2017, @04:43AM

    by LAV8.ORg (6653) on Wednesday July 26 2017, @04:43AM (#544470)

    I gave up driving 7 years ago and haven't looked back. I started with an ebike, but within a year the electric boost was an unnecessary complication. I've never set foot in a gym and my resting heart rate is below 60 bpm. I encounter many people who think several miles is a *very* long distance to ride; meanwhile, in the course of business I'm regularly towing hundreds of pounds (the largest that I've bothered to weigh was >600 lbs) more than several miles with a bicycle trailer, including items that wouldn't fit in some truck beds.

    Replacing my car with a bicycle is easily the best decision I've made yet. But you don't even have to go to such an extreme; by simple virtue of the order of space and time, the majority of trips an individual takes are within a few miles on average, which is a negligible distance to ride a bike, and a sufficient distance to reap many of the benefits of riding a bike.

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