All around the world, the way we get from A to B is changing. With the world on the verge of auto-mobility, driverless cars, ride-sharing, and the mainstream arrival of electric vehicles, it’s an exciting moment for transportation. To help drive this force of change, we developed a small collection of electric bikes that take hills, headwinds, traffic, and bike thieves out of commuting. Explore below.
On the day I rode the Brompton S6L to work, an acquaintance mentioned that she and her husband were both folding-bike owners. For hers, she really wanted a full-size bike feel and so went with a Dahon that had 20-inch tires (closer to the 26 inches or more on a regular bike—larger wheels generally provide a smoother ride), versus the Brompton’s 16-inchers. Her husband’s top criterion: He wanted to be able to bring his bike into bars. With its exceptionally smart, compact fold, the Brompton was his pick, and it’s also ours for anyone looking for that go-anywhere capability.
If you live in a city, it’s quite possible that folding electric bikes are the ultimate commuting machine. The huge number of convenience factors provided by a folding electric bike make it the smartest choice for use when traveling around the city daily. You have the versatility of a bicycle – the ability to switch to sidewalks, go around traffic, and ride in tight spaces – with the convenience of a powered form of transportation.
Tackle your daily commute with ease or go for a weekend cruise in style with the Gazelle CityZen T10 e-bike. And don’t worry about those thigh-burning hills; the Bosch motor offers four assist levels—Eco, Tour, Range Sport, Turbo—making hills a breeze and the Lithium-Ion battery provides a range of up to 85 miles in Eco mode. The bike is one of the first to use Bosch's new integrated battery, which is concealed in the downtube. The matte black paint and classic, step-through design give a classic look while fenders, pannier racks, and integrated lights add practical functionality. The bike is easy to maneuver in city streets, but still has assist up to 28mph so you can cover a lot of miles and power up steep hills. There's a suspension fork too. It's not at the level of something you'd find on a mountain bike (or even some better e-bikes) but it takes the edge of some potholes and curbs.
E-bikes are zero-emissions vehicles, as they emit no combustion by-products. However, the environmental effects of electricity generation and power distribution and of manufacturing and disposing of (limited life) high storage density batteries must be taken into account. Even with these issues considered, e-bikes are claimed to have a significantly lower environmental impact than conventional automobiles, and are generally seen as environmentally desirable in an urban environment.
The E-mazing Innovations e-bike goes about 15 miles per hour and has both throttle and pedal assist modes. It features instant fold option that allows you to fold the bike into a compact size in just a few seconds. Because it’s lightweight, you can easily bring it upstairs, in your car trunk, or wherever you need. With its unusual design, you’ll attract attention anywhere you go. The bike is one of the most stable models on the market, and it’s because of its tires and maximum speed. If the bike were to go faster, it probably wouldn’t be as stable. The motor and battery that power the bike are the 8Fun front-mounted geared hub motor, and a 9ah, 324wh Samsung 36V lithium-ion battery. You can go about 30 miles once you fully charge the battery for which you’ll need 5 hours. This folding electric bike features an LCD that shows battery life, a kickstand, and fenders to keep your pants clean and dry. Keep in mind, though, that the bike features some unusual parts that are much different than those you find in standard models. This isn’t a deal breaker, but keep in mind that for this reason, some parts may be hard to replace if need be. All in all, it’s attractive, modern and well-made to last you a long time.
Tern has been in business since only 2011, but it has an interesting pedigree: It was formed by the son and wife of David Hon, none other than Dahon’s founder. This development has proven to be a boon for folding-bike buyers, with Tern quickly turning out folding models of excellent quality. The Link D8, Tern’s best seller, is feature-packed, with just enough upgrades to merit the current $150 premium over the Dahon Mariner D8—if those upgrades matter to you.
By 1898 a rear-wheel drive electric bicycle, which used a driving belt along the outside edge of the wheel, was patented by Mathew J. Steffens. Also, the 1899 U.S. Patent 627,066 by John Schnepf depicted a rear-wheel friction “roller-wheel” style drive electric bicycle. Schnepf's invention was later re-examined and expanded in 1969 by G.A. Wood Jr. with his U.S. Patent 3,431,994. Wood’s device used 4 fractional horsepower motors; connected through a series of gears.
Lightweight folding bikes: Of course, if you intend to be hoisting the bike on and off trains, then it’s understandable that you want it to be light. This can be achieved though using a lighter frame material. Brompton have recently introduced titanium to their range and there are brands making carbon folders. Higher quality components will also reduce the weight, as will opting for fewer gears – such as a singlespeed version – but this will only really suit someone who doesn’t intend to come across many hills in their use of the bike.
bike design refers to the ideation and development of two-wheel, human-powered, pedal-driven vehicles, and their use across various aspects of our lives -- from leisure to sport to basic transportation. bicycles can take on a variety of frame geometries, rendered in a diverse range of materials such as aluminium, bamboo and carbon fibre; and include hybrid and electric versions.