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Monthly Archives: July 2012
We helped the Ride On team a little while ago by loaning several of our electric bikes for review. They performed a very thorough test on all electric bikes available in Australia. Read the article below the picture of a grumpy looking bloke on an eZee Sprint below. That's me...
Sales of power-assist bikes are taking off throughout the world. Simon Vincett tested 18 Australian options.
Everyone could use a bit of extra oomph in their pedalling sometimes and that is exactly what e-bikes provide. In fact, the 200 watt motor (the legal limit on Australian e-bikes) approximately doubles the power of your pedalling.
The very best thing that assisted bikes offer is confidence: confidence that you can take off from the intersection quickly enough to be comfortable in traffic and confidence that you can head off on a day ride with friends or family and you’ll be able to keep up with ease. They are also chosen by riders who don’t want to get sweaty on the way to work or who ride over hilly terrain.
The first step in appreciating e-bikes is to get over the weight factor. E-bikes are heavy (about 25kg) due to their power assistance system and that makes them seem cumbersome in comparison to unassisted bikes. However, they ride as comfortably as a conventional bike and the motor makes up for the extra weight.
They’re also heavy because they are loaded with useful accessories like mudguards, a chainguard, a rack and sometimes a lock, pump and tools. Many also come with lights. Very often you could ride one straight out of the bike shop and start running your errands.
E-bikes aren’t generally built for speed. Most available in Australia now have a hybrid or city-bike shape, providing an upright position that is good for taking in the view or surveying traffic conditions. The motors usually provide no more assistance over 27.5km/h. Some models come in only one size and tend to the smaller end of the range, so taller people may struggle to achieve an appropriate adjustment.
The motor is brought to life through either a throttle on the handlebar, or an assist system that needs you to be pedalling before it kicks in. Different assist levels can be set, and the power turned on and off, most often through a small touchpad fitted onto the handlebar.
Pedal assist systems are usually based on cadence, where sensors check how fast you are pedalling relative to how fast you’re actually travelling. If you need more assistance you change down a gear and the motor controller responds. However, some systems are based on torque – the pressure you are applying to the pedals – which may better suit those who prefer to push a big gear, or who struggle with using gears.
The Yuba Mundo V4 gets a Ride On Recommends tag!
Ride On Magazine recently reviewed all of the cargo bikes available in Australia and the Yuba Mundo topped the list with a mighty 96% result. Ride on always rate their reviews as a percentage so the Yuba is clearly hard to beat.
$1,250 ($1669 as pictured)
2150mm long x 500mm wide (900mm with full panniers); 22kg
- Steel frame incorporates rack and is “practically unbreakable”
- 48-spoke rear wheel with a 14mm axle allows a 200kg carrying capacity, not including the rider
- Room for two child seats or padded seats without harnesses
- Panniers are supported underneath by extra frame pieces
- Panniers are sold separately and lack straps to minimise width
- Many accessories sold separately
96% - An outstandingly versatile bike
The Zeitbikes Shorthaul
They also reviewed our own Zeitbikes and they did pretty well too.
2350mm long x 650mm wide; 34kh
- Steel frame with smaller box and shorter overall length
- Components suitable for most reasonable usage
- Box 400–720mm long x 510–630mm wide (at top)
- Comes with bench and three-point harnesses for two children
- Box canopy included
76% - Best priced smaller-capacity box bike
It's been a long wait but we now have the 2012 Box bikes in stock. The Longhaul and Shorthaul models are available in Black, Cream and Orange and electric assist. The electric ones are available in limited numbers but we can build conversions as well.
Specs have been upgraded with a Nexus 7 rear hub and hand operated roller brake on the back wheel. Front wheel has a v-brake to make later electric conversions a possibility.
Test rides on the Longhaul and Shorthaul available at our Collingwood shop.
We recently built a Yuba Mundo with an electric assist conversion from Bionx In Canada. It is an amazing system using a torque sensor in the motor to detect drive and apply power. An intuitive handlebar mounted controller lets you control everything including an amazing regeneration system that lets you recharge the battery during long descents. You can even use that as a stress training system.
The motor is almost silent in operation, it is a very impressive system that lends itself to fitting to a good quality commuter or mountain bike. We are now an authorised Bionx dealer so talk to us about fitting a kit to your bike.