I built an electric bicycle with a mad scientist co-worker. This bike uses a Heinzmann hubmotor (check it out at www.estelle.de) and puts the Zap bike to shame. The Zap makes, what, 12 mph? And it draws 500 watts, if I remember correctly. It also gives no assist at higher speeds should you wish to pedal.
My buddy Steve's bike will not accelerate from a stop without input at the pedals from the rider. But it has 800 watts of assist that it delivers up to a speed of about 40 mph. Those of us who have reached such speeds on a bicycle can attest that it is faster than it sounds.
A serious tradeoff compared to a pedal-only bike is weight. Steve's bike weighs at the very least 20-25 lbs. more than it would without the assist, and the NiCad battery pack only lasts about 10 miles if he juices it constantly.
All the shortcomings of electric bicycles are magnified in electric scooters, though, because they are mechanically less efficient and because the rider can't lend much help to the motor when the battery wanes.
The coolest thing about electric bicycles is how immature the technology is right now. It's like the state of motorcycling in 1910, when all motorcycle had pedals. Any astute electrical engineer working with a bicycle mechanic can raise the technology up to a new standard.
Another interesting line of development can be found at www.ecycle.com
Now hold on a cotton picken second you third reiche, anti-American, don't remember who kicked and then turned around to saved your British ass whinning types. We Americans are not fat. Well, not all of us anyways. How is it that we ARE the number one super power in the world if we are so fat and lazy? Simple, we're not. Most of us just live under the moto that if it's not broke, don't fix it. As for the electacycle (whatever) it's just an act of inhumanity to the stupid. Much like the moped or the security guards in those golf carts at Walmart. Only for the stupid I tell you. I mean really, is it not bad enough that the 70's had a resurection in recent times? Same people who are wearing bell-bottoms today should really get a jolt outta this thing. And the Police? Well..... Most already ride Harleys, so go figure. I just can't wait for them to honk their horn or ring their little bell to pull me over. Should make for some side-splitting, peeing in my seat, falling off my bike and going to jail with my stomache hurting kinda fun. Hope it comes with the optional bannana seat and cards in the spokes. Looooossssseeerrrssss.......
Wow, even in this thread there are Harley jokes to be had. Poking fun at Harley is getting to be way to easy. I think we need a new less obvious target to hone our jokester skill set. How about the all new and improved taste better less filling Clown Wing.
It'a a catch 22 thing it seems to me. Sure, as people get older they are attracted to this sort of unintimidating kind of transportation, unfortunately as they get older they tend to loose the skills that allow a person to operate said scooter safely. It seems to me the market for electric or gas powered scooters is under thirty not over fifty.
After reading that I agreed and tried to order one. Bad news for me. No optional bannana seat, no cards in the spokes and no little bell to ring. "Police and Walmart security bells only" was what I was told. Doesn't even come standard with tassles on the handle bars. Screw it, I'll walk.
**Ring-Ring!!** "Pull OVA!!" *Ring-ring!** "Pull Ova!!" **Ring-ring!!** Ha-ha-ha!! Cops on these things. Pfffft!! I advocate running from any and all authority figures whether Police or Walmart security on these things. It's a sad day when Mall Security with their toyota trucks and yellow flashing light are more of a threatening, cooler authority figure than the Police. God help them if the K-9 units get called into action with these things. Mush Lassy!! Mush!!
One step away from guarding a Taco Cabana right? One more question wrong on the 20 question test and they're watching taco fights at 4 in the morning. Fear must have overtaken San Fran that day. Pffft.
I have found that several electric assist bicycles are a little bit underpowered. We built a fully electric bicycle, www.econvergence.net/emb.htm, that really has some zip. It goes to show that one can design an electric bicycle with top speeds in excess of 30 mph and fantastic acceleration.
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