Gear

Don’t pedal me, cuz I’m electric, and if you pedal me….

….you’ll be shocked?

I love the CONCEPT behind electric bikes.  They get people on a bike that may not normally ride- whether it be because of hills, fitness level, or needing to carry a bunch of weight uphill.  Sure, an electric bike isn’t totally a bike.  I mean, you DO have to plug it in… The misconception that they are totally “carbon-free” is, in my opinion, B.S.  That- from my days as an “environmentalist” is what we would call “non-point source” vs. “point source” pollution.  Sure, it’s better than hauling 5 pounds of organic whole wheat flour around in a 3/4 ton diesel pickup truck, but when you plug into that electrical outlet, you are cutting off the blood flow to your precious Mother Nature…. but I digress.

Living in Seattle, we are a city of hills.  If you leave your neighborhood, you will encounter them.  On a few occasions, while running errands or hauling goods- like I for some reason enjoy doing by bicycle, I think that I would enjoy riding an electric bike.  I don’t currently own an electric bike.  One major reason being that they are usually so damn ugly.

Onya Cycles has built an electric trike that may get me to reconsider.  Their “Front-end loader” looks well thought out and that tilting action makes it appear stable while stationary, but rideable at speed.  With a cargo load of 200lbs (not including the rider) an efficiency equivalent to 1500 miles per gallon (it is electric afterall,) as well as a design that looks friendly and urban friendly- I think they are going down the right road.

I’d love to test one on Seattle’s hills….

At the current estimate of $3800 the price is high, but not totally unreasonable when you consider that this would very easily take the place of someone’s car.

This little edit is a great example of what it can do and even the work that went into designing it.  My only issue (with this edit) is that, like most videos showcasing electric bikes, the driver isn’t pedaling except out of habit…  I want to know how much weight the bike is with the addition of battery, motor and accessories.  Is the gearing such to make riding it up Phinney Ridge with a dead battery impossible?  No harm intended for the Huffington Post and I appreciate their getting the word out.  But I want to see a bike race- with electric bikes- but with the power disconnected.  I want to see them sweat….

Mainly I want to beat our Mayor, Mike McGinn up Phinney Ridge… even just once. Damn you electric bikes. Damn you.

One Comments

  • Byron

    October 22, 2010

    We picked this up as well and it’s certainly interesting. The triple triangle is unpleasing design-wise and that front linkage will limit the box size, but still good to see some industrial design go into cargo bikes and I dig that the video shoes the Onya dropping an Xtracycle. We’ll see more drivetrain based ebikes in the future, like CleverCycles StokeMonkey that assists the cyclist instead of pushing or pulling them along. That’s the better way, with the Bettie (our e-assisted cargo bike) you can upwards of 300 pounds. Only limit is the whip of the Surly frame and the constraints of the Xtracycle.

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