In this week’s news:
- Bike Lanes for NYC Bridges
- Cannondale’s New Comfort-Oriented Adventure Neo Range
- MAXX Introduces Range Powered by Shimano’s EP8
- Esel’s Wooden eBikes
- Oyo’s Hydraulic Drivetrain
- Pollution Sensing, Indicating and Self-driving eScooters!
- Meet the Lilium eJet
- eCargo Updates from Bristol, UK and the Netherlands
- Utah Gears Up for the Big Gear Show
Car Lanes to Become Bike Lanes on Two Major NY Bridges
The New York Times reports that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio wants to add bike lanes on two of the city’s most iconic bridges, the Brooklyn and Queensboro Bridges ‘to encourage cycling as the city recovers from the pandemic’.
NYT says ‘The new cycling plan for the two East River crossings — called “Bridges for the People” — was unveiled as part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s final State of the City speech on Thursday. The bike lanes are the latest victory for cyclists and transportation advocates who have increasingly pushed Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat in his second term, to chip away at the entrenched car culture that has dominated the city’s more than 6,000 miles of streets.’
The current crossing of Brooklyn Bridge by cyclists has long been seen as a notorious obstacle course by cyclists.
Under the new design motor vehicles will be banned from the inner lane of the Manhattan-bound side of the Brooklyn Bridge where a two-way bike lane will be built. The existing promenade area at the center of the bridge, which is elevated above the car lanes, will be used only by pedestrians and cyclists will no longer be able to ride on the promenade, where there is currently a bike lane.
For the Queensboro Bridge it is proposed to convert the northern outer roadway into a two-way bike lane. The southern outer roadway will be reconfigured as a pedestrian walkway.
City Hall hopes to complete the Brooklyn Bridge lane by the end of 2021 and construction on the Queensboro Bridge will begin this year.
This latest announcement may in part have been spurred on by the impressive growth in cycling during the pandemic; for example bike trips at the city’s four East River bridges into Manhattan jumping by 55 percent in November 2020 compared with the same month in 2019.
Di Blasio’s time has seen 120 miles plus of protected bike lanes introduced – the ultimate aim being to create 1,375 miles which NYT says would be ‘the largest urban network in the nation.’
City Hall previously came up with a $58.4 million safety plan in 2019 following a spike in cycling fatalities in 2019, including more protected bike lanes and redesigning intersections to make turns safer for cyclists.
This article at Gothamist does put these very welcome new lanes into perspective however, stating ‘There are currently 545 miles of protected bike lanes in the city, and 524 miles of conventional painted lanes, while there are 6,300 miles of streets overseen by DOT. The de Blasio administration built 35 miles of regular bike lanes in 2020, and was on track to finish 25 miles of protected lanes, five miles short of their goal.’
New eBikes & eBike Systems
Cannondale Launches Adventure Neo Series
Cannondale’s new Adventure Neo series major on comfort and are also designed let you mix tarmac and easier off-rad tracks. All models have a step-thru alloy frame, Bosch mid-drives plus frame-integrated Bosch Powetube battery.
Top of the line is the Adventure Neo EQ 1 with a Bosch Performance Line motor and 625Wh battery. The plush, comfort spec encompasses a 63mm SR Suntour Mobie A32 front suspension fork and Cane Creek suspension seatpost. It even features a clever radar system designed to detect traffic approaching from behind and let you know.
The lowest spec Neo 4 has a rigid fork, 400Wh battery and Bosch’s Active Line mid-drive.
Prices are from £2500 to £3800.
Five New eBikes from Germany’s MAXX with Top of the Line EP8 Mid-Drives
German brand MAXX just five new e-bikes -the ELS series – all featuring Shimano’s light and very powerful EP8 mid-drive. It has a claimed weight of 2.3kg thanks in part to its magnesium casing and a max torque of 85nm.
The ELS range encompasses city bikes, E-MTBs and fat bikes.
Prices range from €4229 to €6999
Esel Expands Wooden eBike Range
Their frames are made of Ash, waterproofed and feature cavities for internal cable routing.
FLIT-16 First Batch Sold Out
We’ve reported on the FLIT-16 folding e-bike from the UK before. EBR has been cautious about e-bike crowdfunding projects in previous posts but FLIT has some through with flying colours with their first batch all cold out – as they say ‘You may have noticed that we’ve been quite quiet over the past couple of months – we’ve been busy quality checking, test riding and sending out FLIT-16s to customers around the world! adding ‘If you missed out on our first batch of ebikes, don’t fear – we’re currently building our next batch. If you’d like us to let you know when new stock is available, sign up here.
They have also made this video about the whole process:
New eBike Tech
Oyo Wants to Replace Chain Drives with Hydraulics
New Atlas reports on this interesting new drivetrain development form Oyo – the conventional chain is replaced with hydraulic fluid. As New Atlas says ‘Putting it simply, the system incorporates a closed-loop in which the rider’s pedalling power is used to pump hydraulic fluid through tubing into a hydraulic “motor” in the back, that rotates the rear wheel. The fluid then flows back up to the pedal-pump in front.’
It’s not an entirely new idea as such drives are an emerging technology on wind turbines but this appears to be the first time it has featured on an e-bike. The bike also features stepless gearing.
As the article points out ‘hydraulic drivetrains do have some drawbacks. For one thing, they tend to be heavier than conventional systems, plus they’re typically less efficient at converting pedalling energy into forward motion, and they may end up leaking.’
Oyo’s Indiegogo campaign has early bird offers for US$1,849 with a planned retail price of $3,599.
The helmet is available exclusively with MIPS safety system (Multi-Directional Impact Protection System, designed to protect against rotational trauma), has an integrated LED light, removable visor and is compatible with Bern’s cold weather bike beanies. Bern claims it has class leading safety test results.
Retail price is US$119.
Micromobility & Share Rentals
eScooter Tech Keeps Advancing
eScooter tech seems to be coming on leaps and bounds in capability and sophistication.
MMB says Voi ‘has unveiled the Voiager 4 (V4), an e-scooter that can measure air quality as it travels through urban areas. The V4 has been designed to contribute to lowering traffic congestion and fuels, as well as helping cities to collect data on the improvements. It will be introduced to select UK markets this spring, with broader rollout later in 2021. The latest e-scooter model also offers new safety features, including audible alarms and indicators, designed to increase the visibility of e-scooters to pedestrians and to vulnerable road users, including those with vision impairments. The V4 is also designed to integrate better with public transport systems and now features the ability to be unlocked via contactless NFC (Near Field Communication) technology with the tap of a smartphone, smartwatch, or transport card. This means that it could be used in conjunction with an Oyster card.’
They also report that Spin’s ‘Valet platform makes it possible to remotely operate Spin’s fleet and automatically repark scooters out of the pathway of pedestrians and other pavement or street traffic within seconds. Spin Valet combines Tortoise’s software with the front and rear-facing built-in cameras on the S-200. This technology will eventually make it possible for a rider to ‘hail’ an e-scooter to a desired pick up location. The first S-200 fleet will be piloted in Boise, Idaho this spring. The city will receive up to 300 S-200 e-scooters. This is the first time the technology will be launched with a robust, more stable three-wheeled e-scooter, which can better withstand different road conditions due to its enhanced suspension. S-200 will offer a safer ride with three independent braking systems (regenerative rear brake, front and rear drum brakes) and turn signals (on handlebars and near the rear wheel).’
We’re never afraid at EBR to feature groundbreaking electric tech even if not directly related to e-bikes. So were interested in the recent news that ‘Ferrovial, a global leading infrastructure operator, and Lilium, the aviation company developing an all-electric, vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) jet aircraft, have signed a framework agreement to develop a network of at least ten vertiports. The zero-carbon infrastructure and services will cover strategic locations in all major cities across Florida. This partnership seeks to provide an efficient and environmentally friendly alternative transport network connecting locations across Florida.’
If you’re wondering what this might mean in practice check out the video below on this interesting looking ‘electric jet’:
eCargo Logistics Developments
With e-cargo bikes often touted as the ultimate ‘last mile’ delivery solution it’s clear that it is not about the bikes themselves – it’s about a whole logistics setup that allows them to operate efficiently as part of a bigger system. A couple of news stories demonstrate how this relatively new industry is starting to organise itself.
The UK’s Motor Transport reports that ‘Zero-emission operator Zedify has been awarded a £100,000 grant as part of Bristol City Council’s strategy to ensure 95% of deliveries within its central area are made by electric vehicles within 10 years…..The grant will help support a new Zedify micro-consolidation hub that will be centrally located and allow HGVs and diesel vans bringing goods into Bristol to drop off their goods without entering the city centre.’
Simply put, freight consolidation means organising deliveries so that the minimum number of vehicles are used to make the maximum number of deliveries – in this case the vehicles are Zedify’s fleet of bikes, trikes, microvans and vans.
Elsewhere in the eCargo world Paztir are described by Cycling Industry News as a ‘Dutch business (that) has developed software to be integrated into partner derived hardware that will offer a wide range of benefits to cargo bike owners, in particular those managing a fleet. The Internet of Things (IoT) development works to deliver bike security, access management, efficiency in parking and delivery, incident recording, route-planning, route-tracing, and plenty more.’
LCC Campaign to Keep Important Cycle Lane
London Cycling Campaign have made the following video to highlight the importance of the keeping cycle lane along Kensington High Street in London that was introduced during the pandemic. Initially the local authority planned to take out the lane but following campaigning pressure have promised to revisit the decision on 17th March, though no one knows which way the decision might go. You can personally contact the councillors concerned to voice your support for keeping the lane here.
People for Bikes Presenting Sponsor of The Big Gear Show
Bikebiz reports that PeopleForBikes has joined The Big Gear Show as presenting sponsor.
The Big Gear show describes itself as ‘is an invitation-only, multi-category trade event for the paddlesports, cycling, climbing, and camping markets. We are solely focused on meeting the needs of outdoor shops and gear builders. The demo is fully integrated into the event, so buyers get to paddle, ride bikes, and test gear all day.’
Rad Power Investment
Cycling Industry News again on a huge investment for Rad Power e-bikes; ‘Rad Power Bikes, which lays claim to being North America’s largest e-Bike only brand, has attracted $150 million in investment from institutions such as Counterpoint Global (Morgan Stanley), the Fidelity Management and Research Company and The Rise Fund, among others.’
Riese & Muller Expanding Production Site
Premium e-bike manufacturer Riese & Muller have been in touch to tell us about forthcoming expansion plans:
‘Riese & Müller, the premium manufacturer of E-Bikes and Cargo Bikes, continues to expand and is extending its campus in Mühltal near Darmstadt to include a new building for a number of different departments, from new production units to administrative offices. The building will be built on the eastern part of the company’s land and will provide space for two new production units, the Development and Service department as well as additional offices. The company will also be hiring more than 60 new employees for its E-Bike production by April 2021. The construction work for the new premises will begin in May 2021 and is set to be completed in July 2022. ‘
Stay tuned for more e-bike news and reviews and thanks for reading!