Further proof that simple and lightweight e-bikes are an increasingly important area of the e-bike world this week with details of the Torque 1 from the US and a joint collaboration from the UK’s Bikeworks and Revolutionworks.
Novel lock designs also feature heavily in the never ending quest to make them more effective and lighter. And if you want to know where to find the best city cycle lanes in the US just read on….
In this week’s news:
Torque 1, affordable torque-sensing e-power
Ji-Move II, the new mini e-bike with high spec and low price
Lightweight e-bike collaboration from Bristol UK firms
Woom kids’ e-bikes come to the US
New accessories; Schwalbe cargo tire, two innovative locks
City News; E-bike hire for London, Bird 3rd gen e-scooter and People for Bikes’ new city ratings
New E-bikes and E-bike Systems
TORQUE 1 – THE AFFORDABLE TORQUE SENSOR E-BIKE
Torque sensors are usually found on pricier e-bikes and provide the most efficient and bike-like ride (compared to motorbike-like throttle on demand and cruder pedal movement sensors) – they can make you feel like you are pedalling a regular bike but with bionic legs, which is why many people love them. They also help conserve battery capacity better than throttles and pedal movement sensors.
The new Torque 1 e-bike is one of best-priced e-bikes out there to feature this superior torque sensing system, coming in at US$1199. It also packs a 350W rated rear hub motor and 380Wh of frame-integrated battery that must be charged on the bike. The claimed weight of 38lbs / 17kg is pretty light – it keeps the weight low partly by having a single gear and no lights or mudguards.
JI-MOVE II NOW ON KICKSTARTER
Now on Kickstarter, The Ji-Move II, claims some high tech features – like ABS braking – but low Early Bird pricing from HK$5887 (around US$760).
It is a compact e-bike, not a folder, with a removable seatpost and handlebars that hinge down the side of the bike. The compactness and portability comes from the small 16” wheels and short wheelbase. It comes with frame integrated lights and an impressively large battery for a small e-bike at 360Wh. Motor assist is limited to 25kmh / 15.5mph.
NEW AFFORDABLE LIGHTWEIGHT CITY E-BIKE FROM UK COMPANIES
The UK’s Bikebiz reports that Bicycleworks and Revolutionworks have collaborated to design a ‘lightweight, city-friendly’ e-bike. Features include small rear hub motor, minimalist handlebar controls and attractive £1485 starting price tag.
There are two battery options labelled as ‘20-mile range’ and ‘50 mile range’ and the smaller batteried e-bike has a stated sub-16kg weight.
The Woom UP model is apparently the only kids’ e-bike that features the Fazua motor, which makes it among the lightest mid-drive e-bikes built for children. It’s recommended for kids who already have experience riding bikes, enabling them to go farther and bike more frequently.
The woom UP is offered in two sizes:
woom UP 5 features 24-inch tires, and fits kids approximately 7 to 11 years old (50” – 57″ in height). MSRP $3,599.
woom UP 6 features 26-inch tires, made for kids approximately 10 to 14 years old (55″ – 65″ in height). MSRP $3,749.
SCHWALBE’S CARGOBIKE-SPECIFIC TIRE
Bike Europe reports that Schwalbe has introduced its first tire exclusively for cargo bikes, apparently ‘capable of handling loads up to 300 kg rolling, while being stable, low-maintenance and durable.
Puncture protection is said to be very high and the tire is rated for both regular and electric cargo bikes.
DRUSSY – THE LOCK THAT COVERS THE THIEF WITH TRACEABLE ‘DNA’
A similar but distinct idea has just arrived from German firm Drussy. Their system combines conventional mechanical protection with a pressurised system that sprays any would-be thief whilst tampering with the lock. Drussy say it marks those carrying out the attempted theft with long-adhering paint ‘mixed with artificial DNA’ which, according to the manufacturer, is harder to remove and can thus be used to trace and convict offenders.
The Drussy lock is not yet available for purchase but is undergoing final product testing in readiness for safety certification and release onto the market.
E.T INNOVATION – USING THE PEDAL TO LOCK YOUR BIKE
This novel security idea from German firm E.T. Innovation involves using a special design of pedal and a metal bar that anchors to it to act as a lock. The initial design appears to be a ‘shopping lock’ only i.e. it stops the wheel turning and doesn’t lock the bike to anything. The pedal also looks to incorporate lights and the ET website says a future version will feature a full lock to enable you to lock your bike around objects. The idea in utilising the pedal is to be able to come up with a secure but smaller, lighter lock than is traditional.
LONDON’S SANTANDER BIKE HIRE GETS E-BIKES…..AT LAST
Dubbed ‘Boris Bikes’ after the now prime minister (when he was London Mayor), the cycle hire scheme has proved massively popular since its introduction in 2010 and experienced record levels of use during the coronavirus pandemic.
BIRD ANNOUNCES NEW MORE ‘SUSTAINABLE’ E-SCOOTER
One of the major e-scooter hire players, Bird, has just announced a new more durable e-scooter model. According to Electrive, Bird’s newest vehicle addition, the ‘Bird Three’ was developed specifically for vehicle sharing and is said to offer a significant improvement in durability and range. From summer onwards, the new vehicles are to be introduced worldwide.
According to Electrive Bird is also planning to go public on the New York Stock Exchange from the third quarter of 2021 through a merger with Switchback II Corporation.
PEOPLE FOR BIKES 2021 CYCLING CITY RATINGS
US-based People for Bikes has just released its 2021 bike-friendly city ratings (ratings based on a wide range of metrics) and for the first time this year it has gone global.
The list of the top 10 cities in the world might raise some eyebrows; not surprisingly there are plenty of entries from the Netherlands but there are also two US entries.
The top six US cities based on infrastructure alone were San Francisco, NYC, Seattle, Portland, Philadelphia and Detroit.
SPECIALIZED RECALL NOTICE
Specialized recently posted the following recall notice on their website:
‘We are issuing a voluntary recall for a small number of battery packs sold as original equipment on and as aftermarket equipment for use with 1st Generation Turbo Levo and Kenevo electric mountain bikes with the control panel on the side, manufactured between 2017 and 2019. Specialized and retailers will contact riders that may be affected by this recall via email and with a notification on the Turbo Mission Control app.’