In this week’s news:
- New trails plan for Northern California’s Sierra Buttes
- 8.5kg HPS eBike Claims World’s Lightest Tag
- Montague’s New Full Size eFolder
- Yuba Electrify Their Most Popular Cargo Bike
- New Security and Storage Options from Hiplok
- Resurrecting UK’s 1930s Cycleways Gets Official Backing
- Halfords Petition to Legalise eScooters in the UK
- The Dutch eBike Trend Continues to Boom
Headline News – Major Trail Project in Northern California Gains Pace
Great news for lovers of e-bikes and the great outdoors; home to hundreds of miles of maintained multi-use trail, the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship (SBTS) is creating a Trails Master Plan, laying out a world-class multiple-use trail system, providing an economic recreation asset for severely disadvantaged communities across Plumas, Sierra and Lassen counties in the Lost Sierra region of Northern California. All the more impressive is that this is a volunteer-driven vision and one that SBTS say ‘is an example all can emulate, and support by donating time and resources.’
A fuller title is Trails Master Plan (TMP) for Connected Communities. The Lost Sierra Route, which covers 300 miles of breathtaking views in its most preserved form, is accessible for a variety of multi-use activities. A key component to the Connected Communities Trails Master Plan is the proposed “Lost Sierra Route” which SBTS say ‘traverses 300 miles over breathtaking topography, jagged peaks and high alpine meadows similar to the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) and the John Muir Trail (JMT). But unlike the PCT and JMT, this new trans-Sierra Nevada and Cascade Range route allows for all dirt trail travelers including hikers, mountain bikers, moto riders, equestrians, trail runners, hunters, fishermen, wildlife, grandmothers and babies in backpacks.’
Small towns located along The Lost Sierra Route will feel the direct economic benefit, as the proposed trail will bring travelers directly into town. Fiscal support for these rural communities and small businesses is the backbone of the TMP, creating a deeper connection with the land and communities surrounding the Lost Sierra region.
Since its founding in 2003, SBTS has built over 100 miles of new trail and maintained 1,200 miles of the existing trail while employing a full-time Professional Trail Crew and contributing over 100,000 hours of volunteer labor.
New eBikes & eBike Systems
HPS Domestique Claims to be ‘World’s Lightest eBike’
The HPS Domestique makes the bold claim of being the world’s lightest e-bike at 8.5kg / 18.74lbs according to the company’s own website. Note Guiness World Records records a designer from TU Dortmund university has made his own one-off 6.9kg / 15.2lbs e-bike. Still, anything under 10kg is mighty light for an ebike.
The Watt Assist Pro motor system developed by HP is claimed to add 1.5kg / 3.3lbs to the weight of the bike, with the motor incorporated in the seattube of a bespoke carbon raod frame, driving onto the bottom bracket area and using a small 85Wh ‘water bottle’ battery (a larger 193 Wh option is also available). It claims a modest 20Nm of power. Power level controls are on the handlebars and link wirelessly to the motor system.
The Domestique Watt Assist Pro is priced at €12,000 and the first production run will be limited to 21 bikes.
If you want to see a first hand account of riding this super pricey e-bike check out this Cycling Tips video, including some comments comparing it to the previous (now defunct) Vivax Assist system.
Montague Launch ‘Full Size’ Folding eBike
Montague describe their M-E1 as ‘the world’s first full-size performance foldable e-bike…..for both urban riding and trekking.
It features the highly-regarded Shimano Steps E6100 mid-drive, 418Wh battery, Shimano Deore derailleur gearing and front suspension and Montague say it ‘folds in seconds with a single quick release’. It can be rolled along when folded and folded size is 38″x38″x13″.
What’s more it is fully kitted out for all weather riding, day and night, with LED lights, mudguards, pannier rack and kickstand.
It retails for US$3599.
Yuba Electrifies Their Most Popular Cargo Bike
Californian-based Yuba recently launched an electric assist of their most popular cargo bike the Kombi, the Kombi E5. Yuba describe it as ‘a “compact” longtail cargo bike — designed principally for flat terrain riding — that is nimble, snappy and able to handle big cargo loads.’
It combines the Shimano Steps E5000 mi-drive, 418 kWh frame mounted battery and Shimano Alivio hydraulic disc brakes. It also features LED lights, sturdy central kickstand, fenders and Shimano derailleur gear shifting. Yuba also sell a huge range of carrying accessories. Yuba say the total payload is 200kg / 440lbs.
It retails at US$3200
Hiplok’s New Jaw Bike Holder and Ankr Mini
Hiplok recently announced two new products, the Jaw compact wall-mounted bike rack and the Ankr mini, a micro anchor point for locking bikes and scooters. The Jaw is described as having a one size fits all design featuring an adjustable ‘grabbing’ jaw, making it easy to store multiple bikes in a small space.
Both retail at £19.99 / US$24.99
Californian eBike Grant Program Starts to Roll in the Bay Area
Streetsblog California reports on how Clean Cars For All is starting to roll out a program of incentives to low-income people to surrender their older, polluting vehicles by helping them buy a clean electric vehicle – the latter including e-bikes.
Although the program has been on the books and officially authorised for some time, it seems it is only now the incentives are being rolled out in earnest. It’s all about getting old polluting combustion engines off the road and new clean electrical transport on it. As the article says:
‘The e-bike grants are for $7,500 and can be put towards one or more e-bikes plus necessary bike accessories, with any remainder used for transit passes in the Bay Area’s pilot program. Participants have to qualify by both income (at or below 400 percent of the current Federal Poverty Level) and residence (they must live within a zip code that has been defined as a Disadvantaged Community). See here for specifics on who qualifies. The vehicle to be exchanged for these grants must be fifteen or more years old, functioning, and currently registered to the applicant for at least two years. These vehicles will be scrapped.’
Whilst it’s good news the article also describes how it may take a while for other Californian regions to follow the example of the San Francisco Bay Area which is the only area where e-bike grant applications appear to be being accepted.
Resurrecting UK’s 1930s Cycle Lanes a Step Closer
A longstanding Kickstarter initiative to put back into use many of the fully segregated and high quality cycle lanes built in the 1930s in the UK (300+ miles were constructed – many still there but just neglected) now has official backing from the Department for Transport.
For more on the background to the project take a look at the Kickstarter launch video that dates back to 2017.
Halfords Launch Petition to Legalise eScooters
Currently, e-scooters can only be used on public roads and prescribed paths in the UK if part of an authorized public share scheme. The UK’s main bricks and mortar bike and e-bike retailer, Halfords, are looking to change this having launched a petition calling for a law change to allow electric scooters on UK roads.
It states ‘Our petition calls for the Government to legalize the use of all-electric scooters on public roads and for the UK laws to catch up with the rest of the world. They are legal and allowed on the streets of many countries across Europe and the rest of the world. Any new regulations should deliver safer roads and ensure that electric scooters road users behave responsibly and with due care and attention, but the current blanket ban on electric scooters does not offer this.’
Halfords recently launched their own-brand e-scooter for sale in their shops, despite e-scooters current illegal status.
Bosch Training Course Now Online
Bosch has just made it’s latest two training courses available online for dealers and they are bang up to date for 2021 models. There are two options:
- Basics: The Bosch eBike system (duration approximately 110 minutes)
- Model year 2021: New Features (duration approximately 45 minutes)
The Basics course will provide an overview of current products and includes many service topics including details on the Diagnostic Tool.
The Model Year 2021 online training will focus on the new Nyon on-board computer, the Performance Line CX 85-nm software update and Bosch eBike Systems connectivity solutions.
Both training courses are free of charge and available on the Bosch dealer portal at www.bosch-ebike.net.
Booming Netherlands eBike Sales Show No Sign of Stopping
Bike-EU reports that ‘At least 9% of the consumers in the Netherlands expect to buy an e-bike this year. According to recent market research by Multiscope this will result in a market volume of some 1.2 million e-bikes. That’s a major hike on top of the already successful market last year.’
Knaap Looks to Celeb Power To Further UK Success
The UK’s Bikebiz reports that ‘Knaap Bikes has partnered with global DJ and producer Nicky Romero, as it celebrates reaching over 120 dealers across the UK. The brand has created some content with Romero, which it will show and share in the upcoming weeks. “Of course, a bike is primarily a transportation object,” said Romero. “But to be honest, I use my Knaap Bikes to relax, make a tour and get things off my mind. Going to my studio, to see friends or just drive around: I absolutely love it!”
Originating in the Netherlands, Knaap bikes retail at £2,299 in the UK and in November 2020 they announced they had passed 75 partner deals in 75 weeks in their UK rollout.
Are they following in the path of Super 73? Knaap’s motorbike styled e-bikes and celebrity endorsements are certainly two things they have in common with the US brand who recently revealed a $20 million equity capital investment.
Bafang to Establish New Battery Factory in China
Bikebiz reports that ‘Bafang is investing in a new facility for the development and production of high-end battery packs. To meet its growing development needs and clarify its business layout, the e-drive systems manufacturer will soon establish a third subsidiary in China…..Bafang New Energy will serve as an R&D and production base for Bafang’s lithium-ion battery packs.’
Stay tuned for more e-bike news and reviews and thanks for reading!