LAS VEGAS, Nev. No fewer than 53 companies showed off electric bikes this week at Interbike 2013, North America’s annual bike industry tradeshow, and that’s not even taking into account exhibitors who didn’t exclusively categorize themselves as e-bike companies.
The range of e-bikes now includes full suspension 29ers, classic cruisers, folding bikes, and rare but questionable prototypes (what is the world going to do with an electric downhill bike?) Or, if a full rig isn’t a budget line item just yet, you can electrify an existing bike with one of the many available retrofit systems being shown here in Las Vegas. To keep up with the growing interest, e-bike technology has been evolving to yield ever-more sophisticated batteries and drivetrain systems.
Once a curiosity, e-bikes are rapidly becoming the solution to high gas prices, traffic congestion, and hauling heavy loads like groceries, tools, and even people. E-bikes are just getting started here in North America, what’s below are just a few examples of what’s out there.
Haibike Xduro AMT Pro, 150mm of travel, SRAM X01, Bosch “Performance Line” mid-motor drive system optimized for the U.S. standard of 20 mph (32km/h), hydro-formed aluminum frame with gravity cast bottom bracket, which protects the motor and results in a lighter frame. $7,800
Hi-Power Cycles Revolution, this prototype downhill e-bike seems a little overkill, given its intended use but it’ll get you up your local hill for a few practice runs if you can’t make a break for lift-assisted riding. Custom anodized aluminum frame, lithium battery, power level: 3,500-6,000 watts; speed: 20-60 mph.; range: 38-60 miles; weight: 74 lbs. $6,499
A2B Shima, 500 watt brushless built-in rear hub motor, internal cabling throughout frame, battery life 18-45 miles, maximum speed 30 mph. $3,800
Solex Solexity 500, aluminum alloy frame with internal cables, lithium-ion battery, 500 watt brushless rear motor, range: 25-37 miles/40-60 km., Shimano components, 20 mph/32 kph motor-assisted, Schwalbe 26″ tires, and integrated front and rear lights. Total weight: 57 lbs./26 kg. $2,795
e-Bann Modern Retro II, aluminum alloy frame, 200-500 watt brushless hub gear motor, 36 or 48 volt lithium battery, max speed: 15.5 mph, range: 25-37 miles; Shimano 7-speed, Avid bb5 brakes, and handmade genuine leather saddle and handlebar grips. $1,795-$2,500