Why is everybody so excited about e-bikes this year?

It seems every bike maker is excited about this e-bikes this year.  At PHEW!, we started the year by bringing the Stromer to our showroom – an e-bike with the  battery placed inside the frame.

Earlier this spring, Specialized released this video of their electric bike, which also has the battery positioned inside the frame, a feature I like.  Digital displays also seem to be the trend, showing not only how fast you are going but also how much charge is left in the battery.  Similar to the BionX system, most new digital displays also let you change some settings on your bike. For some of us, this is fun. As a bike mechanic, I like the fact that these new e-bikes can connect to a computer for diagnostics, update the software and fine tune each bike’s action for the rider.

I know, I can just hear you saying we’ve made a simple bike too complicated. But I look at Apple and see how they’ve made sophisticated devices very reliable and simple to use for everyone.  Yes, Apple products are a little more expensive to buy but they keep their value and these days, everyone wants to have an iPod,  iPhone or iPad.

When people walk into our shop, one look at the Stromer and they’re in love. On Saturdays, when we are the busiest, we need to keep the Stromer in the back, otherwise I would be out providing escorted rides on the Stromer all day long!

Ideally, the next generation of e-bikes would have a battery hidden in the frame, making the bike look smart & also keep the electronics water-tite.

They would also have more advanced battery management hardware & software, to give more charges per battery, longer travel distance per charge and a more accurate reading of the battery capacity while riding.

Other features on our wish list are a simple on/off switch, more control over how much assist is offered, a quick transition between the throttle & pedal-assist modes, and a regenerative option to assist doing downhill & extend the range.

Even Trek is re-vamping their e-bike design. Check out the Trek Phase, their high performance e-bike.  And stay tuned for some snazzy looking e-bikes…