Have you noticed there’s been a growing mention of electrically motorized bicycles lately? That’s because they’re coming, whether our domestic infrastructure is ready or not. While Europe’s been enjoying the boost at a broader level for a few years, brands with strong stateside distribution are starting to push them into dealers in select markets, establishing themselves for when the tide turns.
Who? Specialized will have a lower cost version of the Turbo, Felt is bringing several models in, as is Lapierre, and BMC has their premium Stromer line. And that’s just the beginning.
Across the board, there are two dominant methods of integrating a motor into a bike: Building the motor into the frame or putting the motor in the rear hub. There are multiple systems, but two of the higher tech, more established ones are from Bosch and Bion-X. Both were at PressCamp this summer, both have their pros and cons, and both gave us an in-depth look at their tech. Read on and see which one makes sense for your next commuter.
We’ll start with Bosch. Bosch builds entire e-bike drivetrain systems that hit the market in 2010, and their latest generation is just now shipping. It’s built around a crank-located motor, which integrates into the drivetrain in a way that develops more torque than a hub motor with the added advantage of keeping unsprung weight lower on full suspension bikes…
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