Posts Tagged ‘e-bike’

Squinterbike

September 4, 2019

I know Outdoor Demo has to be around here somewhere. …

Anybody missing that long trek to Sin City for Interbike this year?

Yeah, me neither.

I could do with a good road trip — I think I’ve left town about twice this year, and then only for the day — but the notion of driving a 15-year-old rice grinder from hotter-than-hell Albuquerque to actual-hell Las Vegas strikes me as the sort of flagellatory exercise in self-abuse that would have the sternest penitente going all like, “Isn’t that a bit over the top?”

And yeah, I know, I know: Interbike’s last known address was in Reno, not Vegas. That’s like running away from ’Burque so you can croak in Las Cruces.

Anyway, trade shows are for people who don’t have high-speed internet. Just ask Emerald Expositions, which tried to graft Interbike Lite onto its Outdoor Retailer Winter Market in Denver only to wind up deep-sixing the entire show. In these days of modern times, Squinterbike is all we need. Peer deeply into the phone and all will be revealed.

This year the buzz (ho ho ho) is all about e-bikes, cargo bikes, and e-cargo bikes, with a side of indoor cycling.

Eurobike doubled the size of its cargo-bike area, according to Bicycle Retailer and Industry News, which plans a three-day e-tailer tour of SoCal next month aboard Yamaha Power Assist Bicycles.

Now you know me Al. I am deeply ignorant and a Luddite to boot. Thus I remain skeptical that making the simple act of cycling more complex and expensive will somehow save its supporting industry.

To my jaded snoot these items continue to smell like luxury goods that appeal to (a) faddists, who will quickly move on to the next shiny object, and (2) hardcores, the old white guys with too many bicycles who are frantically trying to stave off the Grim Reaper by any means necessary.

As an old white guy with too many bicycles myself, I seem to get along just fine with nine-speed, human-powered drivetrains, friction bar-cons, rim brakes, and tubes in my tires. My bikes often sport racks for carrying cargo, and I store the electronics in a jersey pocket in case I fall down and can’t get up.

The bike biz is forever hunting The Next Big Thing®. But this time we have the powersports crowd along on the safari. It’s a big desert out there, with plenty of room for dead batteries and sun-bleached bones.

Just what the e-doctor ordered

May 13, 2019

I’m shocked, shocked, that some people seem to believe that e-bikes are the modern equivalent of the philosopher’s stone.

This just in: E-bikes cure* Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, erectile dysfunction, post-nasal drip, gout, piles, dandruff, denture breath, and the heartbreak of psoriasis (Christ, you don’t know the meaning of heartbreak, buddy, c’mon, c’mon).

* You will note the caveat buried deep in the piece: “(A)ttaining these health benefits requires tackling the problem of poor street design and infrastructure in America. Everything from high speed limits to wide roads to light timing that prioritizes the flow of vehicles poses a threat to older people walking in their communities … and also creates barriers to people participating in cycling.”

Last Roundup in Sin City: Batter(y) up!

September 25, 2017

The Tern GSD in mango.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (MDM) — To e-bike, or not to e-bike: That is the question. …

We all know the e-bike is the latest and greatest entry in The Next Big Thing™ sweepstakes. Previous contenders include mountain bikes, cyclocross bikes, single-speeds, city bikes, cargo bikes, fatbikes, etc., et al., and so on and so forth (thanks for playing).

Some of us think you can’t sell a certain subset of Americans a two-wheeler if it doesn’t have an engine — and sometimes, not even then (Harley sales hit a five-year low last year).

That said, in comments Comrade Herb warns: “Let’s all be careful and not snark too much about e-bikes. Lord [knows], anything that gets people out of the house and out from behind their SUV’s wheel is a good thing. And if it keeps my local bike shop alive I’m more than happy to go along with the addition to the two-wheel choices.”

And Consigliere Larry adds: “I’ve boiled my e-bike opinion down to this: E-bike instead of car? Wonderful. E-bike instead of bicycle? Not so good.”

Maybe this is the ticket: When it comes to commuting or cargo, a little electrical assist is preferable to dinosaur drive.

CyclingTips tech editor James Huang said on Twitter yesterday that he’s been living the e-cargo-bike life since January 2016, adding: “No other bike in the fleet has as big an impact on my life as that one, no question.”

The bike that most recently caught his eye was the Tern GSD. James first saw it at Eurobike, and the rest of us saw it at Interbike, and I have to admit it was impressive. With MSRP starting at $4,000 the GSD can haul kids, and cargo, and it can tour — the Bosch motor with dual batteries is said to have a range of more than 250km, which is further than I plan to travel on my meat-powered machine today, or even this week.

But questions remain. Who’s gonna buy it? And who’s gonna sell it?

I’ve heard some folks say the e-bike is a natural fit for cycling’s aging demographic, which means they’re hoping to pitch it to the same faces they’ve seen under helmets since hairnets were cool. Others say the e-bike is attracting an entirely new customer.

And still others want nothing to do with the goddamn things, wary of the sales-and-service downsides of becoming an early adopter. Some of these folks might be stuck holding fatbikes they can’t unload, or worried about the rules, regulations and fees that Big Gummint might decide to tack onto these beasties should they begin turning up on America’s streets in quantity.

Are these shop owners missing out? Ceding TNBT™ to specialty e-bike retailers, or motorcycle dealerships? Yamaha’s in the game now, and the bike biz is basically a rounding error on that balance sheet.

What are your thoughts? Anyone out there own an e-bike, or sell ’em? Give us the buzz in comments.