As mentioned briefly in the Cycle Show Overview blog, Electric Bikes seem to be going from strength to strength. It really surprised me just how many manufactures are bringing out electric models this year and judging by the popularity of them, there will be more and more companies jumping on the bandwagon in the near future.
Change of Image
They’re really trying to make Electric Bikes appeal to a younger market as well as producing bikes that can be used on serious off road terrain. Some of the bikes are very hard to tell apart from their conventional bike counterparts. Sometimes the only give away is the battery pack but even these have been designed to flow with the frame and blend in so it is sometimes rather difficult to spot whether it’s an E-Bike or not. One of my favourite looking Electric Bikes on display was the Italjet Ascot with its retro cruiser style and leather details. It really stood out amongst the competitors and certainly got a lot of attention and I'm sure you'll be able to see why when you have a look at the picture off to the right. Most of the stands also had their Electric models mixed in with their conventional bikes which showed they are putting as much effort into promoting them as they are their existing models which can only be a good thing for the E-Bike movement as a whole.
Another attempt to convert people to electric bikes was made in the form of the E-Bike test track. This enabled people to try out bikes from various manufacturers to see what they liked the feel and look of. I thought it would be rude of me not to do a little bit of product testing so I grabbed a helmet and got stuck in riding a few new E-Bikes around the track. I ended up having a go on a HaiBike mountain bike, a KTM mountain bike (Picture in the bottom right showing me getting to grips with the features) and a more traditional shopper style bike complete with basket on the front (Got some funny looks riding that one). As a newbie to Electric Bikes I was unsure what to expect but I was very impressed. Both the mountain bikes had variable speed settings with the highest pushing the bike along at 15.5mph. The only way I can describe it is it gives you a speed boost when you pedal which can really help get up slopes and get you up to a decent speed without putting in too much effort. I can see why people are starting to buy them and they’re becoming more popular because I really enjoyed riding them. And judging by the length of the
queue of people wanting to test them,
so did a lot of other visitors to the NEC.
Electric Bikes are a very interesting concept and one that looks to be growing in popularity with the design and the technology advancing all the time and allowing manufacturers to create some really impressive bikes. I wouldn't be at all surprised if we start seeing them make a greater presence on our roads as people use them for commuting as well as pleasure with the range of mountain bikes available now.