Spring is rapidly approaching, and with the melting of the snow comes the re-emergence of cyclists after a long winter hiatus.
Bicyclists are familiar members of the morning commute, often cruising by while cars are locked bumper-to-bumper. Bikes have always enabled commuters to go green while avoiding gridlock, offering an alternative to daily traffic delays. While the average bike does offer a clean, streamlined transportation option, the road to work does present some obstacles.
Among the most common woes of a cycling commuter are steep hills and long distances. In response to the needs of this growing populace, electric bike companies are taking strides to change the face of the commuter bicycle.
E-bikes are not altogether new, but they are certainly new to Canada and the United States. Bicycles - electric as well as manual - have long been a favorite mode of transportation throughout Europe and in Asia. The idea now is to revolutionize the way North Americans get around in urban areas.
Different companies have taken different approaches to the e-bike trend. A start up company out of Washington, DC, Riide, has created its own sleek electric bicycle design. The new Riide bike has eliminated any need for pedaling; much like a scooter, Riide is powered by an electric throttle to take the edge off a lengthy bike commute.
Others, like the Copenhagen Wheel, offer a hybrid-electric option. These products allow for an existing bike to be retrofitted with the necessary hardware that will give the rider a boost when they need it. Also joining the e-bike game are the researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, hopeful that their take on the Copenhagen Wheel alleviate congestion on the crowded urban streets of Boston.
"You ride it just like you ride any other bike,” said Assaf Biderman, associate director at MIT's SENSEable City Lab, “but it feels like the distances have shrunk and hills have disappeared."
The impending warm weather and all the latest bicycle technology now available for commuters, you can bet that your bike racks will be full this season. For all your bicycle storage needs, call Sport Systems Canada!