Linked by David Adams on Wed 1st Aug 2012 16:53 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes I had the chance to attend the bike industry’s annual DealerCamp in my hometown of Park City, Utah last week. It’s an event where dealers and manufacturers can meet up, and everyone can try the latest bicycle technology on the roads and trails. While there, I took a particular interest in electric bicycles, which were represented by several vendors. Electric bicycle tech has made some major strides in the past few years, but still has a long way to go, in particular on the software side.
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RE[2]: Comment by willm.wade
by zima on Sun 7th Aug 2011 00:52 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by willm.wade"
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Hm, I'd say that this #1 thing (and particularly the almost closing thought

The truth is, most people who shun cycling do it for one simple reason: it takes too much effort.
from the article) is probably partly due to people having the wrong idea about city / commute / daily bike riding, what it's about. Which for me is to NOT exercise more than during a mere moderately energetic walk - but, thanks to the bike, travelling ~3x faster (like during fastest reasonable sprint on foot); the bonus workout being just of the "mild but regular, healthy" kind.

You also write:
I’m a die-hard mountain biker, and don’t have much use for road bikes of any stripe, so I’m a bit biased, but I think anyone’s head would be turned by what I saw. [...] but really designed just to be awesome looking

So... why waste the potential? ;) With how you're able to really push the bike, some commuting speeds & style of riding should be even less of an issue ;) (and that bike is fugly ;), if anything, I would possibly turn my head in the other direction; but that's my bias, my fairly standard opinion about anything "really trying to look cool"; and not only because often the focus on looks means compromises elsewhere, also how it reveals a desire to "trick" the recipients, and often results in caricatures of harmonious proportions & design; BTW, one hilarious example of that in related field, cars, even if in sort of opposite direction: the thinner after-market tires are way too often less efficient / "dynamic" / etc.)

I kept thinking that even being an off road bike, the motorized Pugsley would be a blast to ride around town every day.

It would be, possibly, also relatively comparable to an everyday bike with more sensible frame, wheels, tires, without the electric motor?...*
what dashed my dreams of buying the motorized Pugsley was the price. The motor and battery kit is about $2100. Possibly justifiable if I were to buy it for an everyday commute, but impractical for a recreational trifle.

*...and which almost starts at an order of magnitude less cost.

Unfortunately, you’re not going to be able to ride bike up the hill, and have the ride down power you back up. For various reasons, the regeneration doesn’t recover a substantial amount of your energy.

Chief one among those reasons: that would be pretty much a perpetuum mobile ;) (of the 2nd kind at least)

While I was riding, I was also wondering whether it would be feasible to do a completely drive by wire system wherein the pedaling only charges the battery, and isn’t connected physically to the wheel at all, similar to the way that some heavy equipment uses a large diesel powerplant to generate electricity to electric motors, and does away with a mechanical drivetrain altogether. Would that result in unacceptable inefficiency?

"Drive be wire" (etc.) tends to refer to how steering is transferred; what you mention seems to go nowadays by the name of "serial hybrid" - and yeah, probably introducing inefficiencies disproportional to the power levels of humans, to the type & how we do movement (plus our muscles are fairly efficient at different power levels, I think, so one of the major IC engine problems supposedly solved by serial hybrids also largely isn't there; also I'm not sure if a bike would feel & drive good with such level of "decoupling" from the road)

while riding an electric bike creates more pollution than riding a regular bike, it’s a hell of a lot less than driving a car, or even taking a bus.

For a bus, I probably would prefer to see some numbers before stating anything with certainty... (with a comparably modern bus, maybe a hybrid one / etc., not some old type; just like it's not about 2-stroke motorised bikes and mopeds of old times)

And coming back to the first thing I quoted - shunning seems to be ingrained on other dimensions of culture, public perceptions...

Those are of course also the results of how cars were allowed, for a long time, to hijack urban areas, their layout and planning. The few places with lots of bikes that you mention, also tend to have less urban sprawl; people there sort of didn't allow for cars to hijack their cities to such a degree; they are willing to set up their life (where they live, how far to work, how and when the shopping or social venues) not as dictated by a car.

PS. A sort of "hub & spoke" model, but with car & bike respectively, might be a useful intermediate approach in some cases. Especially when carrying a (moderately folding) bike in the trunk isn't much of a problem even with a supermini (and in larger, quick release locks on the front bike wheel might be almost enough)

Edited 2011-08-07 00:53 UTC

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