We saw countless new models of electric bikes at Eurobike and according to manufacturers, sales have already toppled traditional bikes in some countries. Many producers also hurried with brand new models of so-called speed pedelecs, although many people can’t even distinguish them from more conventional electric bike. Read about the future of electrified cycling.
Pedelecs and e-bikes – the main differences
How do you distinguish s-pedelec from a common e-bike? The distinctions are not always clear but look out for rear view mirrors and license plate holders – two regulatory requirements already in place for pedelecs. Helmets are another requirement and EU may soon insist on wearing a protection that meets motorcycle helmet standards. In order to sell e-bikes that have 250 watts power engine in average or assist to the speed over the 25 kph limit, manufacturers also have to go through a special approval procedure.
In Switzerland, which has regulated speed pedelecs for years, they now make about 25 percent of all electric bikes. Also known as s-pedelecs, they offer electric assistance up to 45 kph, which makes them interesting alternative to cars. They can go as fast or even faster than cars in city traffic, but they still keep the advantage and flexibility of conventional bikes to show your back to the drivers stuck in the traffic jams. Speed is practical but also leads to many controversies.
Regulations – is it still a bike?
The regulations are on the way in most European countries now. The thorniest issue is whether pedelecs should be allowed on bike lanes or not. They’ve been restricted from using bike lanes because of their official maximum speed in spite of the fact that most of the users will never reach such speed as they would come to their office totally soaked in sweat. The regulations lead to the situation when many people cheat by replacing their back mirrors and license plates. We’re curiously waiting how things are going to evolve.
A look at the latest s-pedelecs
Stromer has been at the forefront of the speed pedelec market. While the Swiss company now sells ordinary pedelecs, s-pedelecs remain at the centre of Stromer’s business. From its integrated battery to its pioneering connectivity solutions, the ST2 model obtained many awards, stirred up big interest and inspired lot of other producers. The new ST2 has a bigger battery with more extensive capacity and extremely strong headlight.
Switzerland’s second major e-bike manufacturer, Flyer Biketec, comes with its Flyer Intelligent Technology in cooperation with Panasonic. They fill the gap between urban models and mountain e-bikes with the fully suspended TX-Series, which uses the Bosch Performance mid-drive engine.
German brand Winora is launching an urban s-pedelec model in its Radar line of e-bikes. The speedy version uses a mid-drive engine that gets it up to 45 kph. The battery is fully integrated into the downtube but it’s easy detachable for charging. Outstanding feature is the new COBI smartphone controller, which includes navigation services and an integrated lighting system.
Bulls is another example of a brand that is working to make its e-bikes look as clean as possible. Its Green Mover LacubaEvo E45 integrates a mid-drive engine with a battery that’s been stowed in the downtube for a sleeker look.
Haibike introduced a unique eight-model S-pedelec range at Eurobike. According to the manufacturer Xduro Full Seven bikes should guarantee a pure pleasure with a dynamic drive unit supporting speed up to 45 kph. The 500 Wh lithium-ion battery and a central motor are integrated seamlessly into the frame. The full suspension system is here for your travel comfort.
As people will always compete who’s the fastest, German based company M1-Sporttechnik comes with a pedelec that can reach the speed of 75 kph! Spitzing is the revolutionary model that combines four advantages: compact design, low weight, high durability and maximum power.
With impressive full suspension technology for maximum ride comfort and grip, strongest carbon frame and 850 W power and 120 Nm torque it can accelerate up to 50 km/h in just 7.5 seconds.
More videos from Eurobike 2015:
- New trends from Eurobike – plywood bikes you have to assemble yourself and other novelties.
- Eurobike 2015 roundup – our review of the biggest cycling fair.
What do you think about e-bikes? Would you buy one? Share your opinion with others in the comments below.