eBike blog – personal experience with sustainable transport for the new millenium

OoooOoooooooooooo BIKES!

Just got told which bikes we will be using for the Suitable Transport ride [my pic and bio is up on the riders page now btw]. They are going to be these: the “eZee Torq”. I think they could have come up with a less cheesy brand name, but the bike specs are sweet!

36V 10 Ah Lithium Ion or 36V 9Ah NiMH battery
35 klm Li Ion, 30 klm NiMH
23kg including battery
Brushless Servo motor nominal rating 200 watts with planetary gears
Automatic Smart charger, maximum charge time 5.5 hours
Road bike, Al alloy 6061
Kenda 700 C x 45
Tektro V-brakes front Shimano Roller brakes rear
Shimano Sora 8 speed
~ 80%
< 60 dB
@ 5N-m 120 watts, 4 amps, 36V, 200 rpm

AWESOME! These look a fair bit like the zbike I was keen on a few months ago – but these only weigh 23kg – including the battery[the zbike was 50kg, eeek]! Stephen has tested them and says they do pretty well up the hills, and he’s been riding longer than me, and is an electronics engineer, so I would say has a pretty good eye for such things. I’m super excited, if just a little bit trepidous for my bum, which will I expect get a little sore from that much time on a saddle seat.

Still: WHEEEE!

And now… here’s an interesting tidbit about bikes and helmets:

It’s safer to wear a wig

KAMALA HAYMAN – 14 September 2006

Cyclists may be safer wearing a long-haired wig than a helmet, new research suggests.

In England, a Bath University study found drivers gave a wider berth to cyclists with long hair than those wearing helmets. The study, by psychologist Dr Ian Walker, also found bare-headed cyclists were given more room than those wearing helmets. Walker used a bicycle fitted with a computer and an ultrasonic distance sensor to record data from more than 2500 overtaking motorists. He wore a helmet half the time. During his research, he was struck by a bus and a truck – both times while wearing a helmet.

In research to be published in the Accident Analysis and Prevention journal, Walker found drivers, on average, passed 1.33m from his bicycle. However, when he wore a long-haired wig – to give the impression he was female – overtaking drivers gave him an extra 14cm. By contrast, when he was wearing a helmet, they passed 8.5cm closer. Larger vehicles also narrowed the gap, with trucks passing 19cm closer than cars and buses, 23cm closer.

He wanted to do more research to understand why drivers appeared to give female cyclists such a wide berth. It was possible they were seen as less predictable than male riders because they were not seen on the road as often as male cyclists.

He suggested drivers saw cyclists with helmets as more serious, experienced and predictable than those without, and therefore needing less space when overtaking.

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