Sunday, 18 August 2013

Rolling along...

An important part of the life of major cities will be low carbon transport. Wellington will be no exception once Counsel is driven out of dinosaur thinking to move forward.

I don't usually head over to Kilbirnie, but in my search for cheaper groceries, I decided to walk it. On my way, I passed Burkes Cycles, I spotted a couple of e-bikes, and decided to drop in on my way home, before continuing on to the cheaper super market where I found breakfast will be $4/week cheaper and much more.

I need to replace the tires on my bicycle, and I popped in to make a pricing enquiry. The assistant showed me serveral kinds  for my 27"x1-1/4" wheels ranging price form about $36 to about $65. The latter being puncture resistant may well be worth the extra dosh.

Suitably impressed by the assistants helpfulness, I mentioned this blog and the I noticed eco-bikes in the front. My quick glance earlier had missed the full range of e-bikes present.

Perhaps the best value of the four was the Flying Cat "Blowy"powered by a lithium ion battery, described as having best range and is modestly priced at $2330.    it feature a 250watt brushless motor, some may recognise this as steriodal version of a cpu fan. Shimano 7-speed gears .  26"x2" wheel.

Next, the cheapest at $2249 on this sticker was the smart motion. I checked Burke's web site an it lists them even cheaper at $1799 for the 250 watt models and $2099 for the 300 watt models. This is a real bargain, compared to competitor offerings where $1850 would get you a conversion kit.  Smart Motion bikes are powered by a 36v 10ah lithium-polymer battery and has an 8 gear shimano gear set. they hit the road on 26"x1.9" Kevlar-puncture-hardened tyres. The seat post has a shock absorber in it for a comfortable non bone shaking ride.

Pedigo step thru
Pedigo an imported American brand offer the remaining two bikes The first is impressively large and so was the price tag at $3199, but the last bike from Pedigo was more modest having a step-through frame and price at $2699.

So if you're serious about a low carbon future an e-bike is a great way to leave the car at home on the way to work. Burke's cycles may well be where I go to get my e-bike has soon as I tame my feral credit card.

It would save more in bus fare than interest and card insurance than on the basis of 10 trips per week. So they are a very sensible option. Still we need a more cyclist friendly roading environment.

The batteries are a big part of the chunk of change for an e-bike being price at around $1000 each.  Of course, in a few years we will have Sulphur and Zinc Air options offering much greater energy density, durability and cheaper than is currently offered by lithium.

See also
  Burkes Cycles

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