Try out the e-bike revolution for size and see what works for you
What if you’ve never ridden an electric bike in your life and suddenly someone invites you to try five at a time? CleanTechnica had such an opportunity to do this last week at New laboratory, a community of entrepreneurs, engineers and inventors in New York. If you’re curious but a little unsure of your ability to handle new technology, last week’s adventure proved that switching from a bicycle to an electric bicycle is as easy as pie. So what are you waiting for?
You can also have your electric bike and keep your favorite ride
Some people are hip attached to their own bike (raise your hand), so the first thing to know about e-bikes is that you have a lot of options, and one of those options is to clip in a converter kit. electric bike on your beloved old bike.
With that in mind, we headed to the company CLIP, who developed a stylish electric bike converter that’s as intuitive as a bicycle lock. In other words, if you can lock your bike, you will have no trouble engaging CLIP on your front wheel. It comes with a bicycle bell-sized Bluetooth controller, which snaps onto the handlebars like, well, like a bicycle bell.
What they said:
“Designed to instantly transform any bike into an electric bike, CLIP provides riders with the technology they need to move easily and efficiently … Instantly transforming ordinary bikes into reliable alternatives to existing transportation options, CLIP technology enables cyclists have the flexibility to use their existing bike both normally and with an e-assist.
Everything is true! The folks at CLIP had a regular old-fashioned bike lying around, and they hooked a CLIP to the front wheel in less than a minute, which included an explanation of how it worked. I left, pedaling first to get the feel of it, then pouring in the juice with the push of a button.
This is a perfect ride for a first-time e-bike rider, as you get an introduction to e-mobility without giving up the familiar feel of your own machine.
CLIP is also a good buy if you’re worried about theft or damage when storing your bike. Unclip it and throw it in a tote bag, backpack, or whatever else you could use to carry your laptop.
An electric bike designed for two
Cycling is a much more social form of mobility than driving, and business Civilized cycles takes this idea and works with it.
What they said:
“Civilized Cycles builds electric bikes that are large and versatile enough to meet the daily needs of urban, suburban or rural cyclists: they can comfortably accommodate two adults or one adult and two children; have integrated, lockable saddlebags that can safely carry up to 50 lbs of cargo; and are developed with technology that automatically adjusts the suspension according to the weight and terrain of the bike.
Everything is true! The idea is to introduce American e-bike riders to the way people in other countries use e-bikes and motorcycles, starting with Model 1. In addition to being a fun ride, Model 1 is a working family vehicle that takes you to wherever you need to go with cargo, and you can also transport your kids to school or to extracurricular activities or elsewhere.
No children? No problem! The two-adult setup is designed for couples, so we took her for a ride in the Brooklyn Navy Yard with me in the passenger seat. Have you ever tried to carry on a conversation with someone on a moving bicycle with a gasoline engine? Well, that’s not it. With the noise-free benefit of electric driving, my new friend and I had a pleasant, civilized conversation while roaming the rugged and rough roads of the Navy Yard.
We took the bumpy road on purpose to check out the suspension, which was buttery smooth, in case you were wondering.
The bike is packed with lots of other civilized goodies. To name just one detail, the integrated saddlebag is designed with a convenient hole for your bike lock, which makes it easy to lock your bike to any nearby infrastructure and it also means that no one can take your ride unless to take any bike apart first.
Stay tuned for more on Civilized Cycles later this month, as CleanTechnica will have the chance to test it for a whole week in a part of the country that has a lot of traffic and a lot of very boring hills.
The future of electric mobility
We’ll be keeping the other three electric bikes at Newlab (well, two electric bikes and an electric scooter) for the next article, so stay tuned for more.
In the meantime, think about the flexibility and opportunities associated with CLIP and Model 1, and you can see how the popularization of the electric bike will lead to fundamental changes in the mobility landscape in the United States.
In particular, Ford seems to be moving towards the extension of its iconic brand to the world of electric bikes, or for that matter to any type of bike.
Back in 2016, and here’s what we said:
“When Ford started to present its prototype foldable / transportable / electrified bikes, the general response from the mainstream media has been relatively mixed, perhaps because few auto industry observers knew what to think about the idea of pedal power coming from the home of power icons like the Mustang, the GT and the F-150. However, if you’ve been following Ford’s rebranding as a mobility company and car maker, the shift to cycling technology makes perfect sense – and it could be huge, too. “
Everything is true! Last summer, Ford and Newlab, in partnership with Michigan Central, launched a new “innovation ecosystem” based on the success of Newlab’s Studio model.
“The alliance aims to tackle complex transportation issues related to connectivity, range and electrification,” Ford enthused in a press release, explaining that “a corporate studio Ford-sponsored will kick off this summer to address macro-mobility issues, and as part of Ford’s community engagement program, a second civic studio will follow, focusing on more immediate mobility issues in neighborhoods around the station. central Michigan.
Electric mobility and the missing ingredient
Besides the social nature of e-bikes, there is also a broader corporate social responsibility angle that Newlab brings. It’s usually a missing ingredient when the topic turns to gas-powered motorcycles, but the Ford collaboration could change all that.
Newlab explains that it “will draw on the talents of its existing community of 155 startups, especially companies that help make cities more equitable, livable and resilient”, in addition to recruiting local talent.
This ties in with a number of Ford initiatives aimed at freeing automakers from the baggage of fossil mobility. In addition to getting into e-bikes and other electric vehicles, Ford has amassed a pretty impressive stable of sustainable materials that could come into play for its e-bike businesses.
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Photo Credit: CleanTechnica Senior Reporter Tina Casey with her BFF Cannondale, eager to try out the CLIP Electric Bike Converter Kit (photo by Tina Casey with help from CLIP).
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