The future of transportation gravitates around electro-mobility more than ever. Every day we’re seeing new automakers jumping head first in electric segments, a move that signals the biggest change in the automotive world since Henry Ford. But it’s not only the carmakers that need to reinvent themselves.
The cycling industry has been changing in the last few years. Traditional bike makers are also adopting electric technology in their products. According to several studies, we’re seeing a national biking boom. Electric bike sales were up 84 percent in early 2020, 92 percent in April, and 137 percent in May in the United States.
According to an annual market review by the Bicycle Association in the UK, e-bike sales far exceeded those of electric cars. More 160,000 electric bikes were sold in 2020, nearly 60 percent more than electric cars. And the sales growth continues in 2021 as people return to their normal lives. Between 2020 and 2023, 130 million e-bikes will likely be sold, consulting firm Deloitte says. Currently, the e-bike market is said to be worth in the billions of dollars.
E-Bikes are appealing for several reasons. For starters, they manage to seemingly integrate the healthy benefit of cycling with the added value of electric motors when going over longer distances. Next, they enable consumers to plan exciting road trips in areas that require a lot more physical effort for your casual rider.
Lastly, commuting can be a faster ordeal when riding on an e-bike, and certainly a far more relaxing ride home after work. Today, we would like to introduce a couple of brands that make the headlines with their e-bikes offerings.
The Italian bike manufacturer is no stranger to the automotive world, and especially the BMW world. In 2020, the two respectable companies launched their first bike collaboration who saw the popular 3T Exploro model getting a bit of the BMW DNA.
Last month, 3T Bike joined the electric cycling world with the Exploro Racemax Boost. The Italian company says that when “it came time to make an e-bike version, we didn’t want to change anything: same geometry, same aero tube shapes, same agile steering.”
Furthermore, being built upon the Racemax line-up of gravel bikes, the new Boost e-bike aims to be as lightweight as possible with a smooth power delivery and especially without any changes to the aerodynamic tube shapes. 3T Bike says that their Boost e-bikes come out of the same mold as the regular frames, just with a small insert for the toptube button.
The bikes come with three different ride modes:
- ECO – A quick ramp-up and a small Boost across the speed range, perfect to keep up with the group when your legs need a bit of support.
- MEDIO – More support at climbing speeds, making challenging trails easier to navigate and helping you stay with the group on paved & unpaved climbs.
- TURBO – Maximum Boost for the most challenging terrain with a super smooth ramp-up and continuing through the speed range.
Not surprisingly, 3T Bike goes after this new type of riders: conquering tougher terrain and riding faster without being trained for the Iron Man contest. The Exploro Racemax Boost also enables a smooth and effortless daily commute.
A new American e-bike brand came to life this month. Vvolt is headquartered in Portland, Oregon and their core mission is “to empower personal mobility and create a more sustainable future in which light Electric Vehicles play a wider role.” With that in mind, Vvolt is not only creating new electric bikes, but also other small electric vehicles.
Their first e-bikes feature a ground-up design creating new ways to move you and your gear through your day. Vvolt’s first products are a range of e-bikes incorporating a suite of rider-friendly technologies at lower price points than existing offerings on the market. Zero-maintenance belt drive and enclosed transmissions meet self-lubricating motors and hydraulic disc brakes to make a ride experience that’s easier now– and for many miles down the road.
“Choosing to ride an ebike shouldn’t require advanced skills in drivetrain maintenance or booking quarterly checkups with your favorite bike maintenance technician, so Vvolt models reduce downtime with these low-maintenance components,” says the company in a statement.
The first lineup of Vvolt bikes includes the Alpha, Alpha S, Proxima and Sirius. The Alpha caters to the rider looking for a simple and easy way to ride every day; the Alpha S offers practical comfort; the Proxima helps you go the distance while the Sirius is your ride for harsher terrain.
The company says that a $300 deposit will guarantee you a bike from the first batches of models. The bikes are expected to ship in early August, and finishing deliveries of this first round of reservations by late September.
Regardless of your brand choice, e-bikes are now more relevant than ever. Yet, they are not here to replace your daily car, but instead, to offer or enhance a different lifestyle that many of us have embraced since the pandemic hit in early 2020.