Cycling is one of the most popular sports in South Africa, with a growing number of people buying a bicycle to stay fit or commute.
Many people also like the freedom which cycling brings – the wind through their hair and experiencing the environment without the restrictions associated with a car.
However, not everyone is keen to struggle up hills or battle against strong winds to enjoy this freedom. Electric bicycles to the rescue.
Electric bicycles (aka e-bikes) uses integrated electric motors to assist the cyclist to move forward.
E-bikes are different from motorbikes in one fundamental way: they always give the rider the option to pedal instead of using the motor.
With the great range of cool e-bikes the cyclist also does not have to be concerned that they will lose any street cred.
Here are some of the great e-bikes available to lazy techies who still want to enjoy the advantages which cycling brings.
Caterham Carbon E-Bike
British sports car manufacturer Caterham will launch the Carbon E-Bike this year. The Carbon E-Bike is a fat bike, featuring 4.8’’ wheels, a frame with carbon fibre and aluminium components and a 36-volt, 250-watt Panasonic motor.
The M55 Terminus promises to outperform all other e-bikes currently on the market. The e-bike features a 14 speed Rohloff Speedhub, Hope Tech V2 EVO hydraulic disc brakes and a M55 bike motor.
This great e-bike does not come cheap. The recommended retail price of the bicycle is around R400,000 ($38,000).
Kia electric bicycles
Kia unveiled two electric bicycles at the 2014 Geneva auto show in March 2014. The Kia Electric Bicycle (KEB) is a pedelec electric bike which promises lively performance from its electric motor, while incorporating a host of technical innovations in its design, specification and manufacture.
The rear-wheel drive KEB is propelled by a 250 Watt electric motor producing 45 Nm of torque, and powered by a 36 volt, 10 amph lithium-ion polymer battery pack which is easily detached for recharging. It offers a range of around 40 km on a single charge and a recharging time of four hours.
ICON E-Flyer Electric Bike
If you like retro looking bicycles, the ICON E-Flyer electric bike is the way to go. The ICON E-Flyer pairs elegant classicism with modern-day EV technology.
Each electric bicycle is equipped with an EV system good for up to 35 miles of sustained propulsion on a single charge. The ICON Electric Cycle also features regenerative braking thanks to state-of-the-art battery power.
The Stealth Bomber
The Stealth Bomber offers 4.5kW of electrical output making it capable of reaching speeds of up to 80 km/h. Shifting gears is made easy with its smooth, 9-speed transmission, integrating pedal power to increase acceleration. Featuring powerful hydraulic disc brakes that stop in an instant, the Bomber is able to push the rider to their limits while still staying in control.
The Leaos Pure carbon fibre electric bicycle offers a great way to commute. The bicycle can reach speeds of up to 45 km/h, a NuVinci automatic gear hub with advanced controller and hydraulic disc brakes.
Audi electric bike prototype
Audi ‘s e-bike Wörthersee prototype, a carbon fiber reinforced electric bicycle, promises a top speed of close to 130 km/h.