London Bike Show 2013 - report
Back from the show at Excel in London's Docklands with a report on the electric bike exhibitors...
Posted by Peter Eland on Friday 18 Jan 2013
This year's Excel show in London's Docklands was, as in previous years, combined with the Boat Show and a more general Outdoors show, along with something called 'Active Travel' - holidays I think - and you get entrance to all four with a single (£20 for adults) ticket. Train delays on my journey from York meant I only had a few hours to whizz around the bike show, before walking back through the boats to head home.
We also have a report on some of the non-electric aspects of the show up at www.velovision.com, the site for Electric Bike's sister publication.
We reviewed the original Gocycle way back when it first launched (see what we wrote here) but it's now being relaunched in '2.0' mode - we'll have a review shortly. It now has torque sensing drive with an 'over-ride' red button which provides full power on demand (assuming you're pedalling) and there are many other improvements, including hydraulic brakes, Li-Ion batteries rather than NiMh, a less intrusive motor noise, electronic gear changes, a 'dashboard' built into the handlebars and an upcoming smartphone app to link into the bike's systems.
The Gocycle is usually pictured 'bare' so it was good to see this one fully kitted out for luggage carrying.
Set up by experienced e-bike experts from Germany, London's Momentum Electric specialise in torque-sensing bikes of clean design, using the SRAM two-speed automatic hub gear to provide gear-changing without cables or even rider involvement.
New to the market are Chelmsford-based EZ Riders with a selection of imported e-bikes; there aren't all that many dual suspension machines on the market so this one caught my eye.
New to me and the UK but apparently on the market for a few years elsewhere is the Revo Wheel. It's just being launched in this country by a new distributor.
The idea is that the 'filled in' wheel holds battery (24V, 8.8 Ah), motor and electronics, all sealed into a single unit. Then there's a wireless handlebar display, with needs a single wire to a pedalling sensor down at the bottom bracket. The idea is to make retro-fitting it as simple as possible.
Wheels are already available in 26" (MTB standard) size, and 700c and 20" are coming soon. There's no disk brake versions as yet, so rim brake bikes only. Also, there are no cut-out brake levers, so you'll have to accept a momentary delay before the motor cuts out once you stop pedalling. The wheels come complete with tyres, ready to go.
The kits cost around £699 (reduced to £599 at the show) and dealer enquiries are also welcome, they say.
We recently rode the latest Falco e-motor system, fitted to the Core e120 MTB. The importers and co-developers were at the show with several bikes, alongside one of their Team Hybrid handycles.
With the Canadian BionX kit no longer distributed by respected UK outfit Zyro (no info as to why, or who will replace them), the Falco system is certainly well placed to fill the gap for a sophisticated, torque sensing hub motor system with regen feature. Team Hybrid are also keen to work with dealers or manufacturers looking to fit their system.
Prices for the kit will vary according to the exact configuration required, but a sample price for a base kit (8.8 Ah battery, wireless console, 250W motor) would be around £1220. That's with the hub 'bare' rather than built into a wheel, but this can also be arranged. Team Hybrid have sourced special rims in 700c, 26" and (TBC) 20" sizes to ensure that the spoke holes are all at the correct angle for the rather large hub shell. While a cassette version for the rear wheel is under development, they can also supply good quality screw-on freewheels in 8, 9 and 10 speed versions.
Kent-based Kudos Cycles (we reviewed their 'Secret' recently) had plenty of bikes to demonstrate, including three new mountain-bike style models - the Arriba, Tornado and Ibex. The 'Arriba' sees the arrival of torque sensing to Kudos's range via a bottom bracket sensor from Thun in Germany; the Tornado is similar but with speed sensor only. Both also feature motors optimised for torque at low speeds.
The Ibex however (pictured above) is perhaps the most interesting, though, as the 'first in a range' of crank drive bikes. The crank drive is very neatly fitted, and it comes with a 10.4 Samsung battery pack housed water-bottle style. As I understand it, this isn't a torque sensor type drive, though, rather it has speed sensor and throttle. Price is expected to be around £1295.
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