Eurobike concluded on Saturday and the German trade and consumer show probably saw the greatest concentration of electric bikes ever. Every second stand seemed to have an e-bike on it; or a piece of e-bike tech.
Shimano and SunTour had new e-bike groupsets on display. Major bike brands like Scott and Cannondale were showing bikes which used the new Bosch pedelec system but other brands, such as Trek and KTM, have remained loyal to BionX of Canada.
E-bikes are making big news at the moment and have made year on year market share gains yet, with expected annual sales of 600,000 in 2010, still only account for four percent of the EU market for bicycles.
Industry experts believe that the countries where e-bikes have sold best - such as the Netherlands and Germany – are rapidly coming close to saturation point and that future growth will have to come in countries where electric bikes have yet to set tills ringing, such as the UK and the USA.
Well capitalised and with a foothold in both OE and the retrofit market, BionX looks set to do better than most e-bike companies, many of which are new to the market and with a less than fantastic after-sales service (such as retail-delivered software diagnostic tools).
BionX is co-owned by Manfred Gingl's Magna Marque, an offshoot of large automotive company Magna International. Gingl was former president and CEO of Magna International. In 2008, Gingl absorbed founding company EPS Inc. into Magna Marque International.
The Canadian company uses high-capacity lithium ion batteries from Samsung of the Far East to create the range of BionX Intelligent Mobility Systems products.
At Eurobike the company released a new control console, a new lightweight HT-Motor and advanced extra long range downtube battery system. Available at retail from January 2011, the BionX PL250HT SL XL (or PL350HT outside the EU) Premium system combines all three new technologies into a light, long-range and intuitive propulsion system.
The new ultra light HT-Motor rear hub motor/generator is 25 lighter lighter than the previous version but with the same power, more performance and more reliability. 1.2kg has been shaved from the weight of the rear hub motor.
All 2011 BionX systems will include the new G2 intelligent console. Along with more intuitive controls, reversible for use on either side of the handlebar, the G2 console also includes features such as a hub lock which secures the bicycle when the console is removed from the handlebar dock. Any replacement console must be programmed with user’s passcode before it will activate the rear motor.
In the UK, BionX is distributed by Zyro.