Expectation weighs heavily upon electric bikes. They’ve been touted as cycling’s big hope for the past few years now in the UK.
Pundits wonder: ‘Will this be the year they take off?’ But what exactly are we expecting? That e-bikes will suddenly take off like the Beatles, Tamagotchi or iPads did in their respective decades? Let’s be honest, they won’t do that. Instead they’re likely to grow gradually this year – slow and steady wins the race, after all – but even cynics will surely accept that this year there’s more reasons than ever to expect e-bikes to do well, not least with more big players in the cycle market dedicating more resource to them.
The sector is now a mainstay at bicycle shows across the nation too with London’s own Bike Show at ExCeL this week, it made sense for us to look at some of the electric bikes aiming to sway punters and lure them into the charged cycling world.
E-bike brands at this year's London Bike Show include A2B, Amps, Batribike, Juicy Bike and Oxygen, among others. Here's a closer look at five of the e-bikes you will find in the halls of ExCeL...
Biomega OKO Carbon Electric Bike - £1,749 (SRAM automatic 2 speed or £2,149 (Shimano Alfine 8 speed)
A brand new arrival to the UK, the Biomega OKO is a fully integrated carbon electric bike which weighs in around a super light 16kg. Along with sleek aesthetics and minimal urban style, this state of the art build is a result of a collaboration between Biomega and Danish design group KiBiSi. The OKO is a balanced build that eschews the stereotype of electric bikes placing the majority of their weight on the rear wheel, ensuring the OKO remains a well balanced urban performance bike. With the engine housed in the front wheel hub to maintain this balance and the option of either two or eight speed automatic Alfine gears in the rear hub, this is pitched as an agile bike for the city commuter.
V’Lec Pocket Plus - £999
Hailing from the Jura Mountains of Eastern France, V’Lec was the idea of founder Augustin Charlot, created with the ambition of creating the lightest folding electronic bike possible. Designed for commuters, the discrete Panasonic 24v 8Ah battery delivers the precise amount of power required while riding. Unfolding the bike and hitting the road in a few seconds is a swift process, we’re assured, with one flick of the handlebar switch powering the bike up immediately.
Schindelhauer Bikes Jacob - £2,195
Berlin’s Schindelhauer Bikes has produced a unique smart-bike in collaboration with COBI, merging smartphones with this new single speed belt-driven creation. The Jacob powers devices via a specially designed smartphone holder, offering access to GPS navigation, calls, bike bell, weather forecast, music player and theft alarm – just some of the features which can be used via the small thumb controller placed upon the handlebar.
Scott E-Aspect 920 Hardtail E-Bike - £2,299
Scott offers a range of assisted machines, including this E-Aspect 920 Hardtail. Thanks to collaborating with Bosch, Scott has created the e-MTB series which integrates the necessary components of both hardtails and electric bikes. Power and control comes from the 500wh Bosch Performance drive system and Shimano drivetrain, ready for tackle rugged terrain.
BESV LX1 - £3,599
Looking not unlike it was intended to be ridden through the film Tron, the LX1 is produced using the same manufacturing process as MotoGP racing motorbikes and possesses a curved aluminum frame sculpted by hand. Offering as much as 80 kilometers of power-assisted pedaling after a full five-hour charge, the LX1 has three levels of torque sensing pedal assist. The bike also houses a 250 watt direct drive rear hub motor.
The show runs at ExCeL from February 11th to 14th.