I admit it. I have a fetish for really cool bicycle design. Sure the general configuration of the 'safety bicycle' hasn't changed that much in, what, a 130 years, but that doesn't keep imaginative designers like Milos Jovanovic from continuing to muse over the possible, as exemplified by his latest effort, the eCycle.
While it's just a digital fantasy at the moment, it does incorporate readily available technology including the integrated mid-motor and removable lithium-ion battery hidden in the top frame. And, of course, the belt drive is already being used by existing electric-assist bicycles.
What is intriguing about this and other designs is a trend to build e-bikes that differ little in appearance to conventional pedal models. Presumably if the bike were ever built, it would likely be a pedelec with maximum assist of 250 watts, or about 1/3 hp. The drive system would sense the amount of torque being applied by the rider and then adds just what's needed to keep cadence at the desired rate. That's the standard in Europe. Here in America, it would have a hybrid control system where the rider could switch between pedelec power and a twist-n-go throttle. A North American model would be powered up to 750 watts for on-road use. Off-road, it could be however much power you could coax out of the mid-motor.
Here's some computer renderings of Milos' design. You can find more over at Yanko Design.
Posted By: Bill Moore [03-Apr-2013]
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