Hillhater wrote:Jenny ?
what have you linked to ??
It's a public post on Google + so I thought the link would work. KK is one of the founders of Wired
and the man behind the Cool Tools
site and a lot of other stuff
From the post :
My Electric Assist Bike
I am riding a bicycle down from Canada along the Pacifica coast with two teenagers. I knew from earlier rides with my son that I would not be able to keep up with them, especially on hills, and especially all day. I needed some assistance. So I tried out a number of electric bikes, but the problem with the ones I tried is that their batteries and motor were so heavy, that I could not ride without them on. What I wanted was an electric assist that I could ride -- even uphill -- without it on, but that I could turn on when I wanted. To add to the challenge I was taking this bike on a month-long tour hoping to do 50-60 miles per day, and few e-bikes could offer this range even with their heavy batteries.
But I did find a bike with a super lightweight motor, built in, that I could ride without it on, and yet use its supplemental power when needed. But it's not for sale in the US. I found it in Austria.
The system is called the Gruber Assist. It is a 100-watt motor with a small under-seat Li-ion battery. The coolest thing is that the cylindrical motor slips into the seat tube. For those who care, the bike looks like an ordinary bike. No motor or battery is visible. (I am not ashamed of my assistance.)
A 100-watt motor gives only the smallest nudge uphill on a fully-loaded touring bike. But it is enough for me. I still have to pedal hard, but I can at least keep within sight of my teenage son and nephew. In essence the assist makes my legs 40 years younger. It doesn't remove hills; it only flattens them a bit. To use it, I have to be pedaling. I push a red button on the handlebars to ignite it. It'll stop if I stop pedaling.
I have no problem using it when I am gasping on a hill. I am not trying to prove anything. Unlike a motor cycle, it is quite and slow. I feel like I am riding a bike; and I am.
So far I used it for 3 days, engaging the assist on significant hills over 45 miles each day. The batter says I have 60% capacity left. ( We are also carrying a spare battery -- in the bag of my son! Slows him down a wee bit.) But we have not hit really steep and hilly country yet, so we'll see how it fares in mountain country.
There are some really good full-bore electric bikes for daily commutes that will easily take you up a hill without getting you sweaty. This is not that kind of e-bike. The Gruber Assist e-bke system is perfect for flattening hills if you are ready to do most of the work.
As this tour progresses I'll keep you updated on how the Gruber Assist fares as a touring e-bike.