About the Smart Ebike Project
The Smart e-bike project was led by a team at the University of Brighton and funded by the Research Council UK, with the aim of helping to better understand how the UK population engages with e-bikes. Dr Frauke Behrendt and his team identified a number of key points to help encourage more people to start e-cycling and help to reduce the impact on the planet….
E-bikes can act as a spring board to encourage more people to take up cycling, particularly groups which are less inclined to ride conventional bikes. These include women, the elderly, ethnic minorities, vehicle owners, people who don’t exercise often and those with a commute of under 10 miles. E-bikes are seen as a gateway to get more people riding bikes.
On average during the trial, 75% of the research population who borrowed an e-bike rode them at least once a week and vehicle journeys reduced by 20%.
The University of Brighton team also found changes to government policy was a key factor to help encourage and support more people to take up e-cycling too. This can be seen in other pro-cycling European countries who have a number of very successful initiatives to get more people riding e-bikes.
How was the study conducted?
The University of Brighton team sampled two businesses in the area and conducted surveys with staff on how they travel and also on their thoughts about e-bikes. 80 workers were given e-bikes for between 6 and 8 weeks and their opinion about e-bikes was assessed by judging their engagement with e-bike related events in the community, along with their reading of e-bike related books and a community trial. Smart technology was installed on the 35 e-bikes to collect data on how often the bikes were used and it was sent back to the University of Brighton team, who also conducted interviews and held group sessions with the study participants.
An e-bike looks similar to a conventional bike, but contains a rechargeable battery and motor, which is concealed within the bike’s design. The battery and motor can be used to help provide electrical assistance, so that it takes the pressure off the rider’s body. This is particularly useful on hills and when a rider may be tired. The e-bikes’ electrical assistance can get the e-bikes up to 25 km/h, then it cuts out and it will stop if the rider stops pedalling.
Why ride e-bikes?
E-bikes help make cycling easier and less intensive on the body. This encourages more people to take up cycling and to keep active, which improves people’s health, reduces congestion on the roads and reduces emissions. E-bikes particularly help and come into their own when cycling up hills, fighting wind resistance, on long rides and when potentially carrying extra weight. Due to e-bike riding being less intensive on the body they’re particularly good for older people, the inactive and people with physical limitations. They’re also very useful in the delivery industry in cities, where heavy goods can be ferried around quickly on cargo e-bikes. E-bikes are also a good option for workers who don’t want to arrive looking flustered and sweaty at work or for a meeting.
Is riding an e-bike still a good way of keeping fit and healthy?
The short answer, yes. You still have to pedal the e-bike at all times and that helps to increase your health and fitness. Although it is less intensive than riding a bike without electrical assistance, most people would still find it a moderate level of activity and, as a result, see health benefits by taking up e-cycling. Exercising is also proven to help improve people’s mental health and well-being.
Why ride an e-mountain bike?
E-MTBs work in the same way e-bikes do, but they’re designed to work on off-road terrain – just like a normal mountain bike is. The difference, of course, is that you have the benefit of electrical assistance. This helps you on tough climbs, gives you a boost to get over bobbly terrain and helps you to cycle on the trails for longer. In our opinion, making them very much worth the purchase.
E-MTBs allow you to reach areas you may not have been able to on a conventional mountain bike. Spending time in nature is also proven to boost mental health and well-being – riding with electrical assistance helps you to reach the countryside and wild spots more easily, particularly if you live in a built-up area.
E-MTB riding provides the same health benefits as normal e-bikes and helps to take more cars off the roads, reducing emissions as a result.
Looking at work undertaken in other European countries, there are a number of very successful initiatives elsewhere, which have helped to get more people riding e-bikes. The study found a number of key areas which the UK could introduce to encourage more people to begin cycling e-bikes:
- Cost – improving schemes to bring down the cost of riding an e-bike. These include, introducing or furthering e-bike hire schemes, introducing subsidies to reduce purchase costs or furthering the cycle-to-work tax break. All of these would reduce the barriers to entry and make it easier for more people to access e-bikes or afford them. If you couple this with more free e-bike trials it will encourage more people to begin cycling e-bikes.
- Integrated transport systems – designing a transport system which allows people to travel on various legs of their journey using various modes of transport. For example, riding an e-bike to a train or bus station from home, then being allowed to take the e-bike on the train or bus and then ride the e-bike to the office. Many European countries already do this very well. Providing secure e-bike storage at the end destination is also another important factor to prevent e-bikes being stolen and provide peace of mind.
- Smart technologies – encourage the use of apps which are integrated with e-bikes. Many people these days want to record ride data, share it and use it in different ways. Data collection is also useful for councils to further city planning, understand the population’s travel habits and improve Smart city projects.
- Subsidy schemes – a lot of time and money is being invested in electric car schemes, but e-bikes are much less financially intensive option to encourage more people to reduce their carbon emissions, while also helping to improve the population’s health and wellbeing.
EnergyPak E-bike Battery
Breeze through any ride with a state-of-the-art Liv EnergyPak battery. Liv’s innovations include: EnergyPak Smart, EnergyPak Smart Compact battery series, EnergyPak Side Release battery, and the EnergyPak Plus spare battery to pack along. Safety and efficiency remain our priority to keep you riding safely for long adventures.
Whether you want to ride another lap of your favorite trail, accelerate that climb, or commute in ultimate style, Liv’s EnergyPak Smart is your secret weapon for maximum capacity on longer rides. The EnergyPak Smart is well designed and smoothly incorporated into the bottom of the downtube to create a streamlined look and a compact profile that closely matches the design of standard bikes.
Charging the battery while it’s on or off the bike are both convenient options. The EnergyPak Smart offers Rapid charging, achieving 80% charge within 2 hours (EnergyPak Smart 500), or 2 hours 40 minutes (EnergyPak Smart 625). With additional waterproof protection and aluminum casing to dissipate heat, Liv EnergyPak Smart offers supreme safety in all conditions. EnergyPak Smart features a Battery Management System, which balances the charging and power supply by monitoring the whole or a portion of the EnergyPak battery. This increases battery life, efficiency, and optimizes charging performance.
New for 2021, the EnergyPak Smart holds 625Wh of battery capacity, and with the super-slim and lightweight design, makes the E-bike nearly indistinguishable from a nonelectric bicycle. Liv E-bikes are compatible for EnergyPak Smart upgrades from 400 to 500Wh, and from 500 to 625Wh.
INTEGRATED DESIGN: The EnergyPak Smart creates a minimalist downtube profile for a slim and appealing outlook.
SAFETY: The EnergyPak Smart monitors battery temperature for optimal safety, preventing overheating and extending battery life.
Smart CHARGING: Offers Smart charging with extremely Rapid charging possibilities that can reach over 80% of capacity in 2 hours 40 minutes (EnergyPak Smart 625 Wh). To extend battery life, the Smart charger is highly efficient and automatically adjusts voltage to improve the battery efficiency; plus charging can be done with the battery either on or off the bike.
EnergyPak Smart Compact
EnergyPak Smart Compact batteries are designed specifically for road E-bikes, to give you that streamlined, fully integrated look and a smaller, compact profile that closely matches the design of standard road bikes. On point with the current trends, the EnergyPak Smart Compact frames are also future proofed with an integrated design that meets the highest safety standards.
Charging the battery while it’s on or off the bike are both convenient options. The EnergyPak Smart Compact offers Rapid charging and gets the bike over 80% charged within 1.40 hours (EnergyPak Smart Compact 375) or 2 hours (EnergyPak Smart Compact 500).
With additional waterproof protection and aluminum casing to dissipate heat, Liv EnergyPak Smart Compact offers supreme safety in all conditions. EnergyPak Smart Compact features a Battery Management System, which balances the charging and power supply by monitoring the whole or a portion of the EnergyPak battery. This increases battery life, efficiency, and optimizes charging performance.
New for 2021, the EnergyPak Smart Compact holds either 500 or 375Wh of battery capacity, and with the super-slim and lightweight design, makes the E-bike nearly indistinguishable from a nonelectric bicycle. This battery provides a long lifespan of 1000 charge cycles with optimal usage. Liv E-bikes are compatible for upgrades from 375 to 500Wh EnergyPak Smart Compact batteries.
INTEGRATED DESIGN: The EnergyPak Smart Compact creates a minimalist downtube profile for a slim and appealing outlook.
SAFETY: The EnergyPak Smart Compact monitors battery temperature for optimal safety, preventing overheating and extending battery life.
Smart CHARGING: To extend battery life, the Smart charger is highly efficient and automatically adjusts voltage to improve the battery efficiency; plus charging is extremely Rapid and can be done with the battery either on or off the bike.
EnergyPak Plus battery backup is extremely lightweight and compact, and still has all the latest battery technology combined with an up-to-date design. Get after that epic ride or long commute with the EnergyPak Plus that takes away the worry of running out of battery when out on longer voyages. EnergyPak Plus offers 250Wh of additional capacity, which is a whopping 40% extended range for the bikes specified with the standard EnergyPak Smart 625Wh battery. In addition to being easy to remove, EnergyPak Plus has Smart charging, which allows it to charge to 80% in only 2 hours.
EnergyPak Side Release
Liv’s EnergyPak Side Release battery is innovative and future-proof. The EnergyPak Side Release lineup comes with an advanced 4A Fast Charger. EnergyPak Side Release battery features a Battery Management System, which balances the charing and power supply by monitoring the whole or a portion of the EnergyPak battery. This increases battery life, efficiency, and optimizes charging performance.
OPTIMIZED GEOMETRIES: The side release EnergyPak allows for a compact frame design so it makes it easier to get on and off the bike.
EASY HANDLING: EnergyPak Side Release design makes it easy to handle and remove the battery from the E-bike, plus the battery can be charged on or off the bike for convenience.
How Far Will My Liv E-Bike Take Me On Each Ride?
The range variations may depend on several circumstances, such as:
- Tire pressure / profile
How Long Does it Take to Charge?
Smart Charger (6A): Recharging batteries quickly is essential for getting back out to play in the great outdoors. Not only is Liv’s 6A Smart Charger is compatible with the EnergyPak Smart battery (625Wh, 500Wh, 400Wh), EnergyPak Smart Compact battery (500Wh, 375Wh), and EnergyPak Plus (250Wh), it is also the fastest way to charge and recharge. As batteries are used over many charging cycles, The Smart Charger will automatically adjust to changing battery conditions—such as low or high temperatures—by using a lower voltage so the cells are used more efficiently, extending battery life. When not using your bike for extended periods of time, set your Smart Charger to 60% storage mode with the touch of a button. This will save your battery for future use so you don’t have to fully recharge from zero before heading out for your next ride.
Fast Charger (4A): Charge your E-bike easily, whether back at home or even in the middle of the ride. Liv’s Fast Charger (4A) is lightweight enough to throw in a bag and charge the battery on or off the bike.
The Science of Energy: How E-Bike Batteries Work
If just 22% of urban passengers worldwide used e-bikes, emissions would be reduced 47%. That saves 128 trillion when compared to how we travel today, not to mention the positive effect on the environment.
In a world where burning fossil fuels impacts climate change, e-bikes offer an environmentally-friendly and economical mode of transport. E-bikes are changing the transportation game for cycling enthusiasts, but their maintenance takes a little more know-how than your traditional bicycle.
Whether you bought your e-bike already assembled or converted your everyday bicycle, one of the most important parts of your e-bike is its battery. But how do e-bike batteries work and what should you know about maintaining them?
In this guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know about your e-bike batteries so that you know what to look for when purchasing and maintaining your e-bike.
Small carbon footprint ebikekit
Why an Electric Bike?
Switching from the comfort of an automobile to using a bike means a lot more work to get around, right? Wrong. Using an e-bike reduces the amount of peddling you’d do on a traditional bike and, based on the e-bike you purchase, you can choose when to pedal and when to simply sit back and enjoy the ride.
Besides getting you out of your car and into the sunshine more often, e-bikes are also one of the most environmentally friendly forms of transportation currently available. Instead of burning fossil fuels to generate power, e-bikes use sustainable, rechargeable batteries.
Parts of an Electric Bike
E-bikes contain four key components: brakes, motor, frame, and battery.
Some e-bikes use regenerative braking. When you pedal or go downhill, the wheels power the motor and charge the battery.
This braking system is more helpful for heavy, high-velocity vehicles like electric cars that gain and lose a lot of kinetic energy when they start and stop. An e-bike works just fine with traditional bicycle brakes and regenerative brakes are often just an added cost.
E-bikes have compact electric motors that are usually placed into the hub of the back or front wheel. The electric motor determines whether your e-bike is full-power or power-assisted:
- Full-power: These e-bikes are best for people who want to pedal minimally and travel only short distances. The batteries are large and they also have powerful hub motors.
- Power-assist: These are also known as pedal-assist bikes. A power-assist e-bike is pedaled often and only use power when you need a break. Instead of hub motors, they have electric motors near the back wheel.
The frame of an e-bike is different than that of a traditional bicycle.
The frame is made from a light, aluminum alloy. How light your frame is will impacts how far you can travel before having to charge your battery (the heavier it is, the sooner you have to charge).
The spokes on an e-bike are made stronger than those on a traditional bike. Because the motor spins the wheels with a lot of torque, the typically thin and light spokes of an ordinary bike would bend or buckle.
Because they hold all the power that moves the bike, batteries are the most important part of an e-bike. Finding the right battery is balancing act between finding one that stores a lot of power without being too big and heavy for you to pedal with.
Many of the original e-bikes used lead-acid batteries. Typically used for starting cars, these batteries are cheap but extremely heavy. They also take far too much time to charge.
Today, most e-bikes use lithium-ion batteries. Similar to the batteries used in laptops and cell phones, these are lightweight, require little maintenance and last a lot longer than lead-acid or nickel-cadmium batteries.
Magdi’s LEED ebike conversion on a fat bike tandem. We really want to ride this. It looks awesome!#ebike #leedebike #ebikekit #ridelife #electricbike #ebikelife #bikelife #bikecommute #bicycle #tandembike #leed4fav
Understanding Volts, Amps, and Watts
These are commonly used terms that you’ll see listed on your e-bike battery pack. Here’s what they mean and why they’re important.
Volts are a measure of how fast electrons move. They determine the strength of electric power.
A high voltage e-bike goes faster. voltage equals more speed.
E-bike batteries can be found in voltages from 24V-72V, and manufacturers include this specification on their products because it gives you a good idea of how much power you’re getting for your money.
Amps, or amperes, measure force. In other words, the volume or quantity of electric power that can flow through.
Think of it this way: the wider a pipe is, the more water can flow through. Amps work the same way but they flow through wires. That’s why a battery with a high amperage requires thicker wires and larger batteries.
The combination of volts and amps are what give you watts. Volts multiplied by amps equals watts.
If you want to use the motor more than you want to pedal, look for a motor with a peak consumption of 600 watts or more. If you prefer to do most of the pedaling and only require the motor when you’re tired or need a break, you’ll only need a motor with a peak of 200 watts.
Amp Hours (Ah)
This measure tells you how many amps a battery can sustain for an entire hour.
The more amp hours, the more distance you get. Most e-bikes fall within a 10 to 20 amp hour range.
Watt Hours (Wh)
Although it’s not often provided, watt-hours combine volts and amp hours to determine the total energy of the battery.
In terms of your e-bike batteries, this is the most accurate measure of usable energy and how far you can travel on a full charge.
How Long Does a Battery Last?
Traveling between 10 and 20 mph, the range your battery provides will vary between 10 and 40 miles.
If you’re using a power-assist e-bike, you can expect an average of 40 miles. But of course, that depends on a number of factors that we’ll talk more about later.
Some e-bikes have an extended range battery that will provide between 30 and 60 miles, under the same conditions.
External Factors Affecting Range
There are a number of external factors that impact the range of your battery.
- Hills, headwinds, and heavy loads will decrease the range.
- An inefficient motor will lose energy and decrease your range.
- A well-maintained bike will go further. Keep your chain lubricated, check your tire pressure and make sure your bike is in good condition.
- Lower tire pressure will give you less range. Getting the optimal bike tire pressure, or at least close to what you need, is an art of its own.
- Pedal when you’re accelerating or climbing will help your battery last longer.
Is Bigger, Better?
When it comes to e-bikes, bigger isn’t necessarily better. Sure, a bigger battery can hold a charge longer but that means you have to pedal with the added weight and find a place to mount it.
Some e-bikes will claim to get 100 miles on a single charge. Claims that sound too good to be true usually are – a range of 100 miles would require a bulky, heavy battery.
Charging Your E-Bike Batteries
Besides having a fully charged battery before heading out on a trip, there are a number of tips to help you charge and care for your battery
- Your battery can be charged while it’s still attached to the bike for sake of ease. You can also remove your battery from its mount and charge it in a wall outlet. This method allows you to swap out your dead battery for a fully charged one.
- A lithium-ion battery takes anywhere from 4 to 6 hours to charge fully. It’s recommended that you allow your e-bike batteries to charge fully before use. Partially charging it more often than not can affect your battery life in the long term.
- Most e-bike batteries operate as Smart batteries. The power cell has a built-in management system that prevents under or overcharging. Thanks to this intelligent system, leaving your battery charging overnight won’t cause any damage to your battery.
- It’s really inexpensive to charge your e-bike batteries. It costs about 8 cents to charge it in your wall outlet.
Where Does the Battery Go?
When you get the right size battery and mount it properly, you don’t even notice that it’s there.
They can be mounted on the e-bikes rear rack or into a down tube of the bike frame itself.
Disposing of Your Battery
When your e-bike batteries die, and they eventually will, you can’t simply throw them away with your trash.
Less than 5% of lithium-ion batteries get recycled. Improper disposal can have negatives effects on the environment, such as releasing toxic gases and contributing to water pollution.
Disposing of your e-bike batteries properly is as easy as finding a recycling depot that receives batteries. Stores like Home Depot and Lowes often offer battery drop-off as well.
Finding the Battery for You
Depending on whether you have a power-assist or full-power e-bike, the kind of e-bike batteries you need will differ. You also need to consider the terrain you typically ride, the distance of your travel and how much extra weight you’re willing to carry.
Ready for a new battery? Check out all the e-bike batteries we carry and find one that’s perfect for your lifestyle.
The World of Smart eBikes
1 Комментарии и мнения владельцев
Is the Smart eBike Finally Here?
Cowboy are one of the new breed of tech-savvy e-bikes looking to make a real impact in area where other ‘Smart’ e-bikes have come and gone.
So, what’s a Smart e-bike? It’s really just shorthand for any e-bike that has some degree of wireless connectivity that lets you either import data that can be displayed on the e-bike, like a GPX route file, or allows you to access some of the digital parameters of the e-bike, for example, its motor performance characteristics.
The ‘Smart e-bike’ connected to the ‘internet of things’ has been talked about for years and there have been many concept e-bikes at trade shows boasting all sorts of functionality but these have rarely made it into the real world. But there are signs that the world of Smart e-bikes is finally starting to awaken.
Progress from the main mid-drive manufacturers could best be described as cautious but 2020 and 2021 e-bikes are now arriving with an increasing amount of connectivity, allowing you to use either your smartphone or other third-party wireless device like a bike computer and/or GPS unit to enhance the use of your e-bike.
modern Shimano mid-drives allow connectivity to either their E-tube Ride app or their E-tube Project app. The former wirelessly turns a smartphone into a bike computer which can then be attached to your handlebars to give real time metrics like speed, battery capacity and estimated range as well as allowing some limited downloadability of google maps which can be used for real time navigation. The latter allows rider modification of power settings on the fly:
E-tube Project also allows you to change the e-bikes performance characteristics like the automatic gear shift parameters Di2 automatically shifting hub gears or the power profiles on any Shimano Steps e-bike that can connect to the app.
Bosch have gone in a slightly different direction with display connectivity enhancements.
The standout product here is their new touchscreen Nyon display which they say ‘paves the way for a fully connected e-biking experience’. It won’t just appear on new e-bikes as there is certainly some degree of retrofitability depending on the age and model of your particular ‘Bosch bike’. There are all sorts of enhancements – think GPX file importation, Strava, Komoot, heart rate connectivity, detailed metrics on how much human power you are contributing (useful for fitness-minded riders). Note the Nyon has a GPX unit inbuilt too so there is no actual necessity to link it to your smartphone or any other device although that will obviously allow it to work with more data. There’s much more to the Nyon than this though, so if you have an hour to spare Propel e-bikes have the first Nyon unit in the US and are here to walk you through it all in detail:
In short, as Shimnao and Bosch demonstrate, connectivity could advance in two major areas; beaming more info onto your display from the internet but also allowing you more control over more features and of your e-bike. At the minute the manufacturers’ attention appears to be on customizing motor power output but future areas for personalization could include ABS braking performance and automatically adjustable suspension.
Stay Safe Secure the Smart Way
Both safety and anti-theft enhancements are also firmly on the horizon too.
The long slim bank of lights to the right of the display here is effectively a radar-activated early warning system showing vehicles approaching from behind. No more nasty surprises from silent electric cars sneaking up on you!
The Cannondale Navarro Neo 1 has a Garmin Varia radar unit built into the rear light and shows vehicles approaching from behind detect moving objects up to 140 metres behind you. These appear ‘virtually’ on the light bar mounted next to the Kiox display on your handlebars and so you can see vehicles approaching in real-time. Vehicles approaching at high speed will even be displayed in red to warn of a potentially dangerous situation. The rear light integrated with the radar unit also gets brighter the closer a vehicle gets in order to improve visibility and draw attention to you. Genius!
There are an increasing number of ‘electronic locks’ activated via your Smart phone that lock the motor in place to deter casual theft if you leave your bike outside whilst nipping into a shop for example – no one will be able to easily wheel it away. A variant on this tech is the latest Bosch ‘Kiox lock’ – Pay a one-time fee of € 9.99 and you’ll be able to link the display to your bike, meaning the motor will only work with exactly that Kiox display fitted. If thieves try to get the bike unlocked at a Bosch dealer, the bike will be immediately identifiable as stolen.
Smart City Slickers
Van Moof’s S3 and X3 were designed as fully connected urban e-bikes from the ground up and are proving popular.
It will be interesting to see how hi-tech e-bike manufacturers fare – that is those who have designed high-tech e-bikes from the ground up. Perhaps most notable are the new S3 and X3 models from Van Moof, launched in early 2020. They offer automatic shifting, in-built lights, anti-theft tracking and a proximity-based immobilizer. If sales and reviews continue to be positive – as appears to be the case – expect more and more tech to appear on more and more e-bikes designed as ‘fully-connected’ machines from the ground up. Crucially Van Moof have made this high tech relatively affordable at around US2000.
Cowboy have made greater app capability a cornerstone of their most generation of Smart e-bike
Belgian e-bike outfit Cowboy are also one Smart e-bike brand that appear to be going places as they are now onto their 3rd generation of single-speed city bike. Greater app capability has been made the cornerstone of their recent 3rd generation launch as the app now features:
- Automatic unlocking: no need to take the smartphone out of your. a proximity sensor unlocks the e-bike lock as soon as the owner is close enough.
- Theft alert: If someone tries to move or use the e-bike, the owner is automatically notified.
- Accident detection: Ability to register emergency contact who will be alerted if the owner has fallen down and did not report to the application that everything is fine.
- Air quality measurement: A new sensor allows the e-bike to detect, similar to how this is done in certain wearable watches, for example, the quality of the surrounding air.
Cowboy also offers an insurance product thanks to a partnership with Qover. For €8 per month, you can receive real-time notification whenever someone is trying to steal your bike and you’re insured against theft. For €10 per month, you’re also insured against damage.
Clearly simple, slick, city machines are the natural home for these ‘app heavy’ designs with minimalist hardware i.e. small motors and few or no gears that require no or minimal operation.
The Zehus system is an example of one of the more popular ‘all in one’ e-bike drive systems with wireless control at its heart. Currently it is offered as a single-speed only (though Zehus have been saying for some time they are working on a multi-gear system). Power level settings are wirelessly controlled via a neat and well-designed app that shows when motor assistance is provided and how much, indicated by a circular ‘power ring’ around the outside of the speedometer that grows and shrinks according to how much assistance is being given. When regenerative braking is activated it turns from green to blue. One of the four power modes is also customizable by the rider.
Zehus’s neat, minimalist app needs just one screen to show the system’s key info. Power levels can be controlled just by using either the smartphone or the bluetooth-linked wireless switch on the right – or both can be used in conjunction with each other
There are two real downsides to the system. The small 160Wh battery, a consequence of it having to fit into the hub, means limited range as does the fact it is a gearless motor (gearless motors are inherently less efficient than geared ones). Brands to use Zehus include Hummingbird, Cooper and Quella, as pictured below.
Quella’s stylish single-speed uses the simple Zehus all in-one-hub motor system with inbuilt wireless connectivity
Multi-Sensory Thrill Machines
Taking hi-tech integration to the nth degree still costs though, as Croation supercar manufacturers Greyp have demonstrated – their premium e-mtbs feature a built in eSIM which is on whenever the Greyp is running. With free 4G internet connectivity in more than 100 countries, gyroscopes, barometric pressure sensors, accelerometers, GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and a small processor running a custom Linux operating system this is a small computer on wheels.
The Greyp looks one of the best examples of how tech from different manufacturers can be made to work together to advantage the rider; for example, the GPS can even provide a real-time range estimation based on the battery remaining and the course the rider is planning to take. A wrist-strap heart rate monitor is also included as an accessory that modifies the motor output in real-time to maintain the rider’s desired heart rate – for example as part of a recovery plan for recuperating heart operation patients.
Greyp’s HD cameras are integrated into its lighting system.
The bike also features built-in front and rear wide-angle HD cameras. This really is an e-bike for the social media age; there is a dedicated sharing button on the bike’s handlebar controls so at the press of a button the system will automatically save the last 30 seconds of video and upload it to the rider’s social media account for sharing with their friends and followers. Additional data can be chosen for inclusion for overlay with the video, such as the bike’s energy usage or speed.
There’s much more detail in this Rob Rides video review:
You certainly get the feeling that truly connected e-bikes are still in their extreme infancy. Developments such as the rollout of 5G connectivity, simply meaning greater wireless speed and capacity, and the rise of graphene offering the tantalizing possibility of integrating almost organic like electrical conductivity into many more parts of the e-bike and even the riders’ clothes no doubt hold huge potential. If and how this potential will come to pass in the coming years will tell…
Stay tuned for more e-bike news and reviews and thanks for reading!
Комментарии и мнения владельцев
Too much crap! Maybe I’m a dinosaur but there are enough distractions for drivers that can’t leave their phones or connectivity alone. Add in distracted bike riders along with all the other hiding spots in a vehicle I cannot see any up side to having all this crap while you are wanting a simple riding experience. Keep It Simple for Stupid has worked for the past 100 years or so is still the most reliable technology around. By all means add Power Assists but keep the bells, whistles screens out of traffic.
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Urtopia Smart Carbon eBike Tested Reviewed By RV Travelers
Have you decided it’s time to get on the electric bike train and are looking for a high tech eBike that doesn’t weight 100lbs?
If you love innovative new tech and want a bike that isn’t just electric and lightweight, but also Smart, this might be the one for you.
First off, I want to clarify that the Urtopia carbon one e-bike is very much a street bike and not something you want to be riding on trails or a lot of dirt roads.
As RVers, we use bikes on a lot of different roads and trails.
Sometimes ride on dirt roads and mountain bike trails, and other times we cruise around cities and towns.
When we boondock, it’s pretty much just dirt roads and trails. So if you are a boondocker, this might not be the best option for you.
But over the past year, we’ve spent a lot more time camping in RV parks. Last year we wintered in a small beach town in Texas.
I rode my bike around the town on paved roads every day. The Urtopia e-bike would have been fantastic in that area.
From an RVers perspective, there are a lot of pros to this carbon fiber electric road bike, especially because it’s one of the lightest eBikes on the market today, weighing only 33 lbs.
In this review, I’ll go over the features of this unique bike and our experience testing it in different conditions and weather.
For many RVers and travelers, this could be the lightweight electric bike option they’ve been waiting for.
Urtopia Carbon One eBike Features
The most impressive and biggest pro to the Urtopia e-bike is the weight.
Most electric bikes weigh anywhere from 40 to 80 lbs, but the Urtopia Carbon One is only 33 lbs.
That’s the same weight as the mountain bikes we have now.
How did Urtopia make an ebike that’s so lightweight?
It wasn’t by sacrificing motor power and battery size. It’s the carbon fiber frame.
Carbon fiber is a popular material for road bikes. It’s lightweight, super strong, absorbs vibrations, and even has a little flex for road bumps.
The type of carbon fiber the Urtopia’s frame is made of is carbon fiber silk mixed with high polymer resin.
If the same frame was made of steel, it would actually be weaker than the carbon fiber equivalent and much heavier.
I have never seen a bike that looks like the Urtopia Carbon One.
The frame has a unique shape, and an integrated screen built right into the handlebars.
When combined with the vibration and shock absorbing carbon fiber material, it offers a smoother ride than you might think.
But the design has one caveat. The max weight capacity is only 240 lbs. That means no hauling cargo, and not everyone can ride it.
Screen Smart Integration
There’s a bright LED screen built into the center of the handlebars.
This is where you see information like your speed, the motor assistance level, a battery bar, and GPS directions.
The screen shows a very simple and almost retro dot matrix. It’s very easy to see when riding, so you don’t get distracted.
On the left handlebar, there’s a toggle pad with 4 arrows.
Up increases pedal assistance, down decreases assistance, and it’s also how you turn off the bike.
Left is for the left blinker and turning on the lights. Right is for the right blinker and it also can put the bike into walk mode.
On the right side of the handlebar, there’s a large button. It’s actually a fingerprint scanner that you can set up so only you can turn on the eBike.
It’s also a bell and if you hold it down it turns on the voice control mode.
With voice control, you can tell the bike to do everything the toggle on the left can do.
One not talked about enough feature the Urtopia has, which is invaluable to travelers and RVers who are often exploring new areas, is the navigation feature on the screen.
If you use the map on the Urtopia app when your bike is connected to your phone via Bluetooth, the screen will actually tell you where to go.
It’s pretty intuitive and it will tell you how many feet you should ride before turning, when you should turn, and if you should turn around.
It’s very simple and not as distracting as a phone GPS, which is better for cycling.
Note that this requires a smartphone that supports the Urtopia app. The bike cannot do this on its own.
The battery fits and locks into the bottom bar on the frame of the ebike. It clicks into place perfectly and can only be removed with a key.
It’s a lithium ion battery with 360wh capacity.
The charger can be used when the battery is removed, or still installed on the bike.
It uses fast charging and can charge fully charge the battery in 2.5 hours
These are the distances Urtopia advertises for each assistance mode.
- Eco Mode – 75 miles
- Comfort Mode – 50 miles
- Sport Mode – 31 miles
- Turbo Mode – 25 miles
250 Watt Motor
Since the Urtopia is an urban e-bike, they didn’t go extra fancy with the motor.
Instead of a central motor like what you would find on a gravel or dirt electric bike, the Urtopia has a rear hub motor.
This could be a deal breaker for some, but for paved roads, the rear motor manages very well.
Why a rear motor?
One reason Urtopia went with the rear motor is aesthetics.
This bike is all about the design. It doesn’t look like an e-bike, and not putting the motor in the frame allowed them to keep the slim design.
The motor is a standard 250 watt, which you will find in a lot of other e-bikes, but the torque is pretty low.
A standard ebike has a torque rating of 50-60 nm, but the Carbon one only offers up to 35 nm of torque.
35 nm is a low number, but if you consider that the bike weighs a lot less than a regular ebike, and has a more aerodynamic design, the extra torque isn’t as necessary.
Honestly, I could write an entire book about all the features this ebike has, but to keep it short I’m going to list some of the other notable features of the Urtopia Carbon One.
If you want more in-depth information, check out Urtopia’s website.
- Bright Headlight
- Rear Brake/Visibility Light
- Left Right Indicator Lights (For Night Riding Only)
- Carbon Belt (Instead of a traditional bike chain)
- One gear
- Torque Sensor
- App (has a ton of extra features and can help you customize your ebike even more)
- Bluetooth Speaker (mostly for voice control but can also play music)
- 20 mph Max Speed (USA Version)
Testing the Urtopia Carbon One eBike
We haven’t made it south for the winter yet, so we had to test this fun little eBike in colder temperatures.
It was just slightly above freezing whenever we took it for test rides.
Most of the range estimates are made in warmer temperatures when the battery performs better.
I thought it would be interesting to test its performance in cold weather.
A lot of people I’ve talked to who are considering getting an eBike for commuting have talked about riding even when it’s cold out.
So even though most people are warm weather riders, it could still be interesting for some to see how well an e-bike does in the cold.
Turbo Mode Test
I mostly used turbo mode when riding the Urtopia e-bike.
In turbo mode, the bike tries to hold the max speed with basically no pedaling required.
There’s zero resistance on the pedals, so I just pedal as slowly as possible.
It feels so weird because I’m basically doing nothing and the bike is maintaining 20 mph the whole time.
When you stop moving the pedals, the motor stops pushing so you can coast around corners.
Because this is a Class 1 pedal assist eBike, the pedals have to be in motion for the motor to turn on.
Class 2 and 3 e-bikes have a lot more rules around them and can’t always be used in the place of a regular bike like a Class 1 e-bike.
That’s why it can be a good thing when an e-bike doesn’t have a regular throttle and the pedals have to stay in motion.
Going up hills
The only time it required some pedal assistance was when I was riding up hills.
I’m pretty small, and even on super steep hills, the bike could maintain 8 mph with regular pedaling.
I just let the motor do its thing and the resistance felt similar to pedaling a regular bike on a level road.
There are no gears, so it can get pretty difficult to pedal, especially if you start on a hill and don’t have time to build momentum before.
What about bigger people?
When Jesse and a friend of ours tried the bike on the same super steep hill, it was a different story.
The motor was not able to assist them up the hill without lots of pedaling.
But when they kept their momentum and continued to pedal all the way up the hill, the motor was a big help.
We were testing the Urtopia on the kind of hill any cyclist wouldn’t want to ride up.
But even with no gears, the Carbon One e-bike made it easy to get to the top, even for the guys who were a little bigger and needed to pedal more than I did.
No one broke a sweat getting to the top.
Following the GPS
One huge pro to the Urtopia for travelers and RVers is the navigation on the screen.
You don’t need to mount your phone on the handlebars to help you get somewhere you’ve never been before.
The screen navigation is very simple, and it worked great every time I used it.
It told me how many feet I needed to go straight or how long until the next turn.
There was a warning turn about 50 feet before and another arrow for when I needed to turn.
When I went the wrong way, it told me to turn around.
When I kept going the wrong way, it readjusted just like map apps do and found a different route for me.
The map feature in the Urtopia app is really easy to use.
All you have to do is make sure the bike is connected via Bluetooth and the instructions will automatically show up on the bike screen.
Cycling at Night
Since the left and right indicator lights can only be seen when it’s dark, we had to do a little night cycling to test them out.
The headlight was surprisingly bright, and I didn’t feel like I needed any extra lighting to see where I was going.
The rear brake/visibility light that’s attached to the seat post is very bright and easy for others on the road to see.
When you aren’t using the blinkers, the lights still shine down on the ground to give you extra visibility.
Can the blinkers replace hand signals?
I don’t know how easily people in cars will see the blinker projections because they might not be looking at the ground next to you.
I would still use hand signals and caution when turning, but it’s a cool addition.
One funny thing I noticed when using them is if you turn off the blinker by pressing on the same button you used to turn them on, the light goes out.
But if you turn off the blinker using the down arrow, the light stays on.
Urtopia Carbon One eBike Review
I’ve tested a few eBikes before, and my major complaint is the extremely heavy weight.
Most ebikes aren’t as maneuverable as regular bikes. When riding in traffic and turning sharp corners, they aren’t comfortable to me.
But the Urtopia eBike has really fixed that issue. Since I’m used to a bike that weighs around 30 lbs, it doesn’t feel that different from a regular bike.
The thin road tires took a little getting used to, and the carbon frame seems like it’s fragile, but you start to realize it’s more durable than you think.
There are some things that are given up for the design and weight. Like the rear hub motor instead of a central one, and no gears.
For street cyclists who mainly stay in urban areas and on paved roads, this could be one of the best options out there.
The Smart features, how useful are they?
I like the features that make this bike seem “Smart”, although I didn’t use them all on every ride.
Extra features like being able to unlock the bike with my fingerprint, using the bike speaker as a bluetooth speaker, and using a voice assistant to control things are cool, but not necessary to enjoy this e-bike.
The voice assistant didn’t work very well while I was riding. It had trouble understanding me unless I was standing still. Most likely because of wind noise.
The fingerprint reader worked great, and this is something I would use if I rode the bike every day and left it locked up somewhere.
Using the speaker as a Bluetooth speaker works great for directions if you’re using Google or Apple maps, but it’s not great for music.
I really like the screen, I think the dot matrix style is really cool and very easy to see.
The speedometer works well, and it was easy to change from kph to mph in the app.
The carbon frame does a good job of absorbing some road bumps and vibrations.
It’s a much smoother ride than a similar ebike with a metal or aluminum frame.
What I Like
- It feels like a regular bike and isn’t hard to pedal when the motor isn’t on.
- The design looks really cool and unique.
- A carbon belt means no more rusty bike chains.
- I can easily carry it. So I can put it in the back of a car or on the RVs platform bike rack myself.
- Is light enough for most bike racks.
- Super easy to set up out of the box.
- App is easy to use and understand, with lots of custom settings and features.
- Turbo mode requires almost no pedaling.
What I Don’t Like
- Might be hard to find a shop that can fix or tune it up.
- The low torque motor isn’t as good for heavier people.
- You can’t adjust the handlebars
- Low weight capacity really limits cargo options.
- No kickstand or water bottle holder is included.
Have questions about the Urtopia Carbon One eBike? Leave a comment below.
Jenni grew up in a small town in Idaho. With a family that loves camping, she has been towing trailers since a very young age.