Electric Carbon Bike Attacks Tokyo

AkihabraNews.com, which covers all things related to the Japanese electronics district of Akihabra has information about a bike that we think would be a game-changer here in the states.

eneloop.jpg

Photo: Akihabaranews.com

Carbon fiber and an electric assist motor, the Sanyo bike is under the Eneloop brand (someone should really give a translation-hand to Japanese companies) the bike, according to the article, is two-wheel drive. I’m not sure that’s accurate–I don’t see how that front hub could provide the torque to do what the rear chain drive is doing, but it does seem that the front hub provides things like traction control through a (very small) motor. There are several different riding modes all managed through a backlit LCD controller.

The lithium-ion power source and drive system looks much smaller than things we’re used to seeing, and the fact that they decided to pack this into a carbon bike is astounding.

A second bike from the company lacks the carbon construction and front wheel drive, but has the benefit of being foldable.

No word on pricing and whether the bike will be coming to the states, but this is the kind of thing that could change a lot of commutes.

Hat tip to Abio Bikes.



3 Comments

Check out the Currie Izip enlightened e-bikes. Lithium batteries conceled in the frame, full 24 speed derailleur drive train and a very small but powerful rear hub motor. At first glance, you would have a hard time knowing it’s electric.

http://www.currietech.com/currie-technologies-izip-trailz-enlightened-for-men-electric-bike.php

I read about the sanyo system regenerating power on the down hills but it seems to have very minimal benefit. The Currie bikes seem to be better engineered for the US market.

I’m a bit confused by this carbon fiber frame ebike. I commute via an ebike now, its pretty damn heavy, but not because of the frame (which is aluminum). The reason I suppose for going to this level of tech, carbon fiber and all, is to nurse as much performance as you can while still staying below the regulatory definition of a bicycle. Is that it?

Anyhow, I’d love to see more, like how they market this thing. Even with the relative (to this) primitive technology of my current ebike, I have to admit to some embarrasment. Really, I try hard to fit in on the bike trail, pass with consideration, slow down when I should, etc. I’m not sure what I’d do with the kind of performance gains this bike would likely yield. Who is supposed to buy this? Commuters who really want to trace the edges of ebike as bike?

I really like my ebike, but it sure isn’t a racing bike. Carbon fiber and commuter (how I think of my ebike) seem like a strange combo.

It is a very clean looking machine, and if I had a chance to ride one I’m sure I’d have a blast.

http://www.finchannel.com/Main_News/Tech/SANYO_Releases_Two_Additional_"eneloop_bike"_Electric_Hybrid_Bicycles/

according to this article, “two wheel drive” means that the front is electrically driven, and the back is pedal driven. However, there must be some kind of sensor on the back wheel to detect wheelspin, which is supposedly mitigated by extra power to the front.

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