Tag: Electric Bikes

Yike Bike in Ottawa

Yike Bike in OttawaIn March 2013, we wrote a post about the new Yike bike, invented by an engineer in New Zealand.  You can read the full post by clicking on the following link, click here.  We came across another interesting article about this new and unique bike and wanted to post some of the comments that we read and listen to about this bike.

The cost was about $2400 Canadian and it the rider in the city of Ottawa Ontario Canada was turning lots of heads as people saw this bike for the first time.  It is so much different than any other vehicle on the road and many people were wondering what was, operated and what it was like to ride.

Yike Bike in Ottawa

The big question that was posted in this particular article was what kind of vehicle is this new bicycle classed as and would it be allowed to be driven on bicycle paths. The original writer of this latest article asked the question, but a bylaw officer whether this bike would be allowed on bicycle paths in the city of Ottawa.  The answer was quite surprising since this is obviously a two wheeled bicycle with power.

He reviewed all of the bylaws that the city of Ottawa has and came to the conclusion that this place a call is closer to a motorcycle than it is to an actual bicycle.    It is electrically driven, has brakes, lights, signal lights, and can fold up into the size of a small suitcase.  This vehicle was actually closer to a motorcycle that was to bicycle.  Motorcycles are not allowed to be driven on bike paths and therefore this new Yike bicycle would not be allowed on bicycle paths at the present time in the city of Ottawa Ontario Canada.

The city planners are going to have to enact new bylaws for this bike but it will take another year or two of review and assessment before they will get around to doing that. In the meantime this writer will continue to use his bike on the city’s roads, ordering all of the proper safety gear such as a bicycle helmet, and proper clothing.

The neat thing about this bike called the Yike bike is that it folds up into a small suitcase which can be carried in the trunk of your car carried into the office or even onto the train for commuting in another city.  Like all vehicles that do not have protection for the writer, riding in inclement weather may not be the most exciting.  We will keep watching for more posts about this particular invention they came from New Zealand.


Electric Bike – The Elf

Electric Bike The ElfThe Electric Bike The Elf: an ovoid, semi-enclosed, solar-chargeable, plug-in, bike-lane-legal, electric pedal car.  What a mouthful, but that is how they describe this new bike that is available for commuters in cities. With a 1-hp (750-watt) electric motor in the rear wheel hub and a lithium battery pack, or two, snuggled into the center frame rail aft of the front wheels—and a plastic canopy to keep the weather off drivers—the Elf proposes a solution for urban commuters!

Imagine riding to work in this modern vehicle. It is a show stopper and could actually cause accidents when car drivers are too busy looking at the bike and not where they are going. Never the less this could be the answer to many commuters problems of dealing with the elements and whether they should ride, walk or drive to work. you can see from the picture that the rider / driver is sitting in much the same position they would if they were in a car. It appears to be much more comfortable than someone on a regular bike and they also have some protection from the elements.

Electric Bike The Elf – What About Parking

We wonder if this vehicle will have to pay for parking. Although technically a bike, they do take up more space than an ordinary bike and may have to pay for a parking space that would normally be occupied by a car. Before you purchase one of these, we suggest you determine f you will need to pay for that parking spot and whether it is worth it or not. Paying for an expensive parking spot changes the entire economics of riding a bike to work. If your main objective is just not to use your car, then it is a non issue. On the other hand if your plan is to save money, you may not be saving as much as you had hoped.

You just cannot pull up to a regular bike stand, lock this vehicle to the stand and walk away. There is simply not enough room for very many of these without preventing many other bike riders from using the traditional bike stand.  Anytime one of these bikes takes a regular parking spot, whether it is in a parking garage or a parking spot on the street, the owners of the garage or the city meter readers are going to demand a parking fee!  Parking is definitely something that needs to be taken into account and planned for if this particular bike is seriously considered.


Yike Bike Review

Would you ride around on a Yike Bike? The picture on the left shows a man in Paris France riding or rather sitting on this electric bike traveling around the city. It does not look really that comfortable to sit on, never the less it could be useful for traveling around the city. When you are finished using it or get to where you want to go, it folds into a small space easy for carrying and storing. In our research we did not come across the weight of the Yike Bike so do not know just how heavy this is to carry around. You certainly would not want to have to carry it very far if you are out shopping or going to work. I think they should find something that is more comfortable to ride on as well. We have listed the specs below for the Yike Bike and comments we found from several people to give you a perspective on what people think about the bike who have actually tried it. If you have comments on the Yike Bike from personal experience, we would love to hear about it. Let us know if you think this will be something that will catch on!

The Technical Specs for the Yike Bike

The specs for this bike at the time of writing this post were as follows:

  • 10 km range for the battery, extra batteries can take you further
  • Battery recharge in 50 minutes with optional fast charger
  • Top speed is 23 km/hour
  • Electric brushless DC motor
  • Brakes are electric, anti skid and regenerative
  • Power is 450 watts
  • Wheel size is 20 inch font and 8 inch back
  • Hi visibility built in LED
  • Folds to a compact 43 liters in size
  • Fold time can be done in 15 to 20 seconds

We actually saw this bike on a program called storage wars where one of the buyers found a Yike bike in a storage locker that he bought. When he had it evaluated, the value was estimated to be approximately $4000, which seemed pretty high. A quick search on the web found prices to range from $2500 to $3500 depending on the bike and the accessories that were purchased with it.

Feedback from Users

On the company’s web site there were glowing reports from users who absolutely love their bikes and find them easy to use and to be perfect for getting around town including folding them down and going on public transit systems. Regular bikes are pretty difficult to use and  travel on public transit systems. Other reviews mentioned that there is no kick stand so you have to basically lay the machine down when it is not being used or lean it against something when not in use. Also there was no mention of how easy or difficult it is to clock this bike to something. They would be easy to walk away with and you really need to make sure that you lock them up adequately.

Learning to ride is a bit difficult since you are essentially sitting on a seat that is located on the handlebars. Balancing takes a bit of getting used to. Users report that it might take 30 minutes to get used to the idea of riding on a yike bike. The maximum speed one user was able to get to was 13.5 km’s and not the full speed of 15 km’s.

Like a regular bike there is no cushioning when you go over bumps etc. in fact with smaller wheels you may even feel the bumps even more so. You will need to carry the charger with you or purchase a second one to keep at another location if you use it for commuting.

All in all it is a neat piece of technology and will appeal to a specific set of people and application. We are not sure that it will catch on as a means of transportation. Perhaps more in Europe where bikes in general are more accepted particularly as a commuter vehicle but not so much in North America where the car is still king. If you have one let us know what you think.


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