|More electronics are set to invade your "bicycle", if the Industry has its way.|
Because Europe is mad for electronics in their bicycles. Specifically anything with two wheels and a motor masquerading as a bicycle is making huge inroads to the market share in places like Germany, where it is estimated that next year the e-bike sales will account for 65%-75% of the cycling marketplace. That should be about 700,000 plus units alone for 2018. For comparison, the latest statistics I could find for the US e-bike market claimed about 140,000-150,000 units were sold in 2016.
Traditional, "mechanical" cycling is on the ropes, so says the marketing and industry rags in Europe. The claim is that within the very near future all bicycles will be packed with ECU's running hundreds of codes which, if true, will radically alter cycling as we know it today.
Since the traditional cycling media isn't ready to chase electrified, ECU packed two wheeled vehicle news here, you are not going to see a lot of "news" coming from Eurobike. Not that there isn't anything in the realm of non-electrified news happening. It just isn't deemed the future anymore. To wit- a trade mag from Europe states that Germany's traditional bike market is down 8.5% for 2017, and the forecast is bleak going forward. FYI- Typically Germany is seen as the barometer of cycling for Europe, so keep that in mind.
|They are going to have to work a mid drive motor into this logo for "The Future".|
Check out the following:
"The new EX1 components’ ace up the sleeve is their design that relies on one front chain ring and eight rear sprockets. The American components manufacturer uses the space that is saved by this design to invest in a broader chain and gears made of hardened tool steel that can better deal with the forces at work on an e-bike than conventional bike components can."
So, heavier components that can handle higher torque and power, eh? Okay, but there is more. Check out the following, which is a passage about a new e-bike rated suspension fork.
" The result is a suspension fork in an optically unconventional upside-down design that, with its especially robust construction, offers an alternative to the intrinsically higher weight of e-mountain bikes."
Knowing what we have learned over the years about "upside down fork" technology, it can easily be assumed that this new e-bike rated fork is not only "especially robust", but heavier than all get out. It has to be to deal with torsional forces generated by not just mountain biking, but the "intrinsically higher weight" of these electric motorcycles.
Finally, Continental, who are much bigger into automotive electronics than they are tires, has developed a combined motor and gearbox for the e-bike market. You know- like a motorcycle? Yes. Just like a motorcycle, because the efficiencies necessary for human powered movement are secondary to the design.
I've been saying this all along, but what we are actually witnessing is the bicycle morphing in to a electrified personal transportation unit that will not be primarily human powered or have any means at all to be human powered. Basically this is the same progression of events witnessed in the early 20th Century with the internal combustion engine and bicycles. The result then was motorcycles, which then shed their useless pedals. Who would ever want to, or even could pedal, such heavy machines? So the pedals were shed. The same will happen again with electric motors. What we end up calling this machine doesn't matter, the point is, it is no longer a bicycle.
And that is the real news out of Eurobike.