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E-Bike News Jan 19 2024E-Bike News Jan 19 2024

FIM, the governing body for international motorcycle racing, is starting a new e-bike racing series that will take place in city centers featuring men and women racing—for equal money; prosthetic maker Quorum has adapted their patented lattice technology into a new adjustable saddle for e-bikes; the French military is testing e-bikes for use in combat situations; Engwe has introduced a new commuter, the P275, their most sophisticated e-bike to date. The Bicycle Coalition of Maine has called upon the state to expand rebates for e-bikes.

In this week’s e-bike news:

  • FIM launches e-bike race series to showcase sustainable mobility
  • Quorum introduces the Flex Saddle that allows user adjustability
  • The French army has begun testing the use of e-bikes and e-motorcycles
  • Engwe launches new model, the P275
  • Maine Bike Coaltion asks Efficiency Maine to expand e-bike rebates

FIM launches e-bike race series to showcase sustainable mobility

The governing body for motorcycle racing, Federation Internationale de Motorcyclisme—better known as FIM, has announced a new e-bike race series meant to showcase sustainable transportation. Ten teams made up of six riders each will compete on courses in major city centers around the world. Each team will be made up of three men and three women; they will compete separately, but will be awarded equal points relative to their finishing position.The race’s victor will come down to which team scores the most points, which means that the women’s race will be every bit as important as the men’s race. The men and women will be awarded equal prize money.

How a race series can demonstrate the viability of e-bikes, we’re not certain, but they aren’t wrong about e-bikes being a big part of the future of sustainable mobility. The racing sounds exciting. Each course will measure between 2.5km (1.5 mi.) and 5km (3.1 mi.) and will feature steep hills that are referred to as Power Zones. With fields of just 30 riders (30 for the men and 30 for the women, it will be impossible for any team to control the action, which should make for explosive racing. And with such small fields, it will be difficult to hide until the end of the race with the intention of contesting the final sprint.

So far, the only host locations announced are Dubai and South Korea.

Quorum introduces the Flex Saddle that allows user adjustability

Quorum Flex SaddleQuorum Flex Saddle

How do you make a saddle more comfortable? Quorum, a company that makes prosthetic limbs has adapted their patented technology into a saddle design that is adjustable. Two “towers” in the saddle can be raised or lowered by turning a dial under the nose of the saddle. The towers themselves are replaceable, depending on how much support the rider needs. The towers are made of a TPU lattice.

The saddles are not yet in the market, but Quorum has formed a company, Windsor Saddle Co.that will sell the saddles; they have a waitlist that interested buyers can add their name to.

To adjust the saddle, users can turn a reel, similar to the Boa dial seen in many cycling shoes, to adjust the height of the towers.

The French army has begun testing the use of e-bikes and e-motorcycles

French military introduces ebikesFrench military introduces ebikes

As armed forces adapt to 21st-century technologies, some militaries have begun investigating the use of e-bikes by their combat forces. The French military is the latest to announce that they have began testing an e-bike as well as an e-motorcycle.

Working with French e-bike maker LMX, French forces have been testing two models. The e-bike is the LMX 56, a Class 3 e-bike with a top speed of 28 mph (45kph). The LMX 56 is no ordinary Class 3 e-bike; it features a mid-drive motor that produces 175Nm of torque and maximum power of 2500W; it is powered by a 1000Wh batter and uses a full-suspension design.

The e-motorcycle they are testing is the LMX 161, which has a top speed of 50 mph (80kmh) and weighs only 99 lbs. (45kg).

Engwe launches new model, the P275

new Elephant P275 e-bikenew Elephant P275 e-bike

English e-bike brand The elephant is introducing an upscale commuter called the P275. Until now, Engwe has focused on the value-end of the market, with models that have retailed for less than $2000. The new P275 takes a step up in its features.

The aluminum-framed commuter will come in both a traditional frame as well as a step-thru version. It’s powered by a 250W Bafang mid-drive motor with torque sensor; it will produce 70Nm of torque. Powering the motor will be a 672Wh battery, which Engwe says should provide up to 93 mi. (150km) per charge. The battery fits in a bright orange sleeve behind the seat tube.

The P275 will feature hydraulic disc brakes and a choice of either a 9-speed Shimano drivetrain or an internally geared hub with Gates belt.

According to Engwe, the P275 should be available in April and is said to retail for $2500.

Maine Bike Coaltion asks Efficiency Maine to expand e-bike rebates

Bike Coalition of MaineBike Coalition of Maine

When it comes to energy efficiency initiatives, one of the most cost-effective incentives that state agencies offer is for e-bike rebates. A $1000 rebate can make the difference between someone being able to afford an e-bike, or not; studies have shown that the typical electric car buyer will buy that car with or without any rebate.

It is with that in mind that the Bicycle Coalition of Maine has called upon Efficiency Maine to expand who is eligible for e-bike rebates. Efficiency Maine is a quasi-state agency that typically funds organizations that serve low-to-moderate-income residents, such as public housing agencies and food banks.

Currently, e-bike rebates can only be secured through agencies they fund. The Bicycle Coalition of Maine has urged Efficiency Maine to begin offering rebates directly to individuals who are eligible.

“It is a good program [and] we’re happy that they went with it,” said Jean Sideris, the executive director of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine. “However, we are disappointed that it didn’t include an individual rebate because we’ve seen that [approach] be very successful. It’s just a more direct way to help people access these e-bikes, rather than having to go through a service organization.”

Efficiency Maine has yet to roll out a statewide program. Their pilot initiative has been funded with $50,000. You can learn more about Efficiency Maine’s pilot program here.

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