i've been in lust with the segway ever since its much-hyped reveal, and a few months ago i finally got to ride one, and OMG, it was wonderful. so responsive and intuitive. it was truly as cool as i had imagined it to be, for once the hype wasn't actually too much. but the price tag is still prohibitive ( tl;dr -- how did i get here )
fortunately, enterprising souls have indeed come up with modern electric motors for bikes. and i am now the proud owner of a 2013 norco plateau with a PL350 bionX electric hub motor and a sleek lithium-ion battery good for about 40km of assisted pedalling.
i'm in love.
this takes the pain out of biking for me, and just leaves the fun. everything on the bike is easy to adjust, and the gear train is so smooth, shifting 21 gears is almost enjoyable.
[*] the tale of actually trying out and buying a bike is a tale of businesses who apparently don't want our money.
( embark with me on the long and winding road... )
they'll never know it, but this is a cautionary tale for small, local businesses -- we bought just one bike now, but we will buy another one probably come next spring. i am kinda loyal to anyone who does a good job for me the first time i deal with them, so even if it means vancouver again (that adds $$ to the purchase because it means 1-2 return ferry trips for 2 with the truck), we're much more likely to return there. we definitely won't go back to the locals who had crap service the first time. also, just because once upon a time the early electric systems were fiddly and possibly not worth the effort doesn't mean the state of the art stands still. today's systems are pretty easy to install and maintain, so as a dealer it's silly to be a luddite. especially with the weird legal state for new, alternate, electric transportation, pedal-assisted electric bikes are not in such murky waters as long as the electric motor is speed-limited.