The Mystery of Electric Assist #1


The Mystery of Electric Assist 

– or –

Mechanical doping could make your life better. Alan Scholz, Cofounder/designer of Bike Friday & Burley Design

I have watched bicycle assist systems be innovated since the 1970s. Back then they were little wheel drive gasoline motors. Noisy, dirty and to me as a cyclist not at all attractive. They did not do well. A couple of years ago customers started talking to me about their interest in electric assist. I have been watching the development of battery systems for bicycles for about 20 years now but the ones I had seen or tried were still lacking to my sense of matching a bicycles quiet elegance & filling needs that I understood.

But then I started designing a cargo bike system optimized for women to compliment and improve on my many years of trailer design work. (I invented the Burley Bike Trailers for my own kids.) Near the same time customers finally were able to make me understand that there were all these other potential values in having a boost.

And then the frosting. Professional cyclists began showing up in the news “mechanical doping”! That my friends means the electric assist has come of age when it can be stealthed into the echelon. Wow! You need to get some of this for yourself. I know I want some. Small, quiet, light. All the things necessary to help in our evolution towards being cyborgs. Don’t be offended. Even eye glasses make you a cyborg. It just means a mechanically enhanced human. We all like enhancements. Right?

The challenge I found was that the field of electric assist is confusing! In 2013 I started my in-depth education. What I learned was the electric assist was quite viable addition to our individual needs and also gave an experience that I found as a real surprise to me. I also found that true assist was only a small part of the potential and that it came with a lot of confusion. Many folks in North America are in a similar place to me about electric assist. Interested to very interested but not sure of the best way to proceed for a positive result in both the cost and the experience.

So here is my venture into become capable of walking this wide exhilarating confusion of innovation going on. I hope it will help you understand how it could make you more powerful and be part of the climate change solution while making your home economy significantly better.

Subjects that I will cover while serializing how my education & expertise developed with battery boosting:

Dope like a pro – Cyborgs are us, Human assist or Electric assist?,
iral Ephemeralization – things have changed,
Surprise! – Better motivation gives better exercise, 
It feels good to fool yourself,
Batteries, Its all about control, keeping it light – thats heavy!, cost rationalization,
Keeping up is great – Climb with the best,
Getting older & faster is real,
Improving your outgoing reputation, C
limate Change fighters,
Solarizing your ride – the sun is not just for vitamin D,

Isn’t saving the climate all of our responsibility?, Climate change heroes are good looking,
Your grand kids will love you – your kids still need a good example set,
Education can be expensive or cheap – save a bundle,

Now you can take it with you – flying with an electric assist bicycle – a new Bike Friday exclusive,
Electrify your Bike Friday – I can show you how,
Better than an electric car – a 50% solution at a 95% discount,

6 Responses

  1. Very interested in getting more info. I have had some cardiac issues in the last few years and although now ok, an assist bike may be in my future.

    1. Absolutely, we’re happy to share more info with you. One of our design experts will reach out to you to make themselves available as a resource- you can ask whatever questions you’d like, we’re here to help!

  2. More than half way through my 7th decade (God…when did that happen?) and electric assist is starting to sound pretty good.
    We bought a new Family Tandem last summer, and would like to ride it “right up to the end!”

    1. Time flies when you’re having fun, so you must be having a lot of it! Electric assist is pretty gosh darn cool, it sort of makes you feel like super man while you’re riding. We’d love to chat more with you about your plans to convert your tandem, one of our design experts will reach out via email, feel free to ask them whatever you’d like to know about electric assist!

      Great to hear from you Joseph!

  3. hi there, i happen to find one Rare Honda Step Compo UB10 electric Folding bike in a Garage sale in our neighborhood, i charge the Battery , tested & it run perfectly. the gear shifts as suppose to & it is in mint condition. im just wondering what would be the value of such Bike now a days. can you assist me in figuring out if this is indeed a rare find & the value? please advise

    1. Hi Mel, thanks for reaching out. Unfortunately, that’s not our area of expertise, though there are probably e-bike forums out there where someone could help you assess your great find! Best of luck

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *