Auto-Wheelies and Mind Control: The Tricked-Out E-Bikes of Tomorrow

Electric bikes are for wussies, right? They're alright for commuting but they're not for sport. That might have been true in the past, but if Audi's Wörthersee e-bike and the Parlee-Toyota Prius X concept bike are any indication, things are changing.

Audi introduced the Wörthersee e-bike just last week and Toyota partnered with Parlee Cycles on a electric-assist road bike last year. Unlike other carmakers—Volkswagen, Mercedes, Lexus, Hyundai and Daimler/SmartCar—that have made recent forays into the electric bike niche, these concept bikes are not designed for commuting or easy transport inside the car. They're all about pushing technological boundaries.

Audi packed its e-bike with bells and whistles, including a setting that assists the rider into a wheelie, then helps him balance the bike and sustain one-wheel momentum. The rider can pedal with or without the motor's assistance, but when using it she can adjust the throttle by leaning her body forward or backward to control the motor speed. The bike has integrated LED lighting and an air-sprung front fork with 5.12 inches of travel. Plus, there's no need for a bike lock. A smartphone disables the bike while you're not on it.

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