Love them or hate them, E-bikes and fat bikes are generating a tremendous amount of buzz at this year's Interbike—making the Felt E-Fat the ultimate example of trend convergence. And Felt isn't alone in jumping on the electric bandwagon. From a remodeling of a French classic to a new brand creating radical and completely custom rides, we're seeing the rise of the E-bike at this year's show.
Specialized made waves last year with the introduction of the Turbo, an e-bike topping out at 28 miles per hour. At the time, it was the world's fastest bike—and supposedly illegal for the U.S. where the speed limit for e-bikes is 20 mph. But a new look at the law showed otherwise: the speed limit doesn't apply to pedal-assist bikes. Specialized is back at this year's show and our verdict remains the same. This is one really, really fun ride.
It's hard not to be taken by the Stromer. The company has been building innovative e-bikes in Europe for three years, but was incorporated into BMC—the maker of Tour winning road bikes—in 2011. With the brand's founder now the CEO of BMC Switzerland Group, Stromer is only getting better. For their fourth year, the bikes get a facelift, including new geometry, updated components, and increased use of carbon. With a battery mounted in the down tube, the ST1 Elite can top out at 20 mph. But our eyes are set on the 27-speed Stromer ST1 Platinum—which can reach a top speed of 30 mph.
The Solexity x350 is built to appeal to your sense of nostalgia. In recent years, the French brand has remade itself from a gas moped brand into a leading e-bike company. And now they're looking to hit the U.S. market. With a sleek design pushed by the legendary Italian firm, Pininfarina, the Solexity turns heads and pleases riders with disc brakes, a lithium-manganese battery, and Kevlar anti-puncture tires.
Pete's Electric Bikes
While some e-bike companies like to flaunt the fact that their bikes are electric, Pete's takes a more restrained approach. With a Boulder-based retail store providing constant customer feedback, Pete's has focused on the building reliable and practical rides and is set to become one of the first e-bike share providers. New for this year, the company has introduced its own mid-drive system (placing the motor in the crank).
We haven't seen anything else like these completely custom rides by Customaxxx at Interbike. Founded in 2009 by two friends who love beautiful bikes, the company designs and manufactures all their models in Singapore. Coming in between $4,000 and $7,000, these custom e-bikes simply speak for themselves.
Storm Series by ProdecoTech
The folding Storm Series e-bikes by ProdecoTech are built in the company's Florida facility and come in both a 500-watt and 300-watt variants. The Storm 500 weighs in at 55 lbs and can go 25-35 miles per charge with a top speed of 20 mph. Best of all, it costs only $1,299.
BH Easy Motion
Not to be left behind, BH has entered the e-bike market with the Easy Motion line. And unlike many of the other e-bikes on the floor, they're truly trail ready. The 26-inch Neo Jumper comes outfitted with Shimano Deore shifters, XT rear derailleur, and a RockShock fork. Besides the Neo Jumper, BH is also introducing the Neo Extrem, a 26 inch hardtail, and a hardtail 29er aptly called the Neo 29er.
Next Up: 2013 Women's City Biking Essentials