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NYT+011710+-+Gaining+a+Toehold+for+the+E-Bike

NYT+011710+-+Gaining+a+Toehold+for+the+E-Bike - Ping...

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Ping - Electric Bicycles Are Gaining a Toehold in the U.S. - NYTimes.com This copy is for your personal, noncommercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers here or use the "Reprints" tool that appears next to any article. Visit www.nytreprints.com for samples and additional information. Order a reprint of this article now. January 17, 2010 Ping Gaining a Toehold for the E-Bike By BRAD STONE TECHNOLOGY has eliminated many of life s milder physical demands, like getting off the couch to change the channel, or going to the store to buy a book. The latest exertion to be conquered: biking uphill. Electric bicycles a regular pedal-driven bike with a motor for steeper slopes and an optional extra boost is an idea that has been around for more than a century. But while e-bikes have caught on in certain parts of the world, particularly China, where tens of millions are sold each year, they have never quite captured the imagination of auto-obsessed Americans. That may be about to change. At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this month, Sanyo , the Japanese electronics maker and a major producer of car batteries, showed off a sleek, lightweight e-bike called the Eneloop Hybrid Bicycle . The Eneloop, priced at $2,300, came to stores in the United States late last year. It operates like any normal bike and, save for the black lithium -ion battery strapped to the frame beneath the seat, looks exactly like one as well. But when you press a button on the left handlebar, a 250-watt motor gently kicks in, providing about twice the power as your own pedaling and making you feel like Lance Armstrong on even the steepest slopes.
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