Design award = kiss of death

I don’t know how many of you read this Core article about the Trek Lime, Trek's Lime bicycle bucks bad reviews to become People's choice at Design Awards - Core77 , but you would think the National Design Awards would show some mercy.

Don’t get me wrong, I think Trek did a lot of damage with the price point, but a design award is definately the coup de grâce for the Lime. I would be surprised to see a 2010 model. Too bad though, it was a good idea, I will be sorry to see the Lime go.

You’re right. They canned it (last year actually). Coasting from Shimano has also all but disappeared. The Lime never sold well outside of high-usage, rental areas. I think its tough for people to buy a bike from a bike shop that was designed for people who don’t ride bikes.

However, this year they brought this bad-boy in from Europe.

I know what you’re thinking, but put this thing on the highest boost level and watch your face turn to smiles as you effortlessly blast down the street at 22mph. Nevermind the price, or heft, if your local Trek shop has one of these, jump on it and try it. It’ll brighten your day for sure.

I was going to a post something about this too. It is a nice looking bike. I like the little details around the chain guard and the hubs. Cool seat and beautiful ad campaign too. Unfortunately, Trek fell foul to the same bug that bit Pontiac with the Aztek: They built a bike people needed, but didn’t want. It’s especially surprising that anyone would give the go-ahead to a brief that stated “design a product for people who don’t want it”. I hope it was it wasn’t that simplistic…ouch.

As for the electric bike, very nice. I like the way the battery is designed and located. It’s high up, which I guess is bad for balance, but it doesn’t get in the way of storage, pedaling plus it doesn’t look too geeky.

Any other interesting bikes hiding out there?

They are all interesting my friend, they are all interesting.

I do like that Valencia, but with only a 8-mile commute, there is no way I can justify that bike. I wonder how much weight the battery and motor adds. The $2K+ is a bit on the high end. You start competing with scooters and you can get a 250cc scooter for that kind of money. I’m not saying the Trek isn’t worth the money, but the big market is pretty lazy. They rather get 75 mph than turn the cranks. Any companies out there doing a battery assist where the price point would have a higher mass appeal?

There are many companies jumping the electric assist bandwagon this year. Interbike was loaded to the roof with them evidently. I certainly can’t justify the expense of the Trek. It does add some heft, not only from the battery but the motor/generator hub in the rear wheel is considerably heavy. You can re-charge the battery going downhill, too. It’s almost like a jake-brake on a semi-truck.

I think I’d pay $500-600 for an electric assist bike. Here in Montreal there is a difference in elevation between my neighborhood and downtown. In some places, this elevation change is gradual, some places not. On my normal bike, I often plan my trip to avoid having to bike up or down the steep elevation change. I would love electric assist just for that one hill. Even going down, it would be nice to have a gentle brake that does something while coasting. Right now, I just haul-butt.

I recently tried a friends £850 electric assist and I must say that I loved it. The bike was definately not a looker but he reckons he passes just about everything else on the cyclepaths with very little effort. He said he wasn’t getting the milage suggested by the battery manufacturer though , only getting something like 50 -70% of their performance/distance figures.

On seeing this machine my friend’s colleague decided to get a conversion kit from these guys for his standard bike. I believe he is very happy with the conversion, and it seems that the cost would be in your price bracket Mr914

( the 48v off road motor neighbourhood test ride video looks great fun)