Results 1 to 20 of 26

Thread: Pedalcycling into war - might (e)Bikes be back?

Threaded View

Previous Post Previous Post   Next Post Next Post
  1. #1
    Council Member Firn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009

    Default Pedalcycling into war - might (e)Bikes be back?

    Bicycles have been popular vehicles after quick technological progress in the decades before 1900. Military forces adopted it to give infantry a relative cheap way to move quickly over longer distances. The rise of the motor vehicles in all forms in ever richer countries replaced them almost entirely. Last were the Swiss which hopped off the saddle a decade ago.

    Overall, if so few armed forces around the world use them there should be rather good reasons why it is so. Even 2WD eBikes with serious money behind didn't seem to go far. At best it might make some sense in niches like urban operations in (very) low intensity conflicts. I will leave that to wiser heads.

    So why I'm opening this topic apart from personal research for a new eBike? I think there have been and are some interesting trends which could make electric bicycles considerably more attractive for those niches.

    1) Bicycles profited greatly in the last decade from considerable progress in practically every relevant performance area from suspension to brakes with ever lighter weight. High quality is found at good prices thanks to massive economies of scale. Expensive full suspension bikes are now approaching ten kilos.

    2) Electric bikes have made huge strides in the last five years with pretty much every big name in the industry pushing them into every sector of the market. Big companies like Bosch and Yamaha became key suppliers. eBikes profit of course strongly from the overall developments concerning that key element, the battery. In some European countries more then 1 in 10 new bikes is already electric. Lots of additional power and speed in difficult terrain. Still quite silent.

    3) Fatbikes are also a huge trend, capturing a wider share of the market. With fat tyres and low pressures down under 0.5 bar they have a far lower ground pressure. Sandy areas and snowy ones become more accessible.

    The whole two-wheel scene is in movement with the big player KTM launching their Freeride E. A hybrid ICE-electric bike seems to get developed for testing for the US military. Personally I think there will be new types moving into the markets between the enduro/all-mountain bicycle and the classic ICE enduros. For example where would a electric full-suspension fatbike enduro-style with two wheel hub motors and a powerful battery fit? In some cases a very light, cheap and simple folding bike might be the better choice then the fancy new stuff. So all in all lots of things happening right now.

    I will leave it at that for now. If a moderator thinks there is a better place to put this topic he should move it there.
    Last edited by Firn; 08-20-2014 at 09:37 PM.
    ... "We need officers capable of following systematically the path of logical argument to its conclusion, with disciplined intellect, strong in character and nerve to execute what the intellect dictates"

    General Ludwig Beck (1880-1944);
    Speech at the Kriegsakademie, 1935

Similar Threads

  1. Ukraine (closed; covers till August 2014)
    By Beelzebubalicious in forum Europe
    Replies: 1934
    Last Post: 08-04-2014, 07:59 PM
  2. The 2006 Hezbollah-Israeli War (catch all)
    By SWJED in forum Middle East
    Replies: 146
    Last Post: 09-12-2012, 09:30 PM
  3. COIN v. Conventional Capability Debate
    By Menning in forum The Whole News
    Replies: 77
    Last Post: 05-20-2008, 12:11 AM
  4. The Media Aren't the Enemy in Iraq
    By SWJED in forum The Information War
    Replies: 34
    Last Post: 01-29-2007, 04:01 AM


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts