Inventor hopes Faraday bicycle strikes compromise

July 18, 2012 8:24:21 PM PDT
It's not a bike and it's not a moped, but its inventors hope it's the perfect compromise. The Faraday e-bike is being built right here in the Bay Area.

Adam Vollmer can bike up a hill in the mid-day sun and do it smiling because he has a secret -- hidden inside the frame of his bike are two batteries that power a silent electric motor in the front wheel.

"The bike essentially is kind of like a two wheel drive -- you power the back and the motor powers the front," Vollmer said.

Named after a famous physicist, the Faraday e-bike doesn't propel itself, it just helps the user pedal.

"The best way to put it, it's like riding a bike when you're in the best shape of your life, with the best tailwind you've ever had, riding down a big hill," Vollmer said.

At a top speed of 18 miles per hour and a 10-15 mile range, it isn't for riding across the country, it's for riding across town. With interchangeable racks and LED headlights, the Faraday is built for commuters in a city with hills.

"Between their house and their office there's that one hill, and you don't want to ride over it in the morning when you've got to get to work not being sweaty and at the end of the day when you're tired, you definitely don't want to ride back over it then; we've flattened that hill and that's the really cool thing about the Faraday," Vollmer said.

The thrills don't come cheap. When it launches in March, the Faraday e-bike will retail for $3,800. Faraday is offering a discount for people who pre-order one now on Kickstarter.


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