Recently I had a chance encounter with the guys from Typhoon, who build intriguing "motor assisted" road and mountain bikes. They had on display a motorised carbon road bike that on inspection shared an extremely close resemblance to one recently discovered in the world of cyclocross.
At first glance I didn't spot that the bike was modified. It just looked like one of many very sleek carbon road bikes. In fact the weight wasn't even that bad, I'd guess around 9kg, no featherweight but less than my fully kitted winter bike. Even on close inspection the only clue was a barely visible wire running from the storage bottle into the seat tube. The guys assured me this would be totally hidden in the future and that the storage bottle would be much smaller.
This particular pre-production model had a three-speed motor activated by a tiny switch hidden on the bars. Once turned on it kicks in when you pedal, providing up to an extra 250 watts of power in high mode.
Yes, that's an extra TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY WATTS!
According to the guys they are currently two months away from a proper release, but with the recent publicity surrounding mechanical doping in the pro ranks they brought a couple of examples to the Bike Show to ride the wave of that publicity, so to speak!
At a cost of around 12,000 euros I don't think you'll be seeing many on the club rides any time soon, but this undoubtedly proves that the tech is out there, works perfectly and is accessible to the general public.
Now if only I could score a proper test ride...
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