By Andrew Liszewski
Yesterday Schwinn unveiled their Tailwind eBike which uses Toshiba’s Super Charge ion Battery technology allowing it to be recharged using a standard residential outlet in just 30 minutes. Now I haven’t really been following the progress of electric bicycles, but Schwinn claims the 30 minute recharge time is about 1/8 the time needed for their competitor’s models, which if true is quite impressive. I also like the fact that if you didn’t know the Tailwind was a so-called eBike, you probably wouldn’t be able to tell if someone rode past you on one. (As long as they were pedaling that is.)
The electric motor is actually housed in the small hub on the front wheel, and the Plug N’ Drive battery pack is located on the rear bike rack making it easy to detach. So instead of having to run an extension cord to where your bike is, you can simply take the battery to the wall outlet. Depending on weather conditions, the wind and your course, the Tailwind is expected to get about 25 to 30 miles on a single charge, but a Shimano Nexus 8-speed internal geared hub allows you to switch over to pedal power should the battery die before you get home. In fact the only downside is the steep $3,199.99 price tag.