How easy is it, riding a bike? Maybe really easy. But not as easy going up a hill on a bike, or even coming down, especially very steep areas. For professional bikers, it really isn't as much of an issue as it is for others. The Diavelo Zeitgeist Electric Bike was designed to solve this problem of getting uphill on a bike. It has a battery that only has to be charged every two weeks and it is hidden within the structure of the bike. "We want to be the Warby Parker of bikes" so says Kartik Ram, the CEO of the Zeitgeist company.
The carbon-fiber electric bike was designed by Brian Hoehl of Denmark and has already won several awards. The battery slides seamlessly into the bottom tube and was designed in-house and patented. The entire bike, including the and patented. The entire bike, including the 500-watt battery, weighs only 20kg(about 44 pounds). Super light yeah? Despite its battery pack and all. "You can carry it up three flights of stairs,” says Ram. The battery only assists the rider as he pedals; there’s no throttle. But that assistance only gets you up to 28mph which is about 45km/h, the legal limit for electricpowered bicycles in the United States.
The company's co-founder Gregg Stewart noted that you can ride up a steeper hill on an electric bike than you might be able to using only your own leg power. "Brakes become crucial on the downhill,” he says, and this is the reason why the Zeitgeist has ventilated disc brakes.
The Zeitgeist is aimed at casual riders, people who don’t want to take the car to run errands. They’ll use this bike a couple of times a week, not as a daily commuting vehicle. The company has already established a relationship with Thule to create a basket and panniers that fit the bike. According to Stewart, the first batch of the bikes go for $3,999, and notes that for this reason, the Zeitgeist is going to be treated differently than just a commuter bike. Ram added that the bike’s buyers are “round trippers,” people who take it to get coffee then ride back home. The Zeitgeist can be locked up at the coffee shop like any other bike, but the battery can also be unlocked and popped out, making it less likely for the bike to be stolen. Amazing!
Because the Zeitgeist was designed from the ground up not by modding an existing bike model -it's going to be sold differently, too. Ram and Stewart found that neither traditional bike shops nor big-box stores were a good fit. Stewart said that they were going to showcase the bike in pop-up shops and online to sell it through direct channels.
Now hold on, I've just been quiet since. Did you say $3,999? That's more than 800,000 Naira. Na motor? You can get a good fairly used Camry for that price (I think). No offense. Just saying. I feel much lighter now that I've got that off my chest. Anyway, never mind me I guess in the future I would understand. 😉
In order to get the company off the ground, the founders approached Tesla for a partnership, you know, the Tesla brand, auto company, but things didn't work out well. So they ended up working with Crowd Supply, a funding platform based in Portland, Oregon, which found the project interesting and outstanding. in Portland, Oregon, which found the project unique. “We were able to test it,” said Crowd Supply’s Josh Lifton in an interview, "so we were able to back Zeitgeist up with confidence.”
At Crowd Supply, delivery rate matters most. When you order your bike, the ship date depends on how many people ordered before you. Ram said the company is going to sell the bike in small lots. "That’s key,” he said, "We don’t like to tease. We want to give people the future now." The first few backers on Crowd Supply will get their bikes shipped within about a month. The company wants to work with those early patronizers to get feedback on how to improve the design while working on it for a second time.
The future is here and now. All the tech movies of the future we see on TV, they're all coming to play gradually and Zeitgeist is keen on making it a reality now than in a distant future.
Ram and Stewart hope that people realize how easy it is to explore their surroundings with an electric-assisted bike. And, as Ram said, "People want to buy cool stuff. Well, I'm not much of a biker so maybe that's why I don't really appreciate the price. But I know You will and so will lots of other persons. At the end of the day, it's one more Awesome technology of the Tech Age. *Loving it*