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Micro-mobility devices to test ride at the E-bike Challenge

by Russ Lowthian, Editor at HaveFunBiking

As consumers gain an ecological awareness of greener transportation, alternatives to electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming more attractive. Especially with battery and solar technologies speeding forward, encouraging micro-mobility. Using a human-powered bike or trike, combined with an electric assist motor, can make for an eco-friendly option when looking at EV’s. Please find a short list below of some of the e-bikes and trikes options you can test ride at the E-bike Challenge Minneapolis.

Find a vast selection of electric-assist EVs at the E-bike Challenge.

Why an e-bike and the advantages when buying your next vehicle

Those who haven’t had the pleasure of test-riding an electric bicycle or e-trike will find they are perfect for many local trips. While not everyone can replace a car entirely, most trips within a 10-mile range can be less expensive with an e-bike. And, in many cases, quicker than a four-wheeled vehicle.

These micro-mobility transportation units make it easy to run errands, meet, or visit the local coffee shop. Also, using an e-bicycle allows you to pedal peacefully and sweat-free to your destination. Then, enjoy a fun cardio workout on your return trip. Below, discover many examples of e-assist bikes around the E-Bike Challenge test track on March 11 & 12, 2023.

Cargo bikes to haul kids and freight.

Also, the perfect rehabilitation tool for riders facing physical limitations or recovering following surgery.

The types of e-bicycles and their movement towards micro-mobility

It’s a vast and diverse industry with something for everyone, from adaptive, cargo, folding, fat, and long-tail bikes and trikes ready for you to test ride. The common thread is that all e-bikes and trikes use an electric motor to assist in human-powered activity or micro-mobility. They are replacing car miles, especially gas-powered ones, to create a cleaner environment.

Shop and compare at E-bike Challenge

Bikes to see at the E-bike Challenge

As we work with the E-bike Challenge team, here are some of the brands to expect at the March 11 & 12 event:

Aventon Aventure (fat tire bike)

Aventon Aventure Step-Thru Electric Fat Bike

This e-bike with four-inch fat tires and front suspension ensures you will be comfortable cruising the pavement or enjoying the challenges on the off-road trail. Especially with the 80mm of travel in the front suspension absorbing all the bumps in your path. Equipped with a powerful 1130W (peak) motor and 720Wh batt, any adventurer can go furthermore. See more on the Aventon line of e-bikes here.

Catrike eCat (recumbent trike)

Catrike eCAT 5.5.9 Recumbent Electric Tadpole

With seventeen years of engineering and experience, Catrike has created the eCat. Go farther, faster with greater ease aboard this recumbent e-trikThethe latest electric assist system from Bosch mot is at the heart of this trike. The result is a recumbent trike offering maximum efficiency, comfort, and riding enjoyment.

Gocycle G4i (folding bike)

Gocycle G4

A folding e-bike perfect for transit and ease of storage in tight city living spaces, on boats, or in motorhomes. With a streamlined chassis, enjoy Gocycle’s all-new G4drive that offers extra torque. And the iconic stowable magnesium frame, with a fast-folding handlebar and carbon wheels, creates a genuinely helpful urban folding bike with a 50-mile range.

IZIP Tristar Plus (trike)

IZIP Tristar Plus

This versatile electric three-wheeler has the power to handle your cargo load with every pedal stroke. With its easy handling and responsive TranzX M16 center motor, it’s easy to run errands, deliver goods, or take your pup for a ride. The easy-entry frame has a 3-speed drivetrain with a large rear cargo basket, offering an average range of 30 miles per charge. Many are finding this electric-assist trike a welcome member to mobility.

Magnum Scout (fat tire bike)

Magnum Scout

An all-terrain fat tire e-bike built for comfort year-round, this large frame model is perfect for five-foot-six and taller riders. Add in the 17.5Ah battery and 750w motor. The Scout will get there within a 35 to 65-mile range per charge. Other features of the Scout include high-tread fat tires, front fork suspension, and hydraulic disc brakes. They make it easy to pedal away on your next remote hunting, ice fishing, or backwoods adventure. See more on the Magnum line of e-bikes.

Pedigo Stretch (long-tail bike)

Pedigo Stretch

This cargo bike is complete with everything you need and more. It is fully loaded with user-friendly features that make riding even more fun and practical for hauling people and cargo of all shapes and sizes. With a premium drivetrain with five levels of pedal assist for full power on demand, the Stretch is a complete package with everything you need and more. See more on the Pedego line of e-bikes here.

Riese & Muller Load 75 (long-tail bike cargo bike)

Riese & Muller Load 75

Its full suspension makes it a noteworthy cargo bike, a comfortable ride when hauling packages or children. The Load 75 may be the ultimate family bike for hauling up to four toddlers. This e-bike now offers a Bosch 4th generation motor system for more get-up-and-go. Now with more torque, it’s lighter and sleeker than ever before. And like the Load 60, the 75 is also highly reliable, thanks to its high-grade components. See more on the Load 75 line of e-bikes here.

Serial 1 E-bike powered by Harley Davidson

Serial 1 power by Harley Davidson

They were inspired by the creation of their first motorcycle, the “Serial Number One,” back in 1903. Today this new line of e-bikes offers fun, freedom, and instant adventure for those looking for a pedal-assist electric bicycle. Powered by the advanced bicycle technology at Harley Davidson, enjoy the freedom of a bike with the effortless joy of electric power to change how the world moves again. See more on the Serial 1 line of e-bikes here.

Specialized Creo SL Electric (Road/Gravel Bike)

Specialized Creo SL Electric

If you are looking for an adventure both on or off-road, the 2021 Specialized Turbo Creo SL Comp Carbon EVO Electric Road Bike is here to assist you. The features of this bike come with the same motor, battery, and frame as the Vado SL. Only this bike is faster! And the cycle allows you to take advantage of the tire clearance with Creo’s adventure-ready components. Now you can go wherever your heart desires. See more on the Specialized line of e-bikes here.

SYKL Xplorer X1000 MD Series  (fat tire bike)

SYKL Xplorer X1000 MD

This e-fat bike is designed for rugged terrain and is perfect for climbing hills, long-range hunting trips, and all-terrain exploration. Whether that means getting quickly and quietly to your duck blind; climbing mountains to see what is at the top; or powering along a sandy beach to watch a sunset, the Xplorer bikes will get you where you want to go. See more on the SKYL line of e-bikes here.

Tern GSD S10 LX (long-tail bike cargo bike)

Tern GSD S10 LX

It’s the same length as a regular bike and easy to carry two kids, groceries, or a lot of cargo. And the GSD S10 LX is ready to replace your car. The bike has a handling capacity of 440 lb (200 kg) and a Maximum Gross Vehicle Weight. Plus, the built-in dual-battery technology lets you ride all day. And with space-saving features of the FlatFold and Vertical Parking makes the GSD easy to own and use. See more on the Tern line of e-bikes here.

Urban Arrow Family E-Cargo Bike

2022 Urban Arrow Electric Cargo Bike

This bike is the newest member of the famous European cargo bike family line. The 2022 Urban Arrow Electric Cargo Bike can easily transport you and your children or wherever you want to haul. No more worries about your busy schedule, fetching groceries, shopping trips, or delivering a payload. Now zip through the city effortlessly, or enjoy a trip to the country using trails and roads. See more on the Urban Arrow line of e-bikes here.

Mark your calendar! This is just a sample of some of the bikes you may be able to test ride at the E-bike Challenge coming to the Minneapolis Convention Center on March 11 & 12, 2023. Then, check back often as more e-vehicles signup, and we do total reviews on the models you want to test out.

by Russ Lowthian, the editor at HaveFunBiking

Steve taking a minute to enjoy the town of Stein Am Rhine on our way to Germany

Exploring the route from Zurich to Germany on two wheels

by John Brown, HaveFunBiking.com

While I wouldn’t qualify my riding history as anything worth bragging about, I have ridden through some spectacular places. One ride I enjoyed was biking through Switzerland, then into Germany on my way to Eurobike. You see, once a year all the biggest bike nerds from around the world descend on the small town of Fredricshaffen Germany to see the newest and shiniest bike goods released that year.

The plan for riding into Germany

About three weeks before we were scheduled to take off for the show, my friend and co-worker Steve brought up the idea of riding the 80 miles from Zurich (where we were landing) into Langanargen Germany where we were staying. Out loud I immediately said “Yes”, but in my head, there were doubts.

I know, why would I have doubts of riding from Zurich through Switzerland’s wine country, along the Rhine, across Lake Constance and through some of Germany’s most beautiful countryside? Please understand, I didn’t have doubts about the ride itself. My doubts came from doing the ride with Steve. He is one of my favorite people and I have ridden with him frequently. On those adventures I have learned a few things that made the idea of a leisurely scenic ride seem impossible. While Steve is one of the nicest people I know, I’m convinced that in a past life he must have committed some horrible crimes and tries to punish himself every time he rides. So, I’m thinking its going to be a big job for me to keep this casual.

An un-scenic start to what would be a beautiful ride

Our flight departed Philadelphia at 7 p.m. and landed in Zurich at 6 a.m. I didn’t sleep well on the plane and realized that I would be riding a whole day on two hours of bad sleep. Steve and I busied ourselves building our travel bikes in the airport baggage claim. We gave the balance of our bags to co-workers who were driving into Germany, then set off into a beautifully sunny August day.

Leaving Zurich airport was an un-scenic start to what would end up being beautiful ride. Strangely, the bike lanes around the airport didn’t seem to go anywhere, but “around” the airport. So after circling a few times we decided to ride up to what looked like a highway off ramp. Fast forward through a few minutes of urban riding, we climbed out of Zurich, into farmlands and the town of Bülach. This town was founded in 1384 and offers many historic and architectural beautiful buildings around the reformed Church of Saint Laurentius and the Sigristenkeller gallery. Shockingly, even though Bülach was less than seven miles from the airport, it is remarkably rural.

Looking down on Zurich from the hills above Bülach

Our loose ride plan was to head north until we hit the Rhine, then follow the river east to Lake Constance and then take the ferry into Germany. Both Switzerland and Germany have well established bike routes to guide us through wine country and onto our eventual destination of Langenargen.

Our route from Zurich, across Lake Constance, and into Germany

Steve’s legs take over his brain

Remember Steve and my doubts when planning this trip? From the start there was no relaxing, or enjoying the sights. Steve, as I expected, went full throttle. As I mentioned before this riding trait of Steve’s was going to be a detriment to my enjoyment riding through Switzerland and Germany. Don’t worry, I had a plan. Every time Steve entered into his personal pain cave, I would stop to change tire pressure, take a picture, check the map or do whatever it took to slow him down.

Before you pass judgement of my passive aggressive strategy, realize that I have had conversation with Steve about this ride being a slow one and to Steve’s credit he agreed. What I know from a history of riding with him is that he may agree to one pace. But his legs will invariably pick another pace, intense. So, I hoped that my plan would work to get this ride down to a conversational relaxing speed. Happily, it only took about 15 minutes of stops, pauses and sidetracks to get Steve’s legs into my way of thinking.

Steve’s leg are starting to get the idea. Here he is surveying an empty field while I pretend to adjust tire pressure.

Zurich’s wine country

As we snaked our way down country roads through the vineyards and small towns of Switzerland we crossed many small tributary waterways. These canals are used as irrigation for the vibrant fields this countryside is known for. Our first major crossing, across the river Thur came in the town of Andelfingen. This is the main town between Schaffhausen and Winterthur in the heart of Zurich’s wine country. It boasts cultivated fields, timber framed houses and walking/cycling paths.

Andelfingen is where grapes for Zurich’s sparkling vin du pays ripen in the autumn and is also the home of the Andelfingen castle, a well-kept park open to the public during the day throughout the year. Seeing as we were on our bikes and had to make it into Germany before dark, we did not stop to enjoy the sights here. In retrospect, I would recommend taking more than one day for this ride so you can stop and enjoy the unique personalities of each town.

Emerald landscapes abound in Andelfingen.

Lunch under the shadow of a castle

At the point where Lake Constance again becomes the Rhine River, you will find the little town of Stein am Rhein. It is famous for its well-preserved Old Town feel featuring painted facades and half-timbered houses. It’s also where Steve and I chose to stop for lunch

Stein Am Rhein

Stein am Rhein is a lively and very charming small town. Among the sights are the Monastery of St. Georgen (one of the best-preserved Medieval monastery complexes), the Lindwurm Museum (depicting 19th century bourgeois) and overlooking everything is the Hohenklingen Castle. The castle here was built high above the town in 1225 and recently renovated.


Stein Am Rhein in the shadow of the Hohenklingen castle

Steve and I walked through the center of town with our bikes in tow. We found a courtyard surrounded by fresca painted buildings and filled with restaurants and outdoor seating. We picked a quaint little place that had old wood paneling and benches as our eatery of choice (great carpentry typically means good food after all). For me, the meal and the company were great. I enjoyed a few local brews and a plate of barely cooked beef that could only be described as meat candy.  Armed with bellies full of meat and hefeweizen, Steve an I set off east along the Rhine.

Our old world surroundings at lunch.

The Untersee and ferry trip

As the Rhine empties into Lake Constance, the first large body of water is called Untersee (or Lower Lake Constance). To our left are miles of beautiful waterway and to the right we passed hop farms, villages and port towns that make up the Hochrhein.  Again, with more time I would have loved to stay and explore, but we were on a schedule. Pedaling along, we ambled along the shore for an hour until we entered the more metropolitan area of Constance and Altstadt. In Altstadt we went north, crossed the Rhine River into Staad then boarded the ferry for the last lag into Germany.

A panoramic picture of the bike path and view along the Untersee.

While traveling by bike is convenient, I must say, getting onto the ferry by bike was a real treat. Our fee for the ferry was far less than that of an automobile. We were also the first ones off the ferry and into Meersburg, Germany. Here we were waved through the border checkpoint at 20 mph and got to zoom past miles of waiting cars.

Into Germany and out of my mind

Of the entire ride, Meersburg is by far the most beautiful scenery. Maybe it was the fact that the sun came out in full force or me being rested from the 45 minute ferry ride. Whatever the reason, the ancient town of Meersburg was breathtaking. The town is built on the steep banks of Lake Constance and was originally a vineyard. It’s heritage as a fortress is apparent in the architecture as well as the walled bike route that snakes along the shore of the lake.


Meersburg as seen from the ferry

Once Steve and I left Meersburg my body began to shut down. I wish I could give you a rousing account of the great bike paths and warm forests we passed as we rode through Friedrichshafen and into Langenargen, but to be honest, I was operating in survival mode and not really taking in my surroundings. Maybe it was the heavy lunch, lack of sleep or the miles we rode, but moving became very difficult. As I have said before, this is a ride best done over several days rather than all at once. As a result of riding it in one day, I was now suffering through every additional mile we pedaled.  We finally arrived in Langenargen in the early evening. Happily, I checked into my room, took a quick showers and made it to dinner with the rest of the group.

Reflections on the ride

While at dinner, drinking a Dunkelweiss and enjoying my schnitzel, I reflected back on why this ride was so fun. The first thing I must say is that great company almost always makes a great ride. In this case, Steve and I rode at a similar speed and had great conversation throughout the trip. Additionally, we were both enjoying this route together because of our mutual even keeled demeanor. The great company riding together allowed us to stay positive even when we went slightly off course.

Another help was that I was able to send my luggage ahead and ride the route unfettered. Knowing that I had clean clothes waiting for me when I arrived was a large motivator over the last five miles.

Ultimately, I would recommend this route to anyone. The ride was predominantly flat and had ample opportunities to stop and enjoy the scenery. Additionally, there are more than enough great towns to stop at and enjoy. In fact, this ride could easily be spread across a week, with mornings spent in the saddle and afternoons sightseeing on foot.

More on Switzerland

See Jen Reviews on the 100 Best things to do in Switzerland.


Folding Bike Claims To Be Smaller Than Any Other

by Ben Coxworth,Gizmag

The whole idea behind folding bikes is that they can be made very small and unobtrusive for transit and storage. It would follow, therefore, that the smaller they can be folded down, the better. Well, Toronto’s Peter Boutakis claims that his company’s Helix bike can fold smaller than any other. It’s also got a snazzy lightweight titanium frame.


When folded down, the Helix isn’t much bigger than its wheels

Pivoting on helical hinges, the two 24-inch wheels fold in against either side of the one-piece main frame and sit between the cranks. Once the handlebars have also been folded down, the seat lowered and the pedals flipped in, the end result is a package that measures 23 × 25 × 9 inches (584 x 635 x 229 mm). It’s only slightly wider than the crankset, and not much bigger than the wheels. Those wheels still turn when the bike is folded, allowing it to be carted along like wheeled luggage.


Those wheels still turn when the bike is folded, allowing it to be carted along like wheeled luggage

Tipping the scales at 21 lb (9.5 kg), it’s also said to be the world’s lightest folding bike. It can’t actually claim that title, although it’s certainly still among the lightest.


It tips the scales at 21 lb (9.5 kg)

Other features include spring-loaded locking mechanisms to help keep the bike feeling rigid on the road, internally-routed cables, disc brakes, and a 9-speed transmission. Plans call for all of the CWSR (cold worked stress relieved) titanium frames to be hand-welded in Canada.


Other features include spring-loaded locking mechanisms to help keep the bike feeling rigid, internally-routed cables, disc brakes, and a 9-speed transmission.

Boutakis and his team will be launching a Kickstarter campaign to raise production funds for the Helix, starting early next month. At that time, a pledge of US$1,199 will get you one, assuming all goes according to plan. The retail price will be $1,499.

You can see the bike in action, in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUOnLx1-7BQ

Source: Helix Folding Bike

World’s lightest (non-weird) folding bike

by Ben Coxworth, GizMag

Given that their design incorporates hinges and locking mechanisms, folding bikes aren’t necessarily synonymous with light weight. Allen Sports’ new Ultra X, however, tips the scales at just 18.75 lb (8.5 kg). The carbon fiber commuter may just be the world’s lightest folding bike … or at least, the lightest one that looks relatively normal.

Along with its frame, the Ultra X also sports a carbon fiber fork, seat post, handlebar, stem, rims, crankset and saddle(!). It also features 20 x 1-1/8-inch tires, and an SRAM X9 20-speed drivetrain (with a Shimano front derailleur).


Reportedly the bike can be folded down and locked together within seven seconds, and then wheeled around like a shipping dolly on its now-side-by-side wheels.

It can reportedly be folded down and locked together within seven seconds, and then wheeled around like a shipping dolly on its now-side-by-side wheels.

All that carbon fiber will cost ya, though. If you want an Ultra X of your own, be prepared to shell out US$4,999.

The next-lightest “conventional” folding bike we could find is a titanium Brompton, although claimed weights for it are more around 20 lb (9 kg). The A-Bike, on the other hand, reportedly weighs just 12 lb (5.4 kg), although it has tiny scooter-like wheels and an aesthetic that not everyone may appreciate.

Source: Allen Sports