Optibike 400 Electric Bike
Winner of the 2005 Tour de Sol in the "E-bike and NEV" category with a performance almost putting it in another league from its main competitors, the Optibike 400 seems like quite a winning design. Made by Opti-Bike LLC, a company from Colorado, the electric-bike has all the features I would want in an E-bike (at least those I can think of): full suspension and disc brakes, a run time of two hours in "economy mode" (although, strangely, it was in the "three-hour range" category in the Tour de Sol), an electronic display with lots of goodies, a powerful headlight, optional automatic shifting, an integrated charger with a built-in power cord, and even a computer port for diagnostic! All that in a 58 pounds package, which was the second-lightest bike in the Tour de Sol.The website has this anecdote which, if true, gives us an idea of the difference that this kind of bike can make compared to a regular bicycle.
On a test ride in Boulder Colorado, a fit road cyclist was able to climb the notorious Old Stage Road at 10 MPH sitting down with an easy spin on the Optibike. On his ultra light road bike, he had to stand and grind all the way to go 5 mph!!! Twice the speed - half the effort, Optibike has the power.
Lets hope that this kind of e-bike will become really popular as peak oil keeps gas prices climbing. It certainly could also help with many health problems and reduce obesity rates.