I called up Turbo Bob on his landline, today (no cell phone for this biker).
Turns out, as he confesses, he just got an email address less than five years ago. This is interesting to note as Turbo Bob is one of the e-bike industry review leaders. E-bikes are electric bikes that are making a huge wave in the cycling industry. Yet, the e-bike idea is not so new.
The first patent for an e-bike was placed in the 1800’s.
At Interbike last year there were three times more e-bikes and e-bike supplier’s pieces on display than there were the year prior. Even Dave Wiens, (previous profile) mentioned that land managers will be dealing with e-bike in the very near future on dirt trails.
E-bikes can help people gain the innocence and freedom a bike provides even if they have different abilities in their physical conditioning or physical abilities. Turbo shared some stories of riders using e-bikes as they developed the balance and conditioning they needed to then access a non-motored bike.
The e-bike can offer a progression for some.
Turbo explains that the e-bike is truly an electric assist bike (most of them). They have motors attached with a battery and they can make “your legs feel super charged” and help someone meet the challenges of hills and contours.
Some of these rides can get going real fast–up to 40 or 50 miles per hour, although Turbo stressed the importance of a more legal and safer pace of 15-20 mph.
Simple e-bikes have a throttle which a ride can use to add a bit of power to their pedal while fancier rides have load sensing capabilities which will add power when they sense the rider pedaling harder. The idea in most of these bikes is to blend a cyclist’s pedaling power with electric juice to offer a smooth and fast ride.
According to Turbo, a bike under a certain wattage that can travel under 20 miles per hour on the motor alone, is still classified as a regular bike. However, please check with your local authorities and law as this varies from state to state. Riders under the age of 16 are not supposed to ride an e-bike and people should wear helmets on these bikes–by law and it just makes common sense.
Turbo has been riding since he was a kid. Even though he is not a diploma holding engineer, he is life-long mechanic, and a technician at heart who loves to tinker. He still celebrates his 60’s Schwinn Collegiate which he has had for years. He and his wife got into e-bikes several years back and they have enjoyed every minute of them.
He was approached by an e-bike maker and asked if he would write an article up for them highlighting one of their bicycles. Turbo then began his blog, got involved with Facebook, and has not looked back. He now test rides bicycles and writes up confidential reports for companies to use.
Many e-bikes are being bought by non-bicyclists and are being designed and made by non-bicyclists. I ride them and let the companies know what works and what does not work. What improvements can be made is one of my prime objectives.
So, Turbo continues to impact this burgeoning industry, as of now, for fun. He volunteers his time in trade for the fun and passion he feels towards bikes not minding the occasional swag that comes his way, though mostly for riding some really cool bikes. His bike blog, Facebook page and YouTube Channel cover e-bikes, building bikes, bike riding, giving feedback, and mostly, having fun.
When you speak to Turbo, you can’t help connect to the spirit of innocence and freedom as he exudes this–as if he was on a high powered, smooth tracking e-bike–sitting on his landline.
Join Turbo on April 25th for his E-Bike seminar. Check this link out here to learn all the details. This event is free and I am sure you will get to experience the e-bike like never before. And of course, follow Turbo Bob and his adventures on his E-Bike Blog.