More about cycling comfort
Biking safety in winter
Because in winter the road surface is often slippery due to ice or snow, motorists (in a number of countries even compulsory) install winter tires.
With a bicycle that is not possible. It is true that the tires of an ATB will have more grip in case of slipperiness than the tires of a city bike, but even with an ATB it can still be a risky business to ride on a really slippery road surface.
Nevertheless, it is fairly easy to eliminate any risk of gliding by bicycle.
No winter tires are mounted, but side wheels.
These are actually meant for adults who still have to learn how to cycle, but they also offer an excellent solution for the risk of falls on a winter slippery road surface.
Easy to assemble and not even pricey:
Some ten or more years ago NP wrote on his then webpage about cycling comfort that according to him it might be possible to construct a real bike-caravan.
He thought about a bike trailer on the bottom of which a cabin could be mounted and disassembled from parts of light but extremely strong material.
When replacing the former pages by these ones this suggestion was no longer mentioned, because he had become a bit pessimistic about te chances that it would be realised.
A few months ago, however, he discovered that nowadays real bike-caravans are available:
Can play an important role in reducing emissions from motor vehicles because they are more comfortable than usual bikes. In the case of headwinds, uphill or with a heavy load on the luggage carrier, but also at distances of more than 20 kilometers, many can use some help from an electric motor. One can decide how much help one wants, but of course one will not get less far with the contents of the battery when one chooses for more support by the engine. Furthermore, the battery performs a lot less in cold weather and therefore especially in winter than in warm weather. In general, it can be said that with a battery of 300 watt-hours with a good support of the engine one can reach a distance of up to 40 kilometers. When choosing minimal support, however, up to 90 kilometers is feasible. But as said, in winter these distances can be considerbly (up to 50%) smaller. This, while exactly in winter some support of a motor can be most welcome.
Of course, the feasible distance can be significantly extended by taking one or even more batteries, although they are rather pricey. (But when one considers how much subsidy is provided on electric cars in the interest of the environment, it seems obvious that the use of the even more environmentally friendly electric bicycles will be made as attractive as possible with the aid of subsidies; for example by significantly reducing the cost of the battery, making it easy to purchase several of them).
And there is also the possibility to charge the battery on the way. Only there are not many of these charging points in all countries yet.
But it is possible that after a while there will also be a solution of the distance problem from the car world. As is already known, there is already the possibility to extend the maximum achievable distance of electrically powered vehicles as good as unlimited with the help of a range extender. It is true that this extender just works on petrol, and is therefore less environmentally friendly than an electric motor, but on the other hand it is generally not really often necessary to use it.
In the opinion of the author, the following finding in this respect could also play an important role for e-bikes: a portable extender .
If it turned out to be possible to make a smaller version of this device, that could easily be carried on the bike, that would offer a lot of perspective for the e-biker.
In the meantime it might also be possible to (re-)develop a bicycle that, if desired, offers pedal assistance from a (not too noisy) petrol engine. Of course they have been there in the past, but unfortunately they are no longer made. Yet also for environment they were a very favorable means of transport, since with one liter of petrol it was possible to easily cover about 70 kilometers. Perhaps it is therefore possible to make a contemporary version of them, in which everything will be even more stylized, lighter, more noiseless and who knows more economical.***
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