Hybrid Bikes Are Now As Stylish As They Are Functional
Hills. They’re the enemy of anyone on a casual bike trip. While hardcore riders thrive on the adrenaline rush that comes with tackling an intimidating incline, the casual rider, looking to give the earth a break by leaving the car in the garage, could do without them.
Fortunately, there’s a number of hybrid bicycles on the market that use electricity to support riders who lack the prowess, or nerve, to conquer the daunting hurdles that stand between them and an enjoyable cycling trek. Much like a hybrid car (and just as much of an undertaking, price-wise), these bikes derive their “fuel” from two sources: pedal-power or a battery.
California-based Specialized continues to refine their Turbo line of e-bikes, which look and handle like stylish, flat-bar road bikes. Hold down the power button for two seconds, and the electric motor comes to life. Indicator lights show how much charge remains in the battery. On the bars, a thumb-sized joystick toggles between the Turbo’s power modes of Turbo, Eco, Regenerate, and Unassisted. A small screen also shows a trip odometer and the percentage of battery power remaining. The Turbo line includes the Turbo ($3,800), Turbo X ($4,000) and Turbo S ($6,000).
Looking to splurge? The Hungarian-based M55’s custom-made bicycles are as hardy as they are gorgeous. M55’s Terminus model ($38,000) is designed to handle both steep ascents and off-road conditions. The bike’s tough aluminum base and carbon-fiber design enhance safety while its patented, single-arm suspension system allows for a smooth ride on any terrain. And as surprising as it might sound, M55’s e-bikes also require less annual maintenance than your average mountain bike.
For those looking for a much more elegant, retro styled mode of transportation, M55 also produces the Riviera ($16,000)