The Schwinn Continental eBike

Electric bikes, or electric assist bikes, are hugely popular in certain parts of the world. During a recent trip to Beijing I was amazed at the number of electric bikes and electric scooters zipping around on every street, they out-numbered gas powered 2-wheel transport by about 3/1 and most of them had relatively small removable battery packs so people could take the battery into their home or office with them to recharge it. Genius!

It turns out the US and Europe have a thriving though quite small community of electric bike riders that I was unfamiliar with, certainly nothing on the scale of Beijing or Shanghai but there are an ever increasing number of companies producing remarkably desirable electric bikes.

The Schwinn Continental (pictured above) is currently on my top 5 list. Its clean, retro design coupled with impressive (though discreet) technology is just the sort of thing that usually results in me pulling out my wallet and decimating my bank account. The Continental has an advanced lithium-polymer battery housed under the rear cargo tray that is designed to be slid out and taken with you for charging (and perhaps security), the bike also has a 7-speed internal Shimano shaft drive (look closely and you’ll notice there’s no chain). Depending on your preference you can choose your power setting, anything from full power (no pedalling) to a slight power assist is available with a range of between 25 and 30 miles per charge.

The Schwinn costs about the same as a mid-range mountain or racing bike at $2,499 USD, obviously that isn’t cheap but if you use it for your daily commute or pootling into and around town you’ll probably save the sticker price in fuel over the medium to long term. What do you think? If you have a sub-30 mile commute would you use an electric bike?

Schwinn also provide a simple CO2/Gas $/Calories Burned calculator if you’re curious to see how much you could save (or burn).

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Schwinn Continental Official Product Description

Give messy bike maintenance the shaft.
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It’s an affliction that anyone who has ridden a bike knows about. Messy smudges of chain lube on your calf, or worse, pants leg. The Schwinn Continental provides the remedy. The no mess, hassle-free shaft drive means you won’t get grease marks on your favorite khakis, and you also won’t have to deal with annoying chain maintenance.
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The Continental features:
  • Lightweight aluminum alloy frame with front suspension fork for riding comfort.
  • Maintenance-free Shimano Nexus 7-speed internal gear rear hub.
  • Equipped for commuting with rack, fenders and bell.

Electric Bike Features
Easy to use – Schwinn’s revolutionary Plug N’ Drive battery pack cleanly integrates the battery into the rear rack, no wires or plugs to mess with. Plug N’ Drive makes charging and storing the battery easy, unlike systems that house the battery in the frame. Take the battery, not the entire bike, to the outlet for charging.

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Lightweight Performance – The Schwinn Plug N’ Drive system adds only about 12 pounds to the total weight of the bike. With high-quality aluminum alloy frames and name brand parts from Shimano, SRAM and SR Suntour Schwinn electric bikes are among the lightest on the market.
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Extend your ride time – Schwinn’s Plug N’ Drive lithium polymer battery has the power to get you where you need to go. With an average range of 25 to 30 miles per charge, depending on your riding style and terrain, a Schwinn electric bike is perfect for running errands or commuting to work.
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On-demand – With the Schwinn pedal assist system, the ride is tailored to you. With multiple settings, you can dial in just the amount of help you want, anything from a little extra boost to full on hill climbing power.
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6 Comments

Mikey Jnr

is that the motor in the front wheel hub? would be interesting if it was front wheel drive. 2500 is still a bit too much for me but it does look pretty cool, the hipster types will love it.

$2499 is a lot for this Schwinn but not for a top quality bike with or without a motor. Take a bike with top-end components and put a high-quality motor and battery on it and $2,500 or more is easy to justify. See http://www.kalkhoffusa.com for top-end e-bikes that are worth every penny.

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In developed nations, awareness and educating people about
the need of switching to the electric segment can solve the problem.
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