300 watts is already well over what all but the strongest humans can consistently deliver.
At Yabun yesterday there was a gym dragging passers-by onto their wind trainer gadget. The girly was able to exceed 300W for a minute, burning a whopping 20 kJ. We'd just eaten lunch, so my initial 800W quickly dropped to 500W to avoid throwing up. But really, 300W is only a 50% increase over cruising along on the flat, so you'd expect anyone in good health who rides regularly to be able to hold 300W for a couple of minutes to get up a hill.
Based on that and a bit of actual riding, I think 300W is reasonable. But even 500W for a single-rider, lightweight bike is getting silly. I would like to see a 1000W/25kph class, though, so that multirider and load bikes could legally use power assist. Especially when you start loading two or more kids into/onto a load bike, 300W stops being a lot of use on hills. It's great on the flat because it lets a normal rider accellerate away from stops as though the load isn't there, but on a hill they often run out of grunt quite quickly because the load bike gets hard to handle at low speed and then you're in a death spiral of wobble... back off pedalling to focus on staying upright... slow down.. wobble more... oh well. That's where the throttle systems come into their own, BTW, you can use them to help push the bike up the hill.
Whereas squeezing 10% more into batteries pretty much involves having 10% more batteries, simple
And the extra capacity works for everyone, all the time. Regen only works for people who use it, when they use it, if conditions are suitable. If you live at the top of a hill it's not going to help you at all... you can't regen down the hill when the battery is full, but have to grind up it to get home when the battery is empty. More battery capacity means you get to have power on the final uphill.
I do love the eBike thing, and I'm glad we have usable ones now. Also glad that people have worked through a whole bunch of ideas and we have knocked the sillier ones mostly off the market.
On that note, the Gazelle ebike I rode had the battery under the rear rack, but it was fairly small and with the torque-sensing drive it was very much aimed at giving you that "I'm really strong" feeling on a bike that was rideable even with a flat battery. The dedicated ebikes with a battery slot behind the seat are heavier and harder to ride without power. So you can buy a bike to suit what you want to do with it. I quite like the idea of 300W and no speed limit, because my use in the near future will be for a long commute, where I want to do 40km on decent paths and roads in under an hour.
Can you talk a little about regenerative electrics vs these ones?
I"m not sure that a production bike exists that has regen - it's possible, but it adds weight and complexity for little benefit. The core problem is that you want regeneration instead of braking, if regeneration is available, but you absolutely demand that braking always works whether regen is there or not. But bicycle brakes are all direct action, you can't tweak the electronic brake booster to divert braking p[ower into regeneration. So you end up with a "regen mode" on the throttle or a button on the controller. It's a bit of a pain to use, so people don't... so it becomes even less useful as a feature... so manufacturers don't put it in.
The numbers from that answer aren't encouraging, BTW: at 30kph you might have enough kinetic energy to give a 4% charge, assuming everything is 100% efficient. In practice you might get 50%. So you can slow down from 30kph using only regen, then the regen might get you back up to 20kph, But you need to start regen five seconds before you need to stop, because you can't charge batteries at 1000 Watts (that would be 15 minutes to fully charge a normal eBike battery!)
National Day of Patriotic Devotion
Surely then they should have used "Whip It" at the inaugural dance?
Waiting for their first “James O’Keefe” moment. ... I'm sure they'd love that
Not so sure. I suspect they're smart enough to notice the transition from the media echoing their garbage to the media mocking their garbage. I hope our media is capable of making the transition.
how the bikes get distributed to where they are wanted
In Paris there are men with vans who spend their days lugging piles of bikes around. Environmentally those exact trips are not as good as a bus, but it's better than taxis and much better for the passengers. The scheme as a whole is a big win in a huge number of ways, even with the truckloads of bikes being driven around.
The helmet obsession has largely ruined the bike hire schemes in Melbourne and Brisbane, they linger on but are not especially popular purely because of the helmet thing. Even though enforcement is rare (unlike NSW), it's still more of a risk than most people are willing to take.
maybe have magnets on the forks and a coil that picks up a pulse as it passes them
I might see if I can find some "reel lights" (brand) that someone has discarded because they're pathetic, and fit them wrong the round way, so the light is attached to the wheel and the magnet(s) are on the bike. That might actually work.
Oh yes, there are a fucton of battery powered bike lights, even motion activated ones. I have owned a few different ones. The valve cap lights are actually annoying and not at all useful (we have some, but the little watch batteries they use seem like to last forever... they were taken off of the bike and put in a drawer years ago).
What I want is lights powered by motion. Like the dynamo lights I use to be seen by, but going round inside the wheels.
the flash e-motion wheels
That reminds me, I'm still waiting for someone to make bike wheels with motion-powered blinky lights in them. You can get wheelchair castor wheels like that, and obviously skate wheels. But not bike wheels.
Sydney is one of those 25 council areas places, with a state government that is actively ripping out bike infrastructure and trying to punish cyclists (it's working, instead of 10%+ increases very year we had a 5% decrease last year). But some of what's already there is excellent, and some of the new stuff is really good. Minor personal bonus, our local council responded within a month or so to us asking for pram ramps at the top of the street. So now we don't have to fight through cars parked on the footpath to get from our street to the pedestrian crossing over a busy 4 lane road. It matters to us :)
I might have to do some of the other sort of cycle touring - visit places to ride their bike paths :)