Electric bicycles for the weak-kneed

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What's the draw for electric-powered bicycles? They look cumbersome and heavy. It makes sense that you'd need the extra boost from an electric motor to get over hills because of all the weight from the electric motor — a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Here's a press release from the UK that explains one use for electric bikes, helping patients recover from knee surgery. I guess anything that gets people out on a bike is a good thing:

Consultant Rheumatologist Dr. Mike Irani has teamed up with a local businessman to help instil confidence in his patients and all with aid of pedal power.

Dr. Irani is a leading physician in rheumatology and cares for patients with damaged hip, knee and other joints, which may need surgical replacement by his orthopaedic colleagues. As part of the rehabilitation of his patients, Dr. Irani has to get the patients moving their new joints and one of the best ways to do this is by low impact exercise, like bike riding.

Dr. Irani said: “One of the problems that patients voice, is that lack the confidence to get on a bike. For example they would be worried that if they went for a ride and came across a hill they may be happy going down hill but lack the confidence to get them back up the hill, as they do not yet trust their joints. There are patients with blood circulation problems to their legs who have similar concerns.”

That's where Russell Everitt of Electric Bikes Direct comes in. This local entrepreneur has set up a company which produces electric bikes. The perfect solution to the confidence problem! If the rider is not confident enough to get up the hill alone, they can simply switch on the battery driven motor and it's like being pushed up the whole way.

Electric bikes are by no-means a new concept, but the bikes that Russell has created are a new breed. Incredibly light, with quick charge and long life batteries, they even fold up and fit into a handy shoulder bag to be carried around. Popular with caravaners and commuters, the bikes caught Dr Irani's eye as being of benefit to his patients.

The pair have recently got together to discuss other ways to develop the bikes, specifically for rheumatology patients but in the mean time, Russell has permanently loaned Dr. Irani a bike to help his patients.

Russell Everitt said: “The bike I have loaned Dr. Irani is called a Bright Bike GR-8. It is made of lightweight aluminium and features a Nickel Metal Hydride battery that will recharge 500 to 1000 times. It will travel 25 miles on a full charge that costs approximately 5p. Unlike some folding bikes, the Bright Bike GR-8 has standard 20 inch wheels and looks much more contemporary than some of the other models on the market.

There are also tax benefits to owning one of these bikes. They are classed as standard pedal bikes due to the way they work, which means that there are lots of tax breaks – if they are bought as a mobility aid they are tax and VAT free. If they are bought by an employer, they can claim the tax, national insurance and VAT back, and the user can claim 20p per mile, tax free, from their employer for riding it to and from work.”

For information on the bikes call Russell Everitt on 0870 345 0775 or have a look at them on the website www.electricbikesdirect.co.uk

Permanent link to this article: https://www.bikingbis.com/2005/04/05/electric-bicycles-for-the-weak-kneed/

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