Schwinn electric bicycles

Schwinn have released three new electric assisted bicycles that will make commuting a breeze. They come in a range of styles from cruiser to serious tourer. There is a choice of transmissions for your legs to drive the rear wheel and a 24V 250W electric hub motor in the front wheel.

Schwinn Continental

The amount of electric assistance is controlled by a throttle on the handlebar and the motor alone can reportedly propel the bike at 28km/h. The range from the easily removable lithium-ion battery on the rear rack is stated to be approximately 100km per charge, depending on wind, terrain and load. The battery takes 4 hours to recharge.

Most importantly for a cyclist the front wheel can be removed without the need for disconnecting any wires, making the fixing of punctures as easy as on any other bike.

The Schwinn International web site lists eight models in the electric range. We don’t know how many, if any, are imported into Australia but Sportz Australasia Pty Ltd will as they are the Australian Schwinn distributors. You can contact them on 03 9584 5300.

Source: AutoblogGreen, Schwinn

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59 Responses

  1. I called SportzAustralasia and they said they would not be importing any of the E-bikes. Very disappointing. If you really want one Nycewheels in NY will ship them to australia but it costs an extra 850 dollars. Total would be about $3000.

  2. Anton,
    That is disappointing. I’d send them an e-mail and let them know this post has attracted readers consistently since I wrote it in July except their web site doesn’t even have a contact e-mail address. Maybe they’ll think about taking individual orders if a few more people call them.

    As far as I can see an Australian customer should only need a converter to change 240V to 110V to be able to use these bikes. I’m sure one of those won’t set you back $850!
    Luke

  3. Where can an electric bicycle be procured, in Adelaide or Melbourne

  4. That is a very good question. As Anton says above the electric Schwinn models aren’t being imported. A search for “electric bicycle” turned up The Electric Bicycle Co (http://www.electricbicycle.com.au) in Melbourne and Bicycle Express (http://www.bicycleexpress.com.au/) in Adelaide but I’m not sure if they actually sell electric bicycles.

    If you find anything else please let us know.

    Luke

  5. I think that main reason that these aren’t being imported is that they have 250w motors. Under Australian law anything under 200w is classified as a bike, requires no licence or registration and can use bike tracks. I’m guessing these models would be classified as motor bikes and would cause issues for the importer.

    This is a shame as the Schwinn models are beautiful as commuter bicycles. The fact that they also are powered with a 60k range make them among the most desirable items I’ve seen in a long while.

    If there were 200w versions available I’d definitley be contacting the importer to ship one over. But with the current design I think it would be a nightmare in terms of classification, duty and tax issues.

    Paul

  6. I just e-mailed Sportz Australasia Pty Ltd. They said that there was only one production run of these bikes and they all went to America.

    They’re waiting on samples to decide if they will import them so they may be available in the latter part of next year.

    Paul.

  7. Excellent. Thanks Paul.

  8. I am in florida
    Does Australia really have ” bicycle police ” roaming around checking the wattage of bike motors and checking bicycle speed ?
    This is amazing to hear if true. My god what a repressive society down under !
    P.S. sitting on that “beautiful ” seat would give me hemorroids.
    The chainless idea is good though.

  9. We do have police on bicycles but not for the purpose of checking the output of electric bike motors 🙂

    The issue is Government regulation. If these bikes were imported the normal way by a distributor the importing parties would be obliged to declare the fact that the power output of the motors is above that legally considered a bicycle in this country.

    Of course, you could personally bring one home from another country and ride it around for decades and nobody would even notice.

    And yes, we do have some laws others would consider repressive but then again most countries have laws others consider a little strange.

    Luke

  10. Shortly we will have a very similar unit from Currie Technologies. This will have a 200 watt brushless geared motor and retail for around $2300. In addition we have our own conversion kits available using the same motors and controllers as the Schwinn products available now. See http://www.evehicle.com.au for details.

    Scott

  11. Confused by all this ! Does anyone sell electric bicycles in Sydney ??

  12. I’m sure someone sells electric bicycles in Sydney. If a search of the Yellow Pages doesn’t turn up anything and your local bike shop(s) can’t help I’m sure the guys from Electric Vehicles (see above) could hook you up with a bike or conversion kit.

    Luke

  13. See http://www.electric-bike.com.au for a 200w bike. This is a purpose-built electric bike with Li battery and rear hub motor. A very comfortable ride.

  14. I am in the market for an electric bike, here on The Northern Beaches of Sydney.
    Mail Order would do.

  15. Hi
    These is a business in Adelaide importing Urbamover bikes
    Contact details are phone 08 8365 3709, website is http://www.urbamover.com Contact is Vince Petruzzella
    vincep@urbamover.com

  16. Hi John,

    I’ve not been able to find Urbamover in Adelaide or on the Internet. Did you mean Urbanmover (http://www.urbanmover.com/)?

    Luke

  17. We really need an increase in our power limits to at least bring us into line with what is commercially available in the UK/EU, so that means a minimum 250 watt limit.
    There is a good range of capable e-bikes at E-vehicle in Melbourne,
    here is their website,
    http://www.evehicle.com.au/
    Rob

  18. The Australian electric bike legislation is absolute ridiculous and it makes it so much harder to do something right for the environment or import great electrical kits and bikes from overseas. I think the 200W output power is among the lowest in the world and Australia is a country with great distances like the US and Canada. Maybe it’s a good idea if everybody would write a letter to our ministers and ask them to update this legislation. A 300W electric bike is legal even in New Zealand.

  19. Hi. I do agree that a 300w limit would be less restrictive, but I have a 200w bike that works quite well. In getting up big hills it may not do all the work for me, but I’m not sure that I want it to either. All that is required is a slight but constant pressure on the pedals and the 200w bike gets you going up most of the hills that Sydney has to offer. My recommendation is to test ride one before you buy so you can make up your mind for yourself.

  20. Contact me for an e-wheel, controller, throttle. kit.
    I’ll put ” 200 Watts ” on any motor you want on the customs form. It’s all govt. B.S. anyway just like here in usa. We have a 750W ‘ limit ‘ here. You think anyone listens / cares ?..of course not. It’s to keep everybody driving cars and burning gasoline.

  21. Quick question, has anyone ever done a study to show distance in miles on bikes vs wattage on hubs?
    I would be interested to see how much further the lower wattage bikes end up going

    I’m going to get a thread going for it on ebikehub. stop in and post your bikes wattage, battery type and average distance per charge.

    http://www.ebikehub.com

  22. oh yeah sorry, it will be under general discussion

  23. I’m looking to get an electric bike for commuting (Sydney Nthn Beaches) and am after any tips. A quick google resulted in the Powerped Sherpa being the closest match to what I’m after (ie foldable is a big plus). Any comments on this or recommendations?
    I’d happily look to something with more power as silly bureaucratic power limits don’t concern me 🙂

  24. I rang Sportz Australia today and was told that the product manager has been/is looking into importing the Schwinn electric bicycles, but that was about committal as they got. Said to check again in a months time.

  25. I am looking for a electric powered bike and am genuinely in love with the Schwinn Transit Europa for women. Good lord – change the law already and get with the environmental movement – an extra bit of power just isn’t that bad by crikey and with the extra distances we cover over here not unwelcome to the commuter!!

  26. Should be great news for Bikers around the Globe.

  27. Good day mate..

    This P.O.S. will NOT give you 20 km range and won’t even climb out of a pot hole!! 250W please ! Your wifes play toy is more powerful than that !! You know …. her blender.

    Wheres the power man !

  28. Rene,
    I think your math is a little fuzzy! My Schwinn World electric gets an easy 70km or 43 miles per charge. Also, here in the great city of Chicago we have some of the biggest pot holes on earth and this baby handles them like a dream! Do some research next time!!!!!!!!!! One less car.

  29. I have been involved in the PAB industry for over 5 years and have seen the growth in the industry. The positive growth in lightness, durability and performance of 200watt rated motor systems has been terrific. The negative isde is the importation of illegally powered motor systems that threaten a self regulated industry. Everyone out there needs to embrace the fact that the LAW has been structured around 200watts and the principle idea is “power-assist” and not powered bicycle. If you need more power, get a scooter or motorbike otherwise throught your sensless actions the laws will change and deny us a great form of cheap transport.

  30. I have noticed a lot of the 200W electric bikes sold in Australia are sold as 450W models overseas. Replacement motors are readily available for order over the net. So for those of us with the luxury of a private velodrome for electric biking around circles for testing in this could be a good option. I would bet an upgraded bike would look identical to the 200W stock versions.

  31. One of my elderly client has an electric bike (not a scooter) under 200w. He received a $700 fine last month.driving unlicensed, unregistered and on the bike line. Bike shop sells them advertising “no license, no registration”. What is that????

  32. Melda, could you pls give
    more details of this. eg
    what city/state. what were
    the exact circumstances.
    Stephen

  33. Melbourne/Vic. He was jut driving on the Chapel st. (on the bike lane.) Police stopped him, took his photo 1 month later he received the fines. I have send a letter for a review but they reject it. That’s all.

  34. Your client was fined for riding an unregistered, off road vehicle on the road. I import electric cycles to Australia and over to Germany and the laws are pretty black and white. The limit in Australia is 200w. Anything over requires a permit and would either be rejected or deemed an electric scooter/motorbike and attract a higher duty and require compliance plates, testing etc. Currently to import a permit is required, if it is a 200w import it is imported for “Of Road” use only! That is also pretty simple to understand. Sure the Cops were over zelous but it is the law. I suggest all the bikes I sell be used soley on bike tracks, e.g. Yarra trails, Beach Road Bike tracks, Eltham bike tracks etc. you can easily google bike trails around Melbourne. I also know bikes and cars don’t mix well, another reason to be careful of where you ride any bike. Oh did I mention St. Georges Road Bike trail? (Big ticks to Darebin Council) Edwin from http://www.sunmono.net

  35. The Dude comments that “the 200W electric bikes sold in Australia are sold as 450W models overseas”. Actually, the reverse is true. The bikes sold as 450W power assist bikes are nearly all 200W. There are no 450W hub motors for the power assist (pedalec) types. We have 500W power on demand (scooter types) in Canada and 750W in the US. The business about 450W motors for power assist is just plain b*** s***. It at least should be a good indicator to a potential buyer to not purchase from that vendor.

  36. No It is not an off road vehicle. It has 200W power and it is an electric bike. If you check the VicRoad definition for bikes it is under that defibition. What do you mean with off road???Where he suppose to ride???In the bush????Check all the websides..they advertise them you can go to your work…etc . I don’t think they advertise them this way for people who lives in the bush and go to work to chop woods 😉

  37. Yeah, that seems really rough, Melda, if it was a 200w bike.
    It would have had the wattage on the compliance plate for the cops to see? Did they look or just fine him? At $700 fine, and being an old guy, it would be worthwhile him spending a morning in a magistrates court defending this. I think he would win. or have nothing to lose. Many traffic infringer drivers only have to have the time or bother to turn up to challenge to be quite successful with bored magistrates.
    Edwin, are your specifically aware of this case and whether his bike was actually over 200w? (you are pretty assertive about the facts about his bike being over 200w eg was it in the media or generally a well know incident in the industry?)
    Or are you saying that even 200 and under bikes can’t be ridden on the road. I don’t know but thought the law in Melb Aust says that you can ride over 200w offroad eg on private property only eg farms or bushblocks. The bush itself being crown land or national park would be public property so a no-go area as would the public bike tracks you refer to.
    unless the cops are less likely to patrol bike trackes to Chapel st though.
    The Dude and Secret Pilgrim, there are kits available on ebay in Aust (from a company brisbane) that claim to be 500 w and 1000 w that connect off the freewheel thru the gears chain. I gather these are not the hub ones that SP refers to? What is your opinion on these re their wattage?
    Thanks for the advice everyone.
    (i’m not even going to ask about battery comparisons!)

  38. just thinking about this and checked the above link from electricbikesoz and found the following from Vicroads for vic (the other states regulations are linked there too)

    “Bicycles may be fitted with an auxiliary source of power provided the motor is not capable of generating a power output of more than 200 watts. If the motor is not the auxiliary source of power, or the motor’s power output exceeds 200 watts, then the bicycle is a motor vehicle. The rider will be required to hold a motorcycle licence and have the vehicle registered before it can be used on the road network, including footpaths and bicycle paths.

    Some electric powered vehicles with floor boards are described as bicycles because they have pedals and sometimes belts, chains, or gears. The primary source of power for these vehicles may be the electric motor, and the vehicle not built to be propelled primarily by human power. These vehicles are actually electric scooters. The rider, therefore, will be required to hold a motorcycle licence and have the vehicle registered before it can be used on the road network, including footpaths and bicycle paths.”

    so based on this, the poor old guy in Chapel St has been dudded by the cops if he was on a 200 watt power assisted bike. If he was on a 200 watt scooter he could still argue the “The primary source of power for these vehicles may be the electric motor,” re the word “may” it he would argue for him that the primary source of power is the pedals most of the time (but not in Chapel St at that particular time)

    Any lawers out there with an opinion on this?? It is pretty crucial.

  39. Thanks Stephen
    We are getting Legal advice.

  40. s Latham, I am a Gov. Prosecutor and feel the fellow may be struggling with a defence on this one. It is certainly worth a try especially if he has time to prepare and lodge a sound defence. $700 is an unusual amount so I would be interested in sighting what the individual offence/offences were. Also an accurate description or photo would tell the story. Melda I think it is worth defending but best to double check expenses a defence would cost. Representing ones self is ok but paying extra costs and possibly loosing would hurt more than pride. Can the gentleman put his feet on a running board whilst under electric power? Also if anybody imports electric powered cycles Under 200 Watts into Australia you must fill in a form which specifically says they are for off road use, which avoids expensive compliance and testing. A number of importers of electric cycles are currently being pursued and investigated by ACCC who don’t have much of a sense of humor regarding safety and making false declarations. Regards, Edwin

  41. Thanks Edwin.
    Being a gov Prosecutor and a electric bike importer puts you in a unique position to comment!

    I rang Vicroads for clarification and the guy who answered was diligent. He checked with others in the office and rang back to say that the “floorboards” is the issue. ie can you stand on it?
    We checked together some pics of bikes/scooters on ebay and advertised on a shop site and he thought the ones with narrow (almost bike bar like width) bases seemed OK but the wide bases could be a problem. We did talk about 200 watts being less then kitchen egg-beater power.
    Nothing in writing though!

    Has the ACCC action against the importers been reported in the media or do you know this from being in the legal industry? This is an interesting development that would be worth following.

    Stephen

  42. Seems like the “floorboards” are the problem. Believe me when i checked the VICRoads site in February there was no mention about floorboards.
    Yes he can put his feet on..it was the only reason he bought it. He is 65+ pensioner. He can not defend himself. No Edwin, he can not afford to pay for a solicitor. I am trying to get assistance from a Community Legal centre. It is so frustrating and unfair. ACCC needs to do more media coverage!!!! Thanks again…

  43. Sorry to hear that Imelda. poor bloke.

    Edwin, does an importer signing with the ACCC affect the retailer’s obligations, particularly given that ACCC is federal and there are different state laws?
    Have there been any test cases run on this? and how can we view them?
    stephen

  44. just did a net seach and in NSW over the last week it looks like their RTA has specifically targeted and stopped bikes that look like motor scooters with pedals and the police are prosecuting. This is a real negative move for the environment. It’s a shame the the govt departments charged with sustainability don’t tell them to pull their heads in.

  45. Not sure what you mean about signing with ACCC? The importer has an obligation to ensure what they sell is what is advertised and safe for the consumer. There is little compliance to deal with when the model imported is within DOTARS guildlines, other than moral that is. I personally think the electric cycles are a great idea, just don’t agreed there is a need for higher power or speed. Basically they are a mode of transport for our Baby Boomers to explore areas of our country if they are still reasonalby mobile. Also good for short trips to and fro’ our abode and workplace, specifically Uni students, Factory workers, Office workers etc within 10Km or their destination. Further than this, or with a need for higher speeds I feel a car or public transport is safer.

  46. sorry, not ACCC. I meant signing with whoever the importers have to sign with (that you were referring to above ). I presume it is a Federal authority not State so was wondering about the different relationships in law.
    I live 20 Km from the city along a bike path and Monash Freeway (carpark) . I;m not fit. Never ridden on a bike more then 10 k in my life. I couldnt arrive at work sweaty and smelly in my job. I dont think i could afford the extra and effort to organise a shower and clothers to the day to i rode in. I drive in on the freeway for 45 minutes or drive to the station and train it to arrive about an hour after i leave home which is a bit cheaper after citylink and parking costs.
    For Australia to reach any Carbon targets, fat bastards like me should be encouraged not discouraged by Govts to get on a bike and ride to work even if power assisted by (hopefully green accredited) electricity charging the battery. I dont know how long it would take me to do 20 Km on the bike path. With some power assist it could be an hour??
    I suppose i am talking to the converted though.
    stephen

  47. Hi
    I have a 200w scooter, which is very slow up hills (needs pedaling) and does about 25kph on the flat. I’ve used it to commute about 6km to work and back in Eastern suburbs of Melbourne.
    A bit embarrasing when you get passed by other cyclists but otherwise very useful and better for the environment that driving, easy to park when I arrive.
    Btw if people are looking for an eletric bike, I’ve seen some made by Aprila that look good, they come up occasionally on http://www.dontmissout.com.au.
    Tony

  48. Hi Tony, re going up hills, “if its not a personal question” , how much do you weigh? What type of scooter is it? 48 watt? is it easy to peddle?
    stephen

  49. Have a look here;

    http://www.gazellebicycles.com.au

    The Innergy should be here early 2009.

  50. I have been stalking Spotz Australasia for nearly a year, trying to get them to import the gor-or-or-geous range of Schwinn Electric Bicycles. What are they waiting for?! I even gave them a mention in an article that Madison magazine did on our company and they said if they got enough interest, they would import. I’ve kept my end of the bargain. Let’s blitz them! We need that bike!

    Max Kater
    Murchison-Hume

  51. The Schwinn bikes look pretty good but if Sportz Australia arent interested (and the 200w is clearly an issue for Schwinn) then tell Schwinn to get another agent. Shoprider has a 3 speed electric bike that looks pretty neat and its got a LiFePO battery. Its $1695. try http://www.shoprider.com.au

  52. I have an Aprilia power assisted bicycle. They are about 5 yrs old now. They look so cool – definetly no lycra required!. Works well for my commute. Theyw ere v expensive when they first arrived in the country. I bought mine for about $1700 new approx 3 yrs ago. Not sure if they still appear on the Aprilia website. They are called Aprilia Enjoy

  53. We have had a electric front motor put onto the front of our Cargo Bike and we love it. I originally thought that 200W was not going to be enough as we live in the West End / Highgate Hill area of Brisbane (very hilly). The trick we have found to keeping the speed up is to maintain slight pedal pressure in higher gears for the longer less steep hills but for the really steep ones you just have to go up in low and enjoy the scenery.
    We bumped into a Bike policeman the other day and he said they were booking people with E motors bigger than 200W. (he was in plain clothes and we were telling him how I would love to get a Stokemonkey motor on it).

    Am going to test it out on longer runs soon 30km or so. It is so much fun.
    I have heard that there are still problems with the shaft drive on the Schwinn’s

  54. […] previous post about Schwinn electric bicycles have been very popular with many people asking how they can get one […]

  55. Check out
    http://www.users.bigpond.com/solarbbq/bikesale/bsale.htm

    Buy the bits, do your own conversion, put a 200w label on it.
    Too easy
    Our governments (all of them) who owe their political survival to not pissing off the fossil fuel merchants need never know.
    Happy Ebiking

  56. Electronic bikes seem to be the trend. Since the Li-Ion technology is developing very smal batteries they got small and light but for further distances I think it’s not very reasonable until now. An electronic motocycle would be more interesting to me

  57. After a year long battle with my client’s case(see my 2008 letters) Magistrate dissmissed the case. She was so surprised that this case came to the court. If my client keeps his pedals on all the time there will be no problem. He can drive his electric scooter on the bike lane.
    Thanks to everyone who tried to help with their comments.

    • Excellent news Melda.

      As a cyclist I object to people using bike lanes who aren’t on bikes. Particularly motor scooters, motorcycles (I’m a motorcyclist also). However, if an elderly gent can’t ride his electric scooter/bicycle in a bike lane in this country we might as well throw in the towel and admit we’ve lost all common sense. I can’t think of a better or safer place to ride it.

      Luke

  58. Can I use both hubs with 200w motors and two batteries to increase my range legally.

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