High Tech Bicycles Giving Riders Boost - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

High Tech Bicycles Giving Riders Boost

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According to figures from the National Bicycle Dealers Association, an estimated 19 million bikes were sold in the U.S. last year. However, since the invention of the modern bicycle design in the late 1800s, there haven't been a lot of changes made to the human-powered method of transportation.

However, new features on bicycles are making them go faster, without a lot of additional effort from the biker.

"Motorized bikes are really popular in Europe. Gaining more popularity around here," said Dean Cromwell with the Spoke Shop in Billings. He is selling a number of motor-assist bicycles to people, including Mark and Kevin Claxton.

"We were riding the bus all the time, and couldn't go anywhere," said Kevin, describing life before bicycles.

"We've mounted these motors on there for these guys, and just made this kind of an all-purpose machine for them that are really really cool, and they just love them," said Dean.

The bike's on-board motor is powered by a Lithium-Ion battery: the same kind of battery that powers many high-tech gadgets in today's society, including smart phones. The motor will give people a powered boost on-demand, just by pressing a button.

Once charged up, the battery can last a while.

"It will last, like, a hundred miles, maybe two hundred miles. Just depends on how often you use it," said Mark Claxton.

"It really, literally changed their lives, and gave them a new freedom that they didn't know that they could have," said Dean. He went on to describe what could be the future of motor-assist bicycles.

"We're gonna be the exclusive dealer for a specialized new turbo that goes almost 30 miles an hour," said Dean.

For the Claxton brothers, however, speed doesn't matter as much as the freedom they now have, to go anywhere. They say they want to go camping in Red Lodge with their specifically-built bikes, and accessories that include a camper.

These bikes can come with a sticker shock, as Dean said the cost can easily reach into the thousands.

This story aired as a part of "Kenny's Tech Korner", local stories on technology by KULR-8's Kenneth Wong that airs on Fridays on the KULR-8 News at 10. If you have any technology questions or story ideas, please leave a message on the KULR-8 Facebook Page, or send Kenny an e-mail at kwong@kulr.com.