The Myths & Facts of Electric Bikes by Greenaer Manager, Vincent Harris

Posted 24 Mar 2016 to News by Sarah Scannell

As a manager at Greenaer, Ireland’s leading electric-bicycle store, I get asked the same questions all the time from customers. It’s amazing how many false assumptions still exist in the Irish market with regard to electric bicycles. Compared to countries like Germany and The Netherlands, where 1 in 5 bikes sold are electric, Irish cyclists are just beginning to realise the advantages of an eBike. This article explores the more common questions we get asked about electric bicycles and hopefully debunks some of the myths that still exist about them. Vincent Harris, Greenaer.

“Aren’t electric bicycles just for lazy people!?”

No! Electric bicycles are bikes with benefits!

Yes, you can use less effort on an electric bicycle compared to a conventional bike. However, most riders report that they actually end up riding more frequently, for further distances, and for longer periods of time on an electric bicycle!

Once obstacles and constraints to cycling such as hills, terrain, distance, physical shape, and others are removed with the help of an electric bicycle, an electric bicycle can help to incorporate exercise into your everyday life.

In some cases, people that begin to commute on an electric bicycle keep their pedaling to a minimum on the way to work, in order to simply enjoy the ride and not arrive tired or sweaty, but then decide to go home on pedal-power only.

People who choose an electric bicycle over their car for short trips and errands around town find it so enjoyable, they look forward to getting on their bike the next time. (Not to mention the savings on petrol money, parking, insurance etc)

In fact, many electric bicycle users find themselves using their bike in situations they hadn’t even considered before. The net result is that they start to cycle more and more, and end up exercising beyond their initial plans.

“Do I need to pedal an electric bicycle or can I just whizz along like a moped or scooter?”

Electric bicycles resemble a “regular” bicycle more so than a moped or a scooter. They feel like a bicycle to ride and you can pedal them, just as you would with a regular bike. If you want you can cycle an electric bicycle just like a regular bike by simply turning the assistance off. Electrically assisted bicycles or ‘Pedelecs’ don’t do all the work for you, they assist. Essentially, they take the sting out of what could otherwise be a tough cycle. Electric bicycles really come into their own when cycling up hills or against the wind.

Unlike a moped or a scooter, electric bikes are:

  • Lightweight – The battery and motor add about 7 kilos to the regular weight of the bike. Overall, an electric bike will generally be 2-3 times lighter than a moped or a scooter.
  • Virtually silent – The motor kicks in with nothing more than a gentle hum.
  • Licence and Tax free- Electric bicycles can be bought and cycled just the same as a regular bike. They can also be purchased under the Bike to Work Scheme, whereas mopeds and scooters can’t.

“Are electric bicycles eligible for the Bike to Work Scheme?”

Yes!

“Can you cycle an electric bike when it rains?”

Any good quality electric bicycle is built to be weather proof. The batteries and motor are fully water resistant and riding in the rain will not affect its performance. All the bikes sold at Greenaer are weather resistant, are made for the European market and subject to European regulations and quality control.

“Do you need a licence for an electric bicycle?”

Pedelecs / Electrically assisted bicycles (the type that Greenaer sell) do not require any special licence, registration or insurance before being permitted to cycle.

“Are electric bicycles more of a target for thieves because they’re more expensive than a normal bike?”

Unfortunately, any expensive item that is not locked away and/or secured will be targeted by thieves in Ireland but to say that electric bicycles are specifically targeted by thieves would be untrue.

Thieves, in general, are opportunists. If a bike is unlocked it will most likely be targeted, but if a bike is locked with a good quality lock the thief will most likely move on to a bike that is unlocked or to a bike that has an easy lock to break.

The reality is that it’s more difficult to sell on a stolen electric bicycle than a stolen conventional bike. The reason for this is because each eBike needs a charger (each brand of eBike has it’s own type of charger) and a unique key for the battery. If the bike was robbed the likelihood would be that the owner would have these items and not the thief. In some cases the displays are detachable and without it the electrics will not work.

“Do electric bikes need specialist mechanics for servicing and do they require a lot of maintenance?”

Electric bicycles require a certain amount of maintenance but not much more than a conventional bike. Most repairs, such as brake and gear servicing and puncture repairs can be carried out by any decent bike mechanic. All the eBikes sold at Greenaer are covered by a 2 year warranty on electrical components and a 5 year warranty on bike frames. At GreenAer our mechanics are accredited by Bosch and Yamaha, we also have diagnostic systems for Kalkhoff and BH. Certain parts are non standard , where possible you are always better off dropping your bike into us.

Greenaer is Ireland’s leading electric bicycle store. We are located at 12a Magennis Place, just across the road from Pearse Street Dart Station in Dublin 2.

Open Monday to Friday 9.30am-6.30pm, Saturday 10am-4pm.

www.greenaer.ie

Saint Patrick’s Parade Pedalling!

Posted 23 Mar 2016 to Events by Sarah Scannell
Dublin Cycling Campaign Banner

Getting Ready for Take Off

Choreography outside te GPOChoreography outside the GPO

Saint Patrick's Day 2016 Dublin Cycling Campaign Banner

Saint Patrick’s Day 2016 Dublin Cycling Campaign Banner

Cargo Bikes

Cargo Bikes

The Dublin Cycling Campaign participation in the Saint Patrick’s Parade 2016 was a great success. It was fantastic to see such a mix; families, adults, children, all cycling bicycles of all sizes and shapes! Dublin City Council was delighted to sponsor the event and a big thank you and well done to all involved. Cycling in the City was represented very well!

Please see some videos from the day here and here. More photographs can be found on the Dublin Cycling Campaign’s flickr account.

La Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daoibh

Posted 16 Mar 2016 to Events by Sarah Scannell

Saint Patrick's Day FestivalDublin City Council will be sponsoring the Dublin Cycling Campaign in the Dublin City Centre Saint Patrick’s Day Parade 2016 under the theme of ‘Imagine If’. It’s all about the future and imagining what is possible for cycling in Dublin. Photographs will follow.

Wishing all a safe and enjoyable Saint Patrick’s Day and please note the Coca-Cola Zero dublinbikes restrictions over the festivities listed here.

Keep Your Bike Safe

Posted 14 Mar 2016 to News by Sarah Scannell

Keep Your Bike Safe Inforgraphic

In October 2015 Dublin City Council in partnership with the Dublin Cycling Campaign, the National Transport Authority and An Garda Síochana launched a Bike Security Campaign highlighting best practice for secure and preventative measures to ‘Keep Your Bike Safe’.

The key messaging to ‘Keep Your Bike Safe’ is to:

1. Invest in a quality lock.Sold Secure

There is a security rating standard set by Sold Secure of bronze, silver and gold for various bike locks. Where possible you should invest in a silver or gold standard lock.

Talk to your local bike shop about various lock and security options available.

For maximum security you should use a U-lock to secure your bike frame to a parking stand and using a separate cable lock, secure both wheels to the stand also.

2. Lock your bike at home.

A third of bike thefts take place in apartment blocks and bikes are stolen from sheds and gardens also.

3. Record your bicycles serial number.Bike Diagram

The majority of serial numbers are located under the bottom bracket where the two pedal cranks meet. Simply turn your bike upside down and record the number. If there is no serial number there then check places like the headset at the front of the bike or the rear stays.

4. Don’t buy a bike that you suspect is stolen.

When buying a second hand bicycle please ensure it has not been stolen. Ask for a receipt or original manual from when it was purchased.

Look for the bicycle serial number. If this has been scratched off it is a tell-tale sign of a bike theft.

5. Always report a stolen bike.

Research shows that less than half of bike thefts are reported. Reporting theft will help to give a real picture of the problem which we can work to address.

An Garda Síochana have a online declaration form to report thefts under €500.00, anything stolen over a value of €500.00 should reported directly to An Garda Síochana.

Why not print off a copy of the attached infographic and pin it up at your work place or home bike parking facility?

Locking Your Bike

‘Keep Your Bike Safe’ Infographic

Coca-Cola Zero dublinkbike Saint Patrick’s Day Restrictions

Posted 11 Mar 2016 to Events» News by Sarah Scannell

Saint Patrick's Day Festival

Impact on Coca-Cola Zero dublinbikes stations during the St. Patrick’s Festival 2016 (Wed 16th – Sun 20th March)

To facilitate the Saint Patrick’s Festival, several Coca-Cola Zero dublinbikes stations will be closed or service will be restricted for periods between Wednesday 16th and Monday 21st March.

The stations affected, dates and times are shown below:

STATION:                                 CLOSED FROM:           RE-OPENS:

(30) Parnell Sq N.                      15:00 Wed 16th              17:00 Thurs 17th

(6) Christchurch Pl.                    15:00 Wed 16th              17:00 Thurs 17th

(102) Western Way                    15:00 Wed 16th              17:00 Thurs 17th

(10) Dame Street                       15:00 Wed 16th              17:00 Thurs 17th

(33) Princes Street                     15:00 Wed 16th              17:00 Thurs 17th

(11) Earlsfort Terrace                 00:30 Thurs 17th                  05:00 Sat 19th

(23) Custom House                    00:30 Wed 16th              09:00 Mon 21st

(26) Merrion Sq. West                17:00 Sat 19th                05:00 Mon 21st

Please note the times quoted above are approximate and subject to change.

Due to related traffic restrictions there may be some further impact on the Coca-Cola Zero dublinbikes service as a result of the festivities.

Please keep an eye on www.dublinbikes.ie for updates

Coca-Cola Zero dublinbikes

SBIR Presentation – 14th March 2016, 8.00pm

Posted 10 Mar 2016 to Events by Sarah Scannell
SBIR Cycle Challenge

SBIR Cycle Challenge

Following on from the ‘Smart Dublin and Enterprise Ireland launch €100k Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Challenge’ blog post on the 8th of March; Jamie Cudden from Smart Cities is giving a presentation on Smart Dublin and the ‘Cycle Challenge’  at the Dublin Cycling Campaign Meeting on the 14th of March in the Central Hotel, Exchequer Street, Dublin 2 at 8pm.

For anyone who may have an idea around the ‘Cycle Challenge’ this is a good forum to learn more about the challenge, the application process and what is involved.

For further details please see the Dublin Cycling Campaign Website.

Smart Dublin and Enterprise Ireland launch €100k Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Challenge

Posted 8 Mar 2016 to News by Sarah Scannell

As part of the Smart Dublin initiative, the 4 Dublin local authorities and Enterprise Ireland launched the €100k Small Business Innovation Research Challenge (SBIR) in City Hall today. In line with a push towards a healthier, more liveable city, Dublin is seeking smart, innovative and low cost solutions to increase the number of people cycling in Dublin.

The SBIR challenge is a joint initiative between Smart Dublin and Enterprise Ireland and is open for applications from today 8th March until 3rd May 2016. Successful applicants will be selected by an open competition process run in two phases. The competition is open to any organisation, developers of ICT and software solution providers, universities and service providers.

Sarah Scannell, recently appointed ‎Cycling and Walking Promotion Officer, Dublin City Council, said: “We want to increase cycling in Dublin, both across the Dublin Region and in the City Centre with a target for a quarter of all trips in the city centre to be taken by bike .  Achieving this objective will require major investment in cycling infrastructure, increased promotion of cycling as an option, supportive policy decision making, and a step change in attitudes to cycling in our city.  There are a number of short term improvements possible through the application of smart, low cost innovative technologies. The SBIR challenge will allow us to provide seed funding for companies and individuals to develop innovative and data driven proposals to accomplish this goal.”

The SBIR challenge is seeking proposals which advance the use of existing cycling data; create new cycling data to enhance understanding of cycling issues; and develop methods to improve cycling safety and reduce bicycle theft in the city.

Kevin Sherry, Executive Director, Enterprise Ireland, said: “A key priority for Enterprise Ireland is to increase the level of innovation in businesses and the commercialisation of research in Ireland. We are delighted to support the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Challenge which will encourage the development of new and innovative solutions to increase the level of journeys taken by bicycle in Dublin and I would encourage entrepreneurs, developers and researchers who have solutions in this space to take up the challenge and enter the competition.”

David Timoney, Dublin Cycling Campaign, said: “Dublin Cycling is supporting the SBIR challenge and encourages all companies with smart ideas to get involved in this competition. We would like to see innovative solutions developed that gather better cycle behaviour data which will allow for evidenced based decisions on cycling infrastructure.  Hopefully these solutions can tackle the various barriers to increased cycling including bike security, inadequate private and public bike parking, perception of bad weather and perception of safety.”

Interested parties can apply on SmartDublin.ie. The closing date is the 3rd May 2016. An information session will be held on the 23rd March in Enterprise Ireland from 10 -12am.  Applicants will be required to demonstrate that their proposed solution can achieve the required technical performance, cost (capital and operating), scalability, ease of use and good customer experience amongst other aspects.

Smart Dublin is an initiative of the four Dublin Local Authorities to engage with smart technology providers, researchers and citizens to solve city challenges and improve city life. It aims to position Dublin as a world leader in the development of new urban solutions, using open data, and with the city region as a test bed.

At the launch in City Hall, a number of other flagship Smart Dublin projects were showcased including: Croke Park Smart Stadium; Dublinked Open Data; Dublin Dashboard; Intel/DCC Flood Management IoT demonstrator; CiviQ – open engagement platform; Kingspan low cost river level sensing trial; and Sonitus Sound Monitoring Dublin network.

To find out more about these projects, please visit www.SmartDublin.ie. The tender is available here: http://bit.ly/1Yr6N2L

dub_bike_infographic_08

Luas Cross City – Track Awareness Campaign

Posted 7 Mar 2016 to News by Sarah Scannell

Be Track Aware!

Luas Cross City have commenced a track awareness campaign to make cyclists aware of the new tracks along the alignment. As the Luas Cross City project develops, new tram rails are appearing on the streets of Dublin City Centre along the Luas Cross City Route.

 

BE TRACK AWARE CAMPAIGN

Dublin City cyclists are advised to follow the guidlines below when cycling in areas with tram rails:

LuasTrackAdvice

As always, cyclists should adhere to warning signage in place, cycle safely and be aware of traffic movements.  Please observe the warning signage in place:

TramTrack

The Luas Cross City Public Information Office is open Monday – Friday 9-5 (excluding bank holidays) and have a selection of Cycling Promotional Stock availableas part of the campaign (while stocks last) .

HighVisLuas

 

For further information, please see:

Wesbite:             www.luascrosscity.ie

Facebook:           Luas Cross City

Twitter:                @LuasCrossCity

Email:                   Info@luascrosscity.ie

Phone:                  1800 30 36 53

Adandoned Bicycle Tag

Posted 1 Mar 2016 to Events by Sarah Scannell
George's Quay outside Tara Street Station

George’s Quay outside Tara Street Station

Abandoned Bicycles

The demand for on-street cycle parking within Dublin City centre is growing as the number of cyclists increase. Abandoned bicycles take up valuable space that cyclists could otherwise be using. They are unsightly and can at time pose a hazard to other pedestrians and cyclists.

To tackle this issue Dublin City Council is has develpoed Abandoned Bicycle Policy and implmented  the use of Abandoned Bicycle Tags. These tags will be placed on bicycles that, by their condition, appear as abandoned. Flat tyres on both front and back wheels, buckled or missing wheels, damaged frames or heavily rusted chains and sprockets will be taken as indications that the bicycle has been abandoned.

Once a City Council Official has identified the bike as abandoned the following procedure will ensue:

  • Bicycle Indentified – Two weeks monitoring

If no change

  • Bicycle deemed Abandoned and Tagged – Two weeks for owner to remove the tag or bicycle

If no change

  • Bicycle Removed – Bicycles in reasonable condition will be stored in a City Council storage facility

If no change

  • If not claimed after 4 weeks the bicycle will be recycled, disposed of or donated depending on its condition

 

The removal of abandoned bicycles will be managed on an area basis by the Public Domain Enforcement Officers with the assistance of the Traffic and Waste Management Sections. Council Officials will exercise caution when determining whether a bike is abandoned or not. Before a bicycle is removed a photographic record of the condition of the bicycle will be taken.  The lock(s) will then be cut and the bicycle removed.

Please see infographic on the Abandoned Bicycle Process