Ask Optibike! Q: Does the Optibike have regenerative braking like some hybrid cars?

By February 8, 2012July 7th, 2018Ask Optibike!, Newsletter Archive
A: 
In short, no.  There are a few reasons why we decided not to offer “regen” on the Optibike.

An Optibike R-Series with the ultra efficient, and sleek motorized bottom bracket.

1. Compromised riding experience. 

Bikes we have ridden with regenerative braking have been heavy, a bit clumsy, and generally require a hub motor to capture the relatively small amount of energy that is recovered through slowing down.

An electric bike with a regenerative braking system. These wheels weigh about 17 lbs each.



2. Excessively complicated.

In a 3000lb car, recovering the potential energy when slowing down makes sense.  There is far less energy to recover with a 60lb bike and rider combo to warrant the excess of mechanics required to incorporate regenerative braking.  Sure, our marketing people could brag about it- but the reality is that its little more than marketing fodder.

3. Battery Abuse.

E-bike batteries are small compared to electric or hybrid car batteries, smaller batteries do not absorb spikes in energy produced by regen braking without compromising cycle life of the battery.  We decided that offering a 3 year/30,000 mile battery warranty was a better feature than regen.  There are no electric bikes with regen braking that offer a comparable warranty.

4. How far do you really want to go?

This is our favorite conversation to have, because all this talk of regen really comes down to how far you want to be able to ride.  With the Optibike Touring battery, you can ride 100 miles- which would take about 4 hours or so.  My rear end gets tired before my Optibike battery does.  We are curious- how far do you need to be able to ride on a single charge to do everything that you want to do?

Really! We want to hear from you.  Send us an email at: ask@optibike.com with your questions, comments, concerns, personal observations or suggestions.

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