Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Base of the Rocky Mountains, Canada. Wonderous things!
Bikes: 2010 Cannondale Hooligan 3
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You can already go out and get all sorts of crazy/cool bike designs, chopper bikes, penny farthings (or ratty farthings!), all sorts of crazy stuff. I think there's an alt bike thread or forum somewhere on the site here. A store here in Calgary called Power in Motion sells a great looking chopper bike (I cant remember the name of the brand, but these guys are starting to get pretty famous), and they'll electrify it as well. You can get crazy laser cut rims for the wheels too with any design you want inside them. Big thief magnets = )
So far as completely silent and nearly indistinguishable, i've seen this one bike in Banff a couple of times which is definetly electrified, looks like they're using one of the nano hub motors, which as their name implies are quite tiny. The kit is so well integrated its almost impossible to tell even with knowledge of what e-bikes look like! Not an old bike, but designed very much like one, sweeping frame lines, smooth black finish with golden brown detailings and a fine leather saddle. Very very good looking. Envy inducing even, but i'd be afraid of even taking the thing out on the street and getting it dirty.
As far as hiding the batteries, I think the "Pi" bike is my favourite. Maybe not so much for value or practicality, but its a good stealth design and the bike looks so wierd that riding it around would be a treat, regardless. Maybe.
I think custom bikes have become a lot more popular lately, but the cost of custom making a frame is much higher than a factory made one so I can't see it becoming anything standard soon.