Wednesday, December 19, 2007

THE SNOB TOUTS AN ELECTRIC BICYCLE: That's a complete waste of money

A bit less than 24 miles/charge for a $3,000 bicycle. That's progress. Oof!

Susan Carpenter, the Los Angeles Times' reviewer of expensive two-wheeled conveyances, was slumming today in passing commentary on the iZip Express, a $3,000 electric bicycle only a moron could love.

Usually Carpenter only reviews high-end superbikes. She reports on their astonishing horsepower and how they go 186 mph -- or maybe could go lots faster -- if the manufacturers weren't concerned over liability issues and being regulated by the state for being irresponsible assholes.

Last week it was the usual stew.

Some 20k super motorcycle painted all in black -- the Darth Vader Road Dominator. (Not it's real name, but close, since Darth Vader was invoked in the write-up.)

Here's the summary of Carpenter with allowance for lampoon: The Darth Vader Road Dominator has lots of horsepower and torque! The rectangular double-overhead cam frammis is strip-fitted to the Glover energy sparger which develops 86 kilojoules/foot pound of bike. It's black. I got it up to 186 mph.

Have pity on the other writers who share the Highway 1 section. One of them regularly opines about silly things like not breaking the law or having a better attitude when you're on the road by not going so fast. How naive and un-with it.

But back to the iZip Express and Susan Carpenter for the Times', "Pedaling the eco-commute."

OK, now you're thinking this electic bicylce must be a green thing. Not exactly. It gets 24 miles per charge of the battery, according to Carpenter. It costs "ten cents" in electricity to charge the iZip, which she seems to think is a bargain.

A regular bicycle doesn't cost anything in electricity and does the same job, albeit slower, for a lot less than $3,000.

So the iZip Express is not particularly green, although perhaps the Times' consumer reporter and editors may be personally excused from the critical thinking necessary to arrive at such a conclusion. After all, it was once said by someone that it is morally wrong to encourage readers suckers to keep their money.

"It got me out of my car and into a cost-effective, eco-friendly commuter vehicle ..." writes Carpenter.

"I moved through all 27 speeds on the Shimano drive train with a combination of two movements ... I twisted the right grip to select among the nine speeds on the free-wheel, and I adjusted the tension on those gears with my left -- just like I would on a standard multi-speed bicycle."

A snob in China.


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