Shimano is expected to start selling a kit in December that converts a regular bike into an electrically powered one. The kit, called STEPS- Shimano Total Electric Power System, in centered around a 250W electric motor capable of taking the bike up to 15.5 mph and includes a 24 volt lithium-ion rechargeable battery with an integrated rear light that's meant to be mounted on a rear rack.
STEPS includes regenerative breaking which captures energy when the brakes are used and can be installed on bikes using standard derailleurs.
Shimano unveiled STEPS at the Eurobike 2010 tradeshow and plans to offer it for sale in December. There's no word to be found regarding pricing or availability in the U.S., but I'll keep my eye on this one.
I've been rocking the Pedego Classic Cruiser for about a year now and have gotten the chance to extensively test ride a few other models. I'd love to get some time in next year on a bike pimped out with STEPS to see how it compares to e-bikes built electric from the ground up.
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