Will 24 hour e-bike races be 2025’s top cycling events?

Canyon has released its vision for a future racing e-bike powered by a hydrogen fuel cell

Canyon has released a vision of what an e-bike could look like in 2025. Designed by Alexander Forst, the Eco Speed concept is powered not by a battery but by a hydrogen fuel cell. Forst sees the e-bike as being one of the most popular forms of transport by 2025. He outlined his vision to the Daily Telegraph recently.

e-bike concept is powered by a fuel cell

e-bike concept is powered by a fuel cell

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Forst sees manufacturers engaging in track-based e-bike races, with speeds of up to 100kph being reached and endurance races lasting up to 24 hours. This will make aerodynamic features even more important than for existing time trial bikes. So his e-bike uses deep section rims and a small number of aero carbon spokes. He sees the wheels as carrying wider profile treadles tyres to ensure grip, with his bike designed to take tyres with up to 35mm section. There are carbon fibre disc brakes to control speed.

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Aerobar turns the front wheel without moving the forks

Aerobar turns the front wheel without moving the forks

The bike has a bar rather like a conventional aerobar with lowered sections for steering and a raised part which flows seamlessly into the top of the frame to allow a more aero position to be held.

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The bike’s frame is carbon fibre, with an unconventional design. To ensure that the rider stays comfortable during an endurance race, the saddle has a front part designed for comfort, whilst the rear is solid to allow the bike to be steered precisely when this is required. The design means that the leading edge of the forks is integral to the frame and so does not turn when the bike is steered, which maintains efficient aerodynamics.

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e-bike still has pedals

e-bike still has cranks for the rider to add extra impetus 

Forst’s prototype for Canyon uses an electric motor for propulsion and this is powered by a hydrogen fuel cell, where hydrogen gas reacts with atmospheric oxygen to generate electricity. The fuel cell in turn receives its flow of hydrogen from a tank within the frame.

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The e-bike still has pedals, but the motor would provide up to 500 watts of additional power. So expect an e-powered Fabian Cancellara to be flashing past you at even greater speed by 2025.