Watch: how motorised bikes have been possible since the 1970s

Video shows motor fitted to 1970s steel racing bike
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Think motorised bikes are a recent phenomenon? Well you might want to think again, as this video shows how the technology has been around to fit motors into road bikes since the 1970s.

The system uses a motor hidden in the seat tube, similar to the one found in the bike of Femke Van den Driessche at the World Cyclocross championships, which can power the bike for up to 45 minutes at a top speed of 45km/h, with two batteries stashed away underneath the shell of the saddle.

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The motor is operated using buttons located behind the brake levers on the handlebars, with the cranks attached using some sort of ratchet, meaning that the rider wouldn’t have to pedal when using the motor.

Like publically available modern systems, this motor was never intended to be used by racer, instead providing assistance for people who wanted to experience the thrill of riding a bike, but were not physically able to do so. We also think that the amount of noise that the motor makes in the video might have been a bit of a giveaway for anyone riding alongside you in the bunch…