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Sanyo's new eneloop bike gets carbon fiber frame, traction control brain

Tim Stevens

Carbon fiber, with its light weight and high strength, is the material upon which the modern motorsports world is built. Traction control, which decreases difficulty, threatens to destroy it. However, in the world of the urban commute, traction control is a great thing and carbon is generally unheard of. Not for Sanyo, which will soon introduce the CY-SPK227 eneloop bike with a frame made of the stuff, featuring two wheel drive and traction control. The rear wheel is powered by the chain, the front by an electric motor, and should the rider pedal more enthusiastically than slippery conditions allow the bike will compensate by adding more juice to the front. Total weight is about 43lbs, many times that of the composite wonders Lance straddled in France, but about 7lbs lighter than the company's last entrant. It has regenerative braking, an LED headlight, magnesium suspension, a ¥627,900 price tag (about $6,600), and it releases in Japan in October -- you know, right about when the skies start to threaten snow. A good test for that traction control, then.


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