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Paramedic E-Bike Aspirations


 2007 picture of the original version of the Titan, which was then known as the MonVal. It always got a lot of attention from medical cycling response professionals. They loved it.


LAS Cycle Response Unit Efficiencies and Savings

The London Ambulance Service (LAS) Cycle Response Unit (CRU), was started in the year 2000 by Tom Lynch, MBE. They use non-electric-assist mountain bikes.

Here are some results of the team implementation over a six month period on average:

  • 999 calls: 46 calls answered per week - 35% of all CRU area calls

  • Ambulance Cancellations: 22 per week by the CRU or not sent by CAC - 50%

  • Not Conveyed: 22 once the CRU attended - 50%

  • Cycle Mileage: 170 miles per week, approx 4,500 over six months.

  • Savings: Approx. £80,000 in ambulance non-dispatch/attendance and £2000 in fuel.

The Difference a Titan Ambulance E-Bike WOULD Make

All the riders of a CRU are volunteers from within the Ambulance service, but to join, they have to possess a high level of cycling fitness, which obviously not all staff have, therefore limiting the expansion of such a service. But, after seeing the above significant savings both financially and otherwise that a CRU can make to the service just in London alone, it makes sense to try and expand that service to other areas too. The Titan with its ergonomic riding position alleviating the commonly associated aches and pains of the conventional bicycle, its electric assistance and guaranteed range for a 60 mile patrol, would substantially reduce the fitness levels required to join, and in so doing, enable more of these highly skilled specialist medics to be recruited. The added bonus, they’ll also be able to carry more equipment if required or desired.

The picture of the Vanguard with 2 x 28L panniers on one side of rear pannier rack, demonstrates its extra equipment carrying capacity.


The Rationale
Many urban centres and areas are becoming more and more pedestrianised in an attempt to reduce traffic flow and carbon dioxide levels within them. Although this is absolutely the right thing to do in order to help stem our impact on climate change, unfortunately, it can on occasion, increase the difficulty and time getting van ambulances to individuals suffering medical emergencies in such a setting.

The obvious answer then, is to increase in those areas, the use of Paramedic bike ambulances. The problem however, is that it is not as easy as it sounds. You see, currently, the bikes used are all manual, non-electric-assist, so it's a very physically demanding job, hence why the riders must be cycling fit. Also, the duty shifts are 10 to 12 hours long, the emergency kit they have to carry is on average in excess of 50kg and, it is not unusual for some riders to travel up to 60 miles in a day.  So it's understandable why volunteers aren't exactly forthcoming, despite the big differences and savings a CRU can make. 

An electric-assist conventional style bicycle replacing a manual one, would be quicker and much easier to ride, it could even enable the rider to increase their operational range. So, why aren’t they being used? 
For one thing, there is the problem of battery range. Most E-bike batteries these days, will, on average, give a real world riding range of between 30 to 40 miles before they expire. But, achieving such range is very much affected by the following factors:
A - How heavy the rider and the load being carried are.
B - The amount of work the motor has to do, which is dependent on how much pedalling the rider is          / isn’t doing to assist it.
C - The type of terrain / surface.
D - How steep and /or how many hills the bike will be climbing,
E – If the bike is being ridden into a Headwind.
Basically, the more strain is put on the battery, the more energy is drained from it, so consequently, the lower the actual range will be. To guarantee a 40 mile range irrespective of the above mentioned factors, the bike would need to be able to carry at least 4x 14Ah or 17Ah batteries. No conventional style E-Bike design can do this without impeding on their luggage carrying capacity, or the bike’s ride-ability. Front-loading cargo bikes can carry the necessary batteries as required, however, their general handling characteristics are not really suited for such a service. 
Remember, some cycling paramedics can travel up to 60 miles in a day during a 10 / 12 hour shift, so guaranteeing range is paramount.

Two other major factors why conventionally styled E-Bikes aren't currently being used, is their cost and sizing.
Currently,  all the good quality electric-assist bikes with decent battery range, average around the £3.5k mark, whilst the average price for a good manual bike is approx. £1k. This in itself isn’t so bad, but for the fact that several different sized E-Bikes would have to be purchased to accommodate for varying sizes of riders within a Cycle Response Unit (CRU)... and this could prove quite expensive.


Dave. approx. height 5ft 9in

Tina. approx. height 5ft 5in

Reminder, Summary and Significance of 
Titan Vanguard as an Ambulance E-Bike   

Because, not only can it carry more life-saving equipment if required, it can also accommodate a wide size range of rider in one bike - from approx. 5ft 3inch to 6ft 7inch. Thereby, allowing the Cycle Response Unit (CRU) to reduce the number of bikes it needs to purchase, which in turn, will lower maintenance costs and storage requirements.

Titan Vanguard E-Bike substantially reduces the physical effort and discomfort of its rider which are factors that would help recruit greater numbers of paramedics onto a CRU.
And, the more CRUs there are, the more money the NHS could save in fuel costs and call outs of Van Ambulances not having to attend a situation unnecessarily. 
Additionally, an expansion of  the number of Paramedic Cycle Response Units in a given area, town, or city, will also help the NHS to maintain call out to attendance targets of approx six to eight minutes.

Comparison of Titan with a Conventional Bike Design
29er Traditional Upright           32er Tall Semi-Recumbent

  1. The Titan design has a greatly improved seating and riding position which significantly reduces stress on various parts of the body, namely the crotch area, neck, shoulder, back, arms, wrists, hips and knees. The rider's back is also further supported via an adjustable-height lumbar bolster backrest. 

  2. The Titan design is genuinely 'one-size-fits-all'. Height-wise, it will accommodate riders ranging from approx. 5ft 3in to 6ft 7in plus.  But it really   All depends on your inside leg / inside seam measurements.  In these terms, then it will generally accommodate someone from approx. 25 to 38 inches.  

  3. The Titan design gives the rider greater stability by enabling them to place both feet flat on the ground whilst still remaining in the seat, a feature which is especially useful when having to stop, and, reassuring when traversing wet, slippery or loose surfaces and other precarious road situations .

  4. The Titan design has superior ride comfort. This is as a result of having a long wheelbase and large 32 inch wheels, which in combination, smoothes out and / or reduces the jostling felt when having to go over potholes, bumps and uneven road surfaces.

  5. The Titan design can carry at least 120 litres of luggage over its rear wheel. This is double the luggage carrying capacity over the rear wheel of a conventionally designed  and sized bike.

  6. The Titan design despite being semi-recumbent, places the rider only a few inches shorter whilst seated, than they would be when standing, ensuring very high visibility to drivers and other road users.

  7. The Titan design utilises large motorcycle mirrors, a safety feature that helps the rider to be        more aware of other road vehicles around them.


  8. The Titan design can carry 5x full-sized batteries like the one seen in the pictures, on its              down tube. For this, the batteries would be further contained in one large case that would            look very similar to a large petrol tank on a motorcycle. Depending on the battery cells                used, the range could be huge.

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