Hands On: We go flying through a Vegas hotel on the Schwinn Tailwind eBike

We still have smiles on our faces after taking this $3199 Schwinn Tailwind electric bike for a spin inside the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas. We started pedaling and the power kicked in, and we chose the fastest setting, reminding us that the name Tailwind is perfect. It's fast, fun and we all give it a big thumbs up.

Click Continue for the press release with full details, or just look at the gallery below for the full story in pictures.

Schwinn's Tailwind - The Fastest-Charging Electric Bike in the World -
Will be Available in Stores Starting this January

The Tailwind (MSRP $3,199), Schwinn's latest electric bike, will be showcased at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas (Jan. 8-11, 2009), and will be available through Independent Bike Dealers (IBDs) throughout North America before February 2009

BETHEL, Conn. - Jan. 08, 2009 - Schwinn Bicycles, America's most recognized bicycle brand, today announced that its Tailwind electric bike (the fastest charging electric bike in the world) will be available for purchase beginning later this month at Independent Bicycle Dealers (IBDs) throughout the United States. Schwinn Bicycles is part of the Cannondale Sports Group Division of Dorel Industries (TSX: DII.B, DII.A).

The Tailwind represents the next generation of eBikes and will be on exhibit this week (Jan. 8-11) at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas at the Sands Convention Center (Booth #74840). The Tailwind features the world's fastest-charging battery - a battery built by electronics giant, Toshiba Corporation; in fact, the Tailwind was the first product in the world to use Toshiba's new SCiB technology.

Toshiba's SCiB power technology will enable Tailwind owners to recharge their eBike in 30 minutes through a standard electrical outlet (or as little as five to seven minutes through a commercial charger).

By comparison, it takes approximately four hours or longer to fully recharge the battery of virtually any other eBike in use today through a standard electrical outlet, allowing riders to recharge their Tailwind eBike in one-eighth (1/8th) the time of other electric bikes.

"We've seen tremendous growth in the eBike market in the last couple years, and expect the Tailwind will break out to lead the pack as it incorporates the latest battery technology in a very sleek and stylish electric bicycle," said Bruno Maier, Executive Vice President of Marketing for the Cannondale Sports Group. "Initially we are starting out with a smaller inventory in the U.S., but we plan to grow the number of eBikes available to IBDs throughout the year to meet what we will expect will be a growing demand."

Details on the Schwinn Tailwind eBike
The Tailwind (like all Schwinn electric bicycles) is a so-called eBike hybrid and can be ridden in either motor-assist mode or as a conventional bike. The eight-speed Tailwind utilizes a lightweight, Schwinn-designed 6000 series aluminum alloy frame and an SR Suntour NEX-4610 suspension fork with lock-out.

The electric motor in the Tailwind is housed in the hub of the front wheel, an innovation found in all Schwinn eBike models. In addition, all Schwinn eBike models (including the Tailwind) utilize the Plug N' Drive removable battery pack which is built into stylishly designed rear bike rack systems, allowing riders to quickly detach the battery for recharging.

It is projected that owners will realize an industry leading 2,000 (minimum) recharge cycles with the Tailwind electric bicycle versus the industry standard of 600 - 1,000 charges before needing to replace the battery. Tailwind riders will also find they can ride 25 to 30 miles per charge (depending upon such factors as climate, rider weight and terrain). The Tailwind also comes with a 20,000-mile or two-year limited warranty.

Other specs for Schwinn's Tailwind include A Shimano Nexus 8-speed internal geared rear hub, A brushless motor with 180 watts of continuous power or 250 watts at peak power, Schwinn's PowerDialâ„¢ on and off power assist system, with three pedal assist power settings, Rear roller braking system,