Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Motor Driven Two-Wheeler

Last week I got an email from the store where I bought my bike that told me about their electric bike promotion. The message said that if I came in and took a test ride I would get a scratch-off card prize. The idea of an electric bike fascinated me, so today I stopped in to see what they were all about.

After asking me where I rode and what type of riding I did the associate gave me all sorts of stats and specs about the electric bikes, most of which went in one ear and out of the other. However, I did learn that:
  • There are electric bikes designed for commuters, trail riders and dirt bike riders.
  • The bikes in the store were regular bicycles that included pedal-assist, which meant that when you need assistance a small motor engages and gives you a boost.
  • Most bikes offer three levels of assistance. Their battery range is 20-60 miles, depending on the power mode and terrain. Not surprisingly, the more you pedal the farther you can go (because pedaling conserves the battery).
  • Recharging the bike is easy and takes three to five hours. You just take the battery off the bike and plug it into a standard wall outlet.
After I chose a bike to test the associate lowered the seat to the correct height and gave me a loaner helmet.  Before I left the store she gave me a suggested route (behind the strip mall) where I could test out the bike's speed. Then it was time to ride!

Once I was outside I turned on the battery and started peddling. The battery and motor made the bike significantly heavier than the one I already have, but it was still easy to maneuver. In my short ride the bike was very comfortable, with a nice wide seat and upright handlebars that had me sitting up straight.  I stayed in Eco, the lowest level of assistance. The electric motor made a light humming sound as I rode. I could feel the motor helping me along, and could go much faster than I usually do. When I looked down at the speedometer it told me I was going 16 miles per hour!

I went to the end of the strip mall, then turned around and came back the same way. The whole thing took less than five minutes and I was a little disappointed I couldn't ride for a longer time. After I turned in my helmet I got to pick my prize from a stack of cards in a small box box. I scratched off the center section and learned that I have $20 credit to spend in the store, which will be good for a small accessory.

As you might expect, electric bikes cost substantially more than conventional ones. I would have to save my pennies for a long time to be able to afford one. It sure was fun, though.


  1. Electric bikes! Will we see them charging next to the cars who plug into charging stations in the shopping center parking lots?

    1. The ones I looked at had removable batteries that you took off to charge. Who knows what will happen down the line, though.

  2. Motorized bikes were popular when I was a kid, especially for commuters to work.

    1. So this is back to the future? If I had a shortish everyday commute I would definitely think about getting a bike for it.

  3. When I road tested one of these bikes it drove away on its own and left me standing there. I had to chase it for 2 miles ...

    God bless.