Hello Chicago Representing! haha

Marc V

Member
Hey All!

I am from Chicago (Born and Raised) and have been riding bicycles most of my life for leisure and point A to point B vehicle.

Took years off from regular biking and was talking to a friend recently and he mentioned to me, "you should look into eBikes", and my response was, "what the heck is an eBike?!?" haha

That week I found a local bike shop that had eBikes and found kozy.com (Milwaukee Ave. location) went in and tested an eBike and ended up buying the eBike on the spot! lol

Ended up getting the EZ Pedaler X350 a few weeks ago and using it mostly as commuter bike to work and clocked in almost 300 miles already. Only complaint so far is I wish I would have gotten into eBikes sooner (especailly since I got the bike right when it is starting to get cold here! haha), but better late than never I guess!

Starting to see Chicago has gotten a lot better with bicycles since I rode a lot when I was a kid, a lot of bike lanes and we are starting to get more protected bike lanes! My route into work ain't bad, painted bike lanes, no major pot holes but some bumps here and there I need to mindful of :) Hopefully we catch up to other places with the elevated bicycle highways!!!

Anyway, great site and having a great time with the eBikes!

Marc V
 

bob armani

Well-Known Member
Hey All!

I am from Chicago (Born and Raised) and have been riding bicycles most of my life for leisure and point A to point B vehicle.

Took years off from regular biking and was talking to a friend recently and he mentioned to me, "you should look into eBikes", and my response was, "what the heck is an eBike?!?" haha

That week I found a local bike shop that had eBikes and found kozy.com (Milwaukee Ave. location) went in and tested an eBike and ended up buying the eBike on the spot! lol

Ended up getting the EZ Pedaler X350 a few weeks ago and using it mostly as commuter bike to work and clocked in almost 300 miles already. Only complaint so far is I wish I would have gotten into eBikes sooner (especailly since I got the bike right when it is starting to get cold here! haha), but better late than never I guess!

Starting to see Chicago has gotten a lot better with bicycles since I rode a lot when I was a kid, a lot of bike lanes and we are starting to get more protected bike lanes! My route into work ain't bad, painted bike lanes, no major pot holes but some bumps here and there I need to mindful of :) Hopefully we catch up to other places with the elevated bicycle highways!!!

Anyway, great site and having a great time with the eBikes!

Marc V
Hi Marc-

Do you ever ride your ebike on any of the local bike trails in Chicago? If so , which ones, and have you had any issues with the local law enforcement people?
I am also born and raised here and I am trying to get a feel for this whole ebike law thing here before moving forward. Local bike lanes are cool though.
Thanks!
 

Marc V

Member
Hi Marc-

Do you ever ride your ebike on any of the local bike trails in Chicago? If so , which ones, and have you had any issues with the local law enforcement people?
I am also born and raised here and I am trying to get a feel for this whole ebike law thing here before moving forward. Local bike lanes are cool though.
Thanks!
Hey Bob!!! Long time no talk, did you ever end up getting an eBike? I know last we talked you said you were still doing your research. If you got one, which one did you end up getting and how is it holding up in Chicago?

I am over 600 miles on my eBike and have gotten a few flats, but other than that can't really complain hehe.

To answer your question, no I have not ridden any bike trails yet with my eBike. I am trying to use the eBike as a car replacement vehicle as much as I can, so just using it to and from work and going A to B, stuff like that.

I know you have asked the trail question before, have you already contacted the officials that enforce bike trail laws for clarification? If not, I recommend doing that and if you explain your situation and what eBike you will be using and how it will be used, they might clear you and then you will have official documentation you can print out and have with you if you do get pulled over to show the rest of their team.

Take care, ride safe!
Marc V
 

bob armani

Well-Known Member
Hey Bob!!! Long time no talk, did you ever end up getting an eBike? I know last we talked you said you were still doing your research. If you got one, which one did you end up getting and how is it holding up in Chicago?

I am over 600 miles on my eBike and have gotten a few flats, but other than that can't really complain hehe.

To answer your question, no I have not ridden any bike trails yet with my eBike. I am trying to use the eBike as a car replacement vehicle as much as I can, so just using it to and from work and going A to B, stuff like that.

I know you have asked the trail question before, have you already contacted the officials that enforce bike trail laws for clarification? If not, I recommend doing that and if you explain your situation and what eBike you will be using and how it will be used, they might clear you and then you will have official documentation you can print out and have with you if you do get pulled over to show the rest of their team.

Take care, ride safe!
Marc V
Hey Marc-
Thanks for your very kind words. I am still pondering issues with all of this as well as doing a lot of 'research' shopping for ebikes. I was about to pull the trigger on a 2017 BH Emotion, but I then found a thread on EBR talking about all kind of motor issues with them, so I had more hesitation.
Great to hear you have hit 600 miles on your bike. That is fantastic and well worth the investment for sure! I work downtown and see these 'bike memorials' from time to time in memory of a rider that may have had a fatal accident. The Chicago Reader also did a spread on bike accident cases in Chicago downtown. It was astounding to see how dangerous it can be. With that said, please be extra careful and lookout for the truckers blind spots on the turns and curves!

I contacted the Chicago Bicycle Advocate attorneys for the trail issue. Still waiting to hear back. I found this article on their website below from 2010:

Monday, September 27, 2010

Explaining E-bike Laws

One of the hottest trends in the bicycle industry today is the e-bike, a regular looking bicycle with a small electric motor ("e") that can be switched on or off. Switch it off when you want to pedal and on when you don't. These are not at all like motorcycles, nor are they mopeds, both of which are substantially more powerful than e-bikes. In Chicago, the law permits an e-bike rider to do pretty much whatever can be done with a old-fashioned peddle bike. Recently, I received an email from a reader inquiring about this issue.

I'll have to see if I can get some kind of official document to ensure I am following all the rules. I would hate to receive any surprises while riding!
There also used to be a company that rented ebikes on the Chicago Lakefront, but they dissolved the company and sold off the bikes. Perhaps they received special permissions from CPD. Take care on your commutes and congrats on your savings!

Bob A.
 

Marc V

Member
Hey Marc-
Thanks for your very kind words. I am still pondering issues with all of this as well as doing a lot of 'research' shopping for ebikes. I was about to pull the trigger on a 2017 BH Emotion, but I then found a thread on EBR talking about all kind of motor issues with them, so I had more hesitation.
Great to hear you have hit 600 miles on your bike. That is fantastic and well worth the investment for sure! I work downtown and see these 'bike memorials' from time to time in memory of a rider that may have had a fatal accident. The Chicago Reader also did a spread on bike accident cases in Chicago downtown. It was astounding to see how dangerous it can be. With that said, please be extra careful and lookout for the truckers blind spots on the turns and curves!

I contacted the Chicago Bicycle Advocate attorneys for the trail issue. Still waiting to hear back. I found this article on their website below from 2010:

Monday, September 27, 2010

Explaining E-bike Laws

One of the hottest trends in the bicycle industry today is the e-bike, a regular looking bicycle with a small electric motor ("e") that can be switched on or off. Switch it off when you want to pedal and on when you don't. These are not at all like motorcycles, nor are they mopeds, both of which are substantially more powerful than e-bikes. In Chicago, the law permits an e-bike rider to do pretty much whatever can be done with a old-fashioned peddle bike. Recently, I received an email from a reader inquiring about this issue.

I'll have to see if I can get some kind of official document to ensure I am following all the rules. I would hate to receive any surprises while riding!
There also used to be a company that rented ebikes on the Chicago Lakefront, but they dissolved the company and sold off the bikes. Perhaps they received special permissions from CPD. Take care on your commutes and congrats on your savings!

Bob A.
Yes sadly I am aware of Chicago's fallen riders. I have had some scary moments here and there, but I am getting more used to riding along with traffic and ride like others have already said, "ride like they don't see you" meaning don't rely on the idea like they are aware of you regardless.

I have had friends who have been in bicycle/car accidents in Chicago on both sides (cyclists as well as car motorists). So there is only so much we can control, I really enjoy riding my eBike so I just try and control as much as I can to be safe.

I have biked downtown but don't do so often. They are getting better with making it safe with more and more protected lanes as well as the actual separate bicycle traffic lights so hopefully they continue down that route, because I think that is the major key to limit cycle accidents in Chicago, the actual safety protected lanes (raised like the 606 route or actual barriered lanes not just the paint lanes). Because I don't think education of sharing the road is enough. I consider myself apart of both the cyclists community and car motorists community as I do both still regularly and even though I am trying to be mindful of my surroundings and checking blind spots when driving, bicycles can creep out of no where! So I believe the actual city infrastructure needs to be the one strengthened for cyclists to be safer. Whenever I ride my eBike in the city and ride through the few concrete barreired bike lanes I feel so safe and overjoyed! lol But none the less I have added more reflective material and lights to my eBike even though it is already a silver bike with reflective wheel walls, rear light, head light, and standard reflectors in wheels and pedals. So trying to find that happy balance of being visible and not a distraction on the road :)

Keep us all posted on what the Chicago Bicycle Advocate Attorney says about the trail issue.

Take care, ride safe!
Marc V

P.S pull the trigger and get an eBike already!!!! if you don't like the one you get, return it and get a different one, and keep doing it until you like the one you got! No eBike is perfect... :) Just kidding, take your time and be happy with your purchase.
 

bob armani

Well-Known Member
Yes sadly I am aware of Chicago's fallen riders. I have had some scary moments here and there, but I am getting more used to riding along with traffic and ride like others have already said, "ride like they don't see you" meaning don't rely on the idea like they are aware of you regardless.

I have had friends who have been in bicycle/car accidents in Chicago on both sides (cyclists as well as car motorists). So there is only so much we can control, I really enjoy riding my eBike so I just try and control as much as I can to be safe.

I have biked downtown but don't do so often. They are getting better with making it safe with more and more protected lanes as well as the actual separate bicycle traffic lights so hopefully they continue down that route, because I think that is the major key to limit cycle accidents in Chicago, the actual safety protected lanes (raised like the 606 route or actual barriered lanes not just the paint lanes). Because I don't think education of sharing the road is enough. I consider myself apart of both the cyclists community and car motorists community as I do both still regularly and even though I am trying to be mindful of my surroundings and checking blind spots when driving, bicycles can creep out of no where! So I believe the actual city infrastructure needs to be the one strengthened for cyclists to be safer. Whenever I ride my eBike in the city and ride through the few concrete barreired bike lanes I feel so safe and overjoyed! lol But none the less I have added more reflective material and lights to my eBike even though it is already a silver bike with reflective wheel walls, rear light, head light, and standard reflectors in wheels and pedals. So trying to find that happy balance of being visible and not a distraction on the road :)

Keep us all posted on what the Chicago Bicycle Advocate Attorney says about the trail issue.

Take care, ride safe!
Marc V

P.S pull the trigger and get an eBike already!!!! if you don't like the one you get, return it and get a different one, and keep doing it until you like the one you got! No eBike is perfect... :) Just kidding, take your time and be happy with your purchase.
I'll keep you all posted on what the advocacy group says. Sounds like you have it all covered from a safety standpoint while riding. Good for you! I was at the Village Cycle web site on Wells and FAQs say it is 'legal' to ride on the bike trails per the People for Bikes advocacy group. Try telling a cop that LOL!

I have also inquired about exchanges at Kozy Cycles and they indicated that if you do the return/exchange, there are restocking fees attached to it especially if you special ordered the bike. It adds up quick to $$$. That is why my research is key! :)

Thanks for your time and comments Marc!
 

Marc V

Member
I'll keep you all posted on what the advocacy group says. Sounds like you have it all covered from a safety standpoint while riding. Good for you! I was at the Village Cycle web site on Wells and FAQs say it is 'legal' to ride on the bike trails per the People for Bikes advocacy group. Try telling a cop that LOL!

I have also inquired about exchanges at Kozy Cycles and they indicated that if you do the return/exchange, there are restocking fees attached to it especially if you special ordered the bike. It adds up quick to $$$. That is why my research is key! :)

Thanks for your time and comments Marc!
Hey Bob:

I forgot to mention I asked a few orgs on FaceBook about eBikes and I didn't get official answers but both pages I contacted did get back to me with a response so interpret them as you see fit :)

Also FYI, I got a new eBike, Juiced ODK U500 V3, I am really enjoying it so far. Hopefully you find an eBike you will enjoy as well as I hope you find out for sure what we can and can't do with eBikes on the trails you want to ride on, and please share with us. I don't ride on trails often but it would be good to know what their local law is. Thanks!

Take care, ride safe!
Marc V
 

Attachments

bob armani

Well-Known Member
Hey Bob:

I forgot to mention I asked a few orgs on FaceBook about eBikes and I didn't get official answers but both pages I contacted did get back to me with a response so interpret them as you see fit :)

Also FYI, I got a new eBike, Juiced ODK U500 V3, I am really enjoying it so far. Hopefully you find an eBike you will enjoy as well as I hope you find out for sure what we can and can't do with eBikes on the trails you want to ride on, and please share with us. I don't ride on trails often but it would be good to know what their local law is. Thanks!

Take care, ride safe!
Marc V
Hey Marc-Thanks for the heads up. The local Chicago muni-code below seems to be clear that you can be fined if you ride our trails with power assist on over 15mph. Does this mean we actually can ride in like say ECO mode if we do not exceed 15mph? What do you think? Read it and weep LOL!

Did you purchase your new bike locally? Congrats. I'll check it out online.

Take Care Marc!

Motorized Bicycles: Persons may not use or ride within the District any electric or electric assisted bicycle capable of exceeding a speed of fifteen (15) miles per hour. Any violation of this Section 4-3-1.B. shall be fined not less than seventy-five dollars ($75.00) or more than five hundred dollars ($500.00) for each offense. This section is not intended to prohibit any person with mobility impairment(s) from using an electronic personal assistive mobility device.

from: https://www.municode.com/library/il/cook_county/codes/forest_preserve?nodeId=TIT4MOVETR
 

Marc V

Member
I am no lawyer but doesn't look like they're very eBike friendly :) because they do state "...bicycle capable of exceeding a speed of fifteen (15) miles per hour." What does that mean?!? Because many eBikes are capable of exceeding 15mph, so it sounds like if they don't like you or I for whatever reason and we are riding our eBikes well under 15mph, but they can prove that the bike is capable of exceeding that speed with electric assist or pure throttle they can get us! lol

I would think as long as you keep it under 15mph when using pedal assist and/or throttle we would be ok; unfortunately I don't know for sure and your guess is as good as mine :)
 

bob armani

Well-Known Member
I am no lawyer but doesn't look like they're very eBike friendly :) because they do state "...bicycle capable of exceeding a speed of fifteen (15) miles per hour." What does that mean?!? Because many eBikes are capable of exceeding 15mph, so it sounds like if they don't like you or I for whatever reason and we are riding our eBikes well under 15mph, but they can prove that the bike is capable of exceeding that speed with electric assist or pure throttle they can get us! lol

I would think as long as you keep it under 15mph when using pedal assist and/or throttle we would be ok; unfortunately I don't know for sure and your guess is as good as mine :)
Agreed indeed! I think if you carried the muni-code printout with you at all times perhaps that may help (with no guarantees). You know as well as I that in Chicago you have to be always ready for that type of officer who wants room to bend a little to get ya on a technicality. I by no means ever ride recklessly so we probably would not be candidates to be stopped, but you never know! If you ride perhaps a Faraday or any ebike with a stealthier look to it, you obviously are decreasing your chances. Not sure how well informed these officers are on ebike models to spot you. I just don't like the idea there is any possibility of being stopped!!
I think I will lean towards an ebike that looks more like a normal bike before I even consider giving it a shot. I checked out your bike that Court reviewed. Nice choice! Thanks for your response Marc. :D