Schwinn Monroe 350 Review

Schwinn Monroe 350 Electric Bike Review
Schwinn Monroe 350
Schwinn Monroe 350 Bafang Geared Hub Motor
Schwinn Monroe 350 Lithium Ion Battery 36 Volt 14 Amp Hour Ebike Battery
Schwinn Monroe 350 Led Console Rubber Grips Handlebar
Schwinn Monroe 350 Rigid Steel Fork
Schwinn Monroe 350 Mechanical Disc Brakes 160 Mm Rotors
Schwinn Monroe 350 Alloy Platform Pedals Cionlli Sporty Saddle
Schwinn Monroe 350 Cadence Sensor 12 Magnet Plastic Chain Cover
Schwinn Monroe 350 Electric Bike Charger 2 Amp
Schwinn Monroe 350 Electric Bike Review
Schwinn Monroe 350
Schwinn Monroe 350 Bafang Geared Hub Motor
Schwinn Monroe 350 Lithium Ion Battery 36 Volt 14 Amp Hour Ebike Battery
Schwinn Monroe 350 Led Console Rubber Grips Handlebar
Schwinn Monroe 350 Rigid Steel Fork
Schwinn Monroe 350 Mechanical Disc Brakes 160 Mm Rotors
Schwinn Monroe 350 Alloy Platform Pedals Cionlli Sporty Saddle
Schwinn Monroe 350 Cadence Sensor 12 Magnet Plastic Chain Cover
Schwinn Monroe 350 Electric Bike Charger 2 Amp


  • A tough, well-balanced, affordably priced, single-speed electric bike from a well established brand, available in three frame sizes for improved fit, sporty forward-leaning geometry
  • No suspension elements but the fork is steel which provides some vibration dampening properties and the tires are a bit fatter with lower 50 PSI range, offering some cushion
  • Average sized 160 mm mechanical disc brakes with motor-inhibiting brake levers, reflective tires that help keep you safe, bosses for adding fenders, a rear rack, and bottle cage
  • Sold primarily online so there's some extra unpacking and setup vs. going to a shop, very basic display with limited readouts and somewhat bright distracting LED's, only available in high-step, no USB charging ports for your portable electronics

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Video Review

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Monroe 350



Body Position:

Forward, Forward Aggressive

Suggested Use:

Urban, Road

Electric Bike Class:

Pedal Assist (Class 1)
Learn more about Ebike classes


2 Year Comprehensive, Lifetime Frame and Fork


United States

Model Year:


Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

45.5 lbs (20.63 kg)

Battery Weight:

5.7 lbs (2.58 kg)

Motor Weight:

6.5 lbs (2.94 kg)

Frame Material:

Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

19 in (48.26 cm)21 in (53.34 cm)23 in (58.42 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

Medium 21" Measurements: 22" Seat Tube, 21.5" Reach, 32" Stand Over Height, 26" Width, 69.75" Length

Frame Types:


Frame Colors:

Electric Blue with Black Accents

Frame Fork Details:

Rigid Steel, 100 mm Hub Spacing, 9 mm Skewer with Quick Release

Frame Rear Details:

135 mm Hub Spacing, 12 mm Threaded Axle with Nuts

Attachment Points:

Rear Rack Bosses, Fender Bosses, Bottle Cage Bosses

Gearing Details:

1 Single Speed, 18T Sprocket


Aluminum Alloy, 170 mm Lenght, 46T Steel Chainring


Generic Aluminum Alloy Platform


Threaded, External Cups, 1-1/8" Straight


Aluminum Alloy, 105 mm Length, 7-Degree Rise, 25.4 mm Clamp Diameter, Four 5 mm Spacers


Steel, Low-Rise, 650 mm Length

Brake Details:

Generic Mechanical Disc with 160 mm Rotors, Four-Finger Levers with Motor Inhibitors (Integrated Motor Cutoff Switch)


Ribbed Rubber, Black


Cionlli, Sporty, Color-Matched

Seat Post:

Aluminum Alloy, Laprade Type Single Bolt Saddle Clamp

Seat Post Length:

350 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

27.2 mm


Aluminum Alloy, Double Wall, Deep-Dish, 36 Hole, Black


Stainless Steel, 14 Gauge Front and 13 Gauge Rear, Black with Nipples

Tire Brand:

Chao Yang, 700 x 35c (37-622)

Wheel Sizes:

28 in (71.12cm)

Tire Details:

Reflective Sidewall Stripe, 350 KPa, 50 PSI

Tube Details:

Long Presta Valve


Locking Removable Mid-Mounted Battery Pack, 1.3 lb 2 Amp Charger

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:


Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Geared Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

350 watts

Battery Voltage:

36 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

14 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

504 wh

Battery Chemistry:


Charge Time:

6 hours hours for a full charge from empty

Estimated Min Range:

25 miles (40 km)

Estimated Max Range:

55 miles (89 km)

Display Type:

Bafang DP EO8.UART, Fixed, LED Console


Assist Level (5 Blue Dots), Battery Level (5 Blue Dots), Error Code LED

Drive Mode:

Cadence Sensing Pedal Assist (12 Magnet Disc)

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)

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Written Review

One of the oldest bicycle companies to form in America, Schwinn was launched way back in 1895, in Chicago Illinois, USA. These days, it’s part of a conglomerate called the Pacific Cycle group, and is expanding into electric bikes with products such as the sporty Schwinn Monroe 350. It has been interesting to watch Schwinn over the past decade, because they were one of the earliest entrants into the ebike space in 2007 with the World GSE model. Compared to that bike, the Monroe 350 is 25% less expensive, a lot lighter weight, and much more streamlined. It comes in three frame sizes and features color-matched fork, grips, saddle, and stylish deep dish rims. It would be perfect for city riding because its single-speed drivetrain won’t get bumped out of alignment easily at racks, the battery is removable for charging and safe keeping, and the display is compact and simple. You could lock this thing up to a bike rack and not have to worry so much about scratches and bumps… except for the power cable that protrudes from the right rear axle. For those who are truly concerned about damage or theft, consider the cheaper Schwinn Monroe 250 which isn’t as powerful, but costs $300 less and still looks great. Perhaps you’re the type of person who lives up stairs and wants to store the entire bike inside? That’s going to be easy with either of these e-bikes because of the wide open triangle and straight top tube. The bike is very well balanced front to rear and even has enough room inside the triangle for a bottle cage mount, which could also work for a folding lock, mini-pump, or other standard accessory. The trade-off here is that the frame feels more rigid and positions your body in a more forward leaning sporty angle… even mounting the frame requires a flexible sporty mindset compared to a mid-step or step-thru. This is especially true if you add a rear rack or fenders because you’ll have to swing your leg even higher. And, compromises were made to keep the price low. The Monroe 350 uses mechanical disc brakes vs. hydraulic activation with smaller 160 mm rotors vs. 180 and the motor is more efficient and smooth than truly powerful. It’s a big step up from the Monroe 250 (which uses a 250 watt motor) but you’ll still have to pedal along when climbing steep hills. There’s also no throttle here, which makes this a Class 1 product and allowable on more trails and paths but with only one gear and a cadence sensor, it requires a bit more pedal power and time to start.

Driving this bike is a very standard, highly recognized, 8Fun 350 watt internally geared hub motor. It’s compact, durable, and fairly quiet in the lower three assist levels. It blends in with the black spokes and deep dish rims visually and is not so heavy as to weigh down the back of the bike and impact riding or lifting of the frame. The motor responds quickly to pedal assist once the bike is moving a bit, because there is only one gear and the first pedal strokes can be slow and more difficult to make. Many of the early electric bicycles I tested in 2012 and 2013 used low resolution five or six magnet sensors but the Monroe 250 and 350 have opted for a high-precision 12 magnet cadence sensor. This means that even though the motor won’t start instantly (for lack of a torque sensor) it will start and stop quickly enough to be safe and satisfying. During my ride tests, I found the most comfortable speed to pedal at was around 15 miles per hour. Riding slower than this had a slow lumbering cadence and around 20 mph I was having to spin quickly to keep up. An interesting characteristic of cadence sensors however, is that you don’t need to push hard in order to activate them… just keep turning the cranks and the motor will stay active. I love that both brake levers have motor inhibitor switches built-in to cut power instantly when you need to stop or want to track stand at a stop sign or traffic signal. One complaint I have about the motor design is that the power cable entry point is a little exposed on the right axle. There is a rubber cap to help protect it, but the cable still protrudes a bit and could get snagged or bent and damaged if the bike were to tip onto its right side. There is a kickstand mounting point just behind the bottom bracket, but I anticipate that if you add a stand here, it will block the left pedal when deployed, occasionally getting in the way when you park and maneuver the bike. I personally prefer rear mounted stands… but I see lots of city bikes that come just like this, with no stand! And the idea seems to be weight savings and quiet.

Powering the motor and LED display console on this model is an above average capacity 36 volt 14 amp hour battery pack that mounts directly to the downtube with three bolts! So many of the cheaper ebikes I test have batteries that just use two bolts and clip down from above vs. sliding in from the side… so I really feel that Schwinn made a good choice with this pack. It has a nice rubber cover to protect the charging port on the right side and an integrated LED charge level indicator to help you determin how full it is, even when stored separately from the bike itself. The battery locks securely to the mount and its casing has a bit of a lip near the top for secure lifting and carrying. This pack weighs around 5.7 lbs which is less than half a pound more than the smaller 11.6 amp hour pack used on the Monroe 250 model. I love how it’s positioned low and center on the frame to improve stability and provide room for the bottle cage bosses and a space for you to lift and hang the frame on some car and bus racks. However, please do be careful of the wire brake line running along the base of the top tube if you try to lift this bike, because it could get snagged or rub into the frame and scratch it over time. Many of the other wires, for the electric assist and control systems, are internally routed through the frame. This design choice makes the bike look nice and provides a bit of added protection but could make it harder to work on. It would be nice if there was a USB charging port somewhere on the bike, to use for your smartphone or lights, but at least the tires have reflective sidewalls and there’s plenty of room on the handlebar for mounting your phone and a rechargeable light separately. The charging port on the battery pack is low on the right side, which puts it near the right crank arm and creates another minor point of vulnerability, just be careful… the charger delivers 2 Amps, which is very average and should take 5.5 to 6 hours for a full refill.

The control panel design used on this electric is incredibly simple and streamlined. Once the battery pack has been filled and properly mounted to the frame, you just hold the power button on the control pad near the left grip, and it blinks to life with a little dance of lights. There are two menus here, the left chart shows five dots that indicate 0-5 level of pedal assist. The higher you go, the zippier and faster the motor will spin but it will also draw more power, depleting your battery more quickly. The second chart is a battery level indicator showing five dots, each representing a 20% drop. This chart resembles the five square LED lights on the top of the battery pack. So, the display itself is encased in black plastic and has sealed buttons built in that seem well protected from water and dust. It does leave something to be desired when you have experienced fancier ebike products, but it definitely gets the job done. You won’t see your speed, average speed, trip time, odometer, trip meter, range estimate, or any other fancy stats… just your power level and battery level. The buttons were easy enough to reach and press, and I like how the black casing of the display blends in with the black handlebar and matches the black spokes, chainring, pedals, and even the hub motor casing. It’s all matched and tough looking, and perhaps that will help it blend in at the rack so people don’t mess with it or even notice that it’s something different (especially if you take the battery pack off). The one thing I was conflicted about was how bright the blue LED lights were on this display. They worked fine in broad daylight, but at night, it could be annoying or even distracting… so I have used masking tape to dim this sort of light on my own electronic devices before, and I offer that as an inexpensive way to tone down the brightness if you like.

For this review and the Monroe 250, I was able to borrow demo bikes from the Schwinn team at the Electric Bike Expo in Philadelphia. It was a medium sized frame and I am ~5’9″ tall weighing about 135 lbs. In order to get some up-close motor shots, I mounted one of my cameras to the frame. Aside from the higher capacity battery and more powerful motor, the bikes were very similar and both priced affordably, but not as cheap as off-brand products. It sounds like the Pacific Cycle group is committed to delivering good customer service and I definitely noticed an attention to detail with this ebike, such as the thicker rear spokes to handle the added weight and forces of the motor. This is a sporty, less comfortable electric bike, with a forward leaning geometry and long stem (which could be flipped and lowered to get even more aerodynamic. I think it would be perfect for young city goers who need something fun and reliable that’s easy to carry upstairs. At the end of the day, this electric bicycle may cost a bit more than $1.5k because of shipping. While researching this e-bike, I found only very limited information on the official Schwinn web page and had to rely a bit on their catalog but mostly on my own first-hand experience. I hope that all of the specs I gathered above help you, and I invite you to provide your own insights and feedback about the bike. It reminded me of the Easy Motion EasyGo Race in terms of style, price, and power. However, that product has a much lower battery capacity. If I were to purchase this thing for myself, my first upgrade would be a 27.2 mm suspension seat post like this, just to take the edge off, and I would definitely appreciate the slightly wider and lower PSI tires on this model vs. the Monroe 250. Big thanks to Schwinn for partnering with me on this review, allowing me to cover several of their models back to back and to the Ebike Expo coordinators for allowing me to hang out. As always, I’ll do my best to answer comments posted below and you can interact more on the Schwinn Ebike Forums.


  • Available in three frame sizes, so even though this is a pretty tall high-step frame, it should be easier to approach and more comfortable to ride for a range of body types
  • I love that even though the bike is minimal and simple in some ways (including price), they managed to squeeze in bottle cage bosses and fender bosses, so it can be used in many different environments… it might even work with a rear rack because of the seat stay bosses, but it didn’t have dropout bosses, just a tab for the plastic chain cover
  • This is a purpose-built electric bike with internally routed cables and a nice paint job, notice how the frame, fork, grips, saddle, and rims all have blue accents to tie in and the hub motor, spokes, chainring, cranks, and pedals are all black to match
  • Single speed bicycles like this tend to require less maintenance, have fewer chain drops, ride quieter, and have a cleaner cockpit which is less prone to damage in a city environment
  • Weighing in at just over 45 pounds, this is one of the lighter electric bicycles I have reviewed and that makes it easier to lift up stairs if you live in an apartment, it also has a removable battery pack so you can reduce it by 5.6 more pounds just by taking that off and going in two trips (I usually remove batteries when transporting ebikes on car racks, for example)
  • Great pedal choice, they are large, sturdy, and provide excellent traction compared to plastic designs, Schwinn had to cut costs on some parts to keep the Monroe 350 at that $1,500 price point but I’m glad the pedals were not one of the things they downgraded
  • I noticed that the battery pack was attached to the frame at three points vs. just two on many conversion designs, this provides more strength and is a good move considering the more sporty rigid design of the bike, not having suspension
  • Cadence sensors are not as responsive or fluid as torque sensors or multi-sensors but at least this one provides a higher resolution 12-magnet sensor design, it worked pretty well during my test rides
  • I love that the Chai Yang tires were designed with a reflective stripe on the sides to increase the visual footprint of the bike and keep riders safer in traffic at night
  • Very impressive two-year comprehensive warranty, the Monroe 350 might be sold direct online and therefor require more shipping costs for repairs or warranty coverage vs. getting it at a local shop but this is a bigger brand that is backed up with corporate support
  • Schwinn reps communicated to me that they are entrenched in the bike world and are committed to the new ebike space, they have been able to leverage more than a century of bicycle expertise and translate that into their offerings to emphasize geometry and fit, they have a US-based customer service rep team that is available to answer consumer questions and provide solutions for issues


  • Rigid Aluminum alloy bike frames can feel stiff and uncomfortable when ridden on bumpy terrain, especially with thin tires, the Monroe 350 aims for efficiency, affordability and lightweight, but you could swap in an affordable 27.2 mm seat post suspension like this to take the edge off, and the steel fork provides a bit of vibration dampening on its own
  • Some of the compromises I saw on the bike were mechanical disc brakes which require more hand strength to pull than hydraulic and are using smaller 160 mm rotors (but the brake levers do have motor inhibitors, so you can instantly cut power to the motor when braking)
  • Deep-dish rims like the ones used here offer more strength and a slight aerodynamic edge along with some fun styling, but they require more expensive tubes with longer valve stems, They can also ride stiffer because the spokes aren’t as long, it’s a minor gripe but I just wanted to be clear on the trade-offs
  • The power cable leading into the hub motor is a bit exposed on the right side dropout, so be careful not to snag it or allow the bike to tip over onto the right side (lean it towards the left because that side of the bike is less delicate), some ebikes have derailleur guards and I feel that this could protect the wire or that a different motor design with a more tucked-in cable like the Shengyi or Dapu motors could be useful, especially since this e-bike doesn’t have a kickstand
  • The compact, efficient 350 watt hub motor is going to offer more zip and climbing power than the 250 watt motor on the Monroe 250 model, but it’s still more lightweight and efficient than some of the 500+ watt motors hitting the market, just expect to pedal a bit on steeper terrain
  • The display is simple, easy to reach, and appears to be durable, but it doesn’t show your speed, how far you’ve gone, or offer a precise range or battery estimate like some of the fancier ebike products on the market now, it also does not have any sort of USB charging port to help maintain your phone or other portable electronics on the go
  • The battery charger is pretty basic, the end plug is plastic vs. metal, and the port where you insert it on the right side of the battery is fairly close to the crank arm and could get snagged or broken more easily there, so be careful
  • The blue LED’s on the display panel are VERY bright, which is great during the day but could be distracting or even bothersome at night. I might put some masking tape over the display just to dull the brightness for riding in dark conditions


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phil cord
3 days ago

Hey guys glad to be here. I am building a couple of bikes. My passion is DIY and cargo bikes. I am building a hybrid schwin/hybike, a two wheel chariot from an old Radtogo a strech schwinn. I recently built a dual pulse battery spot welder using a micro wave transformer. I used a dual spot chineses control unit (two actually because the first one had an on screen menu in Chinese!) Well what I need is a definitive translation and schematics for the controllers. Terms like "door locks", derailers and autocar handle elude me.

1 week ago

Check out Evelo bikes - they are HQ in Seattle. Think you might like their newer models. Powerful mid motor, throttle and Nuvinci hubs, fantastic 4 yr warranty which includes the battery (almost everyone else only warranties batteries for 1yr).

1 week ago

Well done Mike..

Can I offer some free advice? If you found a bike you enjoyed riding, and it is within your budget, and is locally supported, BUY IT!

In 4 years you will be replacing it anyways with something better; there's always something better.

Owned the ST1, and it is a great bike but it is heavy and not very responsive.. There are many other bikes more enjoyable to ride.

Don't overanalyze it while the good days of summer pass. Get on it, get off your butt and start having fun.. Maybe your wife will want one.

1 week ago

Until today, I did not even know that cadence and torque existed, and I still am not quite sure about the difference, but will get to the bottom of that. I don't recall having seen those specs referenced often if at all. Some bikes claim to have both just like some bikes claim to have throttle and pedal assist.

My goal started out precisely as avoiding the misery box, and I imagined zipping to and from work on a self-propelled bike that was really just a motorcycle in disguise that my family would not notice and take away from me. I have since figured out that I was being delusional. Notthe first time.

Looking back, I also realize that I have always enjoyed biking, but my memories include many times when I was physically done, but we were not home yet. I remember times I got part way up a mountain and ran out of juice. The sense that I have developed is that electric bikes have the potential to extend my capabilities so that I will be less likely to have those experiences. Electric bikes won't prevent them, but they will make it easier to enjoy biking. And if I become more fit and learn how to use bikes properly, my own range and capabilities will improve, and then one thing will feed onto another. In other words, this started out about a quick painless ride to work and has transformed into something about biking.

Truth be told, I also am motivated for my sons. They both have nice Trek bikes, but do not use them. When I was their age, my stupid Schwinn bike was freedom. During the summers, we were free to wander for miles in any direction, and we did. My older son just finished driver's education, and he might be a tough nut to crack. But the younger one is 12. He can ride his bike, but he is very uncertain on it, and he claims that he cannot ride a bike. But I cannot get him to try. He would rather play on his computer. We have tons of biking opportunities around Seattle, our local government wants to turn the airport into a bike lane. So if this provided a way to get him on board, that would more than satisfy all of my wants and needs.

My long term goals are (a) to get to work; and (b) to be able to ride around Mercer Island when I am 80 if I feel like it.

3 weeks ago

I saw someone replace their RadMini tires with the Chaoyangs but even he mentioned it's no longer available in the States.

I'll be riding mainly pavement in NYC for commuting so I really don't need the bulky tires while announcing my arrival. Tbh I only opted for the fat tire for the look heh. I'll be riding pavement but obviously there is debris on the roads, whether it's broken glass, nails or what not.

Does anyone have any experience with Schwinn Stingray Chopper replacement tires? I read 4.25" will still fit. Anyone out there with any experience in either scenarios?

Gary Shannon
1 month ago

Any idea what I should look for?

This is an AW 26" 48V 1000W front wheel from mounted on a Schwinn Meridian 3-wheeler. The unit is about a year old.

If I advance the throttle VERY VERY slowly it seems to work alright, but if I push the throttle at a normal, but gentle rate it bumps and jumps and then loses power.

With the front wheel off the ground, it works perfectly no matter how quickly I press the throttle. With the wheel on the ground I have to baby it to get up to cruising speed. Then it works fine while cruising, until the next time I release the throttle and press it again.

I thought it might have something to do with the controller getting a bogus "brake" signal and cutting power, but all the cabling looks fine from the brake levers.

Bruce Arnold
1 month ago

When riding my Juiced Crosscurrent S in Eco mode, it feels so much like riding my old Schwinn Varsity 45 years ago - kind of heavy but great fun. Does that answer your question?

2 months ago

Following are some of the original comments that were made on that post:

Yes, there are pros and cons of electric bikes, but to me personally I ride my ebike very regularly because I actually enjoy it! I do not particularly enjoy riding a normal bike for any distance and consequently for many years I never rode a bike at all. I feel sure I am now getting regular (albeit it moderate) aerobic exercise pedalling my ebike, which surely has to beat getting no exercise from not riding at all?

I agree with you Denis, I’ve been cycling a lot more since purchasing an electric bike :)

Hmm.. so 6 out of 10 pros is if compared to a car rather than a regular bike. If you compare a car to a helicopter the car will be much better going to work with, right? And please, do NOT say that an electric bike is environmental friendly! The increased use of Lithium-ion batteries and neodymium magnets is a ticking environmental disaster and China is controlling 95% of the market which makes it even more problematic. Electric bikes is good for people with physical problems that can not ride a regular bike but in general there are no benefits other than laziness.

Thanks for sharing your opinion, some of your statements use broad strokes and feel emotionally charged. In my opinion there’s a range of benefits from ebikes, cars and helicopters. Lithium-ion batteries are more efficiently recycled today than ever before (most Best Buy stores accept them) and the reduction in localized pollution with an ever-improving electrical grid opens up new possibilities for solar and wind generated power vs. oil which is often produced in unstable nations using environmentally destructive processes. Everything that anything does has an impact… so be conscious of yours, I take care of my stuff and use it in a way that benefits my life while considering the impact it has on my community (including animals and plants). I am not perfect and certainly an ebike (just as a bat) can be used for pleasure with friends or to harm depending on the choices made by the individual wielding it.

Yes, it makes me upset with all the biased marketing that electric bikes get without being objective and see the reality. You say nothing about the cons an electric bike have compared to a car, why? No cargo space, only takes one person, rider gets wet when it is raining etc.. there are lots of cons taking a bike to work instead of a car but you only mention the pros which is common in articles about electric bikes. Recycling is getting better but that does not mean it is good, only 60% of lithium-ion batteries are recycled. Lithium is also mostly found in South America, manufactured in China and shipped to Europe and USA. Environmental friendly?

I’m focused on ebikes because that’s what this site is about. I do compare cars and other vehicles on occasion but could easily run into scope creep and overwhelm readers who are here predominantly for ebikes. I am not a marketing agency, I do independent reviews. If we’d like to see more Lithium batteries recycled it is within our power to encourage friends and family to identify and execute drop off at places like Best Buy. I do not condemn South America, China or other nations who produce Lithium products as my insight into their culture is limited. Instead, I value our business relationships which foster peace and tend to usher in safer working environments and higher wages as local economies develop.

For cargo you use panniers, baskets and/or a pull behind trailer. For rain you use a raincoat, poncho, rain suit… If you are only one person you are not pulling around 3 empty seats like in a car. If there is another person – get them a bike too. Cars use SLA batteries that also require replacement and disposal… As far as being lazy, many people, like myself, are unable to ride a non-e assist bicycle. With the e-motor I am able to get exercise without hurting myself, I am able to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine as well as the beautiful scenery of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Where exactly is the downside?

First let me say thank you Court for all your hard and valuable work. I have learned so much in one really late night. ;-) I’ve traveled to several conventions, so nice to Austin TX again, too.
Anyway…My Questions….
1. Being from Salem, Oregon…I was wandering how an eBike would hold up if it happened to rain or get wet?
2. And would the Bosch Mid-Drive be better than say a rear hub motor from Easy Motion?
I”m big guy 6′-5″ 300lbs. and am hoping to get more exercise, too (but could really see the fun in an eBike as well…where it would be nice to ride to work without becoming a sweaty pig). ;-)
I’ve had a 1987 Schwinn Sierra w/23″ frame…and had just recently bought a new Trek Marlin 5 for my adult daughter (and it is fast with those 29″ tires…things have changed a lot). So now to keep up with her, I was thinking about a Trek DS 8.5 w/22.5 frame as my old Schwinn really does hurt my hands from my seat having to be so high compared to my handle bars. (I just changed my grips to some Bontrager Stelite Elite Grips…and that has helped a little, but by the time they get me a higher handle bar and change my cables and everything…it will be expensive on the ole girl).
So now, after discovering eBikes and reading several of your reviews on Easy Motion, Kalkhoff, and Haibike…now I’m seriously considering an Easy Motion EVO City or EVO Cross. I think I would like the bike to keep going if I stopped peddling for a lil’ while (so I think I’d like rear hub motor), and I like the way the Easy Motion’s look like a regular bike (probably more the Cross than the City). But the city has all the fenders & rack that I was going to put on a new Trek DS 8.5, too. Kinda of wish there was a frame of the Cross with all the stuff from City on it.
Well, thanks again for you do…it has been super helpful to a detailed guy like me. (PS after your tests…would would you think would be best for a big guy and being more upright?…the Cross w/22″ or a City w/21.5″)

Thanks so much again for everything Court (and for those water & maintenance related links, too…VERY helpful).
Today I discovered the TREK XM700+ I hope you’ll have a review on that soon…I rode its lil’ brother the Trek Conduit+ down at Scott’s Cycle. And it was not bad at all (even though I know nothing about Shimano’s Systems). But the Conduit+ without any front suspension…I just thought it was a lil’ harsh riding…where the Trek XM700+ uses a BOSCH system with a lil’ Bontrager mono shock on the front…they will have one in a few days). Plus, these new eBikes from Trek come in LOTS of frame sizes…on the XM700+ as big as 23.6″…so this may be my new ride. ;-)
Late this afternoon, I went and rode an eMotion Nitro City, and a demo Cross…every lil’ thing you mention in your reviews are EXACTLY right on money!!!
So, after riding the 19.6″ frame of the Nitro City…I’ve now learned frame size doesn’t necessary mean all that much until a person actually sits on a bike and rides it. For me, it’s really more about the handle bars and their height in relation to the seat (and like your reviews said…the eMotion handle bars are shorter than others, too). Plus, I will have to say that I liked the better 30 Speed Shimano XT components that were on the Nitro City (almost seems like for the price eMotion should put the better XT components on all their bikes…just my two cents for an eMotion Factory Rep). ;-)
The handle bar on the Nitro City was straight and much higher (compared to the Cross), but the other surprise was that the Nitro City really didn’t seem all that much more powerful to me. I mean, I could tell it could go faster but not much difference in my humble opinion. I really liked its looks, BUT the big problem was that my heal and shoe side would hit it’s wider frame and that permanent kickstand that it has…so that is a no go…plus it was a lot more money anyway ($3,700 on Sale), which was a great price from $4,400…so if a person wants one from Eugene Oregon (they’ve got one). :)
The Demo Cross they had did not ride correctly at all (it was actually braking itself in the rear, so something was wrong with its motor or something). It was not at all like the two other Crosses I’d ridden (2 in Portland & anther new one in Eugene, too).
I hope to ride the Trek XM700+ soon (I think I will be forgetting about the accelerator real quick). ;-) As the more eBikes I test the more I see what you mean about Mid-Drives…I don’t see myself wanting to get out of the assist modes or using it like a Moped as much as I had initially envisioned. ;-)
Thanks again for all you do…it is greatly appreciated!!!!!!

Cool! It’s awesome to hear that the reviews matched your experience, I try to be thorough but constructive and also keep it entertaining. It’s interesting to read your comment about the bars, adjusting fit and the motor power thing on the Evo vs the Nitro… I agree that the upgraded motor just doesn’t feel like a whole lot extra power. Good luck finding the bike of your dreams, the Trek sounds promising and I’ll keep an eye out to review those in the future :D

Thank you for the article it was informing. I am a big guy 6 feet and over 330 pounds. I need to bike because of arthritis in both knees and ankle. My question I am struggling with deciding between the bionx 500 conversion kits vs. the trek xm700+. The trek 2016 model is in and cost more than the bionx 500 with less power as well 350 vs. 500. I am looking to commute to work taking the scenic route which would add 10 miles to a 3 mile ride or longer depending on how far out I go. The extended distance does include some serious hills that I definitely can not do own my own power. I test rode both and feel both will suit my needs but due to the regeneration of the bionx 500 d I was leaning in that direction also it is several hundreds dollars cheaper. Also I am trying to wrap my head around the whole cheating thing vs. hard work and just pedal through and get better.

Hi Jerome! Great questions, I think both motor systems from BionX are great and they do both offer regeneration (all of BionX motor kits do). I was surprised to hear you say that the 500 D was cheaper, sounds like a good deal! Keep in mind if you get a kit you also need a battery and that could add to the price, installation can also be time consuming or cost more if the shop does it. Some of the Trek ebikes come with BionX preinstalled, I also really like and they have the D-Series installed which would give you more power for climbing. You are taller and heavier than me and I’ve heard that over 200 lbs it’s best to step up to larger 500+ watt motors so again, the D-Series sounds perfect and it’s better at dealing with heat as well. Hope this helps! In no way do I feel like ebikes are “cheating”. That’s like saying that typing with a laptop vs. a typewriter is “cheating” when really it’s just improving how fast you can type and reducing carpel tunnel. Ebikes are great for people who have knee pain (like me) or want to commute further or just reduce how hot they get while riding. You don’t have to use the motor… you can still pedal like normal but having the option for extra help means you will tend to ride more often and go further. It saves gas, reduces traffic congestion and exposes you to friendly people in the community… bicycles are great and ebikes are just fancy bicycles with more versatility :)

Hi Court, Thanks so much for all of the great info. I live in a rural community about 1.5 hours by car from the nearest electric bike shop. I’m concerned about my ability to do on the road repairs or to get the bike fixed if broken. My wife and I live in northern New Mexico and are looking for bikes we can ride in the country on mostly paved and some gravel roads. Any models you would suggest or other advice? Thanks!!!

Hi Adam! Glad you’re enjoying the site… I’d love to help but there are so many variables here including your height, weight and budget. If I were in your position, even though it sounds like a long drive, I’d probably visit the local ebike shop to do some test rides because they might set it up for you properly and offer ongoing repairs as a part of the purchase. If you go and feel pressured or like there just isn’t the right bike for your needs then use EBR to explore more options and maybe get one online to be shipped. You might know more then and have a better time searching or asking for feedback in the forums

Hello. If i ended electric can i use this regular bike? Electric bikes can use regular bike?

Hi Elsever! Yes, nearly every electric bike I have tested can be pedaled just like a traditional unpowered bicycle. This is useful if you run out of batteries or decide you just want to carry less weight (some ebikes let you remove the battery pack). When you are choosing an electric bicycle to buy I would consider how many gears it offers if you plan to pedal without the electric power, some ebikes only offer one gear and this is less comfortable with more weight. Electric bikes tend to be heavier than normal bikes because of the motor, controller, wires and displays and the battery but sometimes the frames are also heavier to be strong. I hope this helps!

An interesting article but a faulty idea expressed can make a point which seems too limiting. Such is the situation with this statement: “I think the truth about ebikes is that most people don’t pedal them when they ride. Those pedals are really just there to save your butt if the battery runs out on the way home and create a safe, slow appearance.” I don’t want to be disputatious, but that is really a broad brushed statement. Statements like that can have an effect of justifying the ignorance of typical bike club elitists.{59AB431A-1271-4123-9495-98AD1C4EE714} to a forum blog where you can read some comments from non-electric cyclists which express a somewhat close-minded perspective about e-bikes.
The reality is that there are more cost-effective alternatives (with more features built in) for electric vehicles that one can just sit on and not pedal such as the Actually, I think the truth about ebikes is that most people will find they can commute a distance quicker and safer, using as much or as little effort as they choose to use. When compared to commuting on a bike without a motor, The ebike is superior with regard to a variability of effort while maintaining maneuverability and a greater margin of safety. Here is from an article on the perspective of a more traditional bike commuter.

I agree that bicycles and electric bikes tend to be safer because they can be used on trails and sidewalks vs. riding in the street with cars. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and those links :)

I second the assessment of a faulty idea expressed in the opinion “I think the truth about ebikes is that most people don’t pedal them when they ride. Those pedals are really just there to save your butt if the battery runs out on the way home and create a safe, slow appearance.”
Is that an opinion based on personal experience, observation or an assumption? I’d be really interested to know if there has been a reputable study done to support that opinion. Bikerjohn makes the point of how enabling an ebike is for commuting. Another important pro that you missed is that an electric assist can “level the field” for someone who would like to ride with others but struggles to keep up or can’t muster the endurance. It can help physically limited or rehabilitating cyclists gain strength and endurance while cycling with others, motivating them more to get in shape. Your opinion expresses an unfortunate bias of those who are looking for a way to take it easy. Please don’t associate it with the benefits of electric bikes without stating an equally, if not more significant benefit of enabling people to get in shape in a fun way.
Further, to suggest that pedals are merely to “create a safe, slow appearance” reflects a serious bias against human-powered transportation. Pedals make bicycles, including ebikes, what they are.
Also, bicyclists should not ride on sidewalks. It is not safer. Sidewalks are dangerous for bicyclists at intersections and for pedestrians who are not expecting a fast-moving bicyclist, especially when stepping out of a doorway or coming around a blind corner. In many areas, bicycling on sidewalks is a violation of local ordinance. Biking on streets is safer than sidewalks and some bike lanes. Ebikes actually make it easier to bike on streets with traffic for anyone who is a competent vehicle operator, familiar with the rules of the road.
**Check out, especially the fifth section, “Wouldn’t you just be safer biking on the sidewalk?”**

Love my EBike – It is liberating to bike wherever I please. I can zoom down valleys without dreading the climb on the other side. I can take streets named Pleasant View without worrying about the climb and being actually able to enjoy the view. I can go grocery shopping without worrying about lugging the weight back home. Since I bought my Ebike, my cycling miles have more than doubled. One caution, with the additional speed and weight, a helmet is a must. Lots of attractive helmets at

Hi Cheryl, you’ve made a bunch of great points about how enjoyable and empowering electric bicycles can be. Thanks for the link to BandBox, those are indeed some very cool helmets :D

I have the Pedego Interceptor which I love but it is heavier than a regular bike. These bikes are for those of us who are shorter. I.E. 24″ wheels. I love that when there is a hill, I’m able to adjust pedal assist to help me power up the hill with ease and with the throttle, I don’t have to pedal at all. Sometimes I do just to keep the appearance of pedaling or to keep aerobic. At the end of, what I’d consider, a long ride; I am never exhausted like some people with regular bikes are. I feel fine and always am able to enjoy the environment because I don’t need to put so much effort into the biking part of the experience. All in all, I’m happy with my bike and hope to have the same one for years to come!

i agree. i have the ridge rider i do get flats from road debris . do you?

NO, I have not gotten a flat but i have two types of tire reinforcements installed in the tires.

Hi, Just wondering if a Bosch CX mtb set on Eco mode would be a close speed/power to riding with my fit mtb friends? Or would I still be faster on the climbs with 50 lb pedal assist bike?

Hi Terry! My experience riding with the lower levels of assist using the Bosch Centerdrive has been that it’s much easier to slow down and wait for friends or take it easy than it is to accidentally go too fast. The drive system measures rear wheel speed, pedal cadence and torque so if you decide don’t push as hard you won’t get as much power and that means you’ll ride or climb slower. However, if you wanted to keep up with your friend on a difficult trail I think the two lowest modes of assist would work out (especially if you’re active) because it’s still going to require effort and balance to ride but the exhausting strain and cardio overload that usually comes with prolonged climbing will be much lower. I hope I understood correctly and that this answers your question? Feel free to clarify :)


Hi Jacques, I like that the Giant electric bike comes with fenders, a rear rack and lights… The Trek Dual Sport doesn’t offer the same features which could come in handy at night or if it’s wet outside. The only trade-off is if you don’t need those accessories. I do like the Trek ebikes and the Dual Sport might be more comfortable with the front suspension. I hope this helps guide you… I believe that both models come in several sizes for a good fit at least :)

I think the e-bikes are really fun to ride. I am 5′ 3″ 156 pounds and 68 years old. I want a pass through bike that’s ez to get on and off. I want a lighter bike but really don’t want to spend more than $2500. Can I use my regular bike seat on an e-bike? What bikes would you recommend?
Thanx for your time and consideration.

Hi Judy! I believe that Yes, you probably can use your existing seat on most electric bikes. These new ebikes share a lot of similar hardware from regular bicycles and are easy to upgrade and adjust. One product that comes to mind, is the or OHM City, which both have the step-thru design and some very nice components. I just filmed the OHM City but have not posted it yet… keep an eye out in the coming weeks! This is just one idea, you could also post in and ask for advice from other riders and maybe the moderator, Ann M, will help you out too :)

2 months ago

Following are some of the original comments that were made on that post:

Could you please provide some insight on an Ebike for a larger man. I am looking to get a bike for my husband and think this is a great way to start getting into the outdoor life after his retirement. I am thinking of the following features: A step through or low bar for ease of access. Upright riding capability (Schwinn style). My husband is 6’2″ with a 31″ inseam (long torso). Powerful motor and good electronics (my husband weighs approx. 280 lb) and he will likely travel a max of 30 km ~20 mi (if that is possible). Although it is a starter bike I think I will have to go higher end to make the experience positive. I appreciate your insight.

Hi Marcia, that sounds like a wonderful activity for your husband and I appreciate you outlining his needs so well here. Several ebikes come to mind at different price points and frame sizes. The tricky part might be finding a frame that is step-thru but also large enough for his height. The top of the line options would be from which are new to the US for 2015 but have been a leader in Europe for a long time. They are powerful, can go long distance and have multiple frame sizes available. Only a select few dealers carry these so you can if you need help finding one. For a bit less money (and a more limited, smaller frame size) you could go with an Given his weight, I might actually lean towards the high-step version of this bike for increased strength. It’s not super tough to mount because there’s no rear battery rack in the way. For a bit less still you could get the or which have the mid-battery design and are pretty relaxed/upright. They also have powerful motors and several gearing options but lack pedal assist (which the Zuma and the Kalkhoff ebikes have). One final suggestion is the which is actually what I’d suggest for overall value, power and size (to fit his height) but they only make it in a high-step version and it does have the rear rack. I hope this helps you out, feel free to also explore the for advice. The people are pretty friendly and some of them might actually be his size and have some feedback about what has worked for them.

Ok, Court. Please tell us the e bike that you ended up purchasing, and for how much, and if you were able to get a good deal on it. Let’s end all this mystery once and for all. If I was a betting man, I would guess that you got an izip e3 Dash, but, I could be wrong. Thank you in advance. Eric

Ha! Hey Eric, I’ve actually posted about the ebikes that I’ve purchased over the years on the EBR YouTube Channel and in the here and there when people brought it up but try to focus mostly on reviews and remain even handed. For a while at the beginning, people would ask how I was affording to buy so many electric bikes! Mostly I just visit shops and company headquarters across North America to do these reviews but I do love to ride on my own and have purchased a few ebikes over the years just to commute to work (before I left my job to do EBR full time) and now just to get around town for fun and stuff.
So… my first electric bike was purchased at full price from, it was a and it worked out pretty well (but was stiffer than I wanted when going over bumps). I eventually put a on it but that would slip down into the frame so I got a [URL='']Salsa Lip Lock[/URL] and that helped. The second one was purchased at cost from Easy Motion because I wanted to spend more time with their drive system, battery and display and it was the [URL='']26″ Neo Jumper[/URL] model. Last year when I was preparing to leave my job and travel full time to build the site more I realized I didn’t have room for the Jumper so I sold it on Craigslist and then spent a bunch of time with family in Colorado… I knew I needed another bike for exercise and was excited about the Bosch system and the new Haibikes coming out so I got an [URL='']Xduro FS RX 27.5″[/URL] at cost through Currie Technologies.
So that’s it, never owned a Dash but I was [URL='']given a kit[/URL] once as a sample and I built that into a bike for my Mom. The kit never made it through Kickstarter so they just let me keep it vs. mailing it back, normally I do not accept gifts and I always try to be transparent and fair about the bikes that I do purchase. All were chosen based on my personal ride style and interests and I got cost because I work in the space very closely with each brand and I live on a very low budget (trying not to sell out!)

Marcia, if you haven’t bought that bike yet you might want to consider the [URL='']Pedego City Commuter[/URL]. It comes in a 28″ stepthrough, and when coupled with the larger battery and motor should do the trick. I have the smaller battery and motor and weigh 245. I commute to work as many days as weather permits and have never had a problem. The bike performs fine and handles the hills well in peddle-assist mode. I have had mine since August and have put a little over 500 miles on it, and absolutely love my bike.

Court, is that you on the viedo reviews? my wife wants a recumbant electric bike. is there such a thing? or clsoe to it? c

Hi Craig, yeah that’s me on video and I also answer comments and do the reviews (it’s basically a one person operation here but I do have some moderation and programming help at times). There are recumbent electric bikes but they are few and far between. One possibility is the [URL='']Ridekick power trailer[/URL] which can be connected to most bikes (including recumbents) or you could add a [URL='']BionX kit[/URL] to a recumbent frame or explore [URL='']these alternative[/URL]pre-built [URL='']recumbent ebikes[/URL].

Court, Love the website, reviews and all the information. My wife and I (w/ our 4 kids) are looking to purchase 2 cargo’s with motors. Have narrowed it down to the elMundo, Edgerunner, and I’ve actually been in touch with Urban Arrow in Holland. The frontrunner is elMundo, but you seem to have edgerunner slightly ahead in your reviews. We do a lot of urban biking (Cincinnati), mostly rolling hills, with usually a few big hills where we need assistance. We currently use tug-a-bugs and iberts to carry the kids, but I have to truck the bikes downtown (3 miles) because the hills to get out of the downtown basin are too big for human pedal power (w/ 70-90lbs extra) each. A few questions — given that this is family oriented weekend riding with a few hills, is a 350w motor enough and are there enough differences between the edgerunner & Yuba that a weekend rider would notice or care about (both currently use the same 350 Bionx– correct?) . My biggest fear, drop some good money down for a couple of bikes that I’m going to be unhappy with in a few months…. and still having to truck the bikes to our destination.

Hi David, great question… my favorite design for a cargo style ebike right now (especially for porting people around) is the [URL='']Xtracycle Edgerunnger using the Bosch Centerdrive[/URL]. The BionX System is definitely solid (quieter, offers throttle mode and has regen) but isn’t as strong when climbing or hauling because it’s a direct drive hub vs. a mid-drive that can leverage the rear cassette. Being able to switch down to a lower “easier” gear and share that advantage with the motor is huge… I used to pull my sister around in a [URL='']Burley trailer[/URL] when I was a kid and can relate to your struggle with the hills. If you really want to go for power there’s a [URL='']Super Mundo by HPC[/URL] that offers a custom built mid-drive and in the video we haul three fully grown men up a very large hill with it. Coming back to one brand vs. another, Xtracycle was first and one of their employees left to make his own thing with Yuba. I prefer Xtracycle myself and have had the opportunity to meet with the team and see all of the innovative accessories that they make. Yuba is solid but when I think about the brand that Bosch (this German company with really high standards) chose to partner with first it inspires confidence in me that Xtracycle is doing a great job and earned their trust.

Court — over a year in and we are loving our El Mundo’s… BUT, (big BUT).. the 350Bionx just doesn’t do it. Two kids on the back of each bike and lots of hills just doesn’t cut it. Lo and behold, 2 months after I buy my 2 – 350 Yuba’s, they come out with the 500. So… I’ve reached out to Bionx as well as Yuba to investigate into an upgrade program. Have you ever seen these companies do these types of programs? Any input on what I should try to do…. The bionx is so quiet and smooth, but if they just expect me to shell out another $2K for new 500’s… probably going to punt on Bionx and get engaged with the folks from HPC.

I am going to college in the fall and I am a small light weight girl. 4’11 and 90 pounds to be exact. I need some advice on what type of electric bike to get.
I need a light weight bike that I could carry on a bus if I’d need to or lift up stairs. The campus I would be on is very hilly so I would need a bike that goes up and down hills well. I have heard of bikes that fold up? I do not care as much for the speed, just the sturdiness and weight of it. I have trouble with my left knee and cannot bend it well, the electric bike would help me bike and get to places far away on campus. It is a 2,000 acre campus in the redwoods.
What type would you suggest? Thanks so much. Any info would be appreciated.

Awesome! Sounds like you’re going to the University of Santa Cruz!! I used to practice with the gymnastics team there (the gym was at the bottom of the long hill so I can relate to wanting a decent ebike… especially since my knee also hurts sometimes). Okay, so you’re relatively short and light weight. You’re a college student that might be on a budget and you also want it to be easy to move around. Hmm… My first thought was the [URL='']e-Joe EPIK SE[/URL]because it is relatively small and easy to mount and also fair light at ~42 lbs. I like that this ebike has built in suspension because that improves comfort. The battery is also removable so you could take it out to reduce the bike weight by ~4 lbs if you need to lift the frame and since it folds, you can fit it into your dorm closet or the corner more easily.
If you have a higher budget and don’t want a folding ebike… and are excited about more torque and power for those hills then check out the [URL='']Felt SPORTe Step-Thru[/URL] which comes in low-step and weighs ~40 lbs with a 5.5 lb battery that’s removable. It also comes in two frame sizes so you could get the smaller one. Another great alternative (that isn’t quite as powerful as the Felt SPORTe but is very comfortable and cool) is the full suspension [URL='']BESV Panther PS1[/URL]. I hope this helps! Whatever you get, do store it in your room if possible or at least charge the battery inside to help it last :)

Thank you so much for responding to me! Yes UCSC is where I am headed. I will look into the bikes you suggested. :) thank you again.

Hi Court. I think you have developed a very good website for providing people with truly independent reviews on Electric Bikes. I am in London UK and electric bikes are really taking off here. Funnily enough I did some Market Research for a new Electric Bike company in London called Emu Bikes. You might want to check them out. I was lucky enough to trial their prototype Emu Electric bike for 5 weeks for commuting from my home to work and to keep a detailed daily log of my trips for them and did over 450 miles. I absolutely loved it. I spend all day last Sunday looking at all of your reviews on YouTube which were all excellent and I found them compulsive viewing. What’s your take on the Electric Bike conversion kits and the Dillinger Range made in Australia which you reviewed (although you don’t have bike kits on your website)? Is there any difference getting a front or real wheel drive system? Keep up the excellent work you are doing for all of us prospective electric bike riders out there. Regards. ROBERT

Hi Robert! Someday I’d like to visit the UK and see some new brand, I haven’t seen an EMU before but I’d love to check out your journal, could you share the link? As for Dillenger, I really liked the first kit I tried with a standard [URL='']350 watt geared hub motor[/URL]. The second kit was more powerful but used a rear rack battery that just wasn’t as refined (or well balanced). I do have a [URL='']kits section[/URL] on the site but I guess it’s a little hidden. My plan is to do a redesign soon… working on it right now in fact which is why reviews have slowed a bit in recent weeks :) Kits are alright but I prefer purpose-built electric bikes. They just look nicer most of the time with integrated wires and I feel safer knowing that they took extra weight and strain into consideration. As for front vs. rear, I almost always prefer rear or mid-drive for better traction and improved steering agility. Some of my favorite ebike designs are those from [URL='']Haibike[/URL] and [URL='']Easy Motion[/URL]. I want to try CUBE at some point, I think they sell those in the UK and they use the Bosch system (though a bit stepped down at 250 watt vs. 350 here in the US). Cheers!

Hi Court. This is Nayyar from Pakistan. I want to buy an ebike. My current crush is R & M Delite GX Rohloff HS. But still I am not sure that I should go for this or not. Being no such bikes available here, I have to travel to euorope for this purpose only. I shall be grateful for your guidance. Thanks and best regards

I’m a really big guy, 6’2″ and over 420 lbs. Could you tell me if a 48v 500w rear motor can handle pushing 500 lbs (bike+rider)? No large grades on my chosen route, and it’s all paved. I have a Schwinn OCC Stingray Chopper, and I have found a company that makes motors for my 20 by 4.25 inch rear wheel, and I would love to make the conversion. I have to deal with some provincial limitations on power and speed. But there’s a bit of ambiguity in the law in New Brunswick, Canada, and more attention should be paid to top speed rather than wattage. Any POSITIVE input would greatly appreciated.

Sounds like a nice setup and I agree with you about speed vs. power. In parts of Europe the top speed is limited to 15 mph with motor output of just 250 watts… I feel like they should regulate ebikes by how the rider handles it vs. focusing on technology. It’s like saying that Ferrari’s are illegal because they can drive faster than the speed limit. Maybe part of this distinction with bicycles is that under aged users can get them and no license is required. In any case, I think a 48 volt 500 watt system will suit your needs well, especially for flat paved surfaces. I bet you’ll have a blast! Please share back here or [URL='']in the forums[/URL] once it’s all setup (you could even post pictures). I know you’re not the only one considering this type of option who needs to carry a bit more weight.

Explain the low speed electric bicycle laws in the US. I have a 220 lb. Tao tao electric bicycle and have had police in both Cleveland and Lakewood pull me over. Also explain how federal law superceeds state.

Hi George! The laws are a bit different from state to state and seem to be evolving. The best resource I can offer is [URL='']Wikipedia here[/URL] but generally speaking, I think the rule is 750 watt motor or less with top speed of 20 mph or less unassisted. If you do get a ticket for riding a low speed electric bike you can probably fight it in court and explain that you were riding responsibly and following federal law, you might have luck with an argument about how your leg and knee muscles need assistance and possibly even a doctors note if you’re concerned about the outcome. In my experience, tickets are given to people who ride too fast or recklessly and not those who exercise restraint in how they use the drive system.

Hi Court! I really enjoy your website! My beloved Sanyo Eneloop ebike was stolen last week. Sanyo no longer manufactures ebikes so I’m on the search for a new one. I’m wondering if you have any recommendations for me. I loved the Eneloop’s integrated design – the battery wasn’t just attached onto the bike as an after thought. It also had a regenerative battery, LED front and back lights, full fenders, and a luggage rack. Ahhhh I miss it so much! Any recommendations would be much appreciated!

Hi Rufina! That’s such a bummer, sorry… I wonder if the thief even realized it was electric, maybe you could keep an eye out on Craigslist if the bike turns up? Sounds like you’re keeping your head up and looking for another great ride. Based on what you’ve told me I think the Easy Motion bikes could be a great fit (integrated battery, some have fenders and lights as well as racks). Depending on your height and budget three ebikes come to mind. The most affordable but basic is the [URL='']Evo Eco Lite[/URL] which is smaller and has 26″ wheels. It resembles [URL='']the Evo Street[/URL] which upgrades to suspension, more gears and a larger battery pack. If you want a slightly larger electric bike then the [URL='']Evo City Wave[/URL] offers larger wheels at 700c ~28″ and that elevates the frame. There are lots of other [URL='']urban electric bikes[/URL] to explore out there and some are very advanced with mid-drive motors that offer excellent range while others are designed for comfort cruising. Hope this helps :)

Hi! I am a first time e-bike purchaser and rented a peddle assist recently which was fun, except for the lack of control over speed and take off. It looked sort of like a BMX bike which doesn’t suit me. I saw a Eizzy online for 1000.00 its medium frame looks quite new, they say its been barely used. I am 5’2, 115 lbs. The bike is for someone 5’2-5’8. I also have tennis elbow and a bit of a knee issue, so the lighter the better. This bike would be for pleasure and not a lot of hills.
Any input you could provide would be great! Thanks a lot. Rita.

Hi Rita! I’d like to help you but am not familiar with the Eizzy brand or model? Did you spell it correctly? If you have a link to the product please paste it into your reply comment. Also, feel free to share your question [URL='']in the forums here[/URL] where many other ebike owners are often willing to chime in :)

I am interested in buying an e-bike for my girlfriend and I to ride to and from work. What is the best recommended model for having a passenger in the back

Hmm… if you’re looking for a tandem (like where you can both pedal) then [URL='']the Pedego Tandem[/URL] would be a solid choice. Alternatively, if you wanted to just let one person sit on the back or maybe pull a trailer then a [URL='']cargo style ebike[/URL] like [URL='']the RadWagon[/URL] or [URL='']Electric Edgerunner from Xtracycle[/URL] could work :)

Hey Court, Great website. I bought my wife the [URL='']Diamondback Lindau ebike[/URL] thru REI, partially based on your good review. She loves it so far. My question: if I’m not mistaken, isn’t the [URL='']IZIP E3 Path[/URL] the same bike as the Diamondback Lindau? Everything sure looks the same from the pictures and video but at a cheaper price for the Lindau. Mike

Hey Mike! Good eye… the bikes are very similar (and use the same drive system and battery from Currie Technologies) but the frames and other components are unique. Diamondback is owned by the Accell Group (a big conglomerate out of Europe) along with IZIP so they are just sharing parts. Diamondback is available through some dealers and in some regions where IZIP is not… IZIP has been doing ebikes longer but is less well known, so they shared the best parts to introduce the Lindau and it might be cheaper based on a few frame and component differences or just for marketing purposes, I can’t really say for sure. I hope you guys like it!

Hi Court! First, I appreciate what you are doing and I love all your videos. I’m considering buying an ebike from the HPC guys and wanted to hear your more in depth thoughts on their bikes, but more importantly their position in the ebike world. I don’t know much about bikes so I’m somewhat hesitant on dishing out thousands of dollars for an ebike and worried who can help me with maintenance/repairs later down the line? I’ve seen all the HPC vids they posted, and I’ve also seen your HPC vids including your visit to their shop in Chatsworth, and I’m wondering if a bike from HPC is a smart choice for a first bike. Also, are their custom Crystalite motors and prismatic pouch battery systems really all the hype? I highly value speed and torque, and plan to ride this thing more like a motorcycle than a bike (heavy throttle-only usage with minimal pedal). I’m looking at their 2000w thunderbolt with 52v 12.5ah battery system (HT-1), and wondering if there are other bikes around the same price point of $3400 that equally deliver on power, speed, torque, and range. I mean what is the real tangible difference from a 500w motor to a 2000w? Thanks again and keep up the great work!

Hi Ray! My experience with HPC has been limited and I was only able to test the bikes for a limited time and in a fairly tame environment (compared to their videos and possibly what you want to do). My feeling is that these guys are passionate about power and delivering something unique and cool. They have been responsive with me via email and they had lots of tools for testing, optimizing and repairing in their shop. I even saw one owner who was upgrading his old HPC bike to be all wheel drive and they were just helping him for fun. They behave like a smaller local shop but have reached the level of being able to negotiate with manufacturers and do some custom stuff in terms of motors and batteries (they do a whole lot of custom stuff in their shop just for fun). If you feel drawn to their offerings I’d say go for it! They have been around for several years and I feel like they have the momentum in the “power” oriented niche to endure. Again, this is just my qualitative take but I didn’t feel like they were feeding me BS during the visit, they care about truth in power and that’s why they have a dyno on site. Just give them a call and chat, say hi for me and good luck! I think you’ll be happy with something custom from them and I feel like they will support you… but it might take some extra time and money to ship stuff back and forth. Honestly, I’m not sure what high power alternatives even exist for electric motocross type of setups :)

Thanks for the quick response, Court! Everything you said makes sense, and I appreciate your insight. Haha, I’m no motocross type guy. I’m just a regular guy wanting a powerful ebike for no real intended purpose :) I’m really just looking at HPC’s entry-level stuff (these guys consider 2000w “low power” lol). I’m in SoCal, so HPC is somewhat local to me (40 miles away, which is a huge plus!) Thanks again, Court, and keep the vids coming!

Cool, happy to help Ray! Maybe give them a call and make a day trip out of visiting the HQ. They seemed cool with people stopping by and I bet you could get a lot of questions answered and maybe even get a custom setup! Definitely post about it [URL='']in the HPC forums[/URL] if you go that route :D

Hi Court,
I love your site. Been looking into ebikes for many years, and think I’m ready to jump on! Price isn’t really a concern, though I would prefer to spend less than 4k. Mostly street rider (daily commute) and my current bike is a Specialized crosstrail with a 61 cm frame.
I’m 6 foot 8, and weigh 280 pounds. And because my torso is the longest part (my inseam is 34 in) I need something more upright, or a more aggressive angle to the handlebars. What can you tell me about the largest frame bikes with the most torque or higher wattage for my get up n go? What do you recommend for really tall riders?
Thanks in advance!

Hi Steve! Great question… I’ve been impressed with the Specialized Turbo and [URL='']Turbo X[/URL] (because it has a suspension fork). If you already have one of their traditional bikes and like the brand/style then this could be a good option and it comes in several sizes. The same could be said for Stromer, they offer a bunch of models that look similar to the Turbo and come in a few frame sizes (including a 22″ frame). You could check out their [URL='']ST2[/URL] but note that it’s a bit more expensive than the Turbo or Turbo X. If you already have a frame that you like or want to buy another one that fits well you could always convert it to electric by adding a motor kit, I like the [URL='']E-Rad systems[/URL] because they are very powerful, well balanced and feature shift-sensing so they aren’t as hard on the drivetrain. If you want to look forward to 2016 I’ve been posting some [URL='']videos from Interbike here[/URL] including a new one from Stromer that should be up by end of day today.

Hi guys what are your stance on having an stereo system and mp3 player onboard on a ebike is it worth it?Because I dont drive but getting my licence in a few years and i want an alternative to one and because my Ecoped ebike where I can listen to music while riding to keep me company at night not up loud or anything low volume.Is a Stereo MP3 System built on an ebike worth it for music lovers like me?

Hey Andrew! That’s an awesome question… I’ve seen a couple of custom converted electric bikes with built in stereo systems but I think most people just use portable MP3 players with headphones. [URL='']Here’s one custom trike[/URL] with a stereo I saw that was done by the guys at [URL='']Hi-Power Cycles[/URL], they called it the Grub Hauler because it was built on a trike platform and they would use it to go get lunch :D

Hi Court, I’m a novice looking to abandon my car and e-bike to my bus station (6 miles from home). I’m 5’9″, 160 lbs. The road from my home to bus stops is slightly hilly and at times uneven pavements. Plus I would travel more in the wee hours like 6 am so I would require head and tail lights. I don’t have any price restraints. I need an e-bike that is lightweight enough for me to load on the bus bike rack with decent power (in case I’m getting late to catch the bus). Although not a priority, I would like to use it as a normal pedal bike at times to fit in some exercise in my daily commute. What is the best e-bike for me? What would be a good website to buy that best bike? Do e-bikes also have Thanksgiving Day deals? Best regards, Paul.

Hi Paul! If you want something light, well balanced and efficient I feel like the [URL='']Haibike Urban[/URL] or [URL='']Race[/URL] could be a good fit. The Race can hit 28 mph so you can commute more quickly and I believe one shop having a sale right now (to change from 2015 to 2016 models) is [URL='']Propel Bikes[/URL] and they do ship nationally if you are in the USA. I just saw that they have a demo model of the Urban for $3,800 right now and I like this bike for how light it is (just 41 lbs) so riding without power and lifting it onto the bus rack would work for you. If you want a model with a rack and fenders for commuting then check out the [URL='']Haibike Trekking models[/URL] but note the extra weight… I personally like the suspension fork on this model and the larger tires help to add some comfort. There are lots of other ebikes to consider but Haibike strikes a balance for me of cool looking, affordable-ish (given the Bosch drive system) and lots of different options.

Hi Court! I want to say a big ‘thank you’ for your ebike recommendation! My new Easy Motion City finally arrived and I absolutely love it!! Rufina

Nice!! Thanks Rufina, I really like the City models… got the lights, fenders, everything you need. I hope it works out well for you over time, drop by here anytime and ride safe out there :D

Court, thanks again for the consistently thorough effort you put into this site and all it holds. I am bike shopping for a location and my intended rides more than a class of bike, and with one eye on my fixed pension income. I live in a valley in Montana surrounded by mountains, and in a city laced with bike and walking trails (Bozeman, MT). I don’t think I’ll be doing the truly hard-core mountain biking but definitely trail riding with elevation changes plus city commutes. I was taken by the Superpedestrian concept since I could use a (lighter) regular bike for the city commutes and trails, and swap in the hub system for longer distances and more rugged mountain trails. Sadly, I’ve concluded Superpedestrian is too iffy a product for me to plan on. Are there other products similar in approach to that concept that you can recommend? And if I opt for an e-bike alone, might you have a suggestion or two for the under-$2K buyer to best meet these needs? (I’m 6′ & 170).

Hi Jack, [URL='']is this your website[/URL] with all of the boating? Looks fun! The Superpedestrian Copenhagen Wheel gets me excited too but given how long some people have waited on the preorder I’m just not sure it’s worth while right now. I like [URL='']the FlyKly[/URL] but I think they have been slow on orders as well and that product won’t let you use a cassette so you’ll only have one gear. this past week I [URL='']posted a video[/URL] with my Uncle who has had a Haibike for over a year now and gone 4,000+ miles. I was amazed by how well the bike held up (motor, battery etc.) and feel that this type of setup can be worth the extra money if you plan to do some trails and use the bike on a more regular basis. One of the more affordable options in this line is the [URL='']XDURO RX 29″[/URL] and it’s possible to get last-season bikes for a bit less from dealers so that might be worth exploring. I tend to go for purpose-built complete ebikes vs. kits because I know the frame is strong, the wires are integrated and you usually get some fancier features like pedal assist. Given your budget of ~$2,000 I’d think something like [URL='']the Biketrix Stunner[/URL] could work well. They have a low-step and high-step version depending on your style. Here’s [URL='']a whole list[/URL] of ebikes I’ve reviewed that are more affordable, hope this helps!

Thanks, Court, for the links and recs. And for those who are looking for an excellent overview of using an ebike as a regular commuter AND trail rider (in the Rockies yet!), be sure to [URL='']watch Court’s discussion with his Uncle[/URL]. Just excellent. (But 6 chains in one year…Yikes!) Yes, that’s us, Court. Catching our breath mid-Atlantic on the island of Faial in the Azores.

Thank you for the fantastic web site! I’ve wanted an electric cargo bike for years and have learned so much from your reviews. I’m looking for something that will take me (5’4″, 105 lb.) and my two kids (5 years old and 45 lb.; 1.5 years old and 23 lb.),around the city we live in, which has a few moderate hills (hence the need for electric). Which bike would you recommend for someone like me? I don’t care much about speed, but since I’ll usually have at least one kid with me, I’ll need something stable and easy to handle. I’ve tried out and liked the Yuba elBodaBoda and Spicy Curry, do you have any other (hopefully less expensive) suggestions? Thanks!

Hey Gi! Thanks for the compliment, so glad the website has helped guide you to find a solid ebike. The two you mentioned are great options but yeah… both are expensive. Do you want the 5 year old to ride on the bike with you? That’s definitely possible with the longer cargo bikes from Yuba, Xtracycle and Currie but you could also just put both kids in a trailer. Alternatively, the 5 year old could go one one of those [URL='']“follow me” bike trailers[/URL] and the 1.5 year old could be in a front mounted seat like [URL='']this one from Yepp[/URL]. There are so many variables for a multi-passenger ebikes and even some funky designs like [URL='']the Urban Arrow[/URL]. Maybe I can help more if you zoom in on how you’d like everyone to be seated… or like the layout you prefer. Depending on your own weight and strength, it may not be necessary to get a super powerful bike for moderate terrain and that could lower the costs a lot. If by contrast you plan to scale large hills and the combined weight is going to exceed 200 lbs (and maybe include groceries or other supplies) then something like [URL='']the Xtracycle EdgeRunner 10E[/URL] with Bosch mid-drive would be ideal and achieve great range.

Court, thanks for responding so quickly! I’m definitely open to having my son on a tag-along and my daughter in a bike seat, but I’m not sure about a front-mounted seat, since I’m fairly small and not confident about my ability to reach around her and maintain control, especially as she gets older. I doubt the combined weight will ever exceed 200, or that I’ll ever scale big hills. I’m flexible on the layout – open to having the kids behind me (both on the bike with me, or with one on a tag-along) or in front of me in a bakfiets – but just want something stable, relatively easy to handle (especially when the combined weight of two kids is more than half my weight), and not outrageously expensive. What do you think of the Virtue Gondoliere+?

Cool, I like the designs coming out of Virtue but haven’t had an opportunity to test ride them yet. The Gondoliere+ looks a lot like the Urban Arrow and having ridden that bike I have mixed feelings on stability… Maybe it’s more the change in balance with a far-out front wheel where you have to prepare for turns in advance and lean a bit differently than traditional bikes. It’s not bad, just different. This front loaded design does create extra space for kids, groceries etc and I noticed that the Virtue bike has a battery rack where you might be able to mount a rear child seat [URL='']like this[/URL]. One of the challenges with the rear rack and rear seat is that it blocks the seat post attachment that a follow-me bike would use. Adding one slot for a child is doable but when you get up to two it can become more complicated. My sister and I rode around in a [URL='']Burley Trailer like this[/URL] when I was a kid and it worked out alright. The nice thing about these is that they mount to the rear axle vs. the seat post so you could use this for cargo and one child with a rear seat for the other. Coming back to power, I’d recommend a 500 watt motor with a 48 volt battery given the added weight of kids and potentially a trailer. You could do a 350 watt motor if it’s a mid-drive from Bosch or even a 250 watt from Impulse like those on [URL='']Focus[/URL] and bikes. Kalkhoff has a bunch of well made step-thru models that would be easy to mount and have sturdy built-in racks. The motor and battery are kept low which further improves stability and they are more efficient for climbing and even have shift sensing to reduce wear over time. the downside is that you won’t have a throttle so in order to activate the motor you’ll need to pedal. Feel free to [URL='']call me[/URL] to discuss more if you’d like.

Hello: Wonderful site, thank you for maintaining it so well! I’m trying to use my car a bit less here. Could you please suggest a relatively light weight folding e-bike for an urban longish commute. I’m 5 ft tall, 115 lb, 53 y.o.; live in the small city; will use it to commute to/from work & grocery shopping (need to be able to attach a basket or two). I often ride late evenings (so built-in light would be most appreciated). Are any European brands available in U.S.? I’ve been using a small e-scooter (e-zip 1000), but decided to replace it with an e-bike.Thank you for your suggestions. K.

Great question, thanks for all of the details! It helps me to make a good recommendation for you… The first ebike that came to mind was the [URL='']e-Joe Epik Lite[/URL] which is really popular because it comes with a rack, lights, even a suspension fork for comfort and it’s very light weight and affordable. There are actually several ebikes that resemble this one including the [URL='']Daymak New Yorker[/URL] (which doesn’t have the lights) and the [URL='']Enzo Ebike[/URL] (which is a bit higher quality, rust resistant for people who take it on boats and cots more). I’ve reviewed many folding electric bikes to be honest and you can explore them at your leisure on [URL='']this page[/URL]. Most of the products I look at are in the United States but some are imported and even modified such as [URL='']the Brompton Ebike[/URL] which is only sold through NYCeWheels in New York but I believe they ship nationally. Most bikes can be shipped to you or your local shop to be assembled and tuned up in my experience :)

Thank you kindly for helpful recommendations. How do this bikes behave in the rain in terms of water licking into battery compartment? Two other questions, please: Genze/Mahindra makes a decent enough e-bike, they assemble and service it, but unfortunately it’s not folding and fairly heavy. Have you heard any rumors of Genze making folding bikes in the near future? Also out of all the bikes (folding and not, in all price range) , if you had to choose one women bike – what would you recommend? Thank you again for your help with this.
Best regards, K.

Hi Katya! I have not heard of GenZe making a folding electric bike at this time but I could see something like that happening eventually, it’s a very popular design. [URL='']Here’s a new folding ebike[/URL] I tested just a few days ago that worked very well and protects the battery from the elements by storing it inside the frame. One of my favorite bikes for women is [URL='']the BESV Panther PS1[/URL] because it’s compact, light weight, has dual suspension for comfort and looks very beautiful :)

Hi Court, Thanks so much for your comment yesterday. I stopped by my local bike dealer yesterday and got some good news. The head repair guy is in California learning all about e-bikes! However, they are a dedicated Specialized shop in terms of purchases. We live in a small town and I really want to buy local if possible. I’m looking at the Specialized Turbo X, which retails for $4,500. Do you have a view on this bike? Thanks!!!! Adam

Nice! Sounds like you can buy local and get an awesome bike… The Turbo X is my favorite in the series because it comes with suspension and given the higher top speeds and distances that ebikes offer comfort is a big consideration. The Turbo X is also one of the more affordable models in their line and they offer a solid warranty, sounds like you’re set :D

Very helpful website. After riding an e-bike for the 1st time in Europe last summer, I came home & thought I’d find one right away. But I became intimidated by the process of trying to find the right one for me (69 yo, 140# retired gal who likes the idea of exercise more than hard work.). I have several friends who bought e-bikes over the internet & had regrets (more like disasters!) So I really appreciate what you have put together on this site. After much reading on your site, checking my bank account, etc. I think I’m honing in on one of the Easy Motion bikes. Can you give me some pros & cons comparing the EVO Jet, the EVO Cross & EVO ECO Lite? Anything else I should consider? Mostly I will be doing riding on bike trails, 20 mile stretches, country roads, light-med hills, vacation riding in the south. I just want to be able to keep up with my husband who is not ready for an e-bike.
ps-the bike shops around in Alabama that I have checked are pretty low in knowledge about electric bikes so we’re going to see the guys at Certified Electric Bikes in Chatanooga-a dedicated electric bike shop. A long trek for us but I’m excited!

Hi Sharon! My first ebike purchase was done through the Internet like your friends and I felt disappointed with the end result. Even when I was able to visit a shop and test ride some different models, my second purchase was close but not perfect. Eventually I started working on this website to help people who might be in a similar position and now it’s my full time focus… You’ve narrowed down pretty well in my opinion, my third ebike was the [URL='']Easy Motion Neo Jumper[/URL] and I loved the look, balance, comfort and zip that it offered. The torque sensor used on all of these Neo and Evo models is called a TMM4 sensor and can lag a bit when you stop pedaling (meaning the motor still zips for a little while) but otherwise they’re great. The Jet is going to be more active and aggressive with a forward body lean, it’s the smaller equivalent of the Cross which is a high-step for taller riders. Depending on your height and ride style the Jet or Cross could work (how tall are you?). The ECO Lite is a smaller, cheaper version of the Street and City models with the former having smaller diameter and fatter 26″ wheels vs. 700c (28″) on the City. I think the [URL='']Evo Street[/URL] or [URL='']Evo Eco Lite[/URL] would be the best options for a petite rider who wanted to emphasize comfort because the geometry is more upright… I love that they come with fenders, lights and with the Street you get a suspension fork (which adds cost and weight but also more comfort). If you’re not super tall and are okay with a slightly less active geometry either of these bikes could be a fit. I just reviewed another model called the [URL='']IZIP E3 Vibe+[/URL] which is similar to the Evo Eco Lite but doesn’t have a throttle and uses a mid-drive vs. geared hub motor. I hope this helps, you could also just click through all of the [URL='']city style ebikes[/URL] and see if anything else jumps out.

Court, Thanks for your most helpful response. I settled on the Evo Eco Lite after riding for a few hours on several models. With the seat dropped to the lowest level it fits my 5’3″ height nicely & allows my toes to touch the ground when seated which feels safe. The option for throttle and pedal-assist seems like it has the most options. I bought it from Certified Electric Bikes in Cbatanooga-Chandlee & Garnet were most patient and helpful. They recommended also installing Cane Creek Thudbuster to make the ride more comfortable. I’ll try this out today. Ok-warning-for most stupid question: is there something I can read on most efficient way to use the throttle vs pedal assist? What kind of road conditions, when, etc?

I am considering getting the 2013 izip E3 ultra model; its brand new and my local shop is giving me a good deal on the bike ($1000). I saw your review for the bike, and was wondering if the technology and performance of the bike is still comparable to the newer models? and will it be good for a heavier rider at about 200 pounds? Some background: This will be my first e bike ever and I will be using it for commuting to work which is about 8 miles each way. The trails will be relatively simple (not much of hills). Would love to get you insights. Thanks.

Hi Dhruv, sounds like a great price… which IZIP E3 model are we talking about? Is it the Dash, Zuma, Peak or something else? Since it’s older the battery will likely have some wear on it but the systems should perform well enough. Given your moderate terrain and required range I think you’d be alright as long as you take your charger to work and maybe top the bike off. Does the model you’re considering have a removable battery pack to make charging easier?

Hi Court, Thanks for the quick reply. The model I am looking at is [URL='']the Ultra[/URL]. I understanding is that the battery is not easily removable. I am planning to rent the bike for a day before making my decision – besides the comfort and battery performance are there any aspects I should pay attention to in the trial period? Thanks, Dhruv

Hi Dhruv! Thanks for specifying the bike… definitely not my favorite model from IZIP, the battery is not removable and although it has suspension the narrow tires weren’t comfortable (though you could replace them) and I thought it was ugly. Keep in mind older batteries degrade and since this one is custom it’s not going to be easy to replace so you’ll be left with ever-decreasing range and probably have difficulty selling second hand. I think $1,000 is still too much for this ebike given all of the brand new super affordable models that look better and ride better. Here’s the [URL='']full list[/URL] of affordable ebikes I’ve reviewed, one brand I really like is [URL='']Magnum[/URL] but the price is definitely higher… It’s just very difficult to get a good ebike at $1,000 but once you’ve spent that much and possibly been disappointed the additional $500 or so to get a much better ebike seems like a small price to pay. My first ebike really disappointed me and that’s part of why I created EBR.

Terrific site. Thanks. Recommendation please: I’m 63, 5’9″, 140 pounds. I’m looking to replace my car with an electric bike, so I need to be able to transport groceries & stuff around town. Ashland OR is very bike friendly. I am not a confident bike rider — it’s easy to lose my balance, so I like to be able to put my feet on the ground, and wear a skirt — so a step through is probably good. I need reliable, stable, easy, and not too heavy. Much Thanks JBM

Hi Juna! There are so many great step-thru ebikes to choose from these days… if I were in your shoes I’d visit the local bike shop and take a test ride. Just did a Google search and found [URL='']Ashland Electric Bikes[/URL] which carries two good options including the GenZe Recreational which I reviewed [URL='']here[/URL] and the Pedego Boomerang that I covered [URL='']here[/URL]. The Pedego is larger, heavier and more expensive but also more powerful and super-low step. Note that Pedego has [URL='']a bunch of other models[/URL] including some with 24″ tires. If you’re looking to buy online and want a model these guys don’t carry feel free to contact me directly using the phone number on the contact page and I can discuss some different ideas with you :)

Hi Court, first I would like to comment on your great site. It is simply awesome. Lots of great content, with good write ups and excellent video reviews. I have been binge watching your reviews and I am amazed at how may choices there are for electric bikes. Didn’t know there were so many choices. Now, I would like your input on my particular situation. I have been looking on getting a bike to replace my very heavy Diamondback Edgewood. I have been looking at various hybrid bikes, i.e. Trek 7.2 FX, Giant City Escape, Specialized Sirrus etc., and then I came upon your site. After watching a few videos I like the idea of getting an electric bike so I can go further and a bit faster. Currently I ride on the weekends for the most part on my current ride, but can only average about 12-14 miles. I was thinking of a lighter hybrid so I can commute to work (about 10-12 miles each way depending on route), but an electric bike would make it a cinch. Now, some specs on me that might help in your suggestion. I am 5’10” tall with an inseam of 31 inches, I have lower back issues, so a City Style bike with a more upright sitting position would be best, I weigh 195 lbs, and I am turning 50 next month. This last fact is relevant because it seems that I don’t have the recovery capability that I had at an earlier age, so an electric bike seems to overcome the age factor. Also, most of the riding I do is on surface, paved streets or trails at local parks. I live in San Antonio, TX, so we are making progress in having more bike lanes around town, but I don’t think we have any shops that cater to electric bike aficionados. Maybe I’ll have to travel to Austin to try any of your suggestions? That would not be a problem as it is only one hour away by car but would be a bit inconvenient to service the bike if any of the electric components were to fail. Lastly, I am thinking about spending $2000 or less if possible? Again, great site and thx in advance.

Hi Juan! Yeah, it sounds like a city bike or cruiser would make the most sense and [URL='']Rocket Electrics in Austin[/URL] has a wide selection to look and they will deliver anywhere in Texas from the looks of it, Also consider Small Planet EV’s in Dallas (which is further but might also offer delivery). I recommend buying in person from a shop if possible so you can test ride and usually they throw in a free tune up and will be more eager to help maintain your bike ongoing. Ebikes tend to be ridden more frequently and just have more complex systems than traditional bikes so ultimately they need more maintenance and having a shop to help you is a big deal in my opinion. Your budget is pretty solid, I feel like they’d be able to help you at either shop and maybe a Pedego Cruiser, Juiced Bikes or one of the Easy Motion City or Street models could be a fit. Pedego comes at a premium, Juiced Bikes has models with excellent range and more of a cargo feel and the Easy Motion stuff looks the most polished. I’m not completely up to speed with what models Rocket Electrics has in stock right now but they do a good job in my experience and their website has more info or you could call them, say hi for me to John and Nicole :D

Hi Court, Thx for the prompt reply. I will certainly take a look at the options you mention. I do think that testing the different bikes in person would be the best idea, so quick trip to Austin, or maybe even Dallas for the weekend would not be bad at all. I’ll look at the different brands you mention in your response. Appreciate your help. Thx again. JN

Hi Court – As many people have said, thanks for such a great site – so informative as I look to purchase a first electric bike. I’d like your input on a bike to primarily be used for commuting. My parameters:

[*]5’11”, 160lbs
[*]1-way commute – 8.5 miles. I live in the Bay Area, but the only hills to speak of on my commute are overpasses.
[*]I currently (try to) commute on a regular bike, although it has drawbacks: need to shower twice a day as I break a sweat during the ride. And now that I have kid dropoff in the morning, I have a shorter window of time to get to work in mornings (about 30 min.)
[*]Part of commute is on a dedicated bike path so 20mph max speed
[*]I hope to be able to use the motor in the mornings on the way in and then ride mostly non-pedal assisted on the way home, so looking for something more lightweight. This way I don’t break a sweat and can wear work clothes on the way in, but can get exercise on the way home.
[*]My current commuter is a cyclo-cross bike fit. I added lights, fenders and rear rack, but I can switch them onto the e-bike.

I’ve been thinking about the Emazing Bike Artemis, as its lightweight and seems suited for commuting. I like that it looks like a normal bike. The Artemis is at the upper range of what I want to spend. Wondering what you thought and if there are other bikes that fit the bill. Thanks in advance!

Hi James! Thanks for laying all of your details out to discuss… The Artemis is a neat bike, I like how light weight it is, but one other option I enjoyed is the [URL='']Magnum Mi5[/URL] which is very affordable at ~$1,700 and comes with assist as well as throttle on demand. There are no lights integrated but there are mounting points for a [URL='']rear carry rack[/URL] since you’re commuting. I personally like the larger tires and suspension fork here and the “trail bike” style but it would make an excellent platform for commuting and the battery is quite large. I believe you can see and test ride this bike at [URL='']ELV Motors in Santa Clara[/URL]. If you prefer something more sleek, consider [URL='']the new Riide[/URL] which is exactly $2k or can be financed but is sold online vs. shops.

Thanks for the reply! I will definitely check out some of these options at ELV!

I need advice. I’m ready to buy an electric bike and I’m overwhelmed by choices. I’ve ridden a few on the west coast, but living in Cleveland, Ohio, I’m going to have to order on line as our local bike dealers don’t sell them. I want a bike to ride for work; I’m a local minister so I have to move around town throughout my day – often in a skirt, so I’d like a step-through model that can accommodate a tall woman, and I would like one with fenders and good tires as it rains a lot in Cleveland. I’d also like to ride this bike on country roads as I am a summer minister on Cape Cod. I would prefer both peddle assist and throttle with decent gear options. I also need to be able to put it on a sturdy, hitch-mounted Yakima Bike rack. I would prefer to keep my investment under or around $2,000. Any advice or suggestions?

Hi Tracey! A few models come to mind including [URL='']the EG Athens[/URL] (which is a bit weaker but very affordable). You mentioned that you’re a bit taller… what’s your height and also the round trip and terrain (flat or hilly?). You can see a long list of step-thru ebikes using [URL='']this advanced search query[/URL] and I’ll try to dig in more if you reply with more details but there are several great shops that sell online in the US including [URL='']Propel Bikes in New York[/URL] (they sell higher end stuff), [URL='']Electric Cyclery in California[/URL] (still higher end but more of a mix) and the [URL='']Electric Bicycle Center in California[/URL] (more entry-level affordable). I hope this helps… if you decide to up your budget and go for quality and a wider range of sizes then definitely check out [URL='']the Kalkhoff models[/URL]… they are very popular in Europe and some of the best ebikes around… they will last, power through all kinds of terrain and come with fenders, lights, a bell and other nice upgrades.

Hi Court, I was wondering if I could also get your help in choosing a bike. I live half way up a mountain (literally – I live in the Rocky Mountains) so getting to work is not a problem, but I have not been able to conquer the way home so I am interested in pedal assist. I’d like a bike that’s strong enough to get me up the paved mountain and gentle enough for the 15 month old baby I’d like to attach in a handle bar baby seat. Thank you for your help – Ciara

Hi Ciara! Cool name… I grew up in Colorado at the base of the Rockies so the steep climbs (and high altitude) are not lost on me ;) sounds like a wonderful goal you have, riding with your child. One of the firs ebikes that came to mind was [URL='']the Electra Townie Go![/URL] which uses a powerful, durable and efficient mid-drive motor from Bosch. The older models used hub motors that were louder and way less powerful. Once I thought of this however, an idea struck me which is that as your child grows you may want to put them on the back of the bike or even let them sit on a cargo deck and hold a handlebar. This is all possible with a cargo style ebike and two companies offer models that also use the Bosch Centerdrive. Check out [URL='']the Felt Bruhaul[/URL] and [URL='']the Xtracycle Edgerunner[/URL]. They aren’t cheap but they can literally replace your car with excellent range, plenty of climbing power, tons of cargo space for groceries in addition to a second passenger and solid warranties. This is an ebike you buy once to keep (just lock it up well!)

Thank you Court! I really appreciate your responding and have found your website an amazing resource for find a new ebike! I look forward to trying these bikes out! Thanks again for your time :)

Hi Court, first of all thanks for your website! I’m completely new to ebikes and it’s been very, very helpful. I need help finding the right ebike for my situation. I’m 65 years old, 5’8″ and weigh 215. I also have back issues so am looking at either full suspension or at the very least front suspension with a thud buster or similar product. I will be riding both at home, which means fairly steep hillls, and at RV campgrounds. I visit beach campgrounds with sand roads and would also like to ride on the beach. The ebike needs to be almost indistinguishable from a non-motorized bike. I also need to be able to transport the bike on a hitch mounted bike carrier of some sort so it needs to be light enough for me to handle. I would like to ride upright as much as possible. Good suspension is very important considering the condition of my back. I would also like to spend $2500 or less if possible. The whole idea is to be able to get some exercise but have electric assist for the hills and sand and to keep up with my wife when we ride together. Any suggestions?

That’s a very tall order Mark but I think the biggest killer is that it needs to be indistinguishable from a traditional unpowered bicycle. My first thought given your budget was the [URL='']RadRover[/URL] but it has a battery pack on the downtube that would stand out. The good news is that the battery is removable which is great for lifting. For a bit more you can get the beautiful [URL='']Surface 604 Boar[/URL] which also has a removable battery but looks a lot more “normal”. I really like the [URL='']E-Lux Tahoe[/URL] but the fenders and rack would get in the way of any rack you choose… there are heavy duty hitch racks with larger trays for fat bikes [URL='']like this[/URL] but they usually push down on tires and fenders tend to get in the way.

Court – Though repetitive, I would be remiss if I didn’t offer kudos for the great site.
My ebike saga started with a Sharper Image Electric Cruiser about 14 years ago, a beast of a bike, which I absolutely loved although it wasn’t long before I could no longer get up a hill on it. I learned to tinker with the electronics quite a bit, even “Frankensteined” a replacement battery pack onto it (Nickel Metal Hydride Cells!) so I consider myself a bit of a pioneer, And a bit of an outlaw too since ebikes were not legal in Ontario at the time. Once I actually rode up to two bicycle cops to ask them whether they had seen any ebikes on the road, what they thought of the upcoming pilot project to allow them… they had no idea what I was riding. It was cycling bliss until someone stole the rear wheel with the motor, and I had to let her go…
I ended up moving on to motor scooters but last year sold them, they have great range and speed but they aren’t fun like an ebike…. So last spring I ended up buying a “barely used” [URL='']2013 iZip E3 Zuma[/URL], the step through model. I have really been enjoying it although it’s in the shop now and I’m told that the motor had a bunch of water in it, I guess because it was not covered well enough while spending a cold snowy rainy winter outside. Very bad, I have learned my lesson. Between the cost of a new motor, replacing the burned-out controller, and the labor required to put Humpty together again, it may not be worth it. I don’t have an easy way to store it over winter though, and kept hoping the temp would rise enough to ride it…. but alas it didn’t.
OK yes, I have a question – was looking at your review of the Voltbike Urban. It seems to combine of the attributes I might want in my next bike – I can bring it inside in the winter, or bring it on the subway or throw it easily in a car… It’s within my price range (about $1200-1400 USD)… It’s shipped from Canada so I don’t pay the exchange rate or duties or customs clearance fees etc… But I can’t ride it before I buy. I’ve never ridden an electric folder and I know it’s a low-end bike. I’m about 190 lbs. Do you think I’m going to like this bike, moving from a Zuma? My ride to work is mostly up a low incline (up and down hills but mostly up) and about 9 miles, and I like riding pretty fast. It’s mostly smooth roads but there are some very bumpy patches (which aren’t great on the Zuma). Thoughts?

Hi Dave! Yeah, the reviews can get repetitive… I’m always trying to balance an introduction to ebikes with details about what differentiates each model and a bit of entertainment and variety. Glad you’ve enjoyed the site and thanks for sharing your great story about the Zuma! I actually just posted [URL='']a guide about riding in wet conditions and washing ebikes[/URL], maybe you could chime in about your failed motor to help guide readers on what to avoid so their’s don’t break ;)
And so, on to your question! [URL='']The Voltbike Urban[/URL] performs pretty well for a more affordable electric bike but it isn’t going to feel as solid or powerful as your Zuma. I really like the Zuma models because the heavier frame, larger tires and oversize saddle add some comfort. You won’t get that with the lighter frame and small wheels of the Urban (with limited suspension and an underwhelming fold lock on the stem). The saving grace is actually that the hub motor benefits from the smaller wheel size which should help with those hills and you get throttle and assist so pedaling along feels natural and you can extend the range and avoid overworking the system by pedaling. As you’ve read, the Urban offers six speeds and comes with a medium front chainring so pedaling feels natural and errs on the too-easy side vs. too hard. Those bumpy patches you mention on your ride do worry me but with a larger saddle (perhaps your old Zuma saddle?) and a bit of care, this ebike would offer the convenience and storability which ended your last ride. I hope this helps, you could opt for a suspension folding ebike but that will cost more and likely originate in the USA. One other folding ebike that is more full sized and does originate in canada is [URL='']the Daymak Arsenal[/URL], have you checked that one out? It uses larger, more traditional 26″ wheels.

Court, congratulations on a really great website and information. When you are new to this its so confusing. I live in a mountainous part of New Zealand and ebikes are just starting to come in here. I was wanting your thoughts on one for myself. Lady – Age 67, Height 5ft 5 in, Weight 155 lbs. Wanted a step through preferably that could take panniers and would be using for mountain trail rides and trekking. Prefer an upright position. I am not a mountain bike enthusiast and going off road but just want some extra oomph to get up the hills but also bike around the village. Budget is relaxed – just want to get quality that will hopefully outlast me. I would most certainly be wanting to travel to where ever to try them out [possibly overseas] but just need to have an idea as to models to consider. How do you get the lithium batteries back home if you purchase overseas? Do you have any recommendations for European brands? Any ideas?

Hi June! I’m excited for you, glad that ebikes have caught your attention and wish I could help more than just posting these reviews… I realize it can be overwhelming with all of the seeming-choices. The truth is that you’re best off finding a shop in NZ that sells ebikes and buying locally. My understanding is that shipping or flying with Lithium-ion batteries is difficult if not impossible for consumers without help from a shop or manufacturer. There are some brands that sell online then ship overseas and in that case your options really open up. One shop that might be willing to work with you (that also carries good stuff) is [URL='']Motostrano in California[/URL], try reaching out to them, I hear they have successfully sold and shipped internationally but cannot say for sure. They would also be able to help you narrow down options based on their availability vs. coming in stuck on one idea or another. Most ebikes these days are getting pretty reliable and strong in the $2,000+ range.

Court. Many thanks for your response and I will most certainly contact Motostrano. All the best

Wow! Thanks for the amazing & informative website. I admit that with all its vast array of information that I am finding trying to figure out the best Ebike for my needs to be a bit overwhelming so I am hoping maybe you could help me narrow things down. I plan to commute 13 miles each way to work and am very interested in an Ebike because I don’t think I am up for a daily 26 mile round trip ride on my hybrid bike. I will have a number of small hills to go up and down with one long relatively steep hill that is almost 1/2 mile long. Do you think an Ebike could make it up the big hill? I weigh 140 and am 5’8″. I can spend up to $3000ish. I am excited about the possibility of ditching my car and continuing to enjoy the thrill of being on a bike without having to do all the work, thanks so much for any input you could give me!

Hi Jennie! In my experience, electrified bicycles massively reduce the time and effort involved with riding. I’m not sure how steep your hill is but imagine more than doubling your own pedal power output and making it constant. I’m almost positive that if you pedal along with the bike you will have no problem making it up… The biggest challenge for ebikes is when you stop half way up a hill and try to use a throttle only to get it going without helping. The motor does best when you help and when you have some momentum going in. Given your height and weight, I’d say you’re pretty average and most bikes would be able to handle the distance and those hills. Maybe the next question is, do you want a mid-drive, a hub motor, a step-thru style vs. high-step, do you want a suspension fork and more active design that could go on trails or mostly just city… going the other direction, would you like a cruiser that’s really relaxed but also heavy? My first suggestion would be to seek out a local dealer where you can go and take a test ride. Buying local comes in very handy down the road for helping with tuneups and warranty service :)

First of all my husband and I would like to thank you for your really excellent web site! It is incredibly informative and quite extensive. This leads us to some questions and a desire for your recommendations for e-bikes that meet the following criteria;
[*]First the frame geometry. I want an “upright” or “relaxed” riding position as opposed to a “lean forward” position (but not cruiser). I also want a frame with an upper tube. It can be a drop tube (mild step through) but not a full step through frame. These would be deal breakers.
[*]After a full read of your motor position comparison it seems as though a mid motor would be best. I will use the bike to commute to and from work, a bit less than 30 miles round trip, with a long steep hill at the end of the return commute. After a day of work the thought of the motor not pulling the hill with ease, even with me helping, is not pleasant to say the least. It also sounds like having shift sensing is important for less stress on the drive train and a more enjoyable riding experience. I am not clear on wether the throttle feature is important on a mid motor or if having all three sensors (torque, pedal cadence, and rear wheel speed) is a must. The Bosh mid motor sounds good but suggestions would be appreciated. Having a mid motor is not a deal breaker if a rear motor handled the end of commute hill with ease, although the spoke, flat tire, and weight distribution cons you point out also seem to favor the mid motor.
[*]I am hoping to stay in the three thousand dollar range.

Thank you very much for your advice! It would be extremely helpful to narrow down the possibilities.

Hi Jennie! The first bike that came to mind for me was [URL='']the Electra Townie Go![/URL] which now uses the Bosch mid-drive. Trek acquired Electra in recent years and has a great dealer network and support. I like the bike a lot with its fenders and cruiser aesthetic but love that they put a fancier drive system on the bike. This bike fits right in your budget and is available in high-step or low-step so you can decide what looks/feels right. Bulls has a mid-drive powered cruiser that I have not yet reviewed but theirs uses the Brose motor that is also really solid (I Have tested that motor on other bikes). It’s called [URL='']the Sturmvogel[/URL] and I’m not sure exactly how much it costs?

P.S. to last question, any input on Bosch vs Impulse 2.0 motor would be appreciated. Again, thank you so much for being such a valuable resource to those of us looking into purchasing an EBike.

Hi Jennie! I really like the Focus and Kalkhoff ebikes but they use the Impulse motor which in my experience is slightly less powerful than Bosch. It’s quiet, small and relatively light weight… but just not as zippy feeling. I prefer Bosch in general because my ride style is more off-road. I feel like with Impulse I have to work harder even in the higher levels of assist (unless it’s the speed drive from Impulse). Hope this helps, both are very solid!

Hello,I just started attending college and my license is revoked. My commute is 8 miles there and 8 miles back so 16 miles. I am 6’4 roughly 190lbs. I have been looking into American Electrics Superfly 2016 model . I’m going to be spending my financial aid from school on this so I’m trying to be as careful as possible. I just wanted to ask for some advice on this particular one or if you had another one to recommend ,I’m trying to keep the “electric bike” as close to a scooter as possible and am interested in higher speeds even though technically the speed limit is 20 mph for these.

Hi Michael, Interesting situation… I’d like to hear more about your budget, my first thought is that a speed pedelec like [URL='']the IZIP E3 Protour[/URL] would offer the best of all worlds ie. speed, lower cost, great features like a scooter but lighter weight and easier to service. Why don’t you give me a ring to chat sometime and we can discuss more options, my Aunt just took out some student loans and I know it’s a big decision what to do with the money, maybe there’s a good deal we could find 650-930-0342

Hi Court, Your website is wonderful and so extensive. I’m overwhelmed and am hoping you can help me make a decision on which bike(s) to consider. I’m a 67 yr old woman; 5’4″; 135 lbs and thankfully, in better than average physical condition but with a bit of back and knee issues. I’m hoping to find a pedal assist and throttle bike to ride on paved trails and streets in and around the Denver area to visit friends and do shopping and to keep moving and exercising every day, weather permitting. There are lots of hills around which I absolutely could never conquer with my vintage Raleigh bike.
Features I “think” I need/want are: Upright/comfortable seating; must be low step-through frame; features for comfortable riding on uneven pavement; fenders; lights; maximum cargo capability for groceries, etc.; removable battery, mid-mount battery to aid stability, and a bike I could lift into my Honda Fit (with rear magic seats) or onto a bike rack. As I was reading along I started writing a list of bikes you recommended to others in different scenarios and the list is LONG which accounts for my being overwhelmed.
I’m able to spend up to $2k unless you recommend a bike which is more because of the features I’m requesting. Are there features I forgot to request? Thanks for helping me though this cloud of information! I’ll happily test ride as many bikes as you recommend.

Sorry for the late reply Kay, I have been traveling recently and just got back to a space with Internet :p I have a great suggestion for you… Right now the industry is changing from 2016 to 2017 electric bikes and there are sometimes sales. You could probably get a nicer bike from last year if you visit the local shops. One such shop that has a storefront in Denver and Longmont (meaning they have more bikes and might even transfer the perfect model between stores) is called [URL='']Small Planet E-Vehicles[/URL]. Rather than give you a general advice about the entire world of ebikes I’d say go there and see/test what they actually have. Buying locally from a shop ensures you have a place to return to with questions, maintenance or even warranty support :D the owner is a wonderful man named Tom Wilson and he’s a little older and might be able to relate to your needs.

Thank you for all of this great information! My family and I love riding bikes together but this past year I have been battling Rheumatoid Arthritis and it has been impossible for me to go with them. I am looking into getting an eclectric bike so that I can keep up with our 11 year old son and not miss out on the family fun. The things I am looking for are: a bike that is easy to get on and off, a bike that gives me enough power to get up the huge hills around our neighborhood (all paved roads) and also is comfortable enough to sit on for someone with joint pain. I’d love to not have to spend a ton of money, but I also don’t want something that will break down on me. Any suggesstions? (and in case you need more info, I’m 5’9″, 145 pounds) Thanks so much!

Hi Lynn! One bike that I’ve tried which has a very easy frame to mount and still offers good power is [URL='']the Pedego Boomerang[/URL]. Unfortunately it’s not super affordable or light weight but there are other step-thru models listed on the site which might suite your ride style and budget. Try using the advanced search options at the top right section of the page to narrow down based on step-thru frames and your budget :)

Court, Thank you for all the work you do to review e-bikes. I want your thoughts about the Prodecotech fat tire bikes. (Rebel x9) I am six feet tall, weigh 160, and am very fit. I live in Minnesota and would like to ride year round. Security, weight, and price are not issues. Any reviews? Thank you.

Hi Jay! I’m hoping to visit ProdecoTech again sometime to review their latest ebikes, I feel that they’ve gotten a lot better over the years and while I haven’t tried the Rebel x9 I believe Pete Prebus has, he runs Electric Bike Report and you can [URL='']check it out here[/URL]. I like the battery setup and am guessing that the front mount motor works well given the larger heavier wheel with the fat tire. Sometimes front wheel drive ebikes spin out. The cranks and chainring are also nice! Reminds me of BMX hardware I used as a kid :)

HI Court. Multiple “dittos” and “kuddos” on all the comments thanking you for this wonderful site. Me? Single, 5 feet tall, healthy, fit, female, age 68, weight 120. I recently bought a used 22′ van /RV and want to be able to travel around campgrounds (sometimes gravel / dirt roads) and into local towns with a bike rather than breaking camp. Thought about motor scooters (which I can’t lift) and tried out some bikes at our 2 local shops (loved the 14 ” Trek) and have ultimately decided that an electric bike will fit my dual needs (RV campgrounds / surrounding areas as well as local paved road travel). I have also upped my budget (gulp) appropriately :) I really liked your review of the 2016 IZIP E3 Vibe Plus Low Step which comes in a XS frame. I’m now getting down to the nitty gritty and would like your thoughts on other bikes that work for petite ladies. If needed, can go above the list $1,600 – 1,800 for IZIP E3 Vibe Plus but would like your honest recommendations for other ebikes in this lower price range that would work for smaller women. I do have a garage for local storage and am currently studying bike hitch mounts that I can lift into the RV tow receiver ;-) Totally LOVE your reviews, Court!!! Thanks so much, Connie

Hey Connie! Glad the site has helped and I’m happy to share a couple thoughts here… First off, there are lots of great bike racks out there and the hitch style works very well (don’t have to lift the bike very high, can support heavier bikes). I got [URL='']the Küat NV2[/URL] but there are cheaper ones from Thule, Yakima and others. Make sure you get the correct size for your receiver, I’m guessing it’s a 2″ hitch which is the larger stronger size.
As for bikes… you could sort the City Style category by price ascending [URL='']like this[/URL] and the [URL='']EG Copenhagen[/URL] came up as a possibility because it’s small and affordable. The challenge is that smaller wheels aren’t as comfortable to ride or as grippy for loose terrain like the gravel and dirt mentioned. Thankfully, the tires on that ebike aren’t super narrow… but still. I hope this helps and welcome you to text or call me using the contact form later if you narrow it down further. I might even be able to recommend some shops that are selling last-year inventory cheaper now since it’s getting to be winter time :)

These are good things and great guides to choose electric bike. I have found some great E-bikes [URL='']here[/URL] and confused which one to buy lol. anyway, great post here!

Hey Lindsay, thanks for sharing the link! I have not heard of those bikes before as I do not think they are sold in the USA but I do like how they look. I hope you find a good bike for your lifestyle and budget, thanks for posting your comment and good luck! Perhaps you can ask around for tips and feedback in the EBR Forums for [URL='']help with choosing an ebike here[/URL]?

Hi Court, so I’m swimming in all these options and a little lost lol. I am looking into purchasing my first ebike and could use a little guidance I think. I’m 6ft tall about 180 lbs. I am looking for something to go back and forth to work with every day and out on the weekends riding. I live in S Florida so it’s very flat and I will be on the street almost exclusively. My daily commute is about 14 miles round trip and I am looking for a bike that I don’t have to pedal if I don’t want to at all. I believe I need a throttle bike instead of just assist. I am looking to spend less than 2,000 all in. Do you have any suggestions as far as a good reliable solid bike like that? Thank you for the amazing site, just a lot of info to sort through.

Hi Travis! Great description… I think the only other consideration would be style of bike. If you’re alright with a cruiser (which tends to be relaxed and comfortable) then the [URL='']Electric Bike Company Model S[/URL] could be a fit. They just dropped the price and offer some great accessories, a powerful battery pack, and high capacity battery. Try using the search filters at the top right side of the page so you can narrow down more by price and type of bike. I hope this helps! I definitely recommend visiting a shop and taking a test ride or two. I almost always buy from shops because of the setup, warranty support, and cheap accessories and tuneups for customers. I realize it may be slightly higher up front but with ebikes being more complex and being uses a lot (for commuting in you case) it can pay off long term for sure.

Thanks Court! I was actually looking at a cruiser, I’m really liking the OceanCurrent, I read your review and it sounds like it checks all my boxes and it’s not too hard on the wallet. Have you had any other experience with that bike? Have you heard any horror stories lol?

Hello! I’m looking at commuting year round in Chicago. Figure a belt drive bike with extra wide or fat tires would be ideal given the conditions. Did some poking around, but couldn’t seem to easily find any insight on belt driven bikes on the site. Scrolled through all of the fat bike reviews and looks like they all have chain drives. I did find a company named Tout Terrain that sells a bike named the Chiyoda eXpress and it looks like it’d do a decent job for what I need. Only real hesitation is regarding the rear hub motor (as opposed to mid drive). Wasn’t sure if you had any experience with this company or bike model. Thanks!

Hi Brad! I think you’re correct that there are not any belt drive fat bikes yet… that’s kind of two niches combined, and in order to have a belt drive you really need a special (more expensive) frame to be built with a cutaway or lowered dropout so the belt can run below the right chainstay. Hub motors can work really well and tend to be easier on the drivetrain… but mostly they are just less expensive. I don’t have any information on a bike that has not been reviewed but is not here and I haven’t seen or tested the Chiyoda that you mention but I’ll keep an eye out and try to review it in the future. Thanks for sharing your question and feel free to repost or poke around in the [URL='']electric bike forums here[/URL] for more opinions or input.

Court – Thanks for the follow up. After some research I’m thinking I can get away without a fat bike, but would still like the lower maintenance of a belt drive. Is there a way to easily filter or search for belt driven bikes on EBR? Thanks again!

I am looking to gain my adult son with some intellectual disabilities some independence. He can ride a typical bike, but we live outside of town about 8 miles with hills. I am looking for something simple to use, something that can be used on packed and paved roads. Something that would help him get to a job when I am not around to drive him. He is 5′ 6″ about 130lbs.

Hi Donna, I really like the fat bikes for how stable they are (and fun looking) they can handle paved and packed roads and Rad Power Bikes makes a decent quality but still affordable one that ships nation wide called [URL='']the RadRover[/URL], check it out here. You can also explore the site by using the different categories or the Top Rated Ebikes page [URL='']here[/URL].

Hi Court, I am looking to buy an electric mountain bike. I have had my eye on the [URL='']Bulls E-Stream evo 45 fs[/URL] because of the 28mph speed and the overall look of the bike. However it is a bit out of my price range. Are there ways that i could get it at a discount? Maybe at a certain time of year it will go on sale? Or are there any other (cheaper) 28mph mountain bikes? Thanks.

Hi Zach! This is a unique one, there aren’t many speed pedelecs that are setup for trail or mountain riding. Getting a deal seems to depend on time of year and availability. Towards the end of summer and early Fall (like around September/October) things may lower in price and then around Black Friday before the winter holidays they also can go on sale. Another option is to purchase a less expensive full suspension Bosch powered ebike and then use a speed dongle to get the higher speeds… but it will void the warranty and changes the speed readout on your display. Once you pay for a bike, pay for a dongle and possible get help installing it, you still end up spending a lot. I’m not sure if there are ways to change the speed on Brose powered bikes so you wouldn’t have the same integrated battery look as you have here. Maybe call a dealer that sells online and ask them about a discount. Sometimes if you just express that you’re willing to wait a bit, flexible on size, or ready to pay cash if they can work with you on a deal they will have some flexibility.

Greetings Court – here’s a new scenario for you…I’m looking for an e-bike to use as my bug-out vehicle in a SHTF (*sh*t hit the fan) event. In the mean time, it needs to also serve as a means of exercise, more than anything else. My trip would be approx. 100 miles from home to my retreat, pulling a trailer (i.e. Burley Flatbed or Nomad), starting at the coast (flat) and ending in gently rolling hills. I’ve watched and read a LOT of your reviews, and you’ve only made it more confusing. Every time I think I’ve made up my mind, I see another option.
My first thought was the Catrike / Greenspeed style trikes, but they’re pretty pricey new with the power option. I haven’t seen any on Craigslist with motors… plenty without, though. Then I started looking at diamond framed bikes, and found some possibilities, but I’m just afraid sitting upright for extended periods would give me the shoulder and neck aches. Next on the radar was the true recumbent bike, but few (none?) have motors that I’ve seen. But I really like the laid-back riding position. (Saw your suggestion for the RideKick above).
Tonight was spent reviewing delta style recumbent trikes. I didn’t find a lot to offer there, either. Oh, how my head is spinning now. Here’s my wish list… what do you suggest for someone who’s 5’8″ and 240 lbs?
[*]Preferably a recumbent, bike or trike
[*]Folding would be nice
[*]$1500 – 2200 if possible
[*]48v/750 watt motor preferred, 30v/500 watt minimum

This is what I’ve been pondering for the last 3 weeks…

[*]Electric Trike Company Eco-Delta SX (new for $2300 with the 30v/20ah battery upgrade)
[*]AdventureCycle Model T (1.5 years old for $1700 – has a lot of options AND folds – could add the motor later)
[*]Bacchetta Corse recumbent bike – (2 years old for $1400 – could add the motor later)
[*]Prodeco Phantom X2 (4 years old for $1500 – has a lot of options AND folds)
[*]RadRover (530 miles on it for $1000 – with a few accessories)
[*]And finally…a brand spankin’ new Rad Power Bike Rad City, Rover or Mini. I like them all. (the ONLY thing stopping me from buying any one of these now is the upright position).

Am I missing something… is there another option? Thanks for you advice in advance… and keep making those reviews. I’m going to keep reviewing them, and will find the right bike soon (hopefully before the Zombies hit the streets!!)

Hi Biff! You’ve listed some great options there and clearly defined your needs. I think the Electric Trike Company makes comfortable ebikes but I don’t think the range would be what you’re asking, you might need a second battery pack. The RadRover is nice because it’s affordable, but again, the battery isn’t going to get you as far with those big inefficient tires… but they will be slightly more comfortable :)
The RadCity would be a good fit, probably the clostest here in terms of efficiency and the suspension fork offers comfort. The alternative idea I have for you is a Day 6 electric bike. They are built to work well for heavier, taller riders, and they situate your body partially like recumbent but still upright. The seat is big and soft and there’s a back rest. The handlebar is adjustable, and the mid-drive motor offers throttle or pedal assist and you can get a bunch of different battery size options. How about this. I will try to review the Day 6 Samson for you tomorrow, I filmed it on a trip recently but have yet to write it up. Stay tuned, I hope this brief feedback helps and that you find this extra option worth considering even though it’s not folding and might be above your price range.

Thanks for the quick response. To clarify a little, I’m not looking for something that could make the entire trip on battery. I figure I can peddle most of the way, and use the battery for peddle assist from time to time. But a second battery would certainly be an option. Right now, I’m really leaning toward a RadCity bike, but I’m looking forward to your review of the Day 6 Samson. Thanks again!!!

Hey Court – just wanted to give you an update. I ended up buying TWO bikes!! The first is an older Cycle Genius LWB recumbent that has less than 300 miles on it. I got it pretty cheap, so I’ll be looking for an e-kit to add to it…maybe a kit from [URL='']BionX[/URL] or [URL='']EBO[/URL]? The BEST news is… I’m going to be the proud owner of a BRAND NEW [URL='']RadCity Mini[/URL]. I ordered it today, so I can’t wait for it to show up. Thank YOU for all the videos you’ve done. I may have seen them all… several times. This decision took about 3 weeks, and I’m thrilled with the outcome. Safe travels… Biff

That’s fantastic BIFF! I like your logic on the kits and think that Electric Bike Outfitters might be a win in terms of price and DIY. My understanding is that BionX requires you to get help from a certified dealer? I’d love to hear what you find, EBR does have some new and improved kits as I understand it. As for the RadMini, that’s great! I hope it arrives in great shape and performs well for you. I like that bike, it’s fun but also kind of practical with the folding and lower frame design. Stable but still easy enough to mount :D

Hey Court, thanks for your awesome website (best e-bike website online HANDS DOWN). I’m looking to buy an e-bike which is:
[*]a good quality and reliable brand
[*]not TOO heavy
[*]is comfortable to ride
[*]has super long range
[*]has shocks or something that I don’t feel every bump
[*]built-in light system, battery level indication, need password to drive, (a security alarm or gps would be nice too)
[*]awesome motor and awesome battery
[*]goes super quick
[*]the appearance looks more like a reg bycicle than an e-bike
[*]if I get stuck in the rain it won’t damage the bike
[*]the bike can handle driving while it’ raining or snowing.

I want a company that’s reliable and uses top quality parts, and that they’re easy to deal with if a problem arises. There are thousands of options and I don’t even know where to start. What e-bikes to you suggest I look at? Thank you

Hi Abe, thanks for the compliment! I work hard to make this a nice place with good information and support. Your list is quite extensive, but it’s good to know what you’d like in an ideal world. Very few electric bikes have built in alarm or GPS systems but you can now get the COBI smart display system that will work with Bosch and use your cell phone as the display (which could work as a GPS), the COBI system does offer lights and I think it might even have an alarm feature. Most electric bikes will be fine in the rain and even riding through shallow puddles so don’t worry about that (just don’t spray your bike with hard pressure or submerge it).
So, with these things in mind. I’d recommend one of the Bulls, Haibike, Giant or Trek Class 3 speed pedelec models. You can use the search engine to filter through the site and enter the brand keyword and Class 3 to see what comes up. I’m constantly reviewing new bikes and each of these companies has a new lineup for 2018 but you could go the other way and try to get a deal on a 2017 model now. Bulls has some great options that get very close to what you want including the [URL='']E-Stream EVO 45 FS[/URL] and the [URL='']DAIL-E Grinder[/URL] which come in multiple sizes. I hope this helps! You can also ask around in the EBR forums [URL='']help choosing section here[/URL].

Hi Court, I’ve watched so many of your reviews it feels like I know you now! You are awesome with giving information and detailed answers and I want to thank you for that and being the way you are with it.
I am helping a friend purchase his first ebike. I do a lot of cycling and enjoying putting together the research for him. He is sixty-five and not new to cycling but it has been a few years since he’s ridden much. He recently rented a Sondors at the beach on vacation and loved the experience. He did really well too but doesn’t want to get a Sondors. He feels the stability of a fat tire bike and upright position is best for him though, so a Fat Tire was decided as the type to get. That decision has been made. His price range $1,600 to $2,500.
He likes the [URL='']Rad Rover[/URL] and it’s at the very top of the list. It allows him to purchase the bike and with getting all the gear that goes along.
A car trailer rack is in his future too.
He is really liking the Rad Rover and will most likely get that because of your reviews, and how great a company they seem to be with support and information. They seem to be a positive company with a large following and gaining momentum. However before making the purchase we’ve identified a couple others that could knock the Rad off the top spot. The other two are very interesting but neither doesn’t seem to have that ease of contact and support that Rad Power does.
I know how you feel about the Rad but what are your thoughts on the other two below? You haven’t reviewed the M2S bike that I can find. They have a couple models that seem solid and one has a Mid Drive motor priced at $1,950. What do think about the Mid-Drive versus a Hub drive motor given the choice? The Teo is a feature rich bike too. I know there are other factors you would need and hard to put it all here, but do the best you can with your thoughts. He does want to do on-road rides and some off-road but nothing technical. More like rail trails. He envisions even pulling a small light trailer with it once he gets settled with it. So, fairly easy rides but can still handle some bumps, fields etc.
Help us make this decision. Thank you Court!!
[*]Rad Power’s – Rad Rover
[*]M2S – All Terrain MD with (Mid Drive) or possibly their All Terrain R750 (Hub)
[*]Teo S Limited

Thank you!
Louisville, KY

Hi Scott! It sounds like you’ve done some excellent research, I do my best to help narrow it down with you. Yes, Rad Power Bikes offers a good price point and friendly customer service… and their products tend to be in stock. This is a question mark with some of the Teo bikes and maybe even a bit for M2S (though I believe that they post what they have online, or you can contact them to check). Rad definitely has a more recognized brand, so reselling it could be easier and getting parts in a year or three could also be easier. M2S and Teo are newer, but they do seem to be using mostly standard parts. I think the way you ranked the bikes in your little list is how I feel too. The M2S could be fun to explore, but with a more basic Bafang mid-drive, you won’t have shift detection and the drivetrain could take more wear. Rad is simple, feature rich, and lots of fun… I rank it way above Sondors in terms of value, even though it’s more expensive. I hope this helps you out, I do plan on reviewing M2S products later this year at some point and maybe it will be in time for your decision :)

Incredible timing Court! I was just re-watching the Teo review you did and the ride you took through the woods. Then your email pops in. I think you are spot on with your evaluation too. I’m glad that you pointed that out about the reselling and accessible parts. I agree with you about the M2S and I didn’t think about it being more of a basic motor. Something to consider. I know my friend Mike will appreciate this and I’m going to share with him what you have said. I will keep you posted on how this journey turns out too. I hope this helps others. Thank you again for what you do. Love the details!!! Scott

Court, Don’t want to wear out my welcome here but you brought up a good point. You helped me go in the right direction with understanding mid drive motors better and how that Bafang entry level is probably not the best at this time for him to go with.
This caused me to investigate the different mid-drives. It helped a lot. I see and know now those motors like the Brose, Yamaha, Bosch and then there is even Shimano Steps that are better and easier on the drivetrain because of the shift sensing and overall smoothness and quality of their build. Having a quality mid drive motor is what to look for and would be the way to go for mid drive systems.
The Rad Rover is going to have a lot of the boxes checked for him though and a hub drive will still be adequate and best choice to get him started on an eBike.
I’ve watched a lot of reviews and I had no idea that the eBike wave was this strong. It’s really advanced over the last several years but I’m not seeing many here in Kentucky, although I’m sure they are out there. Something tells me in 2018 I will probably be seeing more of them. It’s coming for sure!
I personally am interested in an eBike now. It’s hard not to be. I’ll take my time as there are so many to choose from but when I do I think I want a mid-drive. Something like the Haibike that you sold your Uncle Greg but not as high end as that model. The Haibike brand and style bike is what catches my eye and their lower-end model may suit my budget more but satisfy my taste for a quality bike with the SDURO HardNine 4.0. EBR reviewed it and it comes with a decent mid drive it looks like. I’ll keep following your reviews as I know I’ll end up with something that is that type of bike.
You’re work ethic is amazing!!

Good choice Scott! I think the SDURO HardNine 4.0 offers great value because the Yamaha motor is nicer and more reliable than some of the others. It’s always nice to hear compliments and I’m glad EBR has helped you and your friend get to know the space. Send an update again if/when you go for a test ride or buy a bike, it’s always fun to hear how things turn out ;)

Hey Court! I’m forwarding this message from the the gentleman I’m helping to get a bike. Name is Mike and he hasn’t purchased yet but very close. Down to two. See below.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Thanks Scott & Court! WOW, what a communication string! Court is as personal & diligent with one-on-one as he is on his reviews! I ditto the compliments you gave him and send my thanks and appreciation for all the advice, knowledge and motivation he has provided. Like you Scott, I too feel like I know Court! Since you have an open channel developed, maybe you can forward my thoughts about the Boar to Court?
Thanks in advance Court for your help with evaluating! I can’t thank you enough for your consideration of offering advice! I believe I’ve narrowed my decision down to the Rad Rover or the Surface 604 Boar. I watched your video with Sam from 604 at the outside show; the one where you took it for a ride in some rugged terrain. At the end you seemed exhilarated, more than usual, about the Boar’s performance. Did I read your enthusiasm correctly?
I know it’s tough to give advice and direction to someone you don’t even know. Having said that, your counsel will be invaluable to me and it will mean a lot in helping me decide! I also understand you have an excellent relationship with Rad as well as other manufactures and apologize if I’m putting you in an uncomfortable position.
I’m 65 and have some knee issues and a seasoned back! I intend on riding on some paved paths around the city, some gravel paths as well as some mild mountain trails. In addition, I collect driftwood and intend on using the bike as a hauling vehicle, which means off-road, more rugged terrain. I also like the idea of riding in the snow when we have the opportunity. And finally around my 10 acre, hilly, wooded property. Maybe some hunting trails with hunter friends, although unlike Sam & his Dad, I am not a hunter. At this point i’m not sure how much of each I would do. Maybe 60-70% on road & 30 to 40% off road.
I was all but ready to pull the trigger on the Rad Rover. Which I still feel like cannot be a bad decision. However when comparing and contrasting with the Boar (and the fact 604 is coming out with a 14 amp battery) I am starting to lean that direction. The heavier duty racks, adjustable stem, hydraulic brakes, 10 gear cassette and the torque sensor all seem like they would serve me better than what the Rad offers. The walk beside feature is a must for me & they both have that.
Do you feel like the Boar can be a good road bike as well as an off/road bike for my situation? How much would the Boar not having an adjustable fork be a negative? Is the torque system a big upgrade in your mind for my intended riding? Do you know if the total upright position on the Boar is more or less upright than the fixed Rad position?
Thank you again Court, I look forward to hopefully hearing your seasoned thoughts! If you ever consider attending the Kentucky Derby, first Saturday in May, please make sure you contact Scott and I. We’ll go for a ride! Keep enjoying what you do, continued respect for helping so many people!
Peace, Mike

Good morning, I was wondering if you might be able to give me any advice as I’m a bit lost. First of all, I live in Spain, in case that’s relevant. I live up a large and fairly long hill. I have two young daughters (aged 2 and 4) and I ride with them in a child’s seat on the back of my bike to activities etc. (one at a time, not together.) I can’t make it up to my house anymore! So I need an ebike. The factors I am taking into account so far are:

[*]Easy to mount (bike topples over easily with a child on the back)
[*]Able to install child’s seat (Yepp brand)
[*]Enough power to get us all the way up the hill (current combined weight (me+1 child) is around 175 pounds / 80 kilos)
[*]Able to install front basket
[*]I can store the bike safely in our garage

There is a BH Easy Emotion Evo Jet Pro bike (350W) on sale near me for 950 euros, new it is worth 3000, so I am going to try that. In the meantime, please could you let me know if there is anything vital I am overlooking? I’d be so grateful. Thank you for your time! S.

Hello again, I have watched your excellent review of the BH Easy Emotion Evo Jet Pro and it looks promising. I’m not sure if the one on sale here is from 2015 or 2016 (and I understand there are slight differences.) I don’t think the throttle override issue would be a problem for me as I’ve never experienced that anyway, maybe I’m wrong but I think I’m OK just having the pedal assist mode (any improvement on me pushing the bike up for 10 minutes will be amazing.) Any other thoughts very welcome, Thanks for your amazing website. S.

Hi Susannah, I left a longer reply on your first comment, it sounds like you’re on a great path. I’m not even sure if the throttle is an option in your market, so it’s great that you only need pedal assist. Easy Motion (BH) is a Spanish brand, so hopefully you’ll have great support there. Feel free to share more once you decide on a bike or take some test rides :)

Hi Susannah! It sounds like your on the right track here. Yepp! child seats are great, and I believe that they sell a couple of options that should work with the Easy Motion rack. You may have to upgrade that rack (or buy one if it does not come stock) but with the great price you found, that should be possible. I like the Jet because it has a step-thru frame. You can easily mount and stand over the frame to stabilize yourself and your child. I am not sure about your location, but in the USA this model has pedal assist and a twist throttle. I have done an in-depth review of it [URL='']here[/URL]. There are some sturdier bikes with Yepp! compatible racks that are welded onto the frame, but they usually cost more. One example is the new Tern GSD mini-cargo bike [URL='']here[/URL]. And this is a [URL='']search result[/URL] for all of the bikes where I mention Yepp! child seats, it might help you get some other ideas. I hope this helps… thanks for sharing your comment and feedback, unfortunately my knowledge of the Spain market is limited so it is tricky to provide more insights. I would say that a step-thru or wave frame is good for balance, a sturdy rack for your child, a mid-drive motor would be the most efficient but could cause drivetrain wear when shifting gears, front baskets work with most bikes but some baskets can mount directly to the head tube like the [URL='']RadCity[/URL]. The Tern GSD would store in your garage easily because it can be tipped up, and the battery can be removed easily to charge inside :)

Dear Court,
Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. I really appreciate it. I tried the BH Easy Emotion Evo Jet Pro this morning at the shop where it’s being sold second-hand. You were right, it doesn’t have the throttle and is worth 2000 euros new (not 3000 as I originally said), on sale for 950. It has one year original warranty left.
I found the handlebar to be too wide and the owner said they can cut it for me, up to 3cm on each side. Would that be a good solution?
I currently ride a Specialized Globe (10 years old) with a 3-speed internal gear hub so on the BH I found all the gears quite tricky and clunky to change. I’m not sure if I would just get used to them (I live in a fairly flat city – Malaga – apart from the hill my house is on) – I hope so as I presume an ebike with internal gears is pretty expensive? (I’m limited to what I can find in my area as well, and I don’t want to spend much over 1000 euros which is why I’m looking at second-hand bikes.)
Anyway, I just wanted to ask your opinion about cutting the handlebar on this model.
All the best from Spain!

Sorry, pointless comment but I had to say I’ve just noticed the brand is Easy Motion NOT Easy Emotion as I’ve been calling it so far in this forum! I can’t stop laughing about that small but vital difference! Maybe once you discover the right ebike your emotions flow more easily?! S.

Hi, and thank you. I am a 5’6 180 lb female willing to pay more if it is worth it since i am buying for the long haul but i want to feel like i got a good value for my money so the better bike should definitely be worth it! I am a little nervous because i would prefer not to have to spend a mint on maintenance. having said that there is a bike coop in town that will teach me. I test road the trek supercommuter and liked the fact that it could be ridden without necessarily turning on the motor thanks to the high quality derailleur system or at least that is what i think it should be attributed to. I also test rode two rad power bikes and felt like they were zippy and like the fact that they had a throttle. I am just concerned that i will regret some of the modest equipment over the long run? I would like to ride a bike that is çomfortable in terms of not too hard of a road feel. I intend to commute 9 miles each way back and forth to work as often as possible and run errands on it so that means panniers filled with groceries once a week or so. There are lots of trails around including a gravel one. If tricking something out with a suspension seat pole or other things like that is something i should consider i am open to that too. Thank you so much again.

Hi Donna, it sounds like you’re on a good track. Rad Power Bikes makes some pretty good products for the money, but Trek has dealers all over the country and uses higher quality components and drive systems in my opinion. I think fit makes a big difference, most models should pedal freely (the Trek might actually have some drag because of the Bosch Performance motor with reduction gearing). You have many models to choose from, so I’d probably look at frame style first, do you want a step-thru? There are many ebikes with racks and lights integrated (like the Super Commuter). I filmed the new Super Commuter+ 7 recently, and it’s more affordable than the 8S. I liked it a lot but would DEFINITELY get a seat post suspension for myself because my back and neck can be sensitive. Feel free to share the specific models you’ve been looking at and I’ll try to help you narrow down, you can see all of the models I’ve reviewed by scrolling through the pages [URL='']here[/URL].

Hello, Court! I’m from Brazil and I’m moving to San Francisco in a couple of months. Since I got to know your website and YouTube channel I’ve decided to get an ebike as my main way of transportation in the city. I love your reviews and the way you make things seem so fun! I’m really excited but since there’s a lot of money involved in choosing an ebike I’ve wanted to ask your opinion on which ebike do you think it’s appropriate to me.
San Francisco has many hills, I’m currently heavy (200 pounds) and since I have a bad knee I’ll probably need a lot of help from the motor to go up those hills. I’ll need the ebike to commute to school (I’m doing a masters) and run errands but I’ll probably explore the city and the surrounding areas with it on the weekends as well. I’d like to be able to put a basket on the ebike (so I can take my dog with me), I prefer the upright or upright relaxed position, like the idea that sometimes I can only use the throttle and don’t have to pedal and I do like speed but it’s not a priority. Thank you so much for your help, Court! Luciana

Wow! That’s so exciting, Luciana. I moved to San Francisco to work after I graduated from CU Boulder (undergrad degree) and had a wonderful time. One powerful cruiser with basket options that comes to mind is the [URL='']RadCity Step-Thru[/URL]. This is a relatively affordable ebike with throttle, pedal assist, and pretty good customer support. They ship direct, so you could order and then have a company like Velofix actually build and deliver it. Another option would be to visit [URL='']the New Wheel[/URL] and look at the [URL='']Gazelle[/URL] and [URL='']Kalkhoff[/URL] models. They are very nice, efficient, and powerful with mid-drive motors but tend to cost more. I hope these ideas help and I’m very excited for you!! You can also ask around in the [URL='']EBR forums[/URL] for advice. Ride safe :)

2 months ago

Following are some of the original comments that were made on that post:

I was hoping to see a review on electric velomobiles, also I was wondering are any electric bikes rated for people my size (6’4″ 440 lbs.)

Hi Darren, one of the larger electric bikes I know if is the It has a strong motor and oversized frame with larger balloon tires that add cushion. The two founders of Pedego are larger guys that have really focused on building solid bikes that will work for their own needs but these days they are also offering small frames for shorter riders. I’d recommend test riding a Pedego if there’s a shop nearby but otherwise you could connect with out of New York (they ship nation wide and won a dealer of the year award for 1014). If you mention EBR they’ll throw in a set of fenders or a saddle bag for free and I’ll get a small commission. Regarding velomobiles, check out the, it’s solar powered and includes a canopy for aerodynamics and visibility.

Class 1 : under 750W, limited 20 mph, PAS
Class 2 : under 750W, limited 20 mph, PAS + throttle
Class 3 : under 750W, limited 20 mph by throttle, 28 mph by PAS
Class 4 : over 750W, over 28 mph, throttle or PAS
It appears to me that we are essentially dividing ebikes into two classes, not four, with the first two essentially the same and the third an extension of class 2. It will be interesting to see how the BPSA plays this out. I think the laws need a modern update.

Hi Dan, great feedback! I tried to keep this article as clear as possible without missing any of the nuances. For me, the big difference between Class 1 and 2 is that mountain bikes without throttle may be allowed on some trails whereas those with may be disallowed. The big difference between Class 2 and 3 is that under 20 mph may be allowed on city bike trails whereas those capable of 28 mph may be kept to roadside bike lanes only. Class 4 is really just a motorcycle and doesn’t belong anywhere but in a street lane with a license or on dirt jumps or race tracks on private property :)

Sucks… NYC now only allows Class 1 ebikes, I removed my throttle.

I appreciate the transparency, It is a positive step that ebike OEMs are working with the BPSA to define classes and assure a place for them to ride. I know Larry Pizzi is involved from other posts here at EBR.
Here’s the thing. There are two battlefronts. 1. A fight to get trail access (Mtn biking, bike paths) 2. A fight to get road/bike lane and commuter bike path access for ebikes. My concern is that the electric bike subcommittee is primarily focusing on the trails and letting the road commuters get stuck with mis-classification and over regulation.
Here is why.
**Serious commuters will NOT be satisfied with 750W and PAS only.**
The law says 750W, 20mph throttle only. The truth is that 750W, on a hybrid or road bike, or mtn with slicks, can get to 28mph with pedaling, whether as PAS or with the throttle. The committee seems to be excluding throttle bikes for Class 3 in order to appear compliant with the national law. Having a throttle vs PAS is significant in some factors, but it is a minor factor in the overall performance given identical bikes/motors/persons. It seems more discriminatory than justifiable.
Second, you quoted:
“Class 4 is really just a motorcycle and doesn’t belong anywhere but in a street lane with a license or on dirt jumps or race tracks on private property :)” Really? So ANYTHING over 750W with a throttle, should be in traffic lanes and not bike lanes, never be on a community bike path, and off road be limited to motorcross tracks with 125cc and 250cc dirt bikes? That is a class 4 ebike?
The problem here is reality. People who start to commute will eventually find that sweet spot of riding between 20-30mph with traffic, in the city, side roads (25-30mph) is a desirable performance. The newer high end PAS bikes like Turbo and Stromer 2, Spritzing appear to meet that ability, but lack a throttle. The throttle adds safety to accelerate from a stop light and get a start ahead of the cars. It also allows to keep speed, but stop pedaling on bumpier roads, so you don’t lose speed or balance – safety again. The power needed for such speeds is between 500W and 1200, IMO. These are NOT motorcycles. People still contribute to the power with their legs and the normal gearing is high enough to still be a factor. Once the power is so high that no leg power helps at top speed due to gearing or just ratio, THEN is becomes an e-motorcycle.
I hope the BPSA would consider the class 4 to be speed ebikes, or emopeds, PAS and/or throttle up to 1200W. Above that, I can see parallels to scooters, and make them class 5.
Again, this delineation between class 3 and 4 is not fair to road ebike commuters. WE (the ebike community) will be handcuffing ourselves and adding undue regulation if we leave out a speed-ebike, or emoped class of ebikes, which are closer to a bike than a motorcycle.
Again, serious commuters will NOT be satisfied with 750W and PAS only. Am I alone on this?

Hey Dan, I like where you’re coming from and really appreciate your well thought out feedback. My initial reply was more stating how laws see these “Class 4 ebikes” vs. how I feel. In my opinion, something like the Outrider recumbents or the Grace One which both go above 28 mph and have throttles fit exactly what you’re talking about. They still benefit from rider input and have enough gears (and are light weight enough) to make pedaling relevant but they aren’t as large or powerful as a motorcycle. These are effectively electric mopeds and maybe they could shift into bike lanes or even cross through a trail once in a while but technically they are more powerful than a speed pedelec and if they were involved in an accident the damage could be much worse. I’m not saying that tossing them into car traffic is a perfect solution, it’s akin to riding a gas powered moped in traffic. I agree that there’s this new blurry space and in many ways it resembles the “neighborhood electric vehicle” space that little golf carts and mini cars fit into.

Dan – you just described a moped.

Thanks for clarifying the legal perspective . I don’t want to dominate this post , but discussion and advocacy needs to happen.
I fear that the law will not favor the class 3 speed pedelecs and they will get combined with the class 4 and essentially get treated like a motorcycle. You mentioned liability for a Grace One that could be riding 30mph. That is not much different than a turbo going 28. Once the lawmakers realize that speed pedelecs are skirting the 20mph law, they will get all safety/legal tight and regulate them. No?
What is happening with class 1 and 2 is fine and covered under the fed law. The debate for 20-30mph bikes is on the table.
I hate the idea of regist, turn lights and licenses for an 800w ebike, required to stay off bike paths and the road only. It will kill effective ebike commuting.
Stealth fighter and Optinike R11 are both in this emoped category.
So again, I hope Larry Pizzi and the ebike committee reads this:
PLEASE add a class and make class 4 for ebikes beyond the 20 mph, throttle only, 750w. Class 4 should be considered high powered ebikes , call them emopeds. Cap them at 1200w and 35mph. Require front and rear lights, no turn . Recommend all class 1-4 allowed on bike trails, subject to local speed limits , for commuting purposes.
I stop and watch/listen.

I see a lot of bike paths with 25 mph speed limit signs. I think a class of ebikes that cut of there would make sense… enable faster commuting but still not overwhelm the human-powered pedestrians using the space.

Court said: “I see a lot of bike paths with 25 mph speed limit signs. I think a class of ebikes that cut off there would make sense… enable faster commuting but still not overwhelm the human-powered pedestrians using the space.” I have been thinking about this lately. Road bikes go faster than 25mph, why limit ebikes? Riders simply need to ride under control and follow the speed limits when posted. Any upper limits should be road speed based, not bike path based. Upper limits, for ebike road speed designs, tend to be converging to 30-35mph. Why? That is about the right speed where the power and weight from adequate batteries, for adequate range, converge to support the wind drag. Also, that speed is adequate speed for city and suburban traffic flow. Finally, ICE scooters, with 50cc engines, tens to have 2.7-4.5 hp and go 35-45mph, and we don’t want to be in their classification. We need a separate classification system for ROAD e-bikes.
For the road, 3 classes: 1. e-bike : 1 hp or less, 20mph with throttle/limited, 28mph pedelec limit (existing National Law) 2. e-moped: 1 hp -2.7 hp, throttle or pedelec, 35mph limit 3. e-moto: 2.7 hp+, an electric motorcycle or scooter. OR 2 classes: 1. e-bike : 1.5 hp or less, throttle or pedelec, 35 mph limit by design. 2. e-moped/moto: 1.5hp +, electric moped, motorcycle or scooter. fun stuff. Dan

Hi Dan, the majority of ebikes are capable of going above 25 mph but only under human power (just like on a road bike). Maybe there’s a cultural bias that people who are capable of pedaling faster are also capable of controlling themselves at those higher speeds. It requires a high level of physical aptitude that a high-speed ebike would deliver to the masses who may not have the same skills or reflexes. This is a philosophical viewpoint, it may come down to the simple fact that with traditional bicycles (since they were invented in 1817) there was no easy way to limit speed and bike paths didn’t exist. In a sense, they’ve been grandfathered in and now we post speed limit signs and enforce behavior vs. upstreaming the issue of high speed accidents as we’ve done with ebikes.
Here’s an interesting reference to the first recorded bicycle accident: “a Glasgow newspaper reported in 1842 an accident in which an anonymous ‘gentleman from Dumfries-shire… bestride a velocipede… of ingenious design’ knocked over a pedestrian in the Gorbals and was fined five British shillings.”

Hey Court, Nice historical antidotes. I saw a documentary recently about the evolution of bicycles…lots of regulation when they first came out…interesting. So regular bicycles get grandfathered, and have no limits except human effort? Auto mobiles get grandfathered and are enforced/regulated by behavior? But not ebikes? We have to use technology to add governors and legislate the speed, ie performance and force human behavior? Not a good free market model.
Back on point, it seems the BPSA is catering to the Bosch mid-drive, and mid power systems for off road use, giving them 3 specific categories of usage, while throwing all +20mph, throttled, +750W system “under the preverbal bus” by clumping all into a motorcycle status. Who is this classification helping and who is it hurting? I would hope and ask that is be comprehensive enough to include all our ebike bretheren who want a fair shot at market share and practical use, and not be marginalized and over burdened by specific, non justified regulation.
First, can we try this and agree “When” an e-bike, whether it has pedals or not, should be classified as an e-motorcycle, requiring a title, license, turn signals, etc? What minimum specifications qualify in terms of power, weight and speed? Also, that would NOT be the same class as an e-Moped, where pedaling does assist. If we can agree on that, then all the “real” e-bikes can be classified and shown to need fair regulation. Dan

Very informative conversation, and I know I’m late to the party. A minor difference with “Serious commuters not satisfied with 750 Watt motors…” I was regularly commuting with no motor at all, and my Schwinn easily reached 35 MPH on the level and 45 MPH on the down side of the overpass. I know others more serious than I about commuting with or without motors of 500 Watts or less. They don’t seem unsatisfied. True, satisfied falls far short of the pleasure I took from my 350 Watt motor getting me to work without sweat on hot days when I would previously have opted to burn some fuel.
The reason I’m piping in is the statement “Auto mobiles get grandfathered and are enforced/regulated by behavior? But not ebikes?” Actually, no, the Safety Act that added the 750 and 20MPH limits in 2002 was precisely aimed at simplifying designation of vehicles we desire to be separated from code 49. The motor codes already had gas engine sizes, limits, licensing, where and how autos may or may not be operated, etc. Anyone wanting a bike to be treated like an auto is welcome to cross any of those limits and go to DMV to make it legal. These classes are partly helping avoid all that and partly simplifying confusion in the global market where no one country can set a law that changes another country’s law. Class 2 might need to be registered and licensed in one country but not another. So each shopper knows which classes to look at.
To be clear, I agree it is disconcerting: Before e-bike: Uphill at 5-10MPH in the shoulder, downhill at 40-45 MPH keeping with traffic, level at 25-35 keeping with traffic, Nobody ever questioned anything. After e-bike: uphill at 15MPH in shoulder (slower if a pedestrians is there), never over 30 on the level (bike just doesn’t have the gearing for it) but now I have to answer questions about is it legal? Not just the operation, either, there’s questions on post of authorized (leather equivalent) protection in boots, gloves, and jacket as well as business pants not having enough denim/leather protection. (Did I mention the highest limit on post is 15 MPH?) So I definitely agree all who follow the operational points of law and courtesy should be left alone no matter what they drive or look like. Of course, that would bring in lobbyists for deregulating insurance, etc, etc. We’re here preaching to the choir about unjustified regulation, now we need to go to the regulators to try to get them repealed.

Whoa!! Bikes weren’t “grandfathered” – they were the “grandfather”! Which is why its called Little Traverse Wheelway (albeit the dog owners currently run this strip)

My ecobike has tight wheel how can i pix my problem,,what i use for that tight wheel its okey to spray a WD40 inside of my ecobike??

Hi Marivic, to be clear, do you have an electric moped like this I’m not a mechanic but have had success using WD40 in the past when trying to loosen metal parts and reduce squeaking. You might be able to get some feedback from a company that carried this scooter in South Florida called (305) 767.3289 or ask others here in the what they would do. It would help if you described the issue you’re having more clearly with details to help people understand what might be causing the wheel to be tight (and also explain which wheel, front or back).

Hi, Marivic, I had this happen once. It was a problem with the brake caliper. Check if you can see something dragging. After lube, possibly the wheel bearings are too tight.

Cool, thanks for chiming in with a solution proposal there Harold, much appreciated!

— First of all, y’all need to make it simple. There ain’t no one who can realistically pedal 25+ miles per hour on a level ground for a constant pace of more than 2 min with there bicycle. I don’t care what kind of bike you have, it ain’t happening. Try to keep up with cars going down your road at 25 mph and you’ll never do it. And, if you can do it, it’s only for a short sprint and you’ll end up arriving at your destination with your butt all wet from sweat. Not a pretty sight.
— eBike rules should be like this. Since they are motorized, simply limit the speed limit to that of cars on regular streets, roads, highways, but don’t allow them on freeways cuz that’s just too dangerous — too many cars and not enough protection in case you fall. Now in the city, bicycles (all bicycles, not just eBikes) should not be allowed to be IN the roadway where other automobiles are UNLESS they can keep up with traffic at all times that they occupy the road. No one likes tailgating a cyclist that’s only going 20 MPH on a 25MPH road. Most of the time the cyclist belongs in the bicycle lane or on the sidewalk (yes you can ride on the sidewalk — we all did it as children and never was there a problem). And if the road you’re cycling on has no shoulder, have some common sense and stay to the R side of the road so that automobiles behind you can pass around you safely. Don’t be foolish and occupy the road unnecessarily — you’re a bicycle and more often than not you ride much slower than any automobile can travel. If you’re a cyclist and you can’t keep up with the posted speed limit for automobiles, then get out of the road and into either the bicycle lane or onto the sidewalk where you belong. If you ride on the road and not in the sidewalk or bicycle lane, then you better be following ALL the rules as if you were traveling like an automobile (that means stopping at stoplights, using turn signals, accelerating at the same speeds as automobiles, etc.). Other than that, bicycles, with or without motors, do not need to follow automobile rules — unless they are traveling IN the road and LIKE an automobile.
— That’s how simple this should be. What kind of complications can arise from this? None.
— 2,324,993,281 people agree with me on this post.

Good feedback, thanks for sharing your thoughts… Did you know that 73.6% of all statistics (like your number of “agreeing” people) are

A bit too much stupid in the post by ManOMan.
[*]Cat 1/2/3 cyclists often do 25+ MPH for hours. I ride Cat 4/5 and average 25MPH for 30 minutes, no motor assist. I normally ride about 20MPH on my commuter.
[*]A lot of places it is ILLEGAL to ride on the sidewalk, some have made exceptions for young children (age may vary, but typically up to about 10), it is more dangerous to ride on the sidewalk
[*]Sidewalks are horrible for riding bikes anyways, unless designed for it, on my commute (my anecdotal evidence) half of it has no bike lane, and the half with no bike lane also has a sidewalk which features a) garbage cans at least once a week, b) barely wide enough for single file pedestrians, c) often has peds walking on it d) telephone polls in the middle of the sidewalk
[*]Accelerating at some random acceleration is not required by law. If it was then Semi trucks, 3 bangers, and 50cc mopeds would be banned.

In the last 18 months I have had no problem riding on a road with 4 lanes, 2 in each direction, and having cars just go around me. Some move over half a lane, others actually change lanes.
On certain parts of roads I will, as the law allows me to, take the lane for safety. Some parts it is just not safe to be riding all the way to the right. One feature of the road I commute on are drains that are below level with the road and are dangerous for me to bike over, especially when wet. I will stay towards the middle of the lane to avoid these and to avoid swerving back and fourth every time one comes up. The greatest measure a cyclist can take for safety is to stay predictable.
I think a major safety concern for e-bikes is with the ease of speed making it possibly more dangerous to other riders on these bike paths and trails. I know on multi-use paths I often have to go much slower than my normal pace because of other traffic. Should it be left up to vehicle classification to regulate which ones qualify, and which ones don’t? Or should we leave it to common sense limits. Perhaps adding speed limits to multi-use paths could help.
The major complication from your suggestion is the spotty coverage of bike lanes. Often times while cycling in cities I will be on a nice bike lane, then suddenly no lane at all for 500 ft, and then a lane again. As my anecdotal commute I have a bike lane for about half a mile, then no bike lane at all for 1.5 miles, then a bike lane for 1 mile. I’d love for there to be a bike lane the whole way, but the city just repaved the streets and had no plans to connect these two sections. I’ve ran across many instances of this, some of them will be gracious enough to put up a “Bikes on Roadway” sign, others not so much.
I very much have enjoyed this article and the discussion here. I know it takes being one of the tribe to understand their dilemmas. Just like being a cyclist helps you understand the dilemmas faced by cyclists every day. Not being an e-bike user I don’t quite have the same perspective, and don’t understand the nuances of riding an e-bike vs. a traditional bike. Not having come across many on my commute (I’m lucky to see another cyclist commuting on most of it) I’m not sure of any safety concerns that may be present allowing mixed usage in bike lanes, but for now I’ll go with what my license plate states, “Share the Road”.

If I may, To clarify/correct ManOMan’s opening statement:
“— First of all, y’all need to make it simple. There ain’t no one who can realistically pedal 25+ miles per hour on a level ground for a constant pace of more than 2 min with there bicycle. I don’t care what kind of bike you have, it ain’t happening. Try to keep up with cars going down your road at 25 mph and you’ll never do it.”
This statement is unequivocally wrong. For semi-empirical evidence that a great number of cyclist can maintain a minimum speed of 25mph on the flat for two consecutive minutes, please refer to the smartphone app “Strava”. In fact, if you are not able to maintain 25mph on any popular, flat, +/-2.4 mile segment, you’re likely to find yourself in the slower half of all riders.
In a more anecdotal vein (anecdotal yet officially recognized by all cycling oversight parties) I averaged nearly 34 mph (solo) on a 15+ mile ride. What is more, this was in 1989, an era when road bikes were considerably slower as compared to their modern day counterparts, and LONG before any e-bike existed (or at least an e-bike manufactured for retail markets). I’m not sharing my performance to brag but only b/c it’s a great example of how off-base and nonsensical current e-bike classifications seem to be. Even in my old age (54 years old!!!) and running errands on my 3-speed, 35lb, beach cruiser – wicker basket on handlebars and all – I find myself tailgating/passing cars on roads with posted speed limits of 25 mph.
My suggestion would be that the governing bodies, through documented, peer-reviewed research, determine the point of “critical mass” (i.e. weight of bike) when a bicycle could reasonably be considered a threat to the health of a person traveling in a motor vehicle should the two commuters’ vehicles (bike & car) collide.
Let cyclists (at least those on bikes that aren’t big enough to win-out against a vehicle in an accident) govern themselves. If too slow for normal traffic, stay out of the road. if riding on a sidewalk, give pedestrians the right of way, and if your driving your car in the left-most lane and you notice a bicycle 10 feet off your bumper, move out of the fast lane to let me pass.

Greg! It’s an honor to receive your thoughts here, thank you for taking the time to connect and share on the subject of electric bicycle law. I like the idea of regulating behavior, not technology, and agree that cyclists are probably not a threat to cars… however, they could be a threat to each other as well as pedestrians on foot who share spaces where cars do not go (paths and trails). With the increased speed and weight of ebikes the damage suffered in an accident could be greater than on an unpowered bicycle… but in practice, modern ebikes aren’t much heavier than old-fashioned pedal power bicycles and the ability to pedal faster than 25 mph (as you explained) is not uncommon… even on an electric bike that’s turned off. So it would seem that the upside of an ebike being permitted to attain higher speeds far outweighs the straw-man risks posed by regulators.
So where does this leave us? The grey area to me is really that underaged cyclist who is untrained, not legally accountable and now has a fast, heavy vehicle at his or her disposal. This is the person who is showing off with friends, causing erosion on trails or being disrespectful to fellow cyclists, riding recklessly and putting others at risk that would otherwise be reduced if the bicycle was unpowered. The one bad apple spoils it for us all! Well, unfortunately I have been this bad apple on my snowboard, and was knocked unconscious two times even while using a helmet. I cut the ropes, went way too fast in slow sections and passed people at high speed on catwalks. Thankfully I really only hurt myself. I blame testosterone and evolution, perhaps I was also a bit spoiled and needy for attention at that age. Some of this may be a social issue, maybe I didn’t have the support from my community or friends that cold have lead to better behavior but the consequences are still real. If I had been on a powered snowboard could things have been even worse? Maybe… I’m just not sure, just sharing from my own experiences… Now that my knees hurt and I’ve lost the desire to go so fast (because I don’t heal as readily) I definitely don’t want to be hit by a kid who’s out hot-rodding on an electric bike. The proper benefactors of higher speed ebikes seems to be the commuter who wants to zip up to speed with cars in between sections of bike path or the the road cyclist or trekker who is going for speed in beautiful locals or long distances across the countryside.
Would the world really end if electric bikes were allowed to go 30+ mph? Maybe we’d just need to dedicate some social resources to police watching out for reckless riders or add a new training certificate similar to a driver’s license for high speed ebikes but not require insurance or a driver’s license? I also surf and there’s a social dynamic where people hold each other accountable and you get your ass kicked if you put others at risk, maybe that would happen with bikes, I think it already does to some extent. We could develop better safety gear, create fast lanes on the bike path and so many other things to make this work. In any case, thanks again for your thoughts and great job in the World Championship and Tour de France… you’re an inspiration and welcome here anytime. I travel a lot and test ebikes everywhere so ping me if you’d like to try a new model or just go for a ride and continue this conversation :)

I own a class 3 pedelec, a Focus S27 2014. I decided to purchase it after a local bike shop let my father use it when his class 1 Jarifa 3.0 was sent back to Germany with a rear hub issue. I had used his jarifa a few times to test it out and was impressed but dissapointed that I could not reach the much higher speeds I could on my old 2006 Kona xc’ish hardtail on the flat or downhill, but my average was higher on the identical 10 mile hilly UK country lane commute I do. The class 1 e-bike did it in just over 30 mins as opposed to just about 40 mins (if the wind is favourable) on the normal mountainbike. When he borrowed the class 3 S27 I took it to see what difference it would make to my work run as it is very simular to the Jarifa 3.0 sharing identical frame and better but simular components and I fell in love with it and managed to cut my travel time down to just over 20 mins, I had to have it and made the shop a offer for it and got it for a lot less than retail due to it being ex demo :) I had to have it because I had the best of both worlds all and more of the hill capability of the jafira 3.0 but a top speed that got closer (but not as fast) as the old Cindercone. Realisticly the S27 is rated as a 28mph pedalac and does continue to assist up to that speed but due to a reasonbly low gear for road use and real life conditions and my choice of tyre I dont exceed it that much on the flat and due to the old cindercones higher gearing I can still go faster over short distance favourable roads non powered on a road spec bike my top speed would be higher still so potentially more dangerous concidering it would have less brake power and skinny tyres. The class 3 actually feels safer on roads with traffic than the other options I have because it does not hold faster road users up like the class 1 or the non powered bike can. But any bike should be ridden responsably I turn mine down to eco mode in areas with pedestrians and shared paths etc but some people are idiots so it is a grey area certainly but I do not feel like im causing more potential danger using the class 3 bike than I do with a normal bike or a class 1.

Nice! Sounds like you’ve got a bike that really works well and achieves those higher speeds but didn’t cost so much. Glad you got to demo one first and came away with a solid experience, hope it stays good for you for many years!

Your last comment on the slowing down in shared use area seems to be the basic concern over regulation. These e-bikes can be dangerous if used to their full potential, and whether or not having that potential is justification for classification and regulation.
If everyone was as sane about how they ride as you sound like you are then it wouldn’t be an issue. Sadly there are those who may take their bikes out and full throttle through shared pedestrian areas.
I guess the question is where do we draw the line, and what justification and rational do we use for drawing it?

Great conversation, but the regulations are generated by the undereducated/inexperienced. The danger/risk in mixing modern ebikes with people and cars is based to 3 variables. Weight, speed and the judgment (age) of the operator. Maximum speed should be controlled with a speed limit sign (On streets and paths, etc.). WHERE you can ride should be limited by the weight of the vehicle and the age of the rider.

I like your thinking on this… Lots of people appreciate high-speed ebikes because they commute on streets and want to keep up with the flow of traffic and reduce the annoyance caused by cars, they want respect and control. Other people buy those oversized electric vespa scooter type things and ride them on bicycle paths where they just don’t fit in… Your ideas around weight and obeying speed signs appeals to me, just like we hold people accountable for pedaling way too fast if they are on a bicycle path with a 20 mph top speed sign posted, the motor makes it easier to break the law but also empowers the rider in areas where the law does not exist. I’m not a fan of forcing people with settings and hardware vs. educating and holding responsible but then again, young people without license and insurance can use these and may not have the same level of maturity to not break the law and in turn put others at risk.

Brilliantly simple, sound-minded logic, Jon! Those same variables comprise the backbone of current motor-vehicle traffic laws so why re-invent the wheel. Pun intended. Best

There is another class that should also be considered. I currently have a trike that is powered by a 900W cyclone mid drive. I cannot use my legs because i am a paraplegic. I would still like to be able to ride on mountain bike trails and on the road like any other cyclist. I consider my trike an electric wheelchair but given the guidelines above it appears that it is a moped and I should have license etc…

Interesting point Mike… I wonder if there are compromises or special rules for people with limited mobility? I can understand why you’d need more power (especially for off-road terrain) if you cannot contribute much as a rider. This was the primary focus the guys designing the and most of the recumbent ebikes they sell are outside of these “low speed electric bike” classes. I can’t add much here besides my support and hopes that you are able to enjoy riding and be safe :)

Hi, excellent site and thanks for all the work your doing. On question, as I’m based in Ireland and so I’m regulated by the European Union do you have the web address where I could find the relevant European regulations. I’m considering building my own bike as a project and do not want to fall foul of the regulators. Thanks in advance, John f

Hi John! Good thinking… I haven’t gone in-depth with EU laws here on the site but you can find a lot of great resources on Ebike laws are evolving and different country to country (state to state here in the US) so this wiki page is a great place to check in :)

I’m new and know very little about this stuff, but correct me if I’m wrong, I cannot consider buying a Specialized Turbo to commute on a class 1 path because it is a category 3 bike?
People want to keep fast EBikes off the bike paths for safety reasons… Bike paths in general cut through some pretty shady areas so bikes are the last thing they should be worried about.
200mph cars are allowed to drive on the streets just like 28mph bikes should be allowed to ride on a class 1. All classes should be allowed IMO and obey 15-20mph speed limit.

Excellent points Kyle, I tend to agree with you. One thing comes to mind as a possible reason that hardware is regulated in the ebike space vs. behavior (which is the case for automobiles). To drive any type of car legally an operator must be licensed and insured… This is not the case with vehicles classified as bicycles. Basically anyone can hop on and pedal away and this presents the increased risk of misbehavior by an uneducated, unskilled and uninsured user. On the flip side… most people can pedal unpowered or powered bicycles above 20 mph and still have an accident that causes damage. This second point highlights a gray area where a reckless cyclist would be held responsible for crashing while a reckless ebiker would get that charge as well as operating an unregistered motor vehicle without a license which could result in much more extreme fines, penalties and even jail time. The consequences could get even worse depending on where the violations occurred… on street vs. public park or trail vs. private property where you could be sued by a private party for gross negligence if a person is seriously injured or killed. I’m not a lawyer but this is my interpretation of what I’ve read while exploring the web and speaking with some individuals.

Darn it. Well I’m not surprised about the rules that came from Chris Christies state. I live in a mountainous area where the only way out of the mountain is Hwy 17 to Los Gatos, or a class 1 path. Hwy 17 is technically legal to bike on or walk, but its pretty much a death wish as there is no shoulder, and the 50mph speed limit is not even followed by big rigs (and they have a 35mph speed limit)
I guess I would use the trail and plead that I have no option. Of course I would be respectful and don’t expect to get into an accident of my own doing so I feel it isn’t a problem. I just don’t want a ranger flagging me down because he knows its a category 3 bike even if I’m only going 20mph. Just a bunch of bull I don’t want to deal with especially if I need to commute a couple years to pay for it.
I cant wait until our bike paths double in size and bikes will have their own lane. Motorcycles need their own lane left of fast lane too. Things need to change, too many people around here!

Yeah, I believe we will see many things change in the next five and ten years with the introduction of self driving cars… way fewer cars on the road, fewer people owning, fewer police patrolling roads with speed traps and profiling. People will still want independent and healthy ways to get around and ebikes and electric cycles may grow in popularity. I used to live in Los Gatos by the way, beautiful area :)

This move by the bike lobby is “better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick,” as the saying goes, but it is far from adequate. Limiting technological innovation within the platform is nonsense, and unprecedented in transportation sector. Speed limits on roads govern motorists who purchase vehicles freely that are capable of speeds 10x legal limits, and more. There is no reason to believe speed limits on infrastructure for bicycles will be less effective.

Has anyone considered doing the sums? A cyclist’s speed of 20 MPH is equivalent to falling off a one story building if he hits something solid. At 25 MPH it would be the same as jumping off a two-story building (20.5 ft). A crash at 30 MPH makes for a bone-crunching splat landing as if he jumped from a three-story building (30 ft)…. In comparison a driver in a car has the protection of his car, seat belt and air bags. A racing driver has a double harness and a complete helmet… A bicyclist has exactly what in his favor?

*A bicyclist has exactly what in his favor?*
The answer to this question is: Motorcyclists. Like a bicyclist, they have no seat belts, airbags or cage of steel to protect them… and they go very much faster on their two wheels.

Typo: severe is spelled “sever”

Great catch Derek! I’ve fixed it and just wanted to say thanks ;)

I have a bad hip and knee and need a Class 2 electric bike (pedal assist isn’t a good option as the slightest effort will trash my hip). I want to be able to ride bikes with my husband and friends in areas where mopeds/scooters aren’t allowed. I’m 5’11” about 145 lbs. I can’t seem to find an easy way to figure out which bikes are Class 2 and, of those, which are most recommended. Thoughts? I appreciate any guidance very much.

Hi Megan! Sorry to hear about your hip… I can see why having a throttle would be nice. The advanced search options here let you choose different drive modes and you could check twist throttle and trigger throttle to get the results for all Class 2 reviews. I could be more specific about ones I like if you share your ride style (more active forward, semi-upright or relaxed cruiser) along with your budget and maybe what kind of terrain you’ll be going on (road, sidewalks, trails or mountain?) I’m going to take a wild guess here that this is mostly neighborhood around town riding on bike trails and that you want something comfortable… Consider any of the or [URL='']E-Lux models[/URL]and possibly [URL='']Magnum[/URL]. I believe they all offer throttle mode :)

I am seeing a Black Max e-bike that appears to be from the Olympic Peninsula area and it seems new on market. Wondering if there’s any independent reviews available. I have been nearly ready to pull the trigger on a pair of Rad Rovers. I like a couple of the models from this new company! And their price point is great if the components are quality.

Hi Mark, would it be possible to share a link to this new electric bike you mentioned? Maybe I could try to review it someday! In the meantime, I do like and trust the RadRover product. That company offers good value as long as you don’t mind buying online and doing some basic assembly. My website here is full of great reviews and there are more coming, but you can also ask around [URL='']in the EBR forums[/URL] for feedback and advice.

I have a cargo bike that seems to defy classification. It’s a Surly Big Dummy and is equipped with a Stokemonkey assist motor kit. It’s speed limited to 20 mph. But here is what’s different; it has a hand throttle but there isn’t a free ride because the motor drives through the entire drivetrain so use the power one has to pedal along with it. The closest classification seems to be class 2. While the motor is capable of 500 watts, I have it set to a sweet spot for me of 200 watts. This setting works well with the crowded streets where I live. I ride on pathways and cruise about 4-8 mph, on streets about 12-16 mph. I feel good about using it as a class 1 even though it doesn’t fit any class.

Very interesting! Whatever class it is, I’m glad you’re enjoying it! Considering that you have to pedal even with the throttle system, maybe it is closer to a Class 1?

I tested a Turbo Levo with and without the speed limiter and found that I could only reach 22 mph without the limiter anyway. This is because it was limited by the power of the motor + my power input, as well as the gearing. For this reason, I think class-1 bikes should be defined as 750 watts or less, pedal-assist only, but no speed limiter. Aerodynamic drag will take care of the rest, unless someone does an aeroshell, which case that is an unusual situation. The speed limiters are very annoying feeling them come on and off. But, I guess then they would be class-3 bikes (though without throttles).

I’ve been giving this issue a lot of thought since I bought a class 3 bike for myself and a class 1 for my wife in December. After reading all the posts I sympathize with those who would rather regulate behavior than technology. For one, behavior is more easily observable than technology. Why not make a law that you have to carry your driver’s license or an id while riding your ebike on a path or street? Then, if you’re reckless, you can be id’d and ticketed. As with driving a car, if you go crazy fast, you get a bigger penalty, ultimately losing privileges altogether. Speed limit signs are cheap and they do help. Those speed sensor signs are more expensive but very effective at promoting self regulation.
The other thought I had was mandatory training of some kind, even if it’s online. They do mandatory video training at Yellowstone before you go backcountry hiking so you know what to do when you enounter a grizzly. Same idea, when there’s a danger it’s good to provide education. I was going over 30 mph down hills on my (non-electric) bike in first grade. It might have been good to have some education around impact and consequences at 30 mph, versus 20 mph, versus 10 mph.
The irony of ebike regulations hit home the other day while my wife and I were riding down a paved path (shared with pedestrians) at about 18 mph. A non-motorized bike whizzed by us at about 28 mph or more. He was gone in a flash. It was a sunny day, the path was crowded with pedestrians and it was plainly dangerous. He wouldn’t have been going any faster on my class 3 ebike.
On the same ride, we were passing a family with a toddler. We slowed down to 5 mph and the toddler stepped out in front of us. We stopped. The toddler looked up at us in awe and toddled off to the side. Giving pedestrians, especially toddlers, a safe leeway is hugely important on any bike, right? This strikes me as more of a training, awareness, and behavior regulation issue than a technology issue (well, brakes are a *very* important technology here).
Ebikes will get lighter, quieter, faster, and more stealth in the future. It will be more and more difficult to identify a bike based on it’s potential max speed. It’s not easy now – and you can always speed dongle a class 1, 2, or 3 ebike to go faster. My class 3 and my wife’s class 1 look nearly identical to the untrained eye. They both have Bosch systems.
The upside of electric bikes for personal, community, and global wellbeing are profound. We have a technology here that can provide transportation to those who are not athletes at somewhere around 2,000 mpg equivalent with an extremely low manufacturing footprint compared to automobiles (See the ebook by Average Joe Cyclist) and they can get many of us to work and back in a reasonable time frame without arriving all sweaty. At the same time ebiking provides the exact kind of light exercise that so effectively fights diseases (i.e. diabetes, heart disease, etc) caused by sedentary behavior.
I realize that every approach has related problems to it, but regulating behavior and supporting positive behavior with training, much like we do with cars, seems to be the more sustainable and effective approach.

Great post John, I agree with you and appreciate the perspectives and real world experience. There’s room for level headed discussion here and you draw on great examples from automobile regulation and the national park training. Thanks for sharing your time and thoughts!

The EBike market continues to develop quickly. I am in Northern California, could you provide clarification regarding Bike Classification for when an EBike provides the user with OPTIONS for using PAS only, a trigger throttle installed, and an option for placing the bike into an “off-road mode” for increased speeds up to 28mph? Technically I feel like the answer will be that the bike falls into the Class 3 category.
Ebikes are such a helpful way for injured or less fit people to enjoy bike riding with others that are more fit, not rely on cars for getting around, etc. Guess I wish there was a way to avoid the potential unlawful use penalities with a bike that offers the rider all 3 of the above benefits, so long as they were using the bike mode appropriate to the law of a particular trail, etc.
I assume that a ticket for unlawful use would come from a Ranger most of the time. Perhaps a way to show that I was riding in PAS mode without using throttle and not in the off-road mode could be developed to indicate this to law enforcement AND other riders (a light with changing colors?).
We all pay the costs associated with most of our trail systems, EBikes appear to offer a method for people to enjoy them and maybe we all would benefit from things like decreased car traffic and the related pollutions, a healthier population, and host of other things.

Hi Skot, the only way I know of to get these three different modes (and off-road 20+ throttle or 28+ pedal assist) is to purchase a kit and update the settings or completely unplug the throttle at times. You can do this with several of the [URL='']Electric Bike Outfitters kits[/URL] that I reviewed recently. Most purpose built ebikes have one particular class in mind. They are usually Class 1 or Class 3 for the really nice ebikes, because most European nations don’t allow throttles at all. I hope this helps guide you, I did create an advanced search option here on EBR to help you filter and narrow down which bikes offer what. Most throttles can simply be unplugged and removed, so that’s a good way to go from Class 2 to Class 1.

Court, Sorry for the delayed response, I thought that I would get a notification indicating that you had answered my question.
Thanks for all the great information and suggestions. The particular bike that I am looking at comes from M2S bikes and does not appear to have been reviewed yet, the search feature indicates “nothing found” using “M2S”. Here’s [URL='']a link[/URL] to the specific bike that I was referring to when asking about it’s most likely classification.
Unplugging the throttle is a great option for bringing the bike into compliance as needed. I would love your thoughts on many of the M2S bike lineup. I’m considering a new bike for my wife as well (she enjoys a much different riding style than I do, but it’s still great fun to ride together). M2S has several great options to consider, but I think the simplicity of the NuVinci CVT shifter offered by Evelo bikes is something that really fits her style well, thanks for your excellent reviews on these models

Brent did a great review a little whileback regarding the [URL='']FLX “Trail”[/URL] e-bike. The FLX website answered my specific question, in a similar way that Court wrote:
The California Standard
Electric Bicycles are defined by the California Vehicle Code.
New legislation became effective in January 2016. The current regulations define an “electric bicycle” as: a bicycle equipped with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts, separated into three classes:
[*]A “class 1 electric bicycle,” or “low-speed pedal-assisted electric bicycle,” is a bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20 miles per hour.
[*]A “class 2 electric bicycle,” or “low-speed throttle-assisted electric bicycle,” is a bicycle equipped with a motor that may be used exclusively to propel the bicycle, and that is not capable of providing assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20 miles per hour.
[*]A “class 3 electric bicycle,” or “speed pedal-assisted electric bicycle,” is a bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, (no throttle) and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 28 miles per hour and equipped with a speedometer.

Local government ordinances are allowed to permit or ban any class of electric bicycles on dedicated bicycle paths and trails, with Class 1 & 2 permitted, and Class 3 banned, by default
All our bikes come as standard with an electronic speed limiter and a throttle. This gives you the option to convert your bike into a class 1, 2 or 3.
To comply with class 1 regulations, program the speed limiter to 20 mph and remove the throttle. The motor will stop providing assistance at this speed. You’ll still be able to go faster but anything above 20 mph will be from your own input.
To comply with class 2 regulations, program the speed limiter to 20 mph and leave the throttle attached. You’ll now be able to achieve 20 mph purely using the throttle. The motor will also provide assistance whilst pedaling up to 20 mph.
To comply with class 3 regulations, program the speed limiter to 28 mph and remove the throttle. The motor will provide assistance up to 28 mph whilst pedaling.
For private land and off road use (where laws permit), program the speed limiter to 60 mph. This effectively removes the speed limiter so the motor will keep providing assistance until you run out of steam. Our record on the Roadster is 37 mph! Try and beat it but please be responsible. We want eBikes to provide a fun, practical alternative to regular bikes and other transport methods but we need to ensure that we’re not a danger or nuisance to other road users.
Laws vary in different states / countries. Please check your local regulations. Here is [URL='']another good resource[/URL] by People for Bikes with information on US laws.

2 months ago

I just watched a documentary called on Amazon. It's a history of mountain Biking and its origin in the 1970's. Very well edited using archival footage and current interviews. What really struck me was how (IMHO) Ebikes today are in their infancy as mountain bikes were in the 70's. I see Ebikes soaring in popularity during the next decade just as mountain bikes did in the late 80's/early 90's.

I bought my first Mountain bike in 1987, a pink Schwinn Mirada, the thing was a tank, but so much fun in its day.

I would recommend watching the movie.

2 months ago

Yep, sounds like fun and post some updates once you have your Ocean Current modded out.

6 months ago
Electric Driver
3 months ago

My Swchinn E-bike is 1500w and only cost me $480. Also has a 22ah Lithium Battery.

Jerry Mccarthy
4 months ago

$1500 for that, I got a RadCity for that, 750W, 14 AH, 7 Speed, Suspension, Rack, Fenders, Lites, Kickstand and an actual display !!!!!! Check out Rad Power Bikes 😨😨

Sir Puyaerectus
5 months ago

beutyful e bike

5 months ago

Für Alle die nicht nur SingleSpeed fahren sondern auch Stylisch
unterwegs aussehen möchten, gibt es jetzt das neue SHIRT in Limitierter
Auflage :

...Teile uns auf Facebook und InstA ! See You ! ~

Baron Of Hell
5 months ago

I don't think these are better than the rad power bikes that cost the same.

5 months ago

Say what you want about Schwinn quality and price, but I think the Monroe line is better than the Easy Motion Easygo Race simply because of the battery.

6 months ago

Just love these reviews , so thorough and in depth. In America you have such a great line up of Ebikes . I'm in Indonesia and our selection is anaemic , but hopefully more choice is coming.

6 months ago

You are one of the most prolific reviewers on youtube. Bravo.

6 months ago

Might as well review the ANCHEER bike next court.

6 months ago

That bike is aDORable.

Flo Mo
6 months ago

^^AWESOME^^The color combination is amazing^^

F r e e l e e
6 months ago

The Bafang 1000 watt kit is loads more power for half the cost.

Steve Donovan
6 months ago

It's a nice bike but $300.00 more for a hub motor with 100 more watts is too much. Quality hub motors have little difference in price between 250 and 350.

Mark Elford
6 months ago

Good flat road commuter.

Chris Barr
6 months ago

$1.5K for this bike is just bad news. The complete line of Rad Power bikes at this price point is blowing bikes like this out of the water.

Rick Gross
4 months ago

this ad brought to you by Rad Power Bikes!

5 months ago

Mostly agree with you, but aren't all Rad bikes equipped with gearless hub motors except for the fat tire one? I would rather have a regular bicycle with a geared motor.

6 months ago

This is not a horrible deal at 1.5k. It really highlights how awesome a deal any rad power bike is at the same price. This was basically phoned in by schwinn and they still did a much better job than on most of their bikes. If i had the money to spend rad would get my money. But would i buy this at a garage sale for $400 after someone else bought it and didnt use it for a year? Yeah.
Court did a good job not being mean to this cute little ebike.

F r e e l e e
6 months ago

Dam well said.

Ddr Hazy
6 months ago

The Rad Rover 2018 which is priced at $1500 is a better deal. Bigger battery at 672 watts, bigger motor at 750 watts, but it's a rear hub motor. Actually has gears. Has fat tires.

Roger Rennenger
6 months ago

So why is the e bike market so saturated? Is it a generous profit margin? I'm new to this so forgive my ignorance, but could someone explain to me how a 400 dollar bike jumps to 1.5k because of a dinky motor and a battery?

james eagle
6 months ago

Roger Rennenger I want to know to?

james eagle
6 months ago

Way overpriced, The bike by itself is worth no more than $500!

james eagle
6 months ago

W C I never said they were expensive but still a better value than this bike lol.

6 months ago

"30 gears"? Are you 12 that you think that gears are expensive? :DD

james eagle
6 months ago

Ddr Hazy yeah I guess but It's still too much money just because they turned a fixie and made it into an "e bike". I have a gt bike not electric, and it has better components than this! It has a good front suspension, hydraulic disk brakes and 30 GEARS! Cost me only $600.

Ddr Hazy
6 months ago

This bike should be priced @ $1300. $400 for the bike itself, $500 for the battery, $100 for the motor, $100 for the throttle kit, $100 for the charger, $100 for the sensors. These figures are pretty generous. It would be better to build a bike at this price point, you don't get much value for your money with this bike.

6 months ago

lol, the battery alone is worth about that much

6 months ago

Very detailed and honest review. Thank you!

Ddr Hazy
6 months ago

350w motor and a 500 watt battery? If I were to buy a regular bike from Schwinn something like this would probably cost $300-400. Does Schwinn really think $1100 for the electrical components of this system is a fair deal? Having no gears is not good. Not impressed with this product.

Onus News Service
6 months ago

Florida - How do you factor .55 cents per mile for your car ?  Are you including insurance and registration and everything or just gas ?

Ddr Hazy
6 months ago

It's good that you found a way to make it work for you. There are better options, people should be aware of them.

Edgar Escobar
6 months ago

Hey man, have you ever thought about reviewing one of those Chinese e-bikes like Xioami??

6 months ago

Edgar Escobar I agree. There's a Chinese ebike called the "sakura", (if I'm pronouncing and spelling that right 😞) that's designed to look just like a moped and, it's a really cool looking bike.