E-bike - review by Ward SchmidtI bought an E-bike recently. Rather than buying from the E-bike web site, I bought it from Morgen Charney at Subaru of Santa Cruz. I was able to get it on sale, a 10% savings, and Morgen even saved me some bucks on the shipping cost to me here in Hawaii. She was also very helpful when it turned out my charger was faulty and shipped a replacement right away via UPS and was always just an email or phone call away.
E-bike offers 3 versions and I bought the middle one, the "Comfort" model, which comes with a shock in the seat post, a canvas carrying case on the rear rack, slightly different handlebars and some other goodies.
I love the bike. It is very well made and has top quality brakes, delailuer, crank, etc. The battery pack contains two 12 volt batteries and a charger. The batteries are in series to put out 24 volts. This pack is removable, so you can take it indoors to recharge at home or office or where-ever. It takes 4.5 hours to fully charge the batteries when drained. The E-bike shuts itself off at about 15% capacity to save wear on the batteries.
I use the bike for my local errands - grocery store, bank, post office, etc. For me that's a 4 mile radius. The E-bike has a lot of very nice features. One is cruise control. Push a button and it goes until you either push it again or tap a brake. It has two settings - normal and economy. Full throttle on normal I get about 13 mph on level ground. On economy I get 10 mph. Both are with no pedalling. The book says the E-bike will take you 20 miles at 10 mph on level ground before needing a charge. The bike has a three light gauge to tell you the battery charge status. It also "beeps" in codes to tell you when it needs help going up a steep hill, is about to overheat, or is low on battery charge. If you let it overheat, it will beep to warn you that it is shutting down and will automatically shut down to cool off. E-bike has a useful headlight and large tail light. The tail light works as a brake light even when the lights are not turned on. The motor is contained in the rear hub, so there is no tire wear from a drive wheel or slipping if you go through a puddle.
The manual drive has seven speeds which are controlled by a twist of the left wrist. The fastest I am able to pedal is about 20 mph in 7th gear. My normal average speed on a round trip is about 12 mph. The great thing is that I get my excercise pedalling, yet I don't have to break a sweat or slow to a crawl to get up steep hills. It really makes for a practical form of local transportation.
If you haven't gotten it by now, I am totally enthused with this electric bike and recommend you try one out. The E-bike web site can help you find a local dealer. If you live out in the "boonies" like I do on Maui, I suggest you just buy one sight unseen like I did!