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Electric Bikes | Mountain Bikes | Freight Bikes

 

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People need choices to establish a value proposition. We have bikes that are well over $10,000 and several under $800, and each bike offers a unique value proposition that justifies the cost. Value means an electric bike purchase must serve your stated purpose, has a domestic presence for service, and a good warranty. 

We sell high-end electric freight bikes like the Super Mundo, which is incredibly powerful, and justifiably a car replacement. And, of late I have personally been re-thinking my position on the lower end bikes that we now sell of only $799,like this wonderful fat tire beauty, and that is delivered!

Now, you can install an electric motor kit on your existing bike, but prices today have come down so low it would be imprudent not to consider a purpose built bike, most of which are now less expensive than a motor kit alone. 

Yet, another compelling argument for choosing to purchase an electric bike today can be found here; Kelly Blue Book. The true cost of owning a car costs on average $0.92 a mile to own and operate, and burn through 15% to 20% of your monthly income.

How to Choose an Electric Bike

HERE ARE SOME KEY POINTS

  1. Terrain – will affect the size of the battery and motor, and if you are big, say 230lbs, you may need a bigger electric bike motor and battery, even if your terrain isn’t hilly. And, if you are not going to ride off-road at least 80% of the time don't even consider a fat tire bike. They are meant for off-road use, and riding in the street will cost you speed and distance. Off-road the fat tire bike is the bomb.
  2. Weight- plays a big role, as does your size and profile, because your body creates form drag and its natural consequence of induced drag, which is why bicycle racers wear skin tight outfits, and assume aerodynamic postures.
  3. Distance - will affect the size of the battery you need, so figure on using 18-23 Watts per mile, or 2 miles per amp hour.
  4. Speed – Just like in a car, if you want to go fast you need power; a bigger battery, and a more powerful motor. The faster you intend to ride, the more energy you will consume.
  5. Budget and quality – How often will you ride? Just getting started, or riding 150 miles a week? Entry level E-bikes are a great value, and if you ride a lot then by all means consider upgrading your bike.

Battery consuption guidelines graphic

 Tips on Choosing Battery Size

As you read on below it may dawn on you, after reading the graph above, the more powerful the motor is the more energy it will draw from the battery, and that will naturally result in a lower range.

It is well to understand that a great deal of a bikes ability to reach speeds of 32mph and above, and climb hills like a billy-goat is primarily determined by two factors: Gearing & Gearing (just kidding), there is also the issue of tires.

Assuming you plan on pedaling the bike, and these geared motors love a little bit of help, then you will want to replace your rear cassette with say, a 10-46t and the front chain ring with at least a 52t ring. This change alone will offer you higher speeds and better climbing no matter how big that motor is (within reason). Certainly, you can opt in for a more powerful motor and bigger battery, but the price and weight go up exponentially, and concurrently.

Now, the European bikes have been slowly switching over to the Bosch mid-drive which is an elegant solution to this problem. The motors are so finely tuned they run at only 350 watts, which here in the United States some consider wholly inadequate. But, the Europeans are all about value, and that includes the elegance and efficiency of these new mid-drives. Even their hub motors are only allowed to reach 350 watts, but again, it is the gearing that makes the difference in hill climbing and flat out speed. Remember, 350 watts is treble the amount of power the average cyclist is capable of putting out.

And, if you get to the point that a 10 amp hour battery is simply not cutting it, for some of our lower end bikes we offer an extra battery at around $190, buy two and you have 30Ah of battery power!

How to Understand Batteries

  • The battery energy is measured in Watt Hours.
  • The voltage or Volts are identified with a V, as in 36V or 48V
  • Amp Hours are identified with an Ah, as in 10Ah or 15Ah.  
  • Watt Hours are identified with a Wh.
  • The formula for Watt Hours is Volts x Amp Hours = Watt Hours.

So, the true measure of a batteries energy capacity for a 36V 10Ah battery would be 360 Watt Hours. That same battery at 48V 10Ah would net 480Wh or 120 more Watt Hours than the 36V battery. So the Amp-Hour rating of the battery is NOT the actual Watt Hours. Remember: The battery is like the gas tank in your car

*Also, on level ground you can estimate 18 Watt Hours per Mile, or up to 23 or more when climbing.

 

How to Compare Motors and Power

There are many types and sizes of electric bike motors. The Federal limit is 750 watts, however, in California; we now distinguish 3 classes of E-bikes, Class I, II, and III.  With E-bikes, motors are rated in watts, rather than horsepower like car motors. 746 watts = 1Hp

Torque helps you accelerate. (Newton Meters)

Power, to some degree will determine how fast you can go and how well you can climb (Watts), but it comes at a price.

 

KEY POINTS

  • Power in an E-bike motor is measured in watts, however, to truly know how powerful the bike is you also need to know the Maximum Amps of the controller. The formula to know how powerful your system is to multiply the Volts times the Amperage setting of the controller. V x A = W. If, for instance you have a 48-volt motor and a 25-amp controller the maximum wattage, or power of that system would be 48 x 25 or 1,200 watts. Hot-rodders’ will often beef up the wiring, and run a 40-amp controller or even 60, which would potentially give you 2,880 watts; twice the power of the smaller controller. Of course, you run the risk of overheating the controller and motor with that much power, but prudence may overcome the risks of running a bike at those power settings. If you keep it safe, don’t kid yourself, fast is fun.
  • Torque is the ability to turn the pedals and accelerate from a stop or to pass someone.
  • Power is torque x rpm, which equals your ability to ride up hills.
  • Hub Motors drive the wheel directly and are usually mounted on the back wheel.
  • Mid Drive Motors go through the gear system and are located at the crank between the pedals. Because the mid drive goes through the gear system it changes the torque so you can accelerate up hills and navigate variable terrain, which makes them better at climbing hills. That said, the gearing of the bike is also critical.
  • Hub Motors are slightly more restrictive and inefficient on hills or variable terrain; they overheat and lose power, however so can a powerful mid-drive. They are better for rolling hills and flat consistent terrain. Here again, I have ridden up some mighty steep stuff with a hub motor, and the new torque sensors make it even more efficient. One final thought is that the hub motor is far less expensive. Get the Free Electric Bike Book

 

How to Determine the True Range

The EPA lists the MPG for cars, but there is no such standard for the E-bike industry. Remember; Every manufacturer can list the range of their bikes without ever having road tested them for accuracy.

If a manufacturer boasts a range without qualifying their claim…RUN. No credible manufacturer would ever make such an unfounded statement, at least not without making note of how they quantified that claim.

Range in a car varies greatly, and how fast you drive in a car is no different than an electric bicycle ridden at high speed.

It is vital to remember that it takes twice as much battery size to travel at 21 MPH as it does at 15MPH.

To determine the range that is declared for any E-bike model, include the following factors:

  • Battery size in Watt-hours determines the amount of energy available (Volts x Amp Hours = Watt-hours).
  • Speed – You need to know how fast you want to travel because from 10 to 20 miles per hour you will use as much as 4x’s the amount of energy!
  • Terrain- Hills burn up watts!
  • Weight – size affects range!
  • Motor type – Hub, or mid-drive.

It’s important to think about these factors before you buy so you won’t be misled.

Make Sure the Bike Fits

In a racing bicycle, the factors for fitting are far different than an electric bike. A racing bicycle is lighter and designed for human power alone, as well as a streamlined body position for maximum efficiency.

Because an E-bike sports a motor body position and weight are not as important as they are on a racing bicycle. this is not as critical because the choice is for comfort instead. Consider these 3 items;

  1. Is the bike easy to get on and off?
  2. Is the handlebar position forward or upright?
  3. Can the seat be lowered for less strain on your knees and hips?

 

Differences between Men and Women

Not everyone needs the same amount of power. For example; A 250 lb. person needs twice the power to go up a hill at the same speed as a 120-lb. person. Someone with a delicate or bad knee, or difficult hip, needs more power than someone who is fit.

The ‘key’ is to see who you really are because one size doesn’t fit all – and then to find an E-bike that matches to your needs for all factors involved.

Curated from Jim Turner of Optibike

 

California Electric Bike Classes, What Are Electric Bike Classes and Why Do They Matter?

The video below perfectly illustrates the versatility of E-bikes 

 

Wondering if Biking to School or Work or is worth it? Considering an electric bike? Then you have come to the right place because we believe in "Roughing it Smoothly"

You have two basic choices. You can search for a bike built by various vendors (Purpose Built), and there are some good ones, expensive but good. Or, you can equip your own bike (DIY, do-it-yourself) with an electric motor kit.

That said, we do have a new electric bike we believe will stun the market place. It is our new 50 mph Electric Indian.

Electric Sportsman Flyer bicycle, seen from the left and behind, silver and black

Yet, another cost effective choice might be an electric motor kit, which will turn your own bicycle into a thrilling alternative form of transportation. Take a look at our frames and swap out your mountain bike components.

Everyone rides for reasons of their own. Mine was to regain mobility after an auto accident. I broke my neck and back, so to get back in shape, and overcome a disability, and learn to have fun again I started riding an electric bike. We all ride for various reasons, and mine has mostly been to have fun. I suppose you can never have too much of it.

Electrified or not, cycling is a thrilling experience. When I ride these bikes I'm transported back to a time when life was simple, I was lighthearted and carefree. I suppose in many ways it's become my fountain of youth. 

 

E-Bikes in the United States, results from and online study from John MacArthur, Mark Person, and Jennifer Dill Ph.D.

Electric Bike Use

Helpful Information

 

The biggest difference with us is that we ride what we sell, and sell what we ride. If you cannot find what your are looking for here, feel free to reach out with your questions. We are happy to share our industry knowledge and expertise to help you make the right choice.

 You will also find helpful information on biking, safety tips, and articles on biking trends and styles. Electric bikes are not a novel idea, but many of the components are new to the market. We constantly search for innovative products to enhance your riding experience, and add value to your purchase. We provide affordable and sustainable solutions for a friendlier form of transportation.

WE SHIP WORLD WIDE (Ask for a quote)

 

 A Statistical Look at a Cycling Commute

           Biking is it worth it

FINANCIAL BENEFITS

 

Financial benefits of owning an electric bike or bicycle

 

  ENVIRONMENTAL & HEALTH BENEFITS

Environmental and Health benefits of riding an electric bicycle

           

 GLOBAL STATISTICS

          Global statistics of riding an electric bike

 


 

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