Which bike is best

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barbara
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Which bike is best

I have been searching everywhere for the best electric bike or electric bicycle. Every site seems to think their bike is the best. I am 62 and want to be able to peddle for exercise and have power to get home. I live in the foothills above Sacramento so need power to get me up hills. Would be nice to ride two people sometimes. It is 10 miles to the store, so I need extra mileage if possible. I do not want to license it, so nothing over 1000 watts and that is pushing the limit... Would like to be able to ride in the rain in case I get caught in a storm. I want to keep the cost under $2,000.00. I cannot locate any dealers in or around Sacramento, Roseville, Loomis, Penryn so I can try a bike out...
Anyone out there who can help me.

Thanks,

Barbara
culayter [at] gmail.com

ArcticFox
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Re: Which bike is best

Have you seen the Rhodes Bikes?

.

They do also have an option for a 750watt electric motor:

http://www.rhoadescar.com/jumplobb.htm

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<a href="http://www.BaseStationZero.com">[img]http://visforvoltage.org/files/u419...
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andys
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Re: Which bike is best

http://www.texaselectricbikes.com/catalog/day6-dreame-p-214.html

http://www.texaselectricbikes.com/catalog/electric-rover-comfort-cruiser-p-213.html

I like these guys motors and batteries, and they know how to put together a great package that works and holds up. Give Doug a call, and he will come up with something that suits your needs. the Day 6 bike is supposed to be one of the nicest riding e-bikes out there. Bit over your price though.

reikiman
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Re: Which bike is best

Haven't ridden one of these.. but they look interesting along the lines of this thread: http://www.solartrike.com/

rakeshkdhawan
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Re: Which bike is best

Hi Barbara:

You may want to look at E+ Electric Bicycle by Electric Motion Systems. It has been developed after years of intensive research and development by a team of dedicated engineers.

It comes with a 750 Watts motor which can be upgraded to 1000 Watts. 750W version has a top speed of 20mph whereas the 1000W is unlimited.

The battery is located in the front hub and motor is in the rear hub. This has been done to have best maneuverability and safety unlike all other electric bicycles. The Battery is 10Ah NiMH which allows a range of 20 miles. The E+ also has a very advanced display which allows you to fully customize your riding experience.

The company also offers three very attractive finance plans at 6.5%, 7.5% and 8.5% with a monthly payment of $84.58, $112.27 and $131.59 for 2 years. One of the plans has no interest for one year.

We believe this is b far the best Electric Bicycle in the world.

Best,
RakeshE__Blue_Mountain_Bicycle_.jpg

E+ Electric Bicycle by Electric Motion Systems
http://www.electricmotionsystems.com

chas_stevenson
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Re: Which bike is best

I might be wrong but that looks a lot like the dead Tidal Force bikes that turned out to be much less than the claims made by the company.

I also see similar claims in the above post as it says:

It comes with a 750 Watts motor which can be upgraded to 1000 Watts. 750W version has a top speed of 20mph whereas the 1000W is unlimited.

When I see "the 1000W is unlimited" I have to ask; so it can go supersonic? What a bogus claim! These are the kinds of claims I wish advertisers would stop making about any products. All it does is insult the intelligence of the world public. How can it be unlimited?

To set the record straight I no nothing about the posted bike and this post is just an observation.

Grandpa Chas S.

rakeshkdhawan
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Re: Which bike is best

Grandpa Chas S.

First of all it is not TidalForce. It is E+ the next generation of Electric Bicycles. Although it has been designed by some of the same engineers who designed TidalForce.

Secondly, E+ has state of the art three phase brushless, gearless technology with field oriented control and top of the line TI Digital Signal processors. The battery is 10Ah, 36V, NiMH with sophisticated BMS and diagnostics with extensive log of usage activity to optimize battery life. The E+ also has state of the art LCD with extensive display of information such as OdoMeter, Distance travelled, Timer, Amp Hours Remaining, Power Consumed, Cruise Control etc. It has 19 modes of operation to suit any of your riding styles. It has full regenerative braking on demand and only bicycle in the world which allows controlled charging of battery during riding.

Thirdly, it has been designed by a team of engineers who have the most experience in designing electric bicycles, having launched TidalForce in the US and having helped launch Electric Bicycles in Europe for the last 8 years.

Fourthly, unlimited means that there is no speed limit. The motor will continue to assist you to much higher speed than 20mph. Will it go Supersonic? No. It can go 30+ mph on a flat ground for a 220 lb rider. Sorry if it has caused confusion.

Best,
Rakesh

E__Red_Cruiser.jpg

E+ Electric Bicycle by Electric Motion Systems
http://www.electricmotionsystems.com

chas_stevenson
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Re: Which bike is best

First of all it is not TidalForce. It is E+ the next generation of Electric Bicycles. Although it has been designed by some of the same engineers who designed TidalForce.

Maybe this information explains why it looks like a Tidal Force.

It has full regenerative braking on demand and only bicycle in the world which allows controlled charging of battery during riding.

Can you elaborate on this information when you say "controlled charging", are you referring to the BMS or the amount of charge from Regen?

Fourthly, unlimited means that there is no speed limit. The motor will continue to assist you to much higher speed than 20mph. Will it go Supersonic? No. It can go 30+ mph on a flat ground for a 220 lb rider. Sorry if it has caused confusion.

To say the motor will continue to assist has much different meaning than "750W version has a top speed of 20mph whereas the 1000W is unlimited." this tells me that tops speed is unlimited on the 1000W version. This new very important piece of information sheds some light on the subject. If you are going to write an add why would you mix apples and oranges (Top Speed and Assist Speed limits)? With this new information I may also assume that in fact the assist appears to be limited to 20 Mph on the 750 watt version causing the motor assist to be disabled at any speed above 20 MPH. Is this correct? However the 1000W version has no limit on the assist top speed. Is this correct?

You did impart much more information in your second post and my hope is that my comments will give others better incite into your product at the same time help you write a better description of that product. BTW it does sound like a good bike, wish I could try one out for 30 days. I'd be happy to write a review.

Grandpa Chas S.

barbara
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Re: Which bike is best

I actually love the look of the rhoadescar, but by the time you add the extra's it becomes cost prohibitive. There is no comment on uphill power and I wonder how much of a problem it would be on country roads with hills and "real" cars.

barbara
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Re: Which bike is best

The E- Bike ($3495.00 +++) OK this bike seems to have it all, but again let us look at the price. With the extras I may as well buy a car. With this expense, I wonder why it can't go further than 20 miles. I stated when I asked for help, it is 10 miles to the store. Living in the foot hills, I would end up pushing it and groceries home huh?

barbara
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Re: Which bike is best

I keep searching for "The Bike". I came across the Eltra E-Flyer. It will be out in August and be around $2000.00. Has anyone heard any scuttlebutt about the bike or the company?

rakeshkdhawan
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Re: Which bike is best

Hi Grandpa Chas S.

chas_stevenson on Wed, 07/02/2008 - 14:01. wrote
Can you elaborate on this information when you say "controlled charging", are you referring to the BMS or the amount of charge from Regen?

We have 9 regeneration or exercise modes. Depending upon the level 1-9 (9 being the highest), you can decide how much current goes back to the battery. That is what I was referring to as "controlled charging".

chas_stevenson on Wed, 07/02/2008 - 14:01. wrote
If you are going to write an add why would you mix apples and oranges (Top Speed and Assist Speed limits)? With this new information I may also assume that in fact the assist appears to be limited to 20 Mph on the 750 watt version causing the motor assist to be disabled at any speed above 20 MPH. Is this correct? However the 1000W version has no limit on the assist top speed. Is this correct?

You are absolutely correct in your interpretation.

chas_stevenson on Wed, 07/02/2008 - 14:01. wrotewish I could try one out for 30 days. I'd be happy to write a review.

That is definitely possible. Please let me know where do you live and we can see what we can do.

I do appreciate your comments. They have been very helpful.

Best,
Rakesh

E+ Electric Bicycle by Electric Motion Systems
http://www.electricmotionsystems.com

rakeshkdhawan
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Re: Which bike is best

That is quite an interesting vehicle.

E+ Electric Bicycle by Electric Motion Systems
http://www.electricmotionsystems.com

rakeshkdhawan
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Re: Which bike is best

Hi Barbara:

Here are answers to some of your questions:

barbara on Wed, 07/02/2008 - 14:37. wrote
The E- Bike ($3495.00 +++) OK this bike seems to have it all, but again let us look at the price. With the extras I may as well buy a car. With this expense, I wonder why it can't go further than 20 miles. I stated when I asked for help, it is 10 miles to the store. Living in the foot hills, I would end up pushing it and groceries home huh?

I and some of my team members have been working in the field of Electric Bicycles for almost 8 years. This is a very inexpensive bicycle for the performance, features, power, elegance, reliability and safety. We know that E+ Electric Bicycle will give you years of service without a hitch.

Secondly, Cost of running an E+ is merely 0.3¢ compared to 20¢ for an average car. The cost of ownership of E+ is 6.3¢ per mile compared to 59¢ for an average car. Here is a quick comparison of the car cost vs. E+

E+ Newsletter

Thirdly, 20 miles range is with no pedaling. Once you begin to mix pedaling with motor assistance, the range can go up significantly. Please check out a review of this product: Loudoun Times/.

Fourthly, we have three financing plans. You can own E+ for less than $3 per day. Please check out the financing plans at our web site.

Best,
Rakesh

E+ Electric Bicycle by Electric Motion Systems
http://www.electricmotionsystems.com

jerryt
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Re: Which bike is best

Hi Barbara,
Heres my short answer;
I'm a little older than you and have looked at bikes in your price range at
http://www.jvbike.com/
You can choose from several bike brands and they will install an electric kit for you.

I recommend you look at one with an eZee motor kit. It has all the components you need including a Lithium 36v9a battery which may meet your requirement especially if you choose a good bike for pedalling.

This motor is lighter weight than most and has a freewheel for riding when the motor is off (all other motors will create drag when turned off). This motor and controller are sealed from water. Read more here
http://ebikes.ca/ezee/

The eZee kit is $1250 leaving $750 for a nice bike/shipping and this company will assemble it for you free. Call for information.

Heres my long answer:
As you politely noted, neither of the recommended products meet your requirement, especially when a person is pushing his own product. I'm assuming you're pretty new at this but frankly, so am I but heres what I know.

Its gonna be a problem buying prebuilt @ $2000 for traveling 20 miles round-rip including hills however, it can be done.(I believe you should forget about carrying a second person).

The main concern is batteries. You need a good chemistry battery (preferably lithium but maybe nickel hydride) to keep the weight down. These batteries are spendy. Sealed lead acid (SLA) is cheap and good but very heavy and not good for pedalling. Many people (usually guys) buid their own e-bike thus keeping cost down for higher priced (read better)batteries.

An additional higher cost is the motor kit (I'm talking about hub motors which I recommend). The higher to lower cost ones are Bionx, eZee, Crystalyte (mid range power), Wilderness Energy, Golden and others. All of these seem to be reliable and efficient.

I'm thinking you want gears for when you pedal so when you talk to an e-bike salesman make sure you understand how the throttle is installed in relation to the gear shifter.

Here is my limited experience; I built my bike using a Wilderness 36v10a kit with SLA's. The bike is heavy and I am heavy (240)and my area is totally flat. The range was approximately 20 miles or less with minimal pedalling and moderate speed (15-18 mph).

My 2nd bike is a prebuilt eZee Quando with a 36v9a NiMh with a range of 12-15 miles.

Good Luck

barbara
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Re: Which bike is best

Yes, you are right...this is my first time out with an electric bike and the info is actually mind numbing. We do not have electric bike dealers anywhere around me and that is part of the problem...
Thank you... Finally someone actually read my request for help and gave an honest to goodness make no money reply... I will go back and look at your suggestions and really thanks again.

Where are all the other bikers with advice?

MikeB
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Re: Which bike is best

Hi Barbara,

I won't claim it's the best, but here is another possible choice to look at. I just purchased the eZee Forza two weeks ago, and have been using it on my commute here in Atlanta. My trip has a few moderately steep hills on it, and I can take either the short route for 5 miles or the long route for 10 miles. I tend to take the longer route on the way home and pedal more, so both trips seem to use about the same amount of battery: 2 hour recharge out of a possible 5. I think a 20 mile round trip should be possible, but I haven't done one yet (I can recharge during the day at my office).

My bike came with a lithium battery, and it does the standard 20+mph on the flat with no problem. Up the steep hills is a different story, it's more like 8-10mph and I like to help a bit, but the bike is still doing most of the work.

The eZee Torq II is almost the same bike, slightly lower end components but same motor. Both come nicely equipped with things like lights, bike computer, and rear rack.

http://nycewheels.com/ezee-forza-electric-bike.html
http://nycewheels.com/ezee-torq-electric-bike.html

Given your budget, either one might make a reasonable choice.

My electric vehicle: CuMoCo C130 scooter.

jerryt
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Re: Which bike is best

Barbara see PM

Steve J
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Re: Which bike is best

I own an Ezee Torque, It does quite well on the hills you do have to pedal speed around 15mph. On the flats 20 mph range with pedaling 24 miles. Very depedable in the rain. Dealing with flat tires can be tough as these bikes are not equipped with quick release wheels, so line your tires with kevlar strips. A few iisues had to replace the throttle after 3 months. The issue on all the electric bikes comes down to the riders weight this will effect top speed and distance. If you live in a windy area that cuts back on speed and range. The Ezee Torque is alot of fun and it is really nice to peel past regular high priced road bikes.

spinningmagnets
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Re: Which bike is best

Dear Barbara, would you consider adding an electric kit to a standard 3-wheel bicycle, the kind with two wheels in the back and a cargo basket behind the seat? similar to this?

http://www.amazon.com/Schwinn-Meridian-Adult-26-Inch-3-Wheel/dp/B000IORU06

Your budget will certainly allow for the battery range you want, but long range may mean some battery packaging challenges. I don't have an E-bike yet, but I have been studying here for a while.

If you are certain you want some type of two-wheeler, I would personally investigate the 650-Watt Cyclone kit. It pulls the front pedal gear through a free-wheel, so the motor will work the gears on the rear wheel (whether you pedal or not).

Your speed would slow down when tackling hills, but letting the motor use gears means you will have fewer problems with overheating the motor and controller, and also you should get very good mileage from a modest battery pack.

barbara
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Re: Which bike is best

Goodmorning!

Actually I have been looking more and more at the trikes. I like the heighth of your suggestion, and really seem to be leaning toward the reumbant.. The problem, both good and bed, with the add on kit is who would install it. Then again I could perhaps have more power without being pulled over the the local officers....

Will check your Cyclone kit out. Thanks for your suggestions.

dogman
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Re: Which bike is best

I love my grocery getter trike,but my store is 8 miles away, round trip. But it is very comfy and cost was minimal. Start with a Schwinn trike. I got mine at wallmart, ordered online and shipped to the store. The mistake I made was to get a one speed. Get the three speed even if it costs a bit more at a different retailer. Then a front hub kit is really pretty easy to install, or have someone install. Send me a message if you need advise on the installation. I would recomend the Wilderness BL 36 (brushless) or the BD 36 (brushed) if the hills are really steep. This should all cost well under $1000, but you will need a big litium battery to have 20 plus miles of range. One very good option would be a Ping Lifpo4 36volt 20 amp hour battery. It should be about $500 or so. Ping sells on ebay, just email him to go around the auction. The lead sla batteries that come with the bike will take you about 6 to 8 miles depending on speed, and the Ping would take you about 15 miles. That should just do you, or if you have the money, get two of the Lifepo4's and run one outbound and the other back. The nice thing about the trike is it can carry lotsa batteries. See dogmans bikes in the WE section for photos of it.

Riding in the rain is another issue, lotsa folks are starting to have problems. The best answer seems to be, turn it off and peadal or take cover. Peadling an unpowered trike is going to be awful, so get the three speed, you will need the lowest gear for sure. If the storm passes and you kept the electronics dry you could power up and ride home carefully through a few puddles, but if there is water in the controller or hub you will fry stuff unless it gets dried out first. I'm carrying a couple big trash bags to cover stuff if caught out. A very light sprinkle can be ridden through, I'm talking about real rain here where you want to hide somewhere anyway.

Be the pack leader.
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dogman
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Re: Which bike is best

I just looked at trikes on the jvbike link in the previous post. The top one looked very nice, and seemed to look a lot like a wilderness energy hub on it. The five speeds is very nice. If you really have hills, like 500 feet of climb in a mile, then you will need either a chain drive motor that uses the bikes gears, or a geared hub motor, and a really big battery like two 20 ah lifepo4's. My trike, if I ride it to work with the lifepo4 battery, will go 14 miles climbing 700 vertical feet. 20 mile range is a real challenge for a bike that climbs a hill, but trikes can carry a lot of battery. The same battery will go 20 miles on the mountain bike. less weight and wind resistance. Bear in mind, on range, that some days you will ride in wind, so figure you need about 30% more range than the ride you plan on. If it was downhill home, you could get away with a lot less.

Be the pack leader.
36 volt sla schwinn beach cruiser
36 volt lifepo4 mongoose mtb
24 volt sla + nicad EV Global

barbara
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Re: Which bike is best

Thanks for the advice.

Now.. When you are talking gears, does that mean you have to shift, like in a car? If so, can you tell when to shift up or down? Do they make automatics?
The last bike I had was 1958, big and heavy.

What is this derailler thing everyone talks about? Can that be burned up?

Have you seen the recumbent trikes? I kinda like the look but they are more $$. I like the Schwinn because the tires are larger...

Can a larger watt motor be installed? I was thinking about the 1500 watt to really give me a boost. It is 10 miles one way to the store and 8 miles one way to my sisters, so I really want to be able to get home and not push!

Who can install this stuff if I have to buy it in pieces? I called every bike store in a 40 mile radius and not one electric bike to be had..

Barbara

spinningmagnets
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Re: Which bike is best

Dear Barbara, you are doing the right thing by doing some research ahead of time.

A DeRaillier is the exposed gears just like on the back of a common 10-speed (I guess their up to 18-speeds now too!).

Life is short, so you should get what will make you happy, but my concern with the recumbents is that you are more likely to get hit by a car because they can't see you! They are important for someone who has back problems, but thats another issue...

The common 3-speed internally geared bike has the three gears inside the rear hub. They are common on standard trikes. Heinzmann makes a REALLY expensive 14-speed internally geared hub, but Shimano makes a reasonably priced 5-speed, or 7-speed. (Go to "Sheldon Brown's website)

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/

A huge motor (1500 watt?) will have lots of power on hills, but it will drain your battery very fast, even if you are just cruising along. It's hard to see what kind of hills you are experiencing. The trick is to get the smallest motor that will satisfy your horsepower needs without over-heating, then get the biggest battery you can afford..

schnelsr
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Re: Which bike is best

I have a Crystalyte Racer 48V 40A system mounted on an old mountain bike. I have done about 20 miles on a single charge with some pedaling and keeping my speed down. It is NOT legal (1920 watts, 35 MPH top speed) but haven't had any issues with the law (knock on wood) in about 550 miles. You could mount it on an old mountain bike (check craigslist in your area) for less than $2000.00. If you can handle a wrench at all you should be able to mount it up. I have had it sit out in the rain and have done a few miles in light rain without any trouble (knock on wood again - and I will break out the silicone caulk).

Is it the "best"? That's tough to define, but conceptually it seems pretty good. I like the hub motor design and the overall package works great. It has a "cruise control" that holds the throttle setting and it accelerates up the steepest hill I can find (out of a river valley in Milwaukee, probably 15% or better). I mounted the batteries in a Topeak rack trunk and it is a handful but putting them in the (supplied) baskets would lower the CG enough to make it easier to deal with. It also allows battery substitution if range is inadequate. If you use it enough to burn out the SLA's, you should consider the LiFePO4's - because they will recharge more times, they will (at least theoreticaly) cost less per charge.

The electricmotionsystems thing is kind of cool with the batteries in the hub but you are then stuck with them and they seem quite limited. The space is small and they are using (correct me if I'm wrong but I did quite a bit or research before spending $2000.00+ online with a bunch more to come) D-size Nickle Hydrides. These are hard to replace with the superior LiFePO4's and if you do you end up with an empty hub and their instrumentation and regeneration are probably out of the picture. Their instrumentation is nice too but it still won't get you more miles. The regeneration is REALLY cool and will get you more miles but, given the physics, it probably is only a mile or two. Pedaling to recharge the battery at relativly low efficiency seems somewhat counterproductive.

That's my two cents...

dogman
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Re: Which bike is best

If you want to keep it simple, the scwinn meridia comes in a three speed model that is simple to shift since the gears are in the rear hub. This is the retro type gearing that your bike could have had in 1958. If you get a hub motor, the WE or the 400 series chrystalites will be all the power you should need unless the hills are really that killer. One thing about trikes, they like to stay under 15mph, which is still pretty fast. With the Wilderness bd36 the trike will go about 22 mph so you have plenty of speed with only 600 watts. Range will be your issue, and to get that you need to go slow anyway, and the trikes can carry that much battery and groceries. Trailers work too, but I sure like the trike for grocery runs. Any competent handyman can easily install a bike hub motor kit. A local teenager that rides a bike could handle it easy. And we will provide all the info you need.

Be the pack leader.
36 volt sla schwinn beach cruiser
36 volt lifepo4 mongoose mtb
24 volt sla + nicad EV Global

dumb_doggy
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Re: Which bike is best

Barbara,
As I am 63, I was looking for the same things you are, and I settled on the Bionx PL 350. So far it is exactly what I wanted. I use assist level 2 all the time, and get consistent 30+ miles per charge, at about 75% discharge. It mounted without incident on my Trek 7500 hybrid, and it has flattened all the hills around here for me. I weigh 220 lbs.

So far I don't have a single complaint, except it took a long time for delivery.

evDreamer
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Re: Which bike is best

At the bottom of the Amazon link I saw a ready-made electric tricycle for under $950 (free shipping!)
http://www.amazon.com/Tricruiser-Electric-Tricycle-24-Inch-Wheels/dp/B0017K10V0/ref=pd_sbs_sg_2

The 2 reviewers gave it 4.5 stars out of 5.

miro13car
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Re: Which bike is best

I own Tidal Force bike Canadian model /restricted to 500W/.
I read and posted on all major ebike forums a lot. Very knowledgeable one is Endless Sphere.
If you are not mechanically/electrically inclined by all means get high quality ebike.
In general made in USA means quality.
I paid Can$3500 plus tax for my TidalForce and it was one of the best purchases in my life.
Just look at cost of ebike in terms of gasoline fill ups for your car.
I own 6 cylinder car so in about 2 years my TF paid for itself.
You have to think about battery on any ebike as a temporary thing.
My original factory battery lasted 3 summers.
E+ bike is of course upgraded TForce bike - no doubt about it.
Or you can say E+ is based on TForce.
Of course you cannot say that E+ has nothing common with TF, how much common? I would say alot common with TF.

CM

robert93
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Re: Which bike is best

Hi Barbara,
I'm legally blind and have been bicycling for transport for many years. I've recently found out that E-bikes are legal options for me, and as a result have been going hog wild with research myself. My first advice is , be careful, there is snake-oil all over this business. Doing as much research as possible on both the design and the dealer is the best course. What some of the vendors who claim "street legal" overlook is often the 20mph limit in some places means after 20mph, the motor is NOT supposed to help you. For Ca, Tx, and Ga, the state Watt limit is 1000watts. Anything larger willl need to be considered a moped, or other vehicle depending on definitions by law. Offhand, I cant remember California regulations.
I noticed from your posts you dont have any electric bike dealers near, but, do you have a local bicycle shop that is willing to work on a converted "standard brand" bicycle or trike? If so, the SunBicycles EZ-3 wouldnt be a bad choice to build from. I own an EZ-1 and have found it to be enjoyable and quite serviceable as a bicycle, and may even electrify it before all is said and done. I did run across this place that has a conversion for these bikes..... http://www.electric-bikes.com/betterbikes/e-4.html Also Ecospeed has a similar drive system for recumbents http://www.ecospeed.com A former Easy Racers employee who respect greatly did this EZ-1 build. http://www.evalbum.com/362 I did notice he didnt post the range for his ride though :-)
This Friday i will be taking delivery on a scooter-style ebike from SoCal, and will be trying it on some of Georgia's "just wrong rollers" of hills in south metro Atlanta. If it turns out well, I will be posting about it.

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