After you decide which style of e-bike you want, consider the class. In the U.S., there are three classes defined by the type of assist and how fast the motor will propel you. Most electric bikes sold are class 1 or 3. Class 1 bikes have a motor (max 750w) that assists while you’re pedaling, up to 20 mph. Class 3, also known as “speed pedelec,” can also have up to a 750w motor, but it can assist you up to 28 mph. Both are allowed in most states and cities without requiring a license. Class 2 models have throttles that don’t require the rider to pedal in order to get a boost. They’re allowed on most streets, bike lanes, and paths, but are less popular than the other classes and not covered much here (because not only do we still love to pedal, we also prefer the greater distances that pedal-assist bikes can cover).
The Super Commuter is aptly named. The 350w Bosch motor sustains speeds up to 28mph, and the burly, 2.4-inch-wide Schwalbe Super Moto-X 650b tires keep you secure on even the roughest city streets. Shimano Deore hydraulic brakes provide ample stopping power. Fenders protect you from road spray so you arrive at your destination fresh. Integrated lights are critical for post-sunset riding, and a side-view mirror hanging on the left side of the handlebar gives a great view of traffic around you. Best of all, you can ride at the speed of urban traffic on the Super Commuter.
Rambo and Felt offer bikes with electric assist motors. The lithium ion batteries give you speeds of up to 20 mph and will travel 19 miles between charges on motor use alone. You can use the motor as a pedal assist if you like, which will give you even more distance on a battery. Sweating up a steep hill? Just switch on the motor for some assistance. There is some question about using the electric power on properties where no motorized vehicles are allowed, but a representative from Rambo told me the bike has been okayed by several state wildlife agencies.
Do the e-bikes don’t have any downside? Well, they do but it’s nothing of a deal-breaker. Well, the only real issue could be forgetting to plug in and charge the bike. The bulkiness could be another issue but the extra weight actually helps when going downhill. The maintenance is not much of a hassle too, as it does not require any extra care than a regular MTB.
A few days after receiving the bike I received an email from Homdox asking if everything arrived ok and how the bike was working out. I let them know about the broken handle on the gear shift and sent them pictures. They replied on the first business day that followed stating they'd send a replacement. So... impressions right now are good. Hopefully the part arrives quickly and is in fact the right part.
Unlike the manual mountain bikes where you would have to fully rely on pedaling, electric mountain bikes depend on an electric charge. As expected, the bike has a battery, which often determines how far one can go on a single charge. A good electric mountain bike should have a good storage capacity. Although most mountain bikes have nearly the same battery storage capacity, it is not uncommon to find one that falls below par. It is also good to know how it performs and uses the battery under different weather conditions terrain and depending on the rider’s weight.
In our view, e-bikes are approaching a crossroads in concept and design. Heading off in one direction are longer travel, enduro-style e-bikes, which are largely designed for cruising up and then blasting back down. Plotting a slightly different course is the idea of a lightweight model that rides much more like a normal mountain bike, but requires more work from the rider. Of the two approaches, both have their benefits, but it’s the latter that gets us the most excited. Once the overall weight falls into the 16-17kg range (the lightest bikes are currently19-20kg) it’s going to be really hard to tell the difference between an e-bike and a regular trail bike on the descents and the flat, but you get the benefit of a gentle push up the climbs.
Versatility Electric bikes are great for helping a rider keep up with a significantly fitter person. You will be able to go further with much less effort. And, eBikes make it practical to do things like effortlessly carrying a basketfull of groceries or ridiing with kids. You will soon find that electric bicycles make your life easier and more convenient in many ways. There are no special requirements since eBikes classified as bicycles, so no license or registration is required. Even more, eBikes let you sneak through gridlocked traffic and are very easy to locate parking for. You can recharge the battery to about 75% in 45 minutes, so they are always ready to go. How fast do electric mountain bikes go?