On a trip to Palo Alto last year, we had the chance to ride Specialized’s pedal-assisted Turbo Vado and the model is still our favorite ebike on the market. Utilizing a 350-watt motor and 604-watt-hour lithium-ion battery, the Turbo Vado is capable of traveling a whopping 80 miles on a single charge, which should be more than enough for any daily commute with plenty of miles left over.
“Even if you deal with the tubing supply chain and consumer retail price tolerance, there is no supply chain here for the cables, shifters, crank sets, chains, saddles, and every other part. It would take decades to set all of this up, but you would first have to get consumers to the point where they will pay $1,800 for the bike that they could get for $400.”
The two most common types of hub motors used in electric bicycles are brushed and brushless. Many configurations are available, varying in cost and complexity; direct-drive and geared motor units are both used. An electric power-assist system may be added to almost any pedal cycle using chain drive, belt drive, hub motors or friction drive. BLDC hub motors are a common modern design. The motor is built into the wheel hub itself, and the stator fixed solidly to the axle, and the magnets attached to and rotating with the wheel. The bicycle wheel hub is the motor. The power levels of motors used are influenced by available legal categories and are often, but not always limited to under 750 watts.
Pedal Assist Electric Bikes, also known as "E-bikes," are bicycles that have an electric motor to assist riders. The motor is powered by a battery and only assists the cyclist when he/she is pedaling. Electric bikes come in many different styles including commuter, recreational, step-thru with low-entry frames, cargo and mountain. They all have one thing in common: e-bikes are very simple to ride – if you can ride a bike you can ride an electric bike!
The other thing to consider is that this is a Kickstarter project, so you aren’t directly purchasing from the company, but rather “backing the project” in exchange for a bike. Technically, Stark Drive, or any Kickstarter creator, could cut and run with the money, leaving their backers without legal recourse. In this case though, Stark Drive has already run a successful crowdfunding campaign for their previous bike and demonstrated their ability to deliver, so this is probably at least somewhat safer than a brand new Kickstarter start-up.
Yes, there are less expensive ebikes on the market but most come with a few serious caveats. The Espin Sport delivers on the full promise of an electric bike, but in a more affordable fashion. This bike isn’t going to tow you around for a 60-mile round-trip endeavor but those seeking their first ebike will get plenty of return on their investment with this model.
This article first appeared in Electric Bike Report in June of 2013. Since then, we’ve made some changes to our motor selection - our Direct-Drive motors are now all High-Torque 6x9 wound, so they run slower (approximately 15mph at 36v or 20mph at 48v), and our Geared Motors have been replaced by a 500w version, (approximately 20mph at 36v or 28mph at 48v). The Direct-Drive is now our Heavy-Duty motor and the...
An anti-theft radio GPS that mounts to standard bottle cage bosses and can locate within 9 feet, it runs on the Verizon network and costs $5/mo in addition to the hardware. Integrated vibration sensing alarm sends an automated text message alerting you anytime the bike has been "locked" using the companion smartphone application (Android or iOS)...
E-bike usage worldwide has experienced rapid growth since 1998. In 2016 there were 210 million electric bikes worldwide used daily. It is estimated that there were roughly 120 million e-bikes in China in early 2010, and sales are expanding rapidly in India, the United States of America, Germany, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. A total of 700,000 e-bikes were sold in Europe in 2010, up from 200,000 in 2007 and 500,000 units in 2009.
Thank you Clean Republic for coming to my rescue when I had a battery issue last year. Under Warranty at 11.5 months, they without hesitation sent me an entire new $355 Battery pack when mine began to fail. I've gotten so much life, miles, and usage out of my Hill Topper from this first one and am about to replace the batteries again from so much more love on them. Seems the hub motor is going to last forever and that's what counts! Thanks guys! :)
Another independent e-bike dealership, Adam Solar Rides in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is also feeling the crunch. With essentially zero low-cost electric bicycle manufacturers in the US, Adam Solar Rides imports their entire lineup of electric bicycles from abroad, mostly from China. Like many small businesses owners, they are left with questions about how exactly the unclear tariffs might affect them and other e-bike dealers.
Of course the specs are nuts. Shimano Deore XT Shadow+ drivetrain, Magura MT4 hydraulic disc brakes, Mach 1 rims, and Schwalbe G-One tires make this not only an incredible commuter, but really a solid racing bike if you want to challenge another ebiker. The G-One tires I just love. They’re slick enough to keep you up to speed, but have a good amount of knobiness so that you can handle bad weather.
I wanted to include an electric bike that would be ideal for off-road and trail bike touring, and I think the Bulls E-Stream Evo 3 27.5 Plus is it. This hardtail mountain bike would be perfect for bike tourists going out on the trails for a few days. You could conceivably go for a few days without needing to recharge the Brose 650 watt hour battery, so even if your camping in the wilderness with nowhere to recharge for 60-100 miles you would likely be fine on battery life.
What we especially love is how quiet this e bicycle is. If you’re riding down the street or through the park, the gentle hum of the motor is unnoticeable. This is because it’s hidden by the sound of your smooth pedaling. If you’re not into flashy gadgets, any ordinary person would assume you’re riding a conventional peddle bike. This is a great commuter bike.
Weight: The biggest practical difference between an electric bike and a standard one is the weight. Those batteries and motors are heavy! Of course, the weight is more than offset by the power assistance, but if you have to manually lift or maneuver your bike a lot, this will be a consideration. And if you cycle long distances, don’t forget that if your battery runs flat, the extra weight will make riding even harder.
What a treat to do business with the folks at Hill Topper. I now have two commuter units one in Idaho and one in Denver my average ride is 25 to 35 miles. I have been riding for about 15 years but being the age of 80 I needed a little help the past few years. I researched electric bikes a few years ago even rode a couple here in Denver but I wanted my own personal look and feel. So about five years ago I found Hill Toppers. What a treat first the units are the best but that is part of the good part the people at Hill Toppers are the very best to work with and enjoy. I had to have a knee replacement last July well thank god for my bike it was the best therapy I could ask for. When in Idaho I get to ride along the Snake river what a treat knowing that I have this unit to help if the wind or rain shows up. When in Denver I cover a lot of area as they have wonderful bike trails all over the area. I ride all of the downtown area and the Cherry Creek dam up and over it takes some effort to get that done but with the help of Hill topper it is a beautiful ride up and overlooking the whole of Colorado. Thank you Andrew,Charles,Sam,Mark.
We are making room for all the new models of Pedego electric bikes soon to arrive. Owners Jean & Terry of Pedego Denver electric bikes have always had the largest electric bike store in Colorado along with the largest selection of Pedego Bike models & colors. So with the unveiling of several new models & colors at the recent Pedego Dealer Conference in Newport Beach, CA. We realized that we needed more room to display them, so we decided to expand and even moved walls to do so. We now have over 5,000 square feet making Pedego Denver one of the largest showrooms in the nation and a true Mega Showroom. The new space also includes a new Pedego experience...
The Ancheer Power Plus can be ridden in pedal-assist mode or fully electric. The removable battery can be charged on or off the frame in 4-6 hours and you’ll get up to 31 miles from a single charge (15 miles if you don’t want to pedal). It’s a great bike for short commutes and light off-roading, though if you’re tall, you may find the one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t fit you.
The UpCycle Eco-Charger is a Powerful Bicycle Generator that Utilizes an E-BikeKit™ Hub Motor and Empowers You to Generate Your Own Electricity! The UpCycle Eco-Charger was created by Adam Boesel, the founder of The Green Microgym Say goodbye to worrying about environmental disasters and hello to making the world a better place. The UpCycle Eco-Charger is the most efficient, reliable, and powerful bicycle generator ever. Over the past two...
Introducing the future of performance and comfort, the Kinekt BodyFloat seatpost. The innovation isolation system, designed here in Washington, greatly enhances the endurance and enjoyment of riding a bike. Engineered to be infinitely tunable to fit your personal riding style and weight, Seattle Electric Bike is proud to offer this breakthrough seatpost for all your biking adventures.