Our eZip E-bikes—Part 6—Riding and Performance

The mis-marked shifter

Wow, another series of articles comes to an end.   I don’t like to go on and on, but I wanted to make sure you got all the information about our quest to get our eZips up to the task at hand.   I really haven’t covered every last detail, but pretty close.   I hope this story helps you to decide your own personal direction towards getting an electric bike.

We have ridden our eZips quite a lot.   Since we got the bugs worked out, they have been very good bikes, (for the price).   It is a pleasure to twist the throttle and get that extra boost of power from the motor.   It is also fun to field the questions I get from people and other bike riders.   Most people don’t take a second look, (or first), but many are eager to find out about how they work, where to get them, and how they ride.

I find this bike to be very comfortable.   At first I thought the seat might not be to my liking.   As the miles go by, it has proven me wrong.   It is firm and has good contours.   The seating position suits me well.   The controls are well placed.   For what the bike is, it is easy to ride.

The shifting is nice for a low-end set-up.   One peculiarity is that the numbers on the shifter are marked backwards.   But it operates as you would think.   When I am commuting, I shift a lot.   When I am just tooling around, I will just leave it in a mid gear and use about 1/3-1/2 throttle.   That makes for an easy, non hurried ride.   It is very relaxing to just do about 10 MPH and look at the scenery.

When I am actually trying to keep a schedule, I will pedal firmly and use the power for hills, or to accelerate to speed quicker.   The motor will take the bike to about 16 MPH on its own on the level.   The only time you really go much faster than that is on a downhill run.   At first, I would let my speed build on the downhill, but I decided to keep my maximum speeds in the 20-25 MPH range.   The weakness of the front fork is a concern, and a face plant is to be avoided.   The fork has held up well, but I do have my doubts about its strength.

My wife’s bike seems to be a good fit for her.   I thought her seat would be ok, but she said it wasn’t a good fit.   The replacement seat we got at a big box store has worked much better.   She seems content with her riding position, and control adjustments.   Her bike has the battery selection/on-off switch on the back of the rack, which requires a dismount to switch from one battery to the other.   Mine is within reach below the seat.   Much more convenient than hers.

The weight of the bike is a minor drawback.   With both batteries and her gear, she claims her bike weighs 100 LBS.   That is not much of an exaggeration.   If the batteries go weak during a ride, that can make pedaling very hard.   So far, that has only been a problem for me the few times the connectors or batteries acted up.   In normal riding, we both have enough power to complete the journey with power to spare.   When I ride with just one battery, the bike does feel noticeably more agile.   We both desire a bike with a lower weight number.   Less weight=more cost.   We are considering getting newer style, lighter bikes at some point.   For now, these are working out just fine.

A couple of things you might want to avoid are–don’t give the bike throttle if you are not sitting on the seat.   It might want to do a wheelie.   I do like to use a little power as I first take off.   This makes for a smoother, less wobbly start.   Just make sure you are sitting, and add a minor amount of throttle.   The other, is the fact that you can’t stand up on the pedals to pedal hard.   The bike is too top-heavy, and will wobble in a very uncontrolled manner.   These are things you might find out on your own.   I thought a warning is in order.

As you ride, it is up to you how much power you give to the pedals and how much power you use from the motor.   It should be easy to understand that the less you use the motor, the longer the battery charge will last.   We ride about 10 miles each way, and with both batteries, the power stays available.   I have to admit, that I use the motor power more than her.   My ride also has longer, steeper hills than hers.

The batteries have held up to the test of time better that I expected.   They have been recharged countless times.   The fact that they need to be recharged immediately after each use, has kept us from using the bikes on some rides.   If we are going somewhere with no power outlets, than we take our regular bikes.   Also, the two bikes are larger and heavier than our regular bikes, so loading them into my small station wagon is a bear.   So, once again, we take our regular bikes for trips that require a drive to get there.

I am glad we got the fenders.   We try not to ride in the rain, but you can’t control the weather.   Also, you can’t avoid every puddle you see.   The lighting package we have, has been very effective.   They are well worth the minor expense and are used on every ride.   I am fully convinced that using them in the daytime has paid off over and over.   I strongly recommend to all riders, use blinking lights, front and rear at all times.

I have seen many U-tube videos on modifications people have made to their eZips.   Some very wise, and some a little silly.   Installing a better fork makes performance and safety sense, but not economic sense.   Going with a 36 volt lithium battery will give much better power and riding duration, but at the cost of losing your rack use and overheating the motor.   Adding turn signals is not on my list of necessities.   The fun of owning a bike can be in the changes you make to it.   Just don’t go overboard.

I do think we will upgrade to the new Currie lithium battery.   I have considered the 36 volt alterative.   I will keep you abreast on the decision and outcome of the change.

There you have it.   A comprehensive report on the Currie eZip bike.   Reread all the articles to make the choice of it being the right bike for you.   For the price, they are hard to beat.   Just be ready to take on the things that you might have to fix or change to turn it into a comfortable and reliable form of transportation.

I have some great stories and test rides coming up soon.   Thanks, Turbo Bob.

“A good cyclist does not need a high road.”—Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventure of the Priory School.

More info on E-bikes can be found at http://www.nycewheels.com

Rent or buy an E-bike in SD http://www.iselectricbikecenter.com


About Turbo Bob's Bicycle Blog

E-bike Enthusiast Vintage Bike Enthusiast
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2 Responses to Our eZip E-bikes—Part 6—Riding and Performance

  1. Francoise says:

    Is is true for Lithium-Ion batteries too, that they have to be recharged immediately?
    I am shopping for an electric bike, but I was planning to get it in the van and ride at local parks. There would be a couple of hours between the ride and the recharging.

    Great articles, Turbo. I am really learning a lot from your blog.

    • Francoise, thanks for reading and the compliment.
      Lithium batteries have much more lee-way when it comes to such things, The two main things to be careful of are—1. Don’t let it sit fully or near fully discharged for more than a month of two (or a short time either). That can damage it to the point of not taking a charge.—-2. Try not to fully deplete it on any given ride. It will last longer if you avoid this.
      Unlike a SLA battery, they are not affected by sitting partially dischared for hours, days or weeks at a time. They don’t like direct sunlight (on a hot day) for too long, but can handle some. Leaving it in a closed car in the summer is best avoided too.
      Also, when charging a lithium battery, connect the charger to the battery first. Then wait 3-8 seconds before plugging the charger into the wall socket. Same when the charge is done. Unplug the charger from the wall—wait—then unplug it from the battery. The battery and charger have ‘brains’ in them that need to connect before the wall power is added or removed.
      I guess I will need to do a post that covers all I know about these great batteries.

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