My love for electric bikes came together in a exciting way yesterday. Three friends and I had a chance to spend the afternoon on four completely different E-bikes, to ride and critique them. To say we had fun would not quite cover it. As always, the E-bike smiles ran rapid amongst the group. Let me tell you of the bikes and people involved.
Turbo—If you follow my blog, then you already know more about me than you want. I am a long time bike person who started young with long rides and repair skills. My wife and I got our electric-assist bikes about four years ago and have never looked back. My bike blog gives me the opportunity to ride a wide variety of E-bikes, with some loaned to me for extended evaluations.
CJ—A good friend from my teenaged hot-rod days, he is a pinball machine and video game technician. He has a old-school E-bike that was given to him after the owner had long abandoned his desire for it. (It was not working, of course.) He lives to the north of me, but was in town for a service call, and we made plans for him to stop by for the afternoon and some dinner.
Vincent—He is a new friend I met on Facebook from our common interest in electric bikes. He converted his mountain bike with a high-end kit a couple of years ago. Epic rides and the desire for a green planet keep him on his E-bike often. He is a web site designer with a musical talent that, if nurtured, could allow him to tour the world in luxury.
Daphne—She is Vincents’ girlfriend. A lovely and fun-loving person, today would be her first time riding an electric-motored bike. She was glad to be included and took to the bikes like a pro. I think hers was the biggest smile of all, as the E-bikes were powered down the bikeways and local roads.
eZip Mountain Trailz—This is my personal E-bike, the least expensive one on the market. I have documented all the repairs, mods, and up-grades in previous articles (check the ‘my bikes’ section, if you haven’t already). It is a 24 volt bike with an externally mounted motor. In the battery rack, was our lithium ‘New LiFe’ lightweight up-grade battery.
E-Joe Anggun—This new addition to the line-up of E-Joe E-bikes is a very friendly machine. It is a mid-priced bike with some awesome specs and power. The well-thought out assist system and comfortable riding position is sure to make this a big seller. I have become a behind-the-scenes technical product consultant for the E-Joe company, along with other firms, a position I enjoy immensely.
Gepida Reptila 1100—This European E-bike is very efficient and of the highest quality. A true pedelec, it is touted as a bike riders bike. Light and fast, it has only a 250 watt hub motor, but uses it to full effect. On loan to me from NYCeWheels, I have written of it before on this and the NYCeWheels’ site. Expect to hear more from me on this great riding E-bike.
BionX 48 volt Special Edition E-bike Conversion Kit on a Diamondback Sorrento mountain bike—Also on loan to me from NYCeWheels ( I love those guys), this top-of the-line kit is smooth, fast, and easy-to-install. The silent motor has auto-assist control and regenerative power capabilities. If you want the best that money can buy, don’t look any further.
The attendees have been named. After setting the seats and a quick info session on the controls, we headed over to a local park with long, wide bike paths. Everyone got to try each bike. From the dirt-cheap eZip to the two pricy E-bikes, and the one in-between, we pedaled and powered our way through the park. The bikes were handed around many times, as we voiced our likes and (almost non-existent) dislikes. We all could agree on one thing–this was a awesome way to experience E-bikes.
The BionX was a favorite because of the power and clean looking installation. The silent motor and intelligent pedal-assist were mentioned many times. The light-weight and balance of the bike make for a no-worries ride. When we headed away from the park for a tour of the neighborhood, this was the bike Daphne chose as her steed.
The Gepida is a big sized bike with a solid feel. It too has intelligent pedal-assist, and a good front-to-rear balance. It makes you work a little harder on the hills, but gives a great range on long-distance rides. I like the factory installed lighting package and the looks it offers. Even though it was on the large size for Daphne, she enjoyed the handling and looks too. CJ took command of this bike for our road ride.
The Anggun was the all-around favorite. The townie looks and riding comfort make for a perfect fit for most riders. Not as quick as the BionX, its top speed is slightly higher. The disc brakes were admired by all. Not just for the looks, but the stopping power and feel are exceptional. The dual-control power system, although a little touchy in the park setting, is perfect for the open road. Vincent mounted this bike as we hit the surrounding areas away from the park. I was glad to ride my trusty E-Zip.
After a fun and quality ride, we headed back to my house for a meal and some great conversation. Our friend Meredith was over, so I made sure to have her ride the E-Joe Anggun before we sat down to eat. Barbara put-together a tasty meal that we all enjoyed. The talk moved away from the bikes before long, but we had all decided that the winner on so many counts was the Anggun. Watch out E-Joe, I hope you have a large stock of these bikes, I forsee two new owners in your future.
I was so glad to finally meet Vincent. Spending time with Daphne was a pleasure. CJ and Meredith are old friends that make great company. Getting them altogether was the best. And what a fun way to do it, E-bike style. I always say I can only ride one bike at-a-time, but today I think I was proved wrong.
Get on a E-bike, you won’t regret it, Turbo Bob.
“The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart.”—Iris Murdoch, The Red and the Green.
NYCeWheels—on Facebook and the web
E-Joe Bikes—on Facebook and the web
Gepida Bikes—on Facebook and the web
BionX—on Facebook and the web