By Jason Fogelson | September 3, 2019 12:00 PM
I love getting around on two wheels. I ride my motorcycle whenever I can, and I’m considering adding an electric motorcycle to my garage soon. Every time I take a trip on a motorcycle, I feel like I’m doing my part to reduce congestion on the roadways. Look around next time you’re on the road, and imagine how much easier it would be to maneuver through traffic if all of those SUVs and pickup trucks with one person in the cabin were magically replaced by riders on two wheels.
I realize that not every driver is a candidate for a motorcycle. But many SUV trips could easily be accomplished on a bicycle, and with the explosion of electric bicycles on the market, many drivers could easily become bicyclists.
Electric bicycles have many great features. First of all, if you can ride a bicycle, you can ride an electric bicycle – no special skills required, and no license is needed. You can park virtually anywhere, and you can ride in bike paths and on trails. You don’t need to be particularly fit to ride an electric bike, even for trips of multiple miles. Most electric bikes provide pedal assist, and some can operate on battery power alone. Electric bikes flatten out hills, and take the sweat out of riding. They come in many styles and at a wide range of price points. You can charge them overnight for pennies worth of electricity on household current. Best of all, they’re fun to ride.
Here are three electric bikes I’ve ridden recently.
Manufactured in California and shipped fully assembled, the Electric Bike Company Model C Classic is an affordable, stylish cruiser with some really great features. Perhaps best of all is the integrated charging system with a retractable cord – just plug in to a standard 120-volt household circuit with no special charger required. Electric Bike owns 50% of battery manufacturer Turnlife USA, which allows them to equip their bikes with a specially matched power source. The Classic’s sturdy frame is hydroformed from aluminum and coated in a seven-step process, so it is light, very rigid and beautifully finished. The maintenance-free electric motor carries a 10-year unlimited warranty, and is expected to last over 18 years. The bike is fitted with Tektro hydraulic disc brakes, Jetset aluminum rims, Maxxis puncture-resistant tires, a Neco headset, a SunTour suspension seat post, leather grips and seat, and all of the hardware is stainless steel. Pedal assist is built in, and the bike has a thumb throttle. The Classic doesn’t use a mechanical gearing system, defaulting to a five-level pedal assist function. Range for the base model (11.6Ah/48-volt battery) is 20 miles without pedaling, and up to 50 miles with pedaling at Pedal Assist mode level 2.