Top 5 EBikes: Posted on
Review of The Electric Bike Company’s Model R, a cruiser style ebike with rugged tires that can be used as a commuter bike or for light trails.
Damian Juarez-Mrazek | Top5ebikes
Key Bike Facts
- Up to 28mph top throttle speed
- Up to 120 mile battery range
- Up to 1250 watt peak power motor
- 10 year frame and motor warranty. 5 year battery warranty
- Price: Starting at $2199
- To purchase: Click here
I can think of few places on this planet, better suited for ebike recreation, than beautiful Santa Barbara, California. The weather is spectacular year round. It’s hilly (but not too hilly). It’s small by city standards with ample residential streets you can use to bypass busy thoroughfares and it sports a gorgeous coastline that rivals any in California. In fact, having lived in Santa Barbara in short stints over the years, I’ve encountered many Santa Barbarites who embraced the car-less lifestyle long before ebikes became a popular means of transportation. It’s the kind of place where you could easily get by with just a moped style scooter or a decent road bike, as many UCSB students can attest to.
There was a time when it was pretty common to see a 50cc Honda or Vespa cruising down State Street but now that electric bicycles have come down in price, you can purchase a brand new ebike for nearly the same price as a used scooter. A casual search on Craigslist led me to a handful of Vespas for under three grand in the Southern California area. No disrespect to the Vespa, it’s a fine vehicle if you want to live out your Audrey Hepburn fantasy or if want something cool and timeless that sits in your garage for most of the year, save for the occasional weekend jaunt to the wineshop. As far as an everyday vehicle, it doesn’t make a lot of sense when you can have an ebike for the same price (or less) that you never have to take to the gas station and doesn’t even require a drivers license (more money in DMV fees) to operate.
Which brings me to The Electric Bike Company, makers of the quintessential electric bicycle for the Santa Barbara lifestyle- the electric beach cruiser. The beach cruiser has a long and storied history in southern California, where you can trace its heyday to the 1970s when recycled cruiser style bikes could be found in garage sales for basically the price of a six pack. Models like the Schwinn Cruiser and the Murray “Monterrey” became synonymous with places like Newport and Venice Beach and helped solidify in the minds of cruiser enthusiasts the defining characteristics of this venerable bike style.
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