About E-Bikes

What is an E-Bike?

E-bicycles are like traditional bikes, but with a battery-powered assist. The can be built from the ground up as an electric, or be a regular bike with power added. They look and perform just like any quality bike but with the ability to cruise unassisted at speeds up to 18 mph. They can be belt, chain or friction driven. Chain drive is most common because it can free-wheel, needs little maintenance and is very quiet.

E-bicycles open up the world of cycling to everyone, regardless of age, or level of fitness, you can have fun with e-bicycles. Whether you want to push your body to the limits or just want practical and efficient transportation ... an e-bicycle is perfect.

Are they hard to work on?

No harder than a regular bicycle. Chain drive requires lubrication, just like the regular bike chain.  Hub motors donít even need that. Bolts should be kept tightened, and brake wear monitored.  Be sure to charge your batteries after every ride for longest life. Iíve put ďMr. TuffyĒ tire liners in both tires to help avoid flat tires (and I havenít had one since).

Are they legal in Oregon?

The answer is a resounding yes!  Oregon Senate Bill 173, passed in 2002 provides for electric and gas bicycles and scooters.  To be legal, you must be over 16, wear a helmet, and obey all the normal traffic laws that apply to bicyclists.

How about range and charging times?

This depends on several factors. Range depends on a number of factors - rider weight, battery size, the number of hills and how much you pedal to name a few. My setup has two 12V, 12 amp-hour batteries, and will go 10 miles easy, and re-charge in 8 hours (or less with a high-capacity charger). Sealed Lead-acid (SLA) batteries last up to two years and can re re-charged hundreds of times. They are also inexpensive, costing as little as $22.00 each in this size.

Where can you get E-bike parts and kits?

Parts are available easily and quickly via mail order.  One of the best stores on the web is EVdeals.com who has a great reputation of fast and caring service. I also like ElectricScooterParts.com. To see more places to get bikes and kits, check out my ďlinksĒ page.

Where can I learn more?

There are lots of sources on the web to learn about electric bicycles. Try some of the sites on my ďlinksĒ page. Join a forum, read the posts, ask questions and start thinking about how you can join the Light Electric Vehicle Revolution!.

Why I ride an electric bicycle...

Many people would say that the complexity and weight of adding electric power assist to a bicycle defeats itís elegant simplicity. They may remind you how electricity is still a natural resource.

Well, I enjoy thinking that Iím not starting my car every time I want to go get a video or something from the corner store, but thatís not why I ride my electric bicycle. I ride it because for the sheer joy and exhilaration it provides.

I can remember being 17 years old and feeling like I could fly on my bike. Now, almost 35 years later, I canít ďflyĒ very far before I am too tired to enjoy the ride.

Sure, on level ground I can pedal for quite a while and maintain a decent speed. But the terrain in my town isnít like that. Itís hilly and varied, which is one of the things that keeps me here.

When I set out on my electric bicycle, I am Superman. I can zoom across level ground at almost 19MPH unaided. I can power up steep hills in high gear. I can pedal as hard as I want, or take a break and still keep moving along. In 30 minutes, I can travel seven miles, see a variety of people and places, and still get an excellent workout.

Itís my electric freedom machine

S. Duncan 12/2007

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