With the current conditions in our economy and the price of a gallon of gas, everyone is finding the need to tighten their belts. Many people have found themselves out of work and not able to afford car payments and the associated insurance. Thoughts turn to several different versions of reliable transportation. One alternative may be the electric bike.
What is an electric bike? An electric bicycle is a regular bicycle but with an addition: a motor. The motor can be attached in many ways and aid the cyclist in many ways. Most people who use bicycles as forms of transportation do not have the stamina to travel long distances with heavy loads. A motorized bicycle may be the answer. The electric version has a motor with a rechargeable battery and is legal to travel on most roads. Sidewalks are unsafe for bicycles as motorists are not looking for them at intersections and may not see the cyclist until it is too late to avoid a crash.
E-bikes as they are also called only assist the cyclist and may improve the speed of someone who averages 10 mph by 5 to 10 miles per hour. Unlike a moped, the legal maximum speed of an e-bike is 20 miles per hour. The legal speed of a moped is 30 miles per hour. An e-bike works best when the cyclist pedals and is not designed to act as a motorcycle. The battery has a recharge time of several hours and a normal range of about 10 miles depending on conditions such as power of the battery, wind speed and terrain. A factor to consider may be the size and weight of the battery. A car battery on a trailer attached to the bicycle may give more power but the extra weight may not be worth the extra power it provides or the extra expense.
Some practical uses of an electric bike include running errands and a stress-free ride to work. Most errands can be completed in a short amount of time and a trailer can be attached which could provide storage for parcels, bags of groceries and packages. Those who have a short distance to drive to work may appreciate avoiding traffic jams to get to work in a shorter amount of time.
There are a multitude of models of electric bicycles. Some of the newer models conceal the motor and battery in the frame of the bicycle proving once again that smaller can be better. In the case of the e-bike, smaller may also be lighter and more efficient. Some motor and battery packs can be bought and installed at home with only the instructions and the ability to turn a wrench. These kits start at around $500. Others called “purpose-built” require special installation and are generally more expensive. The cost saving can be tremendous over time no matter what version is chosen.
Source by Delbert Laird