Recommendations for Electric Bicycles

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Electric Bicycles

The advantages of the electric bicycle are numerous, and with the recent development of the lithium-ion battery system, the benefits of these e-bikes have multiplied even greater.

Healthy
Power assisted cycling gives a new sense of freedom and mobility to people suffering from degenerative joint disease and arthritis. Depending on the e-bike, the rider can choose several degrees of motor power from a "twist & go" full power, to pedal assist, to pedal power only.

Eco-friendly
In these environmentally conscious times, the quiet zero-emission electric motor is getting a serious second look. Not dependant on expensive and non-sustainable fossil fuels, these bikes "refuel" at any electrical outlet. The newest e-bike models with lithium-ion batteries require even less recharge time. "Clean & Green" is the perfect motto for today's electric bicycles.

Affordable
Although some of the high-end models look pricey at first glance, they recharge their energy for mere pennies. Compare that to the cost of the gasoline required for day to day commuting and the electric bicycle looks absolutely cheap in relation. And forget about needing auto or motorcycle insurance.

Convenient
Urban commuters in Europe and Asia have been using electric bikes for decades. Quicker than the fastest walker but relatively unaffected by traffic snarls and urban gridlock, the e-bike is the perfect personal vehicle for short commutes and about town excursion riding.

Legality
The electric bicycle is still a bicycle. In most areas the e-bike is uneffected by any laws pertaining to mopeds, street scooters, and motorcycles. Electric bikes are usually permitted wherever pedal-only bikes are allowed.

We Recommend


eZip Trailz Hybrid Electric Bicycle

The eZip Trailz electric bike is our recommendation for a first class entry level e-bike. The eZip line is a bit heavier than their IZIP cousins, but the sturdy and rugged steel frame gives this heavy-duty electric bicycle the same dependability as the Mountain Trailz series. We like the more comfortable upright seating and smoother, all-terrain comfort tires. The Trailz e-bike is an affordable machine that is as much at home on the trail as it is on the sidewalk.

The Trailz uses a 450 watt chain-driven motor and 24V/10AH sealed lead acid (SLA) battery. A favorable benefit in our opinion is that you can mount an extra battery so your e-bike has twice the range. The twist-and-go (TAG) throttle doesn't require any initial peddling, but overuse will quickly deplete the amount of battery charge.

The eZip Trailz is a good way to get started, offering a good balance of comfort, ruggedness, dependability, and affordability. It is easily our recommendation for a good, solid, entry level electric bicycle.

IZIP Via Mezza Enlightened Hybrid Electric Folding Bicycle

The IZIP Via Mezza Enlightened electric bike is the next generation lithium-ion (Li-Ion) upscaled version of the popular IZIP Via Mezza folding bicycle. As mid-level e-bikes go, this one has the undeniable convenience of being able to fold up and take up very little space when not in use. Easy to pack away, even in the trunk of a car, makes it an excellent choice for the vacationer or anyone who values portability as a necessary asset.

This e-bike uses a rechargeable 36V/9AH Li-Ion battery pack and a geared and brushless DC hub motor. Additional upgrades from the original Via Mezza model include such niceties as a 7-speed gear shifter, Shimano Acera rear derailleur, SRAM grip shift and a lighter but still strong aluminum frame. This lightness combined with the Li-Ion battery's efficiency gives this electric bike a top speed of 18 MPH and a travel radius of 25 to 40 miles between recharges.

Picking our recommendation for a mid-level e-bike was not easy. There was just too many contenders for the title. But after reflecting on the relative merits of all, the choice came down to the IZIP Via Mezza Enlightened.

IZIP Urban Cruiser Enlightened Hybrid Electric Bicycle

When it comes to the high end range of e-bikes, the IZIP Urban Cruiser Enlightened electric bike has got to be one of the very best looking models available. Not the cheapest, nor the most costly, the Urban Cruiser Enlightened offers retro good looks and the benefits of lithium-ion at a very fair price.

With its battery pack concealed within the frame it takes a close look to discover that it is an e-bike at all. The DC brushless geared hub motor is likewise all but unseen, making these electic bikes very "stealthy" compared to other e-bike models. A light aluminum-alloy frame and 8-speed drivetrain help give it a top speed of around 15 MPH and a 30 mile round trip radius.

The Urban Cruiser electric bicycles comes in three frame sizes; a 17" medium model for the average rider, an 18" large model for taller folks, and an open framed step-through model for women. Other than frame size and top-bar configuration, the three bikes are identical. IZIP makes several top of the line lithium-ion electric bicycles, but after careful assessment, the Urban Cruiser Enlightened recieves our recommendation as it offers the best blend of style, features and value.


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