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Intro DIY Conversion Kits E-Bikes Folding E-Bikes E-Bikes & the Law

Bicycle Commuting

Listen to this well-done 27-minute video of two women discussing use of electric bikes for commuting.

Why do people choose to ride an electric bike? Because they:

  • enjoy the feeling of riding a bicycle - except for hills, headwinds, and starting from a stop
  • want to save money, meet new people, and protect the environment
  • may still need convenient, point-to-point transportation after losing their driving privileges
  • want their own traffic "lane", convenient parking spots and shortcuts
  • may have considered a gas-powered moped or motorscooter, but dislike the noise, smell, and special laws
  • would like more fun and freedom in their life.

           Wise Buying Advice

1. Make sure the bike fits you. An e-bike is still a bike!
2. If possible, put your e-bike needs in writing. Speed,
    range, and which hills to climb.
3. Never buy solely based on price. "Pay a little too
    much for the right product and cry once... Get a
    good deal on the wrong product and cry every day."
"Bargain Buys" Most electric bikes priced less than $600 at big box retailers and on-line are aimed at the kid/teen/toy market. They generally lack the performance and durability that people want and expect. Also, parts and service can be problematic with both big box retailers and on-line vendors. We urge you to invest in a quality e-bike, preferably from a local dealer, that will serve you (and others) for many years. Remember, if it's poorly constructed and you can't get repair parts, it will likely become land-fill material. Save, beg, or borrow the money to get a quality bike or kit.

Best Buys are selected because they work well, come from solid companies and get high marks from users. Generally, buyers can opt to assemble the bike themselves, or pay an assembly fee to their local dealer or bike shop. (Assembly usually includes installing handlebar, pedals, seat and front wheel along with tuning and adjusting.) To convert a pedal bike into an electric bike, conversion kits are available. Or choose from folding e-bikes.

QUALITY E-BIKES    In the table below, electric bikes are listed (roughly) by increasing price and quality.
Brand Name power (watts) btry. type gearing motor cntrl. price
Charger Bicycles 400 SLAvaries pedal < $1000
Rayos (was ElecTrec) 600 SLA fixed throttle < $1200
EcoBike 300-360 Li-MnO fixed both $1500-$1800
eZeebike 500 Li-Ion fixed both $2400
Hebb E-Bikes 500 LiPo fixed throttle $2600
Day 6TM Patriot (Formerly DreamE) 350, 500, 750 Li-Ion varies throttle $3000-$3500
IZIP/EZIP (Currie) Bicycles 400 Li-Ion fixed both $2000-$5000
Pedego 500 Li-Ion none throttle $3000-$4000
Yuba elMundo cargo bike 350 Li-Ion fixed throttle $3500
A2B Octave / Ultra Motor 500 Li-Ion none throttle $3700
OHM Cycles 350, 500 Li-Ion fixed both $3100-$4600
Focus Jarifa/Aventura 350 Li-Ion varies pedal assist $3800-$4500
Kalkhoff 350 Li-Ion varies pedal assist $3000-$5900
Stromer 600 Li-Ion none both $3300-$9500
Hanebrink All-Terrain 750 LiNMC varies throttle $7650-$9250
Stealth 3700-5200 LFP fixed throttle $10000-$12000
Optibike 500-1100 Li-Ion varies both $3500-$14000
other cargo bikes, other fat-tire bikes
Watts: average Joe or Jane = 100-150W, Lance Armstrong = 300W, pushing air out of the way on an upright bike at 25 mph = 700W.
Battery Chemistry: SLA = Sealed Lead-Acid, NiMH = Nickel-Metal Hydride, Li-Ion = Lithium Ion, LFP = Lithium Iron Phosphate. Learn more at BatteryUniversity.com
Gearing: none (many hub motors, one motor revolution = one wheel revolution), fixed gear reduction for more torque, varies when geared motor drives the chain through the bicycle gears which increases torque about 50% (in low gear) for better hill-climbing and offers better top-end speed (in high gear) than direct drive systems using motors of similar wattage.
Motor Control: pedal-assist (assists when you pedal), throttle (thumb or twist throttle on handlebar), or both.

Rayos Electric Bike

(formerly ElecTrec)

Here's the next big step in electric bike price/performance. Imagine a bike similar to the well-regarded pre-2006 Currie bike with a full suspension frame, a better battery system, more powerful motor, a motorcycle-style kickstand, stronger drive system, and superior quality throughout!

Like the Currie, the Rayos has a lot of torque, independent human and electric drive systems, and a drive system that freewheels when not in use. The electronics shut the motor off at 80% battery discharge to avoid a full discharge (which really shortens the life of lead-acid batteries). The Rayos is an 8-speed bike that uses standard bike parts. Seats, handlebars, brakes and other non-electric parts can be found at a supercenter or bike store. Electric parts can be obtained from Rayos dealers.

The 2008 Rayos follows the highly popular LashOut and ElecTrec bikes. Improvements over the LashOut include:

The Rayos (click for more info) = $1200 plus shipping. Available from:

Charger Bicycles

Unlike other designs that use a throttle to control the motor, the Charger responds to pedaling. The half-horsepower (sustained power rate) electric motor uses programmable "torque-sensing" electronic controls to boost power in direct proportion to the rider's pedaling effort. The torque measurement system, a patent pending technology called the Impulse System™, communicates with the Charger's controller to provide additional power to the rear wheel. The system can be set to provide the desired level of electric "boost" - add half, add equal, add two times, or 4 times your own effort (up to a maximum of 1/2 horsepower or 375 watts).

The Charger offers a range of up to 40 miles using assist level 1, and assisted speeds of up to 20 miles per hour - the legal maximum assist speed in most States. Beyond this speed you're on your own, and the motor freewheels so there is no drag. The Charger can be fully re-charged in 4 hours via the on-board charging system. Other features include: easy-to-use seven-speed Shimano Nexus shifting system; a two-chain drive system to ensure positive drive in all conditions; and easy quick-release for detaching the 24-volt drive system and its batteries. Because it powers through the gearing system, the motor assist works well climbing hills and speeding along the flats.

A five-button membrane switch allows you to enter a user defined PIN to turn on the system. Select Standby mode (no assist) or levels 1 through 4. At any time, use this keypad to change assist level or check the state of charge of the battery pack. Should you forget to turn off the system, don't worry. The system will automatically turn itself off after a period of idle time. This automatic electronic locking discourages theft and 'joy rides'. The battery-and-electronics pack is completely removable. Just pop the battery pack off the bike and lock your Charger bike to the closest bike rack. The generous handle makes this 24-lb. battery pack more comfortable to carry.

When choosing between a Charger and another market leader with similar battery capacity like the Rayos, consider what type of cyclist you are, the range you need to cover, and planned use.

Retail Prices (click on item for more information):
Standard Model - $900
Comfort Model - $900. Same as Standard except for handlebars and seat.
Fenders - $30. Rear Rack - $40.
All three models available in gloss black, moss green, and candy blue.

Available from:

Click here for a quick list of features of the Charger electric bike.
Click here for in-depth information and photos about Charger bikes.

Currie Technologies
IZIP and EZIP Electric Bicycles

The leading U.S. developer and distributor of electric bicycles and electric scooters, Currie Technologies offers a wide range of proprietary E-bike technologies across several bicycle designs. In order to meet the needs of its target market, Currie offers a wide variety of bicycle types with varying intended uses and at a variety of price points. With a “good, better, best” approach to E-bike marketing, Currie starts with its EZIP brand for opening priced bicycles which are primarily sold through mass market and web-based retailers. The IZIP brand is reserved for its mid- to high-end offerings, sold primarily through full service, specialty retailers.

Since the late 90's Currie has sold LEVs under their own brand names (Currie Electro-Drive, IZIP and EZIP), and until 2008 marketed their products under a license agreement from the brands Schwinn, Mongoose and GT.

Incorporating a wide variety of drive system, control and battery technologies across their product line, Currie provides good bang-for-the-buck across a wide price range. EZIP bikes and scooters carry a six-month warranty and IZIP bikes carry a two-year warranty. For additional details and to view the entire range of products, visit the Currie Tech (Now IZIP website (http://www.izipusa.com/ ).

Retail Prices for E-bikes range from $2000 to $5000.

Available from:

Day 6TM Patriot DreamE

Looking for fancy plastic parts and electronic gadgetry?    You won't find it here.    But, if you are looking for incomparable comfort and performance,  then the DreamE is for you!!

The Patriot DreamE results from the combination of the popular Day 6 bicycle with the Kinetic8-Fun mid-drive motor kit. The unique Day 6 styling eliminates leaning forward, so you sit perfectly upright. That means there is no more stress on wrists, neck, back, and crotch. It also means a superior breathing position and a better way to enjoy the scenery. The step-through design makes for easy mounts and dismounts, while the low seat allows the rider to reach the ground with both feet for stability and safety.

The motor on the Patriot DreamE drives the chain and utilizes the gearing of the bike for remarkable power and speed. If you want more speed or hill climbing power, simply change the rear cassette. The motor is lightweight and mounted low on the frame for better balance. Unlike hub motors, this frame mounted motor allows you to remove wheels (e.g. to fix a flat) like a traditional bicycle - without any wires to disconnect and reconnect.

People often ask for a comfortable seat that fits their butt. This is it! The contoured seat, made with incredibly comfortable injection molded foam, is 16" wide for equal weight distribution. The seat is highly adjustable with seat height, seat depth, and surface angle all variable.

Patriot DreamE has motor cut-off brake levers and lighted battery indicator on the throttle. Some electric bikes have small tires which perform best on smooth streets. The DreamE has full size, 26" wheels for a safe and comfortable ride. Patriot customers have a choice of color, frame size (standard or small), seat style (contour or velo), motor power (350 / 500 / 750 watts), and battery chemistry (LFP).

Use this online cart to explore the options, capabilities and pricing.

Use this online cart if you want to buy bike and conversion kits seperately and assembly yourself (in the DIY section). These are the conversion kits available for Day 6TM Bikes: The CRYSTALYTE Hub, The ENDURO Hub, or The KINETIC8-FUN Mid Drive

Available from:

Hebb E-Bikes

Called the "Lexus of electric bikes" by some, the Hebb is a full-featured bike fit for commuting and neighborhood errands. Features not generally found on other bikes include fenders, center kick stand, sturdy (50-lb. capacity) luggage rack, chain guard, and integrated LED head- and tail-lights.


Hebb's website presents specifications and features.

Available from:


Cool and comfortable electric bikes from Pedego

With a focus on style and comfort, Pedego Electric Bikes are comfortable to ride and designed to be fashionable and cool. All models blend fashionable retro-cruiser style with high quality electric components to carry you quickly and easily to wherever you want to go.

The Pedego lithium ion battery is friendly to the environment and uses a small amount of electricity to recharge. The average battery life is approximately 3-5 years with 500-1,000 charges which will power the Pedego electric bicycle for 10,000-20,000 miles.


Pedego offers the only electric tandem available.

Pedego Electric Bikes are leading the way in eco-friendly electric bike transportation, comfort, style, quality and technology.

Available from:

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eZeebike (eZee)

The eZeeBike has been a successful and sought-after line of e-bikes in Europe that are now available in the United States. Range of 30 miles and top assisted speed of 20 mph is possible with the three standard (non-folding) models. With well-crafted aluminum alloy frames and lithium batteries, these bikes are lighter than other electric bikes. Equipped with 250- and 350-watt silent (gearless) hub motors, eZee bikes come with many accessories as standard equipment. Different models may include: fenders, front shocks, suspension seat tube, Velo cycle computer , integrated front and rear lights, rear luggage rack with spring-loaded bar and integrated bungy chords, chain guard, and foldability.

The result are bicycles that are comfortable to ride and also provide wonderful power and range. They're ideal for doing everything from a cross-town daily commute, to weekly grocery shopping, to weekend "get fresh air and stay-healthy" rides.

Available from:

A2B Octave / Ultra Motor

A2B / Ultra Motor specializes in the design, sale, and support of Human Electric Hybrid Bicycles. Ultra Motor is excited about bringing smart transport to America. We’re committed to helping consumers find the right LEV for their lifestyle – making commuting fun, reducing transportation costs, and having a positive impact on the environment.

Designed for urban or suburban commutes, the A2B Octave (right picture) offers lightweight aluminum construction with full suspension. Add in its comfortable,oversized seat and you have a powerful ride that's easy to handle. When you don't feel like pedaling, the A2B offers unassisted power on demand for up to 20 miles at a cruising speed of 20mph. Plus, the A2B can be easily upgraded to double its range to 40 miles with the addition of a secondary battery pack and increase its carrying capacity with the addition of baskets and rear carrier bags.

Available from:


EcoBike offers a state of the art battery and frame design, and artfully combines the highest quality parts from the most competitive manufacturers – Shimano, SRAM, and Cionlli, to name a few. The result is a masterpiece in convenience, reliability, and style. Combining style with functionality, EcoBike is a world-renowned designer of quality electric bicycles, sold all over Europe and North America.

EcoBike offers three e-bike models. The Vatavio fold-and-carry electric bike (pictured above) is innovative and well constructed. The Elegance (pictured below) is a classic design with step-through frame, offering an easy, comfortable ride. The Adventure’s revolutionary frame design allows for true versatility, going from the pavement to mountain trails with ease.

BATTERY POWER  The Lithium-Ion Manganese battery power pack is lightweight, technologically advanced, and safe.  EcoBike battery packs are UL and CE approved, exceeding safety and quality standards in the U.S. and E.U.  EcoBike batteries are specially designed and manufactured for the EcoBike by a subsidiary of Lenovo / IBM ThinkPad.  These batteries deliver the maximum consistent output and longevity.  EcoBike batteries have been tested and proven, with over 100,000 units manufactured and a failure rate of less than 1%.

DRIVE MOTOR  The EcoBike is powered by an innovative hub-mounted, brushless permanent magnet motor with a triple planetary gear drive system and proprietary heat resistant materials.  The propulsion system delivers the highest torque and is the quietest in its class.  The drive motor is nominally rated for continuous output at 360 watts (Elegance & Adventure) and 290 watts (Vatavio).

ELECTRONIC CONTROL  The Zero-Smart-Start speed controller delivers ease of use and smooth drive control and offers a multi-function variable speed output.  It is state of the art, producing consistent efficient power.  The automatic Pedal Assist mode produces a power burst that dramatically assists the pedaling effort.  The Zero-Smart-Start electronic throttle control allows the rider to relax and not pedal at all. 

FRAME GEOMETRY  EcoBike electric bikes have been specially designed with the daily commuter in mind. The frame is constructed from a high-strength, lightweight 6061 aluminum alloy that maximizes safety and durability.  The enhanced frame design features comfort ergo-geometry that is more upright than a traditional mountain or road bike.  Every EcoBike electric bike is outfitted with suspension on both front forks (except Vatavio) and seat post to deliver a smoother ride. 

Available from:

OHM Cycles

OHM has worked together with BionX (hub motor kit) and Moli Energy (Lithium batteries) to create a power assist drive system with exceptional range and features. Five models are available - three Urban models (pictured) with upright position for a more comfortable ride and two Sport models with mountain bike styling.

Command Console
In a single screen, with simple controls, the BionX command console displays important travel information and allows the rider to easily switch between different power modes. In assistance mode, the display indicates the power supplied by the battery. In generative mode, the display indicates the energy transmitted to the battery. The console is a multifunctional odometer and displays: For security, the command console includes an alarm system with a 4 digit PIN (personal identification number). If the bicycle is moved while the alarm system is activated, the motor will instantly go into generative mode 4 and the alarm will sound.

The BionX motor is a brushless direct current generative wheel motor and is capable of peak power output of 700 Watts (450 Watt for the 250 Watt series motor). The silent motor features a microprocessor that calculates your thrust and compensates for the weakest leg to ensure a smooth ride. Rechargeable Battery
OHM bicycles use E-One Moli Energy (Canada) Ltd’s Lithium-ion battery packs to deliver the safest and highest power of any mid-large e-bike battery currently available on the market. With advanced protection, performance, and convenience, Li-ion batteries are fast charging and maintain steady power output throughout their lifespan. The e-bike battery packs are specifically configured to work with the BionX motor for optimum range and performance.

Each pack contains high capacity li-ion cells and superior BMS (battery management system) that monitors voltage, current and battery temperature. The BMS has three main functions: The system also includes a "smart" charger that will charge the battery in approximately 4 hours. When completed, charging stops, an indicator light illuminates and the battery automatically returns to power-save mode. Lithium-ion batteries do not retain memory and maintain steady performance during their lifespan.

Available from:

Yuba elMundo cargo bike

Yuba Bicycles invents, designs and manufactures Utility Bikes and Electric Cargo Bikes to meet today's transportation needs and environmental challenges. They offer maximum utility and comfort whether you are a young Mum dropping kids off to school or an entrepreneur using the bike for business purposes. The Yuba Bicycles line is acclaimed and enjoyed all around the globe for its affordability, ride quality, the quality of the accessories.

The Yuba elMundo cargo bike comes equipped with the highly-regarded eZee kit for powering up hills and hauling heavy loads. Also standard is the Cycle Analyst, which has become the e-meter of choice for keeping track of battery usage and performance characteristics.

Running Errands, Getting Groceries, Replacing the mini-van: An electric cargo bicycle is a new breed of vehicle, half bicycle, half electric vehicle. The Mundo Cargo Utility Bicycle rides like a regular bike and gives you the capacity to haul at least 6 large bags of groceries. You can then save money, conserve resources, stay healthy, change your mobility, and transform your world.

Customize and accessorize the Mundo Cargo Bike to meet your family's needs:

Available from:


Stromer e-bikes are designed from the ground up to allow riders of all sorts to get out and go anywhere! Stromer combines the ambiance of Swiss design with the finest motor and battery technology in the world, to bring you a ride like no other!

The Stromer is tailored for riders of all types and skill levels. The patented "dual power system" allows for power-on-demand riding (limited to no pedaling), with a top speed of 20 mph and a range of up to 20 miles. Feel like pedaling? Just switch to pedal-assist mode and let the state-of-the-art torque sensor augment your pedaling efforts with motor assistance. Pedal-assist mode allows for 45+ mile range. Charging is easy with their patented removable battery system. Simply unlock the internal battery storage case on the frame, remove the battery, and charge up with any 115V power outlet (onboard charging is also available).

Features and Benefits

Strommer comes in two models ST1 and ST2. Learn more at the Stromer website.

Available from:

Focus Jarifa

How do you get across the benefits of a Panasonic mid-drive motor, or the quick handling of lightweight 26” rims, or the incredible stopping power of Avid Elixir hydraulic disc brakes? The Focus Jarifa Speed could be compared to a high end manual transmission sports car.

One reason for doing so is the way it is powered, which works in a manner that would be familiar to someone accustomed to a manual transmission car. Like a car, you start in a low gear and work your way up as you gain speed. Since the motor runs through your transmission as opposed to applying power directly to the axle, the gear you’re in really matters. The importance of gearing connects you much more to the road and the terrain, which means you are a more active rider than when using throttle-controlled electric bikes.

This bike is designed for quick handling and high speeds, and not for comfort per se. The Focus is all about form following function. This is both good and bad: you have a bike that is sleek, powerful and nimble, but you also are going to be crouched over the front wheel for better control, gripping no-nonsense grips and riding a saddle meant for performance, not cruising.

The Focus comes with lots of extras: front and rear lights, bell, fenders, chain guard and rack. The Panasonic drive system that powers it is the same unit that was on the Kalkhoff bike that climbed to the top of the Pikes Peak bicycle race, one of only 3 types of bikes to survive this 8000 foot 20-mile climb in 2012. The Panasonic drive system is a well built piece of E-bike engineering which drives the bottom bracket and powers the rear wheel through the same drive chain as the rider. It is only available on OEM bikes which have been-purpose built using it. It stands as one of the most refined mid-drive systems ever built.

The Panasonic Akku cells used in this pack are among the best lithium polymer cells Panasonic makes, which is one of the finest names in the industry for lithium battery technology. This means the pack will give you years of long life without worries about a battery fire or breaking down. The battery, along with the rest of the components of this electric bike, come with a 2-year warranty. The bike comes with a relatively fast 200-watt charger that will refill this pack in only 2.5 hours. And the battery locks into the bike with a key lock, good for preventing theft. The battery pack includes a built in battery meter that shows battery level whether it’s on or off the bike.


Learn more at the Focus website, or this dealer's website: http://www.newwheel.net

Available from:


Kalkhoff's electric-assist bicycles start with the same high-quality, sleekly designed bikes that Kalkhoff has been developing for 90 years. A state-of-the-art, brushless, centrally-located motor provides a smooth, predictable power-assist directly to the drive train. Kalkhoff e-bikes come fully-equipped with a variety of features to ensure that your commute, shopping trip, or outing is safe, comfortable and fun.

All Kalkhoff bikes come with lots of extras: hub or motor powered front and rear lights, bells, fenders, chain guards and racks. Some include a built-in quick-lock or a rack-mounted pump. There are a number of features available for the discerning cyclist, whether it's the Magura hydraulic brakes, the B&M super-bright hub-powered headlight, the top-of-the-line Shimano internal hub or derailleurs or the three-layer powder-coated paint process.

A Kalkhoff Pedelec is a lot more than simply bolting a motor onto a great bike. Their electric-assist bicycles utilize a brushless DC motor system that is lightweight, precisely-controlled, efficient, low-maintenance, and reliable. The Panasonic drive system is center drive, meaning that it's designed to be in the middle of the bike for a low center of gravity, stability and an easy integration with the drivetrain. The drive unit is more than just a motor; it also has a torque sensor and controller unit as well - all in the weatherproof casing, surrounding the motor. The torque sensor and the controller senses how hard you're pedaling and adjusts how much assistance the motor gives you through the drive sprocket.

Kalkhoff enjoys an enviable reputation by virtue of a long and revered history based upon obsessive craftsmanship and insistence upon only the most indestructible and ecologically attuned processes, materials and components, together with the most stunning and intuitive technologies available. Their bikes are over-engineered to over-perform and yet stubbornly maintain value over time.

Learn more at the Kalkhoff website.

Available from:

HANEBRINK Electric All-Terrain

(Review extracted from GizMag.com)
It will be of little surprise to learn that the Hanebrink all-terrain vehicle was designed by six time Mountain Bike national class champion and former U.S. National Team member Dan Hanebrink. It's based on 1993's Extreme Terrain fat tire pedal bike and is made to order at the Fortune Hanebrink workshop at Big Bear Lake, California. Echoing the philosophy of many electric assist bicycle makers, Hanebrink says: "We are not trying to replace standard bicycles, we want to replace cars and trucks."

The Hanebrink all-terrain vehicle's lithium ion 10 amp hour battery (LiFePO4) will give the bike enough juice for about an hour's use on a single charge, which will take three hours. The rear rack could have up to five batteries fitted which will extend the run time to over five hours. The wide aluminum rear rack is otherwise capable of carrying over 100 pounds of cargo.

The bike recently took first place at the Interbike Hill Climb Challenge, a third of a mile sprint up a six per cent gradient hill. Fortune powered in front of professional riders to secure a decisive win in the first of an annual competition especially created for electric assist bikes. The race was sponsored by the Light Electric Vehicle Association (LEVA).

Learn more at the Hanebrink website.

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Optibike: The Leader in

High Performance Electric Bikes

Safe and smooth operation at 30+ mph.
Industry leading design combines high performance, efficiency, and style.

Optibike combines speed, long run times and exceptional hill climbing ability in an integrated package with style. Each bike is hand-built in Boulder, Colorado by a team of professionals with an eye for detail.

Twice the speed - with half the effort, Optibike has the power. On a test ride in Boulder Colorado, a fit road cyclist was able to climb the notorious Old Stage Road at 10 MPH sitting down with an easy spin on the Optibike. On his ultra light road bike, he had to stand and grind all the way to go 5 mph!!! Twice the speed - half the effort, Optibike has the power.

Optibike’s speed is achieved with Derivative Power Control (DPC) which allows for incredible acceleration while still providing super long run times. State of the art, fuzzy logic programmed into the Optibike computer continually adjusts the power to provide for optimal distance.

The complete integration of the Optibike is achieved from the ground up with a disign focused on high performance, safety, and ease of operation. Front and rear long travel suspension with disc brakes gives the rider confidence. The fully integrated package gives the utmost in convenience allowing the rider to ride on road, off road and the up or down the steepest hills. Optibike is in a class of its own. The Monocoque frame has sleek styling and a low center of gravity for stable handling. All electronics and long-running battery are safely housed inside the frame.

Prices range from $3500 to $14,000. Delivery time is typically several weeks, but can be affected by inventory.

Available from: