From the monthly archives:

July 2010

Give Up The Gas! Electric Bikes and Bicycle Trailers

by Electric bike guru on July 28, 2010

BionX folding bike towing a bike trailer

This bike trailer actually carries this electric folding bike!

Less than ten years ago, big cars were in style. Big trucks, four-wheel drive SUVs, and the comeback of the Hummer led people down a gas-guzzling highway that consisted of low mileage, high emissions, and a feeling of complete domination of the road in their macho ride.

These days, the attitude has changed entirely. Compact cars and hybrid vehicles are much more popular than ever. Even the Tesla electric car is a good investment, if you happen to win the lottery. Though the automobile industry is slow to act upon this shift in eco-friendly ideas, there are alternatives to driving a car that are just as practical, and much, much more eco-friendly. Take an electric-powered bike towing a bicycle cargo trailer, for example. No emissions whatsoever, since the electric bike runs off of a battery, and the cargo trailer allows for all of the trunk space of a car. Most daily trips average under 10 miles in a car. The average electric bike using new Lithium battery technology will run over twenty miles on a single battery charge!

Which Electric Bike Is Right For Me?

There are hundreds of electric bikes to choose from, and the prices range from $500 up to $10,000. There are great resources on the internet to help you choose the best electric bike based on your style and daily travel routine.

Of course, a long-distance road trip is not appropriate for an electric bike. However, consider the amount of trips that are over twenty miles in a single month. How many times will you drive this far? Keep a tally, and then decide if you still need to pump money into your car. For those trips around town when you need to get groceries, transport some furniture or musical equipment, or bring your camping gear, there are bicycle trailers that work perfectly.

Bicycle Trailers Take the Place of Your Trunk

Bicycle trailers hold anywhere from 30 to 200 lbs. Towing it with an electric bike is also considerably less work than trying to pedal a bike with all that extra weight. The Burley bicycle trailers are some of the best quality bike trailers on the market. They’re lightweight, durable, and can be easily detached from a bike when not in use. Some, like the Burley Travoy folding bicycle trailer, will fold down to the size of a suitcase for storage. It can also be wheeled around like a hand-truck. This low-profile bike trailer is perfect for city streets, because it stays relatively close to the bike and rides on two air-filled, maneuverable wheels.

Cargo trailers for bicycles solve many of the problems of giving up a car for good, although this solution will still not be accepted by everyone. The idea of the automobile is so ingrained in the American culture that it will be hard to wean the country into biking for transportation. Many European countries have very prolific bike cultures, with bike paths sometimes outnumbering roads in a few places. Following suit in America would result in much less emission, more exercise, and less money spent filling up the tank. It makes so much sense, that it’s hard to believe so many people haven’t caught on yet!


The Savings of a Bicycle with Motor Power

by Electric bike guru on July 17, 2010

Riding a Bike with Motor Power

A Commuter on a Bike with Motor Power

Riding a bicycle with motor assistance is like a cross between a standard bicycle and a motorcycle. It feels like a pedal-powered bike, but it gives a boost powerful enough to go up steep hills. The advantages of this are fun, eco-friendly, and healthier than riding in a car or public transportation, but there is one important advantage to a bike with motor assistance that is seldom talked about: Cost.

Cost of a Bicycle with Motor

It’s true, a bike with motor power is much more expensive than a standard pedal-powered bicycle. It could be three times more expensive, due to the powerful Lithium batteries. However, compared to a gasoline-powered Vespa or motorcycle, the costs are far less in the long run. For a one-time payment, a bike with motor assistance will last for years without needing to pour money into it every day to power it. The cost of plugging the battery into a wall outlet over night is comparable to leaving a light bulb on overnight. Depending on your electricity provider, this could cost between two and five cents per day. Breaking the bank, right?

Bike with Electric Motor vs Gas Power

A Lithium bike battery can seem expensive, at about $500 per battery. Though a bike with motor power will last years before these batteries need to be replaced, it seems like a large price to pay to keep it running. The misconception comes with a comparison to gas-powered bikes. If a Vespa, which is one of the most energy efficient gas vehicles out there, costs about $2 a day for an everyday commuter in gasoline costs, this still comes out to over $700 per year on gasoline! Now that $500 every few years for a Lithium battery looks pretty good, right? The difference is, a gas-powered vehicle has very small incremental costs, so it seems cheaper in the short term cost.

A bike with motor power is not only a cost-efficient alternative to gasoline, but it is also energy efficient. Electricity is green transportation, and doesn’t result in exhaust or any carbon footprint. Help out your wallet and your environment by investing in a bike with motor assistance.


The Best Electric Motor for Bicycles

July 14, 2010

Electric bikes are everywhere these days – from department stores to big retail chains to tiny closet-sized bike shops. With their popularity comes an ever shifting technology based around their efficiency. What lets one electric bicycle outperform another? All mechanical parts aside, let’s take an in-depth look at the electric system. The electric motor for [...]

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The Best Electric Bike Motor Kit

July 10, 2010

There are so many different kinds of electric bike motor kits available that it’s often overwhelming trying to figure out which components make up the best electric bike conversion kit, and if there’s a good balance between cost and investment of electric bike conversion kits. You don’t want to buy something that’s cheap and needs [...]

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History of the Electric Bike

July 3, 2010

Believe it or not, electric bikes have been around for over 100 years. Attaching an electric motor to a bicycle has always been a fascination for engineers looking to improve upon the basic two-wheeled design. Until recent years, electric bikes were bulky, problematic, and inefficient. It wasn’t until the 1990′s when electric bikes could run [...]

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