Monday, January 11, 2010
The eMoto Velocity 2.0 electric bicycle
I do have some photos:
This first one is my bike with our Prius in the background. The two are about the same color! This bike comes equipped with things that often cost extra on others, like fenders (important in a wet climate like mine,) a rack on the back to carry items on, a generator powered headlight and taillight and even a bell to ring when you come up behind someone on a trail to warn them that you are there. It also has a built in locking system to secure it to a pole, bike rack, or whatever when you have ridden someplace like Starbucks and will be away from it awhile.
Here is a closer view of the rear wheel area. The battery is in the container locked to the vertical frame post. It is a Panasonic brand 37 volt lithium ion battery and fairly expensive so there is a good reason to lock it to the bike. It can be charged there or unlocked and then carried inside with the rider to hook up to the charger. A full charge from empty takes 3 - 4 hours but 1 hour will bring it up to about 80%. The lock is the unit above to the left side of the wheel and the bike rack is obvious on top of the fender. The electric motor is a brushless 250 watt unit that is built into the hub so it is essentially maintenance free.
A closer view of the battery. This bike weighs only 47 pounds, even with the battery attached. Many ebikes I looked at were more like 60 pounds. The difference doesn't sound like a lot but if the battery runs down and you have to pedal it home that extra weight can seem like a lot. The button to the right side under the handle is the on/off switch and I find that my heel tends to hit it while riding and can turn it off. I really notice the difference in pedaling effort when that happens! The strip to the left of the switch is the indicator lights showing how much juice is in the battery.
This 3/4 rear view better shows the 7-speed derailleur gear system- the pedal it part of the bike. There is a single sprocket on the front with the pedals, so there are 7 speeds available. That front sprocket has a system built into it that senses how hard the rider is pushing on the pedals and tells the computer how much power to feed to the motor. It provides more help while you are riding up a hill than it does on level ground. The locking system shows up better from this side and the rear brake is below it. The hub on the front wheel contains the small generator that powers the lights.
My first ride after bringing it home was just a couple of miles- over to Starbucks and back. On the second day I headed out and rode probably farther than I should have as I was a bit sore when I got back. I rode on some bike/walking trails the city maintains that I was aware of but hadn't much used before and they are nice. There are places on them where you have to cross fairly busy streets but it is nice to be able to go a few miles without having anything other than other bikes and pedestrians to worry about. I live up on the hill above Mt. Vernon and this trail took me almost down to the river, so coming home was mostly uphill. The motor system worked very well. By combining it with the pedal gearing I was able to ride while staying in a seated position up those hills. In the biking condition that I am in right now I would have been off of it and walking pushing it up some of the steeper hills without that electric assist.
Diane asked if you can ride it under electric power only if you get tired. My bike doesn't have a hand throttle although there is a dealer installed option to add one but you must first check local laws. In some places they would call that a moped and it would have be licensed as a moped and not treated as a bicycle. No riding on bike trails, parking on the sidewalk, etc. That version also uses battery power a lot faster. With mine you have to be rotating the pedals in order to get power assist but it doesn't require a lot of pressure before the motor comes on. It is hard to describe.
I like this bike!
Sounds like they're great for those who aren't in the best of shape but still need some low impact exercise.
Have fun and ride carefully.
I too live in Washington State and I have an e-Moto Ridge 2.0 and I love it. I ride it almost everyday. What I have been looking for is another battery so that I can go on extended trips. I would be willing to pay $400.00 for the battery. Please let me know if you would be interested in selling it.
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