I am living in Southeast Asia, and have looked at many electric bikes available here (most built in China or Taiwan, I think). All of them have one huge design flaw: when you are using them as a pedal bike without the electric, you only have one speed. This is so stupid it makes me scream. The manufacturers are assuming that people who buy electric bikes just want a motorbike that doesn't need petrol. But some people who might buy an electric bike, such as me, like to pedal and just want the electric to help get over hills or to carry a passenger.
I often see unfortunate people whose battery has run out of power, pedaling their electric bikes. They can only go a little faster than walking speed.
Are the electric bikes that are available in the west the same way or do they offer different gear ratios/ pedal speeds?
I want an electric bike that is a good versatile bike that just happens to have electric assist. Surely I'm not the only one?
Another thing that bugs me is that the passenger pads on these electric bikes are so narrow nobody but a child could sit on them comfortably. But, of course, style is much more important than substance, everybody knows that.
The world is conspiring to drive me crazy with idiotic, minimally functional designs...not just with bikes, with everything!