Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Tacoma, WA
Bikes: Schwinn Le Tour (vintage)
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Considering electric bike.. help!
Where I currently live and may be living for another year, there is no long term free parking. As it is, my 20ft camper van is in paid storage 4 miles away. I am getting sick of bus riding. 15-30 minute waiting plus travel time on the bus of 30+ minutes usually.
I live upstairs in a studio apt so I need something I can carry up the stairs. I also need something capable of climbing very steep hills. I don't expect great speed of course.
Up to 15 mile range would be great, but 10-12 might be doable.
I was looking at the like of seated electric scooters since I don't weight much (about 155lbs) so I'm generally within the maximum weight for such scooters, but their range is pretty low and some people report they don't do more than slight inclines before overheating the motor.
If I had a way to store one outside safely, I'd probably just get a gas engine kit or even just a gas scooter or moped. I doubt they'd like me bringing a gas bike inside the apartment, although I did it back in 2003-2004 at apts in CA with a gas seated scooter and I was never spoken to about it. *shrug*
So electric is probably going to be my best bet.
So to recap I want/need:
- As light as possible
- 10-15 mile range
- Able to climb steep hills at least somewhat faster than a tortoise in molasses
- The lower the price, the better
I am thinking a conversion kit is probably going to be what I need given my budget. I can't sink $2500 in an electric bike nor would I want to due to lack of insurance, high risk of theft when out with it, etc. I am more than capable of dealing with installation of a kit. I just would need advice on what kits are good and what kits aren't.
EDIT: I'd also like to add that if the kit is fairly light, using the electric motor almost exclusively for hill climbing would be a possibilty which would greatly increase the range. It is VERY hilly in places where I live, but coming back it's mostly downhill. The less the motor is being run and I am coasting and/or pedaling, the longer the range will be.
Also if it came down to it, I could stick the bike on the front of a city bus and get home that way if a pinch if I was far away with a dead battery.
Last edited by Cubey; 06-26-14 at 07:42 PM.