Originally Posted by lexmark
...so does anyone have any experience with electric bikes? are they gimics or do they perform well under normal street riding conditions?
The cheap bikes use very-cheap batteries that have very-limited power and ranges. They particularly suffer in hilly terrain.
Good batteries will cost many hundreds of dollars alone, and even then (considering U.S. fuel prices) it's not clear if they are more economical over the long run than a gasoline-engine would be. Electric bikes do tend to be legal to ride more locales than gas-engined kits are, but the justification for that varies.
Best way to consider it is that-
...electrics are good for augmenting
pedaling over short to moderate distances.
...Gas engines will not require much of any
pedaling, over any
Gas engines used to be drastically dirtier than electrics, because the only bicycle engines you could find were 2-cycles--but there are name-brand 4-cycles now that operate pretty clean.
Before you buy anything, you should first
contact your vehicle registration dept and inquire if they are legal in your state/locale at all. Many places ban motorized bicycles from public roads completely.
In places where they are totally prohibited some people still buy electric setups and ride them anyway, because they're basically silent and most police don't know enough about e-bikes to know what they're looking at when one goes by.
Last edited by Doug5150; 03-24-08 at 01:40 AM.