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Four High Tech e-Bikes and an e-Scooter
Do you realize it’s already 2010? While it’s not quite the utopia envisioned in the movies, there are thousands of hybrid vehicles already on the road, with affordable, all-electric cars just on the horizon. This proliferation of electric propulsion got us wondering: What other new forms of transport has this electric renaissance ushered in? We went looking and found a ton of high-tech bikes and scooters out there making your daily commute a bit easier, and a heck of a lot more fun. Here’s a list of our favorites; unfortunately, a few of them are a bit on the pricey side, but hey, you can always dream about them.
Grace ($8,000)
This is the future of the electric bike. Equal parts motorcycle, bicycle, and fighter jet, this electric bike is perhaps our favorite of the bunch. GRACE is built by hand in Berlin using the same techniques and principles seen in airplane design and Formula 1 racing. Aside from integrated Lithium-ion batteries and lights, the CNC machined aluminum frame is mated to a scary 45 kmph drive motor. Stiff, fast, and as stylish as a Bond flick, the GRACE is forever on our list of must-haves. We love its burly-yet-sleek looks and wonder if “style” or “attitude” could be just as fitting monikers.
Schwinn Continental ($2,499)
Instead of a messy and trouble-prone chain, the Continental uses a shaft-drive system to turn the rear wheel, like a car. The shaft drive ensures cleaner, more reliable operation with less maintenance and worry. The bike also features a powerful adjustable-speed motor capable of light assistance and full hill-climbing duty. The bike is available in standard and step-through styles and comes fully decked-out with a rack, fenders, and a bell – perfect for commuting.
Go-Ped Hoverboard ($1,446)
The Go-Ped Hoverboard is an urban transport vehicle through and through. This pricey scooter features full-suspension, 2 power modes - normal and “turbo”, high-tech Lithium-ion batteries (for a price), and a honking 24v motor. Just to up the ante, the scooter can be folded to save space or accessorized with a seat, luggage rack, and rear brake. Couple all those features with a range of up to 28 miles and a top speed of 20 mph, and it becomes very clear that this scooter is not to be toyed with.
IF Reach DC ($2,450)
The folding IF Reach features a 250W brushless electric motor, decent looks (for a folder), and full-suspension – unheard of on an electric folding bike. The low power output of the brushless motor won’t help you power up any San Francisco inclines, but then again it’s not meant to be as robust as something like the Continental. We like the fact that this bike has full-suspension, as we all know 9 hours on a bruised bum is a real pain... We’d recommend this bike if you have a slightly longer, bumpier, or more strenuous commute and need the space savings for storage or public transit.
Currie – Izip Bikes ($499 and up)
You can’t really get any more mainstream than Best Buy, which now carries the full line of 9 Currie Izip bikes online, and in select west coast stores for anywhere from $499 to $1899. Currie has long been a mainstay of electric scooters, and these new bikes are a real homerun. Coming in folding, cruising, and mountain bike variants each with different speed and range capabilities, Currie makes an Izip for nearly any rider and style.
Take Retrevo for a Ride around the Block
While Retrevo might not be expert road-testers for your priceless prototype speed-machine, we are your best bet for electronics manuals, and reviews of the latest gadgets, HDTVs, digital cameras, and laptops.
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Just like everything else good...

...these are illegal in NJ. When is this state going to wise up?

The electric bikes

I got to try an electric bike last summer, and it had a very irritating mode of operation, which is that I had to keep pedaling every few seconds to keep the drive going. The sales weasle said that was recharging the battery, but I know that actually7 generating power by pedaling takes some effort, and this one did not take any effort to turn the pedals. It was just that the control program demanded it. The serious down-side of all these bikes is battery replacement costs and battery life. Also, for the ones made in China, where would you even get the replacement battery pack? The small companies change the model when one set of tooling wears out, and the new parts will not fit. This is not a problem with the large companies, but the smaller ones it can be a "show-stopper", since a bike without batteries is an expensive lawn ornament. Plus, recharge time is always a concern.
I did see the video of an electric off-road bike, running just as hard as any 2-stroke, but a WHOLE LOT quieter. That one was good for an hour of hard riding, then slip in a new battery pack and continue. Which is fine if one has lots of money.

You Missed the Best

There is an amazingly sexy electric cycle that has won many fans in Europe (and maybe America, I don't know, since I don't live there) called the GoCycle. Have a look, and I think that price-wise it is no more expensive than any of your four choices save the izip, which is your typical East Asian 'mama chari' shopping bike, but much better looking than all except maybe the Grace.
Check out this link: http://www.gocycle.com/

Major omission

If you're looking for electric bikes to die for, how can you leave off the Optibike line.
Made in Boulder, CO and ranging from the Optibike 850R ar $12k to the more modest USV ar $6k these (to this humble reader) kick the Grace's a**. And they are American madfe - one is on display in the San Francisco Academy of Science. Check our wwwdotoptibikedotcom and drool! I haven't ridden one yet, but I want to!

Grace

The Grace website says speeds of 45km/h. Where did you guys see 45mph?

Jeff, Technically speaking,

Jeff,

Technically speaking, the demo version of their bike is capable of 70kmph at 96V power input. You can see this by clicking on the motor in the image and selecting "Sport."

Although, only the 45kmph version is available to the public, most likely for legalities.

Hope that clears it up, and thanks for reading!

Issa

good catch - thanks - fixed

good catch - thanks - fixed

I saw 45 km/h...

and had to google how fast that is, FYI for anyone wondering the same, it's about 28mph

-Mike

Km to M, M to Km

You shouldn't need to Google Km/M conversions for approximate results - multiply the Km by 6, move the decimal back one place, round up and add a little.
So 45 x 6 = 270, then 27, no rounding needed, add a bit = 28. (exact figure is 27.961702).
Close enough - I defy anyone to tell whether they're moving at 27 or 28 MPH!
For M to Km, divide by 6, decimal forward, round down, minus a little.
28 / 6 = 4.666, then 46.66, round down to 46, subtract a bit = 45.

leccy bikes

how long do they last on a charge and which ones recharge the battery after pedaling like a hamster?

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