Each state has different regulations and laws concerning the age and qualifications required to operate an electric bicycle on the roads. You are responsible to do your own investigation concerning the useage of electric bicycles in your state.
This bill clarifies the vehicle and traffic law to define electric-assisted bicycles; establish that electric-assisted bicycles, as defined, are bicycles, not motor vehicles; and establish safety and operational criteria for their use. This supersedes old state laws by saying under these conditions states must treat these electric bikes as bicycles, not motor vehicles.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What decides the quality of an electric bicycle?
Answer: The quality of four parts (motor, battery, controller, and charger) decides the electric bicycle quality. With the rapid development in the electric bicycle field in recent years in Asia and Europe, there are more and more bicycle factories flourishing, and different quality products and prices appear. Some companies ignore the quality of these four parts in order to pursue higher profits.
The quality of the entire electric bicycle cannot be assured if the customer only focuses on price and ignores the quality of the above four parts. Customers cannot afford to only consider the lowest price while choosing an electric bicycle. They need to consider the quality of the bicycle as well.
Our City Bike comes complete with a warranty on various parts. Check out our 48 volt warranty HERE.
Q: How should I correctly use and maintain my electric bicycle?
Answer: There are three secrets to wisely using your electric bicycle: diligent charging, wise assisting and good maintenance.
Diligent Charging: It is good to form a diligent charging habit; it is best to charge your bike every night. It is best to never leave the charger connected to the battery for more than 10 hours.
Wise Assisting: Our electric bicycle can easily drive up bridges and slopes without any extra force. If you want to prolong the battery usage, it is good to pedal when starting out, when heading into a strong wind, or when going uphill.
Good Maintaining: Electric bikes can operate in the rain and snow, but the motor and controller cannot be submerged in water. Keep the tires properly inflated. Regularly check the tension of the spokes. Do not ride with loose spokes!
Congress Passes Commuter Act
WASHINGTON, DC (BRAIN) 10/02/2009Employers of people who bike to work stand to gain a $20 per month tax credit per cycling employee, according to the final version of the Wall Street bailout bill, H.R. 1424, passed this afternoon.
The House passed the bill today with a final vote of 263-171, a comfortable margin that was 58 more votes than the measure garnered in Monday's stunning defeat. The Senate passed the bill Wednesday by a vote of 74 for and 25 against the bill.
The bicycle tax provision was part of an additional $110 billion in line items added to the already $700 billion bailout package.
What does bicycle commuting have to do with credit issues or covering the debt racked up on Wall Street? Bicycle commuting advocate Earl Blumenauer, a Democratic Representative from Oregon, was one of the 228 Representatives who voted against the House version of the bailout package on Monday. House members looking to pass a bailout bill needed to convince as least 12 of the dissenters to switch their position and vote for a bailout bill.
According to a Blumenauer spokeswoman, the bicycle commuting tax credit had the Representative’s attention, according to a report by www.govexec.com. However, Blumenauer said he was opposed to the bill because it failed to include bankruptcy equity for homeowners, not because employers of bicycle commuters suffered unfair tax burdens. He is also against incentives for coal-based liquids, tar sands and oil shale also included in the Senate’s bill. Blumenauer voted against the bailout bill in today's vote but his pet bicycling project passed with it.
Congressman Blumenauer spearheaded a seven-year campaign to extend commuter tax benefits to those who bike to work.
Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists, said the Bicycle Commuter Act has been held up getting through with previous bills.
“It’s been attached to a variety of different bills or devicesclimate change, energy, transportation,” Clarke said. “It’s ironic that it would wind up in a financial rescue package, but we’ll take it. I’m not going to quibble with the method; I’m glad to see it done.”
The employer tax break is laid out in Sec. 211, “Transportation fringe benefit to bicycle commuters," which is under the Transportation and Domestic Fuel Security Provision section in H.R. 1424. The $20 a month tax relief per bicycle commuting employee is to cover the cost of any employer reimbursement for reasonable expenses incurred by the employee “for the purchase of a bicycle and bicycle improvements, repair, and storage, if such bicycle is regularly used for travel between the employee’s residence and place of employment.”
"It's definitely a day to celebrate just this one little thing that has been achieved after seven years," Clarke said. "It may not be a total game changerit's still a relatively small breakbut it gets us closer to the kind of treatment that cyclists in the U.K. and other parts of the world have had for years."
Why Ride an Electric Bike?
The electric bicycle is the transportation of the future - available today. An electric bicycle can replace your 2nd or 3rd car, in some cases even your only car. Your electric bicycle can do a good amount of the trips you're using your car for. Customers use their electric bicycles to go to work on a daily basis, to go across college campus, to go to the tennis court, to go for a joy ride around town or for shopping at your local Walmart. Your electric bicycle can really do most of your trips as well as or even faster than your car.
Make a list of how you use your car. I bet you don't go more than 8 miles 8 out of 10 times and don't have to haul anything but your briefcase, backpack, and a shopping basket of extra stuff. Our new generation electric bicycle is becoming very affordable and is now priced as low as $400 to $1357 for a reliable vehicle.
Electric bicycles are the new way to get around. Electric bicycles will replace your car, bus or train ride for all those shorter distance commutes. Our typical electric bicycles travel at around 18 mph for about 10-25 miles per charge. Electric bicycles cost about $5 worth of electricity a year. Nothing beats driving one of our electric bicycles past a traffic jam. Electric bicycles take away the hills, the headwinds and getting the thing up to speed part. We carry two types of electric bicycles, power-assist and power-on-demand. Power-assist electric bicycles are designed to do 50% of the work for you. This does not seem like a lot but really works great. These electric bicycles are much lighter than power-on-demand electric bicycles - they ride and feel just like a non-powered bike. There are no controls, just ride your bike and the system does the rest for you. What a great way to get back in shape or just help out on hills.
Power-on-demand electric bicycles can climb a hill without any help from the rider. A twist-grip throttle is used to control speed. Power-on-demand bikes are often a bit heavier because of the more powerful motor and battery.
Electric bikes work by assisting your pedaling. Electric bikes are heavy-duty bicycles with an added battery-powered electric motor. Although capable of pushing you along without your help, electric bikes perform noticeably better when you pedal especially with the 24v models. The average "couch potato" can also expect a range of up to 25 miles with minimal effort with a recharge time of about 8 hours. Do you remember that easy pedaling after you get your bike up to speed? That's the cruising feeling you get all the time with an electric bike.
Power, when activated by a switch on the handlebar (power-on-demand) or in response to your pedaling (pedal-assist), gives you an immediate, nearly silent push. When you release the switch (or stop pedaling), the motor coasts or "freewheels" like when you stop pedaling a regular bike. Standard bicycle hand brakes and gearing round out the controls.
"Power-on-demand" means just that - no pedaling required! This is how our 48v super heavy duty bikes operate. I rode one with a passenger on the back for 30 miles with hardly pedaling at all! Although all electric or "electric-assist" bikes are designed to work with your pedaling, power-on-demand allows you to break the rule. Most of our bikes offer a variable speed control. A pedal-assist won't deliver motor power unless it senses you are pedaling. Some bikes offer through-the-gearing power assist - i.e. the force of the motor goes through the bike's gearing system which provides better hill-climbing and top-end speed than direct drive systems with the same size motor.
In the industry, electric bikes come in two basic designs - adaptive and purpose-built. The adaptive type starts with a bicycle and adds a drive system to it. These kits are on ebay for about the price of our purpose-built bikes. A purpose-built e-bike is designed from the ground up. Purpose-built bikes have innovative designs, heavy duty frames, reinforced suspension, heavy-load tires, and built-in features (like headlights and taillights). Users of both types enjoy easy acceleration, hill climbing, and cutting through headwinds. Rechargeable batteries, usually sealed lead-acid, provide power for the electric drive motors. Charging costs less than 5 cents of electricity from common 110 VAC wall outlets. Charging time is normally 3 - 8 hours.
Gasoline bikes, often referred to as mopeds, differ from e-bikes in that they generate more speed, risk, range, noise, pollution, and in some states, legal issues. The top speed of mopeds is limited by law to 30 mph. Often, a driver's license and registration is required. Also, these gas bikes usually have two-cycle engines, requiring you to mix oil and gasoline. They are nortorious for head gasket and other mechancial problems. The electric bike is much simpler. An electric bike, which by law is limited to a top speed of 20 mph, reduces the risk of serious injury. (For offroad, some have speed limiters that can be removed). Its shorter range of 15 - 40 miles (depending on model) is plenty for errands and short commutes. E-bikes are the cleanest motorized vehicles both in terms of air pollution and noise. Their disadvantage compared to gasoline bicycles is that they are slower and do not work as well in very cold temperatures. If you own a bike, you can motorize it for $500 or buy one of our purpose-built e-bikes for $600 - $1300. Either way, you can ride your e-bike without a driver's license, vehicle registration, or insurance (check with your local state for their specific rules).
How e-bikes perform depends on many factors. The most important factors are listed here with the (generally speaking) most important at the top:
1. terrain (number and incline of hills)
2. e-bike speed (range at 10 mph is 8 times as far as at 20 mph)
3. wind conditions (going 10 mph against a 10 mph headwind feels like 20 to the bike) 4. voltage amps of the electric bike
5. correct tire inflation (under-inflated tires slow you down)
6. battery size (measured in volt-amp-hours)
7. weight of rider and baggage
8. motor/controller/drive system efficiency
All else being equal, range is a function of either 1) battery capacity (amp-hours X volts) or 2) speed. There is a close relationship between battery capacity (A/hrs) and both weight and physical size (total volume). Generally speaking, the bigger the battery, the greater its capacity. For hill-climbing, expect about 3 feet of elevation gain for every volt-amp-hour. For example, a 24-volt, 10 amp-hour battery pack will take you up about 720 feet (3 feet X (24 X 10)). Our 48 volt would take you up twice that (1440 feet). Another way to compare performance is the ability to gain elevation.
All else being equal, speed is a function of motor (watts) and controller. Most scooter motors are capable of higher performance characteristics than the controller allows. [Beware: Some scooter advertising touts their high-power motors, but only a much lower amount of watts through the controller.]
As for power, consider that Lance Armstrong's average speed over a 2-hour ride is 20.5 mph. That's just over the legal speed of e-bikes. Lance expended about 1/2 horsepower, or 373 watts continuously. E-bike motors can peak at several hundred watts, but most operate continuously in the range of 300 - 600 watts. Most e-bikes, therefore, will make a big difference in getting you down the road and up the hill!
Why do our bikes have no regenerative braking as in the hybrid cars? Regenerative braking doesn't yield much "juice" back into the battery. Even hi-tech hybrid electronics on electric automobiles regain less than 10% of the original charge. Therefore, given a choice of either regenerating or freewheeling, you will get more range with freewheeling unless you have a very hilly route. Due to the nature of batteries, you can double the battery life expectancy by discharging only 50% of capacity instead of 75%; you get 6 times the battery life at 30% capacity usage per cycle. Think of battery lifetime as having $1000 in the bank and withdrawing a dollar with each 50% discharge cycle and withdrawing $10 every time you deeply discharge the battery.
Rules of Thumb:
Range is proportional to battery size; twice the battery size = twice the range.
For every two miles you go, plan on about one cent of electricity.
When speed increases, range decreases even faster; 1/3 faster = 1/2 the range.
A 400-watt motor takes an average rider up all but the steepest hills.
One of the few parts that needs replacement is the batteries. Depending on the setup of your electric bicycle, you will need to replace your battery every 1-5 years. 90% of bikes today use sealed lead acid batteries, which cost about $45 to $99 to replace. They are good for up to 300 recharges. Some use Li Ion, (500 recharges), those batteries can cost as much as $600 but have 3 to 4 times the life of a standard battery. Some bikes may ship with lead-acid but can be upgraded to Li Ion (then you'll need a Li Ion charger) at a later time if you desire.
A folding bike is a bike that is designed so that when not in use it can be folded into a much more compact size. Folding bikes come in a wide range of sizes and with a variety of features. The nifty thing about folding electric bikes is that they can sit next to your desk or in a closet. Electric folding bikes present an excellent way for one to commute, as they provide all of the advantages of portability coupled with the benefit of electric assistance. Folding bikes are also a theft deterrent, as the owner doesn't have to lock up their bike outside. They can take their bike with them wherever they go.
Folding bikes are also especially convenient in cities and college dorms where space is an issue. Folding bikes can be stored in an apartment without obstructing living space, easily carried up and down stairs, taken into an elevator, fit into the trunk of a car, concealed and carried in a bag, tucked under the desk or into a cubicle at an office, stowed on a boat, and taken on a small plane. Due to the nature of their folding mechanisms, there is absolutely no risk of a bike collapsing while in motion (we've made it a point to mention this as this is a legitimate concern experienced by those new to folding bikes; for those that are experienced, well, they share our confidence.)
The right folding bike for you will depend on your specific needs. If you live in a college dorm or in a large city, the advantages are obvious.
Electric Mountain Bike
The electric mountain bike is in and it looks sweet! The new hi torque motors propel the electric mountain bike to speeds of 15 mph and more (with speed limiter removed). Simply hop on this beautifully designed electric mountain bike, hit the throttle and go, or if you want use the "smart assist" power which kicks in when you pedal. The average range on an electric mountain bike is 15-25 miles on a charge. The batteries are mounted within the frame, leaving ample space for a custom rear rack. What does this mean? You can cruise along for up to 25 miles without pedaling at all! Most people tend to pedal, though, because it is especially easy on this bike. It is good to save the battery power for hill climbing and strong head winds. Our electric mountain bike comes with a 6 speed SHIMANO derallier shifter system. This makes it an awesome hill climber with or without the motor.
The electric mountain bike is a HOT seller. People like the power, and you really can't beat the price or the really cool looks. It just makes a lot of sense, sell your second car!
Ph: 814-326-4121 Fax: 814-326-4113
102 E. Railroad Ave., Knoxville, PA 16928
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