Rechargeable Electric Bikes

Is there an electric bike in your future? If not, why not?

Electric Bikes for Everyone

Written By: Jeanne - Apr• 18•12

ONE MAN’S RECHARGEABLE ELECTRIC BIKE:

The green Mongoose rechargeable electric bike at the front of the picture above is my husband, Scotty’s, pride and joy. He bought it several years ago when he noticed that our two grandchildren were starting to leave him behind on the trail when they went for their morning bike ride around Diamond Lake, our favorite Oregon camping destination.

Not only were they leaving him behind, but when they did finally stop to wait for him to catch up, they wouldn’t even give him time to catch his breath before they were off again, laughing like hyenas, with him trailing far behind. Scotty couldn’t stand it. Something had to be done.

As soon as we got home, he started searching for the answer to his problem, and found it in the nifty little Mongoose rechargeable electric bike in the picture above. It wasn’t a high-priced model since he didn’t plan on using it except when we went on camping trips. (Boy was he wrong about that. He has ended up using it quite often to zip down to the store, or to ride our local bike trail with me.)

I haven’t quite decided whether or not to break down and get one for myself, but probably will since now he’s the one who has to stop and wait for me to catch up.

Anyway, back to the Mongoose. That bike cruises right along at 15 miles an hour and will go between 15-18 miles on fairly level ground without needing a recharge. He always plans on less mileage if there are any hills and, of course he can always peddle to make the charge last a little longer. At home, he just charges the bike for a while when he gets back from a ride, and it’s good to go the next time he wants to ride it.

At the lake, he gets a little more innovative. We have a small solar panel we always carry when we camp. It is rigged it up to the on-board RV battery. So, whenever the bike needs recharging, my husband plugs in into an inverter connected to the battery and the bike is recharged in a couple of hours.

You should see the grandkids now. They are the ones begging grandpa to slow down for a rest halfway around the lake these days, and Grandpa is the one smirking and taking off again before they have time to catch their breath. He acts like a 12-year-old again.

Rechargeable electric bikes come in different colors, styles, price ranges, and battery types. There are some designed specifically for women and others for men. Some come with dual battery packs. Some have three wheels and some have baskets so you can bring extras along or even go shopping for groceries.

One of the least expensive ones on the market lately is the ladies’ Currie EZip Trailz Step Thru on sale right now for $449.88. It comes equipped with a 450-watt DC Earth magnet motor and 24-volt rechargeable battery, has a 15-to-22-mile range pedaling, and ten-to-15 miles without pedaling, 15MPH top speed and can handle up to a 240 pound rider

If you are even considering an electric bike, there is no better time to start looking. I think you’ll find they are more affordable and fun than you ever imagined.

ELECRIC BIKES ARE GREAT FOR EXERCISE, TOO:

I’ve been thinking a lot more about the electric bike. Something I often forget is that you can pedal an electric bike. For several years, I’ve had a problem with going uphill on my bike. In fact, I just don’t seem to go, if I know there is a hill involved. The electric bike will solve that problem, but I do need exercise so I don’t want to get so excited about zooming around on my new bike that I forget the main reason I bought my other bike in the first place.

It was to get more exercise.

Well, it may take a while before I remember to pedal enough on the new electric bike to get my daily quota of exercise, but I plan to remind myself. Maybe, I can set up certain distances on the route (we tend to ride the same streets each time we go to the store or downtown) that are fairly flat and pedal only in that area. That way, I can have the best of two worlds–saving gasoline by going electric, and getting my exercise by pedaling.

See some of my favorite electric bike products below. To move the carousel, click on the arrows at the lower right. To find out more about any one of the products, click on the name of the product itself.

CAN MY OLD BIKE BE TURNED INTO A RECHARGEABLE ELECTRIC BIKE?

In my last blog post, I told you I had been looking at 2 different rechargeable electric bikes, but they were both a bit out of my price range. Well, actually, a bit out of my price range was putting it mildly.

When I mentioned it to a friend, he asked if I had considered converting my older, non-electric bicycle into an electric one. Actually, I remember my husband mentioning it in passing once, but I really hadn’t looked into the subject. “Why not?” I wondered. “If I didn’t like it after I gave it a try, I could always dis-electrify it, couldn’t I?”

Unfortunately, I found out that electric bike conversion kits aren’t cheap. They run from about $299 to $499, depending on how much power you want your converted bike to have, and what kind of battery you want to use in it.

For another hundred or so, you can have a regular electric bike delivered and ready to go. I guess it depends on how attached to your old pedal bike you are.

I headed to Amazon, one of my favorite online shopping sites to see what I could find.

Their Sparrow system included a lot of extras, but the price of $489.99 was almost as much as a ready-to-ride electric bike would cost so I culled this one and checked out Currie Stores. where I found bike conversion kits as well as a number of electric bikes at fairly reasonable prices. My husband rides a Currie Mongoose electric bike and loves it.

Click here if you’d like to check them out for yourself. Currie Stores.

I’m still debating. If anyone reading this ends up installing a conversion kit on their old bike, send me a comment as to how it worked out. I guess if all else fails, I could try converting my old pedal bike to steam power.

At least I wouldn’t have to worry about running out of steam when I tackle those hills around Diamond Lake.
(Photo by Norbert Schnitzler)

THE RECHARGEABLE ELECTRIC BIKE I WOULD BUY IF MONEY WERE NO OBJECT:

The more I watch my husband ride his electric bike, the more I am leaning toward getting one of my own. There are two I really like, but I’m afraid that both are a bit too expensive for my frugal nature—at least until gas goes up another dollar or two a gallon.

I’m one of those people who hate to buy an item that costs more than $50, no matter what it is. I usually research an item to death before I buy it, and then still wonder if I made the right decision for months after the purchase is made, not because the item is unsatisfactory, but because I wonder if I should have spent so much money on it.

Anyway, Amazon, one of my favorite spots to buy online, has a 20 inch bike called the DEX that has caught my eye although not the flap to my pocketbook yet. It is a folding electric bike and really cute.

I hate to even mention the price, for fear you will hunt me down and cart me off to wherever it is they lock up senior citizens who have lost their ability to manage money, but here goes—it is $1399.95. Ouch! But just look at how cute it is.

I would rather have larger wheels, but the seat is adjustable so you feel like you are riding a 24 or 26 inch vehicle, but the small wheels make it really easy to fold and lift for transport. I could just see myself whizzing to the corner store, grabbing a loaf of bread and a quart of milk, and then transporting my purchases home in my nifty little DEX that folds down into a package measuring only 34 x 32 x 17 after I get there..

The DEX can travel up to 20 miles on a charge without pedaling, but you can pedal if you want to. It has a 350 Watt Motor and a 36 volt LiMn Battery, and it weighs about 10-12 pounds less than other rechargeable electric bikes. All in all, this would be the perfect bike for me—if I could afford it.

I know, I know. I really can’t afford it unless I’m willing to sell one of our cars and I haven’t come to that frame of mind quite yet. If you have, be my guest and visit Amazon to order one for yourself by clicking below. You might want to order a good bike lock while you are at it, because I’m pretty sure this little jewel would attract the attention of everyone walking by, including bike thieves.

SO FAR, CURRIE SEEMS TO OFFER THE BEST DEAL FOR MY MONEY:

Well, I think my new electric bike is going to be a Currie, almost like my husband ‘s bike, except that mine will be a girl’s bike, and will have a basket on it for carrying all the junk we end up carting home from the store. They currently offer the one I want for only $499 which is well-within the price limit I had set for myself. Here’s what it looks like. And, of course I want it in red!

Pretty, Isn't It?

I suggested that my husband get a basket for his bike and he turned his nose up at the idea. Well, I’m not proud. I already have a great set of baskets on my old bike that I will transfer to my new electric one. The baskets fit over the back wheel and fold up when I’m not carrying anything. I hardly notice them when I ride.

My only problem with the bikes is the weather here in Oregon. On sunny days, I love riding bikes and would much rather head for the store on a bike than in the car, if it is a store not too far away, but we get a lot of rain here. Many more rainy days than dry ones, so we would really have to use the good days to get supplies so we wouldn’t have the excuse of saying, well, it’s raining so we’d better take the car.

I honestly think that, if we get serious in our use of the electric bikes, we will be able to cut our gas bill in half or even more. We’ll see.

If you’re interested in checking out this bike or some other type of electric vehicle stop by The Currie Bike Store.

WHY WE ARE HERE:

Our family loves electric bikes. This site has been created to share our knowledge and enjoyment of electric bikes with you and your family. Some of the ads shown on the pages of this site, if clicked, may result in a small commission for us, and we appreciate your support.