Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Three Low-Cost Electric Roadster Bikes

For all you electric bike fans who are not cargo bike fans, I decided today was a day to veer away from my heavily laden single-track mind and offer up some bikes for normal people.
 
Roadster? Roaster? Donuts! (Dave Palmer Art)
 
Are you looking for an electric bike that is just a bike? You know - not a dedicated road bike, not a dedicated mountain bike,  not a cruiser, not a cargo bike, but a bike that could do a little bit of each? Well, it's a category I have been watching closely for a few years now. Keep in mind, that I am very cheap, so I have not been watching the Stromers and HaiBikes and Felts and such. I have been keeping it in the sub-$2000 range, and I am trying to stay out of the Kickstarterisms for this group so that you can keep these stewing and not have to make an impulse buy to get in on the deal. (Two of these, however, are only available for pre-order right now.)

So let's jump into it. The first bike on the list is no stranger to those who have poked around Mesquite Hugger in the past. It's the GenZe e-bike. It's technically one model that is available in a few different frame configurations. It's a solid bike with a few very cool features and it comes in at a very reasonable $1499. A few basic stats: 36 volt removable battery pack (integrated into the frame!), 250 watt hub motor, throttle/pedelec/human power/walking and stair climber modes, cool digital readout, it weighs only 46 lbs (not bad in this price range), disc brakes, and a 7-speed Shimano derailleur. It also comes in three frame sizes for the sport model and two sizes for the step-through model. Lots of good stuff. I hope silver is your favorite color - the GenZe comes in silver, silver, or silver. The frame is aluminum.
 
[GenZe sidebar: GenZe also offers an electric scooter that seems to be doing very well. I have been watching an electric scooter sharing company in San Francisco (Scoot Networks) that has adopted the GenZe 2.0 and is having great success with these low-cost ($2999) workhorses.] 
 

What's that? You're allergic to aluminum? You don't want to be seen riding around on recycled beverage cans? Well, maybe this next one will be more to your liking. Its frame is not metal at all. It's carbon fiber (or "fibre" for those of you from across the pond and whatnot). And it comes in a very stealthy matte black. It is from our old Canadian Beast-maker buddies, Daymak.
 
 
There are three versions available that cost $1899, $2399, and $3499. And they weigh 34, 32, and 28 pounds respectively. That's right - the cheapest version is 12 pounds lighter than the GenZe. I'll focus on that less expensive version - it's a 21-speed, has a removable 24 volt battery pack (the more expensive ones have 36 volts), has a 250 watt motor, disc brakes, and front suspension. But the big deal here is the carbon fiber frame - you just don't see that stuff in this price range - and 34 pounds is nothing to sneeze at. The bad news? If you want one next week, you are out of luck - this one is only available through pre-order at this time. But it is a cool machine.

This next one is for you speed junkies. The GenZe and the Daymak are both limited to 20 miles per hour, but the Cross Current has no such limitation - it'll do 28 miles per hour. If you are accustomed to riding around in a car, that may not sound like much, but if you are used to bicycle speeds, 28 mph is flying! 20 mph on a bike is actually impressively fast for us mere mortals. 28 will make you feel like a two-wheeled Chuck Yeager.
 
Juiced Rider Cross Current - One Bad Mamma Jamma!

The Cross Current is a product of Juiced Rider or Juiced Bikes, a small but very well thought of e-bike company best known for their rather sweet cargo bikes that have up to a 100 mile range.

[Okay, I'll be honest here. This one is my fave by far.]

Just like the GenZe, it costs $1499, but it is very impressive in features and hardware: Kenda e-bike tires (!), Samsung removable 48 volt (!) battery pack, 500 watt (!) motor, Tektro hydraulic (holy moly!) disc brakes, and an honest-to-goodness torque-sensing pedelec. Almost all e-bikes in this price range have cadence sensors - not the vastly superior torque sensors. This means that the Cross Current responds to how hard you pedal, not just to the fact that you are pedaling. Sweet!

And, it comes in sexy red or matte black. (For those of you who are worried about such things.) It also comes in three frame sizes, you can get a bigger battery for $200 more, and it has mounts for a utility rack (which has this eco-cargo dork all excited.) Sure it weighs the most (49 pounds), but who really cares when you get this much bike for the money!

(While visiting the site, I noticed that they are cross-currently sold out, but expect to have more in stock in late September.)

Add some taller bars, the bigger battery, a rear cargo rack - yep, I want one. Sure, I want a cargo bike, but this thing is cool sexy fast and all kinds of stuff that make the heart beat faster. Oh so cool!
 
May your heart beat faster and your carbon footprint be smaller.
 
Gratuitous Dog Pic with a Scoot Networks GenZe 2.0