Optibike OB1, Champagne of Bikes
If you have the money to buy the Mercedes-Benz of electric bikes (e-bikes), or you just like fantasizing, the Optibike OB1 was made with luxury in mind. Only 24 were built for 2009 and are made from ultra-light carbon fiber. This $13,995 bike also boasts a GPS navigation system, a wireless PDA that displays the bike's performance, and a lithium-ion battery with 850W of power for over two hours of continuous speed. And if that's not enough, you can choose from three custom paint options from artists at Gunslinger Custom Paint, which includes 23 ct gold-leaf designs to match the 23 ct gold-plated Motorized Bottom Brackett (MBB).
The MBB is a free gear system that enables the rider to pedal as much (or as little) as he wants. To learn more about the Optibike OB1, check out optibike.com.
OHM Urban XU700 E-bike
With no need for gas and no emissions just a little human power and a battery electric bikes (e-bikes) are becoming a popular choice for short trips, running errands and recreation. Why? They're fun, and the boost you get from the battery helps you go farther, faster and uphill without getting as tired, so you have less of a need for a car.
One note: An electric bike is legally considered an ordinary bike, as long as its electric motor does not exceed 750 watts and its top motor speed isn't above 20 mph (in which case it's a motorized vehicle).
Like standard bicycles, e-bikes come in different specialized designs. For example, the OHM Urban XU700 is a lightweight option aimed at city commuters.
Urban Mover 55 UCruiser
This 43.5-pound e-bike is made from a lightweight aluminum alloy frame and a Panasonic lithium-ion 26V 9Ah battery. The 250W motor allows for a maximum speed of 15 mph for 21 miles with assisted pedaling. A sensor matches the intensity of your pedaling with a certain amount of electric power, so you never have to pedal too hard to go far.
This hybrid retails for $1,699, and is a great option for any urban biker. Learn more at urbanmover.com.
BionX PL250 Conversion Kit
If you've already found your dream bike (but it's not an e-bike) and you want to add that extra oomph of a battery and motor without adding too much weight, then check out the BionX PL250. The kit comes with a 250W motor and a 24V lithium-ion battery, which is one of the lighter batteries on the market. The kit costs $1,395, and the bike, well, you've already got that part covered.
This is a great option for the average rider looking to retrofit their existing bike. Find a dealer near you at bionx.ca.
Brompton M3L Folding E-bike
The unique U-shaped handlebars offer great control over this three-speed e-bike, which is also a convenient folder. At 23 pounds and the most compact fold on the market, this is a great bike for any urban commuter. Retailing at $1,075, it's affordable, and the bike's simplicity makes it great for anyone.
Find out more about Brompton bikes at brompton.co.uk.
If you missed out on the 24 Optibike OB1 models but would still like a high-performance e-bike, then take a look at the Optibike 800Li. Not only is it fast and light, it has the power to climb hills no sweat. At $8,995, it'll put a major dent in most people's wallets, but you'll get the power you're paying for.
Find out more at optibike.com.
IZIP Twist & Go TriCruiser
Whether you need to run errands in the city or stop by your local farmers' market in the countryside, this tricruiser by Currie Technologies is a great option. The low step frame makes it easy to get on and off the bike, and it also features an easy-to-use "Twist & Go" throttle. The bike has a maximum speed of 15 mph, so you don't have to worry about knocking anything out of the handy basket in the rear.
At $1,099, this tricruiser is a great alternative for running quick errands and short trips. See the specs at currietech.com.
E+ Electric Mountain Bike
While some people want a bike for convenience, others are looking for adventure. The E+ Mountain Bike was made for power and speed. Depending on your motor choice, the bike has a maximum speed range of 30+ mph, 25 mph or 20 mph. Also, the 36V 9AH battery pack has a life of over 500 charging cycles. The bike can reach a distance of 20 miles on electric power alone, and can get as far as 40 miles with moderate pedaling. This powerful bike has a performance display and is not scared of hills, so when compared to the Optibike 800Li, $3,495 doesn't seem too bad.
Find out more about the E+ Mountain Bike and other Electric Motion Systems at e-ms.us.
Retrofit your current bike with the eZee e-bike motor kit. At $1,200 it features one of the best lightweight front hub motor systems and includes everything you'll need to convert your bike (motor, charger, battery, controller, throttle, dash panel, hardware and wiring harness). Once you're finished converting your bike or tricycle, the 200W motor can reach a maximum speed of 20 mph.
See details at ezeebike.com.
eZee Torq II
This road hybrid from eZee comes with a 350W front motor, a front disc brake and a front suspension for easy riding. It was designed to feel as much like a regular bike as possible and made to go the distance. Whether you have a longer commute or like recreational biking on long trails, the Torq was made for distances on flat surfaces or up hills.
The Torq retails for $1,900. Learn more at ezeebike.com.
OHM Sport XS750
Like the Urban version, this OHM e-bike offers a lightweight aluminum frame and an easy-to-use system. What makes this "sporty" is the larger battery and motor, which were both built for better range and performance. This bike rides smoothly on the road, but is also great for riding in dirt and off-roading.
See more at ohmcycles.com.
If you're looking for a great standard e-bike and you can afford something more than the EZIP Trailz, consider the Rayos by Electrik Motion. For $1,199, you'll get an eight-speed bike with a 600W motor that can reach speeds up to 18 mph.
Check out the Rayos at electrikmotion.com.
Utra Motor A2B
This sleek e-bike is made from a lightweight aluminum frame with an oversize seat for comfort. The 36V lithium-ion battery and 500W motor can reach speeds up to 20 mph for as long as 20 miles unassisted. You also have the option of adding two bags or two baskets for carrying whatever.
The Ultra Motor A2B retails for $2,699, and you can find out more at ultramotor.com.
This folding e-bike was designed to be low-maintenance and easy to use. The Quando features a single-speed setup, a quick-release battery pack and folds in 10 seconds. The lithium-ion battery is lightweight, making it easily portable, which is ideal for a folder. Also, the bike reaches a top speed of 16 mph and is great at climbing hills.
The Quando retails for $1,500, and you can learn more at ezeebike.com.
EZIP Trailz Men/Women
Find out more about the EZIP Trailz at currietech.com.
EcoBike Folding Vatavio
Nothing is more perfect for a city commuter than a folding bike. The Vatavio not only folds down in less than 10 seconds, but it's also the only folding electric bike in the U.S. to feature a Shimano gear system made for better drivability and control. This e-bike weighs only 48.6 pounds with the battery, and it comes complete with a carrying bag for easy storage. At $1,480, the Vatavio is great for the eco-conscious and space-conscious e-biker.
See more about this model and other EcoBikes at ecobike-usa.com.