E-Bikes Are Getting Cool, These Are Three of Our Favorites
What's better than bicycles with pedals you don't have to use? The E-bikes cost more than your old Huffy, but they're also more fun.
Once you take away the effort, the sweat, and the Lance Armstrong cosplay, riding a bike starts to feel a lot like riding a motorcycle or even driving a car. The thrill of speed, the sense of possibility, and the freedom to roam give you a fresh perspective on your surroundings. That's the experience riding a throttle e-bike, which still has pedals but can also be propelled with the push of your thumb or twist of your wrist. Legally, e-bikes are restricted to 20 mph when the throttle is in use and 28 mph when the motor is assisting the rider's pedaling. Some companies are starting to test those boundaries, though, with high-speed modes intended for use on private property. These three e-bikes are a few of our favorites.
Rad Power is the Honda of the e-bike world, building practical, unpretentious bikes in a wide range of styles. Its new RadMission 1 is the least expensive bike the company has ever sold. To keep the price down, this two-wheeler forgoes a suspension and has a smallish 0.5-kWh lithium-ion battery pack and a 0.7-hp motor that maxes out at 20 mph. Keeping the cost down has the added benefit of keeping the weight in check, which makes the RadMission 1 a heavy but doable lift to carry in and out of an apartment or office.
The Super73-R will take you back to glorious, long-gone summers spent terrorizing the neighborhood on a BMX bike. With a front and rear suspension, the Super73-R feels playful, hiding its heft and coaxing riders to jump off curbs and skid through corners. The R has a 2.7-hp motor powered by a 1.0-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. It comes standard with an LCD screen that shows turn-by-turn navigation via a smartphone connection, and it offers four riding modes, including an Unlimited setting that bumps the top speed to a licitly vague "28 mph +."
Styled to look like the motorcycles that raced around wood-plank motordromes in the early 1900s, the Vintage Electric Tracker has an LED headlight, a leather seat, and a metal battery case finished to look like the cooling fins of an air-cooled V-twin engine. The Tracker can perform regenerative braking just like a hybrid or electric car, recapturing energy with its 1.0-hp motor to stretch more range from the 0.7-kWh battery. The optional $149 Race mode increases peak output to 4.0 horsepower and top speed from 20 mph to 36 mph.