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his and hers eZip electric bicycles

In Jun '09 I picked up a couple of Currie eZip bikes for the wife and I to ride. eZip bikes are at the "entry level" end of the e-bike spectrum, and come basically assembled. There are kits which will allow you to fit motors (generally hub-mounted), batteries and speed controllers on existing bikes but they traditionally cost 2-3x as much, do not include the bicycle, and may not include the battery. So the ready-to-go eZip was a good fit for us.

pulling the trigger

Photobucket Last time I was in the ebike mood, all the kits were in the "thousands of dollars" range or required serious "fab" (ie, fabrication) skills. I had neither. Then I saw some youtube reviews of a $400 entry level ebike made by Currie: the eZip Trailz Mountain bike. Last year's model was being dumped at a few places online for $300, and target.com had them for $299 and free shipping. And I had some unused Target gift cards laying around. Ok, I get it. The universe is sending me a message. I ordered it.

While waiting on the box to arrive I checked craigslist to see if anyone had extra battery packs or anything like that. There was a fellow selling his used (and somewhat abused) eZip Trailz ladies bike bike for $120, which is about what the battery itself goes for. I bought it for a parts donor as it uses the same batts, motor, and other running gear as mine. When I got it home I learned it needed less help than I thought so I repaired it and gave it to the Dear Wife.

assembling the bike

The wife's Trailz was bought used and so was already assembled. My Trailz Mountain came in a crate. The front wheel, handlebar, and pedals had to be installed. The handlebar was already wired up; it just had to be installed. It took about 30mins to unpack the box and remove all the packing material (!) and about 30mins to assemble the bike. No big deal, even for hardware dummies like me.

life with an e-bike

So what's it like in real life?

origins of my interest in powered bikes

There are several historical pieces that fit together and finally culminate in my current ownership of an electric bicycle:

why not...

Why not a decent road bike instead? I already own a decent hybrid road bike.
Why not an electric scooter? Because I want to be able to pedal home if I kill the batts, and I like bicycles.
Why not a motorcycle? I already own a motorcycle.

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You can if you are not a spammer. My public key is here.

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