The EcoBike Always is a scooter style electric bike that has been refined to look aerodynamic and flashy. It offers a lot of utility with locking cargo areas in a boot, seat and front area. It also features an extended seat and passenger foot platforms in case you’re taking a friend for a lift. This “bike” isn’t much fun to pedal at ~140lbs but the cranks are there in case you have to. The top speed is 20mph but you actually get to choose from four different drive modes that include 12mph, 16mph, 14mph and 20mph. The price is great and the lights, turn signals and horn make it a decent option for neighborhood or city riding on streets where other vehicles may be present.
The motor driving this bike only offers 350 watts of power in a direct drive (gearless) configuration. This sounded weak to me but in practice it works pretty well because the wheels are so small… this creates a mechanical advantage for the motor accelerating and climbing. The motor is quiet, efficient and very tough. The hub is built right into the allow wheel which won’t go out of true or get bent as easily as more typical bicycle wheels that use spokes might.
The battery pack on the Eco Bike Always comes standard as Lead Acid which is heavy and short lived (compared with Lithium-ion) but the advantage is that it’s inexpensive, less environmentally harmful to produce and recycle and resistant to extreme temperatures. A replacement SLA pack is only ~$150 whereas Lithium might cost upwards of $400. The neat thing is, the battery pack on this ebike can be upgraded to Lithium if you’re willing to pay a bit extra. The pack is removable, making it easier to charge off the bike or store separately, and includes a handle built right into the top for easy transport.
Some electric bikes have fancy LCD displays that tell you how fast and far you’re going and many gas scooters have dials and indicators designed to do the same thing but this electric scooter does not… Instead, it pretends to have fancy readouts (using painted lines and LED lights) that basically just tell you the system is on and provide an approximation of the remaining battery capacity. It’s not the end of the world, just don’t be fooled ;) Also, this ebike has some of the most annoying chirps and alerts I’ve heard. One for when it’s activated, one for the horn and another set to let know the turn signal is in use. Maybe they aren’t so bad if you’re wearing a full helmet? Frankly, they get the job done and are better than no sounds (nobody wants to be the guy driving straight for miles who has forgotten his signal is on).
All things considered this is a functional, extremely affordable electric scooter that looks pretty good. The pedals and top speed of 20mph keep it classified as a bike, the locking storage areas are nice (but not that secure) and the ride is comfortable and safe thanks to the suspension, fenders, lights and mirrors. I think I’d rather walk the thing than try to pedal it if the battery were to run out but it’s nice to stretch your legs when using the throttle. I think they could have reduced complexity and still kept it easy to ride by removing the four levels of speed and simply relying on the variable speed twist throttle but it works well enough. Also, the pedal assist mode works more like a pedal activated throttle than an actual assist because it more or less turns the motor on at full speed. I love that the battery is removable and can be upgraded or replaced inexpensively and appreciate the color selection.
Narrow but tough tires will resist puncture but are narrow enough to fit in some bike racks
Great LED lighting setup with front and rear lights, high beam and turn signals
Comes standandard with a sealed Lead Acid battery that’s removable for storage or convenient charging, can upgrade to Lithium-ion for lighter weight and more charge cycles
Stable kickstand has built in prop bar to help you park the bike
Front and rear suspension work well with banana style seat to smooth out the ride
Only one gear to pedal with, small crank arms, poor seating position for pedaling
Heavier than most bicycle style ebikes at 140 pounds (63.5 kg)
No pedal assist mode, twist throttle mode only
Very basic display panel with painted lines and LED lights to make it look fancy
Official Site: http://aelectricbike.com/collections/electric-mopeds/products/ecobike-always
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