- Two seater scooter style electric bike with fenders, full suspension, lights and a cargo basket
- Comes standard with a heavier Lead Acid battery that's removable for convenient charging
- Very basic display lacks speed and distance, bike has lights, turn signals and a horn
The EcoBike New York has been one of the most popular “electric bikes” in use by delivery guys in New York City, USA. That’s because it’s affordable, large enough to secure a cooler in the passenger area and you don’t need a license or insurance to ride because the top speed is 20 miles per hour and it has pedals (qualifying it as a bicycle)… Unfortunately, this has also created some hostility in the space because riders aren’t always conducting themselves safely or respecting cars and pedestrians. It’s a concern for more traditional electric bicycles (that weigh under 70 pounds and have spokes) because new laws are popping up to deter the unwanted behavior that could impact them as well. While the EcoBike New York does feature pedals, the cranks are small and there’s only one gear. Try pedaling a 130 pound single speed around for a mile then imagine you can’t adjust the seat height so your knees are constantly bent. It reminds me of the Subaru Brat automobile in the late 70’s which slapped a couple of plastic seats in the back to avoid an import duties.
The motor driving this bike only offers 350 watts of power in a direct drive (gearless) configuration. This may sound weak but in practice it works pretty well. The motor is quiet, efficient and very tough because it just uses magnets to and electricity, no plastic parts rubbing inside. The drawback here is that the rider may experience some drag when coasting or pedaling unassisted due to lack of a freewheel mechanism. The hub motor is built right into the rear 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 New York 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 pack is removable, making it easier to charge off the bike or store separately and it 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 very functional, extremely affordable electric scooter with a longer wheelbase and more space for carrying a passenger or gear than most other designs. The pedals and top speed of 20mph keep it classified as a bike as mentioned earlier, 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 this thing if the battery were to run out but given the 25 mile range it works quite well. 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. I like the little skewer lock meant to deter theft for short periods and the basic metal cage basket in the front.
This is really a wonderful tool, an affordable and functional way to get around and carry some gear. I personally hope that people who own and use them can find a way to peacefully co-exist with drivers and pedestrians. As it stands, the EcoBike is at the forefront of controversy that has the potential to derail or give a bad name to light weight electric bicycle use that’s healthy, positive and well suited for paths and neighborhood.
- Passenger seat is spacious and includes a large handlebar for stability, space doubles as a storage area
- Basic LED lighting setup with front and rear lights and turn signals
- Comes standandard with a sealed Lead Acid battery that’s removable for storage or convenient charging
- Sturdy kickstand has a built position lock to keep the bike from tipping over
- Driver’s saddle is large and sprung for comfort, has adjustable vertical position for improved comfort when pedaling
- Front and rear suspension work well to smooth out the ride
- Unique skewer lock provides a basic level of security and is quick and easy to put on for
- Very affordable, overall feature rich design with added safety elements including the rear view side mirrors
- Includes basic pedal assist for 2013+ models, not very sensitive or useful – more like a pedal activated throttle than assist
- Only one gear to pedal with, uses smallish crank arms not ideal for actual human power (but adjustable seat height helps)
- Heavier than most bicycle style ebikes at 130 pounds (58 kg)
- No pedal assist, twist throttle mode only (though weight of bike and single speed limits pedaling anyway)
- Very basic display panel with painted lines and LED lights to make it look fancy… but it’s not
- Official Site: http://aelectricbike.com/collections/electric-mopeds
- More Pictures: https://goo.gl/photos/TLg1sbaU6sRHzsJG7