What the heck is a motorized bicycle anyways? I could slap two wheels on an engine and ride it down the street yelling, "Hey guys! Check out my new motorized bike!" but is that really a motorized bike or am I just plain crazy? The answer, as you may have guessed, is a matter of semantics. So what makes a great motorized bicycle more than just a motor with two wheels?
There are motorized bicycles and then there are great motorized bicycles, what's the difference? Well first off, a great motorized bike is fun to ride and easy to use. It has to be simple. It has to be fast, but not unsafe (it's still a bicycle remember, not a motorcycle). And lastly, it has to be reliable with little or no maintenance issues. Combine all these traits with the pure fun of riding a bike and you have one irresistible machine.
People are drawn to motorized bikes because they enjoy biking but want an extra assistance to help them with hills and long distances. Of course every motorized bicycle has a range, and each needs refueling to keep going. Electric bicycles are great because they can be recharged in several hours, eliminating an out of the way trip to a gas station. Electric motors are also nearly silent, allowing the rider to enjoy the world around them without slowly going deaf! And if your looking for green transportation you can forget about gas powered motorized bikes. They pump out exhaust worse than most cars. There are many kinds of electric powered motorized bicycles, but they are not all equally. There are pros and cons to each type of electric bike. This can be a lot to sort through at first glance, so let's break down what separates one electric motorized bike from the next.
There are four distinct classes of motorized bikes, each with its own advantages. Finding the best electric bike is a matter of preference and intended use. The classic electric bike is throttle controlled. That means you can pedal, but you don't have to. These are the older style of electric motorized bike, a little heavier, a little less expensive, a good entry level bike. The next step up the technology ladder are pedal activated motorized bikes. They have a switch in the bottom bracket (between the pedals) which triggers the motor to power the bike. You still have to adjust the motor power manually, but you don't have to tell it when to stop and when to go. Still primary reliant on motor power, these bikes are not as quite as light as their younger cousins, pedal assist bikes.
Pedal assist bikes are the latest in electric motorized bicycles. They are known as hybrid electric bikes because they merge human power and motor power. This synergy makes them more far more efficient than throttle or pedal activated, enabling them to travel farther before recharging. The Sanyo Eneloop electric bike is a great example of intelligent pedal assist technology. Some of the latest pedal assist bikes can even recharge while riding, furthering their range significantly. Electric hybrid bicycles are the future of electric bikes.
Electric motor kits are in a class of their own. These add-ons, which consist of a hub motor, a battery, and a controller, can be mounted onto most non-powered bikes. This means you can have your own bicycle motorized, a great option if you have a uncommon size or style of bike (ie. recumbent, trike or cat trike). Electric motor kits like the BionX are the most sophisticated electric motor systems available. They are a great option for people serious about using riding their electric bike on a daily basis and want to get their electric bike motorized.
You can probably get a motorized bicycle that runs on french fry grease! Do you want to spend all that time collecting slimy burger joint juice? Motorized bikes that run on liquid fuels force you to go out of your way to refuel them. An electric motorized bike is the best option for efficient and economical motorized transportation, plugging in at home is the future of transportation. Take a look at some of our electric motorized bikes!