The Coming Battle Over Electric Bicycles



Sleeker and cleaner than the clunky rides of yore, the newest wave of commuter e-bikes are nearly indistinguishable from regular bicycles. Many have motors located in the hub of the rear wheel, which on the best models, can sense the pressure on your pedals and contribute assistance accordingly. A full charge at a standard wall outlet can take a rider dozens of miles at the federally mandated speed of 20 mph.

For potential riders, there are two main drawbacks: cost and weight. A nice electric bicycle tends to cost around $2,000, and to weigh roughly 50 pounds, twice as much as a normal bike. Both metrics figure to get smaller as the bikes grow more popular and technology improves.

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