Photo: Pacific E-Bike
See also: Awesome Idea: Copenhagen's Cyclist Counter (#500,000 Gets a Free Bike)
Graham Hill Shares His Experience with the Terra Electric Bike
It is said that the bicycle is the most efficient mean of transportation. Yet some people who would like to commute by bike are scared off by hills, long distances, sweat, etc. That's where the electric assist bike comes in! Add a little electricity to the mix, and you have a super-charged bicycle that makes most common excuses melt away. TreeHugger founder Graham Hill rode a Terra electric bike around San Francisco for a month and shares his experience with us below. Keep reading for the juicy stuff!
You'll have to imagine that this woman is Graham Hill, because we don't have a photo of him on the e-Terra electric bike. Photo: Pacific E-Bike
Please note that the first and last questions of the interview have been answered by Charlie Patterson of Pacific E-Bike.
TreeHugger: What extra weight did the battery add to the bike's total weight?
The Terra w/ out battery is 42.5lbs
The Shan bike is 24volts, The battery is 5.5lbs (quite light) And the bike, sans battery, is 40.5lbs.
You can ride any of the bikes w/out the battery no problem. The Brushless DC motor puts up nearly zero resistance.
TreeHugger: Was the weight of bike with noticeably heavier than a standard bike due to the inclusion of battery?
Graham Hill: It felt like a heavy mountain bike. Not crazy heavy, but heavy.
TreeHugger: Would it be considered too hefty to ride home, if say you ended up with a dead battery?
Graham Hill: Nah, I don't think so. It would be like riding an old or cheap mountain bike.
Photo: Pacific E-Bike
TreeHugger: Did the addition of the battery affect the bike's balance, weight distribution or maneuverability?
Graham Hill: The frame is lengthened to include the battery so this slows down the turning slightly and makes for a smooth, comfortable ride.
TreeHugger: Did the quoted charge time of 4-6 hours pan out in the real world?
Graham Hill: It seemed to!
TreeHugger: Was the electric assist always on? Or could you choose when you wanted to engage it, like for getting up hills?
Graham Hill: There are two settings: electric and assist. These are selected via a little red button by the right hand grip. On assist, when you start to pedal, the motor kicks in and "assists" you. On electric, you can pedal or not pedal and turn the grip like you would on a motorcycle.
TreeHugger: Would you buy one over a pure pedal bike, now that you've had first hand experience?
Graham Hill: It depends on the use. You're not going to go mountain biking offroad or ride a road race or go on a bike tour with this bike. But, as a way to go faster, farther and without sweating if you wish, it's fantastic. I'd say the thing I like about it most is that because it makes it easier, you simply don't question biking to most places and as such you substantially reduce the number of taxis you might take.