Electric Bike Review: We Ride the Pacific Electric E-Bike Terra 7-Speed

Photo: Pacific E-Bike
TreeHugger: Who do you think would be best served by an electric assist bike such as this? Is it just commuters who don't want to shower when they get to work?

Graham Hill: Not all of us are hardcore bikers who will bike far and fast regardless of the weather, distance or how tired we are. For the rest of us, this bike will help us easily get around while saving money and avoiding cars and their emissions.

TreeHugger: Did it turn heads or get conversations flowing about bikes in general and electric- assist bikes in particular?

Graham Hill: Some. But you have to look closely to even notice that it's an electric bike so it was mostly from bringing it up. People loved trying it!

Photo: Pacific E-Bike
TreeHugger: Did you get a chance to push the quoted limits of battery's capability 20 miles and 20 mph?

Graham Hill: No, I didn't.

TreeHugger: Did you charge the battery on the bike, or remove it?

Graham Hill: I took the whole bike into the basement and plugged it in.

TreeHugger: Was the battery easy to access to remove for recharge and re-install?

Graham Hill: I tried it. Quite easy.

TreeHugger: Did you find that having on-board propulsion made you a lazier rider? ie, did you give in to using the electric-assist, because "it's there?"

Graham Hill: Probably. But I rode more often and farther.

Photo: Pacific E-Bike
TreeHugger: Thoughts on any extra maintenance required?

Graham Hill: This would be my only concern. By making it this cheap I think that parts of it will break down.

TreeHugger: Did you encounter extra security issues? Greater chance of theft maybe? Did you feel less comfortable leaving the bike alone for extended periods?

Graham Hill: I worried somewhat about it but it doesn't actually scream "ELECTRIC BIKE" so that helps. And there is a key that locks the battery to the frame. I would imagine that theft is a risk as it is with any valuable bike.

TreeHugger: Did Pacific e-bike indicate that they'd take back the battery after 3 years of use for recycling?

Pacific E-Bike: Yes, we do.

There is one company in the northwest who sustainably recycles lithium. TOXCO, in BC. The easiest way to get lithium to them from SF is via the Norcal Waste systems SF program, who collects and sends direct. Should we ever exceed their capacity we will just ship direct to TOXCO.

What TOXCO does with the lithium is they basically put it in a blender and then use various counter chemicals to neutralize the solution and separate the components.

So What Are You Waiting for to Try an Electric Bike?
Best Buy will start selling electric bikes, and even The Economist agrees that electric bikes and electric scooters should play a bigger role around the world (but unlike scooters, electric bicycles give you health benefits). Unless you're already very happy riding your non-electric bike and don't feel the need for a little extra boost, we encourage you to give e-bikes a try. You won't regret it.

If you have an electric bike, please share your experience in the comments below. We're curious to know what you think.

Thanks to Graham Hill, Warren McLaren for his help with the interview, and Charlie Patterson of Pacific E-Bike.
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Tags: Bikes | Electric Vehicles | Transportation


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