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Electric Bicycles: PedElectric Bikes at Green Machines?

My first port of call for a roadtest was in the summer of 2008 to Green Machines in Dublin. Green machines also do Electric Scooters and Electric Cars.

I was given a tour of their PedElectric range. I first had a go on the Pedelectric city - a collapsible bike (see picture). This was my first time on an electric bicycle and the feeling is one of having a hand pushing you at your back.

This range has Lithium Ion batteries which are quite light. The powerpack was kept just under the saddle. When it was switched on and you are pedalling, it gives you extra push - but you need to keep peddling.

You can also turn the power switch off and just do peddling - which of course increases the range of the bike as well as your fitness.

electric bicycleThe other thing I liked about the Lithium ion powerpack was the way it coule be taken out of the bike for charging or security and carried around just like a handbag (or a manbag).

When I finished a quick run around the yard on a Pedelectric City, I realised that I need to bring one home to my hilly neigbourhood and put it through it's paces.

The thing I liked most was that you could turn on the power just when you needed it (like going up a hill) and turn it off going down or on the flat (unless you are in a hurry).

electric bicycleThere are also some downsides to these electric bicycles. The first thing is - just how cool is it to be seen riding a Granny/Grandad bicycle? They seem to be designed to be ridden by people who just don't care what other people think of them!

The other problem for me is that although this range is meant to be a big improvement on the last generation of Electric Bicycles in terms of weight (they have aluminium bodies and lightweight Lithium batteries) - I think that you are still carrying a lot of weight around when it comes to cycling without power.

Finally, they are quite expensive compared to a common bicycle (say around 800 to a 1000 euro) so they would need to last the distance.

The Verdict.
I think I need to get my hands on one of these and try it out in my neighbourhood which consists of journeys of 3 miles to the nearest shop with lots of hills in between. Watch this space for more!


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