Consumer Shopping Tips for Selecting Electric Bicycles as Christmas Gifts


electric bike

SANTA CLARA, CA--Nov. 30, 2012:  From iPads to flat screens, electronics are gifts people often buy for themselves around Christmas. Electric bicycles are also becoming popular gifts that consumers buy for themselves and others.

When it comes to affordable, fun and healthy transportation, it is hard to beat electric bicycles.

Here are five tips consumers need to know when shopping for an electric bicycle:

1. Height: Shorter riders should consider folding bikes or bikes with 24" wheels. Taller riders will want 26" wheels or larger, with a full size frame.

2. Use: Recreation, errands, riding on campus, exercise, commuting, as well as terrain (steep hills or flat), need to be considered. This helps determine speed and distance requirements.

3. Type: Riders who want to pedal should select lighter electric bikes with a 250-350 watt motor and pedal-assist. Riders looking for a moped experience or who have hills to climb, should select a more powerful bike with a 500 to 750 watt motor and a throttle.

4. Style: Electric bicycles come in many styles; step-thru, classic, folding, commuter, cruiser, and mountain to name a few.

5. Price: For students and consumers on a budget, there are electric bikes for under $800. Quality, light-weight, bikes sell for $900 to $2,000. More powerful and higher quality electric bikes run between $2,000 and $4,000.

Bringing Electronics to Electric Bicycles and Scooters

The next big change in two wheel electric vehicles will come this summer from Saturna Green Systems Inc., a Canadian telematics and display company. Saturna is developing a totally new onboard navigation system for electric bicycles, scooters and motorcycles.

The Saturna System consists of three components:

1. Ruggedized device built into the electric vehicle that communicates between the motor and battery, and the rider or fleet operator.

2. Display (either a rider's smart phone via Bluetooth, or a dedicated display)

3. Cloud services for riders and fleets.                 

With the Saturna System onboard, riders will benefit from many of all of the GPS, turn-by-turn directions, and social media services available on smart phones today. Riders will have very accurate range prediction and routing, theft prevention and tracking, cloud services, and maintenance and trouble shooting capabilities, only available on select cars today.

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