What Is an Electric Bicycle?

An E Bike, an electric bike, ebikes, or e bikes — there are many names, but they all mean the same thing. An eBike is a bicycle that combines human and electrical propulsion. It keeps a bicycle's look and feel, but removes as much or as little of the hard work and effort that hills, distance, heat and headwinds often entail.

It has a battery you plug in, just like your phone.

You pedal it just like a bike. Power can be accessed either be pedalling (the act of pedalling actuates the motor) or by a thumb throttle attached to the handlebars.

You can adjust the electric motor as you ride to give you enough silent power to feel like you have a small tailwind, a big tailwind, or you're riding downhill.

It does not go superfast, it is not a motorcycle, and it requires no special license, knowledge, or skills. It is still you on a bike, but more so.
Electric bicycle
Why Would I Want an eBike?

Summers get pretty hot and humid. There are lots of hills, and lots of distance.

Going for a bike ride? It's fun if you're super fit, but hard work with very steep hills or very hot weather. Even if the path you plan to cycle on is flat you still have to get to and from it. If you're coming back to cycling, that can be pretty daunting.

An eBike solves that and more.

Hills? No problem, turn up the assist a little bit and flatten the hill. Too hot? Go a little faster with more assist and get a cooling breeze.

Want a serious workout? Turn the power down - now it feels like an ordinary bike.

Got an injury? The doctor told you to do some gentle cycling? Easier said than done with Westchester hills! With an eBike, you can keep your heart rate and temperature in a good place - while still getting off the couch/out of the car/into the fresh air. 

Or perhaps you and your other half would like to ride together but one of you can't keep up? Now you can.

Or perhaps you'd like to get a little exercise on your commute, but not arrive sweaty and tired - or not sit in traffic - or save some gas. With an eBike you can.

It's cheap to run. Very cheap to run — 40 miles on 5 cents of electricity.

Or perhaps your kids are getting older and you're bored of being their taxi. Get them eBikes! Get them off the couch and away from their phones & tablets.
Commuting by Train to the City?

Westchester County, Hudson Valley, the Rivertowns - we have some very steep hills. Take the car, sure, but parking is expensive and the traffic is a drag. Walking is slow and hot. Be nice to see the kids more. Maybe.

Plus, it gets hot! Sweaty. Uncomfortable.

Well, there's more than one way to get up a steep hill or get from home to the station / station from home quickly. You can tell where I'm going with this.

Get an eBike! Roll down to the station, lock it to the bike racks or street furniture with a decent lock. Get back to the station that evening - hot, cross and tired - now you've got the hill to walk up! Yay... 
Or you could waft up the hill in a cool, battery powered haze to the warm embrace of your charming partner and angelic children. Bliss! You'll get a little workout, still have to pedal a bit - sure - but you won't be hot, sweaty and exhausted.

Plug in overnight, rinse, repeat.

Not enjoying the subway at the far end? Get a folding eBike and take it on the train. We stock a selection!

What about the law! Are eBikes legal?
Under Federal law, an eBike does not have to be registered at the DMV if it meets the following criteria:
  • Less than 750 Watts power

  • Less than 20 mph assist

  • Usable pedals

If it goes faster than 20 mph (so called Speed Pedelecs or CAT 3 eBikes) it is NOT legal on New York State Roads without registration at the DMV - which is impossible as they do not have a VIN.
Also New York City local laws, (Local Laws 40 & 41) specifically ban eBikes for commercial use or eBikes with throttles (so called Cat 2 eBikes). 
If it is sub 20 top speed, has usable pedals, & has less than 750 Watts (which most of our eBikes do) it IS legal in the city.
Under a Federal Statute of December 4th 2002 an eBike is SPECIFICALLY EXEMPT from being classed as a motor vehicle (so long as it meets the criteria at the bottom of this page) and as such does not need to be registered with any DMV.

Ariel Rider

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