14 December 2008

My new(ish) bike

You may remember a post from a month or two ago referencing my spontaneous desire to buy an electric bike in the context of other spontaneous desires. Well, I've become well-known here for my follow-through. In early November, after lots of price-checking and research, I found a used electric bike on a craigslist-esque Taiwanese website, contacted the owner, checked it out, and got myself a new toy.

The bike is about a year old and is the same size (maybe a bit shorter) than an average bike. It's equipped with a lead-acid battery that weighs about 25 pounds, which would render the bike totally impractical if it didn't so handily fit in my building's elevator. With the battery off, you ride it just like a regular bike. With the battery on, you can "rev" the "engine" to about 15mph without pedaling. All this for a mere 5000 TWD (about $165 US).

This means that I can now ride to work sweat-free and fee-free in about the same time as the bus would take. I pass most of the regular bikes on the road, except this one stubborn old man who pedals furiously and manages to pull just ahead. This is by far the best mode of transportation for me. I plug it into the wall for a few hours at night, and voila, I have four hours of battery. An efficient and effortless way to get around, it doesn't require a license and doesn't emit any form of exhaust. The best part? People here think electric bikes are extremely nerdy, so it will probably never get stolen.

And now, a grainy picture of my electric bike.

6 comments:

Jonathan said...

Cool bike! Why are there so many hyphens in the first paragraph?

glennie said...

What happened to the pink fold up bike with tiny wheels?

Anonymous said...

Katie, I'm confused. Are you in china and does that explain how cheap the bike was. I have an E Bike made in the beautiful city of Jinhu based on an Australian design. But it cost me $2000 Aus.

They are definitely going to revolutionize bike usage but also the perception of bikes, taking bikes way from the Lycra cult and towards the European sit up straight type of bike.

If you ant answer my questions I'm at rubbo@aapt.net.au

Cheers, Mike

Aunt Judy said...

And can this come home with you? The ones that are selling in the US right now are about $2000 -- they have suddenly become a fad, so here you might even be cool.....

Katie's Mom said...

I echo Glennie's comment...what happened to the cute pink fold up bike?

費凱蒂 Katie said...

Pink fold-up bike = folded up in the corner of my room, broken. The chain took on a habit of falling off every ten minutes. It will get fixed and likely sold at some point...