Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Musing Journal #6

Price of Electric Bike

So, I noticed that Walmart is selling a cheap electric bike. It's about $600. Amazon also sells some, and it's slightly cheaper, but about the same price. However, I also notice that the electric bike conversion kit is priced about $400 something. The question is, if you take an electric bike, and subtract the cost of the conversion, will you arrive at the price of the bike?

I think not. Assembling the bikes does cost money, but adding a few more parts at the factory isn't going to cost the same as aftermarket additions. So, you probably are going to get a better bike for the price.

And yet, I wonder if that's a wise decision. First of all, in a cheap bike, heaviness isn't a problem. Whatever energy drain that the bike has, is counteracted by the electric power. Even the smallest pedal assist level will be enough to counter the drag. So, about the only concern is to have a bike that is strong enough to last a long time.

As I wandered around REI store, however, I found a sample electric bike. I picked it up and noticed that the whole bike with battery weights less than my current bike with no cargo! Huh, I didn't think that was possible. I also noticed that the price tag on the bike is $1700! At that price level, I'm probably getting $1000 bike, which would be really sweet indeed. But I don't need $1000 bike. I'm perfectly happy with my current heavy mountain bike. With electric motor? Who cares about the weight.

So, figure $400 bike plus $400 conversion kit. That's about $800, and that's my current limit for an electric bike. Anything above $1000, and I'd rather get a scooter.

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