We ride bicycles for the feeling of freedom, for the joyful fun, and sometimes for transportation. But what if the hills in your town are discouragingly steep and suck the joy from your ride, or the distance to your work is insurmountably far for a bike commute? Maybe you have a health condition that no longer allows you to safely or comfortably mountain bike the trails or keep up with your spouse on your Sunday spin together.
Consider the electric bicycle. Just add a battery to the already elegant bike, and cyclists can go farther, faster and longer, while still actually pedaling.
There are three categories of e-bikes, based on their maximum assisted speed. Class 1 motors provide pedaling assistance up to 20 mph; Class 2 are throttle-assisted, meaning the motor works without pedaling but only up to 20 mph; and Class 3 are speed pedal-assisted like Class 1 but can achieve speeds up to 28 mph. For all classes, the maximum legal output in the U.S. is 750 watts.