This spring I decided I needed a little help on my daily bike ride. The hills were starting to bother me and I was limiting the distance I biked so that I didn’t get further away from home than I could comfortably pedal back.
The solution seemed to be an electric bicycle.. an ebike. The idea of pedal assist to deal with hills or headwinds and throttle control allowing for no pedaling at all really appealed to me. I could increase the distance I pedaled to more interesting locations while not worrying about how I would get home.
My first stop to research what ebike I would buy. What features do I need, what motor, mid or hub drive was best for my needs? I found two sites in particular that were quite helpful. Electric Bike Review and Electric Bike Report. Both sites are loaded with information about ebikes in general and contain the information you need to make decisions about specifications and features. The reviews were helpful too. Even though both sites charge bike manufacturers for reviews I found them to be in-depth and fairly objective. They certainly provide a good look at a given bike and contain enough information to compare brands.
I also checked with several local bike shops and found I was not the only one to be looking for an ebike. I was quoted delivery times up to a year. This online and in person research helped me decide I should buy a bike with a rear hub motor, hydraulic disk brakes (these bikes tip the scales at 50-60 pounds so you want plenty of stopping power) and a step through frame was clearly the right choice for me. Way more comfortable that hoisting my replacement knee over a triangular bike frame. When I was younger I wouldn’t have been caught dead on a step through bike..which was then a girl’s bike. Times have changed.
When all was said and done I decided on a ebike from iGo Electric based in Lachine, Quebec. The company sells a broad range of models designed in Canada and manufactured in China. iGO has a network of dealers across Canada and the US but doesn’t currently have one on the west island of Montreal where I live so I booked a demonstration at iGO’s head office in Lachine. Sales Manager Adamo Forian spent an hour with me. I was able to ride the bike and he answered every single question I had about the bike and the company. I chose the iGO Discovery Berri which checked off all my requirements with a bonus for a geek like me..it has Bluetooth and a smartphone app.
My bike is currently on a ship from China bound for Delta, BC due to dock next week so, with luck should arrive at my home by mid-May. I will follow up this report with a full review once I have ridden it for a while. I’m really looking forward to it.