Below are electric bicycle reviews for eBikes and kits from A-C.
Aerobic Cruiser 4.5 Stars
This eBike is a recumbent purposely designed to mimic a Harley Davidson motorcycle. This lends and Cruiser part to the Aerobic part of the name. The bikes are designed and built to a high standard, billed as the World's most sophisticated electric bike. The bikes are powered by a 750 watt rear hub motor supplied by a 1 kWh battery pack.
Bike weight is not given, but it looks heavy. You are not going off road very far on this rig.
However, the bike is built for comfort and would make a great in town commuter at least.
Given the bikes pedigree and price we give it 4.5 stars. We love the lawn chair style seat, and would rate it higher, but the bike is just too big for some applications.
Amped Bike Kits
4.8 Stars - Disclaimer - While these kits work well, note that the motor units are sealed. The buyer will not easily be able to service the motor.
Amped bikes features kits with battery packs to match. The kits include: Wheels with built in motors, motor controller, brake cut-off switches, throttle, on-off switch, and all wiring needed to install the kits.
Complete Li-ion Kits - about $1,000 US
Complete SLA Kits - about $500 US
Kits without batteries - about $350 - $450 US
Parts and accessories
Amped is a small shop into testing and refining their products. They feature an online forum and responsive customer service. We use Amped Kits and love them. Amped gets 5 stars from us.
The Audi eBike is a highly engineered machine. The carbon fiber frame weighs just 3.63 pounds and the wheels only 1.63 pounds...probably less than our tires. Total eBike weight is 46.3 pounds. The bike is powered by a 2.3 kW magnet synchronous motor. This makes the bike not street legal in most countries and localities worldwide. However, in pedelec the bike can pull wheelies and hit 50 mph, 80 kph over a distance of 31-44 miles or 50-70 kilometers. It can run about 30 miles in pure eBike mode.
This bike is incredibly well engineered...no doubt about it. The only problem is that this machine is over three times the legal limit of an eBike. All reviews we have seen so far rate the bike highly. As of October 2012, there is no price and no word on production.
The Aerobic Cruiser - $2,000 - $5,000
Comfort and speed at a reasonable price
Busettii High Power eBike - You get what you pay for.
The Beast by M55
The Beast M55 is a high end eBike made by M55 bikes. The Beast features a molded Aluminum frame for high strength and low weight. The motor kicks out 1900 Watts. Price is around that of a Nissan Leaf, at $33,000 USD.
Note that 1900 Watts is close to three times the street legal limit in the USA, and five times the limit allowed in many other countries. Range is claimed to be 75 miles.
BionX makes a series of well engineered kits. These kits are "smart" and feature re-generative braking. The kits come in 250, 350, and 500 Watt versions. Power choices are 24, 36, and 48 Volt battery packs. The kits weigh in at under 20 pounds. The price varies from about $1,400 - $2,000 US.
We recommend 36 volts as a minimum unless you live on flat ground. Note that the BionX battery packs are mostly 9-10 AH. The BionX manufacturers claim a range up to 60 miles per charge. This seems optimistic to us.
The kits include: Wheel with motor, console, battery mount with cables, battery pack and charger. All necessary wiring and mounting hardware is included.
The kits provide so-called pedelec assistance. The BionX brain can measure your pedal effort and assist with applied force according to user settings. Alternatively you can just use the throttle and go. Top speed is about 20 mph.
Regen braking: The BionX system offers battery recharge on braking. This is an advanced feature not found on many eBike kits today, though it is becoming more popular.
Some reviewers have commented that the kits are a challenge to install. In that case, you can just purchase a completed BionX eBike. BionX parts in kits and otherwise are simply excellent, an industry standard of excellence.
BionX bikes are mostly folding bikes with the BionX kits installed. The bikes:
Bike Friday: $2,750 to $2,950 US + $75 shipping
The Paratrooper folding Mountain eBike: $2,725 US + $75 shipping
Bosch has been a long time manufacturer and supplier of high quality auto parts and bicycle lights. (Think Bosch spark plugs.)
Now Bosch, along with partners Gates Carbon Belt Drive and Nuvinci, produces an eBike with a 350 Watt bottom bracket mounted motor. Peak power of 500 Watts or better is stated. Peak speeds reported are 28 mph or 45 kph. Range is estimated at between 25 miles or 40 km, and 62 miles or 100 km depending on riding conditions.
The battery pack is 8 AH. Note that the performance values above may be in excess of EU and other standards.
The new hi-tech ride is priced at around $4,200 US. Riding reviews are not yet in.
Busettii eBikes 3.8 Stars
Busettii features a line of three eBikes using a Chinese made 600 Watt continuous,
1,400 Watt peak power rear geared hub motors. The company also makes a folding eBike, and eTrike, which we have not looked at.
Busettii eBikes are interesting because of their extended range claims. The motors get power from a 13 amp hour LiFePO4 battery pack at 48 volts. The Busettii website claims that the motor and other components are made in the USA, a fact disputed by others on for example the Endless Sphere forum.
The bikes claim a 50 mile range with no pedaling, and 70 miles with pedal assist. This is an outstanding claim for an eBike in the $2,000 price class.
We feel and so do others that it is highly unlikely you will get this kind of range from any eBike in this class. About half that claim seem more practical. Reviews on the bikes are mixed from lousy to fantastic. If you can get one from a reputable dealer, a Busettii might be worth the money, as the prices for the performance are very reasonable. We give the bike the same 3.6 stars you will find at Amazon.