We’re happy that electric bikes intrigue you. Welcome to the incredible world of ebikes! This post was written specifically for you! We spend a lot of time helping people find an ebike that is right for their needs. There is a lot of technical information out there, which doesn’t always help you determine what you
should be looking for in an ebike. The combination of answers to the following questions is how to best determine which ebike is perfect for you.
What do you want to do with your ebike?
If you want to use it daily to commute, you will have different needs than someone who wants to use their ebike occasionally for leisurely rides. We have lots of customers that use their ebike as a rehab tool after surgery or injury, and some who use their ebike as a way to extend their cycling range while they get into better shape. If you want to carry a child or two, tote large families groceries, or tow your big dog, it’s important in determining which ebike is right for you.
Height and weight? You’re getting personal, aren’t you?
We have to get a little personal to help you find your perfect ride. Your height and weight are very important factors. If you are less than 5 foot 6, we have different ebike recommendations than we would for a 6 foot 3 person. Weight is always a little touchy, but it’s really just simple physics. If a 110-pound person and a 240-pound person take out the exact same ebike on the same route, only using the motor, they are going to have vastly different experiences in how fast the ebike will go and how long the battery will last. That’s when our experience with motor wattage, battery voltage, and amp hours is needed to help in making your decision.
How much do you want to pedal?
We have some customers that only want to motor with a throttle, and some that want to use only pedal assist. Using pedal assist, a throttle, or just plain pedaling without any assistance not only determines how long your battery will last, but it also helps in determining which ebike will suit your unique needs. The peddlers also need to consider ebikes that have a large range of gears and some with more simplified shifting systems. If you don’t know what you like, you should test ride everything – sometimes what our customers thought they would like is not what they end up enjoying the most.
Where will you be riding?
If there are big hills on your route, if you may be towing kids or cargo, you may want an ebike with more power than you may need for your size. If you are only riding on paved surfaces, you may not want to have knobby tires that have more rolling resistance that would cut down on the range that your battery can take you vs. smoother tires. If you are going to be riding on city streets or trails where your ride may be bumpy, you may want a bike with some suspension.
When we go through this process in person or over the phone, we spend as much time as is needed for you to have a full understanding of your options, with no pressure. No matter where you buy your ebike, we encourage you to test ride as many ebikes as you can. If you can’t test ride it, don’t buy it without some knowledge of the shop or website that you are buying your ebike from. Check the warranty of the bike, the motor, and the battery, and the return policy. The old saying that “you get what you pay for” rings true in the ebike industry. There are no cheap, powerful, quality
electric bikes. (But if you find one, we'd like to ride it!)
People tend to think that electric bikes are “cheating." Is it cheating to use the elevator instead of the stairs? Or is it cheating to send an email instead of a handwritten letter? The only cheating an electric bike offers is cheating a gas station out of filling up your car. Let's make this clear: Electric bikes are not meant as bike replacements. Even though they are still bikes, we like to think of electric bikes as car replacements instead of bike replacements. For a city like Austin, e-bikes are transportation tools that offer the best of both worlds. Want to pedal? Go ahead. Want to enjoy the power of the nearly silent electric motor? You can do that too! Here at Rocket Electrics, we've put together this list (the first in our newest blog series) about the things to do in Austin that are simply easier on an Electric Bike:
Getting Through Downtown During SXSW:
It’s getting to be that time of year-- locals prepare for the wonderful chaos that is known as SXSW, and out-of-towners wonder if traffic is always this horrendous (it is). If you’ve ever tried to drive through the madness of SXSW or hail a taxi, you know that both are virtually impossible. Lucky for us, navigating on a bike isn't. With an electric bike, you can even wear normal clothes and arrive sweat free to your meetings with potential investors, producers, or agents. Get to the show before the band's 20 minute set is done then hop on your e-bike and get to that screening that you didn't want to miss. Not only will you arrive in style, but you'll be keeping it green too!
Attend ACL Live Tapings, Blues on the Green, and All Downtown Austin Events with Ease:
The biggest thing that keeps us Austinites from going downtown is the parking (and we all know how miserable it is during bigger events). Riding an e-bike downtown eliminates your parking problem immediately. You can get to Zilker Park via the Hike and Bike trail for Blues on the Green, and there’s no better way to get to the ACL Moody Theater than on an electric bike either. Don’t worry about leaving early to avoid the traffic. You can see the encore and still
get home before you could in a car!
Riding To and From Work in a Suit or Dress Clothes... in 100 Degree Weather:
Our electric bike commuters don’t dread their commute. They love getting on their e-bikes instead of taking their cars, even when it’s 100 degrees outside. Get to work without sweating buckets, and if you want to get away from your coworkers in the middle of the day, hop back on your e-bike and take it to a nearby park or to Barton Springs.
The possibilities are truly endless in Austin on an electric bike. Stay tuned for 'Part Two' of our blog series about electric bikes.
Have you seen a man with yellow hair riding a yellow Pedego electric bike around Austin? That man is Peelander Yellow, (AKA Kengo Hioki), a prolific artist, who has adorned chef Paul Qui’s East Side King
locations and Qui
restaurant with his whimsical paintings and drawings. He is also the founder, lead vocalist, and guitar player for Japanese Action Comic Punk band Peelander-Z
, whose record label, Chicken Ranch Records is here in Austin.
When Peelander Yellow is using his yellow electric bike (which he affectionately has named “Yellow Fire”) to zoom around town, fans scream lyrics at him from Peelander-Z songs like “Taco, Taco, Taco” and “So Many Mikes”. Peelander Yellow’s personality and imagination is the lightning rod that fuels the band’s rowdy and unpredictable stage show, making it infectiously engagingly fun.
Peelander Yellow has also created a special Rocket Electrics design — a happy yellow rocket, which is our most popular tshirt and sticker!
Hi friends, we're happy to launch our brand new blog as we prepare for an exciting 2014. Thanks for reading! We wanted to take this time to discuss why we founded our company and our company mission. Rocket Electrics opened to offer the best of the ebike industry to Austin. We’ve shown thousands of people how simple and fun it is to use ebikes for their commute, for recreation, and in some cases, for rehabilitation after injuries. No matter if you rent an ebike
, purchase one, or take one of our tours
, we love sharing the experience of riding an ebike! We have made many friends who walked in the door as customers. Many have given up a car in favor of riding an electric bike as their primary mode of transportation. One customer gave up $400 per month in Car2Go fees. Another left her “soul crushing” car commute and found tranquility in using a combination of ebike and MetroRail to go from South Austin up to Round Rock where she teaches high school. She now looks forward to commuting instead of dreading it. We look forward to profiling some of these folks in this blog, as well as sharing tech tips and tricks to get the most out of your eride. In the meantime, learn more out about our tours in our new video: