Recently my mom has expressed interest in getting a bicycle. She does a lot of short (sub 3 km) runs in her car that could easily be accomplished on a bike.
But easy is a relative term. She's approaching 70, smokes, isn't in the greatest shape and hasn't been on a bike for 25 years
To me she sounded like a perfect candidate for an e-bike. So I did some shopping, helped her try out several bikes - some made as e-bikes and one e-bike conversion candidate. Turns out Schwinn has a relatively inexpensive ($600 CDN) aluminum frame folding e-bike that fit her best.
I road a Currie Tec Izip bike the other day, it was rather nice for being a ready made product, top speed of 15mph (to slow for my taste) but it was simple to operate, you simply ride it like a bicycle, the motor speed was based off pedal speed and torque (yes, torque too, I spoke with one of their enginers) so all you did was pedal, and it helped, pedal faster and you go faster, I liked them because they have NiMH batteries hidden in the frame (two screws to removed) and only weight about 40 pounds total, the down side was the slow top speed, altho they have a range of around 30 miles, mostly because you have to pedal as well, so at most I would guess it's adding %50-%60.
I like the idea behind the design of these bikes, being that they are so simple to use that people who would otherwise be driving a car might think about operating them, altho I dislike their slow top speed, but that is partly because of their goal of reaching the masses, and some states requireing low top speeds of electric bikes, where wisconsin alows 30mph top speed on electric bikes.
Hey thats not too bad on the weight ! I was actually thinking closer to 70# myself . I'm guessing the weights are not listed because folks will say "Thats Too Heavy" and look elsewhere. Honestly I've heard of E-Bikes mentioned but have never actually seen them - definitely worth a look see . Thank you !