Four Years of eZip Excitement

2012-05-14



By: Turbo Bob

On a quiet evening in 2008, a major event took place in our household. What appeared to be a simple purchase changed our lives forever. With a brand new pair of Currie Technologies eZip bikes headed home in the back of the station wagon, we were ready to take on our daily work commute in a new way. The everyday bikes we ride didn’t seem up to the task, (10 hilly miles each way) so the decision was made to use electric-assist bikes to replace our cars for each day’s travel.


Turbo Bob's eZip Electric BicycleWe spent many hours investigating ways to quit burning fossil fuels for our work day transportation. Discussions of converting our cars with electric motors, converting a motorcycle to electric, getting electric scooters and other thoughts were found to be too expensive or unwieldy. When we learned about E-bikes, we felt we had hit on the right track. Not sure of just how much we wanted to invest, I came across information on the eZip Mountain Trailz made by Currie Technologies. Perfect.

This purchase was not all about saving money. It was more about continuing our awareness and activity towards the environment’s needs. Call it going green or reducing our carbon foot print, we have been all about the three Rs for a long time—Reduce–Reuse–Recycle. It also seemed a big boon to our physical and metal health. And as it’s turned out, we have saved a ton of money.

I considered converting a few bikes to electric-assist. It would have been fun, but the cost seemed high. We looked at other E-bikes on the market (more $ too), but like others I have talked to, we weren’t 100% sure if we would use the bikes enough to make that worthwhile. So we opted for what I now call ’The least expensive E-bikes on the market’. And now, even four years later, we couldn’t be happier.

So, after getting the bikes, I went on to add some up-dates. A couple pairs of ABS fenders and some low-buck road tires (with thorn-resistant tubes) was first on the list. A set of lights and bells were called for too (we use the blinking lights day or night). A pair of strong cable locks helped to round out the package. I did have a few teething problems, but with the help of the great staff at Currie, I took care of those easily. My bike blog has a complete multi-part set of articles that document all of this.

Let the commuting begin. And commute we did, 3-5 times a week we were able to use our new E-bikes just as they were intended. The large racks held our gear during each ride. The assist helped us up the hills on our journeys to allow us to arrive refreshed and ready to work. The E-bikes did (and still do) their jobs wonderfully liked we had hoped.

Sure, these bikes are fairly heavy and have what might be considered old-school motors and batteries. That never slowed us down once. They have more hill-climbing torque than many of the modern E-bikes I test on a weekly basis. I have since up-graded the batteries to the lithium types that Currie Technologies now offers for this style of their E-bikes. That has reduced the over-all weight and given us more piece of mind.

The Mountain Trailz E-bikes are still on today’s line-up of E-bikes they offer. They give the E-bike buyer the option of not spending the extra cash for something they might not need. Currie Technologies has E-bikes in all price ranges, but if you just need the most basic of electric-assist bikes to help you down the road, then these are worth considering.

One more thing about our bikes that is interesting is the gentle whine the motors make. Due to the internal reduction gears in the motors, they do sound off a little. You may have read how electric cars are so quiet that noise makers might be mandated to allow pedestrians to hear them better, well the Mountain Trailz have this covered already. Plus, when we ride together, they make the coolest sound similar to a twin-engine Cessna (Do the words ’Sky King’ ring a bell?) 
I will be testing the modern version of the eZip Mountain Trailz (called simply a ‘Trailz’ now) sometime this year and I will get a chance to compare it to our four year-old bikes. It will be interesting to see how this inexpensive E-bike has evolved in that time. One thing about our eZips that I have always liked are the strong-powerful V-brakes. From the photos on their website, I can see that they are still being used on the new bikes.

Also I can see they still have a front suspension fork that smoothes out the bumps, and they now offer that super-low first gear that Shimano puts out. The colors look good (men’s in black and women’s in red), our bikes are silver for mine and black for my wife’s. They also have a set of tires that are more geared for road use than our bikes came with.

As the years go by, our eZips have done so much for us. They each have several thousand miles on the odometers. We have kept from using lots of gasoline. We have helped our health and state of mind. We have showed to friends and others that E-bikes are a great way to help ourselves and our world. We have reduced our car insurance rates because of the low mileage they travel. We have reduced the maintenance and oil-change needs of our cars that is good for our pocket books and our environment. And yes, we have saved more money than can be calculated. It was never about the money, but we’ve spent less and all the while enjoying it thoroughly.

Can you say that about your transportation? Turbo Bob.

“Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride.”—John F. Kennedy.

For more information about the author of this article visit: Turbo Bob’s Bicycle Blog