OF PEDELECS AND
There are two types ofelectric-assist bicycles: pe-delecs and e-bikes. On apedelec, you have topedal to aaivate theelectric
on ane-bike, you don't.Pedelecs are es-sentially a Japaneseand European in-vention. There, gov-ernments require thatthe rider must operate thepedals before electric-assist be-comes available, and they limit the elearicmotor's power to 250 watts. This
a com-mon-sense safety precaution where ridersmix with both automotive traffic andother cyclists in congested urban centers.The United States has no such regulationregarding pedals, and our limit on elec-trie-assist power is 750 watts; 500 watts inCanada. (For more information on federaland state regulations ofe-rides, see TheFine Print, Page 122.)The more powerRil the motor, the lesspedaling you have to do, especially on hills.But power gains bring weight gains, and an
often weighs two or three times asmuch as a conventional bicycle, especiallyif it uses inexpensive but heavy lead-acidbatteries. More and more e-bikes and kits
Electric bikes such as Giant's Suede Edon't replace human power; they amplify it.
are now using powerful andlightweight, but moreexpensive, lithium-ion batteries.FJectric-assistbikes come in abewildering arrayof makes, modelsand, importantly,quality. Experts em-phasize to not expectcheap electric bikes (somecost less than $500) to be reliable overthe long term.Many industry experts lament the floodof cheap Asian elearic bikes and scooterson the marker. T hey have driven someof the more reputable, quality-conscious §manufacturers out of business, leavingssome early buyers high and dr\'. A prime gexample is WaveCrest Libs, builder of my
How to Join
Diana Leafe ChristianHow to research, visit, evaluate and jointhe ecovillage or sustainable communityof your dreams.
Tht Great Neighborhood Book
JayWalljasperA Project for Public Space PPS) book
Practical ways to make yourneighborhood come alive
Rainwater Harvesting, StormwaterCatchment and Alternate Water
LevarioAlternate water collection, with afocus on rainwater harvesting in
David TraceyA guide to greening cities - with orwithout permission.
carbon neutrat3 ancient forest friendly
118 MOTHER EARTH NEWS April/May 2007
Circle #64; see card pg 169