Evelo Electric Bicycles of New York, N.Y.

Part 18 in an ongoing series highlighting Northeast-based gear companies. What is an electric bike? It's a bicycle that uses battery power to either 1) provide a small amount of additional power to normal pedaling (sometimes called "pedal assist" or "electric assist") or 2) provide enough power to enable pedal-free riding.

The Evelo Aries.
The challenge of electric bikes, or e-bikes, is integrating a sufficiently large battery pack into the frame design. Evelo Electric Bicycles solves this challenge by placing the battery pack on the back of the bike using a modified rear bike rack design.

Unlike other electric bikes, Evelo models feature what the company calls its "uniquely designed, incredibly powerful mid-drive motor system." It's essentially a 250-watt motor that powers the crank, as opposed to a hub motor that powers the front or back wheel. This allows you to utilize the full range of traditional gears while under electric power. (Alternatively, you can invest in the optional NuVinci N360 drivetrain, which offers a continuous gear range.)  

On a full charge, Evelo bikes can travel up to 40 miles in pedal-assist mode, or 20 miles in electric-only mode. The top speed in electric-only mode is 20 mph. (On an interesting side note, federal law considers electric bikes to be in the same class as a regular bicycle—i.e. no license required—as long as top speed in electric mode is 20mph or less and the motor power is less than 750 watts.)

Charging an Evelo bike is cheap. The web site notes that you can charge the battery 13 times—getting 250-500 miles of use—for only $1. Which is a good thing, since the three styles of Evelo bikes each start at $1,895.

Learn more about bicycles and bike accessories in these recent posts:
Support your Northeast gear companies! Here are the 17 I've profiled to date:
“Equipped” is an AMC Outdoors blog, written by Matt Heid.

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