In this era of re-awakened environmental awareness, electric bikes have finally come of age, as more and more people are discovering how fun and useful they can be.
Izip are a subsidiary of Currie Technologies, who hail from California, epicentre for draconian zero-emissions legislation. As pioneers of electric bikes long before it was fashionable, the company now have an impressive line-up of truly effective transportation solutions.
The Ezgo is Izip’s economy ‘go anywhere’ model. Featuring a heavy duty and well designed 6061 aluminium folding frame, with removable battery, it offers portability and easy riding rolled into one.
It proved a versatile runabout perfect for commuting and nipping to the shops… but then that’s not much different to a normal bike. That said, on lazy days the extra power might just encourage you to take your bike instead of your car. It’s available in just one size, and the latest version is red.
This baby’s a bit power hungry but it’s fun. Working on a slightly different concept from the usual power-assist, one revolution of the low geared crank (44×16 on 16in wheels) triggers the motor, which takes over most of the duties over about 8mph. From there on, up to the legislated cut-off of 15mph, you’ll be spun out trying to keep pedalling, so the correct technique is to rotate the pedals slowly, relying almost entirely on the motor.
As long as the cranks are moving, throttle sensors keep the power on. It cuts out one or two seconds after stopping the pedals, or when you hit the brakes. The twist throttle is actually a power-on override and LED battery gauge rolled into one: use it from a standing stop to get going.
The reliable lead acid battery weighs in at 8.58kg/18.9lb, and will surely put an extra inch of muscle around your biceps if you decide to regularly fold the bike and heave it into your car. New batteries cost £135, or £80 to replace the cells while re-using the casing. A full charge from empty takes six to eight hours, and chargers go for £29.99.
Folding is basic, with robust, well designed hinges and safe quick-release clasps. What sets the Ezgo apart from most other Far Eastern contenders is the high quality of construction, the level of refinement of the motor and the simple control system which, when mastered, becomes second nature. We managed about 15 miles per charge, with a number of hills in the mix.