Bikes in the Electric Era

I have a new e-bike! This is quite a change from my beloved Bacchetta recumbent, which has been my pedaler of choice for a number of years now. I acquired the recumbent as a solution to the backache that upright bikes seemed to inflict on me, and it’s been great. Here’s the recumbent…

But that was a different era, before I came down with this pesky pulmonary fibrosis, which makes me get short of breath before I can go a city block, and necessitates an O2 tank or portable concentrator on my back. But perhaps, I thought, I’ll do better with a bike with an electric motor, but which will still let me pedal as I am able or inclined to. And perhaps they’ve developed better saddles (seats) for bikes since the last time I bought an upright bike, forty or fifty years ago. Here’s the one I got…

It’s a Biria Electric Easy Boarding bike, very easy to step into. It has a powerful motor on the front wheel hub, and a good-sized removable battery under the luggage rack. It’s a Class 2, which I now know means that it gives you a boost automatically when it senses torque in the pedals, and it also has a throttle, which gives you an extra boost when you want it. You can just drive it on electric, if you’re tired. But in the auto-boost mode, it helps you while encouraging you to do some pedaling. It’s not quite a fly-cycle, but it does go zooom when you ask it to, up to 20 mph. I like it!

As I feared, though, the saddle that came with it was a butt-killer. And others available in the bike shop were little better. But spend enough time on Amazon, and you’ll find options. I tried two, both described as good for folks of an, er, older generation, or folks whose backs hurt on regular seats. (It seems there are a lot of people who fit this description.) This is the throne I settled on, called the Giddy-Up. Contoured memory-foam seat, much better than the stock seat. Red light on the back, powered by a rechargeable battery. They give you a 12-inch USB cable to recharge it. (Um…?) Well, the light doesn’t matter to me, because it’s blocked by the bike’s battery case anyway. And the bike has its own head and tail lights.

Here’s proof (sort of) that I rode it the seven miles to Lexington today. I cannot claim that it was butt-pain-free. I probably need to build up some tolerance, and maybe make further adjustments. I’ll let you know.

  1. Jim Ortner
    | Reply

    E-bikes have really improved the last few years. I purchased one last year as the regular bike was hurting my right knee when the winds would pick up. The Serfas bike I have has adjustable handle bars so I can sit upright. I have lower back problems so this position really helps. I’ve tried a few saddles and still haven’t found one that is comfortable for my normal 33.5 mile ride! My butt got real sore last weekend after riding 52 miles.

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