Tips For Choosing a Biking Commute Route

1. Bike Lanes: Get to know where your city's bike lanes are for a safer ride. Places like Seattle offer Bike Maps to help you navigate. The SDOT's interactive map even offers different maps for different levels of comfort (Frequent Rider, Average Rider, and Occasional Rider).

2. Traffic Levels: If you already drive to work, you probably have a good sense of where the bad traffic is. Bikes can take different routes than cars to avoid bad traffic. In some cases, you may end up with longer commutes to avoid high traffic areas, but other times choosing low traffic or bike only routes can cut down on commute time. 

3. Terrain: Seattle is well known for its hilly terrain, so if you're planning to commute in the city or in another hilly area, get to know where the toughest hills are and whether they have safe spots for you to stop if necessary. Depending on the length of your commute, you may way to avoid steep hills towards the end of your trip if you are getting tired.

4. Hazards: Well maintained, paved roads are best for bike commuters. Poor road quality will not only make commuting difficult, but can also be harder on the bike itself. Know where rail road tracks, storm drains, etc are so you can plan to avoid or safely cross them. 

5. Lighting: Try to ride on roads that are well lit, so you can see where you're going and drivers can see you. Wear bright clothing to increase visibility. If you have to ride on dimly lit or unlit roads, it's a good idea to invest in lights for your bike. Light & Motion sells great head lights and rear lights for commuters that will make you visible to cars from all sides. This is especially important when weather is bad or when it starts getting dark earlier.

6. Test Ride: To reduce the pressure to arrive on time on your first attempt, do a test ride on a day you aren't working to get a sense of the route and timing. 

7. Electrify: Consider cutting your time by 50 to 70 percent by going Electric Assist.  If you pedal with the same effort you currently do, your speed will double on the flats, and increase 2 to 5 fold on hills, depending how steep they are. Depending on your riding level, E-Bikes can make a 7 mile Seattle commute in 20 minutes, which is comparable to a car. Some go 18 miles each way in under an hour.

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Seattle E-Bike's Extensive Folding Electric Bike Collection

We are thrilled to now offer three different folding bikes for our customers to choose from: E3 CompactEpik Lite, and Mariner 7All three of these bikes are double folding models, making transporting and storing easier than any other bike out there! 

So why must we carry so many folders?

Folding bikes are rising in popularity among commuters in Seattle and across the country. Many people have come into our shop and had their eyes set on a full size bike and then realize the convenience of our folders and can't take their eyes off of them! Not to mention, all of these bikes are fairly inexpensive, especially when compared to the non-folding models we carry. They usually come with a smaller motor, but a small motor goes quite a long way in overall torque and battery life on a 20" wheel compared to a larger motor and wheel.

Come in and try one out today! You will be leaving with a smile - we guarantee it!

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Major I-90 Closures Next Week: Bike to Work Instead!

Westbound I-90 from Bellevue to Mercer Island will have major closures next week due to construction. It will be the perfect time to take your bike to work instead! Construction will start at 9:30 pm on Friday, July 18th and will end at 5 am Friday, July 25th. There will only be one lane open for cars, which will cause major delays. However, the bike lanes will be open during the day with an expected delay of only 5 minutes. 

The chart from WSDOT below shows expected commute times if only 40% of regular traffic takes the route (60% diversion). If less than than 60% diverts, delays will be much worse. Backups could be up to 10 miles long.

The construction will cause delays all across the region, so even if you don't take I-90, it will be a good time to take your bike instead!

Don't own a bike? Come visit our shop! We have a wide range of electric bikes that are perfect for commuting. 

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What do you have planned for Father's Day?!

We have a great last minute answer for you and that is...  

FAT BIKE RENTALS!


At first, you might be thinking "Why in the world would I want to travel around the hilly Seattle area with my dad on a huge fat bike?!" Well, we have tested this thought with a few of our customers and staff and have found the ultimate path that works perfectly with all terrain bikes for the route of a lifetime. 

Basically, you pedal just a few blocks from our shop to Yesler and make your way to Pier 50. From there, you pay $4 and hop on a Water Taxi (goes every half hour on weekdays and hour on weekends) and it takes you to one of Seattle's most beautiful beaches with an immaculate Seattle backdrop perfect for memorable picture taking. Yes, we are talking about West Seattle's Alki Beach. Tons of activity going on in almost sub-city of Seattle from cute boutiques to cultured bars and restaurants! Of course, you'll find a ton of foot traffic on the beach that will surely be turning heads while you ride by. More importantly, you're out there loving life with the people you love most without having to worry about parking.

Check out a few of our customers that enjoyed themselves on our rental fats:

 

If you are interested, set up an appointment with us today before it's too late for Father's Day and we'd be happy to get you and your family and friends set up with a fat for a fun ride around town and a GUARANTEED blast!! 

$30 Half Day

$45 Full Day

$10 Overnight Fee

20% OFF for 2+ Fat rentals

 

See you soon!

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Introducing the E3 Peak!

We are now carrying Currie Technologies' IZIP E3 Peak electric mountain bike! This bike is made with top quality components and frame and utilizes superior technologies to other e-bikes on the market. Both experienced and novice riders will find this bike fun, safe, and reliable. Currie Technologies is the largest and longest operating e-bike company in North America, ensuring that you will always ride with confidence on their IZIP bikes.

What makes this bike unique from our other bikes is its center drive motor. It is the most powerful in our line at a low price of $3000.00. With 350 watts of motor energy and a center drive motor working together, the bike has greater speed, better hill climbing ability, reduced weight, and lower battery usage. Almost any mountain trail will be possible with the IZIP. It is beautifully equipped with adjustable Rock Shox suspension, Hydraulic disc brakes, and a SRAM X7 9 speed gear set.

 

To read a review, visit: Electric Bike Review

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Mother's Day Gift from Seattle E-Bike!

Are you that last minute shopper that has just thought what to get your mom for Mother's Day? Good news. We have a solution for the eco-friendly, cycling moms out there. 

If you haven't heard of GiltCity.com, well you better get on it. It's the new hot spot for finding amazing, high-quality deals in your neighborhood - and guess what? We have a GREAT deal for you and your mom!

Launched as of 2 days ago, we are offering some great deals! Check it out!

How could you say no to a Standard Tune for $45! (Normally $75+) or a $600 store credit for $400? We also have a few fabulous deals on our premier bike lines - don't miss out! Offer ends in less than 2 weeks!

Other great gift items: Helmets, totes, messenger bags, bike locks, front baskets, healthy on-the-go nutrition! 

   

Don't be out of the loop on Bike month! Get mom (or you) some useful items that you or her can really use instead of that old dust-collecting item sitting in the back dark corner in your closet. You know what we're talking about.

We will be OPEN on Mother's Day from noon-5pm for all you last-minute (literally) shoppers out there! 

See you soon!

 

 

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Celebrate with Seattle E-Bike May 1st!

Seattle E-Bike is proud to announce the official grand opening of our brand new location! You are invited to speak with representatives of bikes we carry, enjoy food and beverages, and learn more about e-bikes.
Wait! There's more! We are having a drawing and a lucky attendee will be walking away with a Polaris Meridian that night.
Don't worry, if you don't win, you will also be entered to win the same e-bike that will be drawn at the end of May! 
When: May 1st, 2014 
(First Thursday Artwalk)
5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Where: 570 1st Ave S
Special thanks to: Polaris eBikesBrammoPeddler Brewery and everyone else involved in contributing to the success of Seattle E-Bike's premier location.
Save the date for the first day of May and we hope to see you there!

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Seattle E-Bike 2.0: New Location!

SEATTLE E-BIKE HAS OFFICIALLY MOVED!

We are beyond ecstatic to announce that we have moved from our original 222 1st Ave location and are now located just three blocks south at 570 1st Ave South starting January 11th!! Same area, but much bigger (and awesomer) to allow a proper service station and much larger expansion of products! Keep in mind, this will be just a soft opening with plans to have a grand opening by Spring. We will be sure to let you know when that happens!

Of course, many things will be changing but we will be keeping the same phone line, emails, website and hours for your convenience!

 

Okay, now on to the good stuff - what's changed!!

  • More Staff! We have more service staff for quicker, turnaround repairs and more sales staff for shorter waiting times during the waiting process.

  • Upgrading E-Bike Quality! We will be changing up our product line with more advanced technology and higher-quality, reliable transporting with fewer maintenance issues.

  • Expansion of Product Line! We will also be including high-power (20+ mph), electric, custom USA-made fat bikes, scooters, and motorcycles for folks that are looking for a little extra performance in their commuting lives. We will continue to carry electric trailers as well as electric skateboards for the more diversified electric commuters!

  • Refreshment Area! We noticed how bike commuters come into our shop parched from an exhilarating ride and we want to support that with a water/coffee area along with a tire-pumping and tube-changing area for those that can do-it-on-their-own.

  • Waiting room for family/friends! We understood how cramped our last shop was, especially for the tag-along guests, so now we will provide a nice comfy waiting area in the front room where folks can relax while waiting.

We have listened to all your feedback throughout the past couple years and we are taking affirmative action in blending feedback and the future of what we believe e-bikes will be in the coming years into our shop now! We appreciate YOU, our beloved customers, family and friends, for tagging along with us throughout it all. Words cannot express how excited we are for Seattle E-Bike 2.0! 

As always, we'd love to hear from you! Please send us your pictures, ideas, comments, and stories from your e-bike in your life. Stop in any time starting this weekend!

 

Happy (Safe) Riding,

 

Seattle E-Bike Staff
570 1st Ave South
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 344-8000
info@electricbikeseattle.com
 
Store Hours:
Tuesday-Saturday: 11am - 6:30pm
http://www.electricbikeseattle.com/
We are on Yelp. Check us out. 
http://www.yelp.com/biz/seattle-e-bike-seattle

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Understanding Watts, Volts, and Amps in E-Bikes

Happy Octoburrrrrr folks! We have now reached the off-season for bike-riding but that does not stop us or the new innovations in electric bike technology. We have many new electric vehicles in the making and are making BIG plans to accommodate it... stay tuned!

We are noticing that many folks around our neighborhood find it difficult when they wrap their minds around the concept behind electric bikes. Our savvy new Service Technician on board, Daniel Lauzon, does a fantastic job of explaining how electrical terms for an e-bike is interpreted in the American culture as well as how to do the math yourself, relatively speaking. 

 

"The world of e-bikes can be very confusing to people who are not steeped in it. A slew of words get thrown around with little or no context to understand them. Most commonly, “watts” are used to determine the relative power of an electric system, but to many shoppers it's an arbitrary term. Today I'll be explaining what it means, the terms associated with it, and how you can use it to be smart about your next electric purchase.

Watts are a measure of energy either being produced or consumed. Most e-bikes on the market are equipped with a motor rater to between 250 and 500 watts. This means that, at its expected peak, the motor will convert 250 to 500 watts of energy, in this case electricity, into motion by turning the wheel. For e-bikes, this is used to describe the power of the motor the same way Horsepower is used for a car.

A motor's wattage isn't always useful to determine an e-bikes expected range, however. To estimate that, you need to look at the battery, which has two ratings: “voltage” and “amp-hours”, often abbreviated to “V” and “Ah”. Volts are the amount of stored 'oomph' the battery can hold, or a measurement of potential energy. Amps are a measure of current, best thought of here as how quickly the battery can discharge the volts of potential energy into watts of usable power.

Because an e-bike has a complete system, the amps are measured in hour time frames and marked as “Amp-hours”. This allows you to do the range math: potential power (Volts) multiplied by how fast the battery can discharge that energy (Amp-hours) gives you “Watt-hours”, often abbreviated “Wh”. You can then divide the battery's watt-hours by the wattage of the motor, telling you how many hours the battery can power the motor at the motor's top speed. Multiply that by the top speed in miles per hour, and you have the estimated range in miles!

In the real world, this is much more complicated. A 500 watt motor will often consume up to 750 watts during hard acceleration or trying to maintain top speed up a hill. Often you will be pedaling your e-bike, taking some or all of the load away from the motor, and sometimes you'll be coasting. These things can all shift an e-bike's range to a significant degree from what is listed. Pedal-assist bicycles often have more ranges that are easier to replicate in daily riding because they encourage the rider to pedal, while throttle-based systems can be used at maximum with no immediate consequences.

This explanation is meant to give you a better idea of what the terms and numbers associated with e-bikes mean. The explanations have been simplified significantly so they can be understood more easily and the calculations are rules of thumb rather than rigorous scientific equations. Nevertheless, you can use them for “back-of-the-napkin” math problems and as a way to understand the pros and cons of different e-bikes and their motor systems."

 

Now that we all know how the terminology that makes up an electric bike semi-works, imagine yourself riding an e-bike without having to sweat and conquering that hill at around 4 cents per charge! Equate that into miles per gallon, with the gas price at $4 a gallon at 20 miles a gallon and 20 miles per charge on an electric bike, that would be 2,000 miles per gallon monetarily speaking for the electric bike! This efficient, eco-friendly way of transportation simply puts the cash back in your pocket while giving you an exhilarating and efficient bike ride to wherever you need to go, whenever. 

Have more thoughts or questions about having an electric bike in your life? Call our shop at (206) 344-8000 Tuesday-Saturday 11-6:30 and we'd be happy to assist you through it!

 

Happy (Safe) Riding folks!

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Seattle E-Bike Featured in NW Cyclist Magazine!

Check it out! Seattle E-Bike is featured in the current NWCyclist Magazine cover story! Read more below about how E-Bikes are gaining popularity in the hilly Northwest. We wanted to share the great news with you, as you are part of helping us get there!

Read the article in full below or on the OutdoorsNW website:
http://outdoorsnw.com/2013/e-bikes-hill-flattening-roadsters-coming-into-their-own/

Story and Photos by Hilary Meyerson

Photo at right: Seattle E-Bike in Pioneer Square.

NWC2013_Ebikes1

 

Quick—what’s the best-selling electric vehicle in the world? It’s not a car—it’s a bicycle. Welcome to the future.

E-bikes look like regular bikes, but have a battery pack for an extra assist. You still have to pedal, but you can commute to work without needing to take a shower. They are not a new concept, though early models were ugly and batteries had very short lives.

In recent years, with improved battery technology and lots of research and development, these hill-flattening roadsters are coming into their own.

While the vast majority of e-bikes, or electric assist bikes, are sold in Europe and Asia, many people feel that the North American market is about to tip. At last year’s Interbike show, exhibitors showing e-bikes more than doubled.

Nowhere might this trend be more evident than in the Northwest. Portland is probably the hub of e-bike life, while Seattle isn’t far behind. In fact, it’s Seattle’s unique hilly topography that makes it perfect for an e-bike, according to Brian Nordwall, owner of Seattle E-Bike in Pioneer Square.

Owner Brian Nordwall of Seattle E-Bike in his Pioneer Square store.

Nordwall explains that you can’t build a road now more than eight degrees in slope. Madison, near Nordwall’s store, is a 12-degree slope. Virginia Street, from Pike Place Market, is 17 degrees. (At 20 degrees, city planners have to go with stairs, like a few locations in Queen Anne, Capitol Hill or West Seattle).

Electric bikes make these a breeze without breaking a sweat, which makes the bike a truly feasible transportation option for those who might not otherwise climb those hills, or don’t want to grind out that exercise in their work clothes.

“Even if you’re a 60-year-old man in mediocre shape, like me, you can do it,” says Nordwall. “It’s the hill flattener.”

Nordwall is particularly fond of the electric fat bikes, the electric version of the balloon-tired mountain bikes taking snowy and sandy destinations by storm.

“They are fantastic urban warriors. The one we’re making for the police will go up the Harbor Steps. Easily.”

Portland study

As is often the case, Portland is a pioneer in bicycle progress—this time with e-bikes. John MacArthur, Sustainable

Transportation Manager for Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium (OTREC) at Portland State University is leading a study to see how e-bikes can be integrated into a sustainable transportation system. The study is partially funded by a grant from Drive Oregon.

The study will take 30 e-bikes and give them out to four different groups of users: folks who don’t participate in biking, for real or perceived barriers; women, over 55 years old; people who commute more than five miles a day, where they feel topography is too challenging; and to those might have some kind of physical impairment, like a bad knee Downtown areas that have scarce and expensive parking and transportation costs are key markets for e-bikes.

“Our main interest was getting feedback from that demographic of folks, and does it work?” asks MacArthur. “Does it expand our mobility options for folks? We’d like to encourage people to do more active transportation. Does the electric bike help these transportation goals? This is really exploratory testing.”

A local company, Conscious Commuter, will be donating the bike and using the study for market research.

Does MacArthur have predictions? Not yet, but he’s seeing more being used around town each day.

“I think there is a huge opportunity in the market,” he says.

Surprise market

While many thought that the e-bikes would be appealing to those who are already cycling, there has been a surprising advent of several niche markets. E-bikes come in so many varieties, from fat bike to folding bike, and the folding variety has proven very popular with boaters and small plane owners. It’s a great mode of transportation for those who have limited space.

Imagine this: you pull your boat up to a small marina but want to head into the bigger town nearby for supplies. Unfold your e-bike and zip away. Or if you’ve landed your small plane on a remote island airfield and you’d like to spend the day touring the quaint towns or scenery that’s farther than walking distance. An e-bike opens up possibilities for many travelers.

The wave of the future?

Only time will tell if e-bikes have finally reached the tipping point here in the Northwest. There are still purists who feel they are not real bikes if they are not being powered by 100 percent pedal action. However, still others feel that anything that gets more people pedaling, is a good thing. There are no points awarded for driving your car up one of Seattle’s steep hills; pedaling at all is a step in the right direction for your health and for the environment.

Regardless of your predisposition, e-bikes are worth another look. They aren’t going away, and you might be the next rider zipping by other riders without even breaking a sweat.

Hilary Meyerson is the editor of NW Cyclist and Outdoors NW and could use some help on the hills.


Seattle Bike Expo Loves Mikaela and our Fat E-Bike 





With our feature in the NWCyclist magazine and our presence at the Seattle Expo that occurred recently, we are definitely getting the buzz spreading out about Seattle E-Bike!
Sales Manager Mikaela Bird had a great time showing off our Electric Fat Bike at the Seattle Bike Expo last week. We were definitely the only shop to show a Fat Tire Bike in the whole show, never mind an electric version. You’ve got to come give them a twirl—the wide tires make for an unbelievably smooth ride over all kinds of surfaces from city streets to snowy mountains to sandy beaches. 

Let us Hear from You!


As always, we love to hear from you! Please send us your pictures, ideas, comments, and stories. Stop in any time!

Happy (Safe) Riding,

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