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Old 12-01-2007, 11:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
MetroMPG
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: 1000 Islands, Ontario, Canada
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Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
Team Metro
Last 3: 70.09 mpg (US)

MPGiata - '90 Mazda Miata
90 day: 53.67 mpg (US)

Winter beater Metro - '00 Chevrolet Metro
90 day: 73.57 mpg (US)
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new hybrid in the family: e-bike by Schwinn ... or Currie

This summer my mom expressed interest in getting a bicycle. She does a lot of short (sub 3 km) runs in her car that could easily be accomplished on a bike.

But easy is a relative term. She's approaching 70, smokes, isn't in the greatest shape and hasn't been on a bike for 25 years.

To me she sounded like a perfect candidate for an e-bike. So I did some shopping, helped her try out several bikes - some made as e-bikes and one e-bike conversion candidate. Turns out Schwinn has a relatively inexpensive ($600 CDN) aluminum frame folding e-bike that fit her best. She's relatively short - the generously large & low step-through of this bike was a big selling point:



Picked one up yesterday. I used it today to make sure it was in good working order because it needed to be "modified" to fit her better - by lopping an inch off the seat post and an inch off the seat tube. Can't return it now!

Modest specs: 24v lead-acid, 200w hub motor. Top speed under electric power: 20 km/h. Top speed under pedal power: about 20 km/h - because it's a single speed and geared fairly low.

It's advertised as having a 20 km range with "assisted pedalling". I rode it 24 km today using mild to medium assist (to put it in perspective: it was a hot, humid day here - low 30's C/90's F - and I didn't break a sweat), and only used about 50% of its capacity based on DMM readings. Probably averaged 15 km/h.


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See also the "fuel economy" test of this bike:
http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...alent-604.html
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Mom hasn't tried the electric assist yet. She's taking it easy getting re-familiarized with the whole balance thing, just going up and down the sidewalk, and in & out of her driveway.

At her request I also bought a honking big basket to mount on the built-in rear rack.

Neat bike - I wouldn't have one personally because it's a single-speed. But she likes the simplicity. And being a hybrid, she'll be able to compensate for those times the single gear isn't appropriate for the conditions/terrain, or if she doesn't feel like pedalling.

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Latest mods test: 15 mods = 15% MPG improvement: A-B test, 2007 Honda Civic 1.8L, 5-speed
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Manual vs. automatic transmission MPG showdown: Nissan Micra 1.6L



EcoModder
has launched a forum for the efficient new Mitsubishi Mirage
www.MetroMPG.com - fuel efficiency info for Geo Metro owners
www.ForkenSwift.com - electric car conversion on a beer budget
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