Tag Archives: ebikes

Why Should One Buy an Electric Bicycle from Philly Electric Wheels?

You’ve come to the decision to buy an electric bicycle. Through rigorous research or perhaps a flash of insight, you have decided that an ebike will meet your needs and desires. Great! But what now? How will you make the purchase? How will you purchase your ebike such that you are happy, confident, and satisfied? Well, you can get anything on the internet: one can purchase a whole bike, a conversion kit, or parts directly from China via the internet, one can purchase from a reseller such as Amazon, or one can purchase from companies based in the Fifty States who have an internet storefront. However, internet shopping does not jive well with confidence or satisfaction. One could also purchase an electric bicycle from the odd powersports store or local bike shop that is experimenting with electric bikes. And electric bicycles are available through some department stores as well.

Is that it? Is your only choice buy without a test ride? To buy without any comparison? To buy from someone who doesn’t know what they are selling? Or to buy online…? Wouldn’t it be great if there was a friendly local electric bike shop where you could walk in, meet the owners and employees, test ride the largest selection of ebikes in the tri-state area, and ride away happy with your purchase, confident that you will have all the support you need?

At Philly Electric Wheels, we believe an electric bike purchase should be similar to the purchase of a vehicle such as a car or motorcycle. We believe the customer has a right to touch and feel what they are purchasing, to test ride the vehicle that you are spending hundreds or thousands of hard-earned dollars on. We believe in support, that the customer has a right to meticulous assembly, qualified service, and long term support. We at PHEW! believe in personal relationships, in trust, and in access to professionals who care about you and care about electric bicycles. Try getting that over the internet.

This may sound idealistic, because we are a company of idealists. If this sounds like a sales pitch, that’s because it is, we are trying to get your business. Philly Electric Wheels is trying to sell you an electric bicycle. For so many reasons, we believe electric bicycles are a long-awaited solution to complex problems. In terms of transportation, ebikes have a lower environmental impact (carbon footprint, if you will) and are more energy efficient than any other option- including normal bicycles. Electric bicycles have some of the lowest operating costs over their lifespan of any powered vehicle. Electric bicycles inspire in riders the confidence they need to deal with traffic on crowded streets. Ebikes are darn good fun. The health benefits of regular exercise like cycling are well researched and adding electric assist negates none of them. The psychological benefits of cycling are less researched, however studies are available, and anecdotal evidence of riding versus driving is available. Its about being in the environment rather than being cut off from the environment inside a metal box. These points are arguable and we would love to talk to you about them! Come on down!

Yet another reason to shop our brick and mortar store, our well informed and affable staff would love to talk to you about bicycles, electric bicycles, electric vehicles, and your needs concerning them. In addition to our administrative and part time staff, Philly Electric Wheels employs a full-time electric bicycle mechanic, something no other shop in the area and few shops in the country can claim. And all of our staff is committed to and enthusiastic about electric bicycles and bicycling. We are simply the best trained and most qualified place to purchase an electric bike and the only place to service and support them. We have the largest selection of electric bicycles in PA, NJ, and DE. We have in stock, parts, supplies, accessories, conversion kits, and batteries for all of our models. We have relationships with a diverse set of suppliers which enable us to get whatever you need as quickly and economically as possible. We have ebikes to rent and ebikes to loan you whilst yours is in our shop. We also have a mobile service unit we can use to bring our shop to you, and a bicycle trailer to pickup your stranded machine should an accident occur. PHEW has dedicated service bays for your electric bicycle and is prepared with all the necessary tools for diagnosing and servicing electronic and electromechanical components.

Lest it go unsaid, PHEW is also a stellar bike shop! We pride ourselves on approachability, customer satisfaction, and service. From airing up your tires to custom builds, we at PHEW can meet all of your bike shop needs. We realize that great electric bikes should first and foremost be great bikes and we are committed to selling great bikes. Our staff is experienced and well trained to deal with any and all sorts of bicycles. Our premier mechanic has over 30 years of personal professional experience working on and with bikes in the greater Philadelphia area. We also specialize in folding bikes, cargo bikes, bike trailers, and make and sell exclusive bike panniers.

If you’ve made the decision to purchase an electric bicycle, Philly Electric Wheels is the best place to buy it. We believe that we can serve your needs better than any other physical location or internet storefront. We are committed to our customers and committed to supporting the products we sell. We have bikes in stock and parts in stock- the largest selection of either. We love ebikes and we love happy customers. And we love happy customers on ebikes! PHEW!

Come visit us at Philly Electric Wheels, 7153 Sprague Street, Philadelphia, PA 19119

Stromer ST1 “Buy it if: you’re looking to speed up your commute – and have fun along the way” says Bicycling- Buyers Guide 2013

You can read about Stromer ST1 in Buyer’s Guide 2013 issue of Bicycle magazine, where  Brad Ford test rides the Stromer ST 1 Platinum. Also, if you go to the last page of this issue you will see Philly Electric Wheels mentioned as a full service electric bike shop dedicated to electric bicycles.

You can subscribe to Bicycling Magazine  or you can stop by our store to see, touch, feel and test ride the Stromer in our showroom.

Stromer ST1

Philly Electric Wheels
7153 Sprague Street
Philadelphia, PA 19119

215 821 9266


Electric Mountain Bikes at PHEW!

Joy! Spring is coming and we have in stock now at Philly Electric Wheels, (PHEW!) new electric mountain bikes from Spanish manufacturer Beistegui Hermanos. Beistegui Hermanos (BH) is a historic Spanish bicycle manufacturer known for their quality and we are excited to stock their Easy Motion electric bicycles. The high quality and keen design of their Neo 29er and Neo Jumper mountain bikes make these bicycles two of the most capable, best performing, and cleanest looking that we at Philly Electric Wheels (PHEW!) have ever stocked. The strong, light, and stiff alloy frames are confidence-inspiring even at the high speeds electric bicycles experience on the road. The integrated downtube battery is removable, lockable, nearly invisible, and has won design awards at Eurobike. No matter where your road leads, these steeds will take you there.

ImageOn-road, off road, fire roads, singletrack, the Neo 29er can take them all. This 29er is a powerful and fast-rolling machine that is tough enough to handle nearly anything you can throw it at. Designed to roll over rocks and roots and twisty off-road tracks, the Jumper will take potholes, curbs, snow, and city streets with aplomb. If you are looking for an ebike that you can take anywhere, on-road or off-road, come to PHEW and take a ride on the Neo 29er! With the complete bike at 48 pounds, the 350watt geared brushless motor really pushes you forward and the Tektro hydraulic disc brakes stop you with authority under any conditions. Mating human power with the electric drive is a 30 speed Shimano Deore 3×10 for all the gearing range one could desire. Delivering power to the ground through Shimano hubs and Alex alloy rims are excellent Schwalbe Rapid Rob tires.

ImageWant to go even further off the beaten path? Faster, more aggressive, and more capable is the Neo Jumper. This premium full-suspension mountain bike is a unique machine. There are very few full-suspension ebikes available for sale, with most far exceeding the Jumper in cost and the rest paling in a quality comparison. The Neo Jumper is a serious cross-country and off-road mountain bike that is designed to perform. A Rock Shox XC32 front suspension fork and a Suntour Epicon 120 rear shock absorber soak up bumps from jumps or drops and keep the aggressive Schwalbe tires firmly gripping the ground. The Neo Jumper is on of very few electric bikes that can handle anything the wonderful Wissahickon Valley mountain bike trails can throw at it, and more. This ebike can handle furious, adrenaline-filled downhill riding and the pedal assist can power you up the next ascent. Seasoned mountain bike riders will find an entirely new experience in rapid uphill riding that human legs alone could never provide. The 350watt rear hub motor is a modern design with a planetary gear system that allows efficient low speed operation, a top speed of 28mph off-road, very low noise, and no noticeable drag!

Both Easy Motion mountain bikes feature proportional pedal-assist modes that utilize torque sensors to measure the rider effort and twist throttles for precise user control. We at Philly Electric Wheels (PHEW!) really appreciate the combination of intelligent pedal assist and a throttle. Neither input mode is best for all circumstances and so we think that having the choice of either is ideal. The integrated downtube battery is removable for charging and lockable for security. This design keeps the weight of the battery low and centered for the most advantageous distribution of weight. These Easy Motion bikes are wonderful machines with no compromises, and if you are in search of a quality electric mountain bike then they are the bikes for you!

Choosing the Right Electric Bicycle

Recommend Chris Mims’ post on choosing the right electric bicycle.

A Small Glossary of E-Bike Terms

Electric bikes aren’t all that complicated, but there are some terms that you should be familiar with to be an educated e-bike shopper or owner. Here are a few common terms that get tossed around frequently when talking about e-bikes.

Standard Frame refers to bikes that have the traditional frame shape with a high top tube, or as some people refer to as a ‘cross bar’ frame.

Step-Through Frames are frames with a lower top tube, made to facilitate easier boarding of the bike. This design is popular on city bikes and on many e-bikes because they are simply easier to get on and off of.

Sealed Lead-Acid Batteries are found on entry level electric bikes such as the eZip Trailz. They are generally heavier and last a shorter time between charges than other battery types, and the overall battery life (number of charges before the battery needs to be replaced) is shorter as well. The upside of SLA batteries is that they are less expensive than other types.

Lithium-Ion Batteries are found on mid- and high-end electric bikes. They are considerably lighter and have a much greater range than SLA batteries. The life of the battery is also much longer than SLA. They are generally more expensive to replace, however, so that should be considered when shopping for a bike.

Pedal-Assist is a form of power delivery wherein the assist is applied automatically while the rider is pedaling. There are usually varying levels of assistance that the rider can choose while riding to moderate the amount of power the motor uses.

Throttle Control uses a motorcycle-style twist grip to moderate motor power without requiring the rider to pedal. This is featured on a few of our bikes, but is mainly found on electric scooters.

Our take on the bicycle tractor-trailer

Bike trailers are a great way to add a lot of cargo capacity to your bike. There are a bunch of good trailers out there that are designed for carrying kids, pets or just about anything you can fit on them. Companies like Burley and BoB are the leaders in quality compact trailers that make any bike into a cargo-hauling machine.

Of course, there’s always a certain element who wants more than the usual, people who want to haul bigger, heavier loads without the use of a car. Fortunately there’s a company called Bikes at Work that makes a great line of big sturdy trailers that can carry some huge loads, like a refrigerator!

from “Moving a Refrigerator”

Here in Philadelphia, there’s a group called the Pedal Co-op who use Bikes at Work trailers to haul compost, recyclables, and conduct house moves within the city. They have a bunch of pictures at their site that are worth checking out.

Here at Philly Electric Wheels, we wanted to find a way to pick up bikes and deliver them to customers so we ordered up one of the Bikes at Work 64 inch trailers. We also got a hold of a two-bike rack and mounted it up. We attached the trailer hitch to an Ecobike Elegance and gave it a try.

I had to transport a bike from the shop in Mt. Airy to my home in South Philly so I got to test the trailer setup for about ten miles. Aside from the obvious weight of the load, riding with the trailer is not difficult to get used to. The hitch features a ball joint, which allows the bike to lean and turn just as it would normally as you ride and makes the long trailer surprisingly maneuverable. I was able to negotiate rush hour traffic in Center City with no troubles- I often got the sense that drivers gave me a lot more space on the road when they saw what I was towing. The trailer also got a lot of attention from people on the street who pointed, shouted or just gawked as I went trucking by.

The bike also performed just fine, and its electric assist really helped me get a move on when taking off from traffic lights and going up hills in East Falls and Mt. Airy.

If you want to start using your bike for tractor-trailer duty, check out Bikes at Work and see what you can haul!

Pickup of two bikes for tune-up

Finding an Electric Bike: Basics

If you’re looking to get an electric bike, it’s a good idea to get familiar with some of the different types of e-bikes out there. I’m going to leave discussion of the technical details of electric motor systems for another time and focus on the general categories of bikes that we offer.

When you’re considering a bike, think about what you’re going to use the bike for. Will it be a commuting workhorse that gets you from home to work, covering lots of miles? A recreational bike that takes you on the local bike path? Maybe you require the stability and load-hauling capacity of an electric-assist trike. Whatever you’re looking to do, there’s probably a bike out there that can work for you.

Whatever type of bike you choose, you’ll want to make sure that the bike is sized and equipped to provide you with a comfortable riding position. Finding the right bike is a lot like shopping for shoes: looks, price, and style are important considerations, but if it doesn’t fit comfortably, your new bike just might end up collecting dust.

Fortunately, you can avoid that experience if you carefully consider your options. The first thing you should decide on is the frame type. Here are the four types that we carry:

Step-Through Frames

The Ecobike Elegance

A step-through frame is one whose design allows the rider to straddle the bike more easily with its low horizontal frame tube. these are great for people with joint problems or who simply prefer the ease and convenience offered by this frame design.

Standard Frames

The eZee Forza

The standard frame is the most common type of bicycle frame with good reason: it’s simple, reliable, tried and true. It’s higher top frame tube maximizes the strength and rigidity of the frame, so the standard frame is the go-to choice for high-peformance bikes as well. If you’re comfortable with the high top tube, then a standard frame is a good choice.

Folding-Frame Bikes

The iZip folding bike ready to ride

The iZip folding bike ready for storage or transport

Folding bikes are a great way to make folding bikes part of a commute that includes trains or other transport where a standard-size bike is inconvenient or prohibited. They are also a great solution for people who have limited storage space. Folding bikes have a hinge in the frame which allows the bike to be folded in half. They also include folding handlebar stems, which further reduce the space they occupy. Although they are small, folding bikes are designed to fit adults and to handle like a normal bike.

Adult Tricycles

The eZee Carro tricycle

Trikes aren’t just for kids! Adult-sized tricycles have been around for a long time now, and there are a few good electric trikes on the market right now. Trikes make great cargo haulers, with large rear-mounted baskets that beg to be piled high with whatever you need to haul. Who knows, maybe an electric trike is just what you need to go car-free!  They’re also a great choice for riders who are unable to ride a two-wheeled machine but still want the cycling experience.

So if you’re thinking about an electric bike, take some time to think about which type makes sense to you. Feel free to call, email, or stop by the shop if you have any questions. I highly recommend taking a trip to the shop so we can show you what we carry in person as well. Take a test ride on any of the bikes, see what feels right to you, and most of all, ask lots of questions! We’ll do whatever we can to help make you an informed electric-bike shopper.

Look for more in-depth write-ups on different manufacturers, motors, and specific bike models in upcoming blog posts.