Ask Engadget question is coming to us from Jonathan, who can't be bothered to burn off calories on a normal bike once he heads of to university next year. If you're looking to send in an inquiry of your own, drop us a line at ask [at] engadget [dawt] com.
Phew, looks like this guy's going to be quite the wordsmith! For those of you currently cruising around campus on a power-assisted bike, which did you use? And how'd you secure it while in class? Throw this fellow a bone -- he's obviously more interested in nabbing a 4.0 than cranking on a set of pedals, and that's a-okay with us."My college of choice has a big, hilly campus, and driving is pretty heavily discouraged, so I've been looking at getting an electric bike. I have to keep it under $900 (I may be able to up to around $1100, but that would be a tough sell). I'd like it to look somewhat low-key, not unlike a typical street / mountain bike. It doesn't have to be crazy powerful, but it does need to be strong enough to tackle hills on a regular basis, and it needs batteries to match that usage pattern. I prefer the flexibility of a mid-drive mounted motor, since that would let the motor take advantage of the gears, and it would let me easily switch between power-assisted and all-electric pedaling, but I wouldn't mind a different setup. Finally, the university has a lot of fog and rain, so weather-resistance is probably important. I already own a street-bike with 26-inch wheels and a diamond-frame body, so if a conversion kit would be a strong option, I'm also open to modifying my current bike. Finally, if the bike most suitable for my needs falls outside of my price range, what would the price-range for that bike be, and what alternatives could I pursue? (I don't really want a motorbike or a scooter / moped.) Thanks!"