Salt Lake City GREENbike now rents electric-assist cycles at no extra cost
Salt Lakers may now rent new electric-motor, pedal-assist GREENbike bicycles at no extra cost.
The bike-share system has added 50 of those e-bikes, which may be checked out and returned to any of GREENbike’s 34 stations in the city.
“Adding e-bikes to our fleet makes our system accessible to new types of users,” GREENbike Vice Chairwoman Amanda Smith said in a news release. “Now people can ride longer distances or go up hills without breaking a sweat. But riders will still be burning calories when they pedal, which is important to us.”
The new e-bikes are pedal assist, meaning the electric assist motor will only engage when riders pedal. The more “pedal power” provided, the more electric assistance the bike with provide — with up to 250% assistance.
The new e-bikes are easily identified with bright white paint and lighting-bolt icons on the frame.
The e-bikes are available for rent at the same price as the classic GREENbikes: $7 for a 24-hour access pass or $75 for an annual pass.
“The average Utah household is spending nearly 30% of its budget on transportation while low-income households are spending closer to 40%. We hope that by offering new products and keeping our prices low, we can get even more people our of their cars and on a bike,” said GREENbike Executive Director Ben Bolte.
A list of GREENbike locations may be found through the Bcycle app or online at greenbikeslc.org.
Green Bike City Premium Review: VERSATILE folding electric bike with PERFECT UPGRADES
The Green Bike Electric Motion City Premium is an exceptionally well thought out folding electric bike with upgrades in all the right places. It has a starting price of $1,699 USD, and has the option to upgrade the battery to a massive 21 amp hour just in case you plan on riding cross country. Green Bike has a generous 1 year comprehensive warranty, and offers free shipping to the U.S, which translates to around $200 of savings. Two thumbs up.
So let’s dive into the specs of the City Premium starting with the motor, which is going to be a 350 nominal watt hub motor located in the rear wheel. This motor can crank out 500 peak watts of power, and feels surprisingly peppy, most likely because of the mechanical advantage it gets from the smaller 20” by 3” Innova tires. This motor can bring the City Premium up to a top speed of 20 mph out of the box, or 28 mph in the unlocked configuration. You can reach this top speed with the cadence sensing pedal assist, or the throttle. There’s a bit of lag with motor activation, which you’ll find with pretty much every cadence sensor, but thankfully the City Premium’s throttle is live from 0 mph, so you can just use that to get you going from a dead stop.
The battery on the City Premium is a 48 volt, 15.9 amp hour with an estimated max range of around 60 miles under perfect conditions. Real world range is usually about half of that, but of course it really just comes down to a case by case basis. Now, if you’re really looking for some serious range, you can opt for the battery upgrade, which leaves you with an incredible 21 amp hours of juice. That’s like an 85 mile max range, which translates to 10 straight hours of riding at an average speed of 8.5 mph.
This is a silverfish style battery and is located behind the seat post, making the City Premium a bit back heavy. In order to remove it, first you have to remove the saddle, then unlock the battery and finally, slide the battery out. Not a big deal since there’s a quick release on the seat post, but I think it’s worth pointing out. The battery is also locking and removable, and the key must be left in the battery in the “on” position in order to actually turn actually use the motor.
Right by the motor we’ve got a Shimano Tourney derailleur with a 6-speed cassette and a Shimano SIS Index thumb shifter on the right side of the handlebars. Top gear here feels perfect for the 20 mph top speed but in the unlocked 28 mph configuration it can feel a little like you’re beating eggs when trying to get all the way up to top speed. The City Premium has a plastic double-sided chain guard which will help keep that chain locked into place. It’s a simple piece of gear, but really does a good job of cutting down on derailments.
I really appreciate the upgrade choices here on the City Premium, and it’s clear that Green Bike really thought everything out. For example, Green Bike skipped using upgrade points on the derailleur and shifter, where it really doesn’t matter for a city bike like this, and instead dropped them on hydraulic disc brakes with 160 mm rotors in the front and rear. The extra stopping power offered by the hydraulic disc brakes compared to mechanical disc brakes is going to be especially important for those of you who unlock the top speed to 28 mph. The brakes also have motor inhibitors built in, which instantly cut power to the motor whenever you hit the brakes. This servers as another great safety feature and just helps ensure you have the shortest possible stopping distance.
Another great upgrade choice Green Bike made with the City Premium is on the suspension. Instead of dumping all the points in to a super beefy front suspension, which again, isn’t really needed on a city bike, they instead chose a modest front suspension with around 40 mm of travel, AND a seat post suspension. Combined, they help make this compact bike feel much more comfortable to ride.
The City Premium does have a headlight, but honestly it’s not super bright. More than anything it just helps to increase your visibility when riding in low-light conditions. If you like to ride at night, you’ll definitely want to get an aftermarket light to throw some more lumens down your path. Wire management is great and looks really clean. Everything is bundled together nicely and even though they are externally routed, it still feels neat and tidy.
The frame is made of 6061 aluminum alloy and the City Premium has a curb weight of approximately 55 pounds, a bit on the heavy side for a folder, but not surprising given the front suspension, seat post suspension and large capacity battery. The frame is a single tube step through design which makes this a super approachable ride that’s easy to mount and dismount. There’s a single gusset connecting the main tub and the seat post tube, which adds some structural integrity to the frame, but also doubles as a nice handle.
Folding and unfolding the City Premium is a piece of cake and can be done in just a few seconds. There’s a kind of sort two stage latch on the handlebars, really it’s just a safety latch, and then there’s a true two-stage latch on the frame. Once both of those are undone, the handlebars can fold down and the frame can fold in half. The pedals also fold up just in case you need to save an extra few inches. Unfolding is just as easy, only in reverse and again just takes a few seconds to deploy and latch everything back up.
I think the City Premium is a great choice for anyone looking for a compact, folding electric bike that offers good value but isn’t going to break the bank. Overall, the value for this ebike is pretty much superb, which can be said for pretty much all the ebikes we’ve reviewed from Green Bike. These guys just do a really good job of choosing their components!
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Bike Test: Green GB500 Bike
We get asked about budget bikes all the time. Some people balk at spending a couple thousand dollars for what they consider merely a bicycle. And not everyone has thousands to spend on an electric bike, especially those who don’t regularly ride bikes currently.
We do test some expensive bikes here, because manufacturers like to put out their best bikes for us to review. Sometimes, however, we get inexpensive bikes. Green Bike USA, a company based in Florida, sent us their 20-inch GB500 folding bike to review.
At first glance the GB500 seems like many other folding e-bikes, but it does have some interesting differences. One thing that sets this bike apart is that it features full suspension.
Another unique feature is that it has front and rear lighting, not that that is different, but the rear-light setup has turn-signal indicators. This may be the first bike we’ve ever reviewed with signals like this. The turn signal even makes a noise when it flashes, so you’re aware of when it’s flashing so you can cancel it after you make your turn.
“Thankfully, squeezing the brake lever cut the motor or we’d have hit a wall!”
It has mechanical disc brakes with cutoff switches, which add to the incredible number of wires protruding from the front of the bike. They’re neatly wrapped, but they are then attached, en masse, under the frame like someone had unleashed a den of snakes to the bottom of the bike.
The GB500 also features mudguards, a handy rear rack, and optional handlebar-mounted carrying bag and side bags. Other options include even larger batteries (up to 15.6 amp-hour).
This bike uses a 500-watt Bafang rear hub motor. It’s quiet, powerful, and well-hidden behind the brake rotor on one side and the six-speed Shimano cassette on the other. It’s actuated by a cadence sensor, not a torque sensor, which means that as long as you are moving the pedals, you’ll get the full power and speed of whatever level of pedal assist you choose.
The Bafang controller is our least favorite. The display is fine, but there are nine (yes, nine!) different power levels. Though it does allow you to efficiently control top speed and motor output, it’s just not necessary to have that many (four or five would be plenty). Someone who is timid on a bike or wants to extend their range can ride in level 1 or 2, and those in a hurry can use the top level. Scrolling through nine levels is the epitome of tediousness.
The display does have a USB port to allow you to charge your phone, and as of this writing, the company is including a free phone holder for your handlebars to make it easy to ride and use your phone for directions.
Where most folding bikes on the market have gone to small, internal batteries, Green Bike’s behind-the-seat design allows for a much larger battery (13-amp-hour). This does make the bike heavier, but you only notice that when you’re lifting it. It’s significantly back-heavy, and that spacing does make the rear triangle of the bike pretty long. The battery can easily take six-plus hours to fully charge.
WHO IT’S MADE FOR
The Green Bike folds small enough to fit in the back seat or trunk of a car easily, so if you like to take your bike with you without using a rack (and more securely held inside), this is a definite plus. It’s also one of the least expensive electric bikes, with a very comfortable ride. If you’re an avid cyclist, the cadence sensor will take away from the good pedal feel you get from riding
The bike is very configurable to almost any sized person. The handlebars can rotate, the stem telescopes and the seat is adjustable. It has a low-step frame to make it easy to climb aboard.
The saddle is huge and comfortable, but doesn’t feel as solid as it could. And there’s a reason. There’s a hinge built in to allow users to tilt the seat forward and out of the way to remove the battery. This adds weight and complexity that is completely unnecessary, because it’s just as easy to open the quick release on the seatpost to take the battery out. Unless you take your battery out regularly to swap it for a fresh one, or more likely to take it upstairs to charge, it’s way easier to charge it on the bike.
Speaking of taking it up and down stairs, we were impressed with the clearance underneath the bottom bracket, even with the built-in stand (for when the bike is folded, to protect the chain/sprocket), allowed us to wheel it down stairs.
When we first climbed aboard and turned the bike on, we thought we’d start at level 5. Pushing on the pedal activated the cadence sensor, and the bike took off. Thankfully, squeezing the brake lever cut the motor or we’d have hit a wall! Small wheels make a powerful motor feel even more torquey, and this thing proves it.
The Tektro mechanical disc brakes are adequate, helped by the motor cutting off instantly when they’re applied. The Kenda puncture-resistant tires feel thick and rather stiff, giving a slightly slippery feel on even dry pavement.
We went over some serious bumps in the road, where tree roots are trying to emerge, to test the suspension. The RST fork in the front has plenty of travel, and the unique rear-spring setup works well together. It made even the bumpiest roads we usually ride feel much smoother.
Owing to the throttle, the bike is rated a class 2. We did sometimes use the throttle in stop-and-go areas to get going at stop signs because we liked being at a lower power level but still wanted the speed to kick in. The throttle is good to get going, but you can’t shift gears using the SIS shifter and operate the thumb throttle on the same side. It can get to 20 mph with the throttle or in level nine, but going over that speed is hard—not because it cuts off, but because you run out of gears. We tried on a long downhill, but the most we could hit was 23 mph.
This bike is sold direct-to-consumer via their website and through several online retailers, including Amazon. Green Bike has even less expensive bikes on their site, including lower power/speed/spec bikes, as well as some fat-tire and non-folding bikes.
The GB500 is good for those on a budget who want a folding bike that has a long range with plenty of power and don’t really care if the motor overpowers their legs most of the time. The suspension really is nice, and the ride quality is pretty good, but the cyclist in us doesn’t care for the way the cadence sensor works with the motor.
SPECS GREEN BIKE GB500
Motor: Bafang 500W rear hub motor
Battery: Li-ion, 48V 13Ah
Charge time: 3–6 hours
Top speed: 20 mph (throttle), 28mph (pedal-assist)
Range: 25–45 miles
Brakes: Tektro mechanical w/cutoff switches
Fork: RockShox Recon RL Solo Air
Frame: 6061 aluminum
Tires: Kenda puncture-resistant, 20×2.25”
Weight: 49.5 lb.
Color choices: Black, white, silver, red, orange, blue
THERE ARE SO MANY WAYS TO GET ELECTRIC BIKE ACTION
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