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Due to various orthopedic issues, riding a regular bike is becoming more difficult for me. So, I've started looking at ebikes.I have 2 questions right now:

What are the current rules about riding an ebike in the city as far as bike lanes?

Is there a particularly good store in Chicago that specializes in ebikes? Hopefully where a person could test ride one?


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Only class-1 ebikes may travel in Chicago bike lanes

Earth Rider Cycling rents ebikes

Lyft will be adding 10K electric assist bikes to their fleet. They've been delayed and delayed again but it looks like they're finally making progress:

That's definitely going to be your most economical way to get your hands on an e-bike. 

Kozy's south side location used to let you borrow an e-bike for a while, but looking at their site now, it looks like that location is gone. Might be worth calling to see what the current policy is. 

Hi Bill, 

I'm sorry bike riding has become more difficult. Hopefully riding an ebike will help get you back on the road. There are rules but I'm wondering if they are enforced. It's pedal assist, not motorized by itself and that's a difference. You can ask the owner of Four Star Family Cyclery - she knows a lot about riding an eBike with her kids. I don't know if she sells eBikes or just cargo bikes but I'd start with her.

As you get your ebike and ride, I know we'd all love to hear how it goes, which bike you bought, and your experiences as you get used to pedal assist. Good luck! 

Thank you Pete, sten and Yasmeen for your responses. It gives me a place to start researching. Pedal-assist is definitely what I'm interested in. Still want to try and get some exercise benefit but knee and hip issues are beginning to limit my riding time. You folks are great!

Curious how your research/shopping went. My bike was recently totaled (I wasn't on it, it was parked outside) and I really like riding the Divvy ebikes so I'm thinking about upgrading to a personal ebike. 

How'd it go? Did you find one you liked? 

Thinking about buying a whole ready-to-go type or getting a normal bike and figuring out how to convert it with something like the Copenhagen wheel. 

Well....I'm still looking. At this point, it's about the cost. Had a slew of house repairs that needed to be addressed since my original post so everything else kinda got back burnered. I have been availing myself of the Divvy e-bikes too and they are expanding more into my neighborhood. And I still jump on my own analog bike as much as I can. If and when I'm finally in the market, I imagine I'll be looking at something like the RadRunner or similar type.

It's been about a year since I bought a Tern HSD (e-assist) from Four Star Family Cyclery. I was having a hard time deciding what kind of e-bike I wanted, so I did some test rides. This e-assist cargo bike has been a real lifesaver. It's great for grocery shopping and all sorts of multi-stop shopping trips. They're designed so that folks who want child carrying options can easily add them on. 

Looks like Kozy's has some e-assist options. I've been seeing e-bikes in other shops too.

I think you can ride on the sidewalk through brief spurts. If you are beginning to "Merge on a bike lane, or designated bike path" [check municipal code for Chicago]. But you mostly, "Must Ride in Street". And be equipped with a sound device and light.

Roscoe Village cycles specialized in electric bicycles.

Another note. You may have a problem with the battery. As they have to be charged every night. And then they start to go bad within a year. Extra weight........ And they are mostly Proprietor chargers.

Can we insure this bike? How much it cost?

Nowadays, due to the variety of options is quite difficult to make a choice as you always want to make the right one. However, it is a big plus that many companies have test drives as this helps you a lot to make the decision. But it is harder to find a reliable company, it took me a while to find a company that has full coverage for an electric bike at a reasonable price and also only good reviews. I never regretted that I have chosen that company, as they always helped me when I had a problem, even if it wasn't their responsibility.



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