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iZip Electric Bicycles

Currie Technologies

Zuma electric bike

iZip Zuma

Currie Technologies makes a wide range of electric bikes from affordable models with lead-acid batteries starting just below $1,000 to higher end electric bikes with Lithium-ion batteries that sell for around $4,000. Currie Technologies sells two lines of electric bikes: the iZip electric bike (reviewed here) and the eFlow electric bicycle. Currie also carries a line of more funky electric personal transportation vehicles such as scooters and the e-Zip TriRide on their eZip Electric Powered Vehicles page. From what I’ve seen, no matter which lineup of Currie electrics that you choose, you’ll be getting a quality electric powered vehicle with great backup service.

iZip Hybrid Electric Bicycles

Currie announces their bold vision of being “the U.S. E-Bike Industry Leader” not only in their brochure but also in their style of doing business. Electric personal transportation vehicles are in an exciting time but also a tumultuous time. Although there are many excellent ebike companies out there, it is likely that some of them won’t be around for the long-haul. As soon as the Currie Technologies rep pulled up to my house in the big iZip van, I had a hunch that this was a company that was in it for the long-haul. It was clear that iZip planned to be a big dog in the electric bike kennel.

iZip Style

The first iZip feature that grabbed my eye (after the monster van) was the style of the iZip bikes. It seems like the engineers took the best features of the leading comfort bikes, then tweaked each of those features for practicality and performance. The handlebars were the first modification I noticed. Instead of swooping out into the classic cruiser bullhorn style, the iZip’s handlebars swooped back toward the rider rather than sticking straight out to the sides. The iZip rep explained that this was so the bikes took up less real estate on the trail. It made perfect sense. If you put two of the bullhorn style handlebars side-by-side, they hog the entire path. Not so with the iZip handlebars.

iZip hybrid electric vehicles van

iZip van

Next I noticed the placement of the battery. Rather than sitting on top of the behind-the-seat rack, the battery nestled inside the rack where it looked like an integral part of the bike frame. In addition to looking good, the battery locked securely into the rack structure for security and safety. The particular model that I got to test-drive was the E3 Zuma. Currie even made the tires look classic with an eye-popping red wheel rim.

Currie Electro-Drive

The folks at Currie are especially proud of their Electro-Drive system. The Electro-Drive allows riders to effortlessly switch between human-powered and electric power without missing a stroke. With the flick of a toggle button, riders can alternate between Pedal Assist (PAS) and Twist-and-Go (TAG) modes. This is especially good for first-time electric bike owners who aren’t used to the subtle but powerful boost provided by the Pedal Assisted power. Since most people have ridden some type of throttle controlled vehicle, they can easily catch on to the Twist and Go system, then gradually convert to the Pedal Assisted mode. Pedal Assisted mode allows the bike to be powered by a combination of human-power and electric power. And since the iZip has 5 boost levels, the harder you pedal, the more power you get from the electric motor. So you control your speed and thrust with your own pedal-power.

iZip Zuma Specs

iZip electric bicyle

iZip battery pack

The electronic wonks love this stuff, but if you’re more of an “I just want to ride the damned thing” type of a person, your eyes may glaze over at this point. Either way, here are some important facts & figures from the iZip files:

  • Top Speed: 20 mph/ 32 km/h
  • Range: 20 – 30 miles / 32 – 48 km with normal pedaling
  • Battery: Lithium ion 36Vll.4Ah 410Wh, rechargeable cells, Advanced BMS (whatever that means)
  • Price Range: The Zuma model ranges from $2099 to $2199.

Best for use on: Concrete & paved trails or roads, Gravel trails, Level to moderate trails

Best used for: Commuting, Recreation, Exercise, Short excursions, Daily chores

Final Zuma iBike Notes

If you want to use the iZip for commuting or daily chores, they make an iZip Commuter Case that would look and function great on a Zuma.

And for the folks at Currie Technologies, here’s your warning: You’ve got me hooked. I want to try your eZip Scooter, your Tri-Ride, your iZip Ultra, or Metro, or Path, or Trailz or…

Trailsnet readers have a right to know about your awesome lineup of electronic personal transportation vehicles. You guys rock!!

 

Permanent link to this article: http://trailsnet.com/trailsnet-reviews/trail-vehicle-reviews/izip-electric-bicycles/

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