The Ride — electric bike


Stromer ST1 Electric Bike: A Stealthy New Model

The new Stromer ST1 Elite Electric Bikes shipped recently. With them, Stromer re-claims their dominance in the stealthy electric bike arena from some of the newcomers that were talking about steeling some of the make's thunder. 

The electric bike arena is heating up. How do we know? For starters, customers visiting our store in search of electric bikes are sharply on the rise compared with previous years. Folks know what they want and they want it now. Also, we're actually getting bombarded by the Chinese manufactures, with some of them even making door-to-door sales calls without warning.  

Not only is it new, but it's beautiful. Just look at it! 

There are plenty of places on the web to check out videos, look up opinions, reviews and exposes on this product. Suburbanbikes / Motostrano has been selling them to e-bike riders now for 2 years. Visit our store for a test ride and then take one of these electro-powered marvels home with you!

Grace Electric Bikes

 It was easy to fall for the Grace electric bikes. First of all, we're suckers for good European design and the latest in two wheeled transportation technology. Admittedly, there's a blind faith in European design standards, or anything they talk about over at Engadget. But, the Grace bikes are not only European, they're German, which puts these bikes on a brand shelf next to BMW, Mercedes, etc. Attainable, reliable, quality.

As a symbol of the future of motorized private transportation, the Grace presents itself with a very futuristic design. We like that.

Last week we test road the Grace Easy electric bike and the Grace ONE. This chance encounter with a very unique bike made for some great discussions around our store - Suburbanbikes / Motostrano, which is filled with all types of electric bicycles.

I don't think we need to make up a big essay about the Grace Easy to convince you that it's great. It's a unique design. It's very light weight. It rides like a regular bike and is very comfortable.

We'll be selling the GRACE Easy here out of our store and we are currently taking pre-orders for it now.

The Grace ONE, on the other hand, is another story altogether. The Grace ONE reminds me of the Ultra Motor A2B Metro, on steroids, designed by Steve Jobs. The Grace ONE is substantial. It's a torpedo. It's exhilarating. It is, to my mind, what motorcycles will one day be like. By comparison, light weight. Incredible handling. Very usable speed.

Able to run at 30MPH, the Grace ONE is not a bicycle. It's also not a moped. This is really in a class all its own and that's why it' won't be coming to the United States any time soon. It's too fast to be road legal. It's too slow and too expensive to warrant getting a license and insurance and all that.

Riding the ONE with a standard bicycle helmet, didn't feel secure. You'd want some upgraded motorcycle inspired riding gear to be safe on this bike. Something like the Alpinestars CITY collection, along with a scooter helmet would be in order to be safe on this bike. 

Suburbanbikes To Carry Grace Electric Bikes


Through a combination of great product design and online networking, the gadget-oriented blogosphere has been starving for the Grace electric bicycle to make its way to the United States for a few years. It's fast. It looks good. It's German. That dream will becoming a reality next spring when GRACE bikes will grace us with their presence and Suburbanbikes will be their dealer in California.

There's a lot we don't know about the Grace electric bike still, but we're betting on it being a hit here in the United States and particularly where we operate - Silicon Valley. Suburbanites located along the San Francisco peninsula enjoy technology and the they often live in hilly areas, where scooting around on a regular bike is a pain and getting in a car just basically sucks as usual. 

Traveling by e-bike is like owning the latest iPhone. It's freaking cool. 

Available as the Grace One Electric Bike or the Grace Easy Electric Bike.

The Grace is like that. Available at Suburbanbikes for pre-order now.

Commuting To Work By Electric Bike

Commuting to work by electric bike is doable, fun and money-saving. 

Considering buying a bike that you can use to get to work with? What's stopping you? If you commute between 5 and 10 miles to work every day, getting out of your car and doing that commute by bicycle will be something you wish you started doing a long time ago. 

Riding to work is 100 times more fun than driving. Why not get to work with a refreshing smile on your face? The experience of traffic, any kind of car traffic can be a huge downer. Even the regular slow-flowing traffic, that isn't really a traffic jam, is frustrating, moving from light to light, stop sign to stop sign. Going by bike bypasses all of that and can even take the same or less amount of time than by traveling by car or bus. 

Moving around on an electric bike is a relaxing and satisfying experience. You're in the open air. You're not chained to your cell phone or updates on your social media and you can survey your surroundings at a normal pace. 

One of the highlights of my own commute to work (7 miles each way) is a little bypass that I take through a local city park. I can't do anything like that by car. In seconds, I'm off the main road and riding down a shaded tree-lined park in the quiet. If I want, I can even stop and take a quick rest before heading up the hill I need to climb on my electric bike and enjoy the silence. 

Hills are a breeze on an electric bike and they're what really makes owning an electric bike worth every penny. You may still have to pedal to get your bike up to speed on a good size incline. Still, you more than likely wont have to break a sweat and a little excise will do you just fine. 

It's a pleasure to ride around on a bike, passing gas stations along the way. In terms of speed comparison, consider all the times you had to fill up on the way to work losing time on the way. Your electric bike charges up over night, while you're sleeping. Plug it in at night. Un-plug it in the morning and you're tank is full.

Electric bikes require almost no maintenance compared to cars. No oil change. No fluid change. 

You can park your electric bike almost anywhere. 

What's stopping you?

Close-Up: Stromer Elite Electric Bike Step-Thru Model


The Stromer electric bikes have so far turned out to be our top selling e-bike for 2012 and we continue to be amazed by this powerful and well-packaged e-bike. The Stromer electric bike is suited for any one looking for a high quality and high powered bike that won't leave them stranded on a hill, but also has all the look and feel of a standard urban bicycle. 

A lot of us live or work on hills that make riding standard bicycles a chore. Electric bicycles help us get out of our cars, keep us on two wheels and give us more opportunities to be active and fit. E-bikes also get us in and out of crowded areas, where parking is scarce, conveniently carrying us to our destinations, on our own time, at our own speed. 

In crowded down-town areas, or even in suburban areas during rush-hour, riding an e-bike can be faster than public transportation, and often faster than private car transportation.

When Suburbanbikes sells a Stromer, we have at our disposal a wide catalog of accessories that work well with the bike. Improving a Stromer, an almost perfect bike, is fun and we've found we can really customize these bikes as needed for the owner.

This recent Stromer build called for the addition of a rear rack, some fenders and a comfort seat for women. We think it came out great and the new owner should be extremely pleased. 

This bike is the Stromer Elite model, which features more speeds than the standard Stromer, as well as hydraulic brakes. The hydraulic brakes are a dream to operate and the extra speeds allow the bike to ride quicker with better power management. 

The rear rack we put on the Stromers is suited for the wide axle base and we select racks that keep the clean looks of the bike. 

For fenders we have some matt black mountain bike fenders that fit to both the front and rear of the bike. They look like they come with the bike and are suited for any kind of terrain. 

For local customers, Suburbanbikes will deliver a new bike to your door, if you do not have a car or the time to visit our store for pick-up. We're happy to help. The Stromer weighs about 80 lbs. We also have a collection of specific bike racks that work well with the Stromers. 

Electric bikes make for great commuters. Their standard frame and regular appearance mean you can take your Stromer on most public transportation systems and blend right in. This is good if you're planning to use your bike for extended commutes that involve multiple modes of travel. Ride your bike to the train station. Train to downtown. Ride to your office.

test ride: Stromer Electric Bicycle

Suburbanbikes just got in a shipment of the all-new Swiss Stromer Electric Bicycles and though we've only been able to spend a short time in the saddle with them, our initial impressions of this e-bike are very, very positive. We'll do a more long term review in a few weeks after we've put the bike through longer terms tests, but our initial test of the Stromer put it at the top of our buy list as far as Electric bicycles go.

I am always interested in alternative and new forms of personal transportation. Particularly as they relate to commuting and spending less time stuck in traffic. I can't stand traffic, so I tend to do a lot of things to avoid it. I first started to ride motorcycles, not for the thrill of it, but so that I could avoid traffic. A bicycle is a great way to avoid traffic and electric bicycles, it seems, promise to out-do both the bicycle and the motorcycle, with greater speeds and easier pedaling. We have sold 3 or 4 lines of electric bicycles over the years. In that time, I've had the chance to try out some of the best models available, in a variety of price and power ranges. Each of them have their pros and cons and each of them fit the needs of their particular type of customer. 

Until now, the number one issue I've had with electric bikes is their poor power when it comes to hill climbing. Sure, they all do great on flat land, or moderate hills, but throw a serious hill climb at (most) electric bicycles on the market today and you're walking, not riding. 

What happens on a big hill climb with most e-bikes is any combination of the motor bogging down to zero speed, the motor over heating, quick battery draining, rider cursing because he bought a useless machine and rider sweating more than he would had he just pedaled up on a light weight and less expensive road bike.

Enter the Stromer electric bicycle.

I've got the perfect test course for an electric bicycle. My commute home is about 8 miles. 70% of the trip is suburban streets and bike lanes. The rest and last stretch of my commute is a long grueling up-hill climb, about 980 feet and 2 or 3 miles, all up hill. To cap it off, the very last stretch of it just before I get home is the steepest part yet, a pain just to walk up, let alone ride after a long work day and a long bike ride home. 

So, I've been looking for an electric bike that could tackle this kind of map and not leave me with a $2000 burned out motor, or, a burned out me from pedaling all of that and pushing an extra 40 lbs of electrical components after a long day's work. 

The Stromer did it and with flying colors. 

Out of the gate, you can feel that the Stromer's got more power than most other bikes on the market. A 600W motor tucked into the rear hub pushes the bike with a lot of torque. Take one hand off the bars and you can feel it getting away from you.

Not knowing what to expect as far as battery loss on the uphill part of my ride, I kept the power on ECONO mode for most of the downtown part of my ride during this test. Once I got to the straight away that makes up most of the miles, I toggled the power to CITY, which got the average speed up and started to get the bike hauling. I rode pedal-assist the whole way. The bike is fast in power mode.

That's the other thing: hills are one problem, but If Im going to use an electric bike for real commuting, the thing better be a little fast too. I do want to get out of a car. I do want to burn calories on a bicycle, but I'd also like to get home at a reasonable hour. The Stromer pulled in a average speed 14.7 MPH for the 8.8 mile trek. It clocked in a max speed of 29MPH, which would have been on the down hill. I think I can get that up if I turn the motor off on the downhill, to release the inhibitor.

The Stromer rides like a standard modern urban bike. Half mountain. Half road. It's tall. It feels stable, but not bulky.

Components on the Stromer are what you'd expect from a bicycle designed in Switzerland. And I bet you expected me to write that. 

I'll admit, being Swiss-American myself, I was routing for the Stromer a little. Still, it must be hard for the Swiss to always have to live up to the notion that everything they ever do has to be done with "precision".

And route for it I really did. As I got done with the flat-land part of my commute and came on to the first small incline, I actually found myself talking to the bike, as if it were a horse. "Come on, show me what you got". Stuff like that. The life of an electric bicycle tester is a lonely one. 

"Yea, let's go! Come on!" 

The bike has 8 speeds and as the climb started I was amazed that I was pedaling in probably something like 5th gear to keep the speed up and the power I was giving the bike was more like an assist rather than pedaling.

The climb on this part of the road goes up 985 feet in all, in varying grades of steepness. Then it goes back down again and then back up to my house. I don't have the data on the grades, but without a motor, Im totally beat after riding up this road. Most days I have to get off and walk. I'm old. 

The Stromer managed it and, though warm, I held on without breaking much of a sweat.

By the time I got up and over the highest part of my trip and then back down to the bottom to get ready for the last and steepest part of my commute I was already pretty satisfied that the Stromer was THE bike to own if you're looking to get an electric bicycle to help you tackle large, long hills along your commute. 

It's about a half a block up the final stretch. But it's a good solid grade. Not the kind of climb you want after an 8 mile ride, after a 9 hour day, after a 6 day work week.

So, I was completely blown away that the bike actually managed to climb up the last part of my commute without straining me or the motor, without stopping, without over heating and with ease. I even did some of it one-handed, shouting "yea baby" much of the way.

Now, if you've never ridden an electric bike before, note: this isn't like being on a gas powered scooter, or motorcycle. You can't just ride up a hill like this without pedal assist. The motor will bog down to a crawl (though I didn't actually try this on the Stromer (yet)). For that kind of riding, you'll need a motorcycle. You have to give the bike a hand, or a foot or two. Still, it's a major bonus to be able trudge up hills with the help of a motor and not get flattened in the process. has the Stromer available for sale right now. We have demos in the store for testing and buying and we'll even ship you a Stromer in a box straight to your door.