Book Picks from the EZgo-Now Reference Shelf
Matt’s picks for E-Bike Books & Blogs. The more you know the easier your task becomes.
I am both an avid reader, a cycling enthusiast, I’m Passionate about all forms of electrically assisted transportation, mechanics & renewable energy. Add to that my fascination with anything thing electronic & it should come as no surprise that I have been enthusiastically using & promoting “E book readers since they first came on the scene some 25 years ago.
My first review is a very pricey $47.00 digital download from Click Bank, a rather dubious source for quality e-books but occasionally you’ll come across a good one. Greg’s 50 MPH ELECTRIC BIKE IS ONE OF THOSE. It’s a PDF format. This can be read on a Kindle or similar e-Reader but as a technical reference & how to book I prefer just reading it on the laptop or PC. Most of the remaining books are eBooks from Amazon.com for the hand held Kindle’s or the FREE PC or MAC Downloadable eBook Reader.Their priced from cheap to free.
Bikes and E bikes, just like planes, trains and automobiles have been around since the turn of the century & run the gamut from basic transportation to high performance racing machines. Consequently the information available on the subject of cycling, bikes & E-Bikes is every-bit as diverse & interesting as the bikes themselves. Whether your new to E-Bikes & need some help in getting started, you’ve already been bitten by the E-Bike Bug & need to know more or you simply enjoy both reading & cycling, I’m sure you’ll find something of value from the e-books I’ve reviewed below. I believe every book I’ve chosen to be well written, researched & backed up with references. Regardless of the type of book, from how to books. to a history of motorized biking, The goal of all them is to help promote or re-introduce cycling as a practical, fun, healthy & environmentally responsible form of everyday transportation.
Ultimately, the wide range of types, styles & theories coupled with the long history of the powered bicycle provides a wealth of information for today’s E-bike builder or buyer. In the beginning you will have to decide what you want your bike to do. Things like how far will you be going, what are traveling conditions, how much money can you spend, is the fit, finish & overall appearance important to you, etc.. This is just a few of the questions you’ll need to ask yourself. After deciding on building a bike for practical transportation or building a 30 MPH sport bike, at some point you’ll have to get down deciding which specific products to buy. Take heart, the following books & web-sites will illustrate, much of what you need to know & why you need to know it. This is your project, the options are numerous & your results depends entirely on how much time, imagination, money & effort your willing to put forth.
PREPARE TO LEARN MUCH OF WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT E-BIKING & ALL THE FUN THAT GOES WITH IT.
Starting with the last book I read titled;” Build Your Own 50 MPH Electric Bike” by Greg Davey A PDF Download from Click Bank Digital List Price: $47.00
Greg’s EBook gets straight to the core of how to build a very fast e-bike. No chit chat here. This is a very straight forward, well illustrated, well written technical how to book. It is loaded with pictures, step by step instructions, technical specifications, links to various suppliers and a little bit of electrical theory thrown in for good measure. Although expensive, this book contains lots of useful information at many levels and should be useful to anybody that’s planning on building or converting their own E bike, It is however, definitely written for the mechanically inclined, technically savvy and highly ambitious do it your self-er. It should not be your first book unless you are already well on your way to knowing what you want. I’m in the E-Bike Business & consequently it is worth it’s weight in gold for me.
Next up is four books from the other end of the spectrum. These are all available from Amazon.com in the Kindle format & are priced from real cheap to free. To learn more or purchase just click on the title. Opens in new window..
The Real World User Guide for ebikes [Kindle Edition] by Tim Sutton $2.99 (Oct 21, 2010)
As stated in the title, this is an “E-Bike User’s Guide” not a “How To Book”. In addition, Tim lives & rides in Switzerland & his experience come from riding a bike equipped with the Bionex Conversion Kit. Written in 2010 & updated in 2011 this book is a little dated when it comes to technical details. However, if you have little or no experience with e-bikes this is still a great read & a good place to start. your education on e-bikes & e-bike cycling. Although Tim does talk a about things that are unique to the Bionix & e-biking in Europe for the most part he discusses e-biking in general & offers a lot of practical advice. If you enjoy reading, biking & anything else on wheels you won’t go wrong with “The Real World User Guide for e bikes”.
This next book I purchased over a year ago but just recently got around to reading it;
Electric Bicycle Conversion Kit Installation Made Simple by Claude Rosay. (January 30, 2011)
$7.95 [Kindle Edition]
It too was written in 2010 but covers e-bike building & riding in a very general sense & as such it is still quite accurate. A basic but thorough book that can help just about anyone design, choose, install and use an e-bike kit. The reader will be taken through the entire process of building or buying an electric bicycle including selecting the proper “doner bike”.
This book begins by introducing the benefits, issues, limitations, and styles of electric bicycle use. It offers the readers multiple additional references on the topic in book form, web sites, and even an on-line community of electric bike enthusiasts. Part One offers a detailed Needs Survey that the reader is highly encouraged to complete documenting in essence, the reader’s needs and environment. Part Two then dissects and analyzes the Needs Survey in Part One. Part Two helps the reader adjust their expectations, and in turn leads to a greater satisfaction with their Electric Bicycle. Part Three steps the reader through the installation. Part Four is about using the e-bike.
Claude Rosay also works hard to educate his readers to some of the issues surrounding e-bikes & the positive impact e-bikes will make on our transportation infrastructure. The reader should come away from this book with an excellent introductory knowledge of Electric Bicycle Conversion Kits, how to Install them, how to use it once it’s finished and perhaps most importantly, how replacing car trips with bike trips will save you money while helping to reduce C02 emissions.
A great little book from the other side of the pond.
The Electric Bike Book by Jim Turner [Kindle Edition]
Digital List Price: $0.99 What’s this?
Kindle Price: $0.00
Jim Turner designed & built the Optibike, The Ferrari of Electric Bikes & he has been intimately involved in all forms of cycling since he was a child. It is that depth & breath of knowledge that qualifies him to write this very informative and entertaining book about the world of electric bicycles.If your looking for help with the specifics of choosing or building an electric bike you should start elsewhere. However, if you enjoy reading & learning & want to understand the reasons for & concepts behind e-bikes, as well as some of it’s recent history look no further. This book is a home run.
I haven’t finished this one yet but it is definitely my favorite for short reads this year.. As a history buff with a passion for all things mechanical this book hits all the right notes.
Motorized Bicycles by Tom Bartlett [Kindle Edition]
Kindle Price: $3.50
This is a wonderfully illustrated & well written book on the history of motorized bicycles. Although it is not dedicated to electrically driven bicycles it does focus on the concept of adding some type of auxiliary power to supplement our “human power”.
If your looking for a “how to book” or something highly technical that goes into the details of various drive motors & battery types then don’t start here. If however you enjoy reading & have even just a passing interest in the history of motorized transportation then this book will not disappoint. I have a number of friends that probably have know intention of buying or building an E-Bike, but I know they will enjoy reading this. Guess what there getting for Christmas from there cheapskate friend this year?
These next 3 books are also from Amazon.con but remain on my “Still Need to Read List” . They have been well reviewed by others. The first 2 are on cycling in general while the 3rd is a fairly recent how to book on E-Bikes.
Just Ride: A Radically Practical Guide to Riding Your Bike by Grant Petersen [Kindle Edition]
4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (140 customer reviews)
Print List Price: $13.95
Kindle Price: $9.39
The Bicycle Reader | Number 1: Summer 2012 [Kindle Edition]
Mark Twain (Author), Paul Lamarra (Author), Albert Winstanley (Author), Russ Roca (Author), Alex Baca (Author), Violet Paget (Author), Martin Ryle (Author), Jack Thurston (Author, Editor), Tim Dawson (Editor)
Kindle Price: $2.99
ELECTRIC BICYCLE CONVERSIONS by RD James [Kindle Edition] July, 2011
After three years of building/riding e-bikes, RD James has just completed what he describes as the definitive e-bike book. The Poor man’s Electric Bike.Think Green and quit becoming dependent on fossil fuel vehicles. For the majority of our transportation purposes, driving a 4000 pound vehicle around is grossly unnecessary and can be replaced by a much lighter and less expensive alternative.
“In this new millennium, too many people, diminishing resources and rising energy costs, it is time for each and every one of us to step up and make a real contribution to mankind’s sustainable future.” WELL SAID I SAID !
The next list is for the web-sites that I find invaluable for my every day work at the EZgo-Now Web-Site & E-Bike Shop located in Carlisle, PA. I use these sites to keep abreast of new products & technology, learn repair & troubleshooting, follow market trends & pricing & for keeping up with legal & environmental issues. These are the real deal, not simple marketing sites put together to look like qualified informational sites or worse, product review pages offering pro’s & cons of something they know little about let alone having ever tested the product. That said many of these sites do have sales as well but they do a very good job of separating their sales ads from there content & technical pages. Their content is always well written, researched & accurate.
Electric Bike.com is a Web-Site & Blog about really neat & often very expensive E-Bikes A great read full of photos & both interesting & practical information.
Utility Cycling. Call it commuter, transportation or just plain practical Cycling, you can find it in Utility Cycling.
Bikes-as-Transportation is just what it sounds like. Very practical.
Endless-Sphere.com is the hands down go to source for E.V.’s. That means they cover more than just E-Bikes but the information found there is both technical & practical & the discussions can get very detailed. I simply do not try or buy anything of any complexity or cost without searching through this forum first. It is an invaluable source of information ranging from where to get obsolete parts or has this type of E-Bike been invented yet. (And if it hasn’t some member will no doubt have plans for it already started.)
V is for Voltage is another forum similar to Endless Sphere. It is however is dedicated to only e-bikes. It too is a good source of information.
ebikes.ca. has been Involved in E-Bikes longer than most. With their brick & mortar shop “Grin Technologies” located in Vancouver Canada hey have been true innovator with many of the products thay have produced. Their web site is wealth of information much of it learned right there on the shop floor. My kind of company for sure.
Sheldon Brown’s Web-Site is dedicated to Bicycle Repair. It contains pages of accurately written step by step articles on how to repair everything on almost any bike. whether you have an early 70′s Canadian built Raleigh or a 2012 Diamondback Sheldon will describe in great detail how to do anything from changing a tire, truing a wheel or building it from the ground up. Not sure whether you have a
Freewheel or a Cassette? Sheldon will explain the difference. From repairing Internal-Gear Hubs to Servicing Freewheels you’ll find it all right here. logically organized & easy to find. A great site & by far the one I reference the most.
Battery University & Battery Space.com are 2 of the important battery sites you’ll need to visit if your planing on building or converting a bike.. Battery University is just what it sounds like & it will educate you to the types of batteries available, how they work & what makes them different. When you are building or buying an E-Bike the batteries are not an after thought. They can be the costliest component of the bike & with out a doubt are the number one consideration when determining speed, power, travel time & weight. That said, purchasing a cheap Li-Ion type of battery can very well end up being the costliest purchase you’ll ever make. Don’t take chances, purchase from a trusted supplier Battery Space.com also offers a huge amount of information on batteries & sells them as well. They are also a good source for battery chargers & other components I refer to both sites regularly. The following are two very good easy to understand articles on battery types from two of the web sites I have mentioned above. The first is from ebikes.ca & the second is from Electric Bike.com. PLEASE, educate yourself on batteries before making your first purchase. It is the most important & most expensive component of any E-Bike & the wrong one can at the very least, be a BIG DISAPPOINTMENT.
Ecyclist Mag.com is a brand new (1st edition) E-Bike E-Magazine from the UK which I just discovered near the end of November. A professional high quality digital magazine the likes of which I have only seen in some of the newer e-books available for reading in hand held e-book readers like the Kindle or their PC & MAC counterparts. It’s definantly an equal or better replacement for a $6.00 8.5″ x 11″ glossy paper magazine. For now it appears to be free.Is this the future for magazine publishing for the online world. I hope so. I am an avid reader & have fully adopted to e-books where ever possible many years ago. I can’t vouch for the quality of their content just yet but it looks promising.