Electric Bicycle Wikipedia
Welcome to the FAQ page. The most commonly asked questions are answered below. If you don’t find your answer, ask us at [email protected].
What is “electric assist”? Can I switch between pedaling and motoring easily?
An ELF can be used just like any other bike or trike that only needs the strength in your legs to make it go. What makes the ELF more fun and useful, however, is the electric motor that gives you a boost of power whenever you need or want it. You can maximize your calorie burn by just using the pedals, stay cool and comfortable by letting the motor do all the work, or any combination of the two. It’s up to you!
How fast does an ELF go?
According to federal guidelines, the top allowable speed using the electric motor only is 20 mph on a flat surface. ELF owners can travel faster by pedaling, some riders regularly go more than 25 mph. The ELF is designed for use under 30 mph.
Where is it legal to ride Organic Transit vehicles?
Under federal consumer safety law, the ELF is deemed a bicycle, and it complies with applicable federal safety regulations. We do not claim to comply with local, regional, and state usage regulations because every state and municipality can require anything they wish in regards to vehicles using their public roads.
Generally-speaking, the ELF is legal to ride wherever a traditional bicycle is legal, but this may not be absolutely true in a particular jurisdiction. Electric bicycles are a very new thing and the laws are constantly changing as new products emerge.
Is there room in the ELF for a passenger?
Yes! The 2FR two-seater can comfortably transport one adult or up to two children.
How well does the ELF perform on hills?
The ELF is designed to handle hills. The controller is programmed for high torque and the motor is geared low to maximize climbing ability. Fitness of the rider can also be a factor. We’ve climbed numerous hills in San Francisco faster than we would with a conventional bicycle and with enough reserve to do it multiple times. The pedal gearing can be optimized by using a larger or smaller rear cog on the right side of the rear hub. Any competent bike shop can do this easily for you.
How much power does it take to go a mile? How many miles can it go per kilowatt hour?
Power in electric vehicles is often thought of in terms of miles-per-kilowatt-hour in comparison to the familiar miles-per-gallon metric we think of for conventional-fuel vehicles. The ELF is very light and efficient and therefore only requires a half-kilowatt-hour battery in the SOLO model, but the MPkWh number is still handy for comparing to similar vehicles.
The ELF uses about 29.3 Watt-hours of power to go one mile under normal conditions. That’s about 18.3 Watt-hours per kilometer. The ELF goes about 34.1 miles per kilowatt-hour (34.1 MPkWh) or about 54.6 kilometers per kWh.
What is the range of the battery?
With the standard battery pack, tests have shown a 170 lb. rider going over light hills, with modest sunlight on a mild day, and travelling at 15 mph, can travel 18 miles with NO PEDALING. With pedaling, many ELF riders can go 30 miles or more.
Can you extend the range by adding more batteries?
Yes. Some customers have quadrupled the standard battery pack.
What kind of batteries are used in Organic Transit vehicles?
Organic Transit uses high-end Lithium-ion battery packs with sophisticated battery management systems. Our battery packs are tested for quality and guaranteed for 12 months. They come sealed in a custom case for easy portability and all-weather use, and use a standard Anderson SB50 Powerpole connector for easy connection and disconnection.
How long does the battery take to recharge?
The battery pack charges fully from 0% to 100% in 2.5 to 4 hours using the included charger. The charger plugs in to any standard wall outlet.
The standard 100W solar panel on the roof acts as a trickle charger when the vehicle is parked in sunlight. The recharge time is dependent on how much sunlight is available. With full sunlight the battery can be completely recharged in about 8 hours.
How easy is it to repair? Can I do most things myself or will I need a trained mechanic?
Most owners can maintain and make basic repairs on their ELF easily with common hand tools. Alternately, any competent bike mechanic will have the skills necessary to handle maintenance and repairs. We are building a network of bicycle mechanics who are qualified to work on the ELF. We will soon be posting videos to assist with common repairs.
Do I need a license to ride one?
According to US Federal standards, the ELF is legally classified as bicycle and is subject to the same laws and regulations. We are not aware of any current laws that require licenses for cyclists, but some states do have age restrictions for electric assisted bikes. A handful of states classify the ELF as a moped or motorized bicycle and consequently do have licensing requirements for riders. ELF riders are ultimately responsible for researching and obeying the laws in their own locales.
How old do I need to be to ride one?
There is no federal legal age requirement, but some states and municipalities do have minimum age requirements for electric assisted bikes. Riders are ultimately responsible for researching and obeying the laws in their own locales. We recommend that you be tall enough to reach the pedals (at least 5 feet tall), strong enough to maintain control of the vehicle, and mature enough to operate it safely and responsibly. In some areas, bicycle helmets may be required for riders under a certain age.
How much weight can the ELF carry?
The ELF SOLO, 2FR, and Tactical can carry a payload of 350 lbs, which includes the rider. All three models may be upgraded to carry a payload of 550 lbs.
How much does the ELF weigh?
The ELF SOLO and 2FR weighs about 160-180 lbs. depending on how it is outfitted. The Tactical ELF 1.5 weighs 200 lbs. with the dual battery packs.
What are the dimensions of the ELF?
Exact dimensions vary depending on exactly how a particular ELF is outfitted, but the dimensions are roughly 9′ long x 4’0.25″ wide x 5’1″ tall. You can get a good idea of how it compares to other vehicles by watching the videos. The ELF can comfortably fit in most bike lanes.
I’m relatively tall/short. Can the seat be adjusted?
The current seat configuration can be adjusted to accommodate riders between 5’0″ and 6’9″. Additional customization may be required to accommodate those shorter or taller, but it’s not impossible.
What size are the tires? Are they easy to change?
All of the wheels use standard sized 24 or 26″ bicycle tires (depending on the options you choose). The wheels do not even need to be removed to repair a flat! If you do want to remove a wheel, the front wheels are each held to their axle with a single bolt. The rear wheel has a conventional axle with two nuts holding it in place and, because the gear set is entirely enclosed in the hub, there is no derailleur to bother with.
What colors are available?
The ELF is currently available in Arctic White, Mango Orange, Wasabi Green or Goji Red. The ELF is well-suited to customization with vinyl decals.