Electric Bikes

Welcome to our coverage of e-bikes.

Portland is home to many electric-bike makers, tinkerers, riders, and enthusiasts. We do our best to cover it all. Have an e-bike story idea? Drop us an email via our contact page.

Riding the latest e-bike system from Bosch

by on July 23rd, 2015 at 1:16 pm

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Murdered out e-cargo bike.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Electric bikes have a very bright future in Portland. There are many reasons why: Many Portlanders love cycling and our city encourages it, we have hills and steep bridges to pedal up, our expensive housing is forcing longer bike commutes, and e-bike technology — as technology tends to do — is always getting better/lighter/cheaper.

On that note, I had the opportunity to test ride the Bosch eBike System last week. From what I’ve heard around the industry, their new mid-drive system is the best on the market. As the largest automotive parts supplier in the world and with over a century of experience, it’s not hard to fathom that Bosch could jump into this market and deliver a solid product.

I also noticed that Xtracycle decided to spec the Bosch system on their Edgerunner cargo bike. That alone is a good sign that the Bosch system is worth paying attention to. (more…)

Industry Ticker: Xtracycle brings electric cargo bike tour to Portland

by on June 22nd, 2015 at 12:40 pm

An e-boost makes toting the kids easier.
(Photo: Xtracycle)


First look at Yuba’s new ‘Spicy Curry’ electric-assist cargo bike

by on May 12th, 2015 at 1:31 pm

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Yuba Bikes Founder and CEO Benjamin Sarrazin on his new Spicy Curry e-bike.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)


‘Transit on Tap’ event will highlight Kaiser’s folding e-bike loan program

by on July 17th, 2014 at 2:33 pm


A few employers own bicycles that they can loan to their workers as an introduction to bike commuting, but a Kaiser Permanente Northwest pilot program this year is taking that to the next level.

The health company is loaning folding e-bikes to 180 of its employees.

The goal is, in part, to increase active commutes by introducing more commuters to the transit-friendly vehicles that can address one of the biggest reasons workers neither bike or bus to work: they live too far away to bike, and too far from a bus stop to take transit.


Infographic expands on local e-bike research, but the biggest puzzle remains

by on July 17th, 2014 at 10:27 am

(Infographic by Portland State Transportation Research and Education Center)

A new poster summarizing research from a Portland State University scholar has some interesting factoids about electric bike users, but it doesn’t answer what’s becoming one of the biggest mysteries in American biking: why haven’t e-bikes taken off yet in the United States?


Video lets you go behind the bars for a zippy e-bike commute

by on March 21st, 2014 at 3:10 pm

Every day, rain or shine, Paul Turner blasts through his 19-mile commute from his home on the Sandy River in Troutdale to his office on Marquam Hill in southwest Portland. Aboard his electric-assisted bike, the journey takes him about an hour and ten minutes. He recently captured the highlights of his ride with a GoPro on-board camera and shared it on YouTube.

Event will highlight e-bike trends in Oregon

by on March 17th, 2014 at 2:38 pm

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E-bike powered.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

What’s the latest with electric bikes? Is their popularity growing or is it leveling out? What about the future? Will motorized and pedal-assisted bicycles ever be fully embraced by other road users?

These issues and more will be discussed at an event next month in downtown Portland. The event is being promoted and organized by Drive Oregon, a non-profit trade association that pushes “electric mobility and alternative means of transportation.”

We’ve covered e-bikes for years here on BikePortland. From the local industry that has sprung up around them to the people who credit them for changing their lives, they definitely seem to be gaining traction. That being said, they are still not commonly seen in the bike lanes and their mix of human and motor power makes it hard for them to find a comfortable niche among the existing mix of vehicles on the road. (more…)

New bike business roundup: E-bikes, flowers, acupuncture, and more

by on March 10th, 2014 at 3:04 pm

Nico Bella, owner of Portland’s only full-service, bike-based florist.
(Photo by Spellbound Flowers)

The love of bicycles in this town is so strong that the number and type of bike-related businesses springing up around it never ceases to inspire us. Yes, it’s that time again when we’ve heard of so many new bikey endeavors that we’ve got to round them all up in one post.

Report and photos from test ride of Organic Transit’s ELF trike

by on January 30th, 2014 at 2:29 pm

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Organic Transit CEO and Founder Rob Cotter inside the ELF during a test ride event in Portland on Tuesday.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

It’s not a bike and it’s not a car, but the ELF trike is quickly finding fans in Portland who are looking for something in between.

ELF trike test ride-7
The event drew a good crowd —
some who arrived by bike, others by car.

Organic Transit, the North Carolina-based company that makes the ELF solar and pedal-powered trike, just wrapped up three busy days of test rides (two days in Troutdale and one day in Portland). I dropped by the test ride event Tuesday on the eastbank of the Willamette River near the Hawthorne Bridge to take a closer look, meet the company’s founder and CEO Rob Cotter, and get people’s impressions of these interesting vehicles.


Organic Transit plans Portland test drive event for solar/pedal-powered trike

by on January 21st, 2014 at 1:37 pm

Coming to Portland

If our story back in November piqued your curiosity about what some call the “most efficient vehicle on the planet”, you’ll want to mark your calendar for a chance to drive one yourself.

Organic Transit (based in Durham, North Carolina) is bringing their ELF solar and pedal-powered tricycles to Portland for three days of test rides. The company that says its missions is to “get more cars off the road” knows that the Portland region’s biking and transit-centric demographic makes it a great marketing target. In fact, the company is considering opening an assembly plant in Portland.

In a press release about the Portland-area test ride events, company founder Rob Cotter said the ELF gets the equivalent of 1,800 miles per gallon. Far from a recumbent bike, the vehicle itself comes with side and rear mirrors, head and taillights, and a fully protective enclosure while still being legal to operate in bike lanes, paths, and in standard traffic lanes. (more…)