Test driving a high-tech electric bike

Rocket Electrics had one of eight new Stromer ST2 bikes on hand last week. I checked it out. CHRIS LEBLANC/Contributed
Rocket Electrics had one of eight new Stromer ST2 bikes on hand last week. I checked it out. CHRIS LEBLANC/Contributed


I stopped by Rocket Electrics a few days ago to check out a fancy new electric bike called the Stromer ST2.

You may or may not know that my husband converted one of my bikes to an electric bike a few weeks ago. It used to be called the Cheeto, because it’s orange. Now we call it the eCheat-Oh because it gives me a free boost going up hills when I want it.The Stromer’s a Mercedes to my Ford Fiesta – it’s big, heavy and luxurious. It’s also loaded with fancy features, including high-tech sensors that enable the bike to understand what you’re doing and adjust accordingly. You can track it via a desktop computer or smart phone, and even disable it from afar if needed (like if someone steals it.) There’s an onboard USB port and the bike’s performance and diagnostics are stored in the owner’s profile in the cloud.

I’ve noticed more and more e-bikes as I commute to and from work. I’m not the only one who sees the advantages – since I can’t go faster than about 15 mph I’m legal on bike paths, which means I avoid getting stuck in street traffic. I save gas and get a little exercise, too. (More than driving, anyway.)

The Stromer had advantages and disadvantages, though. It felt powerful, like it could gallop up anything in its path. But it was super heavy – about 60 pounds. Which means it would be hard to transport in the back of a pickup truck, which is something I do pretty regularly with the eCheat-Oh. And I’m not sure I’d use all the tech features, like pre-programming it for different routes.

Another disadvantage? It costs about $7,000, which is out of my price range. That compared to the $800 my husband sent converting my bike.

But I can dream, can’t I?


Author: Pam LeBlanc

Pam LeBlanc writes about fitness and travel for the Austin American-Statesman. She has worked for the Statesman since 1998 and written her weekly fitness column, Fit City, since 2004.

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