Electric Bikes for Commuting in the Greater Seattle Metro Area

Last updated 25 June 2015

This document is intended as a somewhat living document to describe why electric bikes are awesome for commuting in the Greater Seattle Metro Area, and why you should consider one!

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.sevarg.net/2015/06/29/electric-bikes-for-commuting-in-greater/

(Comments from Blogger)

2015-09-10 by Pretend to Be Poor

Russell, I’ve been cruising your blog and share many of the same ebike convictions. I was hoping I could describe my bike commute to you and you could recommend an ebike solution. I already have a mtn/hybrid bike that I would like to convert (A Diamondback Sorrento 90’s, looks like this: https://ssli.ebayimg.com/00/s/NjAwWDgwMA==/z/6C8AAOSwd0BV5x~a/$_86.JPG) My commute is 12 miles each way, with a 223ft elevation change. I do the commute once a week on a road bike averaging 15 mph. I would like to do it more often. I figure the ebike would get me out there 4 times a week. I am very price sensitive and want to replace as few parts as possible. I am not afraid of putting something together (eg. I have lots of soldering experience). What would you recommend?

2015-09-11 by Russell Graves

One of the random kits out of China is well suited to that type of conversion.

2015-12-19 by Mike Halcrow

The motor wreaks havoc on your spokes. Check them every few months and re-tension when they’re loose.

2017-03-02 by Sai Kodi

Hey, Your blog is awesome. I have been reading through for a few days now but wanted to post.

Basically, electric bikes are not allowed on trails but you are saying that as long as we behave and do not act & ride like a jerk, we should be ok. I have to commute through kenmore area and taking the burke gilman trail is much safer than taking the bothell way. I am on an electric bike which only has pedal assist - no throttle mode. I am wondering if I should get on to the trail or not. I can happily obey the 15 mph speed limit posted on the trail.

2017-03-02 by Russell Graves

I no longer live in Seattle, so I can’t offer any particularly current advice, but, yes. Don’t be a jackass on the trails and I doubt anyone will care during commuting hours. I wouldn’t ride an ebike on the Burke Gilman on Saturday afternoon with all the lycras out, but morning/evening? Just keep your speed to something sane and don’t ride a 5000W 45mph monster.

2018-06-27 by Dan

Good advice. Don’t be a jerk and you’ll be fine. I commute from the Kenmore/LFP area to Seattle on the BGT daily. Once I got past the “gee whiz I can go really fast” phase after about a week, I realized that doing 23 mph on the BGT is a really bad idea for the most part. Even when you think you are all alone, at that speed it is easy to round a slight bend and be right on top of someone. It’s not worth it. Plenty of analog bikes pass me now, and I’m happy (read: smug) with that. As a general rule, mornings are better than evenings for getting your speed on, in my opinion.

2018-09-04 by Unknown

There are plenty on E bikes all over the Burke Gilman trail every day, along with the Ship Canal and Interurban trail as well. Ironically it always seems that it is the bikers with the expensive spandex riding their super expensive road bikes are the ones BLASTING down the the trails full of pedestrians at 20+ MPH. WHAT GIVES?

2018-09-04 by Russell Graves