Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is Tommy Bahama¨ Electric Bicycle?
A. It is an electrically assisted bicycle that is essentially a conventional Bicycle but uses an electric motor to assist the rider on demand with a variable speed throttle. Tommy Bahama¨ Electric Bicycles help riders up hills, into headwinds and those without the physical stamina needed to pedal an ordinary bicycle. They provide the opportunity to get some exercise without exertion and are also very fun to ride!
Q. Do I need to pedal a Tommy Bahama¨ Electric Bicycle?
A. No, but it helps to prolong battery life and extend your range. The motor on a Tommy Bahama¨ Electric Bicycle is throttle controlled, allowing you to decide how much power you desire. Have you ever tried to cycle when speeding downhill on your normal bicycle? ItÕs just like that. The motor is propelling you faster than youÕre cycling so there is pretty much no resistance; itÕs merely a formality and an opportunity for some exercise.
Q. Can I ride up hills and against strong headwinds on my Tommy Bahama¨ Electric Bicycle?
A. Yes. One of the main advantages of cycling on a Tommy Bahama¨ Electric Bicycle is that it literally flattens hills and increases your average speed when tackling inclines and headwinds. If you provide a reasonable amount of effort, you should be able to tackle most hills with relative ease.
Q. What are the operating costs for a Tommy Bahama¨ Electric Bicycle?
A. You will have no worries about rising fuel prices at the pumps. Tommy Bahama¨ Electric Bicycles use household electricity. The average cost per full charge is about 10 cents per charge. If you charged the battery every single day for a year, it would cost you about $35 per year.
Q. Can I recharge the battery simply by pedaling a Tommy Bahama¨ Electric Bicycle?
A. Unlike heavier vehicles like cars, electric bicycles do not have enough inertia to provide any significant amount of energy to send any measurable amount of electricity back to the battery. You can extend the range by adding more pedal power which makes the battery last longer.
Q. Do I need a driving license, insurance or registration?
A. No, you donÕt. According to Federal law, electric bicycles that are under 750 watts are classified as bicycles. Tommy Bahama¨ Electric Bicycle is simply a bicycle that requires very little pedaling to travel 20 mph, saving you from over-exertion. Some states require the use of helmet and riders to be at least 16 years old. Check your local laws to be sure you comply with any other ordinances.
Q. What happens when I use the brakes under powered assistance?
A. Tommy Bahama¨ Electric Bicycles are equipped with brake levers that have an in-built safety switch that automatically cuts off the motor power under normal braking conditions. This not only ensures a safe un-powered stopping feature, but also protects the motor under braking conditions so that it isnÕt working against the brakes
Q. Where can a buy accessories like baskets and lights for a Tommy Bahama¨ Electric Bicycle?
A. Since Tommy Bahama¨ Electric Bicycles use standard bicycle parts, all types of accessories are available at bicycle dealers just about anywhere.
Q. How far will a Tommy Bahama¨ Electric Bicycle take me?
A. This all depends on a few factors. Cycling with some pedal assistance along a straight road under normal conditions the battery should last about 20-40 miles. Cycling up steep hills will obviously take more energy out of the battery and factors such as road surface, wind resistance, weight of the rider and tire pressure will affect your range.
Q. What happens if I get a flat tire and where do I go for other repairs and maintenance?
A. The tires on these bicycles are the same as conventional bicycles. Simply replace the tube with a tube of the right size and inflate it. No special tires or parts are needed. Almost all the components on Tommy Bahama¨ Electric Bicycles are standard bicycle parts. Any reputable bicycle shop can repair flats and perform maintenance on Tommy Bahama¨ Electric Bicycles.
Q. Are the bicycles light enough to be lifted without help?
A. In the past, electric bicycles were very heavy and would take some effort to lift on your own. Steel frames and lead acid batteries were the main contributor to this. Tommy Bahama¨ Electric Bicycles are made with aluminum frames and lithium ion batteries. This reduces the weight considerably to around 60 lbs. with the battery. With the battery removed, it can more easily be lifted.
Q. Will I stand out cycling on a Tommy Bahama¨ Electric Bicycle?
A. Not at all. Some electric bicycles have crazy styling and unusual looks that make them stick out. The Tommy Bahama¨ Electric bicycles look just like average bicycles but with the added benefit of an electric motor. Tommy Bahama¨ Electric bicycles are incredibly comfortable Ôbeach cruiserÕ style bicycles.
Q. How do I know when the battery is low?
A. Tommy Bahama¨ Electric Bicycles have easily visible light indicators located on the handle bars that show the amount of energy left in the battery. If the battery is getting low, and you donÕt think you will make it to your destination, you can switch off your motor and keep it just for the difficult bits.
Q. Do I have to wait for the battery to empty before I charge it?
A. No. The batteries we use are Lithium-ion batteries which do not suffer from Ômemory effectÕ. This means that there is no need to discharge a battery completely before you recharge it again. You can partially recharge the battery at any time without reducing its voltage or lifespan.Tommy Bahama Electric Bikes (949) 734-4695
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