Ultra Motor's A2B Metro Electric Bike: Right for the Right Situation
Here's the bottom line on the A2B electric bike from Ultra Motor. You'll find this bike, with its powerful electric assist motor, most attractive where you've got a nice little urban or suburban commute if you want to ride in your work clothes and not get sweaty. It can be right for you too, if you like to ride bike path or quiet roads by your house, for instance, and have trouble with hills or maybe worry about getting too tired half-way in.
Don't buy it if you actually want the authentic feel of riding your bike under your own power. It's just not practical to pedal yourself without using the electric motor virtually all the time. Don't buy it if you'll have to load it into or onto your car, or carry it up stairs. At at stout 70 pounds, it's just too heavy.
With that all said, the A2B electric bike from Ultra Motor is a lot of fun, and would be awesome for the right circumstances. Things like short trips to work, school or the store, for instance would be lots of fun and really times of ideal use.
Fun and Not Overly Dorky
The problem with electric bikes in the past has been that they've looked like, well, electric bikes. That's all changing thanks to new technology in both batteries and motors that make the bikes look sleeker and more bike-like. And those same changes have also made the bikes go faster and run longer too.
The A2B has a 36-volt lithium ion battery sunk into its full-suspension, aluminum frame which powers a 500 watt electric motor discreetly stored in the rear hub, which can push it up to about 20 mph. Its throttle is on the right handlebar just like a motorcycle. With a more upright seating position on the oversized, very comfy seat, you'll have good field of vision and be more visible to traffic. Plus, wide 20 x 3.0 Kenda Kraze tires coupled with a shock-absorbing front fork (80mm travel) and a shock-absorbing swing arm suspension (150mm travel) in the back help make for a very smooth ride.
Range for the bike is 20 miles at 20 mph, which varies of course, depending on rider weight, amount of pedaling done and the terrain. Adding an available second battery, which bolts onto the rack over the rear wheel behind the seat, doubles that range. The battery takes about 3.5 hours to charge when fully drained, and plugs into a standard wall outlet. Other available accessories include front and rear baskets as well as rear wheel panniers, all handy items to add capacity for hauling all your stuff.
When you pedal the A2B like a traditional bicycle, you can work through a seven-gear range that is laid out on a traditional cassette/derailleur set-up, using Shimano components.
Is It Worth It?
The A2B Metro has a sticker price around $2700. If you're watching pennies, you can justify the purchase probably if you live in the city and can use this in place of a car. Same if you're going to get lots of use buzzing around on it doing errands instead of driving or else can now go out riding for fun on a bike path if otherwise you wouldn't be able to because of physical concerns.
Beyond that, while the bike is probably a good value given the high-tech components, and the fun and cool factor are worth a lot, I'd think twice about dropping that kind of dough on something that may have somewhat limited practical use.