As for battery life, I didn’t run it
through a whole battery, but it seemed
that the claimed 19–25 miles was about
right in light riding. In full assist with a
number of hills, perhaps not.
The battery is a 36-volt, 10-amp-
hour, lithium-ion battery. It can be
charged on or off the bike, and the
seat has a cool lever that allows it to
tilt forward, out of the way, for easy
removal without changing seat height.
Both bikes use the same controller,
which is simple to use with three
buttons: on/off, mode and a function
The included rack is really nice and
is great for carrying groceries, books or
mounting bags on it. The fenders are
a nice touch, especially for those who
ride through cities with mystery liquids
sometimes lurking in the streets. The
kickstand is serious, like a motorcycle
version. The bike doesn’t have to lean
to one side. At $1189, the bike overall is
surprisingly good compared to the few
others we’ve seen in this price range.
It’s available in red, white or blue.
I give major style points to the Seal
for the frame design. It’s a handsome
bike and very unique, like a big tuning
fork made out of 6060-T6 aluminum.
The long, straight line can be rebranded
easily as a delivery bike for a company,
and they showed me some samples.
The flat sides just beg for custom
graphics. And with a box mounted
above the rear tire, it looks great as a
The 500-watt motor is definitely
more powerful than the Gama’s 350
watts and had little trouble climbing
Ocean Park. It still takes a few seconds
for the power to kick in. But because
of the extra power, it’s nice to have
the mechanical disc brakes instead of
the Gama’s calipers. The battery is the
same size, so it has a bit less range.
It looks similar to a hardtail mountain
bike with its 26x1.950-inch tires and
about 100mm of travel in the Suntour
XCM fork, but the tires are street
slicks, and the very laid-back angle
of the head tube makes it a far more
comfortable urban commuter. Not
completely form over function, in
the street it’s a comfortable, if more
aggressive than upright, ride.
For a first-time electric bike, both the
Gama and the Alpha are solid choices.
The only quick-release component on
either bike was the seat adjustment.
Bad for you if you need to change a
tire on the road, but that’s more of a
serious-rider thing. The good thing
about bolted-on wheels is that they’re
harder to quickly grab when you lock
the bike up. There are good places
on both bikes to lock to with either a
U-lock or a cable.
With a range of about 20 miles, if
your daily commute is less than five
miles each way, you should be fine. If
you run the battery down every day,
you’ll kill your battery in a few months.
This goes for any bike. But with the
capacity, the charger can fill an empty
battery in three hours. The charger is
also small enough to either carry with
you to work, or you can buy a second
one and keep it there.
ElectroBike offers good prices for
decent bikes—better than you’d expect
for the price. The fact that they’re sold
in dedicated stores means the people
in the stores will know the bikes well.
The Santa Monica store has a great
selection of accessories, and they are
more than happy to let people try the
range of bikes before they buy one. For
more info, see www.electrobike.com. ■
Aaron Anderson (left) often
goes out with people for their
very first ride to make sure
they understand the controls.
You can see the surprise on
first-time riders’ faces when
the power kicks in.