Kyle Nazario

An ebike has completely changed my daily routine

An ebike has completely changed my daily routine

I purchased an electric bike last year and wanted to review it from the perspective of someone who is not a cyclist or used to biking places.

I would highly recommend buying one. Over the last five months, it has transformed my daily routine.


I live in Athens, Georgia, a small college town. I work from home five days a week as a software engineer. My “commute” is going to running group or meeting friends after work.

However, I realized something. I never go anywhere more than two miles away. Isn’t it silly to get in a huge, gas-powered machine for that? Isn’t transportation responsible for one-fifth of global carbon emissions?

So I walked. Short trips were easy, and the University of Georgia’s campus is friendly to pedestrians. But walking is slow, and I am impatient.

My dream of riding a regular bicycle died on Athens’ brutal hills. I rode to my Tuesday board game group and arrived exhausted, sweaty and stinky. I wouldn’t want to play board games with me.

After that, I bought an ebike.

The bike

A Ride1Up Core-5 ebike

I purchased the Ride1Up Core-5 on the recommendation of Electrek, which called it “one of the best bang-for-your-buck options.”

The Core-5 ($1,045 at time of writing) resembles a regular bike. Look closely, though, and you see the frame holds a long, cyclindrical battery. That battery powers a small 750-watt motor to help you pedal. A small control panel by the left handlebar sets how much electrical assist is used.

The pedal assist control panel on the ebike

The more pedal assist, the faster the battery runs out. When that happens, I use a key to pop the battery out of the bike and plug it in inside my house to charge.

The Core-5 frame when the battery is removed

The Core-5 battery. Large black cylinder-ish object

The bike is heavy with the battery. Its black shell also chips easily. I don’t care about any of that, though, because I love this bike.

Reason #1: Speed

This thing is fast. A two-mile trip across town takes 15 minutes or less with pedal assist. At top speed, I can go 25-30 miles per hour. It’s enough to keep up with traffic on slower roads.

The ebike is also fast because you don’t sit in traffic in the bike lane. It feels so good to zip by a massive line of cars during rush hour. Going to Monday running group took 45 minutes in my car. It’s a third or less that on the ebike.

It’s made me get out more. If I want to have lunch from my favorite restaurant, I can get there and back within my lunch break. No need to pay for food delivery.

Reason #2: You’re not tired

Ebikes are great because they make biking easy. I’m not nearly as tired or sweaty when I get places. It feels nice riding up Athens’ grueling hills without feeling like I’m going to have a heart attack.

Reason #3: Saves money

The ebike is already saving me money. While $1,000+ up front is steep, I save by not driving. The Department of Energy cost per mile calculator says even my tiny commute at $3.35 per gallon costs roughly $386 per year with gas, depreciation and repairs. Ebikes, on the other hand, are less than a penny per mile to charge. The ebike should pay for itself in three years.

The real financial boon, though, will be when I sell my car. I’m waiting to make absolutely sure the ebike fits all my needs, but I think I can make it work (see next section).

Ebikes do have maintenance costs, but they are an order of magnitude cheaper than car repairs. I had a local bike shop do a top-to-borrom tweak and adjustment of my new ebike and it was… $150. I’ve paid more than that for car tires.

Reason #4: Good for the planet

I like that it’s more environmentally friendly! An ebike gets you around town using a fraction of the energy of a car. It’s just less mass to move.

Additionally, if your town uses renewable energy, it’s not even a big deal to charge your battery. Georgia Power is only 8% renewables, unfortunately, but hopefully that number will go up over time and make ebikes even more eco-friendly.

How to make it work

If you purchase an ebike, there are a couple things I’d recommend.

First, invest in safety gear. American roads are unfortunately full of gigantic, pedestrian-killing cars driven by people looking at their phones. I never bike anywhere without a bright reflective vest ($7 on Amazon) and a helmet. I also purchased a rechargeable LED for the back of the bike.

When riding, always wear your reflective gear. Avoid giant roads with high speed and lots of traffic. Use bike lanes wherever possible. Ride on the sidewalk if you have to, but avoid pedestrians. That’s the best advice I have as a new cyclist.

Second, consider where you’ll keep your belongings. I tend to travel light, with just a small backpack for my helmet, reflective vest, gloves, phone, wallet and Airpods case. The backpack is also nice for quick store trips. It can usually fit enough groceries for a day or two.

For big trips, I recommend Uber and Lyft, if they’re in your area. You could also pick an ebike with a cargo rack.

Third, invest in a good lock. Nothing will stop a truly determined thief, but a bike attached by the frame to a solid metal post is hard to steal. I bought the OnGuard Brute ($55 on Amazon) and have not had any issues. Fingers crossed.

Lastly, consider weather. If you live somewhere that gets a lot of rain or ice or whatever, you should probably buy gear for that weather.


I am happy with my purchase. An ebike has allowed me to embrace a more free, active lifestyle with less environmental impact. I would highly recommend it.