Worst Consumer Product of 2009 – the $2700 Ultra Motor A2B Electric Bike / Moped Thing

Reports are positive so far from those San Franciscans taking extended test drives of Trek’s new electric bike.

Having said that, let’s award Worst Consumer Product of 2009 to another kind of electric bike – the $2700 (or so, some people sell them new for $1700-something) Ultra Motor A2B Electric Bike / Moped Thing.

If you want to check things out, they’re on sale now at the Best Buy and you can even rent them for 79 bones per day

But hey, look at this guy on Market Street near the failed Octavia Boulevard. He just might be an owner/operator of an A2B - the first I’ve seen. Maybe he works for CNET or Engadget or someplace. This early-adopter certainly seemed outgoing and happy though, like three-tabs-of-Ecstasy happy, so good for him. And he was actually pedaling the thing for a bit, amazingly.

IMG_8173 copy

Click to expand.

But for the average person, the A2B is way too heavy and expensive. Why does this electric moped, a “commuter bike,” need full suspension and why does it have tiny wheels? Styling?  

Let’s get some input from an A2B person (employee?), who saw fit to offer this blog his comments here. Read his pearls of wisdom in bold:

Brent Meyers says:
July 17, 2009 at 10:18 am  

“Just curious to know if this ‘blogger’ has ever ridden an A2B.”

See the word “blogger” in quote marks? That means me. Like, what else could I be with my bone-stock WordPress blog? A blogger wannabe? A shill for Trek or some other outfit?   

Chances are he has not.

Chance are I have, ’round about April 5, 2009 – see “Test-Driving the Overweight, Overpriced “Ultra Motor” A2B Electric Moped

If he had ridden an A2B, he would know that it’s quite easy to pedal,

Is a moped easy to pedal? Maybe, but do you ever see people pedaling around on mopeds?

…and the wide tires combined with the full suspension gives the A2B a more comfortable feel and provides much better handling on urban roads.

“More comfortable”? “Better handling”? Compared to what? Is this a sales pitch?  

This blogger…

Ah, no quote marks this time. Hurray!

…should do his readers a favor…

Automatic for the People, baby. I give and give and give, 24-7…

 and properly research something before he writes about it.

Is it possible a multi-thousand-dollar, 73-pound “bike” isn’t for everybody during this particular recession?  

Check your facts Serpico.

“Serpico”? Whoosh! Right over the head with that one. 

O.K. fine. Feel free to test drive the thing, but expect to be harassed by A2B employees if you don’t like it enough to fork over your hard-earned green.

And the prices? Well they’re coming down, both in the shops and on the Craigslist.

Jul 30 – ULTRA MOTORS A2B ELECTRIC BIKES – $1750 - (SACRAMENTO) pic

Jul 28 – Electric Bicycles That Ride Like a Scooter – $1750 - (Arroyo) pic

Maybe if Ultra Motor had built an electric bike instead of an electric scooter, then things would be different…

Oh well.

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One Response to “Worst Consumer Product of 2009 – the $2700 Ultra Motor A2B Electric Bike / Moped Thing”

  1. Jim D says:

    I think you are a bit harsh on the A to B but admittedly, it is really more of a scooter than a bike. It does not pedal well but motors great. The Trek is simply Trek bike with a motor kit added to it. A better answer is to design a bike to be an electric bike from the ground up. There are several other companies that are now offering such contraptions – some better than others. After scouring the internet for about 3 months, I determined that a PEDEGO suited me the best and couldn’t be happier. The best part is that they are only $1500. I was going to buy an A to B but decided to get 2 PEDEGOS for about the same amount. Now my wife and I ride together and we are going places we never dreamed of using just pedal power.