Vintage Electric Bicycles On Jay Leno’s Garage – Video

2 years ago by Mark Kane 35

Vintage Electric Bicycles - Jay Leno's Garage

Vintage Electric Bicycles – Jay Leno’s Garage

Andrew Davidge, the founder of Vintage Electric Bicycles, visited Jay Leno’s Garage with some great looking electrified vintage bicycles.

Over 400 of these bikes have already been sold.

“Andrew Davidge started his electric bike company in high school and now, four years later, he and Jay are cruising the Cruz and E-Tracker – at 36 mph in race mode with a 30-mile range!”

With a 3,000 W motor and lithium-ion batteries good for up to 30 miles, these are cool bikes for rides. And Andrew didn’t forget to add regen.

The price starts at around $5,000 – so sort of expensive, but it’s refreshing to see another successful combination of electric drive and old school vehicles.

More about the bikes: Vintage Electric Bicycles.

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35 responses to "Vintage Electric Bicycles On Jay Leno’s Garage – Video"

  1. Delta says:

    If you have a ten mile commute in California, these are a great alternative vehicle.

  2. Warren says:

    They are beautiful. But to be clear, they are vintage-look bikes, not actual vintage bikes.

    If you are handy, you can build something like this for less, and learn something at same time.

    1. SJC says:

      Just get a bike from Amazon with a kit and some batteries. You can make one for $500, don’t spend $2000 at electric bike stores.

      1. Warren says:

        I have have built two, and have almost 23,000 miles on in just over four years. You will pay $500 for a decent bike. A decent battery will cost another $500. A decent motor/controller/throttle/etc. will cost you another $500.

        1. SJC says:

          For the person who does not put 20,000 miles on a bike, they can make them for less.

          1. Warren says:

            A science fair project you can do for $500. A practical, reliable, e-bike will cost more.


            1. SJC says:

              This is like asking “how big is a fish” the answer is IT DEPENDS. How would most people use an ebike? They might use it on Saturdays for an hour at a time, less than 200 miles per year.

        2. goodbyegascar says:

          Warren, with all due respect, you will not be able to duplicate these Vintage Electric bikes for a mere $1,500 apiece.

          I recognize the frames from Felt Bicycles’ Cruiser series. They are high quality, and not cheap.

          Where can anyone buy a new, 3,000 watt brushless hub motor & controller for only $500? Expect to pay at least $1,000.

          And where can anyone buy a 52 volt, 13.5 ampere-hour battery lithium ion battery for $500? Again, that’s going to be another $1,000 or more.

          Then you have to make the battery case, which Vintage Electric has cleverly made as a heat sink, and styled it to resemble the engine from and antique board track racer from around the year 1920.

          Granted, Vintage Electric is making a profit on these, and they’re entitled to it. I just think credit should be given where it is due.

          And, to settle any suspicions, I don’t have any connection to the Vintage Electric (or to Tesla, General Motors, et. al.)

          1. Warren says:



            You can shop around for nicer cruisers from name brands. I wouldn’t go any cheaper than this. Big box store bikes are BSO’s…bicycle shaped objects.

            I would definitely suggest that anyone who can afford a Tesla buy a Vintage Electric Bicycle instead.

            1. goodbyegascar says:

              Okay, then perhaps I stand corrected! Thanks for the reply.

          2. rad says:

            That looks like a Crystalyte motor. If you buy the whole kit from the main US distributer (electric rider) expect to pay north of $1600 for 48 volt which would be 1440 watts continuous and 1920 peak. If you went to 72 volt (2160 continuous and 2880 peak) expect to pay $2100+ for a kit depending on the size of the lithium battery. These things are not cheap, but Crystalyte has been around for a dozen years or so.

            I bought a kit 3 years ago. Only once have I had to “pedal” it home. That was later found out to be a loose connection. I love it.

  3. RexxSee says:

    Coool! The Model S of electric bikes! Well targetted.

  4. goodbyegascar says:

    Electric bikes miust be the most efficient type of personal transportation ever devised.

    1. Warren says:

      I am averaging 13.77 Wh/mile from the wall. That is an EPA 2,447 MPGe. Even heavy folks, who don’t pedal, get a third of that.

      1. goodbyegascar says:

        I’d bet that, a calorie-to-watt comparison would reveal that electric bikes are even more efficient than walking. And, of course, much faster and more fun!

        To make it even better, one could charge an electric bike with a fairly modest solar panel, too.

        Anytime I visit the Inside EVs website, I feel better about the future.

          1. goodbyegascar says:

            Thanks for the link(s).

            The conclusion confirms my suspicion: “Despite the intuitive sense that electric bikes would require more resources than regular bikes, life-cycle analysis shows that they actually consume 2-4 times less primary energy than human riders eating a conventional diet.

            This conclusion is largely due to the considerable amount of transportation and processing energy that is associated with our western food system.”

        1. Warren says:

          I wish I felt the same about electric cars and our future. I am afraid we are in denial about what kind of transportation we need to have any chance of avoiding cooking the planet.

          1. goodbyegascar says:

            Just watched the video. Insightful and alarming.

            I am confident that eventually, billions of people will choose to ride electric bikes to reach everything they need within, say, a five mile radius, in decent weather.

            And I think that most people will do that simply because electric bikes are cheaper to purchase, fuel, and maintain (and not so much out of a genuine personal concern for the environment).

            Longer distances will be travelled in electric cars and electric buses and trains.

            And let’s not overlook the ultimate in efficiency: performing tasks using the Internet instead of traveling somewhere else to do them; telecommuting, shopping, and socializing online. We are doing it right now.

            No, electric cars alone are not the cure-all this planet needs. But when the public understands that they are about five time more efficient operate than gascars, they will also discover the benefits of riding an electric bike for most of their daily travels.

            And they will have so much fun doing it.

            1. Warren says:

              Parts one and two are good, but please watch part three for the really deep stuff.

            2. Epicurus says:

              Since so many people are out of work, how about the government creating a company to manufacture electric bikes, offering them for free, or for nominal cost, to anyone who wants one, and perhaps letting any poor person in the world who wants one have one for free as well as part of our foreign aid?

              1. Warren says:

                The CO2 impact of moving poor people from walking or riding a bicycle, to riding an electric bicycle, would be tiny. Getting people in developed nations to abandon their cars for an electric bicycle would have a huge impact, on their health as well as on CO2.

    2. SJC says:

      Yes, an ebike can be charged with solar panels and have more than 20 mile range.

    3. mhpr262 says:

      I’m pretty sure that award goes to the new electric, self balancing unicycles. These things literally consist of nothing but a rubber tire, an electric motor, a battery pack and little black box with electronics.

  5. martinwinlow says:

    30 MPH?! How long is going to be before the first fatality (pedestrian or rider)? MW

    1. Warren says:

      Bicyclists living in hilly areas exceed 30 mph all the time. If you are concerned, I suggest you make a donation to one of the groups advocating for safer roads.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      I take it you’ve never ridden a bicycle as an adult?

      Even on a muscule-powered bicycle, 30 MPH going downhill on a 10-speed isn’t at all unusual, nor is it unsafe unless you’re riding on the sidewalk!

    3. SJC says:

      Notice there is a disk brake on the front. Going is one thing, stopping is another.

      1. Warren says:

        The regen will haul this bike down from 30 mph to walking speed very quickly. The front brake will be more than adequate after that.

        1. SJC says:

          If regen fails you still have stopping power.

  6. Biker dude says:

    Nice bikes but too fast and not legal for any bike paths. U.S. Laws and particularly California new law limits motor watts to 750 watts and 20 mph. My wife and I have Pedego electric bikes that cost about half the price and meet all legal standards. Not sure why one would need a 3000 watt motor when 500 watts is plenty.

    1. Warren says:

      500 watts is plenty if you ride on flat ground, or run the motor through the bike’s gears. If you are running a direct drive hub motor up long steep hills, a 500 watt motor will overheat, especially since most of these are ridden by people who don’t pedal too.

      1. SJC says:

        500 watts is enough, if you climb you pedal also. A Pedego is priced at $2000 to $3000, bring the prices down you sell many more.