On a recent trip to Brooklyn, I noticed that almost all the delivery bikes were the exact same brand and often the same model. The Arrow 7 E-bike. But what was this brand? I had never heard of it. Online searches don’t reveal anywhere you can actually buy them. And I’ve never seen one outside of the boroughs of New York City.
Here’s what I know about these bikes.
1. They are the favored e-bike (electric battery powered bicycle) of food delivery cyclists in NYC. I saw them all over Manhattan and Brooklyn, and watched delivery people from Doordash, Postmates, UberEats and other services riding around or locking them up to go inside for another delivery or pickup.
2. They are a throttle based e-bike. I noticed quite a few riders go about two or three pedal strokes to get the bike moving, and then stop pedaling completely and use the bike’s throttle to power it. Most ebikes you’ll see at bike shops are electric assist. That means that the electric motor works as a force multiplier to your own pedaling, giving you more power per pedal stroke. You still have to pedal to make them go.
Throttle based ebikes are more like a tiny, underpowered electric motorcycle or scooter (but that probably doesn’t require a driver’s license or insurance), making it a low cost, low tech delivery method.
3. The battery is removable. I saw several locked up with no battery attached.
4. There are multiple models, but they all look very similar and I couldn’t really tell what the differences were. It appeared that they all have a double kickstand, a shock in front, fenders, lights and disc brakes, and all the same battery.
6. A lot of riders set them up with permanent mittens over the handlebars, or mittens covered by plastic bags, to keep rider hands warm during winter deliveries.
7. The NY Observer says that they usually cost between $1,500 and $1,800, or at least they did back in 2017.
8. This story on the CitylandNYC site indicates that Arrow Bikes is a small shop in Manhattan. In the article, they were fined $5,000 for selling “motorized scooters.” I suspect this has something to do with these bikes being throttle controlled e-bikes that are not solely pedal assist.
What else do you know about this manufacturer? Are these bikes still for sale? Are they available outside of NYC? What is their range? Are they Class 3 (which goes up to 28 mph)? How much do they cost new? Why do almost all the delivery drivers use this brand specifically?
If you have any information, please comment!