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!
Neil Cook says
E-Bikes are ILLEGAL in NYC. In my neighborhood (NYPD 19th precinct) I was told that there is one officer assigned to confiscate and ticket E-Bikes, and that the month prior to speaking with that officer and the Community Affairs officer and they claim to have ticketed 100 E-Bikes. There are a reasonable number of bike lanes on the streets of NYC. Almost all of the E-Bikes are reckless – no helmets, speeding (faster than the cars on the streets), weave through traffic (both cars and other cyclists), ride on the sidewalk (also illegal in NYC), ignore traffic lights (and signs), ride in the wrong direction and generally endanger pedestrians. As you pointed out there are many E-Bikes in NYC used by delivery people and restaurants. Friends on regular bikes, and obviously not delivery people have been ticketed by NYPD officers for not stopping at crosswalks (a $250 fine). I have watched E-Bike delivery people run red lights with police sitting in a car at the same intersection. The police do nothing. Neighbors complain to me about my cycling, because of the reckless and dangerous riding by delivery people. I have spoken with the NYPD and my local City Council rep to no avail. I imagine if I dressed like a delivery person and had a plastic bag hanging off my handle bars the police with ignore me and I could break all the traffic laws!
You’ll be pleased to know that at least 300 tickets have been handed out to these kinds of bikes since June, so the next time you order seamless you can turn your nose up at your delivery guy with the satisfaction of knowing he either was or will be ticketed. be sure to slam the door in his face.
Neil Cook says
Nicole, I am pleased. When I spoke with the Community Affairs officer at the local precinct that number was much smaller, We (my wife and I) don’t use delivery service very often, but when we do we both worry about how the delivery person got to us. Except when we order pizza from the place around the corner. Thanks for your response and the information.
I just received an e-mail newsletter from my NYC Council member (Ben Kall.os, who never responded to my e-mails) that listed accident statistics. I find them distracting from the issues, lack of response from the NYCPD – they don’t take recommendations, and the delivery services just accept the fines as part of doing business.
Unfortunately I don’t know the answer to the problem, and have tired of the argument with Ben Kallos, the NYCPD and local restaurants. Which I know now places blame on me too,
I own an ebike and I do postmates and other delivery services on my spare time. Never have I been ticketed. I obey the traffic laws and I’m very cautious of my surroundings. Don’t spread this type of negativity. Not all of us breaks the law. It would suck that someone would disrespect me in this type of manner. I’ve had car doors swung at me and hit me due to lack of negligence of the car operator. I risk my own safety to make a couple of bucks. Last thing I would want is to have someone disrespect me over a false assumption. I know a few individuals who respect the traffic laws. For me , I do this as a side hustle. Unfortunately for others, it’s how they make their honest living.
This is not cool. You sound ignorant and dumb.
So when I deliver your food I’ll be sure to spit on it before i hand it to you
Yo tengo una igual y vivo en República Dominicana
Nicole Sucksass says
You sound like a terrible person Nicole. I hope you choke on your privilege.
Fuck you nicole, I will be more than glad to shove a tray of food in your face…I hope no one delivers to you ever again
I think she was being sarcastic…
Boy. What a bunch of whiny pussys on this site. A regular bike ran a red light and I almost hit them with my car. Last night, 2 regular bikes came flying down when I was crossing the street. Both times I thought “gotta keep my head on a swivel.” It’s NYC for cripes sake.
The last thing I would do is go to the PD to complain. Imagine what the cops are really thinking when you come in to whine
if anything they should make cars and trucks in the city illegal in most parts
Exactly right! The engines aren’t the problem.
Alan smithee says
1985 would like its bike gripes back
While the reckless operation of these bikes are true, people need jobs that aren’t provided by the government to survive. Unfortunately they have to do this to survive or would you like them to rob you instead.
you sound like one of the jerks racing around wearing tights and 3000 bikes. yes! no one deserves to ride or walk except you. I think your neighbors got it right. red the replies don’t you see no one agrees with you.
really man people like you uuck up this would.,
No, sorry. You are completely wrong. Class 1,2, and 3 e-bikes are all allowed in NYC, throttle powered or pedal assist, doesn’t matter.
Benny hill says
If they are used to a way of life overseas like India where the streets are that chaotic, it’s compounded by the fact bikers ARE pedestrians in ny state,so they take ultra advantage of that to further muddle the legal framework..that being said,ticketing and confiscating bikes doesn’t make real cyclists not pedestrians,and we shouldn’t react to the inevitable burst of a bubble by punishing all ebikes either, especially because it’s New York city’s law enforcement way of historically dealing with anything just ticket it to raise revenue while doing nothing to really change the law so that they can continue to keep ticketing and confiscating is only raising revenue too it’s not meant to inhibit anything because it doesn’t inhibit anything he thinks someone who has his e-bike confiscated isn’t going to go pay the fine and go get it out after he invested two grand? They know this they did this with cars and when Giuliani took over it did clean up the streets quick as far as parking but it didn’t stop people from driving into the city it’s just raised revenue and made people well it put the burden the tax burden on the ticketees, where the elite of New York always like to put the tax burden on the middle class. They literally did this back 30 years ago 20 years ago they said they were going to balance the budget oh no Bloomberg Bloomberg said he wanted to balance the budget by hiring a thousand new ticket officers. That was literally their plan for balancing the budget ticketing everyone. That’s sort of behavior should not be encouraged so it should be fought on a grassroots level in favor of e-bikes because the little nuisances on the street can be ironed out by the people themselves they don’t need the government to come in waste a billion dollars and achieve nothing while everything stays the same which is exactly what would happen. But if people incorporated their own little unspoken rules and such especially if it’s one bike company that most of the delivery guys have then there’s your solution. Got to find the owner of that company and tell him to pass the good word down to the owners of those bikes. That would have much more of an impact and it’s free. And it doesn’t require ticketing anyone you could even have a special license for delivery and put certain restrictions on just the delivery bikes like 15 and 1/2 mph in Europe something like that would probably work very well and it’s free see just off the top of my head I came up with two better solutions that are more direct and don’t cost the taxpayers anything and don’t require dimwits in Albany to pretend to work on an issue. Usually when the government gets involved in something whatever they’re working on it has the opposite effect so my thought would be for letting the adults handle it, and keeping the politicians busy with playing in the sand
Bridge Taylor says
Ban Cars not E-bikes.
John Schubert says
Neil Cook describes behaviors that are impolite, dangerous and illegal. I don’t discount the seriousness of that.
That is a separate issue from the electric assist bike. This is a wonderful tool for the food delivery job. Inexpensive, quiet, very low carbon footprint, and more humane to a middle aged delivery person than a bike without that electric assist.
The trick is to get all NYC bicyclists to behave better. I see far too many excuses for behaviors that are impolite, dangerous and illegal.
John puleo says
I have been riding skateboards and bikes for over 35 years used to be a bike messenger too in nyc…
Now I have a few pedal assist e bikes one has a throttle but it’s slow uner 300w..
WE NEED SPECIFICS WHEN IT COMES TO E BIKE LAWS AND THEY ARE MAKING SHiT UP AS THEY GO ALONG
Here are those specifics..
E bike has to be under 55 lbs
Has to be pedal assist and your feet must be moving if it has a throttle, and pedal assist comb
And lastly it can not go over 20 mph in nyc
Each state has different laws and they change like the weather each day so police if you are reading these words, give them a warning especially if they are a veteran biker like me who works security and just commutes to and from Manhattan
If you other bikers are reading this drop your pace, rice slower as the new next to sidewalk bike lanes are a FUCKING disaster
imrik james b says
what is the big deal with ebikes some other states have them mo problem, by having a bad back but still like to get some workout with a bike and enjoying the weather ebikes helps me along when i need it .
All 3 classes of e-bikes are allowed in NYC. Class 1&2 are limited to 20 MPH, but Class 3 is 25 MPH, and allowed in NYC.
Neil Cook says
John, the 2 big problems with the E-Bikes (and BTW they are NOT electric assist bikes, they are electric motorcycles/scooters). First they are illegal in NYC. Second they go 20 to 30 mph on the sidewalk, which illegal for ALL types of two wheeled vehicles. NY State laws state that all bicycles must obey all traffic laws and if there is a bike lane must ride in the bike lane unless it is unsafe to do so.
John Schubert says
Again, I don’t discount the seriousness of the dangerous behavior.
If they are really going 20-30 mpg on the sidewalk, that is hugely menacing.
I despise mandatory bike lane laws. Seldom is a bike lane a safe harbor. Usually, it’s the most dangerous part of the road, as evidenced by your city’s tragic record of fatalities due to dooring and coffin corner right hook collisions.
The issue of hand throttle versus pedal assist wouldn’t matter to anyone if the riders behaved nicely. But New York is the city of gratuitous aggressiveness. That, sadly, is a cultural issue that better minds than mine have failed to solve.
Strict enforcement of anti-e bike laws is certain to inspire backlash and accusations of class warfare. I’d like to get hired to teach Cycling Savvy to errant riders, so they would understand how they can fit in the traffic flow, with greater safety and lower stress, but there’d be a language barrier.
Bicycles riding along on sidewalks, going the wrong way, or going over 30 mph — these issues apply to ordinary bikes no less that e-bikes. I walk to/from Manhattan and I’ve seen regular bikes on the Brooklyn bridge dodge over into the pedestrian line when cycling especially fast and trying to get around some other cyclists. Similarly, on my walk home, I see ordinary bikes outside the bike lines on both sides of Flushing, or using a bike lane but going in the wrong direction. And sometimes they go up on the sidewalk as well despite the lanes, and they never, ever apologize. And it is overwhelmingly normal, non-electric bikes, that get tickets in the morning for blowing through red lights along the edge of the Naval Yard. I’ve watched this for years. Bad bike behavior has very little to do with whether a bike has a small electric motor or not. So criticize the reckless, arrogant cyclists, not the make and model of bike. And having owned a scooter, electric bikes are not scooters. Duh.
Lmao this Neil cook guys is such a turd and I’m sure he’s that statistic for police brutality….
We can say similar things..Like if people threw on police uniforms and gear with a gun and go through the police training they can go around killing people cause they are scared shitless of their community?!
Seems like a double standard to me.
Just like people who are horrible car drivers that shouldn’t drive cars same goes with electric vehicles….Yet you want to blame and judge everyone that’s on an ELECTRIC vehicle….
I’m 1000% sure there was more tickets issued to gas vehicles then to electric….
I’d ask how your driving was but I’m sure you’ll be on defense denial mode and say you’re the best driver that’s out there LOL
Just remember how most of the NYPD drives on the roads out here (Worst then anyone doin anything illegal on the road) , before you judge any person driving any type of bike or vehicle….
Way Vez says
UES Restaurant Owner says
Neil. You obviously have a hatred for e-bikes., we all get it. Do you know the community board also makes restaurants sign documentation stating they will not use e-bikes? I completely get your point with e-bike operators who do not obey the normal biking laws(no sidewalk riding, obeying the lights) and I too get furious when I see it happen, but… there are also a very high percentage of operators who follow the laws and earn a honest living which the e-bike allows them to. The bikes make food deliveries way more efficient which in turn helps the customer, the economy, the restaurant operator and most importantly the persons job of delivering the food. I hope you see the brighter side of this situation one day and everyone can work for safer streets with the use of e-bikes.
John puleo says
The e bike specifically can not be over 700w in nyc All those arrow bikes are 1,000 w and go 40 miles per hour they are 70 lbs and no one pedals all use the throttle so they have 3 strike’s against them braking all 3 main laws of assist speed wattage and bike weight
OH did I mention the next to the sidewalk bike lanes are a total disaster???
Drop your pace or else
> arrow bikes are 1,000 w and go 40 miles per hour they are 70 lbs
None of that is true. Try 350W, 20mph (although I’ve heard the newer ones go 28mph), and 50-55lb.
It is true that (almost) no one pedals them. BTW, not pedaling makes them go SLOWER, not FASTER.
Way Vez says
If all ebike riders were white, young ppl from midtown or UES/UWS/Williamsbridge, etc. the story would be:
“Wow, look at these enterprising young ppl seizing opportunity.”
The REAL problem is brown and hella black (and big) immigrants with thick accents in the hallways of million dollar apartment buildings, and in the streets from 20th to 90th or so…AND they’re making $ with no boss or hard core schedule to adhere to.
The real problem is the ppl in the aforementioned places that think they are SO MUCH the salt of the earth that they don’t even have to look when crossing the street, they are that entitled. All they care about is “hey I had the WALK SIGNAL, I don’t need to look either way. No there could not possibly be a car accidentally coming the wrong way, or a bike coming that just made it through the light.”
Stop with the race baiting bullshit. We’re tired of people INSISTING on making everything about race, including cases where it was NEVER A FACTOR. Take your stupid little shinebox, pack it up, and move on down the street. Nobody is buying what you’re selling.
I rode Arrow e-bikes for 10 years, I know a lot about them. Yes it’s a small shop, now with a few locations — one in Chinatown, one near 105 and Brodway, some in Brooklyn and Queens I believe, as well. They are spec’d by that shop, manufactured in China using standard Chinese parts and designs, and then imported to NYC. Arrow E-bike was formerly known as MNC e-Bike.
The business caters to delivery workers. Only one model of bike is sold in the shop, streamlining everything. They have all spare parts on hand, and can fix anything that goes wrong on a walk-in basis. There are many variants out there because they alter their design from time to time.
Selling and using class II (throttle-based) e-bikes in NYC is illegal. Arrows can be converted to legal use by disabling the throttle. Enforcement against selling these e-bikes is laugable: a $1000 on the shop, per bike found when inspectors arrive. That’s a real problem for an upscale Western-style bike retailer (say, NYC eWheels), which might have 20-40 ebikes of different models in its showroom. But Arrow keeps only one fully assembled working e-bike in its shop at any time, available for anyone who wants to buy one. So compared to the number of bikes they sell, the fine is a minor cost of business to them. It’s sad.. instead of fixing their design by removing the throttle, they’re happy to pay the fine and foist additional risk on their customers.
What risk? Having a throttle is not a risk unless you are a bird brain. Well are you?
What a mean and useless thing to say. You would be embarrassed to be so hostile and deliberately obtuse were you speaking in-person.
Jeez if I could push a button and remove the internet & its associated effects on humanity, I would.
Mark Behrend says
The Arrow sounds a lot like the Prodeco I had, and highly recommend. 500W motor, 15+ mile range, 21 mph. Very high quality, braided steel cables, etc. 57 lbs. 6-speed manual. Great gearing made it easy to ride manually, but would accelerate from stop without pedaling. Mixed foreign & domestic components. Assembled in Florida.
Where can I get one of these bikes online?
Try fb marketplace or craigslist.
What a bunch of nonsense. Look at the lousy drivers in NYC. Probably the worst drivers in the world. With all the licensing, inspections and tickets they get the driving is worse than ever. E-bikes are the best thing to ever happen to NYC. They decrease traffic, pollution and the huge cost of delivering food and faster deliveries.
They also allow people to commute that can’t afford cars thanks to government for making it so expensive.
Owning a motor vehicle in NYC is the most expensive in the entire world thanks to the massive cost of insurance, inspections the ticket blitzes. If restaurants had to operate cars to deliver food the price would skyrocket. I never heard of even one casualty caused by an e-bike in NYC. Cars on the other hand have killed 100’s of pedestrians in the past year alone. So the idiots criticizing e-bikes would rather have them driving cars which will increase fatalities.
I think e-bikes should be incentivized. People should get tax credits and other incentives just to use one in NYC. GO E-BIKES!
Dieter J Fellner says
No offense, my friend, but I have witnessed and read of quite a few e-bike related accidents, sometimes fatal. I also saw three t-bone accidents with delivery e-bikes running a red light, without lights or reflective clothing. I am all for e-bikes, hell ya, but the e-bike culture (meaning mostly delivery types) requires A LOT of work. The dudes also like to ride the sidewalks with impunity and respond with curses when advised of their illegal acts.
christopher purnell says
I am from the Upper Westside and until the Caronavirus ran a very successful online business. However, all that has changed. I have a bicycle that I use daily because I cannot afford the train right now. My bicycle has collapsible baskets in the rear for grocery shopping. I pass hundreds of ebikes daily and the majority abide by the laws but just like anything else some people just don’t. Now, I will be 45 at the end of this month and as I said I ride a pedal bicycle but was told by drivers numerous times that I must be really getting a workout because they were doing 30 MPH and I was right there with them if not passing. I am currently looking to buy an ebike because as I stated I lost my business and instead of going on Welfare and take from taxpayers I decided to start doing deliveries for local stores, restaurants, and shopping for senior citizens or home-bound at a fraction of what the big businesses charge. I work mostly in the morning for three hours and late afternoons for four hours and some days I feel like a heat stroke is coming or a heartattack. There is no way that a person working twelve hours a day delivering food or whatever can do it without an ebike. I am pleased thry lifted the ban on ebikes due to how well they assisted during the pandemic when everyone was ordering out and even medications were delivered by bike riders. Even with an ebike it’s hard to make a decent living delivering goods. The average income I know to be true because I deliver and speak with other guys/gals all the time for new opportunities is about $500-$700 week working six to seven days in the blazing heat or freezing rain! Maybe you would prefer Uber Eats filling the city with pollution, double parking, and charging astronomical delivery fees because they have to pay for gas, insurance, tickets, wear and tear, and the company takes 70% of their take while billing the business as well Ebikes will stay legal and the the police will just have to enforce the laws they were sworn to uphold; and the people who ride on sidewalks or run red lights should be ticketed. In closing, I decided to spend a few hours researching ebike accidents and did you know that they only make up less than 1% off all accidents related to bicycles??.
Thank you Christopher, reading the comments here has been hilarious! In 1 year, we went from OMG EBIKES!! and now during pandemic everyone is like oh thank goodness for ebikes!! LOL!!
IMO Ebikes rock! I found those shops that are selling arrow 1650 for the base model and 1850 for the better model. They have a few other bikes but after 15 minutes there and seeing all the delivery guys come in and out, I know the shop is only for those bikes. They sell and they sell in huge quantities for the deliveries. They seem like well made bikes, they have all the necessities and they are zippy. Personally, I’ll go with another brand, but these aren’t bad up to 1000W motors according to spec sheet, I haven’t taken the motor apart to check it myself. I rode some with 500w and just go 20mph up to 25mph, which is the LEGAL SPEED LIMIT. So technically I’m not holding anyone in a car back when I have to take the lane because some car will be double parked in the bike lane! or someone is running in the bike lane! or someone is making a huge truck delivery in the bike lane! Get the picture? I don’t think the ebikes are the problem here.
Let’s keep making progress!!!! From NYC with Love!
Thank you Delivery people! Thank you for your service! I’m glad the ban is lifted! We need new infrastructure but you guys are handling it great for now! Keep up the great work!
Rona Gonna Get You says
Just a note that e-bikes are no longer illegal in NYC. Thank goodness because we all need better ways to get around the city now due COVID-19 without packing ourselves onto mass transit. No one wants to ride the subway and e-bikes are the perfect alternative.
Thanks for being so well informed!
Mr. X says
To stereotype all Ebike riders as bad/ responsible is ignorant and just as irresponsible. Ppl are trying to make a living doing deliveries of all sorts, they try to make them fast so that others can have their meals warmer and faster than ever before and go on with the rest of the day. Ebikes make this possible, then don’t give me that pedal-assist BS; try paddling all day everyday year after year and all of a sudden you’re in your late 30s & 40s, and yet energy levels are not the same. Yes there are a few irresponsible riders which deserve to be fined, but don’t try to outlaw Ebikes in general… Ppl make an honest living and deserve to make it a little easier on their bodies. Perhaps have them registered with plates in case they get into an accident, but don’t wiped them out of the streets.. I don’t know about everyone else, but I’ve enjoying getting my deliveries quicker and warmer than ever..
Adolfo L Laborde says
My wife and I have 2 bikes and (for different reasons) Im having trouble finding a front hub kit for either one. If you know someone who can make the front wheel with motor for these please let me know..
1. P.aratrooper Pro, 26″ x 2.10 with quick release 350W or 500W.
2. Dahon Briza D8, 24″ x 1.75, requires a “Brompton” type kit due to 78mm front hub spacing.
Try the company Swytch
when people open their mouth without reasoning, then they sound like a fool. i have a metal in my right tibia from my knee to my ankle. a result of car driver who chose to run a red light, overtake another car and hit me. I was obeying traffic law and yet got my leg broken. 29 casualties in 2019 involving a hit and run of a cyclist by a vehicle. So reason before you open your mouth. their may be few who do all that you said but their few innocent ones who don’t do any of the things you described. these days you have so many car accidents why people are so inpatient. Maybe you need to stop ordering food altogether.
Brian P Kelly says
What a shame poor guys trying to feed his family, ebikes are the future people. Lets move it or lose it sister, Manhattan should be car free. Of course local deliveries, mail,etc, i am a 62 yr old bicycle racer and do acknowledge that these delivery guys dont have a rule book. Ticket them for it, but don’t be oblivious to the fact that we should all be on a bike especially in nyc.
IGOR EGOROV says
Class “M” for all ebikers!!! Permit and roadtest. No exceptions!!!
yep the Gov will will fix it with new laws. why not enforce what we have. also I see just as many guys on
1000 dollar non electric bikes doing 30 mph not caring who’s in front of them. oh yea they are entitled.
I ride my e bike in prospect park and see them racing by little kids..
Its ok kiddies I may be old but I aways catch up and get revenge,
60 yo looking to get a Arrow 10 or 9A. One shop on 5th Ave near 23 St has them in stock for 1800/1650.
I am pretty interested. Nice to know they’re not illegal.
I came here looking for information on this bike, and all people talk about is NYC ebike laws, insulting each other along the way. What a waste of space.
Do you know what is the tape used to protect the frame 9n the bike courier ?
Michael M. says
I don’t know the name, but they sell it at FLY E-bike. Locations all over town now.
M&C e bike 10 Sterling Pl, Brooklyn, NY 11217. they carry all that stuff. fair prices , english spoken.
I travel far to use them for repairs. yuppie annoying types can go too Bicycle Habitat on 5th and line up outside
M&C e bike 10 Sterling Pl, Brooklyn, NY 11217. they carry all that stuff. fair prices , english spoken.
I travel far to use them for repairs. yuppie annoying types can go too Bicycle Habitat on 5th and line up outside
I said thaT
there was an article this week about battery fires from these and other delivery bikes
destroying apts etc.
big prob because these batteries are heavily used, may be charged next to beds, riders take 2 or 3 bats along for spares, one can set the others off
they can be like bombs
E-Bike Batteries Are Catching on Fire Way Too Often And delivery workers are demanding safe charging stations.
Just over two weeks ago, an e-bike’s battery burst into flames while charging in a Bronx restaurant, starting a four-alarm fire that drew more than 150 first responders and left one firefighter seriously injured. Last month, a man was killed and multiple families displaced when the nine e-bike batteries he was charging erupted inside his East Village apartment. The force of the blast blew out the windows and collapsed an internal wall, according to the FDNY, forcing two neighboring teens to escape by climbing down a pipe outside the building. That followed a September e-scooter battery fire that tore through a house in Queens and killed a 9-year-old boy. These are just a fraction of the fires in New York City caused by e-bike and e-scooter batteries last year, which reached a record of 104 fires, resulting in 79 injuries and four deaths.
Bad maintenance, bad management of the battery can be the causes of those fires. Using a charger not recommended by the manufacturer; altering the battery or charger to make the battery charge faster; water near the battery… Etc. Any of the above could cause the battery to explode, causing a fire. I don’t think the (Lithium) batteries are the problem. Because we have been using these types of batteries for decades in our cell phones.
Mishandling these high voltage and amperage batteries is a total danger, as those fires you mention have shown. Two things the city can do about it:
1-Make sure that the manufacturer meets a certain level of quality and safety in its products (in this case: lithium batteries).
2-Make it illegal for the consumer to tamper with batteries and/or chargers. Make it illegal for the consumer not to use the chargers recommended by the manufacturer.
People don’t usually obey simple laws like that. But at least, if those laws existed, bicycle repair shops wouldn’t invent altering batteries or chargers. And of course: someone without knowledge of electronics would not start inventing with batteries or chargers: most likely, those fires have occurred because people took their bicycles to a workshop and altered the battery or charger. Although that can also happen due to poor quality of the batteries (poor quality and/or poorly manufactured product)
The fire you mention, where the two brothers escaped the flames through a window, the stepfather of those two teenagers repaired bicycles in that apartment (illegal in the entire country). He had many bicycles and batteries inside that apartment. God knows how many batteries that man charged at the same time using the same current extension…
Electric bikes do not cause fires by themselves. The mishandling of them, yes. The bikes are not the danger, but the people who operate them.
The same goes for cars, motorcycles, planes, ships, boats, tractors, industrial machinery, trains, and even firearms.
I have been using an electric bicycle that uses a lithium battery for about three years. I have never had a problem with the batteries. Of course: my bike is not an Arrow brand. Arrow batteries may be poorly assembled and soldered. But that is something that without someone reviewing the quality of that product, we will never know. I have basic knowledge about electronics and electricity, but since I know the danger of handling those batteries, I prefer not to touch them. It’s not a big deal… It’s just that I prefer not to. What’s more! After those fires, the city should have done an investigation to see if the use of that brand of batteries, or the batteries that come out of that factory, are a danger to consumers. The city charges us taxes: it is very pleasant to see that the city invests them in making this city a safer city for everyone.
These bikes appear to be the same Terko Arrow branded bikes being sold now on eBay. Saw recurring listings popping up there when researching ebikes. Glad that the author did an article on them. I am glad to hear they can take big city delivery driver level abuse. So much trash for sale out there.
I live in pedestrian unfriendly Alabama. No bike lanes, barely any sidewalks, even in the cities and suburbs. Need the power of an ebike to help with hills here. The cars here will hit you with their mirrors or run you off the road under normal circumstances, but especially if you are going too slow.
These Arrow bikes are a battle tank with 23 amp/h hydraulic brakes and a good fork suspension. Yes it is a mystery only Chinese bike stores sell those. Police don’t like them and tried to banned many times. Also thieves love those bikes and people have gotten injured
Michael M. says
As of 11/23/20, ALL e-Bikes are allowed in NYC.
Some of these folks should leave the free Loving country already. Leave! Allow us to live free already without the complaining and hate!
Don’t know what all these people are talking about. Ebikes are legal per NYC DOT. Prior to being legal, they fell in a Grey legal area between bike and moped.
These bikes have pedal assist eith a magnetic pas sensor in the crank area and a throttle (most just use throttle). You can get to about 25 on them at full throttle with the 750w motor, but this burns through the battery so most go slow to conserve battery.
I do delivery on ebike sometime I drive on sidewalk but I am very careful when I drive onside walk and I drive slow the reason to drive on sidewalk some street so small no place for ebike and weather conditions in rain weather and snow the street so danger i know some people drive like Crazy so fast they don’t care for sidewalk or people around