Elias Pelcastre

I tried an electric “Ecobici” bike in Mexico City

I shared with you my thoughts on Mexico City’s bike programme. I think the service could be so much better.

Well, as of last Wednesday, Ecobici cardholders can ride an “electric” bicycle parked in one of the 28 unique stations around the city.

Electric bike

The downside to this is that if you take one, you have to return it to an electrical station. With less-than-a-thirteenth of stations, it is difficult to travel the city and give the back bike in just 45 minutes before being charged for the extra time.

Moving on to the bikes, as Miguel Mancera, head of government put it during the announcement:

“They work through assisted pedaling. I insist on this as it has a mechanism that doesn’t offer acceleration, just an assistant that facilitates pedaling.”

As I rode one, I felt the “assistant” kick in. It doesn’t come with a “motor,” so you have to pedal, but you won’t get as tired as you would on a standard bike.

I noticed a battery in the handlebars, which the official website says is of high density and offers an autonomy of 40 km. That means the assistant will help you through said distance before the need for a charge.

Overall, my ride went smoothly. Nevertheless, I waited almost an hour for a guy to return an electric bike I could use.

Like with everything new, the electric bikes are in good shape. I recommend using them, if you find one, as availability is restrained.