I've spent the last two weeks commuting 14 miles round trip on a 2012 Ultra Motor A2B Metro electric bicycle. What a blast. The 2012 is better, stronger, faster than the previous generation. It feels and rides the same, but the new model is more powerful and more feature full so that it really makes getting around time fun and fast.
My main test of any electric bike involves hill performance. If these things are to be seriously considered as alternate forms of transportation then they need to be able to get a user up a hill, on their own, without too much physical input from the rider. By "too much" I mean that a/ the rider shouldn't have to get off and walk the bike up a hill and b/ the rider should be able to get a lift out of the motor while pedaling up a very steep hill. If it's able to do these simple tasks, then the motor and extra weight are justified and the flat stuff will be a breeze as long as it's comfortable and built to last.
I remembered the 1st gen metro being weak on hills. The 2012 tackles even very steep extended inclines great. Pedaling is required, but just enough to give you a good work of your legs without the feeling of running up against a wall.
The Metro is a smooth modern day moped. Silent, quick and with great handling. The riding position is very up right and your legs are a little forward, giving the rider an almost recumbent position. Along with the comfy seat and wide MTB type bars, you feel like you're riding a little dirt bike.
The bike is very planted to the ground and has great grip. The tires, along with the front and rear suspension make a for a soft ride that can easily get over bad road conditions, cracks and street car rails. That same plantedness is wonderful for long fast downhill runs. Those wide tires and that wide frame help.
Bonus- the center stand supports the bike great at rest.
The 2012 model is about $500 more expensive than the previous model, but this extra cost translates into a more powerful and better appointed ride. Speedo, front and rear lights, new components and an ignition switch. Good stuff.
Suburbanbikes is stocking this bike and offers complete servicing of them. We also offer a complete range of A2B accessories. Visit our shop for a test ride and to buy.