Returning to Bike Commuting: My choice of bike

I was intrigued by the new so-called Electric Hybrid bicycles. These bikes are supposed to assist you pedaling, are supposed to be lighter than an electric moped and are supposed to look like regular bikes. We asked Torker Bicycles to let me test their T-450 E hybrid bicycle; this bike meets the claims mentioned above.

The Torker T-450, a very “regular” looking bike

The T-450 is a very nicely equipped bike with a rear rack, full fenders, a full chain guard, 700c tires and a Sturmey Archer 5sp Twist Grip drivetrain.

The rear rack houses the polymer lithium battery and it is ready to hold my panniers.

Protanium aluminum front motor

Sturmey Archer 5 speed internal hub.

Why an Electric Hybrid? Although my 7 mile commute can be considered short, I need to ride my commute in about 1/2 hour. Coming back from shoulder surgery, I’m in no shape to ride at a constant 15 mph and arrive sweaty to work. My plan is to ride with the electric motor on my way to work and turn the motor off on my way back so I can benefit from the exercise that bike commuting provides. I will put the T-450 through its paces and I will keep doing updates and a full review in about 2 months.

In my next post, I will “accessorize” the T-450 for my commuting needs and I will also list some of the stuff that I like to use to clean myself once I get to the office. Stay tuned!


  1. BluesCat February 22, 2010 9:50 am 

    Looks like a standard riser handlebar and a single rail saddle mount? Super, you can swap out the saddle for a Brooks and put a set of Trekking handlebars on it and you’ll be all set!

  2. RL Policar February 22, 2010 11:57 am 

    That bike is wicked fun to ride!

  3. Ghost Rider February 22, 2010 1:50 pm 

    Looking forward to seeing how this one goes — e-hybrids are very intriguing.

    If you don’t pedal at all, how fast can the thing go? Is there a throttle or anything to modulate the e-motor?

  4. Moe February 22, 2010 3:56 pm 

    Ghost, I will post more details on the bike soon. As you can see by the pictures, it was dark and I have not had the chance to get a feel for the bike. As far as a throttle goes, yes there is one, and the claimed max speed of this bike is 18 mph (which I certainly will test!)

  5. 2whls3spds February 22, 2010 6:01 pm 

    Torker is really hitting the markets with a lot of their bikes, The T530, the Cargo T and now the E series.

    See if you can get specs on the motor and batteries, none of that is listed on their website.


  6. Ghost Rider February 22, 2010 8:46 pm 

    The T530 is just a rebadged Redline R530…Redline streamlined their offerings and the more utilitarian bikes seem to have gone over to Torker (same parent company).

    Does anyone else remember Torker as a big BMX name in the late 70s/early 80s?

    Looking forward to the motor specs, the bike details and all that other fun stuff!!!

  7. Ghost Rider February 22, 2010 8:52 pm 

    Aaron, I took a peek in the owner’s manual. The battery is listed as 24V, 10Ah lithium polymer. No info about the motor itself, though, beyond a wiring diagram.

  8. Moe February 22, 2010 8:56 pm 

    The battery system is very slick, not to mention that the battery is not very heavy. I will post more pictures and more details of the bike soon.

  9. 2whls3spds February 23, 2010 4:03 am 

    Ghost Rider, Thanks for the battery specs.

    I know the T530 is a reborn R530, just think it is interesting how they are splitting the brands. Funny thing is I remember Redline BMX but not Torker. I missed the BMX craze. I was racing road bikes in the mid-late 70’s and the shop we worked at was geared more towards roadies and tourists at the time.


  10. Ghost Rider February 23, 2010 5:19 am 

    Yes, Redline was a strong BMX presence, but Torker was right there with ’em. I started racing BMX in the late 70s and graduated to road racing in the early 80s (while experimenting with BMX freestyle at the same time).

  11. Graham February 23, 2010 9:14 am 

    How will this perform in the snow, salt and low temps?

  12. RL Policar February 23, 2010 9:47 am 

    Hmm, not sure since we don’t get those conditions here in SoCal.

  13. Ghost Rider February 23, 2010 10:41 am 

    Ha…send it my way and I’ll test it in those conditions. Wait, I’m in Florida! Well, at least there’s plenty of salt around here…in those sweet breezes from the Gulf of Mexico.

  14. NoSho February 23, 2010 2:55 pm 

    I think the electric hybrids make bike commuting possible for people who otherwise wouldn’t consider it. I recently ordered a new Trek Valencia+ and plan to start bike commuting as soon as my bike gets in! I’m pretty excited about this technology in general and I hope it’ll start to catch on here in the US as a better way to get around.

  15. Ghost Rider February 23, 2010 4:15 pm 

    NoSho — right on! I’ve come to realize over time that this is a good thing for getting more people out of cars and onto bikes. I admit I was a bit misguided at first in my mindset; I thought electric motors was “cheating” somehow. But, for folks who are not in the best physical shape, have long or excessively hilly commutes or other factors, these e-assist bikes are a godsend.

    They’re catching on throughout the rest of the world, but as usual the U.S. is lagging behind.

  16. 2whls3spds February 23, 2010 6:48 pm 

    I can handle snow testing…I had to drive 220 miles in a southern “blizzard” a couple of Fridays back :(

    I can definitely see the need and the use for a bike like this. I especially like the ones that have the electric assist versus the electric drive only. Most of the newer models seem to be set up to do both. I can also see one in my future if I continue to live where I do. If we can some infrastructure improvements, get the price point down a bit, these e-bikes will really take off during the next gas price spike.


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