As more of us shy away from public transportation these days – thank you, COVID – the cost of buying and renting cars has skyrocketed. What’s a commuter to do? Or a food delivery guy? Or a courier? Well, a company has developed a solution. Zoomo is essentially an e-bike company that rents its bikes – currently in a handful of US cities like LA, Miami, and New York. For the past two weeks, I’ve been fortunate enough to use one – take it shopping, meet friends for coffee, and generally have fun.
I already own an electric bike and love it. I pretty much use it to go anywhere in town. And it’s a solid mid-range model. So how does the Zoomo stack up? In fact, surprisingly well. It is a slip-on model with a very comfortable and height-adjustable seat. I love the rear rack with elastic bands attached to keep things in place. It comes with a GUB Pro 3 phone holder which is phenomenal for keeping your cell phone firmly in place while you are riding. Speaking of which, the ride is super smooth and energetic. It’s a three-speed bike with a manually rotating Shimano shifter on the right handlebars, right next to a throttle and bell. On the left side is an LED display for odometer, battery life, speed, etc. as well as a built-in safety FOB sensor that allows you to move the bike. And of course there are the up and down pedal assist buttons. The bike has a headlight which is beautiful and bright. And I can’t underestimate the quality kickstand or the brakes that work well and well. Plus, the acceleration is incredibly smooth and quiet. The steep hills in my neighborhood were no match for the 750 watts of power. And believe me, I’ve tested a lot of expensive e-bikes over the past few years that couldn’t get over those same hills.
The Zoomo representative who dropped this bike off at my house told me that in nearby Los Angeles, it’s mainly Uber Eats delivery guys who hire the fleet of over 700 Zoomos. I get it – this bike proved to be extremely reliable for me during the testing period, and even has pretty good battery life. The company claims you’ll get eight hours of use per charge, and I have no reason to doubt that.
I know there are other electric bike rental companies in just about every major city. But Zoomo offers rental, rental with option to buy and outright purchase options. And it also has electric bikes and e-Cargo bikes available. Subscribers can also benefit from a maintenance plan, roadside assistance service that will repair brakes, batteries and punctures, 24/7 customer support, GPS tracking , a convenient bicycle recovery service in high-risk neighborhoods, and soon anti-theft alerts, remote locking and the integration of find-my-e-bike.
As National CarFreeDay approaches September 22, I urge anyone considering replacing their car with an electric bike to try a rental. The e-bike rental companies I’ve seen allow you to rent by the ride or by the minute; Zoomo allows you to rent for as little as $ 20 per week. It’s a great way to try before you buy. And for those who don’t want to spend a lot of money owning a bike, it’s a fairly inexpensive way to get around town.