I'm a huge fan of electric bikes and have been putting two really well-made e-bikes, the Pedego Comfort Cruiser (my review) and the iZip Trekking Enlightened (my review), through the paces since last summer (both are on loan for review). Electric bikes offer all the things that are cool about biking — the exercise, fresh air and outright fun, and throw in a healthy dose of kickass speed.

Electric bikes are just fun.

So I'm pretty excited to have two new e-bikes on my review horizon: Sanyo is shipping its Eneloop bike my way and the Twitter-friendly folks at Optibike are sending me their new 2010 police model. I'm looking forward to seeing how they handle the Portland hills. The Optibike sounds like it's going to eat the elevation like so much cotton candy — talk about a sexy aesthetic. The Eneloop is a little less sexy and more classic with a vertically mounted battery in the center bike stem column.

Here's a video review of the Optibike 800i (but not the model I'm getting, that model is new and hasn't been reviewed by anyone yet):

Here's a wonderfully amateur video (if a bit long) from Cycle Smithy in Chicago showing them riding the Eneloop through the snow on a cold winter day:

For the record, I rode both my iZip Trekking Enlightened and Pedego Comfort Cruiser throughout the winter season. They both got plenty of time on days in which the temperatures dropped into the single digits and on days when it was wet and slushy out. Besides a temporary capacity drop of around 20 percent-ish on the very very coldest days, they both plowed through the winter like champs.

E-bikes for the win, more to come.

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Shea Gunther is a podcaster, writer, and entrepreneur living in Portland, Maine. He hosts the popular podcast "Marijuana Today Daily" and was a founder of Renewable Choice Energy, the country's leading provider of wind credits and Green Options. He plays a lot of ultimate frisbee and loves bad jokes.

E-bike preview: The Eneloop and the Optibike
I'm looking forward to test-riding two new electric bikes this summer, the Eneloop by Sanyo and a new model from Optibike.