Well, it's been a week since I started taking the electric bike to the office and so far it's been performing better than expected.
Although the terrain here is pretty flat, there are a couple of inclines on my route. One of them is a "longish" stretch going up the Broadway Bridge (on the way home) and another is a shorter incline on 108th street (going over Circle Drive). Neither of these slows the bike down what-so-ever.
The ride into the office is approximately ten kilometers, from door to door and is a route that takes me through a few different kinds of street and traffic scenarios. All of which, the bike performs very well and is usually travelling at it's maximum speed of 35km per hour (according to the speedometer). A charge easily takes me to the office and back home again, so I don't have to worry about re-charging when I'm at the office or carry the charger around with me.
I stick to the roadways, except for going up the Broadway Bridge on my way home. At this time of day, traffic is heavier and the bridges do not have shoulders or bike lanes. So, I take the sidewalk, which is something the Saskatoon bike laws allow on the city's bridges.
I've even had a few good head-winds over the last week and they have not slowed the bike down either. So, the Ausitin has more than enough power to handle the slopes and the day-to-day winds for my needs. I've even had to follow pedestrians going up the bridge at very slow speeds, and the wheel-hub motor (and battery) performed very well with the low torque and speed.
Handling the Austin is easy and doesn't take much to learn. The bike is very well balanced, the throttle has just the right sensitivity and the front and rear brakes are very effective. I feel very safe on the bike and very much in control, even at slower speeds. Knowing the girth of the bike is key, as well as giving yourself enough time and distance for safe starts and stops.
A few other things I've observed this past week: the pedals are pretty much a technicality which is used to classify this a bicycle. They are not all that practical to use, nor would anyone be able to go far using pedal power alone. The bike is just too heavy and the pedals are positioned too far apart to use comfortably (if at all). They are very easy to remove, but unfortunately, Saskatchewan law requires them to be on at all times to keep the Austin classified a "bicycle".
About the only other place for improvement on the Austin would be the rear view mirrors. They just move around too easily when riding on rough roads.
My wife - although has not had as much street time with her bike - is getting used to and enjoying her e-bike very much, too.