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Old 07-30-2018, 08:25 PM   #21
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As someone who loves riding a bike and enjoys the exercise it gets me, I have to wonder what the draw is to an electric bike. Not only does it feel good to get the exercise, I must admit to actually need it to help stay reasonably in shape.
I had the same thoughts before I test rode an ebike (pedal assist). The draw is that you can ride longer and see more while not becoming wiped out physically during a set limit of time or distance. With the different assist modes, you can choose your exercise level instead of the road/trail choosing it for you. Its almost like resistance training were the mode you select dictates the energy output you need to provide. You still get plenty of exercise, its just on your terms and not the terrains terms.

There are multiple classifications of ebikes and ours are Class 1. This means its pedal assist only, no throttle and the max speed is 20 mph. If we are peddling and the bike hits 20 mph, the assist shuts off completely. Getting up to 20 mph isn't that easy, it takes a bit of peddle effort to get there. Over our ~120 miles so far, we're averaging 11.5 mph.

The laws vary greatly from state to state because legislatures don't understand the differences (good and bad) between the different classifications. My hope is they will allow Class 1 on all bike trails while restricting the others to road use only. A 30 mph assist (peddle or throttle) is too fast in my opinion. We've found that while we are on our local trails, we're not going any faster than a typical biker. Our rides are likely just longer with more scenery and less aches and pains at the end.


I encourage anyone who enjoys biking, but finds it painful to stop by a local ebike store and test ride one. You will realize quickly if its an experience you like.
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Old 07-30-2018, 10:36 PM   #22
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Quote:
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I have to wonder what the draw is to an electric bike.
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Originally Posted by rotateclockwise View Post
I had the same thoughts before I test rode an ebike (pedal assist). The draw is that you can ride longer and see more while not becoming wiped out physically during a set limit of time or distance. With the different assist modes, you can choose your exercise level instead of the road/trail choosing it for you.
Well said. We have a collection of bikes but our folding electric bikes have become our go-to bikes.

It's not about being lazy or not wanting to pedal a bike. Far from it, on some outings we don't actually use any electric. But the options there and if we decide to go further afield we can without the last homeward leg being a slog.

Our typical use is to pedal without power and if we hit an uphill section use a level of assist that makes pedaling exertion comfortable.

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Old 07-30-2018, 10:40 PM   #23
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For me it is the hills- I don't like to ride far around here because you can't throw a cat without hitting a steep hill. So I use my bike back and forth on the beach road and on rare occasions walk it up a hill. With an ebike I can ride to the grocery store (2 miles) without hiking up a steep hill with no shoulder pushing a bike.
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Old 07-30-2018, 11:01 PM   #24
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Ill take the bike with the windshield!!!!!
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Old 07-31-2018, 07:57 AM   #25
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Yeah, I guess we all have differing wants and needs. Don't get me wrong, I would love to blast around on an electric bike. For me though, I only get to bring one bike, so it is going to be a light mountain bike, something for fun. I see in a couple of the answers to my query talk about saving energy and not tiring out, and I guess this is where I differ (and I know riding with other folks I am not alone), but I really love the feel of exhausting myself to some degree with physical activity, it makes me feel good.

Depends if it is on the road, or on a MTB trail how far I go, or how long I ride. Typically I only do about a 3-4 hour ride tops, and when mountain biking 15 km is a long ride, whereas on a road it depends on how much climbing is involved, but usually 30-40 km is the tops. These are average maximums, I will do many short rides a day more typically.

Maybe someday when I get older I may just want to ride an e-bike more. I just have to figure out where I am going to carry a couple of these heavy things.
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Old 07-31-2018, 08:06 AM   #26
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I'm just glad to read people are trying to figure out something to help them GO. I spend a lot of time with 'egg people.' It's distressing to me when I see people often so badly out of shape and overweight. Absolutely anything you can do that helps with both of these factors is a good thing. You may find you start using the electric assist often. As you get into better shape, use it less. It's ALL good Just keep going!!
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Old 07-31-2018, 11:41 AM   #27
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I have volunteered to do a double shift with my electric bike escorting trailers to their camp spot during the Boler 50th Anniversary. Something I hope I can do more efficiently than with a non powered bike. I know my body would not like a double shift with a standard bike.

If your new to the forum and don’t know about the Boler 50th event...all fibreglass trailers are invited! Google to lean more.
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Old 07-31-2018, 01:36 PM   #28
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I would love to blast around on an electric bike.
In my experience very few folks buy electric assist bikes to blast around. It's more like what Donna is saying.


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You may find you start using the electric assist often. As you get into better shape, use it less. It's ALL good Just keep going!!
I see the use of bikes as a huge spectrum. I have a neighbor who heads out after dinner for a quick ride up a local mountain. It boggles the mind. In the middle are able bodied folks who use ebikes for various reasons. The bottom line is that they end up using a bike which is good. The other end of the spectrum is that disabled folks can do things that wouldn't have been possible with electric assist.

This fellow could drive himself to work in has very comfortable modified van but choose to ride his trike many miles to work. He uses the electric as an assist but mostly uses arm power. I built a swinging arm "trailer hitch" for it so that he can tow his wheelchair and stop along the way and go into stores and shop As I say, the use of electric assist is a spectrum, there's enough room in it for everyone and it's all good.

OK, I will admit, I've, uh, test driven some of these trikes. Some of them, especially one with a stunning 2000 watt power package, were a blast to ride.



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Old 08-06-2018, 08:22 PM   #29
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RideKick battery powered trailer

My wife, Vicky, uses a RideKick battery powered trailer to assist her cycling. The advantage of a trailer is you can connect it to any bicycle or switch it between bicycles. It also has room inside for a couple small shopping bags, or my beer.
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Old 08-06-2018, 09:51 PM   #30
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E bike giant very nice bike ,
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Old 08-06-2018, 10:33 PM   #31
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I see that Specialized has my mountain bike in an electric version. Only $8,000.
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Old 08-07-2018, 03:37 AM   #32
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Which one is that Jim? …. your Birthday is coming up ya know …. and well we are a pretty good group here ...

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Old 08-07-2018, 06:52 AM   #33
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Which one is that Jim? …. your Birthday is coming up ya know …. and well we are a pretty good group here ...

Tom
And I'm starting to get old, so maybe......

This is why I am wanting to keep with the manual pedal thing for a while though, hoping to try to lessen the speed of this aging thing.

Besides, if I ever do get an e-bike, I doubt it would be a mountain bike. I am slowing down on the downhill runs a bit, it seems my body is slower to repair itself after a crash these days.
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Old 08-07-2018, 10:21 AM   #34
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Reason #23 for an ebike: in case you have to take your shark for a ride.

Backstory- this dogfish showed up in a crab pot where the crabs were making a meal from it, so my friend decided to take it home and use it for bait next time. But her bucket was full of crabs so the dogfish got a ride in her ebike basket.
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Old 08-07-2018, 11:40 AM   #35
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$8,000 would buy you one heck of a roadbike. (16 lbs or so!) The one application of an ebike I can see making sense is to allow two people of varying abilities to ride together. Tandem bikes also allow that if you want to go that route although they are a PIA to store and load.
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Old 08-07-2018, 12:00 PM   #36
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Manual pedal: with the ebike you do pedal, it isn't like a motorbike. Since the bike is heavier, even if you pedal with motor assist you still get about the same workout on level terrain. Where the advantage comes is where the average rider would have to get off and walk the bike on a hill. The really fit biker with a good bike could probably shift down and pedal up most hills, but the ebike lets anyone do it. And for the fat tire ebikes, you also can hit rough terrain- gravel, soft shoulders, etc, with a lot less fear of falling. Many a biker has gone down when forced off the side of the road by a car. That's much less likely to happen on a fat tire bike.

For me the reason to get one is those hills since I can't go more than a mile without hitting a major hill (with no shoulders and poor visibility for drivers). I have less desire to get one to take camping, though- there if I took a bike it would be my regular bike.
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Old 08-07-2018, 01:42 PM   #37
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We live in a semi-rural area with a lot of broken pavement, narrow or non-existent shoulders, washboard, random patches of gravel, lots of wind and rain, distracted and near-sighted drivers, and almost no dedicated bike lanes. I'm 76 and wanted to keep cycling, but was not enjoying the risks I perceived while biking, especially in traffic, or the ill effects of rough roads on my wrists and other body parts, and the "range anxiety" of taking a great ride for an hour or two, then having to face a strong headwind on the way home, and the same hills as before, only on the way back I was tired.

Then a friend got an e-bike and started riding more, feeling safer, losing weight, getting fitter, and having all kinds of fun. Riding also lowered his blood sugar level from "pre-diabetic" to "normal". So I tried out an e-bike at a local all-purpose bike store, but felt I needed more of a basis for comparison, so I test-rode several bikes at Citrus Cycles in Ladysmith, BC, which sells e-bikes only. What a series of revelations ensued! Here's what I learned. <citruscycles.ca>

1. You can get as much of a workout as you want on a pelelec e-bike, which only provides the amount of pedalling assistance you choose. (But you must pedal, and can't passively swan around like on a moped or scooter). For example, set your boost controller to Eco on the flat, turn it up a notch for a long, steady climb, go to Turbo for that 15% grade, then reset it to Eco for the downhill run.

2. If you're a male whose age starts with a seven, or even a six, consider getting a step-through bike as I did. This enables you to get on and off without slinging your leg over the rear rack and whatever's on it (destabilizing yourself every time), and to get your feet on the ground fast every time you stop, especially when in traffic. A recent study in the Netherlands found a high incidence of injury, and even death, suffered by older males on e-bikes, often from falls while getting on or off triangle-framed bikes. (The greater weight of e-bikes and the fact that almost no Dutch riders wear helmets probably made matters worse). The better step-throughs have very stiff frames, eliminating the only reason other than male ego for not getting one.

3. If you enjoy experiences that make you smile, test-ride an e-bike with a full suspension. It smooths out washboard, broken pavement, and potholes, and allows you to transition safely onto a rough shoulder if necessary, and to ride in a straight and predictable (e.g. safe) line while near car traffic. It also keeps both tires in better contact with the riding surface, and gives better traction in gravel and on wet roads. A good front and rear suspension costs more, but is noticeably easier on your joints and tendons, greatly lessens fatigue, increases your enjoyment, and could keep your bike ride from transitioning into an ambulance ride. And rough (not gnarly) trails also become accessible and enjoyable. It's like getting an upgrade to First-Class when flying--you'll never be entirely happy in Economy again.

4. Most E-bikes are easier on your back, because you sit up straighter rather than putting strain on your discs by hunching over low handlebars to get every ounce of propulsion you can. Relax! On an e-bike you've got a motor to help you! Riding in a "heads-up" position also means you have much better visibility of traffic, road hazards, and the scenery that you rode out there to enjoy -- drivers can see you more easily.

5. E-bikes nearly all have front and rear lights that you can leave on all the time so drivers can see you better even in daylight. You don't have to charge them separately, and you can't forget to bring them. Stealth is great for jet fighter planes, but can be deadly for bike riders. You can even use the USB port on some e-bike batteries to charge your GPS or cell phone on while you ride.

6. Unless you're just going to potter around campgrounds, don't buy a cheap e-bike. You'll soon find out where the corners were cut in design and assembly. (Another friend bought a crappo e-bike and wound up replacing the gears and brakes, and eventually the whole bike). Also you won't enjoy riding a clunker as much, and will soon be riding less--if at all. High quality gears, disc brakes, wheels that stay true, and tires that give great traction and protection from blowouts are a joy to use, and keep you safer.

7. Most e-bike batteries have a range of about 100 km (62 miles) per charge, depending on terrain. If you need more, get one of the e-bikes with two batteries, or buy an extra battery and carry it fully charged in a pannier and switch batts as needed.

8. I’m no gym-rat, but I can safely lift my 60-pound e-bike onto the bike rack on the back of our Escape 21. It’s easier if I pop off the battery, and a cinch if I enlist someone’s help. Check the weight rating for your rack, especially before putting an e-bike and another bike on it.

For the record, I sold some photo gear I wasn't using and bought a Riese & Muller Homage e-bike. It was not cheap, but I applied the same logic we all did when we bought our Escape trailers rather than a lower-priced, sketchy stick-built: "Do I want reliability, safety, enjoyment, and high resale value, or will I settle for leaks, repairs, anxiety, and rapid depreciation?

Again, I believe you have to ride a few different e-bikes to find out what you want and need. There are a number of reputable websites with video test rides that will enable you to make your short list of features and modelsto try out when you go to the e-bike shop. For example: https://electricbikereview.com

A busy bike shop can be chaotic enough to undermine good decision making. Citrus Cycles lets you make an appointment for test rides so that you get calm, priority attention from an expert who isn't distracted. Look for an e-bike shop that does the same.

Good hunting, and happy riding!
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Old 08-07-2018, 02:24 PM   #38
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2. If you're a male whose age starts with a seven, or even a six, consider getting a step-through bike as I did. This enables you to get on and off without slinging your leg over the rear rack and whatever's on it (destabilizing yourself every time), and to get your feet on the ground fast every time you stop,

Oh dear, does that mean that I should stop riding a 900 lb. Goldwing.


--you'll never be entirely happy in Economy again.

I've never ever been happy in Economy. I think the cattle car class should be called cruel and unusual punishment.
You've made some very good points and the bottom line is don't knock them until you've tried them.

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Old 08-07-2018, 02:54 PM   #39
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One of the most important considerations in buying or building an e-bike is to get a battery built from high quality cells. There is a wide range of batteries available and it is well worth your time to do your research in advance so that you do not end up with a battery that is undersized or has cells that lose their charge quickly or cannot hold a charge. The battery on my e-bike was built from quality cells and cost about 1/2 the price of the ebike.
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Old 08-07-2018, 03:01 PM   #40
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You've made some very good points and the bottom line is don't knock them until you've tried them.

Ron
I don't think anyone is knocking them. I questioned the reasons to not use a regular bike and the reasons for going with an e-bike, and seem to have gotten way more knocks for preferring to stay with what I have for now. I guess I'm standing in the way of progress.

Again, don't get me wrong, I think they are a great thing for many, but just don't want one for myself........yet! That's not a bad thing, is it?
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