Author Topic: Don't buy an eBike  (Read 809 times)

bobs

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Re: Don't buy an eBike
« Reply #15 on: July 06, 2018, 11:08:17 PM »
Like gears and disc brakes, bikes evolve. E bikes are the future we better accept it  .

jags

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Re: Don't buy an eBike
« Reply #16 on: July 10, 2018, 10:07:17 PM »
good man Bob  totally agree  ;)

pavel

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Re: Don't buy an eBike
« Reply #17 on: September 16, 2018, 05:25:37 AM »
My ebike is a Kawa sak eee.  Goes fast and does not use a lot of gas.  The Ebikes that use a  battery are a perpetual motion machine theory nightmare and I'd sooner see myself on a carbon frame racebike, than on an one of. these ee gads bikes.  At some point (before buying an expensive bike) one should admit defeat and realize that a motor may be in order, if  wheezing up a hill is too much.  Quite simply, ebikes are not bikes, in my not at all humble opinion. They are (poorly done) motorized transportation, with a bag of illusion hung on.  :(   

martinf

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Re: Don't buy an eBike
« Reply #18 on: September 16, 2018, 08:53:25 AM »
Ebikes can be good, I know a lady who gave up commuting to work by car a few years ago and now uses an ebike instead. Her daily commute is 30 kms, which was a bit too far for her on an ordinary bike. She gets about 1h20 of moderate exercise daily.

If/when I get to the stage where I haven't enough strength to use an ordinary bike I will certainly consider an ebike.

My father had to give up riding a bicycle because he could no longer balance, so I am also looking at recumbent trikes. These also have the advantage of a seat rather than a saddle, so are a possible solution if I get serious prostate problems as I get older. And they can have electrical assistance if necessary. A local bike shop has a recumbent available for hire, so I may try it.   

leftpoole

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Re: Don't buy an eBike
« Reply #19 on: September 16, 2018, 11:58:43 AM »
It is 18 miles from my house to work, and roughly the same distance to my partner's house.  Shetland is a windy place, I am old, overweight, unfit and asthmatic, the eXp is heavy and I am usually carrying at least 12kg of stuff.  This leads to a journey time of about 2 hours and 15 minutes, plus or minus 15 minutes depending on wind speed and direction.  One night the wind was so bad that it was difficult to go fast enough to be able to maintain my balance.  When I finally arrive I usually feel like a wrung out rag.  The solution had to be an eBike for trips into work (only on the finest days) and the eXp would be used for local rides to the shop (6 miles away) or the local ferry terminal (4 miles away) where there is wifi available.

I was amazed with the AARC Moulton TSR8 as it would cut my 18 mile trip down to as low as 1 hour 10 minutes, and I didn't feel like I needed a few hours to recover.  Gradually though I found that I was barely using the eXp and the Moulton was becoming the bike for all journeys.  I recently rode the eXp to the ferry terminal and found it quite hard going without the assistance.  I had the wind behind me as well.  Riding it back into what was a light wind for Shetland, somewhere between 12-18mph, I found it even harder, having to stop for a couple of minutes to get my breath back.

eBikes are wonderful things, really slashing journey times, but there will be hell to pay if you don't mix this with normal unassisted cycling.  Eventually you realise that although you have been giving your eBike assistance (it's a pedelec) to move along, I suspect the effort is probably around 25-30% of what you would be using on an unassisted bike.

So my advice to you is put off eBikes until you are really struggling to ride a normal bike.  Fitness is hard to build, but oh so easy to lose.

Old post resurrected!
I am in full agreement that E bikes should be used ONLY for those who CANNOT ride a normal cycle.
Personally as a long time health sufferer I will never use an E bike. I would rather do without or use a proper combustion engine moped!
Regards to those who do use E bikes.
John

Andre Jute

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Re: Do buy an eBike
« Reply #20 on: September 17, 2018, 02:08:54 AM »
My father had to give up riding a bicycle because he could no longer balance, so I am also looking at recumbent trikes. These also have the advantage of a seat rather than a saddle, so are a possible solution if I get serious prostate problems as I get older. And they can have electrical assistance if necessary. A local bike shop has a recumbent available for hire, so I may try it.

I find it easier to balance on the bike than on foot. I had a semi-recumbent for a short period and didn't feel too confident on it because it was too low in relation to the preponderance of SUVs and upright people-carriers on the roads here; my normal everyday bike puts my head above the roof of a Range Rover, which makes me not only visible but threatening to motorists, not a bad thing at all. I later looked seriously into buying another semi-recumbent but Utopia stopped making it before I made up my mind; this would been restricted to the smallest lanes hereabouts where I know all the motorists and they expect to see me. I had a Revelo/Cheeko90 seat bought in Holland rather than a saddle on my fully automatic Trek Smover, basically a mountain bike with luxury fittings, and it was superb for comfort, though its lifespan was not much chop in the perspective of how long a Brooks leather saddle lasts.

If/when I get to the stage where I haven't enough strength to use an ordinary bike I will certainly consider an ebike.

An ebike with a worthwhile battery is heavy. You can use the motor to get you going, especially in traffic where slow-speed wobbles may be dangerous, but there is still the moment when you have to tilt the bike to get your leg over, and then raise it again to an upright position. That is actually the worst thing about an ebike, because once you're moving the motor can be cut in and out at will (given that you buy a bike or kit with decent controls) to overcome virtually any disability short of passing out and falling off your bike.

In general, I would say that the practicalities of what you can and cannot do with an e-bike are nothing like you imagined they would be, even if you're a long time pedal cyclist. I was fortunate that when i first bought an electric kit, it was to overcome a specific hill after impending heart surgery, so I grew into its other abilities (supports?) gradually as they were required, and thus came to be at one with the thing by almost imperceptible steps. Also, I was long, long used to regulating my output on pedal-only bikes by my heart rate (rather than by cadence), so the electric motor fitted seamlessly into established exercise routines. As a result of my own experience, I'd advise you, before it becomes absolutely necessary, to electrify one of your bikes (or buy an e-bike used) and ride it occasionally simply to understand how you will use it as a utility vehicle, for exercise, for recreation, or whatever you do, so that when you do need it, your life can carry on smoothly, the change to ebike as your main bike hardly noticed. One important thing, if you often ride with companions, as I do, is to learn to keep pace with unelectrified cyclists without stressing you or them out; I fortunately learned that gradually before it became a pressure point where you suddenly have to learn something when your attention is already divided by new circumstances.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2018, 11:28:39 AM by Andre Jute »

martinf

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Re: Do buy an eBike
« Reply #21 on: September 17, 2018, 07:43:30 AM »
I find that it easier to balance on the bike than on foot. I had a semi-recumbent for a short period and didn't feel too confident on it because it was too low in relation to the preponderance of SUVs and upright people-carriers on the roads here; my normal everyday bike puts my head above the roof of a Range Rover, which makes me not only visible but threatening to motorists, not a bad thing at all.

The lower position is what puts me off most about recumbents. It's also one of the reasons I prefer a van to a car when I have to drive.

But talking to recumbent riders visibility in traffic seems not to be a real issue, at least here in Brittany. Recumbents are still rare here, and drivers tend to give them a wide berth, something I have also noticed when towing my rather large two wheel trailer.

As a result of my own experience, I'd advise you, before it becomes absolutely necessary, to electrify one of your bikes (or buy an e-bike used) and ride it occasionally simply to understand how you will use it as a utility vehicle, for exercise, for recreation, or whatever you do, so that when you do need it, your life can carry on smoothly, the change to ebike as your main bike hardly noticed.

I don't intend to pre-empt, but I already know which bike I intend to electrify and how if I can still ride an upright when the time comes. It will be a front wheel motor kit with throttle control on my 8-speed Nexus Premium equipped Thorn Raven Tour utility bike, which also has the tow hook for the trailer.

This would probably just be a first step before getting a dedicated ebike. I know a couple of people that use dedicated ebikes fairly intensively as car replacements, so can get advice and probably borrow one for a day. 

At present, my wife would benefit much more than myself from an ebike, but she refuses to consider one as she thinks it is cheating. A few years back she had the opportunity to try one during a house exchange in the Netherlands, but turned down the offer. I would have had a go, but the bike was much too small for me.

Dave Whittle Thorn Workshop

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Re: Don't buy an eBike
« Reply #22 on: September 20, 2018, 11:38:18 AM »
This is just my opinion, im not looking for a war!

I'm a big fan of proper purpose built Pedelec e-bikes. Here's why:

- My brother who is not a cyclist in any way and fairly unfit bought a Cube/Bosch Acid 1 under some work Cyclescheme. He lives 4 miles from home near Liverpool, work is up a steep hill. He would NEVER have considered riding to work on a unassisted bicycle. He stated riding to work setting the bike so it felt like pedaling on the flat up the hill and coasting home in Eco mode. He now rides everywhere, and now with his 3yr old on the back. So he and his 3yr old are now enjoying cycling, he uses canal paths at the weekend etc. Something he couldn't do on a Moped John  ;)

- I've seen customers bringing back a Thorn Raven to sell, quite upset that this is the end of their cycling, only to be sent out on one of our R&M Bosch test bikes and come back beaming from ear to ear, these customers return for servicing several months later with many miles under their belt with nothing but praise and thanks.

- We have sold a R&M e-bike to a avid and fit pedal cyclists less fit/able partner so she could keep up on the hills, meaning they can now cycle together wherever they go, again on first service nothing but praise and now planning trips abroad.

So in short they are getting more bums on seats and extending peoples cycling years, not a bad thing in my eyes...

I'm not a fan of bolt on kits, very few are legal... but that will start a battle i'm not prepared to start so please don't go there  :-X

energyman

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Re: Don't buy an eBike
« Reply #23 on: September 20, 2018, 12:06:11 PM »
Good on yer Dave !
My thoughts entirely.

John Saxby

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Re: Don't buy an eBike
« Reply #24 on: September 20, 2018, 03:15:56 PM »
Quote
So in short they are getting more bums on seats and extending peoples cycling years, not a bad thing in my eyes...

Yep, agreed, Dave and others. A couple of friends here, longtime cyclists now into their '80's, have changed to German e-bikes.  Our terrain is pretty flat, but their bikes keep them going on two wheels.  The Ottawa Valley can be very windy, and a year or so ago, I spoke with a woman in her 20's who was using a battery to assist her in her 50-km-round trip daily commute.  That let her make her ride in just under and hour each way.

A final example:  Two friends in their late 60's who live in the extremely hilly town of Nelson, BC, bought Pedegos so that they don't need their truck for anything in town.  They live a kilometre-plus from the centre of town, straight up a hill which is a series of 15% steps.  A serious obstacle to using a regular bike when you've been at an evening community meeting, maybe had a beer afterwards, etc.  They recharge the bikes from the mains; the mains in turn are fed by Nelson's municipally owned hydro-electric power system; and their house is 90% passively heated, so they reckon that they're pretty close to carbon-neutral when they're in town.

jags

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Re: Don't buy an eBike
« Reply #25 on: September 20, 2018, 06:05:18 PM »
nothing wrong with Ebikes 8) 8) certainly sort me out i can tell you that.

Dave what would you recommend if i wanted to convert my Audax i can't afford to buy a new Ebike besides i love my Thorn Audax fits me like a glove. ;)


Anto.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2018, 07:57:24 PM by jags »

bobs

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Re: Don't buy an eBike
« Reply #26 on: September 20, 2018, 07:49:26 PM »
Well said Dave , anyone who has been to Germany and Austria will have seen the benefits of E bikes. This is the future and we better get used to it.
Most kits will not match a purpose built E bike. My dream bike would be a Rohloff equipped R&M. At about 5k it is very expensive but cheaper than some high end road and mountain bikes.

martinf

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Re: Don't buy an eBike
« Reply #27 on: September 20, 2018, 09:07:14 PM »
I'm a big fan of proper purpose built Pedelec e-bikes.

Agree that a dedicated Pedelec e-bike is best in the long run.

But good ones are rather expensive and can't be converted to an ordinary bike.

For me, it is a bit like the logic for a touring bike - a Thorn Nomad or Raven is the best option, but before I got my Raven Tour my old mountain bike converted with racks and suitable tyres did the job for a much lower initial investment, albeit not as well and with higher running costs.

As I don't really want an e-bike, but recognize that I may need one some day, I currently plan to change as little as possible and not spend much initially, hence the contingency plan to electrify an existing bike. And a conversion can be converted back to an ordinary bike if health improved. Not a very likely scenario, but I think it would be nice to imagine this before finally admitting that my unassisted cycling days were over.

I also hope that I would initially only need electric assistance for hauling heavy loads (trailer and shopping) and would still be able to ride an unloaded unassisted bike at first, which explains my idea of converting the utility bike.

RST Scout

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Re: Don't buy an eBike
« Reply #28 on: September 20, 2018, 09:43:02 PM »
Thanks all for this interesting thread. I expect that sooner or later I will need an e-bike as I am not giving up cycling for anything. It is a fast moving technology and I would expect batteries to become much smaller and lighter (I hope) and maybe I would be able to get my RST converted (until my balance goes completely!). I can see what Dave is saying but I love my Thorns too much to get rid of them to fund another bike and I would have to.


Cheers,
Janet
Scout & Bettina's slave!

jags

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Re: Don't buy an eBike
« Reply #29 on: September 20, 2018, 10:26:42 PM »
sooner or later sjs will have a simple conversion for all of us thorn  users who wan to go electric  ;)
and at a price we can afford.