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Old 03-16-01, 05:24 AM   #26
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Thanks jb . . .

Where I am "new" to the bike scene . . . my bike termonology is a little rough. I have had my Kuahara (sp) for almost 8 years and have only ridden it occasionally. Now that Judie and I have adopted a chemical free/natural lifestyle my interest in biking has grown. . . I just have to build up my two-wheeled and EV vocab.

I'll check out the site.
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Old 08-27-01, 11:24 PM   #27
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It is time to resurect this thread again.

I am seeing more and more electric assist bicycles being used outside of the USA these days.

Still, I have not seen many of these in my area.

How about you guys. Are you seeing electric bicycles these days?
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Old 08-27-01, 11:34 PM   #28
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Old 08-28-01, 08:40 AM   #29
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Thanks for the resurrection.

The topic is quite interesting.

I see these things a lot along the beach. Mostly purpose built jobs that look like mopeds. I think that some business rents them or something because the riders are all white (as in 'not tan') and giggley (as in 'laughing').

Although the bike paths that I frequent are for non motorized vehicles, no one seems to mind the ebikes at all.

The ones I see aren't that fast but then again the riders aren't working hard.

The kits are intriguing
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Old 08-28-01, 09:01 AM   #30
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After looking at one of these contraptions, a few things concern me:
They really are no faster than a bike, so the only advantage is for people who aren't in very good shape. However, you HAVE to pedal to get assist. Seems a bit contradictory, but at least the rider has to do SOMETHING.
Once the battery dies, you are left with a VERY heavy bike, and one with lousy gearing, no less. Nobody is going to ride one of these things up a hill once the battery dies, anyway.
I think that an electric motorbike would make more sense, in the long run.
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Old 08-28-01, 06:13 PM   #31
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I have said this before, but here it is again.

I can see how an electric bike might take away from the whole "human powered" aspect of cycling. For me, I enjoy being the engine, and getting stronger with use.

But after a long day of working and bike commuting (almost 30 miles), I think it would be cool to hop on an electric bike, rather than jump in a car, to do some errands at the store.

Electric bikes are still far cheaper to operate than any motor vehicle. Also, for the most part they are considered bikes, not mopeds, so they are allowed everywhere bikes are, and don't need insurance, license, tax, tag, title, blah...

Think about this: you can charge your battery at work, just by plugging it into the wall. This will rob your employer of as much as several pennies.

If it weren't for the legal aspect of limiting electric bikes to 15 or 20 mph. max speed, I would love to see an electric bike that used it's motorized assistance for attaining higher speeds in combination with pedaling.
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Old 08-29-01, 07:27 AM   #32
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If it weren't for the legal aspect of limiting electric bikes to 15 or 20 mph. max speed, I would love to see an electric bike that used it's motorized assistance for attaining higher speeds in combination with pedaling. [/B]

I looked at the issue a while back and there are some mopeds and even a motocycle that are 100% electric. The motorcycle is made by zappy (they are more famous for their electric scooters) but there are a few companies doing that.

I guess the main put off for me is to loose the self-sustainability of cycling. Cycling don't run out of gas (or batteries), their batteries don't get old, they are also simple machine while I can see how even a basic repair on an electric motorcycle could mean waiting until parts get shipped from out of state.

I saw somebody with an electric bike recently and this thing looked damn heavy.
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Old 08-29-01, 03:20 PM   #33
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Originally posted by PapeteeBooh
I saw somebody with an electric bike recently and this thing looked damn heavy.
Yes, the lead-acid battery weighs about as much as my bike.
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Old 08-29-01, 04:31 PM   #34
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Also their performance degrade sensibly over time
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Old 09-07-01, 07:53 AM   #35
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Hi all

Just noticed this thread ,intrigued me because only yesterday .
I came across this old guy on a trycycle with a neat electric power unit stored above his rear axel
I had a short chat with him as we traveled , it seems he was a cyclist of venerable age who could no longer maintain the strength to use pedals on a consistent bases , but he could not live without cycling and this was the perfect compromise!.
It was great to see the way the small motor rode it up a not insubastantial incline .
This is the way to go!
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Old 09-14-01, 07:37 AM   #36
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In Australia :

Powered bicycles are classified as bicycles, provided 'the auxillary motor does not have power exceeding 200 watts' (quote from legislation).

Bicycles (incl. powered) are not speed limited.

The legislation doesn't define what the motor has to be or what type of power is used.

Does 200w power refer to :
- BHP, the power produced by the motor (this is an obsolete term).
- HP (rated) the average HP delivered to the wheel (what is used for cars). OR
- rated drain. The average amount of battery power an electric motor drains ?

In UK :

Powered bicycles are treated as bicycles, provided they have an auxillary motor not exceeding 200w, the motor delivers no power beyond 25 km/h, and the whole unit does not weigh more than 44 pounds.
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Old 09-27-01, 12:22 AM   #37
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That is cheating. you are disqualified. Does not count. The fuel source must human powered only.
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Old 09-28-01, 04:30 PM   #38
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I recently returned from 3 weeks vacation in the UK, where electric bikes seem quite popular. In addition to the price of petrol (about $4.50 per US gal), traffic congestion in the towns and the lack of car parking facilities are factors that favour their use.

The most popular model that i saw was like a ladies bike with a split upper downtube, which made a space to carry the battery. The battery could be removed when it was parked.
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Old 09-28-01, 06:11 PM   #39
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Actually, in urban/suburban sprawl, those who do not live in close proximity either to work or shopping have limited potential for making a complete substitution of driving with cycling. I commute about 30 miles to work on my bike, but I don't see myself using the bike for literally everything.

An electric bike is not really a bad idea for running those extra errands when you have already put in a long cycling day, but don't want to use the car. Anything that reduces automobile use
is a plus. (And you can still pedal, if you want.)

And an electric bike still needs no tax, tag, insurance, license, gasoline...darn cheap!
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Old 06-01-03, 01:40 AM   #40
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I'm glad I did a search and found this discussion as I had read the negative comments on this thread and was pretty turned off

I ride an electric-assist bike and consider myself a cyclist. I ride my electric bike 10X more than I ever rode my pedal bike and have replaced 90% of my car trips with the electric bike and a trailer. I use my electric bike for transportation, and pleasantly, I am also in better shape too! I can ride to work, appointments, the store, etc...in regular clothes and not be sweaty, or I can ride hard and get a good workout. It is like a treadmill with a difficulty dial except I get to move around the city!

I'm posting this because many cyclists look down their noses at electric bikes. I am really glad that our gracious host, and many others here, are more open minded and accomodating. As I said, I'm in my car way less because of electric bikes, and in my mind, this can only be a good thing...right?
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Old 06-01-03, 05:11 AM   #41
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Wow! The thread that just won't die!



Yeah, the idea is to get people off cars and into other forms of alternative transportation. Having an electric bike would be a better option than having a car. I had no idea you could actually RIDE the electric bike as a regular bike, as well as chug around the city using the motor. It would help for people with disabilities, or older folks, or just people who are not as into cycling. I bet with more electric bikes that have the option to actually pedal, we'd see more people using the option to pedal, and a new cyclist is born!

Do they make electric recumbents yet?

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Old 06-01-03, 05:30 AM   #42
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Koffee,
Try
www.semifusion.com

An electric recumbent can be made in a couple of ways. I have been thinking about this for some time. One would be with a Currie
www.evdeals.com/PowerKits.htm

Or top of the line would be Heinzman, check out
www.wisechat.com/carl/e-bikes.htm

What are your thoughts on these?

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Old 06-01-03, 08:16 AM   #43
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The only problem with electric bikes as someone pointed out are theft, valdalism and rain. I was thinking about getting an electric bike once but there's not a single place that's safe enough and sheltered where I can park this expensive machine. I like the concept although and could really benefit from one.

I've only seen two people with electric bikes around my way.

Person 1 ---- He has a huge CAR BATTERY attached under his mountain bike and that cycle can MOVE! He zoomed past me the other day like I was standing still. Amazing. Unfortunately, he doesn't bike commute with this Ebike and takes it out rarely.

Person 2 ---- This person had a folding Ebike and used it to get it on the trains! He amazed me so much that I followed him like a rock star since he had the guts (and I mean GUTS!) to fold this Ebike in two pieces while rolling it on one wheel along the platform using the handlebars and board a PACKED train headed for New York City. Everyone on the tain was staring at this guy and I watched from the corner of my eye that he couldn't care less. Bicycles are not allowed on Path Trains headed for New York City but folding bikes were the exemption. (At least for a while) This was before 9/11 and I'm not sure he can do this today but I was his fan for a day!

I like the SPARC unit from Sram as my choice for Electric Bikes.

http://www.sram.com/product/featured/sparc/index.asp


In New York City, electric and gas powered bicycles are illegal and the fines are huge if your caught riding in the streets. The police are taking these electric scooters away from kids since they have been declared illegal by the current administration.

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Old 06-01-03, 09:12 AM   #44
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I like the idea of an electric assist on a truly bike-able bike.

I you just had a little push to eccelerate from stopped to full speed or help going up hills, or add about three to five miles per hour, it would make bicycle commuting a lot more practical for many people.

Of course, the full fledged electric scooter is available, but has anyone seen a production bicycle with electric assist that is practical ie, it doesn't way so much or have such goofy geometry that you have to rely on the motor?
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Old 06-01-03, 11:09 AM   #45
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While I have never ridden it, the Giant LAFree Lite is supposed to be a pretty rideable bike.

In most other parts of the world (well, Europe and Japan), electric bikes are only allowed to be of the pedal-assist type, aka. "pedelecs". These bikes don't have a throttle but instead use a torque sensor to detect pressure on the pedals, such as when starting out or climbing hills. The effect is that the bike gets up to speed quickly (awesome for traffic) and hills are flattened out. There is no power unless the rider is pedaling, but a rider in a hilly locale can pedal like they were in Amsterdam and not San Francisco.

On the more sophisticated bikes like the Giant LA Free Lite and the Merida PowerCycle (my bike), the motor actually drives through the internally geared rear hub, adding significant mechanical advantage. There is no additional drag created by the motor, so both these bikes pedal like normal bicycles when un-powered (though a little heavier).

Yeah, theft does suck. That being said, the market for hot electric bikes is pretty limited at this point, and my bike actually has a key that can be removed when parked. I bought the best lock I could afford, practice safe locking, and so far so good. On the good bikes, rain isn't an issue.
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Old 06-01-03, 09:08 PM   #46
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I've seen electric bikes in a couple of places, and, like so much bike gear, they fascinated me. I've not ridden one, but I'd like to try. There may be a market in the U.S. for these things, but as there have been noteworthy attempts to launch electric bike lines-- perhaps most famously so from Lee Iacoca, the erstwhile CEO of Chrysler-- without much success it may well be that Americans won't buy many electric bikes.

I don't much care one way or the other whether the e-bikes succeed. I'm not all that enthusiastic about restricting car traffic, as some people here are. (I make exceptions for urban centers with very high traffic.) But more people on e-bikes might be a nice thing, I guess.

I wasn't interested in buying one myself because the bikes were heavy and expensive, but their performance enhancements were quite modest relative to these costs in my view.

I know a couple of older people who bought these bikes and really liked them, though.
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Old 06-02-03, 06:24 AM   #47
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Hey all.. well, not sure how I feel about this one. After seeing the Segway released in Canada, I'm starting to feel that we're growing into a Lazy Nation. Do we need a power assisted bicycle? Do we need a standing cart (Segway)? Looking at this, I think just one more thing to fail in the winter, and then you're stuck pedalling it anyway! Maybe this bike has it's place, but I just think it's contributing to our fast-food EZ-Everything lifestyle... Just my thoughts...

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Old 06-02-03, 09:35 AM   #48
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Couple of points:

1) Winter in Vancouver is pretty different than winter in Kanata
2) I certainly feel less lazy on my pedal-assist electric bike than I did sitting in the Civic - I use my electric bike for transportation as do most of the youngish people I know that have one. Older folks use them for recreation and exercise.

I guess my feelings are this: Not everyone can or will ride a pedal bike or walk to work. It just isn't gonna happen. If riding a Segway to and from the train, or an electric bike 10 or 15 K to work gets even some people out of their cars sometimes, I think our cities will be happier, healthier more pleasant places to live.
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Old 06-02-03, 09:32 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally posted by mekki
I guess my feelings are this: Not everyone can or will ride a pedal bike or walk to work. It just isn't gonna happen. If riding a Segway to and from the train, or an electric bike 10 or 15 K to work gets even some people out of their cars sometimes, I think our cities will be happier, healthier more pleasant places to live.
I agree that not everybody can ride everywhere. However, I'm still yet to be convinced that the "Ginger/Segway/whatever it's called this week" will get anybody out of their car. If anything, it's only going to result in bigger cars so that the lazy can carry it to the carpark and ride it the 300 metres or so instead of walking.

And as a walker, I'm still not keen on the idea of these things running down people on the footpath.
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Old 06-03-03, 06:20 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally posted by mekki
[B]Couple of points:

1) Winter in Vancouver is pretty different than winter in Kanata
2) I certainly feel less lazy on my pedal-assist electric bike than I did sitting in the Civic - I use my electric bike for transportation as do most of the youngish people I know that have one. Older folks use them for recreation and exercise.
Good point.. yeah, I suppose Ottawa (Kanata) is a bad winter to use as the baseline.. I know when I lived out West, it was not the winters that killed me, it was the hills! How does the Electric bike handle them? Generally Elec. engines are very tourquee (Is that even a word?) so it would look like they would handle hills, just slowly... Oh, and for the Civic, or any car, yes, your absolutly right!

I guess this is a Too-each-their-own product eh?

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