Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Electric Bikes Here's a place to discuss ebikes, from home grown to high-tech.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 04-30-06, 07:18 AM   #1
DigitalQuirk
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
DigitalQuirk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 159
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Electric bike - what do you think?

Canadian Tire has a new product; an electric bike that goes by the name Strong GT-S210. Looks like this:



Link: http://gateway.canadiantire.ca/drive...5524443288843_

I walked up to this bike in the store, and tried to pick it up. I consider myself a reasonably strong man, and I have lifted very heavy items before...but this bike weighs a LOT. So much so, I did not feel safe lifting it in the store. I cannot possibly see what use the pedals would be, except on a downhill run.

On the other hand, they do indicate a 100 km range, and a top speed of 28 km/h. Which appears impressive, except for the fact that I can average that same speed on my Miele without too much effort, and a moped can usually get up to 50 km/h. So, what I'm wondering is, what is the point of this bike? Would people use it as a viable "Clean" alternative for daily commuting?
DigitalQuirk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-06, 07:42 AM   #2
Retro Grouch 
Senior Member
 
Retro Grouch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: St Peters, Missouri
Bikes: Rans Rockst (Retro rocket) Rans Enduro Sport (Retro racket) Catrike 559, Merin Bear Valley (beater bike).
Posts: 26,627
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 92 Post(s)
It's just a whole different paradigm. It has nothing to do with the reasons that I bicycle. It looks to me like it embodies all of the things that I don't like about bicycling (too slow to keep up with traffic, exposed to the weather, where do you park it, still need a car) with none of the advantages.
Retro Grouch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-06, 02:57 PM   #3
Nermal
Senior Member
 
Nermal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Farmington, NM
Bikes: Giant Cypress SX
Posts: 2,068
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
What Grouch said.
__________________
Some people are like a Slinky ... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs.
Nermal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-06, 04:01 PM   #4
becnal
I'm made of earth!
 
becnal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Frankfurt, Germany
Bikes: Raleigh Aspen touring/off-road hybrid, and a Bob Yak trailer. Yak very useful for us car-free types that like to buy lots of beer.
Posts: 2,012
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Because you can't lift it doesn't mean it won't pedal well.
becnal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-06, 04:45 PM   #5
chicbicyclist
Senior Member
 
chicbicyclist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: San Diego
Bikes: Batavus Old Dutch
Posts: 605
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I was actually surprised it was on the front page when I went to that website from a link in one of the threads here.

Here's a couple of points:

1. It's considered a bike in most areas of North america, so no hassle of all the legal stuff you have to go through with mopeds.

2. It is not for the fitness crowd of bicycling, but for the practical/utility crowd.

3. It's heavy and acceleration suffers, but you have a motor, use it.

4. It's easier, resulting in more people being on a "bike".

5. Climbs hills easier. No reason to not use a "bike" anymore.

6. Easier to navigate in traffic than a conventional bike because you are "faster" without putting in too much effort so you pay more attention to the road.

7. It's not for weight weenies, but you can get a sub-40 lb electric bike for a price(use Li-ion or NiMh battery packs which are more expensive, and lighter motor)

8. A moped is powered primarilly by the motor, human effort is second.

9. Electric bikes are ideally primarilly powered by you, with the motor "assisting" you.(there are two types of e-bikes, power on demand and "electric assist", POD can be used as a power assist, but no the other way around)

10. You park it in bike racks.

11. It can absolutely replace a car.

12. It does pedal well once you're up to speed so use your motor to accelerate then turn it off, most systems do this.

13. Best of all, it would make more people that would not otherwise ride a bike other than for recreational purposes, use it for commuting/utillity/errands.

14 Did I mention that it runs on electricity? Most mopeds run on gas, and are decidely more polluting.

Last edited by chicbicyclist; 04-30-06 at 04:50 PM.
chicbicyclist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-06, 07:29 PM   #6
swifferman
Senior Member
 
swifferman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 1,124
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Well said chicbicyclist.

Also, in Ontario, Canada (so most likely other parts of North America) these are banned from the roadsand sidewalks so I don't really see where you can possibly use it if they are banned in your area.
swifferman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-06, 01:50 AM   #7
becnal
I'm made of earth!
 
becnal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Frankfurt, Germany
Bikes: Raleigh Aspen touring/off-road hybrid, and a Bob Yak trailer. Yak very useful for us car-free types that like to buy lots of beer.
Posts: 2,012
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
How many gears has it got? 24?
becnal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-06, 01:59 AM   #8
EricDJ
Airborne Titanium
 
EricDJ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Los Angeles, California
Bikes: Airborne Ti Upright, Raleigh M-20 beater, Peugeot Folding
Posts: 952
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
If I wanted to not pedal,I'd put the g towards a vespa.
EricDJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-06, 02:10 AM   #9
jonbth
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 190
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It looks like they've reinvented the moped. I haven't seen one of those since the 80's.
jonbth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-06, 04:55 AM   #10
geebee
Senior Member
 
geebee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Tasmania, Australia
Bikes: GT3 trike,Viper chopper, electric assist Viper chopper,Electric moped(Vespa style)
Posts: 540
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
There is a few different reasons for an electric bike like the one at the start of the thread, as someone else pointed out, it would make a good utility bike, grocery getter etc, they can get people on bikes that may not be fit enough initially to cope with their local terrain, or have arthritis or dodgy knees as you can put more load on the motor and off your joints on bad days.
I ride all types of human powered bikes and electric assist bikes, one of my favorites is a really low powered (250 watt) electric assist bike with the motor running through the derailiers, how many lowriders do you see that can cruise at 40~50 kph and blow cars off at the lights? to achieve this requires a massive amount of pedal input and is more exhausting than riding a moutain bike up a mountain but it's a real rush and much more comfy than a road bike.
geebee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-06, 05:13 AM   #11
mike
Senior Member
 
mike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Snowy midwest
Bikes:
Posts: 5,392
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
In fact, the weight is only a detriment when accelerating and when going uphill. Otherwise, weight has very little impact on the amount of energy to keep the bike rolling.

Thus, if rider used the electric motor feature to zip up to a respectable traffic speed and then maintained it by pedaling, Even the below average bicyclist could use a bicycle very effectively for transportation.
mike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-06, 06:40 AM   #12
DigitalQuirk
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
DigitalQuirk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 159
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Great responses. Personally, I'm torn and still on the fence. My job is very physically demanding; I'm not entirely sure I could also handle the bicycle commute, though I enjoy riding in my free time and using my bike to scoot to the store to pick up smaller purchases. I do plan on trying the commute, though.

We keep hearing about how we're running out of oil in the world, and watch as the price of gas continues to rise. Meanwhile, there's talks about the creation of more CANDU nuclear reactors in Ontario. The message I'm getting is that nuclear electricity is going to be the fuel of the future. This electric moped (which is, effectively, what it is) may be a sign of things to come. If it truly has a 100 km range without pedaling, that would prove that electric vehicle technology has matured enough to be considered a viable alternative.

My only concern would be, how long would the battery last before needing replacement? Where would one dispose of the battery, and attain a replacement?
DigitalQuirk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-06, 08:42 AM   #13
1ply
Plays in Traffic
 
1ply's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Kitchener, Ontario
Bikes:
Posts: 484
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by DigitalQuirk

My only concern would be, how long would the battery last before needing replacement? Where would one dispose of the battery, and attain a replacement?
I seem to remember that the battery is rated for 300 full charges. So if you use it often enough that may be good for 3 years and then you have to replace the battery. I also remember that they sell a battery for around $300.... (changing screens) and...

28km/h is the MAXIMUM speed at which it can travel on battery power alone, of course they say nothing about the weight of their test rider. Here's the specs on the battery: The battery is good for 300 complete charges/drains. After this it's $199 PLUS SHIPPING for another battery, if you want a LiIon battery it's $450 plus shipping. Um, $450 is almost 1/2 the cost of this bike...
1ply is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-06, 09:05 AM   #14
Pat
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Orlando, FL
Bikes: litespeed, cannondale
Posts: 2,795
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Well I think the electric bike has a ways to go. With an average speed of 17 mph for 60 miles, it is not very impressive. A fit cyclist can do that without an assist. Even a not so fit cyclist can average around 15 mph.

The range and max speed would have to go up and the weight to come down to make this one very compelling.

As far as green goes, again it is not compelling. Electric is ultimately fossil fuel. Sure it will take less than an automobile or a motorcycle and maybe even less than a Vespa but still it takes some. A human powered vehicle is based on renewable resources and is far greener plus it makes you fitter and thinner. So why go with very little more performance, less green and less healthy?

Pat
Pat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-06, 09:48 AM   #15
jeff-o
Recumbent Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Kitchener, Ontario
Bikes: Rebel Cycles Trike, Trek 7500FX
Posts: 2,991
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I agree that electric bikes have a ways to go, but they are still a great idea. If an electric bike will get a commuter out of his/her car and onto a bike, then I say HUZZAH. Consider it a "gateway drug" to a completely motor-free lifestyle.

I must admit though, that I have been toying with the idea of adding a motor to a trike so I can sustain 60km/h and keep up with traffic... Hmmm...
jeff-o is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-06, 09:53 AM   #16
2manybikes
Dog is my co-pilot
 
2manybikes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Bikes: 2 many
Posts: 15,559
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 52 Post(s)
They Can not give you a good distance and speed measurement. Most of those things give an optimum condition with pedal assist ratings. In the "sales copy" not technical information.

The bike puts out a given number of watts for a given amount of time, period ! If it's windy, hilly, stop and go, a heavy load, low tires etc. the distance and speed changes all over the place. Some of them list the top speed, but then list the distance it will go at a lower speed. Pedaling one with a dead battery is lot of work, A 150 lb bike DOES pedal harder than a 35 lb bike..... a lot harder. It's not impossible, but picture riding home with a 75 lb. child on the back of your bike, it's similar to that.

If you accelerate a lot you will run down the battery faster.

This stuff about no difference at a steady rate with a heavier bike is absurd.

Many people can't feel a small change in weight, or it is a small change in a short distance if a bike is just a little heavier. For some it is not important, for others it is. The laws of physics still apply to bikes, every gram makes a difference. 75 lbs is a big deal. Try riding it.
2manybikes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-06, 10:08 AM   #17
bbattle
.
 
bbattle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Rocket City, No'ala
Bikes: 2014 Trek Domane 5.2, 1985 Pinarello Trevisio, 1991 Colnago Master, '06 Bianchi San Jose, 1987 Moulton Fuso, 1990 Gardin Shred, '82 John Howard(Dave Tesch)
Posts: 12,550
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Check this out: The Stoke Monkey by Cleverchimp



It's an electric assist motor. It works with your pedalling to get you and your load up a hill. You can't use the motor by itself; you have to keep pedalling.

http://cleverchimp.com/products/stokemonkey/
__________________
Bicycle Pictures

Last edited by bbattle; 05-01-06 at 10:40 AM.
bbattle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-06, 01:53 PM   #18
2manybikes
Dog is my co-pilot
 
2manybikes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Bikes: 2 many
Posts: 15,559
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 52 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbattle
Check this out: The Stoke Monkey by Cleverchimp



It's an electric assist motor. It works with your pedalling to get you and your load up a hill. You can't use the motor by itself; you have to keep pedalling.

http://cleverchimp.com/products/stokemonkey/
There are many variations on that theme. They've been around for years.
2manybikes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-06, 03:03 PM   #19
chicbicyclist
Senior Member
 
chicbicyclist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: San Diego
Bikes: Batavus Old Dutch
Posts: 605
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
More couple of points:

1. Do not trust the manufacturer to give you what the actual mileage is(the same way you do not trsut any other salesman), more often than not, they give out the mileage under ideal conditions(hey, like you're car mileage), and sometimes do not mention how much pedalling you have to do. The truth of the matter is, 2manybike is right. It depends on your terrain, and other variables. Expect more range on flat, less so on hilly ones. For me, at 36 volts and 12 amps, with moderate hills, I can go about 25 miles on a single charge with moderate to heavy pedalling.

2. An electric bike is prohibited to go more than 20 mph(on motor power alone) in the States and Canada, and even lower in Europe when used on the road.

3.
Quote:
Pedaling one with a dead battery is lot of work, A 150 lb bike DOES pedal harder than a 35 lb bike..... a lot harder. It's not impossible, but picture riding home with a 75 lb. child on the back of your bike, it's similar to that.
Of course, you're using extreme examples to illustrate your point. An electric bike rarely goes over the 100 lb mark(mine is 75 lbs, including the bike), and again, it is not intended for long distance Lance Armstrong Wannabes. Anybody who does centuries on this thing knowing the limitations of the battery technology deserve to haul around that much weight, unless you bring your charger and plug in to wherever you're going, effectively doubling your range.

4.
Quote:
Well I think the electric bike has a ways to go. With an average speed of 17 mph for 60 miles, it is not very impressive. A fit cyclist can do that without an assist. Even a not so fit cyclist can average around 15 mph.
It's still hard, no matter how you say that it isnt. You know why Americans don't ride more for transportation? That's one of the reasons why.

5.
Quote:
The range and max speed would have to go up and the weight to come down to make this one very compelling.
I agree with range, not with speed. Again, there's a legal limit. As for weight, there are batteries available other than SLAs, and smaller motor(There's one available for 7 lbs! Couple that with a 15 lbs NiMh, and you're set to go).

6.
Quote:
As far as green goes, again it is not compelling. Electric is ultimately fossil fuel. Sure it will take less than an automobile or a motorcycle and maybe even less than a Vespa but still it takes some. A human powered vehicle is based on renewable resources and is far greener plus it makes you fitter and thinner. So why go with very little more performance, less green and less healthy?
Electricity in the USA is majorly from Coal(most factories are fitted with "scrubbers" before realsing it into the atmosphere), Natural Gas(which is decidedly less polluting than oil and coal without the scrubber), Nuclear(zero emission, drop the waste into Hawa'ii's volcanoes or something), hydroelectric(zero emission), and then theres the renewable. Basically, we generate electricity using about 70% fossil fuels(50% coal, 17% natural gas, 3% oil) and the rest, renewables, compared to more than 95% fossil fuel usage on your internal combustion engines.

Also, the fact that it is easier to retrofit and adapt the electric grid system to run on renewables than cars that run on the oil economy(you have to change every last gas station to deliver the new energy, and tweak every last car to run on it).

And since you said that human power is renewable, please take into account that what you eat(oil is used for transport), what you wear(synthetic fabrics are made from petroleum) and basically all the comforts of life(electricity) is still touched by fossil fuel, like it or not.

Did I mention that electric bikes get at least 500 miles per gallon(some figures give twice that) of an equivalent gasoline used to produce the electricity it runs on?

Last point, to those of us who lives in hilly countries and aspire to have a bike friendly city like Amsterdam and Copenhagen, electric bikes are very compelling.
chicbicyclist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-06, 04:10 PM   #20
Keith99
Senior Member
 
Keith99's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 5,866
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
On a decent road bike on level ground with no wind it takes an effort to keep your speed below 15MPH.
Keith99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-06, 04:39 PM   #21
geo8rge
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 2,012
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think the ideal buyer is older, someone who commutes, or shops within a 10 mi radius of where they live. On level ground the extra weight probably does not cost you much. The motor will get you up hills. I was in Italy last year and saw a fair number of such bikes. It would be neat if they had regenerative braking. It is not a novelty or a fad. It fills a niche between a bicycle and a moped. It is probably alot cleaner than a moped.

OT, Anyone who thinks they need a new hi teck technology bike, about 25% of the bikes I saw chained in Italy were old heavy touring bikes with metal chain enclosures. They also liked those generator head lights. The bikes were clearly owned by people who used them regularly, and who I assume could afford better if they needed it.
geo8rge is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-06, 05:36 PM   #22
pricklycommute
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 193
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
A 60 mile range is actually really good. The last time I looked at the Giant electric bikes I think they advertised a 30 mile range. I know about the battery specifics (maybe it's just marketing hype), but my wife would commute on one of those in a second, while a regular bike for 20 miles roundtrip she probably wouldn't go for near as often.
pricklycommute is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-06, 08:01 PM   #23
merlinextraligh
pan y agua
 
merlinextraligh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Jacksonville
Bikes: Wilier Zero 7; Merlin Extralight; Co-Motion Robusta; Schwinn Paramount; Motobecane Phantom Cross; Cervelo P2; Motebecane Ti Fly 29er; Calfee Dragonfly Tandem
Posts: 29,133
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by geebee
There is a few different reasons for an electric bike like the one at the start of the thread, as someone else pointed out, it would make a good utility bike, grocery getter etc, they can get people on bikes that may not be fit enough initially to cope with their local terrain, or have arthritis or dodgy knees as you can put more load on the motor and off your joints on bad days.
I ride all types of human powered bikes and electric assist bikes, one of my favorites is a really low powered (250 watt) electric assist bike with the motor running through the derailiers, how many lowriders do you see that can cruise at 40~50 kph and blow cars off at the lights? to achieve this requires a massive amount of pedal input and is more exhausting than riding a moutain bike up a mountain but it's a real rush and much more comfy than a road bike.
so is Harley
merlinextraligh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-06, 08:22 PM   #24
Nermal
Senior Member
 
Nermal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Farmington, NM
Bikes: Giant Cypress SX
Posts: 2,068
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Okay, (insert light bulb icon) I think I got it. It has a motor. It has pedals. This is what they mean by Hybrid Bicycle!
__________________
Some people are like a Slinky ... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs.
Nermal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-06, 12:14 AM   #25
chicbicyclist
Senior Member
 
chicbicyclist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: San Diego
Bikes: Batavus Old Dutch
Posts: 605
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Since we're all being smartasses here, I wanna ask a question. Why ride bike if you can walk instead?
chicbicyclist is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:13 AM.