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 06-01-06, 12:27 AM   #1
jayhuse
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 66
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Electric Bike or Ride in a Car.

ok, here is the deal. I currently bought a nice road bike an ben putting in 60 miles a week. My work commute is about 38 miles round trip which equals about 200 miles a week just getting to an from work.

So my idea is to use my bike as much as possible, heck i am even thinking of selling my car an just having my wifes around.

Anyway, THE BAD part is that my knee is hurting me some an it appears to be getting worse. I understand that some guys are using electric bikes as a method of transportation or at least augmenting thier biking ?
\
So would it be better to spend an additional 600 on an kit an add it to 1 of my bikes. I really think that it is going to take me a considerable amout of time to be able to bike 200 miles a week plust weekend shopping or traveling.

So should I buy an electric kit to save my legs some ??? Are these just as bad on the environment as the Cars since they have throw away batteries ?

I mean I would like to go CAR lite but it appears that I live in a place where the drive is pretty far for some things. So maybe the electric kit would help maybe it wont ??

Thanks any info would be great ?

jay
jayhuse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-06, 01:25 AM   #2
spambait11
Seņor Mambo
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Fremont, CA
Bikes: Ti Sports roadie, Cannondale CAAD 3, Tern Cargo Node, Helix (soon)
Posts: 1,352
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
This prolific list might interest you.

If you want to NOT pedal for 18 miles one way, then you'll definitely need to do some reading about engine/battery/speed limitations. Many battery options are assist options in which it is necessary to pedal.

But if you do get rid of your car, there's always the option of a velomobile. I keep telling my wife this same thing.
spambait11 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-06, 01:47 AM   #3
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)
Get an electric bike if you can. It is deffinitely more environmentally friendly than a car, since it is probably the most efficient motorized vehicle you can ever ride on. For starters, electricity is usually derived from more renewables(ntionwide, about 50% is from coal, 14% nuclear, 15% natural gas, 5% from oil and the rest is renewable including hydro-electric, geothermal, wind, solar and biomass) and cleaner sources than gasoline(which is more than 70% petroleum).

Don't worry about batteries too much, it is illegal to throw them away outright and you have to drop them off at a recycling place, more often than not. Plus, you have to option of battery technologies, with Sealed lead acids being the most polluting(Material wise. It's still zero emission) and cheapest, but also the heaviest(expect to pay $100 for a pack to power an e-bike, and they are good for about a half a year to a year, depending on how you use them). Then there's Nickel Metal Hydride, which is cleaner, lighter and more expensive, but they last three times as much as SLAs(expect to pay $300-$400 to). NiMh also tend to give you a longer range(I've seen some kits claim to go 10-15 miles more than SLAs of the same amps/voltage).

The only problem I see is that road bikes are not really appropriate for e-bike application. They have thin tires, a more fragile frame, and brakes are inaddequate. Most kits sell 26 inch tires, and they recommend that you use tires with a thickness of about 1.5 inche and above. Electric bikes are also heavier and can double the weight of your bike, especially if you're using Sealed lead acid batteries, 30 lbs for a 36 v 12 amp pack(you can shave off a good 10-15 lbs if yopu're using NiMh).

As for your commute, I think that if its not too hilly(think San Francisco), you should be fine with an electrick bike with SLA batteries(My current set up, using a 30 lbs 36 Volt 12 amp SLA batteries, my range is about 24 miles on a single charge. About 18-20 miles if I am not too careful with my use of the battery. 15 miles or less if I don't pedal at all). Ride one way then charge it while you're working. It should be fully charged when you're ready to go home(a typical system is fully charged after 6 hours from empty). You should be able to go farther on more expensive battery systems. Also, expect to replace the SLAs after 6 months of daily use if you're gonna use them 38 miles 5 times a week, but $100 every six months still beats car maintennance and gas in that same period.


One last thing, it is alot of fun!

Anyway, enough of my long winded post, hope that helped.
chicbicyclist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-06, 06:52 AM   #4
max-a-mill
aspiring dirtbag commuter
 
max-a-mill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: philly
Bikes:
Posts: 2,121
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
or you could try to figure out the knee apin and work you way up (slowly) to riding the whole thing under your own power.

i bet your knee hurts cause your ramping up the mileage too fast, or pushing to high of a gear. get out there and spin! try to ride to work once a week; then twice... maybe leave your car at work one night, ride home, ride in the next morning, and then drive home...

you can ride the distance just don't try to go all out too quick.
max-a-mill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-06, 06:58 AM   #5
spider-man
Ferrous wheel
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: New Orleans
Bikes: 2004 Gunnar Rock Hound MTB; 1988 Gitane Team Pro road bike; 1986-ish Raleigh USA Grand Prix; mid-'80s Univega Gran Tourismo with Xtracycle Free Radical
Posts: 1,388
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Be sure your bike is properly fitted/adjusted. Knee pain sucks.
spider-man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-06, 07:04 AM   #6
ncscott
cyclist
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: vermont
Bikes: road bike, mountain bike, touring bike
Posts: 336
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Just a thought but you could also get a motor scooter or moped. The 49cc motor scooter/mopeds cost 1000-1500 and don't require an additional licence. Cheap in my mind. They get upwards of 100 mpg and still give you the two wheel feel and the wind in your face. At that distance, I would seriously concider it, but am personally more interested in the moped for my wife who doesn't bike.
Scott
ncscott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-06, 07:16 AM   #7
oldroads
Senior Member
 
oldroads's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Massachusetts
Bikes:
Posts: 663
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Electric doesn't really do too well. A gas-powered moped or motorized bicycle will move you around a lot more effectively. There are some great kits for adapting weed-wacker motors for use on bicycles for around $100 including the motor.
oldroads is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-06, 08:18 AM   #8
tulip
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Out there, on my bike
Bikes:
Posts: 5,421
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
figure out why your knee is hurting. It's probably an issue with your bike setup and/or your cycling form.
tulip is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-06, 08:35 AM   #9
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 also agree, figure out why your knee is hurting. Do you use clipless pedals? If you do, get a pair with more float. If not, then get some, and make sure they have lots of float. Clipless pedals will help you spin (turning the pedals at 90-100rpm), which will improve your efficiency AND save your knees.
jeff-o is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-06, 08:40 AM   #10
cooker
Prefers Cicero
 
cooker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Toronto
Bikes: 1984 Trek 520; 1990s Peugeot (Canadian-made) rigid mountain bike; 2007 Bike Friday NWT; misc others
Posts: 10,985
Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 819 Post(s)
Check seat height. An old cliche that may apply is that pain in the front of the knee means seat is too low, pain in the back of the knee means seat is too high.
cooker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-06, 10:06 AM   #11
CigTech
Senior Member
 
CigTech's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Ohio
Bikes: Schwinn Empire XL
Posts: 1,556
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I commute 35 miles every day. I do it on a Peugeot Road bike. At first I did it on a MTB and had all kinds of pains. Now I can do the same ride in 55 min and have no pain. How long have you been doing this commute and is the bike set up right for you?
CigTech is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-06, 11:14 AM   #12
likeakidagain
Senior Member
 
likeakidagain's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Ohio,USA
Bikes: Two bikes..a new hybrid and a old moutain bike!
Posts: 121
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
i agree mountain bikes seem to take it out of your knees on lonr rides..my hybrid is so much easier on the knees
likeakidagain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-06, 01:14 PM   #13
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 disagree, oldroads. Electrics have come a long way and gas motors are already not as popular. Most gas motor used to convert bicycles tend to also be more polluting(even more so than a car, in alot of cases!), especially if you're using weed whackers.
chicbicyclist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-06, 01:15 PM   #14
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 disagree, oldroads. Electrics have come a long way and gas motors are already not as popular. Most gas motor used to convert bicycles tend to also be more polluting(even more so than a car, in alot of cases!), especially if you're using weed whackers.
chicbicyclist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-06, 01:35 PM   #15
fordfasterr
One speed: FAST !
 
fordfasterr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Ft. Lauderdale FL
Bikes: Ebay Bikes... =)
Posts: 3,375
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I suggest that you do not buy an electric bike.

Instead, keep riding. It is only a matter of time before your body fully adjusts to the mileage that you plan to ride.... That is what happened to me. At one point, the pain was very bad, but it has completely subisded at this point.

Also, remember to stretch after each ride.
fordfasterr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-06, 02:49 PM   #16
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)
Umm, if it helps you ride more, why not. I wouldnt ride a bike for longer distances if not for mine. The OP sounds like he could benefit greatly from it, and prevent him from using a car instead.

All the stretching, adjusting wouldnt help if you don't feel like doing something because it is harder especially if you have the option of riding the comfy car. Don't even start with the "you're not a serious cyclist" BS that some might think.

Last edited by chicbicyclist; 06-01-06 at 02:54 PM.
chicbicyclist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-06, 05:09 PM   #17
tulip
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Out there, on my bike
Bikes:
Posts: 5,421
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm just saying get to the heart of the problem...the knee pain.
tulip is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-06, 05:48 PM   #18
ItsJustMe
Seņior Member
 
ItsJustMe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Michigan
Bikes: Windsor Fens, Giant Seek 0 (2014, Alfine 8 + discs)
Posts: 13,360
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 203 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldroads
Electric doesn't really do too well. A gas-powered moped or motorized bicycle will move you around a lot more effectively. There are some great kits for adapting weed-wacker motors for use on bicycles for around $100 including the motor.
Driving a decent car will pollute less. Cheap 2 cycle motors pollute like tire fires. I don't even use my weed wacker anymore for this reason.
__________________
Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.
ItsJustMe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-06, 05:56 PM   #19
jayhuse
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 66
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks to you all.

Hey thanks for all the great information.

I think I am first for the next few weeks concentrate on reducing my knee pain. I been icing and taking advil. I also have a ROAD BIKE very nice one that has been fitted to me.

I have clippless pedals an ride at a high cadence. I believe my problem might be that I am riding too much too early like many of you have said.

I been really only riding a for a little over a month now. I have been averaging about 30 to 60 miles. So anyway, if the pain persists over the next few months I will probably get an electric bike but also go get a doctor. I have already had a knee examination on my left knee from running.

The doctors said that the from the MRI that the knee is in good shape it is that I have some abnormal cartilege in my knee cap that will be irritated from too much use.

He suggested icing an advil. I think my knee should feel better than when i ran if i slow up some.



Thanks

jay
jayhuse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-08, 09:51 PM   #20
sf1901
Guest
 
Bikes:
Posts: n/a
Mentioned: Post(s)
Tagged: Thread(s)
Quoted: Post(s)
Have your options

There have been great and informational replies in this thread. I, too have been commuting with my mountain bike, then switched to a commuting road bike with racks and panniers. I was averaging 32 miles round trip in the hills of San Francisco and the southern peninsula. It has built up my endurance significantly. I don't see myself competing for a bike race or anything, I just love riding. Although, there have been days when I just needed a little assist to tackle the hills, I have looked into getting an electric bike.

When I was preparing to go to Thailand for my vacation, some personal unfortunate events made me cancel my trip and I decided to use my vacation time and to research electric bikes. Soonafter, I found the right conversion kit for my mountain bike and next thing you know, I was riding all over the place. I still use my road bike on recreational rides, but I use my electric bikes in almost everything that I do. I even pulled out my Burly Nomad cargo trailer and started doing my shopping, donated clothes and books, and other misc. things. Bottom line I just have more time to do more things with more energy left.

In my line of work, I would need to conserve some energy for the long grind ahead of me (such as chasing after suspect, report writing, and other community service.) Having an electric bike just give you more options wether you would like tackle those hills or save it on another day...
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-08, 10:12 PM   #21
blippo
Senior Member
 
blippo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 81
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The electric bike has made riding fun again and something I look forward to doing.
blippo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-08, 08:57 AM   #22
Endless_BiGH
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 29
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I've been through a very similar situation.

i get recurrent knee pain - its all due to lack of stretching. I'm building up again the riding. My suggestion is to get a heart rate monitor and limit yourself using that. Ensure you have a cooldown and stretching at the end. I also have a very high powered electric bike, which takes the stress off my knee. I now ride at high cadence in top gear. Very rewarding and much easier. I still take the road bike out regularly.
Endless_BiGH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-08, 10:08 AM   #23
mike-on-da-bike
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 160
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
sure is a good idea to invest in a good electric bike considering the price of petrol these days and tolls and spares for cars and aslo you cant find a good place to even park a car these days unless you pay $20 so yes a good bike is definaltey the way to go if around a city,i have saved so much money allready on bus fares etc and petrol since getting my bike i havent looked back since,hell i can even beat cars to the shop and back and park my bike inside most shops while the security cameras watch it for me lol beat that service
mike-on-da-bike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-08, 10:10 AM   #24
mike-on-da-bike
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 160
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
ps,i forgot to add you also see more chicky babes on the bikes haaaaaaa you can chat em up on the highway man.you see some nice g-strings as well in my city haaaaaaaa
mike-on-da-bike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-08, 11:13 AM   #25
countersTrike
Recumbent Trike
 
countersTrike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Santa Cruz, CA.
Bikes: WizWheelz TerraTrike with Velo-Kit & 24V motor, completely enclosed (fiberglass/kevlar & Lexan) EZ SX Tad with 36V motor
Posts: 566
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicbicyclist View Post
Umm, if it helps you ride more, why not. I wouldnt ride a bike for longer distances if not for mine. The OP sounds like he could benefit greatly from it, and prevent him from using a car instead.
Agreed. It took 2 years with knee/hip pain, but having a 36 volt motor installed last year has multiplied distance, added acceleration (especially at Stop signs), and flattened hills. As an assist, I can 'assist IT' too! Mixing oil with gas, leaving clouds of blue smoke, and competing with every boom box in the area to see who is noisier is way back in my past.

countersTrike
countersTrike 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 06:22 PM.