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Old 09-08-08, 02:06 PM   #1
adamtki
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I still can't pass up a commute race, even on an electric

I sure got a good workout this morning. I was going about 22 on my Bionx, and I was slowly approaching a roadie. The guy looked pretty fit so I wasn't surprised it took a little longer to catch up to him. I think he was going 20 and I could tell he wasn't pushing himself. Once I did pass him, he latched on my rear like a train even though I sped up to 24. He was so close, I think his front wheel overlapped my rear wheel. Then I had to stop becuase of construction. Once I was allowed through, he just took off in front of me. Ok, so I couldn't let a human outrun a motor! I pushed myself to go 30 in order to pass him. I think he was going about 28 on the flats! It took a quarter mile to pass him. He muttered something when I passed, but I couldn't make out what he said. After I passed him, we hit a small incline so it was no contest at that point. He fell far back and I didn't see him again.

But man, I wish I had legs like that! I was impressed!
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Old 09-08-08, 03:18 PM   #2
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Last month riding my road bike on my commute home, I saw a MTB pull out onto the trail ahead of me. I thought - MTB! I'll run down this infidel in short order [usually MTB are slower, though some riders are pretty strong]. In short order he started pulling away. That triggered me to pursue (I had a hunch) and confirm he had an electric motor font hub. I did have to reach 24 mph and take over a minute to catch up.
My normal road bike commute speed is closer to 16mph. When I get my Bionx installed on my cross bike next week I hope to pull some 20+ mph commutes.
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Old 09-12-08, 05:13 AM   #3
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I was riding my electric bike last year when I came across a guy all decked out with the team logo's on his shirt, expensive trial type bike. He was about 100 ahead of me. So I thought what the heck, lets see if I can keep up with him. Well it didn't take long, and I passed him on a hill. He was going a pretty fast speed for the hill. I thought to myself this guy probably did 25 miles at least already. But it is the first time I ever passed a die hard biker. I'm used to seeing them zoom past me.
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Old 09-14-08, 01:51 AM   #4
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Another story riding against a fast roadie. I was casually riding home about 18 mph and passed a roadie who stopped for a break. After about 3 miles, I see this bicyclist in my rear view mirror, 100m away... That never happens. Bicyclist don't ever catch up to me. So I thought, I'll pick it up... I need a little more exercise anyway. I sped up to 23 and the guy was still there... a tad bit closer. I then had to stop at a red light so he got up close before the light turned green. I decided, I better pick it up so I pushed myself to go 26 and the guy was able to follow me for the next mile. I got slowed at another light, but didn't need to stop. So at this point, I let the guy in front of me. As he passed, first thing i said was "man, you're fast!". I told him I had an electric bike and he was the first guy to pass me. For the next 3 miles, I let him lead and he kept up 25-26 mph the whole time. We hit a slight incline, so I decided at that point to take the lead. I pushed it up to 28 and it was the last I saw of him.

Again... I just couldn't let a human beat me since I have a motor. If I get passed by a regular bike, i'd be pretty lame. I doubt if I could ever train myself to go that fast on a regular bike. I have a back problem so I can't get into an aero tuck position so my aerodynamics suck (not to mention other problems stemming from my back). But I'm sure I could train up a little more.

Anyway, running into these roadies makes the commute a lot of fun. I'm actually hoping to run into another electric bicyclist. That would be a nice "race".
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Old 09-14-08, 04:52 PM   #5
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How are you guys getting over 20 mph with Bionx? Have you disabled the speed controllers or are you using the big, 500W, only legal in California versions?
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Old 09-14-08, 05:17 PM   #6
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Do controllers limit power or rpm?
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Old 09-14-08, 09:10 PM   #7
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How are you guys getting over 20 mph with Bionx? Have you disabled the speed controllers or are you using the big, 500W, only legal in California versions?
I'm not sure about Bionix, but I have a pair of Schwinn bikes with the currie motor, 450w and with a 60volt battery pack, It'll do 40mph without pedal assist. If I change the controller, it'll probably do 50mph.

And it's a $350 bike from Canadian tire!!

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Old 09-15-08, 12:48 PM   #8
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How are you guys getting over 20 mph with Bionx? Have you disabled the speed controllers or are you using the big, 500W, only legal in California versions?
I have the PL500HS.

I used to have the PL250. I'd turn off the speed limit too, but it was harder to feel the assist the closer I got to 25mph. Once you pass 25, it's harder to ride with the electric assist than with a regular bike.
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Old 09-15-08, 02:27 PM   #9
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Do controllers limit power or rpm?
I have no experience with one--but apparently the standard Bionx controller limits the speed to 20 mph. There is a code you can enter to disable that limit, but I don't know how much faster it will work at.
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Old 09-16-08, 03:26 AM   #10
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I'm not sure about Bionix, but I have a pair of Schwinn bikes with the currie motor, 450w and with a 60volt battery pack, It'll do 40mph without pedal assist. If I change the controller, it'll probably do 50mph.

And it's a $350 bike from Canadian tire!!

That's a scooter, not a bicycle! ...The 20 mph controller exists because that's the legal limit for an electric bicycle. All of the states in the U.S. have that regulation. Any faster, and you've got to get a license and all.

...I know that a lot of folks are out there riding these things anyway. I am concerned that the increasing popularity will result in some crackdowns on electric bicycles.

I also think that the law needs to be modified a little, since strong riders and/or riders under the right conditions (think downhill and tailwinds) can go over 20 without electricity. ...
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Old 09-17-08, 04:25 PM   #11
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In Ontario, the law only requires that the electric assist be inoperable above 32 km/h (that's 20 mph in American) and total motor power be less than 500 W. I'm pretty sure that riding an e-bike above that speed is legal, as long as it's powered only by some combination of wind, gravity, and muscles.
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Old 09-17-08, 07:54 PM   #12
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That's a scooter, not a bicycle! ...The 20 mph controller exists because that's the legal limit for an electric bicycle. All of the states in the U.S. have that regulation. Any faster, and you've got to get a license and all...
The way your response is worded implies that this is a speed limit regulation that is enforced by police. That is inaccurate. This regulation for electric bikes is about keeping dangerous products from being sold to the public.

By legal limit, the bike, or "product" is considered a danger to the rider or "consumer" if it can exceed 20 mph (if you weigh 170lbs). If it exceeds 20 mph, the consequences are to the maker of the product for selling a dangerous low-speed electric bicycle to the public. Bikes do not magically turn into scooters when they exceed 20 mph (contrary to the belief of the crooked police and courthouse in Scottsdale, AZ).

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Old 09-20-08, 11:42 PM   #13
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Talking Thats sad

I had a simular experience only i was in my SUV.
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Old 09-21-08, 05:00 AM   #14
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By legal limit, the bike, or "product" is considered a danger to the rider or "consumer" if it can exceed 20 mph (if you weigh 170lbs). If it exceeds 20 mph, the consequences are to the maker of the product for selling a dangerous low-speed electric bicycle to the public. Bikes do not magically turn into scooters when they exceed 20 mph (contrary to the belief of the crooked police and courthouse in Scottsdale, AZ).
I read on the link you posted. Scottsdale is part of my ride, so I have to deal with that obstacle. ...I've only exceeded the limit once, by 1 mph, for a few seconds, when I had a car behind me and I couldn't get over. ...So no troubles yet.
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Old 09-21-08, 05:05 AM   #15
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In Ontario, the law only requires that the electric assist be inoperable above 32 km/h (that's 20 mph in American) and total motor power be less than 500 W. I'm pretty sure that riding an e-bike above that speed is legal, as long as it's powered only by some combination of wind, gravity, and muscles.
It's the same law here. I can go over 20 mph on my own power + gravity + wind. I'm not that strong of a cyclist under normal conditions, though. Hence, my reason for a motor.

The poster seemed to be saying that he was getting 40 mph without pedaling. That seems to fall into scooter territory.
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Old 09-21-08, 08:51 AM   #16
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yeah moped speed there
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Old 12-06-09, 05:21 AM   #17
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Why turn it into a competition? It is really annoying when you encounter people on any form of transport who have to race each other. They are always dangerous because they have to out do each other regardless of the hazards they create. The wost ones are adolescents on scooters where none of them can bear to be left behind so they pull all types of dangerous stunts to keep up.

Go to a racetrack
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Old 12-11-09, 12:52 AM   #18
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The 20 mph controller exists because that's the legal limit for an electric bicycle. All of the states in the U.S. have that regulation. Any faster, and you've got to get a license and all.
We don't seem to have a specific law for electric bicycles here in Hawaii. There has been one introduced into the legislature for the last two years but it didn't pass. So, as far as I can tell, motorized bicycles are in fact considered mopeds. They are limited to 35 mph. The license for a moped and a bicycle are identical so this doesn't seem to create any issues I know of. Both are required to ride in bicycle lanes.
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Old 01-01-10, 09:03 AM   #19
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Another story riding against a fast roadie. I was casually riding home about 18 mph and passed a roadie who stopped for a break. After about 3 miles, I see this bicyclist in my rear view mirror, 100m away... That never happens. Bicyclist don't ever catch up to me. So I thought, I'll pick it up... I need a little more exercise anyway. I sped up to 23 and the guy was still there... a tad bit closer. I then had to stop at a red light so he got up close before the light turned green. I decided, I better pick it up so I pushed myself to go 26 and the guy was able to follow me for the next mile. I got slowed at another light, but didn't need to stop. So at this point, I let the guy in front of me. As he passed, first thing i said was "man, you're fast!". I told him I had an electric bike and he was the first guy to pass me. For the next 3 miles, I let him lead and he kept up 25-26 mph the whole time. We hit a slight incline, so I decided at that point to take the lead. I pushed it up to 28 and it was the last I saw of him.

Again... I just couldn't let a human beat me since I have a motor. If I get passed by a regular bike, i'd be pretty lame. I doubt if I could ever train myself to go that fast on a regular bike. I have a back problem so I can't get into an aero tuck position so my aerodynamics suck (not to mention other problems stemming from my back). But I'm sure I could train up a little more.

Anyway, running into these roadies makes the commute a lot of fun. I'm actually hoping to run into another electric bicyclist. That would be a nice "race".
Got news for you, but most competitive road bikers can easily hold 25mph for well over an hour while drafting, and a "good" road cyclist paceline will routinely do 27mph or so for 50 miles on flat territory.

I'd actually be impressed to see an e-bike keeping up with the pacelines I've been riding with - we hit sections of 30+ mph pickups on straightaways fairly frequently before coming back down to 26mph. The sprint pickups that the group does are well into the 700+ watt territory gauged by guys using Powertaps. I'm sure you could easily do it with a 500watt bike engine, but it's pretty rare to see one of those around here.

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Old 01-01-10, 03:09 PM   #20
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Going Postal?

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Got news for you, but most competitive road bikers can easily hold 25mph for well over an hour while drafting, and a "good" road cyclist paceline will routinely do 27mph or so for 50 miles on flat territory.
The fastest ever Tour de France was in 2005 and the average speed was 25.88 mph. The stage lengths differ but the road ones are well over 100 miles and the amount of elevation gained is also up there. I would think that an average rider on an e bike, certainly with an average rider aboard, would be hard pressed to make the top tier at the event.

Instead of trying to beat a cyclist why not offer to let them take advantage of your draft? I have been on both ends of that scenario and it is very effective, especially in a headwind situation.
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Old 01-01-10, 06:32 PM   #21
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The fastest ever Tour de France was in 2005 and the average speed was 25.88 mph. The stage lengths differ but the road ones are well over 100 miles and the amount of elevation gained is also up there. I would think that an average rider on an e bike, certainly with an average rider aboard, would be hard pressed to make the top tier at the event.

Instead of trying to beat a cyclist why not offer to let them take advantage of your draft? I have been on both ends of that scenario and it is very effective, especially in a headwind situation.
Well said Mabman,

I have done just such a thing with our local Mtb racing club. I took a group of Juniors for an hour of pacing behind my ebike as an experiment. They rode their mountain bikes with slicks. This was on paved roads. They didn't have much trouble staying on the wheel on the flats, but up any incline mild to moderate I had them seeing stars, I had to ease up a few times to let them get back on. As long as there is juice in the battery the ebike doesn't get tired or fade on the hills. Great workout for everyone involved, me included.

We may do it again next year.
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Old 01-01-10, 08:03 PM   #22
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Thumbs up MPH claims could use some contexual info

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I'm not sure about Bionix, but I have a pair of Schwinn bikes with the currie motor, 450w and with a 60volt battery pack, It'll do 40mph without pedal assist. If I change the controller, it'll probably do 50mph.

And it's a $350 bike from Canadian tire!!

I'm cautious about 30mph+ claims. Don't mean to say they aren't so, but I deal with 16 to 24mph top speeds. Going 30mph+ would 1) scare me, 2) be dangerous for this old man, and 3) doesn't happen when I drop 800' over 2.5 miles down a small mountain (northeastern AL).

Last year I commuted 6mi one way with a modest 225' hill to college. I used a 36+V Lith-ion battery which would hold 17-19mph with lite pedalling; 14-15mph climbing the hill with moderate pedalling. The return trip headed directly into the afternoon ~15mph prevailing winds. With the battery partially used up, I often had to down shift and pedal a tad harder to hold 16mph. Sometimes the wind didn't come up and other times a hot 25mph furnace blast would force a 2 gear downshift.

Roadies didn't pass me for the longest yet one day, I blew by a guy sitting at a red light which turned green before I scrubbed off my speed. Quarter mile later he eased on by with a good 4-5mph to spare. Hmmm. . .

With a full load of classes, already being fatigued off and on, and more commutting the next semester, I opted for a 48+V upgrade. My old C-lyte 409 came to life, probably a 30% gain in torque. I'm not sure how fast it'll run, sorta fizzes on toque around 24mph. My comfort 80rpm cadence runs out of gearing around 20mph, so that's a sweet cruise speed. Think I've only hit full 100% throttle on 3 occassions this last 6 months. Most impressive, the head winds and hill can't defeat it.

Have to race any and everyone! Pulled up by 2 crotch rockets at a red light last week. Got their attention and challenged them to race. They laughed. Now I know how these lights are timed. Green light, they pull away, I build to 20+mph hour. 1/4 mile later I pass 'em as they sit at the next red light that's turning green, throw my hands in the air yelled "I win" from the middle of the intersection. Got a thumbs up as they he hawed by me.

Last edited by SoSauty; 01-01-10 at 08:08 PM. Reason: left out a word
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Old 01-02-10, 02:23 PM   #23
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I'm a clyde turning roadie, and have had interest in electric bikes as a possible commuting solution.

Racing "roadies" on an electric bike has got to be the dumbest thing I've ever heard. What does it prove? Wanna race my car or motorcycle? or maybe I could charter a plane.
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Old 01-02-10, 02:42 PM   #24
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Racing "roadies" on an electric bike has got to be the dumbest thing I've ever heard.
Perhaps we can also look at weightlifting contests between humans and forklifts.

My friend's Bionx equipped Catrike can easily exceed the legal limit for power assisted bikes here (50 kmh)... and I have hit 60 kmh on it without breaking a sweat.
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