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Old 05-22-12, 02:51 PM   #1
profstack
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E-bike or ultra-light bike ?

Preface - Last week, on bike to work day Friday, I rode my old stodgy Schwinn Probe commuter, the one with a Made-in-USA Tru-Temper frame. Two guys rode to work on ultra-light road bikes, so light that I could pick one up with one finger. One was a Cannondale R5000.

It got me to thinking: Would it be wiser to spend $3k on a good e-bike (Focus, Ohm, Kalkhoff, etc.) OR go for a very light bike which would make the ride less fatiguing? I am over 60 years young and get pretty tired trying to commute every day on the Schwinn.

How would an e-bike or ultra-light bike be better than the other?
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Old 05-22-12, 03:07 PM   #2
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If you've got hills around where you live in Seattle and your 60 years young I would go with the e-bike. You could put one together like I did and look forward to driving a whole lot less. You can load the e-bike with panniers and take items to and from work, get groceries, pick up your mail, etc. The e-bike will pay for itself.
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Old 05-22-12, 03:42 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by profstack View Post
Preface - Last week, on bike to work day Friday, I rode my old stodgy Schwinn Probe commuter, the one with a Made-in-USA Tru-Temper frame. Two guys rode to work on ultra-light road bikes, so light that I could pick one up with one finger. One was a Cannondale R5000.

It got me to thinking: Would it be wiser to spend $3k on a good e-bike (Focus, Ohm, Kalkhoff, etc.) OR go for a very light bike which would make the ride less fatiguing? I am over 60 years young and get pretty tired trying to commute every day on the Schwinn.

How would an e-bike or ultra-light bike be better than the other?
Bikes are highly specialized. Using an ultra-light road bike won't make the commute necessarily less fatiguing. Take a test ride on one and see if you are comfortable on it. Also, they are not the best commuters. No racks, so anything you are carrying is on your back. Aerodynamic seating positions aren't always kind on one's back, etc. Much like why a sports car is not the best choice for your grocery getter.

The Kalkhoffs and etc, do have some nice commuting models. There is also an admitted pleasure riding with high quality and reliable components.
I have an over the top nice road bike/commuter. If I had to choose between it an my Panasonic ebike I'd choose the ebike because I can make more and larger hauls with it. If you want less fatiguing add a motor, and the high end ebikes like the ones you listed really are nice machines.
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Old 05-23-12, 08:27 AM   #4
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Being of the same age a similar thought ran through my mind when I got my bike 2 weeks ago. I like my choice of going with an ebike, a Trek FX+ . I live in an area where I can't go a mile without running into hills. I wanted a bike that I knew would help me stay on the bike on longer rides. In effect the bike has flattened my rides and given me the opportunity to choose the intensity. The bike is different enough from my road bike to give riding another dimension, it's one that I'm enjoying.
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