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Old 03-23-08, 12:44 PM   #1
lexmark
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electric bikes... worth getting?

i stumbled apon a flyer today and noticed these electric bikes have been going down in price quite alot over the past year... its a schwinn I-zip that claims speeds up to 30 km with pedaling, that would be awesome

The only reason i would ever consider getting one is because i use my bike for transportation and it can get a bit frustrating to pedal every morning in the cold or rain or snow, i figure the riding time would be cut in half if i could go as fast as shwinn claims the bike will ride...



so does anyone have any experience with electric bikes? are they gimics or do they perform well under normal street riding conditions?
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Old 03-23-08, 01:07 PM   #2
East Hill
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There are a lot of members joining up because they have found that e-bikes are a very good choice in transportation for them.

I can't address the issue of which bike is best, or how they perform, but I know that the members in the E-bike forum would be very happy to help you!

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Old 03-23-08, 05:57 PM   #3
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My hilly, 10 mile (16 km) commute takes me less than 30 minutes on my e-bike, which would probably take over an hour without the motor. By comparison, driving takes about 20 minutes. So the motor has made bicycling to work feasible for me.
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Old 03-23-08, 06:21 PM   #4
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Some electric bikes can be *very* worth getting, and are simply a great way to augment your riding abilities. For whatever reasons people may have, be it need for faster commute times, physical ability, or so on, the right e-bike can easily be the difference between misery and ease.

There are offerings out there for varying needs, from folding bikes to cargo use, pre-built bicycles with motors on them as well as a range of mod kits which work very well.

Unfortunately, on the flip-side, there are a fair number of them often not worth the effort - some examples include the cheaper pre-built bikes which use the Currie system, like the Schwinn models. That might not be a universal situation, but they're not the greatest offering from what I understand.

I would suggest coming over to the e-bike forum here and we'll help you out.
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Old 03-23-08, 06:31 PM   #5
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Abneycat sums it up well.

I purchased my e-bike initially for strength rehabilitation after spinal surgery. It has since evolved into a long tailed cargo hauler. Were it not electric assisted many of the loads I've carried with it would have been possible but sheer misery to accomplish.

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Old 03-23-08, 06:47 PM   #6
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Giant is working on a new E-bike to replace their present model. The bike already has a front hub motor, assits pedaling based on how much "hard" the rider pedals, has coast assist, and a throttle for extra oomph when under way. The new bike will have regenerative braking and a lighter battery with longer run time.
E-bikes are great for people like AllenG who have had an injury or people that have been doctor reccomended to exercise but are not in good enough shape to handle a ride of any distance without the assist. They are also good for people commuting that have a little more distance than they are comfortable with or when they need to arrive sweat free.
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Old 03-23-08, 07:00 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Rev.Chuck View Post
Giant is working on a new E-bike to replace their present model. The bike already has a front hub motor, assits pedaling based on how much "hard" the rider pedals, has coast assist, and a throttle for extra oomph when under way. The new bike will have regenerative braking and a lighter battery with longer run time.
E-bikes are great for people like AllenG who have had an injury or people that have been doctor reccomended to exercise but are not in good enough shape to handle a ride of any distance without the assist. They are also good for people commuting that have a little more distance than they are comfortable with or when they need to arrive sweat free.
{neither here nor there but, I prefer the Panasonic drives they had on the Lite/Twist models. With the motor inline to the chain it can take advantage of the bike's gears**

After I got over my neck, rather than outgrowing my e-bike I found it had other applications. Its cargo hauling capability alone makes it an extremely competent utility bike, and the fun factor can't be ignored.
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Old 03-23-08, 09:17 PM   #8
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I haven't used my Crystalyte for a while now, but i'm starting to think about it again, especially now that they've got axle conversion kits so that it can be changed to a rear drive unit..
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Old 03-24-08, 01:35 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by lexmark View Post
...so does anyone have any experience with electric bikes? are they gimics or do they perform well under normal street riding conditions?
The cheap bikes use very-cheap batteries that have very-limited power and ranges. They particularly suffer in hilly terrain.

Good batteries will cost many hundreds of dollars alone, and even then (considering U.S. fuel prices) it's not clear if they are more economical over the long run than a gasoline-engine would be. Electric bikes do tend to be legal to ride more locales than gas-engined kits are, but the justification for that varies.

Best way to consider it is that-
...electrics are good for augmenting pedaling over short to moderate distances.
...Gas engines will not require much of any pedaling, over any distance.

Gas engines used to be drastically dirtier than electrics, because the only bicycle engines you could find were 2-cycles--but there are name-brand 4-cycles now that operate pretty clean.

------

Before you buy anything, you should first contact your vehicle registration dept and inquire if they are legal in your state/locale at all. Many places ban motorized bicycles from public roads completely.

In places where they are totally prohibited some people still buy electric setups and ride them anyway, because they're basically silent and most police don't know enough about e-bikes to know what they're looking at when one goes by.
~

Last edited by Doug5150; 03-24-08 at 01:40 AM.
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Old 03-24-08, 02:49 AM   #10
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At that point might as well get a scooter. Just saying....
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