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  1. #1
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
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    Electric-assist Touring bike???

    Hey, why not? It could be used by the weakest rider, or maybe the one pulling the trailer with all the supplies so everyone else can ride unencumbered.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3eNdU9QQZUk

  2. #2
    Scott n4zou's Avatar
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    I don’t know of many places that are going to let you plug in your charger and hang around for a couple of hours or more while it tops off the batteries on the electric bike. It would be maddening to cruse for an hour and then find a place to recharge. For commuting I could see using an electric bike as you could charge it while you're at work and at home. Touring on an electric bike for several days or weeks in far away places? No way.

  3. #3
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by n4zou
    I donít know of many places that are going to let you plug in your charger and hang around for a couple of hours or more while it tops off the batteries on the electric bike. It would be maddening to cruse for an hour and then find a place to recharge. For commuting I could see using an electric bike as you could charge it while you're at work and at home. Touring on an electric bike for several days or weeks in far away places? No way.
    Well, campgrounds have power outlets for their guests anyway. That's how all those caravan campers still manage to watch TV while they're "camping".

  4. #4
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    Oddly enough, recently I've been looking into this as well. To judge from what I've read, using a motor for long distance touring is possible, but not yet practical for most people, in most situations. The lightest batteries are expensive, and still pretty heavy for what you get out of them. And, as far as I know, every comercially available battery that can do this job will take a while to charge.
    It's still possible though - you could carry 30 pounds of lithium ion polymer batteries and charge up at night, if you are staying at a campsite with outlets, or at a motel. Or you could use light weight solar panels, if you could find a place to mount them (or the time to set them up and wait - e.g. midday).

    Some links:
    http://www.cisolar.com/catSolarebike.html
    http://www.ihpva.org/pipermail/trike...er/034046.html
    http://www.eddos.com/solarcycling/HPArticle.pdf
    http://www.solartrike.com/

    Hopefully there will be improvements in energy storage -- for example:

    http://lees.mit.edu/lees/posters/RU13_signorelli.pdf
    http://www.autoindustry.co.uk/news/16-04-07
    http://www.gizmag.com.au/go/5192/

    http://www.dpreview.com/news/0503/05...sh1minbatt.asp (not sure what has become of this)



    ..... and improving the efficiency of the vehicle couldn't hurt. e.g. recumbent with fairing and a chain drive motor
    http://ecospeed.net/
    http://www.blackbirdbikes.com/electricmotors.htm

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Ummmm ..............

    why don't you just use a motorcycle?

    If you're gonna cheat, may as well do a good job at it.
    ...

  6. #6
    59'er Mariner Fan's Avatar
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    Actually, I was just thinking about how cool it would be to have an electric car. Work is 15 miles away so electric would be a great choice. The electric bike hub would be a fun little project.

  7. #7
    e-Biker
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    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl
    Ummmm ..............

    why don't you just use a motorcycle?

    If you're gonna cheat, may as well do a good job at it.
    Cheat? I didn't realize touring was some sort of contest.

    eBikes for touring does make some sense provided the system is light and can freewheel when turned off. You don't need to run on the battery all the time.

    You might also consider a system with a regen, like the Bion-x, but you're gonna do lots of pedaling to recharge the battery though.

    A full recharge of the Bion-x 36V Li-ion battery takes about 3hrs. Unless you're in deep woods, finding an outlet to use for 3 hours shouldn't be that hard.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by KindOfBlue
    This is what has become of it:
    http://www.google.com/search?q=digit...ient=firefox-a

  9. #9
    __________ seeker333's Avatar
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    Probably more practical than electric

    http://www.bikemotor.com/

  10. #10
    e-Biker
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    Quote Originally Posted by seeker333
    Probably more practical than electric

    http://www.bikemotor.com/
    Friction drive = bad idea.

    Premature tire wear, too much torque causes slippage, wet tire causes slippage and not to mention it's gasoline. Eurk!

  11. #11
    Gone, but not forgotten Shiznaz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seeker333
    Probably more practical than electric

    http://www.bikemotor.com/
    can you imagine how terrible that noise would be?

  12. #12
    __________ seeker333's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shiznaz
    can you imagine how terrible that noise would be?
    Yes, I agree it would be loud. Hearing protection required. Still, far more practical than electric for long tours. Those 2 strokes get 100mpg +. My dad has an ancient 2 stroke "motorized bike". It must be at least 60 years old. 2 stroke is a proven, reliable and economic technology. Actually I think the link I provided also lists a 4 stroke engine somewhere in there. Evidently those guys have been adding motors to bikes for years.

    Then again, a sag van probably makes even more sense than a power-assisted bike. You could really splurge then. Taxi service. Refrigerated storage for food. Cold beer. High quality, economical meals. Full kitchen. Coleman stoves and lighting. Huge tents and deluxe sleeping gear. Workstand(s). Tools. Spare parts. Spare bikes. Ridng unencumbered by luggage, easier/longer rides. And did I mention cold beer? If you're ate up with saddle sores, you could drive for a day or two. You get the idea.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl
    Ummmm ..............

    why don't you just use a motorcycle?

    If you're gonna cheat, may as well do a good job at it.

    I'm interested in this not because I want to stop pedalling, but because it would open up many possibilities. e.g., maintaining a fast speed even when loaded down and/or in hilly areas, extending range (e.g. 40 or 50 km/h average instead of 20), being able to take it easy when tired and still arrive on time, etc.

    I don't always want to go quickly - I'm all for going slow and enjoying the scenery - but there are some situations where the bike is not an option because it is too slow, and there are some areas that I would rather get through quickly, whether it be on a tour or riding locally.

    cheating-- I don't have any commitment to powering the bike entirely on my own, and I don't see any reason why I should -- the electricity used is insignificant by current standards (and solar panels are an option anyway), I don't particularly want to claim to have gone from x to y on my own power, I'm not worried about appearing lazy, etc

    why not use a motorcycle? I can't fix it if it breaks, they use gas, they're noisy, they have to be insured, you need a license... and I like exercise.


    are there any li-ion batteries that can be charged in a few seconds like the prototype in the article? all I see is 1 hour or more. thats not bad, but if I were to use an e-bike for touring it would be in order to go farther than I otherwise could - which means either carrying a lot of battery weight, or recharging regularly. it would be a lot easier if it only took a few seconds - e.g. I'd guess that at many small stores and fast food places no one would mind if you plugged in your charger for a few seconds (and paid a dime for the electricity, perhaps) - but at an hour or two it would be a different story.

  14. #14
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    I'm not certain, though I do know my mothers mini digital camera takes less then a half hour to charge. I would be willing to bet that if the one in the article is capable of charges in a few seconds but the commercial products are not, the limiting factor is manufacturing cost. Always seems to go that way.

  15. #15
    Prairie Path Commuter
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    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl
    Ummmm ..............

    why don't you just use a motorcycle?

    If you're gonna cheat, may as well do a good job at it.
    This is just my opinion but to me touring on an assisted bike would somewhat be like camping in a fully equipped RV. It somewhat defeats the purpose. But to each their own.

  16. #16
    e-Biker
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    Quote Originally Posted by robmcl
    This is just my opinion but to me touring on an assisted bike would somewhat be like camping in a fully equipped RV. It somewhat defeats the purpose. But to each their own.
    Then you simply don't understand eBikes that's all.

    PS; My eBike doesn't have a stove, shower, TV or even a bed. Not a very good "fully equipped RV" is it?

  17. #17
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by becnal
    Hey, why not?
    'Cause it's lame?

    Electric assist is antithetical to many aspects of cycle tourism, such as: improving fitness, challenging yourself, traveling under your own power, freeing yourself from the need to plug in.

    Plus, it would utterly suck if the assist conked out for any reason in mid-tour, especially if you decided that "hey, I can carry more stuff this time around, since I'll have the motor with me!"

    And charging an electric bike in a matter of minutes, without blowing a bunch of fuses, is the stuff of fantasy.

    Granted you still get two nice things with electric assist: the wind in your hair and a quiet ride. And IMO if you're 60+ years old or have some kind of physical problem, then tour however you like. If you're young and in fairly good shape, then I recommend you either look into credit card touring, ultralight touring, start training, and/or suck it up.

  18. #18
    Prairie Path Commuter
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeuser
    Then you simply don't understand eBikes that's all.

    PS; My eBike doesn't have a stove, shower, TV or even a bed. Not a very good "fully equipped RV" is it?
    You are absolutely right. Although, I could see it in the mountains or with elderly people.

  19. #19
    Scott n4zou's Avatar
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    If you want to tour with a motor you might as well go with a gasoline engine. The Chinese make engines specifically designed to be mounted on a bicycle frame. The Chinese made Flying Pigeon is the bicycle frame they used but almost any standard diamond frame bicycle will do. Here is a photo of a Flying Pigeon with a bicycle engine installed.
    These engines are packaged and sold as a kit and are available via the Internet and Ebay.

    I have a bicycle with one of these kits installed. I've been using for 3 years now and have over 5,000 miles on it.

    Would I tour on it? Of course not! I use it for getting around town to run a few errands like picking up a few grocers or paying a few bills. I also take it to motorcycle events where it's a big hit as most of them think it's a real motorbike from the 1920's.

  20. #20
    e-Biker
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    Quote Originally Posted by robmcl
    You are absolutely right. Although, I could see it in the mountains or with elderly people.
    Why elderly? Is there some reason non-elderly people can't have eBikes for touring?

  21. #21
    Gone, but not forgotten Shiznaz's Avatar
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    Increased physical fitness? Old people have an excuse, not that you really need one. Ride what you like; just don't buzz me with your weedwhacker bike and I'll be happy.

  22. #22
    e-Biker
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shiznaz
    Increased physical fitness? Old people have an excuse, not that you really need one. Ride what you like; just don't buzz me with your weedwhacker bike and I'll be happy.
    You want fitness? I'll just put my Bion-x into regen mode number 4. Lets see just how fit you really are. LOL!

    The whole physical fitness issue and eBikes keeps coming up all the time by uninformed people and it keeps getting shot down all the time.

    The problem is that you have some preconception in your head of who eBikes are for and you're completly wrong. They're not for "lazy" people, they're not for old people and they're not for "cheaters".

    Just look at the bike in my sig and think of the olympic level cyclist that rode it. 'nough said!

  23. #23
    Gone, but not forgotten Shiznaz's Avatar
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    I'm not attacking or defending bikes with power assist... nor was I specifically talking about'bion-x' or whatever. I didn't call anyone lazy either. As a casual observer though, I could understand an elderly person riding one of this more than a young fit person. I wouldn't care either way. Ride what you want. If I had someone on a power assist bike buzz me or try to race me or other such shenanigans I would have no patience for them. What does that ridiculous bike in your sig have to do with anything?

  24. #24
    e-Biker
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    That ridiculous bike in my Sig is the Yamaha Racer-01 eBike. It's the fastest cyclocross you'll ever see. Why? Because if you put the fastest cyclocross athlete on the planet on that bike, he'll go even faster.

    Yamaha built that bike to prove a point. And they succeeded big time! And that point is what you missed. That's what it has to do with "it".

    PS: Yamaha also sells a whole line of various eBikes from commuters to more sporty models.

  25. #25
    Gone, but not forgotten Shiznaz's Avatar
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    Thats not a cyclocross bike buddy. Try shouldering that up a muddy hill.

    Put any athlete on any performance improving device and he will go faster. But whats the point?
    Last edited by Shiznaz; 05-07-07 at 03:21 PM.

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