Bike Forums - View Single Post - Mid-Drive Electric Bike (E-Bike) For Touring?
Old 10-24-18, 01:05 AM
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radroad
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Originally Posted by AlanK View Post
Did you actually read the entire original post? Crank drive bikes can be peddled without power and only weight about 15 pounds more than conventional bikes, so you can peddle them at least occasionally without power. The extra weight would be problematic for extended periods, so yes mid-drive bikes probably aren't well-suited for extended touring in remote areas. On the other hand, in this day and age there aren't many places left where electricity is completely absent.

So unless you'll be regularly peddling for days at a time without access to electricity, mid-drive bikes seem viable.

That's not quite accurate. A typical touring bike weighs between 25- 30 lbs. The typical ebike, equipped with fenders and a rack and mtb style tires usually weigh between 55 to 75 lbs. The radrover fat ebike weighs around 66 lbs. for example. A super lightweight emtb like the pivot shuttle weighs around 44 lbs. The faraday porter with a very low capacity battery, around 300 watt hours, still weighs 42 lbs.

If you want a lightweight ebike, you will have to give up a lot of battery capacity and therefore range. You'll also need lightweight tires and wheels, which is a terrible idea with the added weight of electrical components and a battery and a motor.

Also, while I think ebikes are great and will likely buy one at some point next year, but the possibility of a mechanical failure is not a minor consideration. At that point, not only do you have all of your touring gear, but you have to pedal a 55 to 75 lbs. bicycle to boot. EBikes do fail. The motor, controller or battery are all possible points of component failure. These are not foolproof components. Most of these components are being churned out in large numbers under ridiculous time pressure to meet delivery deadlines.

Dismissing the possibility of ebike component failure as a trivial issue is a mistake. You will need a contingency plan if you want to tour on an ebike.

There are certainly documented ebike tours. It's clearly possible. But you will need some way to replace or repair electrical components if and when they fail, and potentially even replace an inoperable bicycle. I won't name names there are plenty of reports of component failure that you can read about on ebike company's Facebook pages or on ****** or other forums.

I would go so far as to say you should EXPECT electrical component failure and have a plan for repair or replacement. It's not like a driving road trip where auto mechanics are around every corner. Obviously, you will need some location where you can recharge a battery for 3-7 hours at a time as well.

It's doable, but you need to be realistic and plan to account for recharging sessions and how to deal with mechanical failures.
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