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I'm not a fan of slapping a motor on a bike but

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I'm not a fan of slapping a motor on a bike but

Old 11-26-23, 11:14 AM
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@cyccommute, thanks for clarifying, though I didn't picture you putting a gas motor on a bike. I think it's fine to enjoy stuff like that briefly and even to fantasize about it. Practical details make themselves clear soon enough. I knew a fellow who had put a gas engine on a bike. The noise was horrific and so were the fumes. He was in high school, so I didn't say a word to discourage him. He was experimenting, and I knew he would get practical one day. He did. He became a heroic bike mechanic as a young adult. Unfortunately, while riding his unmotorized bike, a car driver hit and killed him. He was so young that it was tragic, and I learned that I had been an influence on him. It's painful to think about.

I am not as opposed to motorized bikes as you are. I don't crave one yet, but eventually, I think I'll have one. I read a lot of stories about some use it to go faster, some use it to go farther, and some use it to ride when riding a bike is otherwise impractical. In fact, the area around our home in rural New York State is quite hilly. I occasionally ride my bike to the food coop where we buy most of our food, but only occasionally, because it's a big undertaking because of the hills. It's only two miles each way, but whenever I think about it, I ask myself if I have the energy to take it on. If I had an e-bike, it would be a no-brainer. And compared with driving a car, that's a win, because the difference between the energy the e-bike trip takes and the energy a car -- electric or gas -- uses, is a big one. If an e-bike replaces a car, or if a few e-bike trips replace a few car trips, it seems like a good thing to me. In my current life, I drive a car only once or twice a week. I'd be happy if I could reduce that further.

@52telecaster, it's amazing that you say that. The Honda Fit is the only car model I can picture owning right now, and I am also dismayed at the selection of electric cars in the US market. Asia and Europe have Fit-sized electric cars, and we don't. The Chevy Bolt is the closest, and they just discontinued the car version and now only make the SUV version. Grr! My spouse's car is pretty nifty but it's insanely oversized and insanely overpowered. I thought one driving (!) force behind EVs is that they save energy. Well, we're not saving energy when we accelerate from 0 to 60 in under 3 seconds. Do we really need that ability? These makers are showing off, and yes, I'm impressed, but I really could live without it. Will we ever do anything about the American appetite for power?
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Old 11-26-23, 11:55 AM
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If a bicycle has a motor on it, we should call it a motorcycle.
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Old 11-26-23, 12:28 PM
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The bike in the first post appears to be an old "Paper Route" special with the guards to keep the bags out of the spokes. It also looks to me like a pretty well executed homage to a Whizzer. Oh what I would have given to do my paper route on that bike!
Like the bike or don't, but it seems a shame to turn this into an anti-ICE thread, but I guess that's the definition of thread drift.
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Old 11-26-23, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie
If a bicycle has a motor on it, we should call it a motorcycle.
You mean all electric so-called bikes are really motorcycles? They do have motors like them electric motorcycles that are becoming the rage.
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Old 11-26-23, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider
I don't own a car. Until August, my spouse owned two. They both died that month. She bought one new car to replace them both, a Tesla Model Y. I've driven it a fair bit. There are some things about it I don't like, but overall, I like it. There are some problems with electric cars, but they're being worked out, and I can see that this is the future. I'm still opposed to building our society so dependent on cars, and that's one reason I refuse to own one, but if you have to have a car, and if it's feasible to have an electric one, it's a good idea.
If you are living in New York, and more specifically in Manhattan, owning and keeping a car is a liability. Between bicycles and public transportation, one can manage quite nicely. There are very few cities where this is possible in US. The living and working environment has been deliberately organizes for our dependence on cars use of gasoline). Realistically, I do not see it change on a larger scale in my life-time, and I fear, even my children’s life-time.

We contemplated an electric car but decided against it for a number of reasons, it’s not quite there where it needs to be - inconvenient to charge for longer trips and the more I look at the broader picture about the energy, the more doubtful it seems that under the current methodologies, the energy requirements for batteries can be scaled up that easily, as was advertised.

[At this point, a small engine hybrid, such as a Prius, seems to make more sense and it is indeed one of our cars to go about the town. For longer trips (several hundred miles or more), at our age, Prius gets too tiring, and a larger car works out better. Selecting the right type car and driving practices do make a huge difference overall gas mileage. We routinely get better mileage on highways than EPA’s highway estimates.]
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Old 11-26-23, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by abdon
You mean all electric so-called bikes are really motorcycles? They do have motors like them electric motorcycles that are becoming the rage.
If they have a motor, literally, then why not!
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Old 11-26-23, 01:40 PM
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I remember mopeds were a fun thing for people. A bunch of companies had the gas motor-pedal assist. I wouldn't call them motorcycle, more motorized cycled imo.
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Old 11-26-23, 02:19 PM
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@Alan K, that's right. Here in Manhattan, not only do most of us not need cars, most of us don't want them. I realize it's a rare place to be like this in this country.

Changes are coming, and they're not as hard to implement as some people think. Changing people's mindsets is hard, though. I think they have to see how things have improved for them to see the changes as improvements. In other words, mere proposals don't look good. NYC still devotes a great amount of space and money for motor traffic. They're working on reducing that, and residents are pissed off.
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Old 11-26-23, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Alan K
If they have a motor, literally, then why not!
For better or worse the rest of the world has decided than an e-bike with an electric motor is still a bike.
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Old 11-26-23, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider
@Alan K, that's right. Here in Manhattan, not only do most of us not need cars, most of us don't want them. I realize it's a rare place to be like this in this country.

Changes are coming, and they're not as hard to implement as some people think. Changing people's mindsets is hard, though. I think they have to see how things have improved for them to see the changes as improvements. In other words, mere proposals don't look good. NYC still devotes a great amount of space and money for motor traffic. They're working on reducing that, and residents are pissed off.
We shall see…

People who are accustomed to high density living like the residents of Manhattan will obviously resent the huge cost of roads etc that to them is due to the rest of the people who drive cars and are part of horizontal sprawl.

[I know that I can’t imagine living in a vertically stacked box for my the rest of my life but a couple of cousins who live in Manhattan, can’t imagine living anywhere else. I am much happier in free-standing home with enough land around for a good garden, some fruit trees etc. Mostly a matter of familiarity.]

The thing that matters is how those changes will be implemented. If these changes are gradually phased in as the methodologies to support them are simultaneously developed and the masses are not burdened with precipitously higher cost of usage, it will be easier for people to accept changes. But if people perceive that these changes are forced down their throats that are also happen to be unaffordable for them, it would not be so easy to accept.
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Old 11-26-23, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by abdon
For better or worse the rest of the world has decided than an e-bike with an electric motor is still a bike.
As long as some who really buzz along on bike paths with fat tires that look more like mopeds, would follow all the rules of bicycling, including being considerate to bicyclists who are going uphill on their own strength and force them to make evasive maneuvers, it’s fine with me. Fortunately, thus far I have encountered only a few bad apples… or should we say pears!
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Old 11-26-23, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Alan K
The thing that matters is how those changes will be implemented. If these changes are gradually phased in as the methodologies to support them are simultaneously developed and the masses are not burdened with precipitously higher cost of usage, it will be easier for people to accept changes. But if people perceive that these changes are forced down their throats that are also happen to be unaffordable for them, it would not be so easy to accept.
Forced down their throats, agreed. If, for example, we narrow streets to one lane each, creating a disincentive to driving, and also don't run adequate bus service, that would be painful and would make people angry.

But I don't envision costs going up for people who switch from cars to something else. Normally, the result is a reduction in costs to both individuals and society. Cars cost more to operate compared with other modes. Roads built mostly for cars cost more per passenger/mile than other modes, and they take up more space.
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Old 11-26-23, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider
Forced down their throats, agreed. If, for example, we narrow streets to one lane each, creating a disincentive to driving, and also don't run adequate bus service, that would be painful and would make people angry.

But I don't envision costs going up for people who switch from cars to something else. Normally, the result is a reduction in costs to both individuals and society. Cars cost more to operate compared with other modes. Roads built mostly for cars cost more per passenger/mile than other modes, and they take up more space.
I understand that cost-related animosity is peaking in some societies to new heights - I read that in a county where sides of roads were used by Amish people with their horse-drawn buggies, some non-Amish wanted a law passed to have Amish people pay annual registration of their buggies like a car. The law did not pass, just seamed too mean. Then there was a matter of their horses’ droppings… 🤪

On a serious note, auto and petro industry has deliberately prevented developments of shared alternative transportation such as trains or trams. The urban sprawl is so pervasive everywhere that it has taken a life of its own. You go to Europe or even many places in Asia, people walk around to markets to buy fresh food and other needs. There are very few places in US where one can do that, even if you try. By US norms, we who commute on bicyclists are an anomaly.
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Old 11-26-23, 05:09 PM
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This is my friend Kevin's derny. We still use it for motorpacing and Keirin racing here at Dick Lane Velodrome, I believe it has a Puch E-50 motor with some sort of aftermarket cylinder. Kevin says he can get it up to 45+mph on the highway near his house. It was passed on to Kevin by our good friend Bill who had somehow obtained this derny that we believe to have originated out of Belgium.


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Old 11-26-23, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Alan K
I understand that cost-related animosity is peaking in some societies to new heights - I read that in a county where sides of roads were used by Amish people with their horse-drawn buggies, some non-Amish wanted a law passed to have Amish people pay annual registration of their buggies like a car. The law did not pass, just seamed too mean. Then there was a matter of their horses’ droppings… 🤪

On a serious note, auto and petro industry has deliberately prevented developments of shared alternative transportation such as trains or trams. The urban sprawl is so pervasive everywhere that it has taken a life of its own. You go to Europe or even many places in Asia, people walk around to markets to buy fresh food and other needs. There are very few places in US where one can do that, even if you try. By US norms, we who commute on bicyclists are an anomaly.
Every so often, the legislature of a city or county proposes requiring registration of bicycles for similar reasons to the buggy registration idea. It makes a lot less sense than it sounds like. The costs to society of horses and bikes are insignificant compared to those of cars. And the cost of administering the system would be greater than the benefits. What do we do with children who just want to do BMX tricks on sidewalks? Make their parents pay? What do we do with hobbyists who have lots of bikes? It's all very silly.

It's funny how Americans object to European style ideas when they hear of them. Yet notice where we go on vacation. Often it's to a place where you can walk to shops, tourist sites, etc, and people enjoy that more than driving cars everywhere.
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Old 11-26-23, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Alan K
If they have a motor, literally, then why not!
yep
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Old 11-27-23, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by gugie
If a bicycle has a motor on it, we should call it a motorcycle.
I'm going to (disrespectfully ) push back here. We really need new and better classifications for motor vehicles. It's not difficult, but given the explosion in micromobility, it isn't a simple yes/no either.

The key issues are motor type, speed and weight. Anything gas-powered is a motorcycle. In NYC, I believe e-bikes need to be speed-regulated to 25 mph or less. I don't believe there's an exact weight, but anything over say 70 lbs (like a Revel) should be classified a motorcycle.

You may not like weaklings or dilettantes, but proper e-bikes are cyclist's friends in that they 1) are a good form or transportation that 2) allows more people to cycle and 3) puts more bikes on the roads which 4) creates a justification for better cycling infrastructure.

I like to say that "knuckleheads" use all forms of transportation. If there's one person that's doing it wrong, it's on that person -- not their mode of transportation.

If you prefer pictures, this is an e-bike:



These are not:




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Old 11-27-23, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by jethin
I'm going to (disrespectfully ) push back here. We really need new and better classifications for motor vehicles. It's not difficult, but given the explosion in micromobility, it isn't a simple yes/no either.

The key issues are motor type, speed and weight. Anything gas-powered is a motorcycle. In NYC, I believe e-bikes need to be speed-regulated to 25 mph or less. I don't believe there's an exact weight, but anything over say 70 lbs (like a Revel) should be classified a motorcycle.

You may not like weaklings or dilettantes, but proper e-bikes are cyclist's friends in that they 1) are a good form or transportation that 2) allows more people to cycle and 3) puts more bikes on the roads which 4) creates more impetus for better cycling infrastructure.

I like to say that "knuckleheads" use all forms of transportation. If there's one person that's doing it wrong, it's on that person -- not their mode of transportation.
The earliest motorcycles were a bicycle with a motor added on, ergo my quip.

25 mph on the MUP behind my house is way too fast, too many elderly people, baby strollers, and people walking dogs on it for that to make any sense whatsoever. Of course, Racer Rick can hit those speeds as well. Most people on e-bikes can easily hit those speeds.

I'm not against e-bikes for the reasons you mentioned, but it's kinda like the wild west out there right now.
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Old 11-27-23, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by gugie
25 mph on the MUP behind my house is way too fast, too many elderly people, baby strollers, and people walking dogs on it for that to make any sense whatsoever.
I generally agree, but it's up to local communities/leaders to set speed limits. And hopefully enforce them to some degree, if necessary.

Originally Posted by gugie
I'm not against e-bikes for the reasons you mentioned, but it's kinda like the wild west out there right now.
Sure is. But I don't have a problem with responsibly ridden e-bikes as I've defined them, and I think they help popularize and legitimize cycling. But the Harley Davidson in the bike lane the other day...

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Old 11-27-23, 11:56 AM
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You Madhatten's like to wreck a good thing. These classy e-bikes on this forum thread might end up like this. Lol



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Old 11-27-23, 12:52 PM
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The problem is not the tool, the problem is the tool riding the tool. I have seen unsafe *******s on regular bikes trying to do 20mph on a bike pad full of kids, I expect to see the same number of *******s on ebikes doing their own stupid ****.
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Old 11-27-23, 01:07 PM
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as far as cars go, I'd prefer a hydrogen powered ICE over electric, or at least a small displacement hydrogen ICE hybrid. Toyota is all-in on this technology.

and the deep fenders on that electric cruiser bicycle are gorgeous.
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Old 11-27-23, 01:57 PM
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I personally couldn’t care less, as long as everyone follows a sensible pattern of being courteous and thoughtful to each other. Forcing others to get out of their way is not a sign of good behavior, whether expected by a battery operated bicyclist or by two skinny bicyclists pedaling furiously side by side - they should go in a single file, especially when there are others on the path with whom they must share this public facility.
The only thing I would find disturbing is when someone incorporates a single stroke lawnmower engine (or it’s equivalent) in their bicycle and uses the bike path… even if he or she is only going 14MPH. Too noisy, too smelly and others aren’t on the path to inhale partially burned gas and oil. Fortunately, I have witnessed that only once in decades.
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Old 11-27-23, 02:40 PM
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To keep it C&V
when I was a wee lad I received as a gift the Mattel Vroom sound making motor for my bike.

attached to the down tube and seat tube.
had a throttle switch and key!

the X-15 Vroom cycle recumbent trike was a real functioning toy with a sound switch
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Old 11-27-23, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by RB1-luvr
as far as cars go, I'd prefer a hydrogen powered ICE over electric, or at least a small displacement hydrogen ICE hybrid. Toyota is all-in on this technology.

and the deep fenders on that electric cruiser bicycle are gorgeous.
Toyota may be onboard but if you think that all electric is impractical at this point for a variety of reasons (and I happen to agree), hydrogen cell car is unrealistic… just look at the complexity, cost of production, and storage related issues for this technology.

Superficially looking at it, electrolysis seems a clean and straightforward method but it requires a whopping amount of electricity. Where would that electricity come from… I saw a photo of diesel generators powering Tesla chargers in CA, not sure if it was a joke or real thing.

PR hoopla is an integral part of trying to push a new technology but we have to be a little more analytical. I recall from my childhood that atomic reactors for electricity generation were touted to run so cheaply that no one will get an electricity bill because the logistics of billing and receiving payments will be more expensive than the cost of of electricity generation… didn’t really pan out as touted. Then there was period when every company or a large building would have a self-contained very safe thorium reactor- efficient, decentralized, affordable in the long run power source… I’m still waiting! 😉
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