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e-bike Clydesdale returning to the saddle

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e-bike Clydesdale returning to the saddle

Old 05-09-23, 04:30 PM
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e-bike Clydesdale returning to the saddle

Hi, I am returning to cycling after about a 6 or 7 years break. Prior to this, I had been living in a city and would bicycle to work and for everyday tasks, weather permitting. This helped keep me at a constant weight, though i was and will always be a Clydesdale.
Since the pandemic, I had been working in a job that required me to be sitting and/or driving for 12+ hours per day. Needless to say, this has not been good for my body and I have put on at least 80lbs. Additionally, due to sitting all day, my flexibility, core strength and posture have all take a serious hit.

That brings me to today, I have decided to start cycling again, not just for the health benefits, but because it is a hobby that i really, truly miss.
I have been working on converting an old 80's touring bike into an e-bike, in order to help me overcome the physical barriers I know i will face.
My thinking is its better to get as much time in the saddle as possible, whether it is motor assisted or not, than it is to try and power through all the discomfort and physical limitations i will be forced to abide by, compared to my previous cycling capacity, and face the real discouragement i know that would bring.

I would like to hear from others who may have gone through this. how are you fairing? any tips or things to avoid in your experience?
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Old 05-16-23, 10:26 AM
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I would avoid the ebike. I would also ditch any alcohol and sugar in your diet. Start with short rides and work your way up. Ive learned that diet must be the focus. Use cycling to supplement your dietary efforts.
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Old 05-16-23, 10:55 AM
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If you do this I would go with something torque sensing. nothing wrong with getting help it would make it more enjoyable then going slower then a turtle. torque sensing will encourage you to actually put effort into it.
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Old 05-21-23, 11:22 PM
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Losing weight is difficult, keeping it off is even more difficult. E-bikes are a blast. My wife and I own a couple and we are up to 3000miles after a couple of years of riding. Very enjoyable vehicles. I ride my regular bikes a lot but my wife got to where she was having trouble going any distance and getting too tired. She quit riding for a year or so until we bought her e-bike. She chose a RAD City and it has been a great bicycle. I got one about 6 months after she did to join her on longer rides at a pace a bit above what I do on my regular bikes. We use the lowest pedal assist mode and pedal just as if we did not have that motor helping. This gives us a lot of range and the bikes will go between 12 and 14mph average speed. Good for you having the ability to build your own e-bike and good luck with the weight reduction.
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Old 05-21-23, 11:28 PM
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Old 05-24-23, 01:55 PM
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Well, my post on May 9 didn't go through apparently, so I'll write something else.

Anyway, let me start by saying I think you are doing the right thing and have the right attitude. If you have the skills and interest to build an e-bike, go for it. I'll share what I have gone through so hopefully it will be an encouragement as well.

I, too, got out of cycling a number of years ago. Tried to get back into it in 2019, but the family's interest waned rather quickly, then mine did too. Funny thing, when the pandemic hit, you'd think we would have taken to cycling, but we never did, even once. At the end of 2021 I picked up a second job that in hindsight caused me stress and I put on 20 pounds over that winter, which stayed on thanks to bad habits I fell into. I snacked every night, basically ate too much at meals, more or less stopped exercising.

Due to a health scare, I've lost 25 pounds in March and April by eating better, and getting up in the mornings before work and doing some indoor cycling (on an indoor recumbent, as it was too cold to ride outside) and then stretching/working on my core, and push ups/sit ups. A few years ago I went through a program called "Naturally Slim" that looks at the habits of people that are (you guessed it) naturally slim, and it teaches you to adopt those. It is pretty simple stuff, and easy enough to do, like slow down when you eat. Wait until you are truly hungry to eat, not just because it is time. Eat smaller portions. Don't eat breakfast (calling breakfast the "most important meal of the day" is a myth). The very simple principle is that you need to consume less calories than you use in a day if you want to lose weight. I can't stand diet drinks, diet food, or stuff that tastes like cardboard. I can cut out snacking, and soda, and make healthier choices, eating what I enjoy, just in moderate amounts. It is common sense stuff, but it took me over a year and a health scare to finally implement it. I peaked at 241 pounds and am down to 216. I've plateaued a bit, and plan to continue to shed some more pounds, definitely under 210, hopefully under 200 (which will kick me out of this forum!) Right now I can fit into all my shorts and summer clothes that didn't fit me last summer. I have so much energy and feel great. I do my own yard work and maintain my house. It used to be I was so out of shape that after moving the lawn I'd be tired, maybe a little sore from holding the weed eater to do the edging ... now I whip all that equipment around and I feel great afterward and still have plenty of energy (I'm over 50).

Now, as for choice of bicycle, I've avoided e-bikes like the plague and always viewed them as the AntiChrist. I mean, the purpose of cycling is cycling, not having a motor propel you along. I still can't stand people that sit on a throttled e-bike flying down the street or bike path at 25+ mph, legs stationary. That's essentially a mini-motorcycle, but worse than a motorcycle, because it has pedals and cranks that aren't turning. Anyway, when I started my exercise regimen in March, I got in my head that I wanted to get back into outdoor cycling. I had sold my CF road bike. I still had a steel touring road bike which is really good road bike for a clydesdale, a city bike, and a mountain tandem set up for road riding that hasn't been ridden since 2019. I want to ride with my wife and get her into cycling with the family, but she drags behind, and feels bad slowing all of us down, and frankly, it's a pain to try to ride at 10 mph when the rest of us like to cruise around 14-15 mph. She doesn't want to have to ride the tandem all the time, although she might on occasion. So, I looked into e-bikes for her. Long story short, decided on the Cannondale Treadwell Neo, a cruiser/city style assist e-bike based on the Mahle X35 system. You MUST pedal, it will only give assist at none or various power levels. I like it because the bike only weighs 35 pounds, unlike 60+ pounds like most other e-bikes, so is easy to pedal without the motor, or if the battery runs out.

We haven't had time to do a lot of cycling yet, but when we have all gone together, she loves her new bike and raves how she'd never be able to ride as fast or as far without it. It still gives her a good workout. Just yesterday we rode 28 miles round trip out in the country to a neighboring town to eat dinner out. She was pretty tired near the end, but we averaged over 13 mph. Without assist, we would have been lucky to average 9 mph, and she would not have even been able to finish.

So what I'm getting at is that your decision to get an e-bike is a good one, and I have to disagree with boozergut who says to avoid the e-bike. An e-bike will often mean the difference between riding or not riding at all. Again, I have a bias against throttles. If it is too easy to use a throttle and avoid exercise, guess what will probably happen. But if you can be disciplined and still ride your bike for exercise, then a throttle might be necessary for the type of e-bike system you choose. Just make sure to use the e-bike for assist and not to do all the work for you. Allow it to enable you to ride faster and farther, while still getting a work out.

I rode with a group, first ride of the year, on my 30 pound touring bike, and couldn't keep up with the C group (I used to be an A group rider). Oh boy. Anyway, I'm way older, way out of shape, so didn't expect miracles, but didn't think I couldn't hang with the 14-16 mph group (I averaged 13 mph that first ride). I took my wife's e-bike out the next ride, on a solo ride on a windy day, and wow, the e-bike was amazing for maintaining speed into a headwind, as well as for going up hills. I averaged over 15 mph on a woman's cruiser bike, riding solo! The thing is amazing up hills (of which I have few)! Instead of slowing to 5 mph, you can power up at 10 or 12 mph. That second job I told you about has given me a lot of extra cash, so I decided to invest in an e-bike for myself, as I'm primarily a solo rider. Why tool along at 14-15 mph (or less in a headwind) when I can fly at 18 mph average with an e-bike, getting the same workout, cover more ground, and probably even ride longer? e-bikes are amazing if you use them properly to still get a good workout. Plus, the e-bikes built on the Mahle X35 system do not even look like an e-bike. I'm loving mine, am riding as much as I can, which isn't a lot yet. In two weeks that second job I mentioned is ending, and I'll have a lot more time to ride.

It is slow going to start. I had the benefit of indoor cycling before the weather warmed up, which helped me make the transition getting out on the road. Just want to encourage you to start slow, don't get discouraged, and get out and ride!

Last edited by yeamac; 05-24-23 at 02:04 PM.
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Old 05-24-23, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by yeamac
Well, my post on May 9 didn't go through apparently, so I'll write something else.

Anyway, let me start by saying I think you are doing the right thing and have the right attitude. If you have the skills and interest to build an e-bike, go for it. I'll share what I have gone through so hopefully it will be an encouragement as well.

I, too, got out of cycling a number of years ago. Tried to get back into it in 2019, but the family's interest waned rather quickly, then mine did too. Funny thing, when the pandemic hit, you'd think we would have taken to cycling, but we never did, even once. At the end of 2021 I picked up a second job that in hindsight caused me stress and I put on 20 pounds over that winter, which stayed on thanks to bad habits I fell into. I snacked every night, basically ate too much at meals, more or less stopped exercising.

Due to a health scare, I've lost 25 pounds in March and April by eating better, and getting up in the mornings before work and doing some indoor cycling (on an indoor recumbent, as it was too cold to ride outside) and then stretching/working on my core, and push ups/sit ups. A few years ago I went through a program called "Naturally Slim" that looks at the habits of people that are (you guessed it) naturally slim, and it teaches you to adopt those. It is pretty simple stuff, and easy enough to do, like slow down when you eat. Wait until you are truly hungry to eat, not just because it is time. Eat smaller portions. Don't eat breakfast (calling breakfast the "most important meal of the day" is a myth). The very simple principle is that you need to consume less calories than you use in a day if you want to lose weight. I can't stand diet drinks, diet food, or stuff that tastes like cardboard. I can cut out snacking, and soda, and make healthier choices, eating what I enjoy, just in moderate amounts. It is common sense stuff, but it took me over a year and a health scare to finally implement it. I peaked at 241 pounds and am down to 216. I've plateaued a bit, and plan to continue to shed some more pounds, definitely under 210, hopefully under 200 (which will kick me out of this forum!) Right now I can fit into all my shorts and summer clothes that didn't fit me last summer. I have so much energy and feel great. I do my own yard work and maintain my house. It used to be I was so out of shape that after moving the lawn I'd be tired, maybe a little sore from holding the weed eater to do the edging ... now I whip all that equipment around and I feel great afterward and still have plenty of energy (I'm over 50).

Now, as for choice of bicycle, I've avoided e-bikes like the plague and always viewed them as the AntiChrist. I mean, the purpose of cycling is cycling, not having a motor propel you along. I still can't stand people that sit on a throttled e-bike flying down the street or bike path at 25+ mph, legs stationary. That's essentially a mini-motorcycle, but worse than a motorcycle, because it has pedals and cranks that aren't turning. Anyway, when I started my exercise regimen in March, I got in my head that I wanted to get back into outdoor cycling. I had sold my CF road bike. I still had a steel touring road bike which is really good road bike for a clydesdale, a city bike, and a mountain tandem set up for road riding that hasn't been ridden since 2019. I want to ride with my wife and get her into cycling with the family, but she drags behind, and feels bad slowing all of us down, and frankly, it's a pain to try to ride at 10 mph when the rest of us like to cruise around 14-15 mph. She doesn't want to have to ride the tandem all the time, although she might on occasion. So, I looked into e-bikes for her. Long story short, decided on the Cannondale Treadwell Neo, a cruiser/city style assist e-bike based on the Mahle X35 system. You MUST pedal, it will only give assist at none or various power levels. I like it because the bike only weighs 35 pounds, unlike 60+ pounds like most other e-bikes, so is easy to pedal without the motor, or if the battery runs out.

We haven't had time to do a lot of cycling yet, but when we have all gone together, she loves her new bike and raves how she'd never be able to ride as fast or as far without it. It still gives her a good workout. Just yesterday we rode 28 miles round trip out in the country to a neighboring town to eat dinner out. She was pretty tired near the end, but we averaged over 13 mph. Without assist, we would have been lucky to average 9 mph, and she would not have even been able to finish.

So what I'm getting at is that your decision to get an e-bike is a good one, and I have to disagree with boozergut who says to avoid the e-bike. An e-bike will often mean the difference between riding or not riding at all. Again, I have a bias against throttles. If it is too easy to use a throttle and avoid exercise, guess what will probably happen. But if you can be disciplined and still ride your bike for exercise, then a throttle might be necessary for the type of e-bike system you choose. Just make sure to use the e-bike for assist and not to do all the work for you. Allow it to enable you to ride faster and farther, while still getting a work out.

I rode with a group, first ride of the year, on my 30 pound touring bike, and couldn't keep up with the C group (I used to be an A group rider). Oh boy. Anyway, I'm way older, way out of shape, so didn't expect miracles, but didn't think I couldn't hang with the 14-16 mph group (I averaged 13 mph that first ride). I took my wife's e-bike out the next ride, on a solo ride on a windy day, and wow, the e-bike was amazing for maintaining speed into a headwind, as well as for going up hills. I averaged over 15 mph on a woman's cruiser bike, riding solo! The thing is amazing up hills (of which I have few)! Instead of slowing to 5 mph, you can power up at 10 or 12 mph. That second job I told you about has given me a lot of extra cash, so I decided to invest in an e-bike for myself, as I'm primarily a solo rider. Why tool along at 14-15 mph (or less in a headwind) when I can fly at 18 mph average with an e-bike, getting the same workout, cover more ground, and probably even ride longer? e-bikes are amazing if you use them properly to still get a good workout. Plus, the e-bikes built on the Mahle X35 system do not even look like an e-bike. I'm loving mine, am riding as much as I can, which isn't a lot yet. In two weeks that second job I mentioned is ending, and I'll have a lot more time to ride.

It is slow going to start. I had the benefit of indoor cycling before the weather warmed up, which helped me make the transition getting out on the road. Just want to encourage you to start slow, don't get discouraged, and get out and ride!
I agree, though I suggest if you want exercise, skip the ebike.
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Old 05-24-23, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv
... I suggest if you want exercise, skip the ebike.
This is a rider issue, not a bike issue. An e-bike will give you the exact same amount of exercise as a non e-bike, you will just travel farther and faster with the same output, if you have the motorized assist activated. With the same output, monitored by a heart rate monitor (130 bpm), I can ride about 3-4 mph faster using a moderate amount of assist on my Cannondale Neo than with no assist. I can assure you that I am getting plenty of exercise. I'll go a step farther and say I'm getting MORE exercise with my e-bike, as I'm riding more, and riding for longer periods of time when I ride. I'm challenging myself to cover more ground, distances I wouldn't attempt on a non e-bike. You don't even have to use the assist. 55 of my last 123 miles have been without assist, pedaling a 39 pound bike! The smartphone app that pairs with the bike is awesome, too. It gives an incredible amount of data, stores all your rides, it is phenomenal.

I suggest if you want exercise, get the e-bike. It's more fun, makes riding more enjoyable, and you'll do it more. Even a traditional bike can be ridden so that you don't get much exercise. And on the traditional bike, when you get bored going so slow, and frustrated because you are heavy and out of shape and feel defeated, you'll stop riding. In the case of the OP or anyone in a similar situation, I'd recommend the e-bike more highly because of its potential to keep you riding.

Last edited by yeamac; 05-24-23 at 04:38 PM.
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Old 05-24-23, 04:25 PM
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You won't get much support for all that outside of the ebike forum but I'm happy you enjoy it.
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Old 05-26-23, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv
You won't get much support for all that outside of the ebike forum but I'm happy you enjoy it.
Not looking for support ... looking to educate. Glad I could help out!
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Old 05-26-23, 10:53 AM
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but get a decent mid drive bike without a throttle so you have torque sensing. that will encourage you to actually peddle. you can use as much assist as you need but at least your spinning.
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Old 05-28-23, 08:52 PM
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See next post. Computer has befuddled me.

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Old 05-28-23, 09:12 PM
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I noticed in the posts that some folks are dead set against throttles or have some other hurdle to owning an e-bike such as mid drive or torque sensing or something. The folks i know that are throttling an e-bike like a motorcycle bought it as a cheap substitute for a motorcycle. Too poor for a car or even a motorcycle but the e-bike fits that niche for around town errands really well. The e-bike appears to be filling a much larger market than just dedicated bicycle riders, or bicycle riders who are aging and aren't as strong as they once were. They appear to be filling in for basic transportation for people who are uninterested in heart rate, mid drive, "proper cycling attire" ect. Cost of buying, cost of operation, vehicle storage are the biggest issues for the transportation crowd. Not mid drives, torque sensing, or cycling shoes. In other words everyday shoes, socks, shorts/pants, everyday shirts, nothing fancy. I have found the e-bike definitely gives a good work out if you use it that way. I don't have torque sensing and still get a good work out. I am still a dedicated bicyclist and ride my non e-bikes all the time but have no shame in using an e-bike that allows my wife and I to have long rides at fairly high speed knowing we could throttle home if one of us tired out. Yeamac seems to be having the same initiation I had to e-bikes as I had. I cannot say I was for buying one at first but I am of a very different mind now.
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Old 07-29-23, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by yeamac
Not looking for support ... looking to educate. Glad I could help out!
I agree with all you said. For me, due to some medical issues, it took the e-bike to get me moving more than a mile on a bike at any time. I only use the assist to keep me going, not to power me without pedaling. On an average ride, my heart rate stays in the fat burn zone for 70% - 80% of my ride. I am getting exercise with health benefits, especially more beneficial than sitting on the couch wishing I could ride.

I want to get back on my mountain and road bikes, but this is helping me recover, build strength and endurance in order to do so. As long as you are moving, you are improving.
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Old 08-15-23, 01:33 PM
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A few misconceptions here around ebikes. Ebike does not always = throttle. In fact, Bosch, one of the biggest ebike motor makers does not make a model with a throttle.

I'm still fat, but when I was fatter, I started on an ebike. As was said, all the ebike did was enable me to go slightly faster than molasses but I still had to pedal and hard to maintain speed. It augments your effort, not replaces it.

If an ebike gets you out and about, I'd say go for it. Cycling doesn't need to be gatekept. If you enjoy it, you'll do it more often. If you do it more often, you'll get more exercise. Win/win.
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Old 08-15-23, 07:09 PM
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An e-bike replaces some of your effort. Letís say 15 miles in 1hr. Who would burn more calories over the same course? The person with the ďmotorĒ assist or the person without?

And having once lost 90 lbs. in 9 months, I agree that diet change is far more important.
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Old 08-17-23, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
An e-bike replaces some of your effort. Let’s say 15 miles in 1hr. Who would burn more calories over the same course? The person with the “motor” assist or the person without?

And having once lost 90 lbs. in 9 months, I agree that diet change is far more important.
Given your parameters, yes. However, think of it this way: If I'm riding 1 hour, I can go 10 mph on a regular bike (no assist) vs 15 mph on an ebike (eco mode, 50% pedal assist). I'm doing the same amount of pedaling, I'm just going faster. This is a real world (albeit anecdotal example) from last week for me. Heart rate was the same both rides.

Once again, I feel we shouldn't be gatekeepers of the cycling world. If an ebike helps OP go cycling more, then he should get an ebike. Diet is of course important but OP asked a cycling question in a cycling forum

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Old 08-17-23, 09:39 PM
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Get an e assist bike and screw the negative talk about them. If it will get you out riding that is a good thing. As you get better and weigh less you will use less assist to achieve the same results. My wife has an ebike so she can ride with and she is beat after we finish our rides but it allows her to ride with me.
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Old 08-18-23, 02:15 AM
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It's sad the same misinformation that gets spewed every time this comes up. If you achieve a heart rate of (whatever) while pedaling a bicycle, if you are putting x lb/ft of torque on the pedals for y amount of time on a pedal bike OR an e-bike, your body doesn't care. You will get the same amount of exercise on either platform. You will, however, go farther on the e-bike, or cover the same distance in a shorter time. And sometimes that is what you WANT/NEED to do. Isn't it great that there is now a way to do that using a quiet, clean, bicycle based technology? I think so. But if you'd rather use the SUV when it's mission critical on the ETA, feel free. You're _______ up your air (mine too) every time you do that, but I can't stop you.
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Old 08-24-23, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm
It's sad the same misinformation that gets spewed every time this comes up. If you achieve a heart rate of (whatever) while pedaling a bicycle, if you are putting x lb/ft of torque on the pedals for y amount of time on a pedal bike OR an e-bike, your body doesn't care. you.

correct. Got a turbo Levo last November. A one hour ride with an average heart rate of 140 is still a one hour zone 2 workout, which is similar to my goals on a non assist bike.

just do it. The life you live is yours alone so do it properly in whatever fashion you see fit.

I just had a new to me Roubaix built up to get in some road miles and have entered my first mountain bike race in over 20 years in the e-bike class. Iím not at my goal weight yet but the e bike has been a lifesaver and Iím starting to have fun again

and yes, I actually did do some road group rides on the Levo with C and B groups. Everyone was friendly and glad to have me there (at least to my face- ). I stayed in the back and kept the motor on the first level. (60lb e bike with 2.6 tires on level 1 feels like an un-boosted 28 lb conventional bike ó turn the motor off completely and there is a lot of annoying parasitic drag ) Got some great rides in.
Trick was to stay in the back, smile and have fun. To hammer off the front in boost mode would be a ****** move
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Old 09-14-23, 02:10 PM
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I also returned after a 3 year break with an e-bike.

I moved from where I had protected bike paths, like the American River Bikepath to Missouri... flat as a waffle and no real bike lanes or paths.

The ebike lets me maintain a safe speed mixing with the back road traffic. 18mph puts me at half their speed and slightly faster than the typical Farm John Tractor you see on the roads here.

That and I am not overheating in the significantly more humid air here, the faster speed lets me control my temperatures.
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Old 09-23-23, 02:35 AM
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I've ridden bikes my whole life, I'm 6ft 3in/350 or so lbs and riding has never been a source of weigh loss, I was a big kid many years ago, and am just as big now. I played sports, rode the tires off which ever bike I had at the time, and have never been someone who eats junk food. For whatever reason I've never liked sweets, I'd rather have another ear of corn than desert.
The biggest thing that affects me size wise is bread. If I eliminate bread, I drop size fast, but find that anything I lose seems to come right back the instant I go back to a normal eating routine. I avoid breakfast foods, things like eggs, pancakes, and sausage tear me up bad, so I do a mid day meal, mostly meat and veggies and nothing more. I work a labor intensive job 12 hours a day, but I maintain my size. I've been a 46" waste size for about 30 years or so. At 15 I wore size 38, at 22, I moved up to 42" jeans and stayed there, despite working then in a high temp environment for 12 hour shifts. Now as i approach 60 I'm 50 lbs heavier, still working a physical job hand loading trucks and riding as much as I can but as arthritis starts to get worse I ride less and less.
I've tried a few electric bikes, everything from those with powered hubs to mid motor bikes, non seem to offer much 'help' when it comes to riding.
I've not been on one yet that will take off without considerable help from me if I just use the throttle. Most only slightly add some relief while cruising on flat ground.
I did have the opportunity to ride a few full on electric motorcycles, and the two I rode were quite fast, but range was limited, likely because of my size.
While acceleration was sufficient, it was not impressive, so at that point I sort of gave up the idea of an electric assist bicycle. If an all electric motorcycle struggled, there wasn't much chance that a tiny motored E bike would do much more than waste my money.
Not to mention E-Bikes are not cheap, and battery replacement down the road, which is inevitable, is also not cheap. A neighbor, who is roughly 230 lbs, bought a mid motor E bike, after watching him buzz by the house one day at what I'd say was roughly 30 mph, I wanted to know what he was riding. His is a hub powered 48 volt model, but he's at the max weight for it. I tried it, and although it seemed to maintain speed somewhat when i stopped pedaling, it would not pull me up any sort of incline, but it did just fine with him on it.
Its a narrow tire, city bike configuration and he told me he paid just over $3,200 for it so he could save money on gas going to work.
The problem is he lives only a mile from his work. By the time it saves him any money on gas, it'll be due for a new battery. I doubt I spend that much on gas in five years, so saving money is not its strong point.

I find that setting up a normal bike with good tires, and a proper low gear ratio works best for me right now, maybe someone will build an affordable E bike in the future but I don't see that happening. I'd have a hard time putting more than few hundred bucks out extra for anything electric unless its going to save me more than just a gallon or two of gas every month.
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Old 11-20-23, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by oldiron
I've ridden bikes my whole life, I'm 6ft 3in/350 or so lbs and riding has never been a source of weigh loss, I was a big kid many years ago, and am just as big now. I played sports, rode the tires off which ever bike I had at the time, and have never been someone who eats junk food. For whatever reason I've never liked sweets, I'd rather have another ear of corn than desert.
The biggest thing that affects me size wise is bread. If I eliminate bread, I drop size fast, but find that anything I lose seems to come right back the instant I go back to a normal eating routine. I avoid breakfast foods, things like eggs, pancakes, and sausage tear me up bad, so I do a mid day meal, mostly meat and veggies and nothing more. I work a labor intensive job 12 hours a day, but I maintain my size. I've been a 46" waste size for about 30 years or so. At 15 I wore size 38, at 22, I moved up to 42" jeans and stayed there, despite working then in a high temp environment for 12 hour shifts. Now as i approach 60 I'm 50 lbs heavier, still working a physical job hand loading trucks and riding as much as I can but as arthritis starts to get worse I ride less and less.
I've tried a few electric bikes, everything from those with powered hubs to mid motor bikes, non seem to offer much 'help' when it comes to riding.
I've not been on one yet that will take off without considerable help from me if I just use the throttle. Most only slightly add some relief while cruising on flat ground.
I did have the opportunity to ride a few full on electric motorcycles, and the two I rode were quite fast, but range was limited, likely because of my size.
While acceleration was sufficient, it was not impressive, so at that point I sort of gave up the idea of an electric assist bicycle. If an all electric motorcycle struggled, there wasn't much chance that a tiny motored E bike would do much more than waste my money.
Not to mention E-Bikes are not cheap, and battery replacement down the road, which is inevitable, is also not cheap. A neighbor, who is roughly 230 lbs, bought a mid motor E bike, after watching him buzz by the house one day at what I'd say was roughly 30 mph, I wanted to know what he was riding. His is a hub powered 48 volt model, but he's at the max weight for it. I tried it, and although it seemed to maintain speed somewhat when i stopped pedaling, it would not pull me up any sort of incline, but it did just fine with him on it.
Its a narrow tire, city bike configuration and he told me he paid just over $3,200 for it so he could save money on gas going to work.
The problem is he lives only a mile from his work. By the time it saves him any money on gas, it'll be due for a new battery. I doubt I spend that much on gas in five years, so saving money is not its strong point.

I find that setting up a normal bike with good tires, and a proper low gear ratio works best for me right now, maybe someone will build an affordable E bike in the future but I don't see that happening. I'd have a hard time putting more than few hundred bucks out extra for anything electric unless its going to save me more than just a gallon or two of gas every month.


lot of fail in this post. Clearly you have not sampled a proper e bike.

an e-bike with a throttle truly is a moped. I was over 320 lbs when I got my Turbo Levo and it is pedal assist only - no throttle. It was a revelation to me to Be able to ride nasty single track that I hadnít ridden in a decade. About a 20 mph TopSpeed, but at 20 miles an hour you were working your rear end off and in my pedaling cadence is between 90 and 105

Although I mentioned a Specialized product that was quite expensive, Polygon Has stepped up to the plate and is now offering a very capable machine for around 4K
has stepped up to the plate and is now offering a very capable machine for around 4K

Thatís for sure is still a chunk of change but how much is our health and fitness worth
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Old 11-20-23, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by yeamac
Well, my post on May 9 didn't go through apparently, so I'll write something else.

Anyway, let me start by saying I think you are doing the right thing and have the right attitude. If you have the skills and interest to build an e-bike, go for it. I'll share what I have gone through so hopefully it will be an encouragement as well.

I, too, got out of cycling a number of years ago. Tried to get back into it in 2019, but the family's interest waned rather quickly, then mine did too. Funny thing, when the pandemic hit, you'd think we would have taken to cycling, but we never did, even once. At the end of 2021 I picked up a second job that in hindsight caused me stress and I put on 20 pounds over that winter, which stayed on thanks to bad habits I fell into. I snacked every night, basically ate too much at meals, more or less stopped exercising.

Due to a health scare, I've lost 25 pounds in March and April by eating better, and getting up in the mornings before work and doing some indoor cycling (on an indoor recumbent, as it was too cold to ride outside) and then stretching/working on my core, and push ups/sit ups. A few years ago I went through a program called "Naturally Slim" that looks at the habits of people that are (you guessed it) naturally slim, and it teaches you to adopt those. It is pretty simple stuff, and easy enough to do, like slow down when you eat. Wait until you are truly hungry to eat, not just because it is time. Eat smaller portions. Don't eat breakfast (calling breakfast the "most important meal of the day" is a myth). The very simple principle is that you need to consume less calories than you use in a day if you want to lose weight. I can't stand diet drinks, diet food, or stuff that tastes like cardboard. I can cut out snacking, and soda, and make healthier choices, eating what I enjoy, just in moderate amounts. It is common sense stuff, but it took me over a year and a health scare to finally implement it. I peaked at 241 pounds and am down to 216. I've plateaued a bit, and plan to continue to shed some more pounds, definitely under 210, hopefully under 200 (which will kick me out of this forum!) Right now I can fit into all my shorts and summer clothes that didn't fit me last summer. I have so much energy and feel great. I do my own yard work and maintain my house. It used to be I was so out of shape that after moving the lawn I'd be tired, maybe a little sore from holding the weed eater to do the edging ... now I whip all that equipment around and I feel great afterward and still have plenty of energy (I'm over 50).

Now, as for choice of bicycle, I've avoided e-bikes like the plague and always viewed them as the AntiChrist. I mean, the purpose of cycling is cycling, not having a motor propel you along. I still can't stand people that sit on a throttled e-bike flying down the street or bike path at 25+ mph, legs stationary. That's essentially a mini-motorcycle, but worse than a motorcycle, because it has pedals and cranks that aren't turning. Anyway, when I started my exercise regimen in March, I got in my head that I wanted to get back into outdoor cycling. I had sold my CF road bike. I still had a steel touring road bike which is really good road bike for a clydesdale, a city bike, and a mountain tandem set up for road riding that hasn't been ridden since 2019. I want to ride with my wife and get her into cycling with the family, but she drags behind, and feels bad slowing all of us down, and frankly, it's a pain to try to ride at 10 mph when the rest of us like to cruise around 14-15 mph. She doesn't want to have to ride the tandem all the time, although she might on occasion. So, I looked into e-bikes for her. Long story short, decided on the Cannondale Treadwell Neo, a cruiser/city style assist e-bike based on the Mahle X35 system. You MUST pedal, it will only give assist at none or various power levels. I like it because the bike only weighs 35 pounds, unlike 60+ pounds like most other e-bikes, so is easy to pedal without the motor, or if the battery runs out.

We haven't had time to do a lot of cycling yet, but when we have all gone together, she loves her new bike and raves how she'd never be able to ride as fast or as far without it. It still gives her a good workout. Just yesterday we rode 28 miles round trip out in the country to a neighboring town to eat dinner out. She was pretty tired near the end, but we averaged over 13 mph. Without assist, we would have been lucky to average 9 mph, and she would not have even been able to finish.

So what I'm getting at is that your decision to get an e-bike is a good one, and I have to disagree with boozergut who says to avoid the e-bike. An e-bike will often mean the difference between riding or not riding at all. Again, I have a bias against throttles. If it is too easy to use a throttle and avoid exercise, guess what will probably happen. But if you can be disciplined and still ride your bike for exercise, then a throttle might be necessary for the type of e-bike system you choose. Just make sure to use the e-bike for assist and not to do all the work for you. Allow it to enable you to ride faster and farther, while still getting a work out.

I rode with a group, first ride of the year, on my 30 pound touring bike, and couldn't keep up with the C group (I used to be an A group rider). Oh boy. Anyway, I'm way older, way out of shape, so didn't expect miracles, but didn't think I couldn't hang with the 14-16 mph group (I averaged 13 mph that first ride). I took my wife's e-bike out the next ride, on a solo ride on a windy day, and wow, the e-bike was amazing for maintaining speed into a headwind, as well as for going up hills. I averaged over 15 mph on a woman's cruiser bike, riding solo! The thing is amazing up hills (of which I have few)! Instead of slowing to 5 mph, you can power up at 10 or 12 mph. That second job I told you about has given me a lot of extra cash, so I decided to invest in an e-bike for myself, as I'm primarily a solo rider. Why tool along at 14-15 mph (or less in a headwind) when I can fly at 18 mph average with an e-bike, getting the same workout, cover more ground, and probably even ride longer? e-bikes are amazing if you use them properly to still get a good workout. Plus, the e-bikes built on the Mahle X35 system do not even look like an e-bike. I'm loving mine, am riding as much as I can, which isn't a lot yet. In two weeks that second job I mentioned is ending, and I'll have a lot more time to ride.

It is slow going to start. I had the benefit of indoor cycling before the weather warmed up, which helped me make the transition getting out on the road. Just want to encourage you to start slow, don't get discouraged, and get out and ride!
On occasions forcing people on bicycles going on their own steam to abruptly having to veer off to avoid risking getting run over by a 50 lb contraption. 😉

Always a good idea to gradually build up strength and stamina. 👍

My wife is not an avid bicyclist and she is getting interested in buying a motorized contraption, and I a trying to dissuade her. We shall see how it goes.
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Old 11-20-23, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by noquarter1
A few misconceptions here around ebikes. Ebike does not always = throttle. In fact, Bosch, one of the biggest ebike motor makers does not make a model with a throttle.

I'm still fat, but when I was fatter, I started on an ebike. As was said, all the ebike did was enable me to go slightly faster than molasses but I still had to pedal and hard to maintain speed. It augments your effort, not replaces it.

If an ebike gets you out and about, I'd say go for it. Cycling doesn't need to be gatekept. If you enjoy it, you'll do it more often. If you do it more often, you'll get more exercise. Win/win.
I donít have anything particularly against e-bikers, as long as they follow all the rules, including being thoughtful to the presence of others.

I wasnít aware that e-bikes come equipped with power that overcomes human inertia to vegetate. Is this ability found only some specific model old e-bikes or every model is endowed with it? 😉
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