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If you could afford an e-bike, would it be your "go to" commuter?

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If you could afford an e-bike, would it be your "go to" commuter?

Old 10-26-15, 12:40 PM
  #151  
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All of these comments “I ride for exercise, and use a car for transportation” probably hit the nail on the head for the average American. And, the answers here will be distorted from the average person as we tend to be in shape cyclists (and some of us here are obviously purists).

IN reality, people who get e-bikes use it for much more utilitarian things than the standard American stereotype. They are a lot of fun, and can do a lot of things that you might have used a car for in the past.

My ebike ended up replacing one of my cars.
I would say my battery is pretty worn after 2 years light use (much like a cell phone battery). I’ll get a higher quality one next spring.
My ebike cost $500 + cost of donor bike. Weight: 30lbs. Speed: 25mph.
That said it’s just a few minutes faster than my road bike on a 10 mile commute
(a 70lb e-bike isn’t really a bicycle to me. Just too much Weight IMHO)

And yeah, and ebike is not simple, compared to my Fixed gear. Then again, I think disk brakes, full suspension, and electronic shifting add unnecessary complexity, but they help the industry sell new bikes…
I ride a fixie because it is more work and it is fun. I ride an e-bike because it is less work and it is fun. Kinda depends on my mood. J

Silent electric power is totally unlike a 2-stroke scooter. It is something you have to experience. And, it is a lot of fun.
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Old 10-26-15, 12:40 PM
  #152  
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Originally Posted by InTheRain View Post
I have a scooter. I have an automobile. I have an e-bike. I have a road bike.
What about an e-TT bike?
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Old 10-26-15, 12:41 PM
  #153  
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Originally Posted by hyhuu View Post
The way I see it, most commuter fall into one of two categories: 1) bike enthusiasts who also happen to commute with their bikes and 2) those who use bike as a mean for commuting to work. For the first group, e-bike makes little sense and as for latter, e-bike would be one of the option. I happen to be in the first category.
I fall into both categories. I love my road bike... but not so much for commuting. I love my e-bike... but not so much for fitness and club rides. IF I had only one option, I'd have the road bike. However, since there are more options, I prefer to use the bike that is best for each situation. My commuter was a touring bike (it still is) prior to conversion to an e-bike. I still used the touring bike as my commuter... it's better than a road bike for my commute (fenders, long chain stays to prevent heel strike, longer wheel base for stability, lights... and more lights, dynamo hub.) The road bike is the "go fast", long distance, club ride bike... it's perfect for that scenario.
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Old 10-26-15, 12:42 PM
  #154  
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
What about an e-TT bike?
If I had a purpose for a TT bike, I'd make an effort to get one. I want a four wheel drive pick up, too... but it's not in the budget.
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Old 10-26-15, 12:44 PM
  #155  
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Just to play devil's advocate, I think one could make an analogy between a mildly-powered road bike and old-school derny training, where you practiced higher-speed riding than you could ordinarily do for very long. Not that I'm itching to buy an e-bike either, but the thought has occurred to me.
Derny/paceline type training is basically what I do with my ebike
  • I can ride 20mph comfortably on my own
  • I typically ride in a pace line at 25+ mph
  • I do derny training at ~30mph.


so, riding a light e-bike at 25+ mph for me is the same high cadence, higher speed workout as doing a training ride with similar bikers (or following a derny, but without the exhaust problems). I just don't have to worry about getting a dozen bikers do do a pace line with me on the way to work.

It's all good...

:-)

Last edited by chas58; 10-26-15 at 01:18 PM.
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Old 10-26-15, 12:46 PM
  #156  
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Well congratulation! That makes you not "most" people.

Originally Posted by InTheRain View Post
I fall into both categories. I love my road bike... but not so much for commuting. I love my e-bike... but not so much for fitness and club rides. IF I had only one option, I'd have the road bike. However, since there are more options, I prefer to use the bike that is best for each situation. My commuter was a touring bike (it still is) prior to conversion to an e-bike. I still used the touring bike as my commuter... it's better than a road bike for my commute (fenders, long chain stays to prevent heel strike, longer wheel base for stability, lights... and more lights, dynamo hub.) The road bike is the "go fast", long distance, club ride bike... it's perfect for that scenario.
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Old 10-26-15, 01:04 PM
  #157  
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Originally Posted by hyhuu View Post
Well congratulation! That makes you not "most" people.
I would dare say that the people posting in these forums are not "most" people. Just check it out - "most people" in these forums have more than one bike and desire one more than they already have.
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Old 10-26-15, 01:31 PM
  #158  
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Interesting thread topic and discussion. I'm a full time bike commuter, but I also own a car. My commute is a hilly 35 minutes. I'm pretty fit and enjoy riding at whatever pace suits me on any particular day. Usually I just pootle along.

After thinking about it, I come down on the "no" side of the balance sheet. There's no attraction for me to change. I really enjoy riding a bike and always have. Bikes don't come inside my facility, so plugging in at work would be impractical. Having one more doo-dad to keep charged seems like a major downside to me as well.

One poster mentioned updated firmware, which made me chuckle. As the bike's motor and computer, my firmware is constantly getting updated...
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Old 10-26-15, 01:51 PM
  #159  
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Benefit of an ebike for commuting relies on several things:
- How in shape the biker is
- The distance of the commute

If you have a 10-15 mile commute and you want to get there quickly, which is better. A $2000 ebike, or a $2000 road bike? The answer is going to depend on the type of person you ask.

Obviously the guy training for a time trial or crit is going to be less interested in an ebike, but the guy who rides 12mph is going to be quite happy biking to work at 20mph. But if an ebike gets a casual bike rider out riding more for their commute – that is a win for everyone.
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Old 10-26-15, 05:08 PM
  #160  
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Originally Posted by chas58 View Post
Benefit of an ebike for commuting relies on several things:
- How in shape the biker is
- The distance of the commute

If you have a 10-15 mile commute and you want to get there quickly, which is better. A $2000 ebike, or a $2000 road bike? The answer is going to depend on the type of person you ask.

Obviously the guy training for a time trial or crit is going to be less interested in an ebike, but the guy who rides 12mph is going to be quite happy biking to work at 20mph. But if an ebike gets a casual bike rider out riding more for their commute that is a win for everyone.
I've never seen a rear rack, fenders, dynamo hub, and panniers on a time trial bike. I wouldn't do that to my time trial bike or even my road bike. I enjoy commuting on my road bike... but only in ideal conditions with a very light load. That scenario does not happen often... when it does, I take advantage and commute on my road bike. A morning like today... I'm glad I had the e-bike (it was dumping rain, dark, leaves all over the trail) with it's fenders, rack, panniers, and lights.
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Old 10-26-15, 07:18 PM
  #161  
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Originally Posted by loky1179 View Post
I've been passed by e-bikes on the MUP. Guess what - I can tell there're e-bikes in about 2 seconds. And it pisses me off. Not because they're going faster than me - but because they're riding a MOTORIZED vehicle on the bike trail! You want to ride a motorized vehicle - get on the road.

This seems to me to be the main attraction for e-bikes - to be able to ride them on infrastructure built for bicycles. And since there are very few e-bikes out there, the rules haven't caught up to them in many cases.

If you want exercise, you'd be riding a normal bike. If you want speed and convenience, you'd get a scooter, motorcycle or automobile. The e-bike seems like a solution in search of a problem.
So it pisses you off? If someone passed you on a road bike at the same speed would that piss you off? My guess is that your answer would be no. So, why is that? Why the difference?
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Old 10-26-15, 07:35 PM
  #162  
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Originally Posted by Ridefreemc View Post
So it pisses you off? If someone passed you on a road bike at the same speed would that piss you off? My guess is that your answer would be no. So, why is that? Why the difference?
Same reason it would piss me off if someone riding a Kawasaki 250 passed me. Keep the motorized vehicles off the bike trails. Seems pretty simple.
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Old 10-26-15, 07:44 PM
  #163  
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Originally Posted by loky1179 View Post
Same reason it would piss me off if someone riding a Kawasaki 250 passed me. Keep the motorized vehicles off the bike trails. Seems pretty simple.
Me too on the Kawi. They stink, are loud, and can run at over 100 miles per hour.

My guess is that you may have to really study many times to determine if someone is on an e-bike (pedal assist or whatever), and you may be good at detecting them, and most people wouldn't even know the difference (unless the guy is breaking the law with a hopped up system). However, I cannot see the reasoning behind your comments. Are they dangerous? Is it unfair that they are not exercising or working out, suffering? Really, I'd like to know what your problem is, and some of the others on this forum that have a burr under their saddle on this issue.

Last edited by Ridefreemc; 10-26-15 at 08:02 PM.
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Old 10-26-15, 08:16 PM
  #164  
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
No. If I wanted to ride a scooter, I would get a Vespa.
Loved my old Vespa! Want another one sometime..

My e-bike is with me now charging at work.. I forgot to charge it yesterday and ran out of power halfway in to work, but since it's a peddle assist no big deal just biked in as normal..i think most people in north america think of an e-bike as one of the scooter things with peddles attached to bypass the scooter laws.. i have two bikes for transportation (no car)..brodie 9spd internal hub and my e-bike..my e-bike is my car but a hell of allot cheaper. A 20 mile commute at the end of a 12hr night shift up a few big hills is not going happen on a regular basis without some power assist of my e-bike..days i don't mind using my non e-bike but night shifts can be killers, and for me the e-bike is a perfect solution.. I find these people that simply refuse to have anything to do with them, based on some 'wacky' sense of moral purist outrage, just silly.
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Old 10-26-15, 10:13 PM
  #165  
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Originally Posted by 350htrr View Post
This not getting any exercise is wrong, if you use the assist for what it was meant to be used for it can certainly be effective for exercise... It was meant to enable people to ride more, further, faster, carry more... Unfortunately it can be used to avoid pedaling all together too... And there's the rub, Most people do use the throttle more than they should I suspect, thus it can be a fail for exercising, but as long as they pedal and just use a bit of assistance once in awhile...
I find the reverse is true.. I got an ebike (pedal assist) because i found myself riding to work less and less, particularly on night shifts..the ebike got me back to full time bike commuting again..i used the assist more often at first but found myself using it less and less.. i now really only use it for hills or if I want a bit of fun..my next ebike will probably be lower powered since i'd prefer a less heavy bike. It's really nice going to my less weighty non ebike for weekend trail rides.
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Old 10-26-15, 10:54 PM
  #166  
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Just for the people that believe they are "purists" because they don't like e-bikes, I commuted home today, 7 miles without the motor. It's a gradual uphill. My bike weighs 52 lbs. My panniers weigh just a bit over 18 lbs. That's 70+ lbs of bicycle. It was work. I averaged 11.5 mph. 36:30 time. I still passed a few commuters on the MUP, and I was also passed a few times. Nobody cried.

On the e-bike that same trip with assist is an average of 17.8 mph, 23:30.
On the carbon fiber bike it's 15 mph, 28 minutes.

I went to the gym for 2 hours this evening to get my exercise.
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Old 10-27-15, 04:15 AM
  #167  
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Originally Posted by Ridefreemc View Post
Me too on the Kawi. They stink, are loud, and can run at over 100 miles per hour.

My guess is that you may have to really study many times to determine if someone is on an e-bike (pedal assist or whatever), and you may be good at detecting them, and most people wouldn't even know the difference (unless the guy is breaking the law with a hopped up system). However, I cannot see the reasoning behind your comments. Are they dangerous? Is it unfair that they are not exercising or working out, suffering? Really, I'd like to know what your problem is, and some of the others on this forum that have a burr under their saddle on this issue.
Most MUP trails that I have seen are clearly marked with signs that say no motorized vehicles. Pretty simple really unless you are one of those people who think that the rules don't apply to you.
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Old 10-27-15, 04:59 AM
  #168  
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Originally Posted by heywood View Post
Loved my old Vespa! Want another one sometime..

My e-bike is with me now charging at work.. I forgot to charge it yesterday and ran out of power halfway in to work, but since it's a peddle assist no big deal just biked in as normal..i think most people in north america think of an e-bike as one of the scooter things with peddles attached to bypass the scooter laws.. i have two bikes for transportation (no car)..brodie 9spd internal hub and my e-bike..my e-bike is my car but a hell of allot cheaper. A 20 mile commute at the end of a 12hr night shift up a few big hills is not going happen on a regular basis without some power assist of my e-bike..days i don't mind using my non e-bike but night shifts can be killers, and for me the e-bike is a perfect solution.. I find these people that simply refuse to have anything to do with them, based on some 'wacky' sense of moral purist outrage, just silly.
hetwood - you might just be approved for the legitimate use of your e-bike. Anything you can add to your justification, like saving puppies while carrying 60 pounds of groceries to people who cannot get to the store? Again, I find many to be judgmental about others, whether they are on a pure road bike, beater, or e-assist. I ride our MUP every single day, twice a day and have not had one person say anything negative to me. However here it is different.
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Old 10-27-15, 05:01 AM
  #169  
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Originally Posted by trailmix View Post
Most MUP trails that I have seen are clearly marked with signs that say no motorized vehicles. Pretty simple really unless you are one of those people who think that the rules don't apply to you.
Any MUP trails that i ride on that say no motorized vehicles i simply don't have my motor on..it's 'off'.. now my e-bike is simply a bicycle.. I also limit my speed as a bicycle to 20kph as most MUP's here state on the signs.. the scary cyclists on these trails i find are the groups of lycra clad ones that think they're in the 'Tour de France' and whipping along at speeds way faster that my bike could go with the motor engaged..
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Old 10-27-15, 05:05 AM
  #170  
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Originally Posted by trailmix View Post
Most MUP trails that I have seen are clearly marked with signs that say no motorized vehicles. Pretty simple really unless you are one of those people who think that the rules don't apply to you.
I guess you ought to read up on what your state considers a motorized vehicle. In Florida my Big Dummy with a Bionx kit on it is considered a bicycle.

These arguments remind me of when I was in code enforcement. The city I worked in seemed just fine, with the normal complaint here and there (overgrown grass for example), but soon after a newspaper article would cite some obscure law we'd get all kinds of complaints that involved the subject in the article. Also it reminds me of my parents condo where if you parked close to the stripe separating the spaces you'd get a nasty note on your car window telling you to parking in the middle of the space.

I guess you'd rather someone like me drive a 4,000 pound vehicle every day, spewing fumes and wasting resources. As I said earlier, that is the option that most people choose. Then again, now you can complain about all the darned cagers out there on the road.

I still haven't seen any real reasons why you guys are heck bent against electric assist.

I think we complain too much in this country.

Last edited by Ridefreemc; 10-27-15 at 05:11 AM.
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Old 10-27-15, 06:20 AM
  #171  
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Agree 100%, especially in cities. I'd rather see more e-bikes and less SUVs.
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Old 10-27-15, 06:28 AM
  #172  
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If an e-bike gets more folks to ride in to work instead of taking a car, then I'm all for it.

You do, however, lose your biker cred if you ride one of these.
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Old 10-27-15, 06:33 AM
  #173  
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Why the unnecessary elitism ?
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Old 10-27-15, 07:15 AM
  #174  
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Nikkkooo, no elitisim from me at least.

I hardly see any bike commuters in my area anyway, but I can tell you from my co-worker's reactions over the years that riding a bike to work does give you a lot more cred than riding an e-bike or motorcycle ever would.

Motorcycles only ever got a raised eyebrow if I rode in on a 29 degree morning or in heavy rain. Otherwise the folks couldn't care less. I can imagine that an e-bike would get a similar reaction.

However, most non-bike folks are impressed that someone would actually pedal their own bike for 10 miles to work and back.
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Old 10-27-15, 07:49 AM
  #175  
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Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
No.

If I wanted something with a wiring harness, I'd get a scooter or a motorcycle.

I was the tech guy at our shop for Trek's ill-fated Ride+ bikes based on BionX systems and after dealing with the few that we sold, am extremely gunshy about e-bikes.

I like not having to update firmware on my bike. I like not having issues I can't deal with on the side of the road. I like not having to recharge my bike or worry about range/energy use beyond what I know about my abilities and stamina. I like non-e-bikes for their simplicity. I like not having to have a multimeter in my bicycle tools toolbox. I like hubs with relatively even flange spoke hole spacing, and spokes I have a decent chance of finding in stock at a shop. There are enough systems to deal with on regular bikes, I don't need more which will break and/or require maintenance -- e-bikes have three additional systems: motor, battery, controller. I can think of better things on which to spend money than a replacement battery, if one is even available when needed. I like bikes where I don't have to deal with a PC connection, PC issues, software installs and updates.
I work in IT, and I really appreciate this reply.

That and I'd get fat real quick with an E-bike, and that was half the reason I took up cycling in the first place 15 years ago.
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--Ben
2006 Trek SU100, 2009 Motobecane Fantom CX, 2011 Motobecane Fantom Cross Uno, and a Bakfiets
Previously: 2000 Trek 4500 (2000-2003), 2003 Novara Randonee (2003-2006), 2003 Giant Rainier (2003-2008), 2005 Xootr Swift (2005-2007), 2007 Nashbar 1x9 (2007-2011), 2011 Windsor Shetland (2011-2014), 2008 Citizen Folder (2015)
Non-Bike hardware: MX Linux / BunsenLabs Linux / Raspbian / Mac OS 10.6 / Android 7
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