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Do you commute with an electric bike?

Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.
View Poll Results: Do you commute with an electric bike?
Yes, always.
8
11.11%
Yes, often.
3
4.17%
Yes, but only sometimes
5
6.94%
No, but I'm considering to start.
20
27.78%
No, never!
36
50.00%
Voters: 72. You may not vote on this poll

Do you commute with an electric bike?

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Old 12-05-18, 11:00 AM
  #26  
RubeRad
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
Question and answers seem fine to me.

"DO you commute with an electric bike" it is a question regarding the present. Answering "No, never" is accurate for anyone who has never commuted on an e-bike... even if they may at some point in the future.
"No, never" is ambiguous about being a description of the past (no, I never have) or an intent for the future (no, I never will) (especially following a question about considering for the future), and the exclamation point and italics seem to tilt it towards the latter.
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Old 12-05-18, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
"No, never" is ambiguous about being a description of the past (no, I never have) or an intent for the future (no, I never will) (especially following a question about considering for the future), and the exclamation point and italics seem to tilt it towards the latter.
That would be following an answer considering the future. Yes, I can see how it could add to the assumptions.
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Old 12-05-18, 09:23 PM
  #28  
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I just bought an ebike for an 8 mile commute one way, the 2018 Raleigh Redux IE

Its really a no brainer considering that you want to get the best tool for the job:

- less time but still a workout
- thus more sustainable for work week
- main bike becomes more multipurpose for picking things up at local store
- more enjoyable / comfortable with 2.4" tires rather than 28mm
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Old 12-06-18, 07:54 AM
  #29  
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I have no interest in getting an electric bike, and I clicked the "no, never" option. I'm not opposed to them, just not interested for my own purposes. I did actually ride an electric assist Citibike one time, just to see what it felt like. I liked it, but if I have the opportunity to rent one again, I will probably just leave it for the next guy.

I can envision my circumstances and my attitude changing. If things change, then it will be different.
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Old 12-06-18, 08:48 PM
  #30  
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I clicked "no never" simply because I can't think of a circumstance where I'd want an e-bike, but of course things can change.

I get a lot of satisfaction out of riding a conventional bike. Oddly enough, as bike technology has moved forward, my own bikes have moved backwards. Two of them now have single speed coaster hubs. I collect old Sturmey Archers and 1980s steel frames. So I've kind of tipped my hand as to my preference. I like the idea of getting around under my own power, on such a primitive machine. I like the aesthetics, and being completely self sufficient for maintenance. I know exactly how every part of my bike works. That's an obsession of mine. And it's a long term experiment that I'm willing to continue: For how many more years can I do this? What are my limits? I still don't know. I've been gradually taking longer rides, and want to complete a solo century next summer, so that's an interesting adventure.

There may be equally interesting adventures to be had on e-bikes, I just don't know what they are, or if they would pique my interest. Does anybody know what their limit of endurance is on an e-bike? How many miles? Do you want to try for longer rides? Harder rides? What motivates you to push yourself to the next level?

It's the same with the musical instrument that I play, the double bass, which was rendered obsolete by electricity more than six decades ago. I've accepted "electric assist" on my bass, but recognize it as a necessary evil with numerous tradeoffs.

At the same time, I've encouraged friends to get e-bikes. I now have a number of work colleagues who commute on e-bikes. Getting anybody to ride one during the winter is still a hurdle. I've seen no e-bikes outside since late October. What's winter riding like in Norway?
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Old 12-06-18, 09:13 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
I clicked "no never" simply because I can't think of a circumstance where I'd want an e-bike, but of course things can change.

I get a lot of satisfaction out of riding a conventional bike. Oddly enough, as bike technology has moved forward, my own bikes have moved backwards. Two of them now have single speed coaster hubs. I collect old Sturmey Archers and 1980s steel frames. So I've kind of tipped my hand as to my preference. I like the idea of getting around under my own power, on such a primitive machine. I like the aesthetics, and being completely self sufficient for maintenance. I know exactly how every part of my bike works. That's an obsession of mine. And it's a long term experiment that I'm willing to continue: For how many more years can I do this? What are my limits? I still don't know. I've been gradually taking longer rides, and want to complete a solo century next summer, so that's an interesting adventure.

There may be equally interesting adventures to be had on e-bikes, I just don't know what they are, or if they would pique my interest. Does anybody know what their limit of endurance is on an e-bike? How many miles? Do you want to try for longer rides? Harder rides? What motivates you to push yourself to the next level?

It's the same with the musical instrument that I play, the double bass, which was rendered obsolete by electricity more than six decades ago. I've accepted "electric assist" on my bass, but recognize it as a necessary evil with numerous tradeoffs.

At the same time, I've encouraged friends to get e-bikes. I now have a number of work colleagues who commute on e-bikes. Getting anybody to ride one during the winter is still a hurdle. I've seen no e-bikes outside since late October. What's winter riding like in Norway?
1; Adventures, 2; Necessity, 3; Fun, 4; Endurance...

1; I find that having an" E-Assist" bike is allowing me too have bigger/longer adventurous rides all the time...
2; I find it not really "necessary" but, wait a minute, I am having almost as much exercise and 2X the fun...
3; I find it so much more "fun" to ride that I ride 2X as much, maybe 3X as much...
4; Endurance... well now, I also find that my "endurance" may not be as good as it used to be, But my E-Assist bicycle, allows me to push it to the limit and still get home, if and when I find that my "endurance" doesn't live up to my want to ride that ride...

as for how many miles my E=Assist "allows" me to ride, that would depend on how much "assistance" I expect from it...

I can, & have rode/ridden over 350Km on one charge...
I pretty well have ridden 100KM (averaged) on one charge per, 99% of my rides...
I have also only got 30Km per charge when I used it as a moped, ( throttle only)…

Thus my what IS an E-Bike Q, in post # 9...

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Old 12-06-18, 09:18 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by 350htrr View Post
1; Adventures, 2; Necessity, 3; Fun, 4; Endurance...

1; I find that having an" E-Assist" bike is allowing me too have bigger/longer adventurous rides all the time...
2; I find it not really "necessary" but, wait a minute, I am having almost as much exercise and 2X the fun...
3; I find it so much more "fun" to ride that I ride 2X as much, maybe 3X as much...
4; Endurance... well now, I also find that my "endurance" may not be as good as it used to be, But my E-Assist bicycle, allows me to push it to the limit and still get home, if and when I find that my "endurance" doesn't live up to my want to ride that ride...

as for how many miles my E=Assist "allows" me to ride, that would depend on how much "assistance" I expect from it...

I can, & have rode 350Km on one charge...
I pretty well have ridden 100KM (averaged) on one charge prey well 99% of my rides...
I have also only got 30Km per charge when I used it as a moped, ( throttle only)…

Thus my what IS an E-Bike Q, in post # 9...
That's cool. Thanks!
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Old 12-07-18, 09:37 AM
  #33  
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Seems like the missing poll entry of just plain "No" is what most posters would have answered
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Old 12-07-18, 03:28 PM
  #34  
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It's scary how GP can be both prescient as well as totally naive and clueless at the same time. He knows the conventional bike industry is doomed and he knows e-bikes are soon to take over. Quoted below. This means that rivendell's days are numbered. However, he completely fails to acknowledge that the showroom floor appears to be, and actually is empty because the REAL Interbike actually took place during the first two days at NorthStar, 35 miles out. Take a look. Every single bike is an e-bike. The vid is from 17 so surely the process has accelerated for 18. I have no problem with people sticking their heads in the sand. But to compare e-bikes with hybrids is laughable.


https://www.rivbike.com/blogs/peekin...-knothole/reno

The big bike industry trade show is called Interbike. It ended Friday, and this year it was about 25 percent as big as it has been in any of the past 35 years.....The U.S. bike industry is at a low and scary point (however) at Interbike, 1/3 of the space was eBikes. A German journalist told me that 80 percent of the mountain bikes sold in Germany are eBikes. I would say then that mountain bike sales have fallen by 80 percent.

A few months ago I thought I'd jolt you with the prediction (by one guy who studies trends) that in 5 years 30 to 40 percent of the market will be eBikes. I think it'll happen in two years, and it'll be 50 to 60 percent.
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Old 12-07-18, 04:12 PM
  #35  
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'doomed' is a bit much. 'doom' from the supply side, I guess manufacturers need to start adapting or die. But 27" bikes were 'doomed' by 700C. Steel bikes were 'doomed' by alu and then carbon. Road bikes were 'doomed' by mountain. Road&mountain both were doomed by hybrid. 26" was doomed by 29 and very soon after 29 was doomed by 27.5.

Yes, the industry repeatedly gets disrupted. But if I want to buy a 27" tire for my ancient lugged steel road bike, it's not hard. Out here on the consumer side, all of us that enjoy non-electric bicycles will still be able to enjoy non-electric bicycles.
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Old 12-07-18, 06:41 PM
  #36  
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I don’t think bikes will be replaced by e-bikes. I like pedaling to get somewhere. E-bikes are perhaps faster and easier for short rides, such as commuting, where they replace a car or public transportation, but the act of pedaling to get somewhere is enjoyable in and of itself. I don’t enjoy driving my car to work, and wouldn’t enjoy riding an e-bike either. It gets you where you are going, and not much more.
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Old 12-07-18, 07:48 PM
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Oddly enough it wouldn't bother me at all of e-bikes surpassed conventional bikes in popularity. What's the problem? Cycling could go back to being a counterculture, like it has been for a long time. I've dealt with people thinking I was delusional for riding a bike, all my life. Hearing it from e-cyclists is old news. My bike is obsolete, even relative to newer conventional bikes, and gratuitously difficult to ride. I still play a musical instrument that was rendered obsolete by electricity in the 1950s, and play music that most people hate. I still haven't gotten a Facebook account.

I'm in an odd position for being a conventional cyclist, since my cruising speed is only around 14 to 16 mph on a good day. Most competitive / athletic cyclists can already drop me. Electric bikes don't change that equation. Something I expect is that as e-bikes become more popular, e-cyclists will prefer to leave me alone. Having to ride at my cruising speed would get pretty boring pretty quick, and I probably wouldn't get invited back.

What if conventional bikes are no longer made? There will still be an unlimited supply of conventional bikes in garages.

Instead of being the coolest kid with the coolest bike, I'll just take my place with the bums, college students, and other interesting people for whom a conventional bike will remain the preferred technology. But this may be an Internet-only phenomenon. My friends who have e-bikes have given up on pressuring me to get one. They still get cycling advice from me.
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Old 12-07-18, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
I don’t think bikes will be replaced by e-bikes. I like pedaling to get somewhere. E-bikes are perhaps faster and easier for short rides, such as commuting, where they replace a car or public transportation, but the act of pedaling to get somewhere is enjoyable in and of itself. I don’t enjoy driving my car to work, and wouldn’t enjoy riding an e-bike either. It gets you where you are going, and not much more.
and... There you go... With an E-Bike you can actually "choose", Pedal 100%, or not pedal 100%, or pedal and use assist when you NEED it/or even want it at what ever % you pick/need... wow, not going to fail …. IMO...
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Old 12-07-18, 09:11 PM
  #39  
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I bought an e-bike in August and I have ridden it to work almost every single day since - the exceptions being three snowy days that happened before I could get my winter tires, in October (because Calgary).


I'm a bike mechanic and year-round commuter - or was, until a health issue two years ago took me off the bike for six months and left me with some chronic fatigue issues. (Endometriosis sucks, by the way). Riding to and from work was just not sustainable, no matter how hard I tried to get back into shape; I was well into overtraining territory, just day to day, which was incredibly frustrating.


Having a bike with pedal assist means I can ride up the hill to get home without exhausting myself and without taking an hour to cover 5km - it's an ugly hill, and I was stopping every 200 meters to catch my breath... This when I used to ride metric centuries on the weekends without batting an eyelash... frustration then turned it into even MORE of a slog and I was just miserable.


So. I'm still riding, still moving, and still rubber side down. And I am slowly, slowly starting to regain strength, I think! Certainly more than I would have if I had thrown in the towel and started driving or even walking/transit to work.
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Old 12-07-18, 09:27 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
IGetting anybody to ride one during the winter is still a hurdle. I've seen no e-bikes outside since late October. What's winter riding like in Norway?
Can't answer for Norway, but Calgary has been pretty wintry since the first week of October, and I've been trucking along just fine! My e-bike has a mid-mount Bosch motor, so the weight is quite low and centered. That along with the long wheelbase make the bike incredibly stable. It handles better than my old rigid mountain bike with studded tires on. To keep the battery from freezing I bring the battery pack inside with me at night (bike in the unheated garage), and I've made an insulating sleeve for the battery when in use. It has to get quite a lot colder than our current -10C to affect battery range by more than a few percentage points though. Mostly I just wanted an excuse to knit a sweater for my bike...

I still have, and love, and will ride my traditional bikes again. And I work on bikes of every age and condition every day, finding much to enjoy about all of the technologies. I've just expanded my bicycle love to include pedal assist. (Still don't trust electronic shifting though!)
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Old 12-07-18, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Buglady View Post
Can't answer for Norway, but Calgary has been pretty wintry since the first week of October, and I've been trucking along just fine! My e-bike has a mid-mount Bosch motor, so the weight is quite low and centered. That along with the long wheelbase make the bike incredibly stable. It handles better than my old rigid mountain bike with studded tires on. To keep the battery from freezing I bring the battery pack inside with me at night (bike in the unheated garage), and I've made an insulating sleeve for the battery when in use. It has to get quite a lot colder than our current -10C to affect battery range by more than a few percentage points though. Mostly I just wanted an excuse to knit a sweater for my bike...

I still have, and love, and will ride my traditional bikes again. And I work on bikes of every age and condition every day, finding much to enjoy about all of the technologies. I've just expanded my bicycle love to include pedal assist. (Still don't trust electronic shifting though!)
Thanks. I just got a couple of headlights with lithium polymer batteries. So far I've left the old disposable battery lights on the bike until I find out how the lithium batteries behave in the cold. We typically get down to only about -25 C, unless we have some freak polar vortex. I did put the lights in the freezer, and they still turned on when cooled down a lot.

The thing people have told me is that charging in the cold is more of a problem than operating the batteries in the cold.

When I was a kid in the mid 70s my family took a long car camping trip, and went through Calgary, then Banff / Jasper and back through Edmonton. It was beautiful.
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Old 12-08-18, 12:05 PM
  #42  
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Agree that there's a gap between the last 2 options. Didn't think it through when made the questions. But what matters is the trend, majority here seems to prefer conventional bikes. I think out there this trend is changing, fast.
I have nothing against electric bikes. At work I saw several colleagues, that used to drive every day, now riding to work, and that is very positive, for them, for the environment, for the city traffic flow.
As for myself, I really enjoy the exercise and prefer to feel the wind and climbs on my legs. But I must admit some days when I'm recovering from being sick, or just tired, pushing my daughter in the trolley, I could use an electric bike a day in the week, and that would be positive since often I end up taking my car these days, so... I guess the important thing is, even though I have a strong preference for riding a traditional bike, having an electric bike would be a large step towards a car-free live, which is a good goal.
As for the competition, it is natural and healthy =) Road bikes commute faster than hybrids or mountain bikes, but mountain bikes can go in off road terrain and make commute more fun, while hybrids can be convenient for the supermarket between work and home. But it still annoys me a little when passed by an eBike. But a lot less that it did before. I even saw a positive effect of pushing harder as an attempt to pass them, more exercise for me =)
The only negative I could see so far with eBikes, are the "tweaked" ones - here by law eBikes are limited to 25 km/h. But something like 5% (rough guess!) of them are tweaked and the torque limiter is removed... and then it becomes questionable. I saw right in front of me (ironically I was driving that day), this lady doing about 50 km/h in her tweaked eBike, slamming the front break in the middle of a curve. She got hurt bad. And didn't seen to understand what she did wrong. It was on the road. I would really not like seeing these things happening on the cycling/pedestrian ways... these bikes weight like 30kg.

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Old 12-08-18, 04:14 PM
  #43  
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eBikes are a good thing, IMHO. But I share the sentiment made by haphaeu that 25 km/h ought to be the limit. (Let a bicycle be a bicyle, please.)
I have an eBike but I use the assistance sparingly.
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Old 12-08-18, 06:01 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Bikewolf View Post
eBikes are a good thing, IMHO. But I share the sentiment made by haphaeu that 25 km/h ought to be the limit. (Let a bicycle be a bicyle, please.)
I have an eBike but I use the assistance sparingly.
Bicycles are virtually unregulated. The rules that we obey are pretty minimal, and are mainly a consequence of having to regulate cars. And we barely attract any attention from the authorities except in places like NYC. I would not want a 25 km/h limit imposed on my conventional bike, even though it's pretty close to my normal cruising speed.
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Old 12-08-18, 08:46 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
Bicycles are virtually unregulated. The rules that we obey are pretty minimal, and are mainly a consequence of having to regulate cars. And we barely attract any attention from the authorities except in places like NYC. I would not want a 25 km/h limit imposed on my conventional bike, even though it's pretty close to my normal cruising speed.
Here in N. America it's 32KMs/Hr cut off, in some places it's 28 MPH/44Kms /Hr, with is WWAAaayy to high for my liking for the assistance level of 750 Watts,... The part I do not... Absolutely do not agree with, is the 750 watts motor with a throttle & a 28/MPH/44KM per Hr cut off... A 350 watts, without a throttle 32Km cut off pedal assist, sounds about right to me...
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Old 12-08-18, 10:46 PM
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I really don't understand quite why people want to impose limits. I agree in principle with some loose limits - particularly on speed - but everything else sounds rather arbitrary. For example, 350W may be more than enough for a light person with minimal hills, but where I bike, in Seattle, that's not going to get you up many hills without substantial effort from your part. I'd much rather let everyone bike than limit it to just those who can deal with the hills. In my case, I rarely see more than 100-300W on my display when I'm on flats (and that's with me going just above 20mph) but with some of the hills around here, I try to get as much power as I can. If you tow a trailer or the like, the extra available power is invaluable.

Speed-wise, I routinely hit in the high 20's mph going down hills with no assist. So to say a bike can't go at that speed is simply false. If you want to limit e-bikes to "bike-like" speeds, then sure, 28 mph is reasonable. But permanently limiting e-bikes to 15 mph is absurd, at least on large streets outside of city centers.

I do agree on throttles, mostly because I think e-bikes should be an assist and not a moped. But honestly, it's not that big a deal to me.
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Old 12-08-18, 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by physdl View Post
I really don't understand quite why people want to impose limits. I agree in principle with some loose limits - particularly on speed - but everything else sounds rather arbitrary. For example, 350W may be more than enough for a light person with minimal hills, but where I bike, in Seattle, that's not going to get you up many hills without substantial effort from your part. I'd much rather let everyone bike than limit it to just those who can deal with the hills. In my case, I rarely see more than 100-300W on my display when I'm on flats (and that's with me going just above 20mph) but with some of the hills around here, I try to get as much power as I can. If you tow a trailer or the like, the extra available power is invaluable.

Speed-wise, I routinely hit in the high 20's mph going down hills with no assist. So to say a bike can't go at that speed is simply false. If you want to limit e-bikes to "bike-like" speeds, then sure, 28 mph is reasonable. But permanently limiting e-bikes to 15 mph is absurd, at least on large streets outside of city centers.

I do agree on throttles, mostly because I think e-bikes should be an assist and not a moped. But honestly, it's not that big a deal to me.
The "limits" are there to try and keep E-Bikes as close to regular bicycles as possible, while "allowing motor "assist" for those that need or want it, and still be "considered to be a bicycle", legally... IMO as I understand it, it is done to get more people to ride bicycles and out of cars., the main difference is, the EU rules say(generally) 350 watts 32KM/Hr cut off with no throttle, and the N. American rules (generally) of 750 watts and 28MPH/ 44Km/Hr cut off for the E-motor with a throttle .. A wee bit of difference I think,

Last edited by 350htrr; 12-08-18 at 11:13 PM.
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Old 12-08-18, 11:27 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
Bicycles are virtually unregulated. The rules that we obey are pretty minimal, and are mainly a consequence of having to regulate cars. And we barely attract any attention from the authorities except in places like NYC. I would not want a 25 km/h limit imposed on my conventional bike, even though it's pretty close to my normal cruising speed.
I was merely talking preference, not ‘regulating’ ;-)
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Old 12-09-18, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by 350htrr View Post
The "limits" are there to try and keep E-Bikes as close to regular bicycles as possible, while "allowing motor "assist" for those that need or want it, and still be "considered to be a bicycle", legally... IMO as I understand it, it is done to get more people to ride bicycles and out of cars., the main difference is, the EU rules say(generally) 350 watts 32KM/Hr cut off with no throttle, and the N. American rules (generally) of 750 watts and 28MPH/ 44Km/Hr cut off for the E-motor with a throttle .. A wee bit of difference I think,
What kind of hill is insurmountable with a 350 W motor? I'm assuming "close to regular bicycles as possible" means you slow down going uphill and avoid the steepest hills if necessary. On the other hand, why make it like a bike? Why not make it better?

Granted, I get the idea of encouraging people to ride bikes.
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Old 12-09-18, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
What kind of hill is insurmountable with a 350 W motor? I'm assuming "close to regular bicycles as possible" means you slow down going uphill and avoid the steepest hills if necessary. On the other hand, why make it like a bike? Why not make it better?

Granted, I get the idea of encouraging people to ride bikes.
Here is the difference in my experience riding my E-Assist bike.
A 23% hill 1 KM long without the assist am thinking I need to stop 3 times because I think I will die if I don't, but I didn't die and I didn't stop... Yay.
The same hill, with my 350 watts of assist I make it up the hill without thinking I will die, I still need/must pedal all I am worth... Woo Hoo.
Lets say the same hill with a 750 watt motor, I suspect I could make it up almost without pedaling with the throttle, see the difference...???

I would and do call my 350 watt an E-Assist bicycle, and the 750 watt E-Bike a moped. JMO

Last edited by 350htrr; 12-09-18 at 11:18 AM. Reason: add stuff
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