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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.
14
11.48%
Yes, often.
8
6.56%
Yes, but only sometimes
8
6.56%
No, but I'm considering to start.
29
23.77%
No, never!
63
51.64%
Voters: 122. You may not vote on this poll

Do you commute with an electric bike?

Old 12-18-18, 07:11 AM
  #76  
Robert C
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Originally Posted by radroad View Post
The problem with asking this type of question on this type of forum is that a) most of the riders are older, i.e., stuck in their ways, b) are heavily invested both financially and emotionally, and c) typically own a sizable stable of conventional bikes. They are loathe to change their ways and any significant change is going to feel like being thrown into an icy cold lake against their will.

As far as the industry in general, I'd say e-bikes will constitute half of all bike sales in, say 5-6 years, and perhaps 70-75% in 10 years. Grant Petersen thinks the timeline is half that.

The industry is in the midst of a cataclysmic change. It's amazing to me that 90% of this forum seems oblivious or in denial of this.
another problem, with this poll, is that the "Yes" is divided onto three columns while the "no" is in a single column. The result is that "No" will, almost certainly, dominate over any other column. This will happen even if "No" is not the most common choice.
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Old 12-19-18, 08:41 PM
  #77  
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Yeah, my e-bike is a SWB cargo tandem, I carry my kid to school on it, it has multiple panniers and I can do a month's shopping on it, also carried a host of Christmas presents.

I live in a hilly town of cycleways, it's all underpasses and bridges so I could never carry it all on a manual bike.

Most people use a car instead. Anyone using a car is lazy and cheating - plastic exercise monkeys. I'm car-free.
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Old 12-25-18, 07:14 PM
  #78  
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Personally no. But I've seen more and more people riding some type of e-bike. Variable pedal assist for those that buy the bike and full electric mode option like you find in the Uber owned Jump leave anywhere bikes or those Bird and Lime scooters.
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Old 12-27-18, 08:35 PM
  #79  
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I wouldn't mind owning a Specialized Turbo
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Old 12-30-18, 07:56 PM
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Back in 2015 I purchased the izip dash e3, made a number of upgrades to help on longer commutes, it was a blast to ride. After 4,000 miles the battery started losing charge and motor would become very viscous. I have since gutted the bike for parts and have gone back to riding a regular bike.
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Old 01-03-19, 07:56 AM
  #81  
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I ride a 2017 Raleigh Misceo IE Sport (purchased in Nov. 2016). I have over 8500-miles on the bike and it's still going strong. My commute is 40-miles round-trip, so the pedal 'assist' has been much appreciated over the last couple of years. I try to commute at least 3-days a week. Doing that with my fully loaded non-e-bike was hard on my legs... especially if weather caused me to ride two days back to back. Plus, there is over 1000-feet of climbing each direction. Now, I just don't worry about those things. The drive-train is the Shimano Steps system, which has been nearly flawless. The only exception was the motor did start acting up around the 4000-mile mark. It didn't die, but was making some interesting noises. It was replaced under warranty, and I haven't had any problems since.
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Old 01-06-19, 10:09 AM
  #82  
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The industry is in the midst of a cataclysmic change. It's amazing to me that 90% of this forum seems oblivious or in denial of this.[/QUOTE]

I do not ride an e-bike but I’m also not in any sort of denial. I’ve ridden ebikes before and they were really fun. If you ever get a chance to try a Butchers & Bicycles MK1-e, do it. They’re a blast! https://www.butchersandbicycles.com/

I figure that I’ll pedal until I can’t. I love the exercise and rhythm of riding. When I can no longer pedal, I hope I can just adapt my existing bikes to electric assist because I love my current bikes. Hopefully, that will keep me on a bike through my ‘90’s!

john

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Old 01-30-19, 08:53 AM
  #83  
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In March 2017 I built up a 2006 steel disc-only MTB frame into an upright riding pedal-assist e-bike, mainly for commuting and grocery hauling, with the occasional kid on a tagalong bike. It is an ABSOLUTE JOY to ride. I love every second that I'm on it, which IMHO is the most important thing. Sure I still ride my road bike, but not as much anymore. I just love riding the e-bike so dang much! It just turned 6,000 miles last week, in less than 2 years. I just installed a Brooks B67 a couple of weeks ago which makes it even better! Pic is from Summer 2017.

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Old 01-30-19, 04:10 PM
  #84  
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Citi Bike has added e-bikes to its fleet in New York City. I had been waiting to snag one and finally got the chance on Monday on the way home from a job interview. It was a little weird, but I enjoyed it. It might have a speed limiter at 16 mph, as my record in ridewithgps shows me lingering at that speed quite a lot, even into a headwind. If that's the limit, I think it's fine. I must admit, it was quite a lot of fun. The motor doesn't kick in unless you're pedaling, and it kicks out as soon as you stop. It makes me feel powerful, as the bike lunges forward when I pedal.

The last I heard, the docking stations don't charge the bikes, so the staff have to pull them out to charge them. That's not a good system. I suppose if the company decides the e-bikes are a success, they'll put charging into the docks.

Today I got to ride one again, this time without a headwind, and it was even more fun. Again my speed maxed out at 17 or 18 mph, which is really plenty.

There is a Facebook group called Bicycle Commuter, and in a discussion about e-bikes, one guy told his story. He is 17 miles from work (each way), and he's in his late middle ages. It is not at all practical to do that commute on a regular pedal bike. He does it on an e-bike, and this way, he gets more exercise than he ever would, so in cases like that, it's definitely not cheating. I don't even know what cheating is. There are lots of success stories. I'm still not interested in buying an e-bike, but I'm not opposed to them at all. But we do need rational laws governing them.
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Old 01-30-19, 04:49 PM
  #85  
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I'm still not interested in buying an e-bike, but I'm not opposed to them at all. But we do need rational laws governing them.
With all of the people talking about how much they enjoy the E-bikes, it makes me wonder again why scooters (proper, combustion engine scooters, or mopeds) never caught on here. I think anyone that has visited the European or Asian countries where they are widely used has also wondered the same.

With the popularity of e-bikes and other electric vehicles (stand-up scooters, skateboards), I'm starting to think a lot has to do with the bike lanes. People like having a powered vehicle that get's a protected lane that often bypasses traffic jams (and lights). And, in my opinion, this defeats half the purpose of bike lanes to begin with.
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Old 01-30-19, 04:54 PM
  #86  
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e-bikes are probably simpler and easier to maintain than internal combustion engine (ICE) bikes. They're cleaner, and they are so quiet! The bikes I ride seemed to make no sound at all. Mopeds have 2-stroke engines. Ick. I think scooters do, too.
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Old 01-31-19, 02:21 PM
  #87  
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Human powered for now

My commute is short enough that I haven't felt the pull to go electric. But I am seeing many more on my route. E-bike or conventional, I'm all in favor of getting more people out of their cars if possible.
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Old 02-01-19, 05:26 PM
  #88  
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
e-bikes are probably simpler and easier to maintain than internal combustion engine (ICE) bikes. They're cleaner, and they are so quiet! The bikes I ride seemed to make no sound at all. Mopeds have 2-stroke engines. Ick. I think scooters do, too.
Originally Posted by robertorolfo View Post
With all of the people talking about how much they enjoy the E-bikes, it makes me wonder again why scooters (proper, combustion engine scooters, or mopeds) never caught on here. I think anyone that has visited the European or Asian countries where they are widely used has also wondered the same.

With the popularity of e-bikes and other electric vehicles (stand-up scooters, skateboards), I'm starting to think a lot has to do with the bike lanes. People like having a powered vehicle that get's a protected lane that often bypasses traffic jams (and lights). And, in my opinion, this defeats half the purpose of bike lanes to begin with.

Mopeds did catch on here. Back in the late 70's, and early 80's they were extremely common. I remember my 8th grate teacher rode one to school. When I turned 15 (they only required a learners permit in California) I got one.

What killed the boom was the licensing. Through the moped boom they only needed a bicycle license. Then the states started requiring motorcycle plates and insurance. If a person was going to go through that trouble they would just get a car. That is exactly what happened.

That is why I get so annoyed when people want to put crazy restrictions on e-bikes or try to remove them from the legal definition of a bicycle. They don't know their history. people are not going to get off their e-bikes and suddenly turn into super cyclists. If the e-bike was banned, or legislated into an effective ban, the e-bike riders are going to drive.

I do agree that the e-bikes are cleaner. As far as maintenance, it is different but I am not sure it is less, on a per mile basis. Some scooters, particularly the ones from the 60's and 70's were two stroke. Most today are four stroke. Someone can probably find a two stroke scooter being sold today, but it isn't the bulk of the market (last summer I was looking at scooters with my daughter).
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Old 02-03-19, 09:14 AM
  #89  
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I wonder how long it would take before someone puts a small motor to turn the pedals on an e-assist so you don't have to pedal at all. Maybe it's been done already.
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Old 02-03-19, 10:25 AM
  #90  
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Originally Posted by Reynolds View Post
I wonder how long it would take before someone puts a small motor to turn the pedals on an e-assist so you don't have to pedal at all. Maybe it's been done already.
It's called a throttle... and as soon as you use the throttle the E-Assist bike becomes an E-Bike...JMO
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Old 02-04-19, 12:09 PM
  #91  
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@Robert C, the same thing happened here in NYC. It was around 1975, if I remember. Mopeds flooded the streets. I think you needed a learner's permit. Lots of young folks were riding them, some illegally, I'm sure. And some were riding them irresponsibly. So the government went overboard and increase requirements so much that they disappeared. I think a certain amount of licensing and insurance is a good idea, but not too much. e-bikes (pedal assist and throttled) have their places, if we can regulate them reasonably.
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Old 02-04-19, 05:09 PM
  #92  
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
@Robert C, the same thing happened here in NYC. It was around 1975, if I remember. Mopeds flooded the streets. I think you needed a learner's permit. Lots of young folks were riding them, some illegally, I'm sure. And some were riding them irresponsibly. So the government went overboard and increase requirements so much that they disappeared. I think a certain amount of licensing and insurance is a good idea, but not too much. e-bikes (pedal assist and throttled) have their places, if we can regulate them reasonably.
Granted that was before I was born, but I don't remember ever seeing mopeds and/or scooters here (in NYC, or the US) to the extent you see them in Southern Europe.

Some small (50cc) scooters are 4-stroke now, and new 2-strokes have cleaner burning technology. I agree that electric is probably better, but a clean burning 2-stroke that gets 125mpg isn't too shabby, and certainly a step up from single occupant SUV's.

Back to the E-bikes, I agree there should be some sensible and reasonable legislation.
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Old 02-04-19, 06:39 PM
  #93  
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Originally Posted by robertorolfo View Post
Granted that was before I was born, but I don't remember ever seeing mopeds and/or scooters here (in NYC, or the US) to the extent you see them in Southern Europe.

Some small (50cc) scooters are 4-stroke now, and new 2-strokes have cleaner burning technology. I agree that electric is probably better, but a clean burning 2-stroke that gets 125mpg isn't too shabby, and certainly a step up from single occupant SUV's.

Back to the E-bikes, I agree there should be some sensible and reasonable legislation.
and... there's the "problem", What IS sensible...??? To some, a bicycle is a bicycle, 100 % human powered, ABSOLUTELY no motor, but to some it's a 350 watt MAX assisted bicycle that you MUST pedal to go anywhere, or you go nowhere, and to some others, its a 750 watt E-Bike that has a throttle and doesn't actually need to be pedalled because it has a throttle but is still by Law, an E-Bike that is considered a bicycle...NO, it's a MOPED, anything with a throttle is IMO in moped territory, in my book anyways... Why...??? Because it COULD be USED as a moped ( OK, most people would still pedal) but, guess what,? there would be a certain % that would NOT pedal... What would that number be...??? I do not know, but I have, seen many people around here ripping around on E-Bikes without pedaling going way faster than anyone else, even me with an assist and pedaling as hard as I could, BUT they, were pretending they were/are riding a bicycle … Riding wherever that wanted, on the street, on the sidewalks, on the trails... That's why I am 100 % against throttles... Just in case someone missed my point that I hatted throttled E-Bikes, because throttles make any E-Assisted bicycle a POTENTIAL MOPED... It's that simple.

EDIT; and... Just because it has/had a 750 watt motor, it still would NOT be a MOPED, "IF" you would NEED to pedal to go anywhere... IMO YES, the pedaling "effort" could be minimised to the point where the MOTOR is doing most of the work, there IS a difference, IMO as long as you MUST put in some pedaling effort, but, IF you "NEED" it the motor "assists " you, It still IS still a bicycle for people who actually WANT tor "ride a bicycle"...

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Old 02-04-19, 07:17 PM
  #94  
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Originally Posted by 350htrr View Post
That's why I am 100 % against throttles... Just in case someone missed my point that I hatted throttled E-Bikes, because throttles make any E-Assisted bicycle a POTENTIAL MOPED... It's that simple.
Of course, I will pull this one out again:
I will throw out another example, one that is slightly more dramatic; my daughter was hit by a car. Of course they just drove off. She needed to get home and was not able to pedal the bike due to the pain. She was able to use the throttle only to get home and a deliveryman helped her get her bike into her apartment. A long, hot, bath and a lot of painkillers later and she was fine.

(Why didn't she call for medical assist? This is America, she couldn't afford it. Medical issues are the#1 cause of personal bankruptcies and personal debt can easily land a person in jail.)
While I always pedal, I think having a throttle, even if it in in the tool kit, is a good back up. On that note, I am getting ready to install a motor with torque sensing on my bike. It will be interesting to see how well it works out.
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Old 02-04-19, 08:23 PM
  #95  
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Originally Posted by Robert C View Post
Of course, I will pull this one out again:

Yes, we have discussed this a few times... What IS the answer...??? well, a certificate...??? for people who NEED the 750 watts & a throttle for medical reasons, no problem IMO, but for the GENERAL population, it spells a potential for abuse to me... Leading to the E-Assisted bicycle being relegated to the same outcome... as the moped, needing a licence & needing insurance, a total fail of the whole reason where E-Assisted bicycles were legally considered a bicycle... as |I understand it...


While I always pedal, I think having a throttle, even if it in in the tool kit, is a good back up. On that note, I am getting ready to install a motor with torque sensing on my bike. It will be interesting to see how well it works out.
and.. there the "problem" for most people... The extra expense… and.. most people do pedal, but what about that 1%, 10%, 20%... who don't pedal and never ever actually wanted to...??? , and use the motor as a moped, rather than as an assist.? It's those people, who F'd things up with the mopeds, and being able to ride the E-Bikes like the mopeds were being ridden, and the E-Bikes are going to be ridden that way are going to F' things up with the E-assist bicycle being considered a bicycle in the eyes of the LAW, eventually... JMO... THUS the whole fail in the end IMO, For everyone who wants to ride an E-Assisted bicycle...
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Old 02-05-19, 12:16 PM
  #96  
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The fact that "what is reasonable" is not obvious, combined with the fact that we will not all agree, are not reasons not to draft regulations and try to enforce them. The e-bike is hard to classify, but it's time to start doing so. I use a path intended for bikes and pedestrians, and it prohibits motors. Some people on e-bikes and scooters and hoverboards use it. I grumble a little, especially if they are reckless, but to be honest, most act pretty responsibly. Speed limits should be established. A regulation might have a cap on max power and also govern whether a throttle is allowed. @Robert C's daughter might not be able to use her throttled e-bike on the path but should be allowed in regular traffic or even the bike lane on streets.
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Old 02-05-19, 12:17 PM
  #97  
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Originally Posted by 350htrr View Post
and.. there the "problem" for most people... The extra expense… and.. most people do pedal, but what about that 1%, 10%, 20%... who don't pedal and never ever actually wanted to...??? , and use the motor as a moped, rather than as an assist.? It's those people, who F'd things up with the mopeds, and being able to ride the E-Bikes like the mopeds were being ridden, and the E-Bikes are going to be ridden that way are going to F' things up with the E-assist bicycle being considered a bicycle in the eyes of the LAW, eventually... JMO... THUS the whole fail in the end IMO, For everyone who wants to ride an E-Assisted bicycle...
Well, here in NY, there are tons of guys riding around using the throttle only, and not even bothering to pedal. I'd say 95% of them (maybe even more) are delivery guys, but that is how they are using the bikes and they are doing so in the bike lanes. And some of these guys ride really aggressively and/or dangerously, which is only breeding resentment.

I'm with you about the throttle. That, and/or a speed limit. If it has a throttle, then it should be ridden on the roads only, with other motorized traffic. Ditto if it "assist" and can do more than, say, 15mph? Maybe 10? But they must be pedaling.

I hear a lot of people mentioning that e-assist helps older riders get on bikes, and other people that wouldn't normally be riding. And that's a good thing. But then why don't they just buy full on electric or gas powered scooters and ride in the streets? Ah, because a bike is more convenient, and they perceive bike lanes to be safer. But at who's expense? Now they are overtaking people, and the other people have to worry about them... There is a lot to consider with this topic...
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Old 02-05-19, 03:39 PM
  #98  
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Limit the electric bikes in bike lanes to 10mph. If someone is in a hurry, they should get back in their car. Because some scardicat roadie rides 28 miles per hour on the bike path isn't reason enough for anyone with 2,000 bucks to be permitted to ride a motorcycle on said paths. I'm afraid that is what we have here in CA. Enforcement of the laws on a bike path will never happen.
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Old 02-10-19, 07:18 PM
  #99  
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I'm confused - how is a roadie going 25 mph different than an e-bike going 25 mph? You can make an argument that throttles should be regulated differently but whether power comes from a battery or from your legs won't impact what happens if you ride dangerously. If you want to ban e-bikes from going over 10mph, then all bikes should be banned likewise. We don't have different speed limits for sports cars than we do for "normal" cars, and we shouldn't for bikes either.

As for your comment "If someone is in a hurry, they should get back in their car", this is the same extreme attitude as people who don't think bicycles should be allowed on roads. I use an e-bike because I want some exercise, but can't afford to spend the time training and riding to ride without a motor at this time (+ associated injuries make it harder). I am in a hurry, and a motor lets me ride my bike.
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Old 02-11-19, 06:08 AM
  #100  
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Originally Posted by Reynolds View Post
I wonder how long it would take before someone puts a small motor to turn the pedals on an e-assist so you don't have to pedal at all. Maybe it's been done already.
Someone did. It was called the stroke-monkey. It sent power to the left side with no release mechanism at all. Just a chain going from a sprocket on the motor to a sprocket on the left crank. If your foot slipped, that pedal was coming around to get you.

Thankfully, it is off the market. As we reinvent the ideas of a century ago, a lot of things are worth trying.
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