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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.
11
10.09%
Yes, often.
8
7.34%
Yes, but only sometimes
8
7.34%
No, but I'm considering to start.
26
23.85%
No, never!
56
51.38%
Voters: 109. You may not vote on this poll

Do you commute with an electric bike?

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Old 02-11-19, 07:05 AM
  #101  
jon c. 
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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.
49 cc scooters are pretty popular here. I suspect their popularity is why I don't see any e-bikes in these parts.
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Old 02-11-19, 01:48 PM
  #102  
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Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
49 cc scooters are pretty popular here. I suspect their popularity is why I don't see any e-bikes in these parts.
That's cool, and 49cc scooters are a great displacement for zipping around urban areas efficiently (and on regular roads). I'd love for them to reach the popularity seen in some European cities. That would mean a healthy market for new and used options, but more importantly it would mean drivers were more aware of them and paid closer attention.

Originally Posted by physdl
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.
Well, because you have to work for 25mph on a regular bike, and work relatively hard in most cases. Without a good tail-wind or downhill, riding at 25mph (average over a distance) is only going to be managed by someone pretty dedicated to riding. And that generally means that they have spent a fair amount of time on their bike, and they likely have a decent amount of bike control. Plus, a regular bike with no motor is going to be lighter and probably stop better than any non-human powered bike (and if it comes down to it, the lighter bike will hurt less if it hits something).

But yeah, any Joe Schmo can hit those speeds on a regular bike going down a hill, but that won't be happening too often, and the surrounding traffic (other bikes) should be moving a little faster as well, since they are all aided by gravity. But you can't compare this to a guy riding an e-bike that gets up to 25 mph relatively quickly from a dead stop, and/or is able to manage that speed in conditions that actually slow other riders down.

The big danger comes from differences in speed. That's why driving 15mph on the highway is just as dangerous as driving 105mph. Having these E-bike riders flying past (and sometimes weaving in and out of) regular riders is dangerous.
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Old 02-11-19, 10:38 PM
  #103  
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Originally Posted by robertorolfo View Post
Well, because you have to work for 25mph on a regular bike, and work relatively hard in most cases. Without a good tail-wind or downhill, riding at 25mph (average over a distance) is only going to be managed by someone pretty dedicated to riding. And that generally means that they have spent a fair amount of time on their bike, and they likely have a decent amount of bike control. Plus, a regular bike with no motor is going to be lighter and probably stop better than any non-human powered bike (and if it comes down to it, the lighter bike will hurt less if it hits something).

But yeah, any Joe Schmo can hit those speeds on a regular bike going down a hill, but that won't be happening too often, and the surrounding traffic (other bikes) should be moving a little faster as well, since they are all aided by gravity. But you can't compare this to a guy riding an e-bike that gets up to 25 mph relatively quickly from a dead stop, and/or is able to manage that speed in conditions that actually slow other riders down.

The big danger comes from differences in speed. That's why driving 15mph on the highway is just as dangerous as driving 105mph. Having these E-bike riders flying past (and sometimes weaving in and out of) regular riders is dangerous.
Depends on where you live. I'm in the Seattle suburbs and I hit 25 mph 10 seconds after leaving my house (without any motor or pedaling). And then again a mile later or so, and then again a mile after that (and again several times after that on my 10.5 mile commute). In Seattle, if you can't deal with hills, you won't survive long riding here.

Limiting speeds in NYC makes sense. Limiting speeds in the country does not. Even with an e-bike traveling at 20ish mph, it's rare for me to pass someone (and we have a decent number of bikers in this area). If anything, the extra power availability makes me feel safer as I can go on a few roads without bike lanes with less speed differential compared to cars. For example, one of the easier roads for me to go on has no bike lane, an incline, and a decent amount of traffic. Traveling at 20 mph means a lot of cars will wait until its safe for them to pass me. Traveling at 10 mph and people are passing me non-stop with much less regard for safety.

Enforce laws for aggressive biking and the like. But limiting everyone's speed shouldn't be the answer.
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Old 02-12-19, 10:16 AM
  #104  
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I too very rarely pass anyone riding my E-Assist, as I got it to help up hills, not riding on flat ground, thus about to only place I go faster than the average bicyclist is up hills...
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Old 02-12-19, 03:53 PM
  #105  
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Originally Posted by physdl View Post
Depends on where you live. I'm in the Seattle suburbs and I hit 25 mph 10 seconds after leaving my house (without any motor or pedaling). And then again a mile later or so, and then again a mile after that (and again several times after that on my 10.5 mile commute). In Seattle, if you can't deal with hills, you won't survive long riding here.

Limiting speeds in NYC makes sense. Limiting speeds in the country does not. Even with an e-bike traveling at 20ish mph, it's rare for me to pass someone (and we have a decent number of bikers in this area). If anything, the extra power availability makes me feel safer as I can go on a few roads without bike lanes with less speed differential compared to cars. For example, one of the easier roads for me to go on has no bike lane, an incline, and a decent amount of traffic. Traveling at 20 mph means a lot of cars will wait until its safe for them to pass me. Traveling at 10 mph and people are passing me non-stop with much less regard for safety.

Enforce laws for aggressive biking and the like. But limiting everyone's speed shouldn't be the answer.
Of course every area is different, and that's why every state and/or local municipality has their own traffic laws. If I'm not mistaken, the speed limit in NYC is 25mph for all vehicles, which is obviously ridiculous for most other places.

And indeed the limit should apply to bike lanes only. If someone wants to ride an e-bike in the streets with traffic, they should be allowed to go as fast as everyone else. Mandatory lights for e-bikes would be nice as well.
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Old 02-13-19, 10:10 AM
  #106  
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[QUOTE=physdl;20788517]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.

Motor bikes are to bicycles as sports cars are to "normal" cars? My students are preparing for the SAT. I will not use that one as an example.
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Old 02-13-19, 01:17 PM
  #107  
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Originally Posted by Classtime View Post
Motor bikes are to bicycles as sports cars are to "normal" cars? My students are preparing for the SAT. I will not use that one as an example.
Ha, agreed
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Old 02-13-19, 02:47 PM
  #108  
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As sports cars are to sports cars without an engine?
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Old 02-13-19, 04:37 PM
  #109  
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What does it matter where the power is coming from? Any extremely fit person will be able to ride substantially faster than any casual biker. They can ride just as fast (at least for a short amount of time) as an e-bike. You'll climb hills much faster on a $5k ultra-light bike than on a $300 heavy bike loaded with panniers. And a person weight 250 lbs is going to be much heavier even on a super light bike than a 100 lbs person on a heavy bike.

If you're worried about injury for heavier bikes, then ban all heavy riders. If you're worried about skills, then everyone should have a license to have a bike. If you're worried about aggressive behavior, then ticket that. But what does it matter if someone uses a motor or has more powerful legs except that you assume they have more experience, which is not necessarily true.
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Old 02-13-19, 05:14 PM
  #110  
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Originally Posted by physdl View Post
What does it matter where the power is coming from? Any extremely fit person will be able to ride substantially faster than any casual biker. They can ride just as fast (at least for a short amount of time) as an e-bike. You'll climb hills much faster on a $5k ultra-light bike than on a $300 heavy bike loaded with panniers. And a person weight 250 lbs is going to be much heavier even on a super light bike than a 100 lbs person on a heavy bike.

If you're worried about injury for heavier bikes, then ban all heavy riders. If you're worried about skills, then everyone should have a license to have a bike. If you're worried about aggressive behavior, then ticket that. But what does it matter if someone uses a motor or has more powerful legs except that you assume they have more experience, which is not necessarily true.
Most often true. Very few riders can sustain 28mph. Anyone who has spent enough time on a bicycle to sustain even 20mph has spent enough time on a bike to realize that it is stupid to ride a bike that fast among less skilled riders, walkers, children, etc. E-bike industry rationales are ridiculous. Show me a 250 pound person, pedaling 28 mph on a MUP and I will show you someone on an electric motorbike who likely has no regard for the safety of his fellows.

Last edited by Classtime; 02-13-19 at 05:17 PM. Reason: clarity
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Old 02-13-19, 06:25 PM
  #111  
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Originally Posted by Classtime View Post
Most often true. Very few riders can sustain 28mph. Anyone who has spent enough time on a bicycle to sustain even 20mph has spent enough time on a bike to realize that it is stupid to ride a bike that fast among less skilled riders, walkers, children, etc. E-bike industry rationales are ridiculous. Show me a 250 pound person, pedaling 28 mph on a MUP and I will show you someone on an electric motorbike who likely has no regard for the safety of his fellows.
Yep, this pretty much nails it.

Sure, a fit rider can challenge an e-bike for speed, but it's the access to speed, and the ease with which it is reached that very much matters. Not only will a regular rider think twice about working up to 25mph with a lot of obstacles around, but it will be difficult to do so without interruption, and take a while. Compare that to the e-bike rider that has gotten used to the power assist and just rips at that throttle as soon as possible. And believe me, I see it just about every single day.

My solution would be a sensible speed limit for e-bikes on a bike path (perhaps 15mph, depending on location), and no limit for an e-bike ridden on a regular street.
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Old 02-13-19, 07:54 PM
  #112  
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E-bikes are cool.


My wife won't let me ha ve a motor cycle. Maybe she will let me get an e-bike.
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Old 02-21-19, 02:49 PM
  #113  
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Originally Posted by Classtime View Post
Most often true. Very few riders can sustain 28mph. Anyone who has spent enough time on a bicycle to sustain even 20mph has spent enough time on a bike to realize that it is stupid to ride a bike that fast among less skilled riders, walkers, children, etc. E-bike industry rationales are ridiculous. Show me a 250 pound person, pedaling 28 mph on a MUP and I will show you someone on an electric motorbike who likely has no regard for the safety of his fellows.
This has been my observation too.
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Old 03-14-19, 12:03 PM
  #114  
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I need the exercise

I'm getting up there in years but I still would not use an e-bike. I need and want the exercise, so an e-bike defeats the purpose.
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Old 03-14-19, 08:24 PM
  #115  
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My first post here. I joined this forum because we recently moved and now it's possible for me to commute by regular bike at least some days. Where we lived before, I just didn't have the time and so was motorcycling to work. Sold the motorcycle and got a Stromer ebike. For a lot of people, an ebike is not a step away from a conventional bnike, it's a step away from a much bigger, more energy-consuming vehicle. Why should it require 400 lbs of vehicle to move 170 lbs of person? With an ebike it's more like 70-170.

Now instead of being 30 miles from work, I'm 15. I commute by regular bike whenever possible. Sometimes it's not.

But the Stromer hasn't been trouble-free, and unfortunately when your 70-lb ebike can't assist you, you're kind of stuck.
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