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adamtki 01-30-07 02:29 PM

What's up with all the sarcasm for electric bicylists?
My commuting bicycle is a road bike with the Bionx system added. It helps me get around 20% faster and it's a little less sweat and wear on the body. I think it's ideal for commuting. And it's safer on the roads because cars have a little more time to see me from behind.

But I still get the snide remarks when I answer people's question, "what's that thing on your bike" (it's a battery):

"Isn't that cheating?"
"Wooow" (sarcastically by a road who cruised by me.. I was just taking it slow that time)
"That takes all the work out"
"that's cheating man"
"that's being lazy"

If I'm cheating, isn't driving a car to work the ultimate way to cheat? I'm not racing anyone, so I don't get why I still get these remarks. Do other electric bicyclists get these remarks as much as I do?

ghettocruiser 01-30-07 02:37 PM

Are the snide remarks from other cyclists, or people driving hummers?

Just curious.

adamtki 01-30-07 02:39 PM

road cyclists, moms driving SUVs, 300 lb fat asses smoking by the bike racks, etc..

noisebeam 01-30-07 03:16 PM

On average people have a tendency to react to different or unusual things with a lack of positivitity.


JeffS 01-30-07 03:25 PM

Looking for sympathy in here may not be a positive experience either.

It's like a scooter rider expecting a wave from a motorcyclist. Aint gonna happen.

Shiznaz 01-30-07 03:26 PM

The roadies are probably threatened that they spent 5000 bucks on carbon fibre, spandex and clif bars to improve their performance, but all you had to do was get an electric motor.

chephy 01-30-07 03:29 PM

The bottom line is: most people are stupid and they are reluctant to use whatever little brain they do possess.

Once you figure that out, you need not puzzle over their illogical words and actions any longer.

rykoala 01-30-07 03:36 PM

I'll chime in. I think they are silly, ok? My 10y/o son who saw a guy on a bicycle with a 2 stroke motor on the rear buzzing by us at a stoplight said "That's desperate". My wife also says I'm an elitist. I do admit that I am a bit of a purist. But then again I have thought that mopeds were kind of dumb even when I was young. To me, if you're going to go to all that trouble, then just make it 100% electric and call it a scooter. I personally hope to build something like that someday. But I won't call it a bicycle. It'll be a scooter.

But then again, to each his own. I've learned to just say to myself "Hey, at least they're on a bicycle." That is except for the guy with the noisy 2 stroke. Those put out more polution than my V8 Suburban probably does.

blickblocks 01-30-07 03:37 PM

Originally Posted by Shiznaz
The roadies are probably threatened that they spent 5000 bucks on carbon fibre, spandex and clif bars to improve their performance, but all you had to do was get an electric motor.

Yeah, they're really missing out! :rolleyes:

People bike for different reasons. A commuter and a recreational roadie are going to have very different ideals and goals. Leave it at that.

uphillbiker 01-30-07 03:50 PM

Hi Guys,

Where can you buy batteries used for electric bikes?

CastIron 01-30-07 03:53 PM

I don't get it.
I've got a hardtail commuter, CX, full boat CF roadie, soon to be old skool steal SS, a motor scooter, and a big motorcycle. Still, an electric bike makes no damn sense to me. If it works for you, great. Expect neither sympathy nor judgement from me.

DataJunkie 01-30-07 03:56 PM

I do not get it either. I can see a place for scooters or motorcycles but do not understand the point of an electric bike. However, I am non judgmental and do not particularly care if someone is "cheating". :rolleyes:
They are just not for me.

recursive 01-30-07 04:04 PM

I'm intrigued by the concept of regenerative braking on downhills.

noisebeam 01-30-07 04:11 PM

Originally Posted by recursive
I'm intrigued by the concept of regenerative braking on downhills.

I does sound interesting.

adamtki - can you share more info about your experiences with it, a mini-review type thing?

edit: I did a forum search, perhaps such info has been shared allready. I need to check:


timmhaan 01-30-07 04:13 PM

Originally Posted by adamtki
road cyclists, moms driving SUVs, 300 lb fat asses smoking by the bike racks, etc..

try not to worry about it. the roadie making fun of you will also encounter plenty of jabs for wearing spandex or just being on the road. the mom in the SUV will be seen as a monster toward the environment and the 300 lbs person will endure a lifetime of snide comments from people.

we all get our share of it from time to time.

adamtki 01-30-07 04:19 PM

I know many are not familiar with e-bikes. Here are a few things to help people understand how they are different from an electric scooter:

- e-bikes are allowed on trails and sidewalks and anywhere else regular bikes go.
- e-bikes are also lighter (mine's 45 lbs) so I can carry it around like a regular bike.
- e-bikes lets you add your own pedal power, thereby going further on less electricity.

And regarding those gas powered bikes, I don't understand them myself. They pollute and make a lot of noise. I think they're also a little too powerful to be safely allowed on the trails.

adamtki 01-30-07 04:27 PM

Originally Posted by recursive
I'm intrigued by the concept of regenerative braking on downhills.

That's one of the reasons why I picked bionx. When you brake, the energy from your momentum is all wasted. It'd be great to somehow capture some of that. The regen in Bionx extends the battery by about 10-20% I believe, depending on how much braking you do.

The regen braking also helps reduce the wear on the brakes and improves it during wet days. One situation that's really great is going down long downhills. If I want to control my speed, I can engage the regen brakes and my brake pads never end up getting toasted.

timmhaan 01-30-07 04:29 PM

i think it's kinda cool actually. sure as hell beats having another car on the road, that's for sure.

AGGRO 01-30-07 04:38 PM

Here's my gig. I hammer my tri-bike on the weekends and as often as possible weekday. My 4 oclock sweat bikes are all mt bikes BUT I am considering one of these to ride on the days I need to go to the office across the valley. The only routes are steep @zz ones and I don't feel like sweat dripping off my body twice in one day. I can't just leave early as the wife runs after I get back at 5 am. An electric assist bike would allow me to get to work on time without grinding the hills. For me it would make sense. If I had to do the whole shower thing again it would really delay my day. The rest of the commute is flat but coming out the valley sucks plain and simple.

If it keeps cagers on 2 wheels all the better.

timmhaan 01-30-07 04:42 PM

also, it may just be enough assist to allow someone with an injury (bad knees or joint problem) to enjoy cycling whereas they couldn't before. my dad, with his bad knees, might be interested in a bike like this.

brokenrobot 01-30-07 04:49 PM

Originally Posted by uphillbiker
Hi Guys,

My room mate got one of those bikes a few months ago. The house is 3 miles from work location through dense residential streets with uphill all the way back. The motor and battery really do save him some sweating and he's been pretty happy with it (until recently, when he left the power on and accidentally drained the lead-acid pack). I suggested for getting a new one. Any of you guy's have a suggestion about the best place to pick sealed batteries or if it's worth $200 for upgrading to NiCD or $350 for lithium to save weight?

Depends on the battery. Cheapest reliable vendor seems to be if they have what you're looking for; otherwise, I like

legot73 01-30-07 04:52 PM

Bionix is a pretty sophisticated system, and has a huge gadget fator. To me, no different than a StokeMonkey on an Xtracycle if put to good use.

Before I was commuting regularly, I used to dream up full blown velomobiles (recumbent trikes with full fairing) with electric assist, which is how I learned about the Bionix. As I started riding daily, I stopped thinking about them. I chalk that up to the difference between attraction to the machine vs. the spirit of cycling. Motorcycles started out this way, too, and evolved into something very different.

robmcl 01-30-07 07:03 PM

I am told by my Chines co-worker that electric bikes are used to get relatively heavy bikes with few gears up steep grades in China. Otherwise they push the bike up the hill. Seems to make sense.

ghettocruiser 01-30-07 07:11 PM

In china I saw a freight bike with a big load of bricks and an extra guy on the back. The guy gets off and helps push the bike up the hill, then jumps back on for the downhill. I didn't see any electric motors in this application. :)

tlupfer 01-30-07 07:15 PM

from the stokemonkey site:

"Most electric bike products are designed for people who don’t, won’t, or can’t ride regular bicycles. Stokemonkey is different. We don’t believe in replacing human power with electricity; we believe in replacing cars for tasks that even the strongest cyclists seldom if ever choose to handle without a car. Developed in a car-free household, Stokemonkey is for fellow riders who want to become more completely independent of cars in their daily lives."

more here-->

I think there are some very good reasons for electric assist.

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