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Old 03-22-18, 05:14 PM   #1
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How do I get over the feeling that I知 cheating with an ebike?

I built my current ebike to ride to and from work. I plan to use it part of the time, and I値l use my road bike other times. I have to admit, my ebike is much, much faster and easier. But every time I finish my commute, I feel like I致e been cheating. It doesn稚 help when I fly past someone else pedaling hard down the road. I知 not giving up my ebike, but I just wish I didn稚 feel this way after my rides.
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Old 03-22-18, 05:54 PM   #2
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You won't, you are.
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Old 03-22-18, 06:04 PM   #3
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You will, you aren't.
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Old 03-22-18, 06:18 PM   #4
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You won't, you are.
Yep.

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Old 03-22-18, 06:25 PM   #5
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You're not cheating, you're engaging in a different activity. Unless you've made vows of fidelity to your road bike. In which case a different forum might be in order.
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Old 03-22-18, 09:43 PM   #6
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You're riding a different class of vehicle that still allows you to get as much exercise as you desire while shortening your commute time if you want. Unfortunately, by asking the question you've allowed individuals to spout their agendas which make rants about religion or terrorism pale by comparison. Our former moderator would quell these immediately, but she seems to have departed.
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Old 03-22-18, 10:43 PM   #7
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In order to be "cheating" it has to be a contest with a winner and loser. Since you're not racing anyone, you're not cheating. Try focusing on the fact that you are not using fossil fuel, not creating more auto traffic, etc., instead of on the fact your bike has an assist. Ride your regular bike on days when you feel energetic and have the time. When you're rushed or didn't sleep well, ride the e-bike. You are still getting some exercise and making a better choice for the environment and your health. Don't sweat it (literally). Either bike is way better than what most folks do.
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Old 03-23-18, 02:12 AM   #8
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...I have to admit, my ebike is much, much faster and easier. But every time I finish my commute, I feel like I致e been cheating....
No doubt similar thoughts occurred back in the 1920's when electric starters replaced the hand-cranking of cars. You've become aware that "...my ebike is much, much faster and easier" which is a statement of reality. There is no shame in those facts and no reason to feel guilt about them. eBikes are becoming the future and those of us riding them now are ahead of the curve. People you pass who are "pedaling hard down the road" will eventually understand, too.

Whenever you feel like you are cheating, just turn off the power assist and enjoy the workout.
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Old 03-23-18, 10:19 AM   #9
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I have it on utmost authority that you would be less of a cheater if you had a bell and used it before whizzing past me.
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Old 03-23-18, 10:19 AM   #10
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you aren't driving a car, that's a good thing.
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Old 03-23-18, 10:34 AM   #11
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Try focusing on the fact that you are not using fossil fuel,
Up for debate...how does the electricity used for charging ebikes get produced?

Also, the waste footprint from the manufacture and (eventual demise/disposal) can far outweigh the eco "benefits" of these, and certainly exceed those of a traditional bike. These are a double-edged sword that way IMO.

Full-disclosure: I also have an ebike, and while I dont consider using it cheating, I'm not nearly as gratified by riding it as my traditional bicycle (comparing an apple to an orange).

It IS an enjoyable mode of transportation, albeit a different experience but it is what it is, and in my opinion it isn't truly "bicycle riding" in the truest sense of the word, although it does accomplish many of the same results.
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Old 03-23-18, 11:16 AM   #12
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Up for debate...how does the electricity used for charging ebikes get produced?

Also, the waste footprint from the manufacture and (eventual demise/disposal) can far outweigh the eco "benefits" of these, and certainly exceed those of a traditional bike. These are a double-edged sword that way IMO.

Full-disclosure: I also have an ebike, and while I dont consider using it cheating, I'm not nearly as gratified by riding it as my traditional bicycle (comparing an apple to an orange).

It IS an enjoyable mode of transportation, albeit a different experience but it is what it is, and in my opinion it isn't truly "bicycle riding" in the truest sense of the word, although it does accomplish many of the same results.
My perspective is a bit different. After decades of not biking, I bought an e-bike and it got me back into biking. A year and half later, I sold it and bought a traditional bike. I've been riding regular bikes for a few years now. But - I'm going car free later this year and so I will be putting (an easily removed) motor on my bike because I cannot pedal home a 40 lb bag of dog food without help.
Yes, a traditional bike is even better in terms of the environment. But - e-bikes typically are NOT being used by folks who ride regular bikes. Or they are being used by those folks in situations where they wouldn't bike and would use their car.
To say it's not "bicycle riding in the truest sense of the word" is like a fixie or single speed rider trashing someone with gearing. Bikes had one gear when they first were developed - so having multiple gears is NOT "bicycle riding" in the truest sense of the word, either.
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Old 03-23-18, 11:32 AM   #13
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My perspective is a bit different. After decades of not biking, I bought an e-bike and it got me back into biking. A year and half later, I sold it and bought a traditional bike. I've been riding regular bikes for a few years now. But - I'm going car free later this year and so I will be putting (an easily removed) motor on my bike because I cannot pedal home a 40 lb bag of dog food without help.
Yes, a traditional bike is even better in terms of the environment. But - e-bikes typically are NOT being used by folks who ride regular bikes. Or they are being used by those folks in situations where they wouldn't bike and would use their car.
To say it's not "bicycle riding in the truest sense of the word" is like a fixie or single speed rider trashing someone with gearing. Bikes had one gear when they first were developed - so having multiple gears is NOT "bicycle riding" in the truest sense of the word, either.
You make some great points, esp. regarding re-introducing many to bicycling who haven't been. I get that, and it's a positive thing in every sense of the word.

As I stated (and while I'm by no means a hard-core cyclist) the experience TO ME isn't the same as traditional cycling is...I consider e-bikes a halfway point between bicycling and say, a motorized scooter in terms of the experience.

So, maybe those of us who have a foot in both worlds (e and traditional) are the exception, and for me I'm not sure I prefer the e-bike OVER traditional. That said I DO enjoy them both and being out, wind in face/bugs in teeth on two wheels, any two wheels is always a win in my book (former longtime motorcyclist/Vespisti who no longer rides either)
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Old 03-23-18, 11:38 AM   #14
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You make some great points, esp. regarding re-introducing many to bicycling who haven't been. I get that, and it's a positive thing in every sense of the word.

As I stated (and while I'm by no means a hard-core cyclist) the experience TO ME isn't the same as traditional cycling is...I consider e-bikes a halfway point between bicycling and say, a motorized scooter in terms of the experience.

So, maybe those of us who have a foot in both worlds (e and traditional) are the exception, and for me I'm not sure I prefer the e-bike OVER traditional. That said I DO enjoy them both and being out, wind in face/bugs in teeth on two wheels, any two wheels is always a win in my book (former longtime motorcyclist/Vespisti who no longer rides either)
You don't have to prefer one over the other; they aren't mutually exclusive. The right tool for the job =)
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Old 03-24-18, 08:48 AM   #15
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Well, my intent was to replace my car with this ebike, which I have been doing. Because it takes another car off the road, then I'm happy with my choice.
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Old 03-24-18, 09:34 AM   #16
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Well, my intent was to replace my car with this ebike, which I have been doing. Because it takes another car off the road, then I'm happy with my choice.

And I thank you for it. I'll be going car-free in September (am car lite now). Taking cars off the road is not only good for the environment but, imo, it helps reduce road rage and frustration in highly trafficked areas. Some folks have to drive and if even a few of us can get out of their way, it's better for everyone.
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Old 03-24-18, 07:33 PM   #17
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... As I stated (and while I'm by no means a hard-core cyclist) the experience TO ME isn't the same as traditional cycling is...I consider e-bikes a halfway point between bicycling and say, a motorized scooter in terms of the experience.

So, maybe those of us who have a foot in both worlds (e and traditional) are the exception, and for me I'm not sure I prefer the e-bike OVER traditional. That said I DO enjoy them both and being out, wind in face/bugs in teeth on two wheels, any two wheels is always a win in my book (former longtime motorcyclist/Vespisti who no longer rides either)
I agree and have a similar background (bicycles/mopeds/motorcycles/ATC's/sandrails/quads/Porsches/BMW's/MINI's/etc...). I prefer to ride a bicycle, but got into eBikes as a physical therapy program to recover and build strength after back to back surgeries that required a somewhat couch potato lifestyle over a period of about two years. The electric assist was a God-send. Now that I am recovered, albeit years older too, I use the eBike and bicycle. Off road the eMTB is almost a requirement for me to climb anything long and steep. Don't need it or want it on the flats or going down hill; a light weight MTB is much MORE FUN to me for all but the climbing (I'm not into pain - lol). On pavement I prefer the eBike simply because I can get to where I want to go quicker and ride further. I enjoy "getting out of the house" to ride and site see. My eBike is wonderful for that.

Road, MTB, eBike & eMTB are all completely different animals in my book. All have their unique advantages and disadvantages. There really isn't much that can beat "light weight" if you have the endurance to pedal.

To the PO's point, I completely understand what you are saying. I felt the same way when I would ride with friends on MTB's while I was on an eMTB (because I had to be). I could easily smoke them up climbs and felt bad about it. Even if you laid back with them you didn't have to work hard on the climbs while they were suffering. We'd joke about it, but I felt guilt more than a cheating feeling. Like others have mentioned, you are only cheating when you are competing. I ride for fun and enjoyment, yet felt guilty that it was so easy for me when others were suffering.

The only way I can see this disappearing is if everyone you ride with is also on an eMTB. When I pass people I don't know on the MTB trail or bike paths, that feeling is minimized for me, but it is still somewhat there. In those instances I try to be extra positive and accepting of others if I talk to them while stopped. I never flaunt me eMTB "abilities" period.

My dream is a 30lb. eMTB that has a small electric assist for climbing only. Doubt it will ever be made by a manufacturer for a reasonable price...

My latest build is a 2013 Niner Jet 9 with a simple MY1018 freewheel setup and thumb assist as needed in an attempt at that dream. It currently works well, but needs the gearing dialed in and still weighs to much IMHO. I'm going to try lightening it up by swapping out the +4lb. IGH currently on it and heavy wide rims and tires. Will likely go 11-50T Sun-Race behind my current 30T front and 29i 28H rims with tubeless.

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Old 03-25-18, 03:30 AM   #18
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The works car park is long, must be 300yds. If i sprint in full power to the end and back on my 2,000w e-bike, i'm more out of breath than i am if i do it on any of my manual bikes. Take my cheap mid-skool BMX, for example, because that's how i know i'm not cheating - i can have a harder workout on the e-bike than on the BMX. The BMX is just too slow and light for me.

Of course, thanks to the BMX's 44/16T gearing i'm hitting about 10 mph on that. Topping out pedal speed on the e-bike's 56/11T set i'm going well into the 40s, and i'm still pushing it as hard as i can, whilst focusing hard and fast on everything around me - but i'm also having to man-handle a 90 lb bike at that speed... and there's the adrenaline factor.

I have a few bikes. In life you only get out what you put in. My 2kw e-bike is the fastest and heaviest bike i have, it's the most challenging, it's the fullest fat. It's on another level. It takes effort and it takes respect, but it rewards like none of my manual bikes do. It helps me achieve what i could never do on my own. And i work harder when someone's helping me.
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Old 03-25-18, 09:50 AM   #19
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My dream is a 30lb. eMTB that has a small electric assist for climbing only. Doubt it will ever be made by a manufacturer for a reasonable price...

I'm going to be installing a friction drive for exactly that purpose. Super light weight ( less than 5 lbs total), easily removed for most of the riding, and has the boost I need when I ride hills and/or cart around 40lb bags of dog food. check out shareroller.com, rubbee, etc., as some examples. If you're handy, endless sphere has instructions on how to build your own. You can get 750w hill climbing power with minimal weight very inexpensively.
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Old 03-25-18, 10:26 AM   #20
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Come on. How can you be cheating if you ride a bike to work, especially in the Twin Cities? I presume you're riding for fun, exercise, and to save on car expenses. You still get all of that.

Now if you're riding to be a stud? Then you better be out there in January wearing your Vikings jersey with the sleeves cut off.
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Old 03-26-18, 05:23 PM   #21
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We as human being can use our brains to overcome our limited physical abilities. The modern bicycle itself is a perfect example. Countless brilliant minds over the last 150 years have a created a machine so efficient that under most conditions a human can pedal faster and farther than a horse can run. Are we cheating riding a bicycle instead of walking or running?

The electric bicycle is just the next step in using our brains and ingenuity to supplement limited muscles. Not to take advantage of it is dumb; especially considering the cost vs benefits. It takes thousand of extra dollars in high tech component to improve a bicycles efficiency even 1%. A few hundred on ebike parts doubles or triples your performance.

"My main reason for cycling is the exercise. Why would I want an ebike?". That's a quote from me until my brother dropped an ebike at my door to fix. Any experience ebiker knows you actually work as hard as you can because it's so much fun; fast is more fun and satisfying than slow. Because it's fun, you actually do it. That killer hill to get back home is now my friend. It use to keep me watching cycling on TV instead of riding.

My wife and I are in our 70's and tandem riders. We had planned at some point to give it up. With an inexpensive kit installed on our Santana we don't plan to ever stop. We often had to walk the tandem up that killer hill. Now we look forward to busting our asses climbing it at 15mph.

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Old 03-26-18, 06:48 PM   #22
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After reading some of these posts, I feel much better about it. I have been commuting on it on some 30-degree (F) days this month, so it has already gotten me out of having to drive. I知 working on being car-light this summer, with the eventual goal of being car-free. This bike is helping with that immensely.
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Old 03-26-18, 07:00 PM   #23
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I understand the feeling of "cheating", what attracts me so much to the bicycle is its engineering efficiency that allows for a human to power it and do so well.


For that reason I could never have as my only bike, an e-bike, but I could have an e-bike as part of my stable that I genuinely only use in select circumstances(i.e when I go to a friend's place and there are very steep hills along the way).


Perhaps as I get older, I will soften my view on this.
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Old 03-26-18, 08:37 PM   #24
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Don't wear spandex or give someone "the look" when you pass them and it's all good.

Actually, I'm interested to hear what the reception has been like from other cyclists. I've seen a couple of stupid fast ebikes on the west river parkway, but that's about it. I'm wondering what the feeling is going to be when someplace like the midtown greenway starts to see more ebikes than just the onesie-twosie out there now.
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Old 03-27-18, 08:13 AM   #25
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Actually, I'm interested to hear what the reception has been like from other cyclists. I've seen a couple of stupid fast ebikes on the west river parkway, but that's about it. I'm wondering what the feeling is going to be when someplace like the midtown greenway starts to see more ebikes than just the onesie-twosie out there now.
I haven't met anyone who's had a single negative word to say, people like it and ask about it with varying levels of positivity - sometimes quite exitedly. And everyone wants one when they see it go.
That said, i use it with respect. I use it around pedestrians and i put them first. In that way, it's the same as a 'manual' bike - you earn respect or disrespect. But at least whilst i'm respectful, people adore it.

However, when i'm travelling and i catch up with a cyclist in front of me, i'm faced with a bit of a dilemma. I want to overtake, so i sound my bell, but this has mixed reactions... some seem to be wondering what's going on, and who on earth is so fit that they think they can pass... and this led more to people swerving as they turn to look at what's behind them.
So with experience i've taken to using the stealth technique - keep quiet, watch them like a hawk, read what they're doing, give it full power and just fly past them with a wide berth. And i have to say, it seems the best and safest way, but i doubt they're quite so impressed...
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