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Are E-Bikes Really worth The Price and headaches?

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Are E-Bikes Really worth The Price and headaches?

Old 05-09-20, 11:02 AM
  #26  
linberl
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Originally Posted by Bmack2000 View Post
I wholeheartedly agree. The psychological factor is huge. People are usually confused when you tell them you get more exercise with an ebike than with an analog bike. This is one of the reasons.

This past winter was my first with an ebike and I rode almost every day, unless it was raining or snowing. I am 67, and a long-time roadie. I would never have done that on my analog bike (a Specialized carbon road bike).
Yeah. It's not a 1:1 situation. You get more exercise doing the SAME ride with an analog bike over a digital bike. But if you ride longer distances, more challenging terrain, more often, etc., with the e-bike you can achieve the same fitness effect. There's also a cumulative fitness effect. After riding my e-bike on routes with hills, I find myself reducing the assist level on those hills over time. I might start out using level 4 to get up a hill and eventually I will only need level 1. That's because I am building up my strength - albeit more slowly - than I would with an analog bike where I might never even tackle those hills.
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Old 05-09-20, 02:26 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Bmack2000 View Post
I wholeheartedly agree. The psychological factor is huge. People are usually confused when you tell them you get more exercise with an ebike than with an analog bike. This is one of the reasons.

This past winter was my first with an ebike and I rode almost every day, unless it was raining or snowing. I am 67, and a long-time roadie. I would never have done that on my analog bike (a Specialized carbon road bike).
Which E Bike do you have ?
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Old 05-09-20, 10:40 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by PoorInRichfield View Post
My friend lives in a low-income retirement community, is considered "special needs", and doesn't have the means to pay for a battery rebuild which would be several hundred dollars (from the one web site I found of a person willing to do rebuilds on old bike batteries.) From what I could tell, the battery was considered a "silver fish". To make things worse, the gentleman literally threw-away the entire battery and it's casing because he didn't understand that the batteries are inside the aluminum casing and they can be replaced
be.
Well. it's true that electric bikes are not a good option for the poor, not when they are selling Vado;s for thousands of dollars.

Your friend could probably buy a new silverfish battery on ebay for less than what they will charge to recell the old one, about $200-250 for a 36 volt model. Unless you are willing to risk a $50K fine, in the USAm you have to have a professional pack your battery for shipping to a rebuilder, if he's not in the same area.

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Old 05-10-20, 10:50 AM
  #29  
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I purchased a 36V, 10 ah battery and charger from Unit Pak Power, a company that I've heard good reports on, for $184 about six months ago. Looked great and was delivered at about half battery charge (36V), but project didn't materialize and it's not been used so no data on its function. Also, you can specify which type of connector you want for the controller.
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Old 05-31-20, 06:53 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by DukeO View Post
Just so you know. There are many places out there now that will rebuild any ebike battery your friend may have. I have 3yrs on mine and it is still going strong. Google rebuild ebike battery
I've talked at length my local lbs/mechanic. He's generally confident about battery and system rebuilds, but right now he said it can take time. My old car finally died so I'm inclined to get an ebike to serve largely as a car replacement. The mid-drive systems are the lightest and most similar to a standard bike. While improvements are continuous, it's such a new technology there are motor issues as well as the need to replace the battery eventually.

I don't mind occasional maintenance but my lbs told me motor issues can sometimes take awhile to fix. Even some ebike shops might not have the parts or knowledge to maintain or repair a motor so it might need to be sent to a regional distributor. The whole process can take several weeks which is obviously a major inconvenience if your bike is essential transportation.
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Old 05-31-20, 11:28 PM
  #31  
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It doesn't have to cost that much to get quality parts. I do have great batteries 48v 10.5 ah for that are only 80$ I think if you find the right deals then it really is worth it.
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Old 06-01-20, 10:39 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by AlanK View Post
I've talked at length my local lbs/mechanic. He's generally confident about battery and system rebuilds, but right now he said it can take time. My old car finally died so I'm inclined to get an ebike to serve largely as a car replacement. The mid-drive systems are the lightest and most similar to a standard bike. While improvements are continuous, it's such a new technology there are motor issues as well as the need to replace the battery eventually.

I don't mind occasional maintenance but my lbs told me motor issues can sometimes take awhile to fix. Even some ebike shops might not have the parts or knowledge to maintain or repair a motor so it might need to be sent to a regional distributor. The whole process can take several weeks which is obviously a major inconvenience if your bike is essential transportation.
I agree that motor repair can take awhile since in most (all?) instances the LBS removes the motor and forwards it to a repair facility. However, I haven't heard about massive problems with the systems and those individuals that I know have had bulletproof batteries and motors. Even the inexpensive DIY systems seem reliable. There are individuals who report 20,000+ miles with them.
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Old 06-01-20, 06:40 PM
  #33  
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Smile

To the OP: I have posted about this before; for me the ebike is literally a life extender. In my youth and up to about age 30 I was a long distance tourer (well, at least a 100 km). However, I was also a smoker, and in my later years it caught up with me and I now have COPD. Were it not for the ebike, I could not ride. With the ebike in pedal assist at the lowest level, I can do about 15 miles a day in a level environment. I am getting some exercise, breathing better, toning muscles that were flabby, and slowing the progression of my disease. Last year I lost over 20 pounds in five months doing this daily.

The best part is that when I am out on it, in the sun, smelling the breeze carrying the scent of new mowed lawns, BBQs, and laundry, I am 12 years old again! Iown a bike for each of the two places I live.
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Old 06-01-20, 07:29 PM
  #34  
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Great example of one important value of e-bikes. My friend rides MTB with a guy who had a surfing accident and was a quadriplegic for awhile, but slowly regained some movement and, although he can barely walk, can ride e-MTB. His life is so much richer than it would otherwise be.
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Old 06-06-20, 05:24 PM
  #35  
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I think it depends on your needs. I think they can be great if you have a temperature controlled indoor location to store one and you can be a fair weather rider, only riding during dry weather. I had an ebike, but sold it after a couple of months because the hassle and fuss of keeping the battery and computer safe and dry became too much. I missed the care free nature of my regular commuter bike, which I can ride in any condition and it can sit in my garage in the heat of summer or freezing winter without a worry. I find riding an ebike on occasion is fun, but I never wish to own one again.
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Old 06-06-20, 06:45 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by CanyonCooler View Post
I think it depends on your needs. I think they can be great if you have a temperature controlled indoor location to store one and you can be a fair weather rider, only riding during dry weather. I had an ebike, but sold it after a couple of months because the hassle and fuss of keeping the battery and computer safe and dry became too much. I missed the care free nature of my regular commuter bike, which I can ride in any condition and it can sit in my garage in the heat of summer or freezing winter without a worry. I find riding an ebike on occasion is fun, but I never wish to own one again.
I don't know what kind of bike you had but yes you cant leave the battery out in the cold but thats it. it only got down to 30 this year but I rode every day rain or shine day and night. I put 25 miles a day on it.
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Old 06-06-20, 10:36 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Rick53 View Post
The more I research E-Bikes : I find the problems .... . <snip> . Any Thoughts from those who OWN ONE:
I would not buy one myself......however I have put two together myself......that was more fun than riding!
I have to admit though that if I had to rely on a bike shop to fix things up that would make it a deal-breaker for me. :-(
I prefer my road bike (put 90+ miles a week) for my workouts.
It took a bit of engineering to get it my e-trike dialed in. But it is quite reliable and fun.
I barely ever use it to assist. When on e-trike, I'm in lazy mode.
Some notes on how I use my e-powered ride:
Most of my riding is transportation around the neighborhood (bike paths, golf car lanes, secondary roads).
Trips to the gym, my friends who live in my community, errands to the local stores, grocery shopping (rear mounted basket holds 4 bags groceries), picking up pizza.
My wife can no longer ride her regular bike, so I built her an e-trike also. We often ride together on the more scenic trails.
They both fit in back of the truck (bed has a topper on it to secure them), so we take them with us when we travel.
So far I have put over 2,000 miles on it in past 18 months.
It will go 28MPH. Average 22+ on long rides, but usually much slower on pleasure rides on trails. Fast when running errands.
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Old 06-09-20, 10:42 AM
  #38  
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After reading some of these posts I'm starting to reconsider buying a dedicated FS e-mtb. The ones I've looked at online are in the thousand$. They look nice as hell but way beyond what I can afford. I have a really nice 26" Kona FS MTB that I've ridden for over 15 years. Had it serviced last year and it still is an excellent bike. Thing is, I considered converted it to electric assist but I really don't want to do it with that bike. I may try to see if I can get a decent deal on a used FS Brand name MTB and then do the conversion on that bike. Some of the conversion kits looked like they might work pretty good as a lot of people have been using them for some time. Parts for these kits should be easier to find too if something breaks and needs to be fixed. Some of the places I used to ride have some pretty big hills. At 65 I just don't have the mojo to do those hills anymore but my present bike works well for me on more moderate trail systems. Would be super nice to be able to go out to the more mountainous areas, ride the hills without worrying about giving myself a stroke. I don't plan riding more than 10-15 miles and most kits can accommodate that without too much problem. Would be super cool if I could find another 26" FS Kona Kikapoo Deluxe ( which have beefy strong frames ) and do a conversion on one of those. If I can keep the outlay of cash down to $1500, that is sounding more and more the best option for me.
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Old 06-11-20, 04:27 PM
  #39  
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Old 06-11-20, 05:32 PM
  #40  
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For some reason a lot of people want them so a lot of companies make them ..
Worth it? is this about your needs ?
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Old 06-12-20, 09:12 PM
  #41  
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Batteries

Almost everybody keeps their bikes in the garage .......I live in Nevada and the heat is an issue ......every night I bring in the battery into the house charge it there .....I do not let it over charge .....battery is stored in my house .....that I believe will extend the life of it...This holds true for areas that gets extremely cold as well ........lithium batteries do not like extreme cold or extreme heat
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Old 06-12-20, 11:35 PM
  #42  
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IMO, unless the battery is from a major manufacturer (Specialized, Trek, Giant.....) store it in a place where you wouldn't mind having a fire (fireplace, hibachi...)
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Old 06-14-20, 11:06 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by 2old View Post
IMO, unless the battery is from a major manufacturer (Specialized, Trek, Giant.....) store it in a place where you wouldn't mind having a fire (fireplace, hibachi...)
Is there information on how much of a fire-hazard the batteries are? It's my understanding the instructions of most e-bikes advise having a fire extinguisher near the charging location, though I wonder is this is related more to legal liability. Lithium ion batteries have been around awhile and I haven't heard many cases of them combusting.
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Old 06-15-20, 01:37 AM
  #44  
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The instances aren't frequent, but there's a chance of it happening. Read endless sphere; a well-known mod lost most of his house. From my perspective, it's worth being cautious.
Added 6/15/2020 Go to endless sphere, e-vehicles general discussion, first article on 6/15, but may be supplanted.

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Old 06-19-20, 07:21 AM
  #45  
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I have a Specialized Roll step through that I really love, but my age & other things are catching up with me. I was told by my LBS that it could cost upwards to $1700 to add e assist. Mostly because of the 650B wheels & tires.
Iíve looked online & as of yet havenít found a kit for that size wheel. Do they exist? Can I make this conversion for say, $400-$600?
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Old 06-19-20, 08:51 AM
  #46  
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Check Dillenger, front hub system and my first kit still in use five years later by my daughter, for $700 plus tax and shipping. However, their batteries, the most important and expensive part of the kit, are suspect.
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Old 06-19-20, 09:17 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by MJH View Post
I have a Specialized Roll step through that I really love, but my age & other things are catching up with me. I was told by my LBS that it could cost upwards to $1700 to add e assist. Mostly because of the 650B wheels & tires.
Iíve looked online & as of yet havenít found a kit for that size wheel. Do they exist? Can I make this conversion for say, $400-$600?
Hmm. I didn't think wheel-size was such a limiting factor. Do you want a hub drive or mid-drive crank motor? I'm not very familiar with hub-drive and know a bit about crank drives. I think Bafang mid-drvies can fit almost any modern bike, and there are spacers that enable them to fit older frames as well. If you search Bafang USA direct you can order them online for about $800, but then you have to install them. I don't know how much a bike shop would charge.
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Old 06-19-20, 08:47 PM
  #48  
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I just put a mid drive on a bike and I don't understand many of the comments on here. You don't need a shop to work on a mid drive. Lots of info on line. Electric connectors can be replaced with generic ones allowing pretty much any battery to be hooked to any motor. That is a huge advantage of the kits, modularity. I did pay$650 for my battery but it is a top of the line battery. Smaller batteries can be had for half that, and with electric cars becoming mainstream have to believe they will only get cheaper when I do need to replace it.

The hardest part of installing the kit was getting the 30 year old bottom bracket off. Once that was done less than a day's effort to install the kit.

I will say factory built ebikes are hideously expensive and in most cases underpowered. Better off putting a kit on an existing bike. The Bafang units are easy to reprogram using free software and a $19 cable.

Riding an ebike is proving to be a blast. I don't understand people's mindset against them. They aren't just for old cripples. I bought mine as a commuter, but I'm loving it for urban cruising and sight seeing. Take in a concert environment, cruise the street riots, check out the river trails. Turn the assist down and cruise all day, especially knowing if you get tired or too far from home you can just crank up the boost and power home. Don't have to plan routes around hills. The Bafang units come with a thumb throttle making starting out at traffic lights or merging with traffic faster and much safer. Get stuck on a heavily trafficked road, just crank the boost and get off of it more quickly. The bike will power my 240# over 38 mph if I need it. I use it for store runs and local shopping, leave the car at home. Even in 90 degree weather, just crank the boost. How green is that?

The ebike won't replace my road and trail bikes, just offers a different experience. Have to think most people would love them if they could put aside their prior misconceptions.

But unfortunately too many cyclists are closed minded and judgmental. Their loss.

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Old 06-20-20, 11:08 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by Pop N Wood View Post
The ebike won't replace my road and trail bikes, just offers a different experience. Have to think most people would love them if they could put aside their prior misconceptions.

But unfortunately too many cyclists are closed minded and judgmental. Their loss.
Well said. I'll probably get some sort of ebike in the fall. I'll wait to see what's available, but right now I'm leaning towards a Bafang kit. There are some purpose=built ebikes I really like, but I agree they're expensive. I also like the idea that if I convert a standard bike I'm not stuck with an ebike if I want to switch back to a conventional drive-train.
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Old 06-20-20, 01:33 PM
  #50  
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The true price could be to your mental and physical health!

Yesterday, on the Freedom Trail, a soccer mom type is "cycling" ahead of me. Bakefeit (box) bike with small kid in front. Great workout, I think. But she's not pedaling one whit! Below the skort line: cellulite (approaching) thunder thighs. Could be my judgement, maybe not....

Bottom line, in an honest moment, can you resist the temptation that comes with conveinence...?

E-bikes come with a toxic battery and a toxic mind set... will you be able to properly dispose of them both?
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