Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Electric Bikes
Reload this Page >

Are E-Bikes Really worth The Price and headaches?

Notices
Electric Bikes Here's a place to discuss ebikes, from home grown to high-tech.

Are E-Bikes Really worth The Price and headaches?

Old 05-01-20, 11:21 AM
  #1  
Rick53
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Michigan, United States of America
Posts: 145

Bikes: Verve, Dual Sport 2 and FX3

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 61 Post(s)
Liked 9 Times in 7 Posts
Are E-Bikes Really worth The Price and headaches?

The more I research E-Bikes : I find the problems seem to be related mainly to the software . I road a Specialized Vado that was a Class 3 > It was fun going 25 plus MPH . But that was rare. The average riding slowed us down to 15 MPH or so > On a regular Bike I'd be going about 12 MPH . While there were times having the juice to climb hills was a great advantage : I found on a 20 mile Road : 80% of the time our situation required speeds of 10-15 MPH most of the time. My complaint was I didn't feel like I even had to peddle : That was leaving the Bike in what they called eco mode I think .


Were I riding my regular Trek Dual Sport 3 > A 20 mile ride wouldn't have exhausted me > But I would have felt like I got some exercise: On the E-bike It seems to get the exercise I get on a 20 mile ride I'd need to go at least 30 miles . Maybe even 40 .


I can see these being a Big Help for a daily Commuter > I just can't see where a Casual Rider like me > Who has the time 3/4 times a week to go on a 20-25 mile ride . Owning an E-bike to ride mainly Bike trails and country roads is worth it > I'm not in a hurry to get anywhere >
I ride for fun and to strengthen My Legs for Golf >

Plus I read on the Electric Bike Forums all kinds of issues : Where having Shop support is a must. I'm a DIY type with a regular generic Bike : Never felt the need to run back and forth to a shop : Thinking maybe I should just upgrade My Dual Sport / and wait until prices drop and bugs get worked out better . Any Thoughts from those who OWN ONE:
Rick53 is offline  
Old 05-01-20, 02:50 PM
  #2  
Robert C
Senior Member
 
Robert C's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Kansas
Posts: 2,163

Bikes: This list got too long: several ‘bents, an urban utility e-bike, and a dahon D7 that my daughter has absconded with.

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 324 Post(s)
Liked 15 Times in 14 Posts
Not in a hurry, riding for fitness, you are right, an ebike probably isn't an ideal fit for you. If your needs change then an ebike might fit at that time.
Robert C is offline  
Likes For Robert C:
Old 05-01-20, 04:44 PM
  #3  
MNebiker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: MN
Posts: 130
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 40 Post(s)
Liked 77 Times in 41 Posts
Old knees made riding more than 4 or 5 miles no fun, and the hilly terrain around here didn't help any. I wanted to see if an electric bike would help, so I put a conversion kit on my hybrid bike as an experiment. That was about 4000 miles ago. It made it possible for me to continue riding for fun and exercise well into my 80s. It was worth every penny.

If I had to do it over I would still do the conversion of a GOOD bike. I think most manufactured ebikes are grossly overpriced. Plus there are tons of unknown brands out there, and one of the "hassles" of these ebikes is that the parts are proprietary. It is an evolving market - who knows which brand will survive or just disappear? Threads on this site have indicated difficulty in getting repairs and parts. However, the conversion kits are using generic items that are simple to service and readily available from many sources.

Last edited by MNebiker; 05-01-20 at 05:05 PM.
MNebiker is offline  
Old 05-01-20, 05:02 PM
  #4  
Rick53
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Michigan, United States of America
Posts: 145

Bikes: Verve, Dual Sport 2 and FX3

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 61 Post(s)
Liked 9 Times in 7 Posts
Originally Posted by MNebiker View Post
Old knees made riding more than 4 or 5 miles no fun, and the hilly terrain around here didn't help any. I wanted to see if an electric bike would help, so I put a conversion kit on my hybrid bike as an experiment. That was about 4000 miles ago. It made it possible for me to continue riding for fun and exercise well into my 80s. It was worth every penny.
Hey Mike Great Only In My early 60's So not there yet : Hope I make it
Rick53 is offline  
Old 05-01-20, 06:18 PM
  #5  
linberl
Senior Member
 
linberl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 2,952

Bikes: 2017 Bike Friday PakiT. Dahon Mu Uno (trailer bike) Sold: 2003 Bike Friday NWT, 1997 Trek 720, 1993 Trek 520)

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1148 Post(s)
Liked 132 Times in 113 Posts
If you don't need one, you don't need one, period. That's why I chose the system I picked - because it comes off the bike and I can ride analog with less than 10 seconds prep. I can also have it on the bike but not even turned on and, since it only weighs a total of 4.5lb with zero drag, there's no penalty for just leaving it on. Then it's there if I decide to tackle a hilly route, or if the big Bay headwinds come up, or if I didn't sleep well the night before so I poop out. It also has 9 levels of assist, and I can get just as much exercise with level 1 as I do riding analog - by choosing a route with lots of ups and downs and doubling the length I normally ride - twice as quickly.
But, yeah, if you ride a normal route with no motor, you can't just add the motor and expect the same effect in terms of fitness. You have to ride longer and take on bigger grades. Now for some folks, that's a reason to get an e-bike. You WANT to go longer distances and over more difficult terrain than you can manage with your analog bike.
So - if you would like to double your distance, while not doubling the time, you might find one makes sense for you. And if you pick more challenging routes, you can definitely get that fitness experience. Just depends on what you want. If you do the same ride but with a motor, it will be quicker and that's all.
linberl is offline  
Old 05-01-20, 10:26 PM
  #6  
MarcusT
Senior Member
 
MarcusT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: NE Italy
Posts: 938
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 431 Post(s)
Liked 156 Times in 96 Posts
I don't ride my Emtb to make it easier, but rather to make it harder. I am attacking climbs that I would only have considered when I was in my 20s. So, let's say that the motor helps, but the effort is still maximum and the result is a full workout and beautiful mountain peaks. I am not at the point of using pedal assist on the road, but that day will come
MarcusT is offline  
Old 05-01-20, 11:09 PM
  #7  
linberl
Senior Member
 
linberl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 2,952

Bikes: 2017 Bike Friday PakiT. Dahon Mu Uno (trailer bike) Sold: 2003 Bike Friday NWT, 1997 Trek 720, 1993 Trek 520)

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1148 Post(s)
Liked 132 Times in 113 Posts
Originally Posted by MarcusT View Post
I don't ride my Emtb to make it easier, but rather to make it harder. I am attacking climbs that I would only have considered when I was in my 20s. So, let's say that the motor helps, but the effort is still maximum and the result is a full workout and beautiful mountain peaks. I am not at the point of using pedal assist on the road, but that day will come
^^^this. It all depends on how you use it and what you hope to get from it.
linberl is offline  
Old 05-01-20, 11:32 PM
  #8  
Doc_Wui
Senior Member
 
Doc_Wui's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Chicago Suburbs
Posts: 1,001

Bikes: GT Transeo & a half dozen ebike conversions.

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 234 Post(s)
Liked 36 Times in 28 Posts
I rode 17 miles today on the ebike at 8AM, and sure felt tired/sore at 6PM. Will be 72 this year.My wife and I ride for fun. We ride slow. Ebikes are letting us extend the ride.

I have one purchased eike, but it was an inexpensive model under $800. We ride home converted ebikes. They also cost around $600-800 to add a motor, batter to a bike, but I've done it for a lot less. Have about six of them, It's pretty basic. No software. Cheap parts from China.
Doc_Wui is offline  
Likes For Doc_Wui:
Old 05-01-20, 11:38 PM
  #9  
alo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 430
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 191 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 92 Times in 70 Posts
With an ebike you can ride further. In some situations people want to go further.

When I get an ebike, I plan to buy a kit, and convert an existing bike. You can easily get replacement parts, and they will be much less expensive.

I plan to use a rear wheel geared hub, which can still be ridden without electric assist.

If you find any of the parts from a kit do not last long, you can replace them with parts from another manufacturer.
alo is offline  
Likes For alo:
Old 05-02-20, 03:01 AM
  #10  
Frankenbike27
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 59
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
yes!
Frankenbike27 is offline  
Old 05-02-20, 05:09 AM
  #11  
OldGlory
Member
 
OldGlory's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: North Shore, MA
Posts: 48

Bikes: Trek Domane; Lauf Anywhere; Specialized Turbo Creo Comp

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Liked 12 Times in 6 Posts
I have a Specialized e-Road bike. I am a solo rider. If I want to work hard I set the assist at the lowest level. My thought is I am setting low enough that I am just overcoming the extra weight of the bike. Trying to make it feel like a non-assisted bike. If I want to go fast I bump up the assist. Typical ride is about 20 miles I go out 15 at the lowest setting then I crank it up to Turbo for the last 5 miles home. You still work but not quite as hard but you can go 25 MPH fairly easily. It's a very fun bike. I still ride my Domane as well if I want a true road bike session.

I am still trying to figure out the optimal way to train with it but its been fun.
OldGlory is offline  
Likes For OldGlory:
Old 05-02-20, 08:33 AM
  #12  
trailangel
Senior Member
 
trailangel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Pasadena, CA
Posts: 4,290

Bikes: Schwinn Varsity

Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1598 Post(s)
Liked 308 Times in 194 Posts
You don't need an ebike in Michigan. You are a flatlander. If you want to go over 20 miles an hour with power, get a motorscooter.
If you constantly need service, learn some mechanics.... or you bought the wrong brand.
trailangel is offline  
Old 05-02-20, 09:56 AM
  #13  
fooferdoggie 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 401
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 118 Post(s)
Liked 93 Times in 55 Posts
I find it worth it with my poor heath it has made bike riding fun again. as I get healthier I tend to ride the roads at around 22mph as I got better I could drop the assist from max to down one level and keep the same pace. now I can drop it one lower for a lot of the ride. but really flu=ying up hills is one of the greatest part. doing 20 up a hill is so cool. I work as hard as my body allows. it makes biking fun and even if I don't feel good I can still ride.
fooferdoggie is online now  
Likes For fooferdoggie:
Old 05-02-20, 12:29 PM
  #14  
linberl
Senior Member
 
linberl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 2,952

Bikes: 2017 Bike Friday PakiT. Dahon Mu Uno (trailer bike) Sold: 2003 Bike Friday NWT, 1997 Trek 720, 1993 Trek 520)

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1148 Post(s)
Liked 132 Times in 113 Posts
Part of an e-bike's value is mental. While you might think, with an analog bike, I don't have the energy to ride today...or my (fill in the blank) hurts so I'll skip today's ride...or there's too much wind...or many other reasons, with an e-bike it doesn't matter. That mental resistance is gone because you know you can make the ride. I often go out thinking I will ride poorly and use assist and then find myself cutting it off after a short time in the saddle. You can use an e-bike to:
1. get places faster
2. go longer distances
3. go up more challenging terrain
4. go riding when your mind/body are resistant

I think of it as the "no excuse" device, lol.
linberl is offline  
Likes For linberl:
Old 05-02-20, 09:44 PM
  #15  
alloo
Senior Member
 
alloo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 346

Bikes: Electra Townie 21d, 2020 Blix Aveny

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 124 Post(s)
Liked 83 Times in 63 Posts
Originally Posted by Rick53 View Post
The more I research E-Bikes : I find the problems seem to be related mainly to the software . I road a Specialized Vado that was a Class 3 > It was fun going 25 plus MPH . But that was rare. The average riding slowed us down to 15 MPH or so > On a regular Bike I'd be going about 12 MPH . While there were times having the juice to climb hills was a great advantage : I found on a 20 mile Road : 80% of the time our situation required speeds of 10-15 MPH most of the time. My complaint was I didn't feel like I even had to peddle : That was leaving the Bike in what they called eco mode I think .


Were I riding my regular Trek Dual Sport 3 > A 20 mile ride wouldn't have exhausted me > But I would have felt like I got some exercise: On the E-bike It seems to get the exercise I get on a 20 mile ride I'd need to go at least 30 miles . Maybe even 40 .


I can see these being a Big Help for a daily Commuter > I just can't see where a Casual Rider like me > Who has the time 3/4 times a week to go on a 20-25 mile ride . Owning an E-bike to ride mainly Bike trails and country roads is worth it > I'm not in a hurry to get anywhere >
I ride for fun and to strengthen My Legs for Golf >

Plus I read on the Electric Bike Forums all kinds of issues : Where having Shop support is a must. I'm a DIY type with a regular generic Bike : Never felt the need to run back and forth to a shop : Thinking maybe I should just upgrade My Dual Sport / and wait until prices drop and bugs get worked out better . Any Thoughts from those who OWN ONE:
It sound like you have rode an ebike with too much assist. Why do you need a Vado? Can't you get an entry level ebike with less than 90 nM of torque? Some ebikes only have 40-60 nM. Maybe ride a Class 1 or Class 2 ebike. It sounds like you're having trouble adjusting to an ebike in your head. You stated that you feel like you have to ride more per outing. Why not have more sessions spread across the week? I haven't spent more that $1600 for an ebike. I would like a nicer ebike, but my current ebike serves me well as a commuter. I don't feel that paying more for things mean that I get a good value. I have thought about getting a Class 3 ebike next and using less assist, but I don't like the handlebars and shifters that more expensive bikes have.

Shop support is a must for Mid Drives, for hub drives no, you can do things yourself. Sometimes the internet is the worst place to find out issues regarding products. With new technologies, with ebikes things change every 2-3 years, manufacturers learn and the economies of scale bring down prices. I am not sure what type of hills you're climbing. I think your issues are all in your head, not the reality of your experience with your ebike. Everyone has an opinion, but that may not be your reality. Good luck! I hope that you don't give up on ebikes. You need to test ride lots of different ones and find out what works for you. A lot of traditional bicycle shop personnel don't ride ebikes so they don't know. Ebikes are the new frontier of bicycling.
alloo is offline  
Old 05-04-20, 05:53 AM
  #16  
donheff
Senior Member
 
donheff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Capitol Hill, Washington, DC
Posts: 1,453

Bikes: Specialized Tricross Comp

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 42 Post(s)
Liked 9 Times in 8 Posts
Originally Posted by linberl View Post
Part of an e-bike's value is mental. While you might think, with an analog bike, I don't have the energy to ride today...or my (fill in the blank) hurts so I'll skip today's ride...or there's too much wind...or many other reasons, with an e-bike it doesn't matter. That mental resistance is gone because you know you can make the ride. I often go out thinking I will ride poorly and use assist and then find myself cutting it off after a short time in the saddle. You can use an e-bike to:
1. get places faster
2. go longer distances
3. go up more challenging terrain
4. go riding when your mind/body are resistant

I think of it as the "no excuse" device, lol.
+1 This is why I follow this forum. I am 72 and still in OP's situation. I don't yet "need" an ebike but I am interested. Already, at 72, I have days that knock me out sooner than I would like and hills I just don't want to tackle. I have been watching ebikes rise in quality and decrease in cost year by year and will eventually pull the plug. The reasons mentioned above are what would motivate me, coupled with the fact that ebikes are just plain fun to ride.
donheff is offline  
Likes For donheff:
Old 05-04-20, 06:21 AM
  #17  
drzdave58
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: ontario
Posts: 71

Bikes: Ruff custom build..Electra mulholland 3i..vanmoof S3..1947rollfast...felt happy hour..focus planet..Dahon curve d3 41 Schwinn custom..Moulton tsr

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Liked 14 Times in 9 Posts
I wouldn’t wait to until ‘I need an ebike’....they are just too much fun, I built a custom ebike a couple years ago and absolutely have a blast on it. I also have a regular bike that I ride every morning to get a good workout. The ebike is just really a toy to have some fun on for me. If you can afford both and have the room then that’s a good way to go. It’s nice to have a choice depending on your mood. If I could only have one then I would definitely only have a regular bike because they are a lot lighter and obviously have unlimited range and easier to work on. I m using a bafang mid drive kit which has been very reliable so far.
drzdave58 is offline  
Likes For drzdave58:
Old 05-04-20, 06:25 AM
  #18  
PoorInRichfield
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Richfield, WI
Posts: 508

Bikes: Trek Domane SL7 Disc, Trek Boone 9, Cannondale F29

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 273 Post(s)
Liked 210 Times in 126 Posts
My biggest concern with e-bikes are the batteries. I have an elderly friend who bought an e-bike a few years ago and now the battery is dead. In helping him find a new battery, I learned a few things:
  • e-bike batteries last approximately 3 to 5 years before they need to be replaced
  • there is no such thing as a "standard e-bike battery"
  • replacement e-bike batteries cost several hundred dollars
  • replacement e-bike batteries may be difficult or even impossible to find once your bike is no longer the current model
  • some enterprising individuals have started businesses to refurbish used e-bike batteries, but prices are still in the hundreds to refresh the batteries.
My friend didn't get a new battery because he couldn't afford it. So now his bike is a giant paper weight.

Hence, if you're in the market for an e-bike, ask a LOT of questions about the battery and what the plan is for replacements 5, 10, and 15 years into the future when the bike shop and manufacturer no longer supports your bike!
PoorInRichfield is offline  
Likes For PoorInRichfield:
Old 05-04-20, 06:45 AM
  #19  
alloo
Senior Member
 
alloo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 346

Bikes: Electra Townie 21d, 2020 Blix Aveny

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 124 Post(s)
Liked 83 Times in 63 Posts
Originally Posted by PoorInRichfield View Post
My biggest concern with e-bikes are the batteries. I have an elderly friend who bought an e-bike a few years ago and now the battery is dead. In helping him find a new battery, I learned a few things:
  • e-bike batteries last approximately 3 to 5 years before they need to be replaced
  • there is no such thing as a "standard e-bike battery"
  • replacement e-bike batteries cost several hundred dollars
  • replacement e-bike batteries may be difficult or even impossible to find once your bike is no longer the current model
  • some enterprising individuals have started businesses to refurbish used e-bike batteries, but prices are still in the hundreds to refresh the batteries.
My friend didn't get a new battery because he couldn't afford it. So now his bike is a giant paper weight.

Hence, if you're in the market for an e-bike, ask a LOT of questions about the battery and what the plan is for replacements 5, 10, and 15 years into the future when the bike shop and manufacturer no longer supports your bike!
Has your friend considered rebuilding his battery pack? I'm sure that newer batteries can be installed with more Current available hence extending his range. Most ebike shops worth their salt can refer your friend to a company that rebuilds battery packs. Ebikes are electronic in nature so, the hardware gets upgraded every couple of years with more capability and features. It might be cheaper to buy a new lower end ebike. 3-5 years of regular use is pretty good for now, in the future batteries will get lighter and may last longer. You never buy a car because it will last forever. Funny thing about society is that people always compare ebikes to cars. It doesn't work. Maybe an electric car would be a better comparison or an electric motorcycle. Both vehicles aren't comparable to their ICE counterpart. Ebikes are the best selling hybrid vehicles in the world.
alloo is offline  
Old 05-04-20, 07:01 AM
  #20  
PoorInRichfield
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Richfield, WI
Posts: 508

Bikes: Trek Domane SL7 Disc, Trek Boone 9, Cannondale F29

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 273 Post(s)
Liked 210 Times in 126 Posts
Originally Posted by alloo View Post
Has your friend considered rebuilding his battery pack?
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

I agree that electric bikes aren't really different than motorcycles and cars in respect to them having batteries, but what is different is that bike manufacturers encase the batteries in bike-specific shells where as most other vehicles use pretty standard batteries that one can pretty easily replace at a store like Batteries Plus or WalMart.

For most consumers, they still think of a bicycles as this toy you buy once and never need to maintain short of putting air in the tires (which many recreational bicyclists don't even do.) Convincing the consumer that an e-bike is a vehicle that will need maintenance and has future maintenance costs that are relatively high (i.e., new battery) is likely not something that is mentioned when the bike is purchased... but should be.
PoorInRichfield is offline  
Old 05-04-20, 07:35 AM
  #21  
alloo
Senior Member
 
alloo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 346

Bikes: Electra Townie 21d, 2020 Blix Aveny

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 124 Post(s)
Liked 83 Times in 63 Posts
Originally Posted by PoorInRichfield View Post
I agree that electric bikes aren't really different than motorcycles and cars in respect to them having batteries, but what is different is that bike manufacturers encase the batteries in bike-specific shells where as most other vehicles use pretty standard batteries that one can pretty easily replace at a store like Batteries Plus or WalMart.

For most consumers, they still think of a bicycles as this toy you buy once and never need to maintain short of putting air in the tires (which many recreational bicyclists don't even do.) Convincing the consumer that an e-bike is a vehicle that will need maintenance and has future maintenance costs that are relatively high (i.e., new battery) is likely not something that is mentioned when the bike is purchased... but should be.
You're right ebike manufacturers and brands haven't developed a long term service plan for their products. In a developing industry, standards don't exist until it becomes a consumer issue. I'm sorry for your friend's dilemma. Bicycle companies are part of the issue in marketing bicycles as recreational vehicles and not valid commuter vehicle.
alloo is offline  
Old 05-04-20, 09:26 AM
  #22  
linberl
Senior Member
 
linberl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 2,952

Bikes: 2017 Bike Friday PakiT. Dahon Mu Uno (trailer bike) Sold: 2003 Bike Friday NWT, 1997 Trek 720, 1993 Trek 520)

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1148 Post(s)
Liked 132 Times in 113 Posts
The "battery" replacement issue is one reason it is really important to buy from a well known manufacturer with a track record and also as modular a system as possible. In fact, that is the reason I prefer retrofit systems over dedicated commerical ebikes. I think of the commercial e-bike as the "all-in-one" printer/scanner of the office world - and we all know when one function dies on those they whole thing is useless. Having a retrofit system or modular system means you only need to either get the internal cells replaced or have someone (if you can't) switch out the connector (which often is unique to the motor but not always).
Right now I can send my battery back to the manufacturer if the cells die. If the manufacturer disappeared, the case is easy to open and the cells are easy to replace so it could be rebuilt. I also can move the kit from bike to bike, which means any new bike can use it.
Dedicated e-bikes are like Priuses - truly awesome when they work but what happens when the battery dies? It's a really expensive item.
I'd love to see a manufacturer come up with a battery that has connector options (for the most common ones) that are LEASED. Maybe pay a hundred bucks a year and whenever the performance degrades, you send it back and get a new one. And all the stuff gets recycled instead of dumped. It's a newish industry but I hope it heads in this direction.
linberl is offline  
Old 05-04-20, 09:34 AM
  #23  
linberl
Senior Member
 
linberl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 2,952

Bikes: 2017 Bike Friday PakiT. Dahon Mu Uno (trailer bike) Sold: 2003 Bike Friday NWT, 1997 Trek 720, 1993 Trek 520)

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1148 Post(s)
Liked 132 Times in 113 Posts
Originally Posted by donheff View Post
+1 This is why I follow this forum. I am 72 and still in OP's situation. I don't yet "need" an ebike but I am interested. Already, at 72, I have days that knock me out sooner than I would like and hills I just don't want to tackle. I have been watching ebikes rise in quality and decrease in cost year by year and will eventually pull the plug. The reasons mentioned above are what would motivate me, coupled with the fact that ebikes are just plain fun to ride.
I'm 70 and I don't "need" an e-bike either, but....having a motor does make pulling 40 lbs of dog food home from Costco up a hill much easier. Having a motor does let me decide to try routes I would normally think are too "hard" for me. I decided since I was in the "don't need an bike" category on a regular basis that having something I could easily put on and take off the bike was the solution. I love my bike, I spent a lot of time and money getting the perfect bike for me, and I didn't want to start over on finding an e-bike, especially since they're way too heavy. So I found a retrofit system that goes on and off in seconds, so I have an analog bike with the "option" of converting to an e-bike in 10 seconds whenever I want. I think there is a market out there for folks who still want to ride most of the time just like normal but sometimes want added assist....without incurring the weight penalty or drag penalty when not needed.
If you've got a bike you love, you might look at either a simple front wheel hub kit (just swap out your front wheel to ride motorized) or a friction drive (what I have from OneMotor.co). Minimalist solutions. Not everyone needs a mid-drive with a 100 mile motor, lol.
linberl is offline  
Old 05-04-20, 11:38 AM
  #24  
DukeO
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 22
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by PoorInRichfield View Post
My biggest concern with e-bikes are the batteries. I have an elderly friend who bought an e-bike a few years ago and now the battery is dead. In helping him find a new battery, I learned a few things:
  • e-bike batteries last approximately 3 to 5 years before they need to be replaced
  • there is no such thing as a "standard e-bike battery"
  • replacement e-bike batteries cost several hundred dollars
  • replacement e-bike batteries may be difficult or even impossible to find once your bike is no longer the current model
  • some enterprising individuals have started businesses to refurbish used e-bike batteries, but prices are still in the hundreds to refresh the batteries.
My friend didn't get a new battery because he couldn't afford it. So now his bike is a giant paper weight.

Hence, if you're in the market for an e-bike, ask a LOT of questions about the battery and what the plan is for replacements 5, 10, and 15 years into the future when the bike shop and manufacturer no longer supports your bike!
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
DukeO is offline  
Old 05-09-20, 09:16 AM
  #25  
Bmack2000
Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by linberl View Post
Part of an e-bike's value is mental. While you might think, with an analog bike, I don't have the energy to ride today...or my (fill in the blank) hurts so I'll skip today's ride...or there's too much wind...or many other reasons, with an e-bike it doesn't matter. That mental resistance is gone because you know you can make the ride. I often go out thinking I will ride poorly and use assist and then find myself cutting it off after a short time in the saddle. You can use an e-bike to:
1. get places faster
2. go longer distances
3. go up more challenging terrain
4. go riding when your mind/body are resistant

I think of it as the "no excuse" device, lol.
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).
Bmack2000 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.