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How do you use your e-Bike?

Old 12-05-20, 08:14 AM
  #1  
Danhedonia
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How do you use your e-Bike?

I'm considering the purchase of an e-Bike - it's not a 'natural' purchase for me, so I'm hoping that some enthusiasts of the platform here will kindly explain to me how/why it differs from riding a traditional bicycle. Specifically, I have a 6 mile commute that includes a categorized climb, and I cannot shower when I get to work (school building). I'm thinking that an e-Bike would allow me to arrive fairly unsweaty?

The other aspect that I am curious about is distance/endurance. Does anyone here take long bikepacking trips on an e-Bike? (Potentially using a solar charger?)

Thanks for any insights.
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Old 12-05-20, 08:32 AM
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I commute 10 miles each way on mine I can go 20+ mph choosing how much effort I want to do (usually as much as I can) and running errands. I did use it for longer rides will we got a e tandem. now I use that with my wife for longer rises. so far 52 miles was the longest. we never walk anywhere now we always ride. all my shopping is done on bike
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Old 12-05-20, 09:10 AM
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Yes, if you use an e-bike for commuting you will most likely be able to complete your 6 mile commute without breaking a sweat even in the summer. It depends on how much effort you provide versus how much is supplied by the motor. On a hot day you can decrease the amount of effort you put versus that of the motor and this should allow you to make your trip without getting sweaty. I cannot comment on using an e-bike for long bikepacking trips other than to say as long as you have a place to plug in to recharge you should be fine. Also, you can take along an extra battery and extend range accordingly.
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Old 12-05-20, 09:25 AM
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+1 with above; good thing about an "e" is you can adjust the assist to satisfy the situation (within the limits of its power, of course). Haven't bike-packed with one yet.
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Old 12-05-20, 09:50 AM
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I have been cycling commute in NYC since 2014, 8-12 mile one-way, most of the time in congested NYC traffic among cars.
I am used to riding among cars in traffic, hopping onto the sidewalk or going against the flow on one-way streets, just to avoid crazy drivers.
I ride my e-bike not because I want a workout, just want to pedal to places without breaking a sweat and in need of a shower when I get to my destination.
Sometimes, I carry a good amount of food that require refrigeration, (food donation to local homeless shelter) need to get to my destination quickly so the food doesn't spoil, e-bike helps me cut through NYC traffic, no worry about parking in NYC.
In COVID times, I don't want to be huffing & puffing when I'm riding if I don't need to be. E-bike makes it easier than regular pedal bike getting to the destination.
Besides the folding e-bike, I have a folding bike that allow me to take it onto the subway train when I'm not hauling large volume of items on the bike.
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Old 12-05-20, 10:37 AM
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I use it for exercise and enjoyment. I work from home so I don't need it for commuting, but if I did have to commute I would use it for that purpose as well. For enjoyment I guess it's no different than the joy of riding a regular bike with one exception - the power kicks in when you start peddling. I haven't seen a person yet experience this without smiling . It's simply a ton a fun to do. And for those who have health issues, the pedal assist really makes biking accessible.

It's also good for exercise, and the studies seem to indicate that the benefits are similar to a regular bike. Even with pedal assist on you still are using your body to move the bike. Here's one of many articles on the benefits of ebiking. https://www.theverge.com/2019/11/13/...-electric-bike
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Old 12-06-20, 01:06 PM
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I ride my e-bike for exercise, occasional errands and with Covid, an opportunity to get outside, perhaps in the socially distanced company of friends. I’m retired so have no need to commute.

I switched from analog this spring because I was finding I couldn’t sustain longer rides. And longer was anything over ten miles. After a summer and fall on the e-bike, 20 and 30 mile rides are regular occurrences. Weather permitting, I do frequent ten milers every week. None of that was possible prior to electricity.
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Old 12-06-20, 05:44 PM
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Not sure what you mean by a "natural" purchase, but based upon the toxic vitriol from some of the forum members that peppered the replies to your first post on the General forum, you appear to be walking on eggshells now.

Don't.

An electric bike is NOTHING MORE than a 2 wheeled bike with an added battery based assist to help the rider. Period. End of sentence.

Any and all effort that you put into propelling the bike forward can be added to by virtue of a battery attached to an electric motor. That motor can be either in the wheel hub or part of the pedal assembly. You, as the cyclist, have to put in the work to get the cycle moving. The motor can help but it doesn't take over for you except for those that have throttles. Most, if not all, of the main bike manufacturers have the motors as pedal assist only. Those motors can be designed to provide levels of both torque and power from zero to 4x your individual effort. It is your choice. It is ALWAYS your choice.

Will you get sweaty riding an ebike? Yes, you will. Will you get drenched in sweat? Not likely. It all depends upon how much assist you ask of the electronics. The ebike allows you to control the terrain and distance in the physical effort you wish to put into the ride vs. the effort you request of the bike.

Endurance and distance riding is quite within the capability of most ebikes, again depending upon how much effort you require of the bike. Most distance riders have extra batteries, one if not two, and rotate through them as needed. A solar panel, unless it is huge and you have a brilliantly sunny day and hours to wait for a battery to charge, isn't going to cut it for a distance rider. The fastest and most reliable way to recharge a battery is to plug the charger into an electrical outlet. If you are going to be traveling anywhere, you will find outlets in abundance in commercial establishments, restaurants, hotels, stores, gas stations, camping places, etc.

You will find yourself a bit more tied to the Grid than you would with an unassisted bike, but the freedom from fatigue, from hills, from not wanting to ride because it has become a grueling endeavor with no fun and all pain - that goes away in a heady rush of finding a relief and a joy that only an electric bike will give. It becomes a dedicated, helpful partner in your travels rather than just a mindless piece of braized metal that would let you kill yourself climbing a hill without offering even a modicum of concern.

Your 6 mile commute to school will fly by so fast that you'll probably start looking for different routes that will be longer and allow you to spend more time in the company of your mechanical "partner". Trust me, you will won't have to learn to love your new bike - it will come naturally. And you'll wonder why you waited so long to buy one.

Get yourself to a reliable bike shop and look at/try out the Class 3 commuter ebikes. NOT the Class 2 - they are too slow.

Last edited by momsonherbike; 12-06-20 at 06:00 PM.
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Old 12-07-20, 09:46 AM
  #9  
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Six miles depending on terrain should be pretty sweat free if you choose that way to ride. 6 miles on a ebike is not much at all its gonna go by pretty fast.

the bike packing thing and solar I'm sure you could make it work but I cant really see it unless you are like riding a short distance than charging for a day or two. Honestly unless you can plug in or carry a spare battery for bike packing I think it would be limiting. you may live somewhere that has a million places to camp or hang out so might be different for you.

Me personally for six miles I would just ride a bike and chill leave earlier. that's maybe a 30 to 45 minute ride on a bike unless you have a mountain pass or something on the way.

plus with a normal bike you can go on endless rides to bike pack and not worry about charging.

Now if you can use a ebike for the commute and say groceries, beer runs, whatever that might make me lean back to ebike. Hauling stuff around gets better with the ebike when range is not a huge issue.
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Old 12-07-20, 10:25 AM
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I have a quickly removable/transferable system I use with my two folders. One folder is specifically for pulling my trailer and doing shopping - I pull around 60lbs - and the motor simply makes that possible. No way I'd pull my Costco load home without it. The other folder is used for transportation with the motor, when I need to get somewhere and time is an issue (no car). I'll put the motor on and go to doctor appointments, social visits (pre-covid), and run grouped errands and the motor makes that all possible in a very reasonable amount of time without arriving all gross. It also comes off that folder which I ride every day for pure exercise; I don't want any assist for those rides as I want to max out the exercise benefits in the time I have alloted. Finally, again pre-Covid, I would use the motor to take long rides where I could keep up with my millenial son on his bike, 40 mile rides mostly; my battery would give me 20 miles so I would judiciously pause on the flats and use it only when needed for hills or to catch up.
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Old 12-07-20, 01:35 PM
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There's two distinct styles of ebikes. Pedal first ebikes, which are design to look and ride like a normal bike. And throttle ebikes, where the pedals are largely vestigial and included for regulatory compliance or emergency use. A throttle ebike will have a very limited size range, and a fixed height seat. Since you can't adjust the seat height, you won't be able to pedal properly, hence the throttle usage.
Either type of bike will work for your situation, simply use a higher assist level in the morning.
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Old 12-07-20, 04:46 PM
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chas58
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If OP is still reading...

I don't know how much exercise you want, but a strong rider can sustain ~250 watts on a commute. If you get a 500+++ powered bike, it will be a lot stronger than you. You can of course work as hard as you want, but roughly speaking, above 20mph, you are not really helping much - so you can do as much or little work as you want. Alternatively, many people "dial down" the assist if they want exersize. Others of course find the "turbo" mode so much fun, its hard to dial it down.

I'm certainly way off "normal" for an ebike rider, but I put out a lot more power (through my legs) when I am on an ebike than when I am on a non e-bike. But, if I could teach myself to relax, I could get to work without a sweat if I wanted.
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Old 12-07-20, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Danhedonia View Post

3. I have seen what I perceive to be a disproportionately high number of e-Bike riders on our local MUP (where they're not permitted, and yes we have bike lanes all over town where they ARE permitted). Many of these riders don't observe basic posted rules, for example they ride two-abreast, forcing others to the side of the path, while going 22-25 mph or faster. Do e-Bikes attract a 'different' type of rider? (I think this is about inexperience?)

4. The school where I teach (when not quarantined) did not permit faculty to use the showers in the gym; even in the 'gym teachers shower area.' We are on top of a hill with a CAT-3 climb to it, and I don't feel like sweating through first period. I could see how letting an e-Bike do the climb would be an elegant solution to the problem.
3- no, club riders around here are a PITA. Too much testosterone. They ride faster than ebikes down mups 2 abreast, and clog the traffic around here blocking roads for cars. That is what I read on "neighborhood" apps. That, and I ride in the group people complain about. While 10% of the people are trying to get the group to act with respect to others, 10% of the group is gonna win the "race" (in their mind) and beat everyone else. Its a constand battle.
4. Yep, its GREAT for that. And, we can sweat all the way home if we want to, so that's and option too. (P.s. the ebike is gonna help on the climb (a lot), not do it for ya, unless you get a monster).
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Old 12-08-20, 05:38 PM
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I got my e-bike to be a replacement for the car. Our school district has adapted a hybrid system for one of our kids, but with restricted bus schedules. I was spending about an hour and half overall every day waiting in the car to drop-off/pick up my kid every day. With the e-bike, my travel time and wait times are significantly lesser. I live in a very hilly suburb (think 15% grade hills up and down and you'll get the idea), and find the e-assist incredibly useful, especially carrying kid/cargo up the hills. I get about 40 miles per charge. My usual usage every day is about 10 miles (school + errands) and I usually charge up the bike once a week. My e-bike has made one car redundant in our household, and that's how I view the e-bike primarily as, a car replacement. I do have to say that I definitely get a workout, but that's primarily a function of the terrain of where I live.
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Old 12-08-20, 11:07 PM
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Danhedonia
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I'm not walking on eggshells! LOL - this website has so much presumption and projection it's remarkable people are understood.

Couldn't agree more about testosterone-addled riders on MUP's - a true hazard. My question about e-Bike "types" is basically - can I kick my own ass on an e-Bike if I want? Reading the posts, I think the answer is: yes? That would be on the way home.

Yes, there's a truly serious climb on the way to work. There is no way to get there without breaking a serious sweat. (data: 2.9 miles, 900 feet of gain, but spread across three rise/descents which bring total climbing to about 1,400 feet in that span. Climb averages 8% and goes as high as 10-11% sustained sometimes). And: no shower. Screw that.

I was thinking actually of like 50 mile days bike packing. Solar, baby. I have a funny feeling I'm going to discover I need a rather large solar panel for that?

I guess my real concern is that once I go e-Bike, it will cut into other bike time. And my biggest fear: if it breaks, I don't know how to fix it.
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Old 12-09-20, 06:07 AM
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You can definitely kick your arse on an ebike. All in how you ride. Worst case if your battery dies you are riding a fully loaded touring bike with insufficient gears.

I've tried using small solar panels when riding to top off USB devices. Had very limited success. Solar panels like to be properly oriented and in full sun to be efficient, something that rarely happens on a moving bike. Also not all batteries can accept a charge at the same time the are putting out juice. Hope I'm wrong on that but know back up cell phone batteries with feed through power are the exception rather than the norm.

A better option for charging batteries is city parks with RV hook ups. Means carrying a typically massive charger with you.
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Old 12-09-20, 07:00 AM
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cat0020
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Originally Posted by Danhedonia View Post
I was thinking actually of like 50 mile days bike packing. Solar, baby. I have a funny feeling I'm going to discover I need a rather large solar panel for that?
Maybe one of these?

https://www.alibaba.com/product-deta...7a4bcab4bXChyl

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Old 12-09-20, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Danhedonia View Post
I'm not walking on eggshells! LOL - this website has so much presumption and projection it's remarkable people are understood.

Couldn't agree more about testosterone-addled riders on MUP's - a true hazard. My question about e-Bike "types" is basically - can I kick my own ass on an e-Bike if I want? Reading the posts, I think the answer is: yes? That would be on the way home.

Yes, there's a truly serious climb on the way to work. There is no way to get there without breaking a serious sweat. (data: 2.9 miles, 900 feet of gain, but spread across three rise/descents which bring total climbing to about 1,400 feet in that span. Climb averages 8% and goes as high as 10-11% sustained sometimes). And: no shower. Screw that.

I was thinking actually of like 50 mile days bike packing. Solar, baby. I have a funny feeling I'm going to discover I need a rather large solar panel for that?

I guess my real concern is that once I go e-Bike, it will cut into other bike time. And my biggest fear: if it breaks, I don't know how to fix it.
That climb should be not bad at all on a ebike.

50 miles on a ebike is totally doable even on low cost one. you can set PAS to around a 100 watts or lowest setting and just cruise. hit a big hill and bump it up if you want to. problem with solar is when do you plan on using it? I usually ride when the sun is up and sleep at night. a charger weighs next to nothing and you can almost always find a place to pirate some electric. most parking lots have outlets on light poles, coffee shops have outlets on outside walls. If your going way off grid personally I would just pack a backup battery for return trip.

I have both. ebike is basically full time car replacement 90% of the year usually put about 100-160 miles a week in on it. Mine is a cargo bike so honestly its just transport not really fun(like in bike sense of fun its way more fun than traffic or a car). so for leisure I ride the other bikes gravel, MTB, old three speeds those are all fun and i can be slightly stupid if I desire. lol... Personally I would not even consider the ebike for bike packing, what I would do with mine is pack all the gear on it put my girlfriend on the thing and try to keep up with her on my bike with next to no gear.
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Old 12-09-20, 03:24 PM
  #19  
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There is much reading available on e-bikes these days -it's just another category of cycling now. I'd say the most-different, but a category nevertheless. A pop-lit sample:
https://www.bicycling.com/bikes-gear...lectric-bikes/
Don't be afraid, Dan: ain't no big thing. Absolutely, an e-bike shares bike-time, but that applies to other bike categories. Your bike-time may actually expand, taking more car- or walk-time, rather than other-bike time. BTW, I see my e-bike as one of my motor vehicles, mostly because that is what it is; but, the way I enjoy it and benefit from it is closer to my bikes. BTW, I'm thankfully into my eighth decade of cycling, and I like all my 2-wheelers.
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Old 12-11-20, 08:42 AM
  #20  
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I ride my ebike 10 miles one way to work. I break a sweat but not as much as when I rode a regular bicycle. If you have hills I would get a mid drive bike. I get to work early cool off and change. Good luck!
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Old 12-21-20, 12:45 PM
  #21  
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I use my e-cargo bike for work commutes and grocery runs. Not so much leisurely rides any more. My commute is only about 4 miles one way and fairly flat. I'm fortunate to have a shower at work so I was never worried about getting sweaty. My main reason was that I have nerve damage in my back from arthritis and now knee problems (also arthritis) so the e-assist keeps me riding even when the pain might otherwise stop me. My bike is equipped with both throttle and PAS although the PAS isn't very good. Even on the lowest setting, it wants to race to 19mph which is way to fast for my liking. As such, I tend to use the throttle more often and mostly just to get going from a dead stop.
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Old 12-21-20, 09:41 PM
  #22  
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Always only used for commuting short distances. Less than 5km each way. They go up hills like nothing, as I'm sure you know. Yes, sweat free is no sweat.
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Old 02-14-21, 11:35 AM
  #23  
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I am retired but have lots of social activities, am learning the cello and have a summer cottage about 10 miles away. I use my ebike exclusively and don’t own a car. I carry my cello on my back and everything else I need strapped to the bike. There is a good sized hill in town that I take easily on the ebike. I’d be walking on my regular bike. I can’t imagine anyone who buys an ebike finds it useless.
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Old 02-14-21, 11:54 AM
  #24  
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speed and zero effort cycling. downside is less exercise...
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