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Alternating rides on electric and regular bikes

Old 04-19-22, 08:40 PM
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davethelefty
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Alternating rides on electric and regular bikes

I am very early in my thoughts about buying an e-bike, specifically a gravel bike. I plan on keeping my non-electric Canyon road bike.

Iíd like to hear from riders who ride both electric and non-electric bikes interchangeably. After youíve had pedal assist, does riding your non-electric seem weird? Iím wondering if after riding an e-bike a lot, when I hop on the non-electric road bike, will it seem slow, inefficient, hard to pedal, etc. Iíve not yet experienced pedal assist so maybe this is a non-issue or even a stupid concern, just wonderingÖ
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Old 04-19-22, 11:30 PM
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I've gone back and forth without any rhyme or reason and never felt that one type or the other felt "strange". The problem for me is that I'm lazy and seem to have lost fitness from riding my e-bike. Consequently, I've been riding mostly my MTB's lately.

Last edited by 2old; 04-25-22 at 05:15 PM.
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Old 04-20-22, 08:42 AM
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It's called aging, we ALL have to deal with it.
Eventually, we ALL rely on one form or another to help us get to enjoy cycling when we get older, until we can't.
It may feel "strange" or "weird" in the beginning, but eventually we all could find a way to ride to our ability.
Whether it be upright bicycles, ebikes or even recumbent, once you ride enough, get enough practice; you get used to the "strange" & "weird" and just keep pedal along.
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Old 04-25-22, 03:05 PM
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Well, I'm not the normal ebike guy (as anyone on endless-sphere will tell ya).

It would depend on a lot of things. For me:
I designed and built a light bike for commuting - one that road at roughly the speeds I do in a "club" ride (i.e. ~26mph). Its great for commuting, and I find during the off season (when I am out of shape), it gives me a good workout - better than I get on an analogue bike). I can put out a steady ~225 watts, and the motor is putting out about that much, so it ends up being like riding a tandem with my brother. ;-)

My "problem" with commercial ebikes is that they weigh so much. Heavy builds, heavy/inefficient tires - they are just no fun to pedal without power - and in most conditions the motor is so much more powerful than you are that any pedaling you are doing just makes you feel good, but doesn't really add much power to the equation.

In effect, I don't ride the ebike much unless - I'm commuting, or its off season.
what is your average speed on your canyon? I'm probably cruising at 20mph solo - and it doesn't feel slow. But as a form of transportation from X to Y - it might seem slow (realistically my ebike may save me 10 minutes in a 60 minute commute, so its not a huge savings either). The bonus of the ebike for fast commuting is it doesn't care if I am tired, or if there is a headwind - my times are pretty consistent. An extra bonus is that I can use gravel tires (40mm) and get a nice ride and nice speed, all while feeling like I am on a Canyon Endurance.
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Old 04-25-22, 08:15 PM
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Since getting my first eBike 2 months ago I ride my other non-electric bike a lot less. The eBike took everything that made riding unenjoyable for me, like headwinds. In the Spring in my area the wind is brutal. And coming off Winter I'm not in any kind of shape for headwinds or hills. But like 2Old I feel I am now losing my fitness, so I supplement with brisk walking/running.

But to answer the question, I switch back and forth and it doesn't feel weird, mainly because the bikes feel and fit differently, so it's a muscle memory thing.
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Old 04-25-22, 09:06 PM
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Unfortunately, due to my second bout of Covid (that I'm just now recovering from), I find riding an ebike a necessity. Ever since 2020, when I first became ill, it took everything for me to be able to fully ride again. I was almost at the point of being able to breathe again, and BAM! I'm sick again. Now, I'll be relying on my ebike (Qualisports Dolphin) or my electric scooter (E-Twow Booster GT SE) to get around when I'm not driving around, or commuting to work via my long train ride.
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Old 04-25-22, 10:09 PM
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I have done both, but on the same bike. I rode a Bike Friday with a super light friction assist. I'd ride in unassisted mode (zero drag and only 4.5lb weight penalty) unless I hit a bad headwind or a hill that would hurt my knee. Then I'd kick in the assist. Also, since my bike is also my car, I would sometimes ride on assist 100% if I was going to an appointment like a doctor visit or whatever and didn't want to arrive sweaty. And sometimes on shorter rides I would just pop the assist off and ride au naturel for the exercise enhancement over with assist. I had the assist set to require a fair amount of effort from me on the first couple levels and then make it much easier to spin on the higher assist levels. Now I'm riding a recumbent trike and just had e-assist installed, and I've got to reset the software as it provides too much assist on the lowest levels. I still want some resistance and effort required at the lowest levels, it's only a 36v but it has great torque and I'd have to spin at 100 rpm to keep up with it, lol. I've been recently diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis, which is a muscle weakening thing, so I like having
the option of a lot of assist so I don't get stranded if i over do the exercise. But anyway, there's a place for both and there is a place for low assist to include effort and exercise, and a place for full assist if you're in a hurry or don't want to be sweaty or have medical issues. The great thing is we now have all these options! You will find what works best for you.
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Old 04-25-22, 10:17 PM
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I have an EMTB and use it for that purpose. Routes I am no longer able to ride on a non assist bike, but for everything else, I still use regular bikes. I can say I ride more, as there are days I don't feel like a long road ride, but 30 min on an EMTB with some serious climbs is just enough.
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Old 05-24-22, 12:57 PM
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An interesting suggestion is that you can alternate the two. Because sometimes your e-bike runs out of power, you will return to the state like a road bike. It will not affect your habits much because each has its advantages.
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Old 05-25-22, 07:30 AM
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I have a gravel bike, mountain bike (non e assist) and a Trek cruiser E bike.

Depending on the circumstances, the e bike doesn't always feel all that more efficient when it comes to expected rider power output. I like it, because the riding position is more relaxed and the motor is designed to prevent the rider from pedalling hard when it is simply unnecessary to do so.

Switching back and forth between them, my non e bikes feel great . They all have their own specific uses.

The e bike is used for Groceries hauls, when I'm too tired to crank the hills in my area, and general comfort oriented commuting. That's not to say I can't do the same on my gravel grinder (which is set up fairly performance oriented... ) Just depends on energy levels and needs.
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