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do electrics work for someone just wanting to extend commute distance???

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do electrics work for someone just wanting to extend commute distance???

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Old 03-28-09, 06:25 PM
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callagga
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Question do electrics work for someone just wanting to extend commute distance???

Hi,

I'm just over 40 and the 2x18km ride for me is just a little on the long side. How I do use an existing Avanti Sprint racer for my commute, and current drive a few km's closer to work and start riding from here.

Would adding electrics to help me extend my range for my commute & hopefully reduce a little of the travel time really work? I mean for example:
(a) the weight of the bikes seem to jump from 12kg up to over 24kg
(b) if I went for one of the more affordable models I'm not sure I'd get my current 21 gears (perhaps I'm wrong here)

But overall I'm wondering whether adding the weight & dropping back to an electrics bike from my current Avanti Racer would really allow me to achieve the goal of (a) extending riding distance and (b) decreasing a little the riding time.

Can anyone that has made the switch comment?

Thanks
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Old 03-29-09, 02:13 AM
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recumelectric
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For me, the electric bike has allowed me to extend distance and increase speed. I am, however, accustomed to shorter distances (5 miles or less/ 8 km or less) and I'm kinda s l o w (8-12 mph/ 12.8-19.3 kph). For me, adding the electric assist allows me to go 10 miles (16 km) each way. I generally go about 13-18 mph (or 20.9-28.9 kph) with the electric assist; my ride time is reduced by about 1/2 hour each way. I do need to re-charge the battery at work, though.

If you are one of the speedy folks who normally goes longer distances, the motor will make the ride easier, but not faster.

My bionx motor is compatible with with 7, 8, or 9 gears on the rear wheel. I'm using it on a 27 gear bike (3 in front and 9 in back). I'm not sure about the front hub motors. Amped Bikes (www.ampedbikes.com) makes front hub motors, and their site should have some information on that.

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Old 03-29-09, 02:27 AM
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callagga
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Question

thanks recumelectric

I probably fall into the speeder category. Making things easier (and not too much speed enhancement) would be fine.

Should I be concerned however about the extra weight being a bit of a pain on the flats however if I'm doing 2x18km per day, and lets say 50% is flat where I guess I would want to not use any battery? Or in other words perhaps, how much of a pain is it riding a 26kg electric bike on the flat with the battery off?

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Old 03-29-09, 02:38 AM
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recumelectric
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It definitely makes the bike heavier. There is also a "drag" factor with a hub motor. The magnets in the hub motor slow things down a little if the motor is not activated. The Bionx allows me to choose different levels of power assistance. If I want it to ride it like a regular bike, I set the power assistance on level 1 or 2. When I want to go faster or lighter on the pedals, I use power assistance level 4.

The flat areas are the easiest, though. Once you've got the bike rolling at the speed you like, it's the same as on a regular bicycle. Just keep pedaling, and things will keep rolling along. I'd still turn the motor on to reduce drag, but keep power assistance at a lower level. Of course, that's assuming you want the full workout. I tend to "cheat" with much more electrical power.

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Old 03-29-09, 10:32 PM
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I think recumelectric probably answered your question already, and I'll add my point of view.
Adding the motor, wiring, and batteries to the bike permanently changes its behavior. You will not be able to "forget" about the motor when you get to the flats. Uphills, downhills, and flats, the bike will behave differently in all conditions.
I gave up 21 speeds and now have 15 speeds. Of those 15, I use 5.

As far as decreasing the riding time, I ask, do you have many hills?
Because I don't have to sit in line at traffic lights in the same way, I now commute just as fast as it used to take driving, about 20 minutes each direction, and this includes climbing a 1000 foot hill over 3 miles.
If you have hills, you absolutely will commute faster.
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Old 03-29-09, 10:51 PM
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I have a few hills in the 18km ride but really the worst is probably only say 300-400 feet I would guess. The worst one would only take 5 minutes to get up if you stand and push hard.

Actually I just tried a mountain bike type electric bike at lunch time (200W). I was quite dissapointed as I guess I was expected a bit more in the way of power. It made me feel I was kind of worse off having the heavier mountain bike with electrics that wasn't putting me in the same optimal position a racer does, in comparison with my racer without electrics. Does this make sense?

I'm now wondering whether I can really improve on my racer at all with electrics. The only way I could see it would be if I could try an electrics kit fitted to a racer itself, so that my starting point for comparison is the same. But even then even then that slight amount of friction you would be adding to a race + the extra weight I wonder whether still you'd be slightly worse off overall for the ride (i.e. whether it helped you or hindered you).

Any comments anyone?

Anyone had experience with electrics on a racer?

Thanks
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Old 03-30-09, 01:25 AM
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My commute is 11+ miles each way and the electric bike helps me get to work significantly faster with a little less effort and a lot less sweat. Instead of getting to work in 40-45 minutes, I get there 34-38 minutes. Without the electric bike kit (bionx), I'd be exhausted by the time Friday arrives.
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Old 03-30-09, 07:21 PM
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I wouldn't bother putting electrics on a racer. Now if you want to go fast and efficient on an electric bike there is nothing like an electric recumbent. Since the main complaint of recumbents is hills, well, problem solved.
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Old 03-31-09, 12:25 AM
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thanks - I might just put a separate specific question up re electrics on racers to see if someone's tried
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Old 03-31-09, 07:53 AM
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Weight isn't much of an issue on flat stretches if your tires are inflated correctly, it's wind resistance.
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Old 04-05-09, 06:05 PM
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I fall into the heavy and out of shape category. My ride to work is 22kms each way, which takes me about 1 hr and 45 minutes each way on a hard framed mountain bike with 26" multipurpose tires.

A single trip, one way, is very taxing for me, and I doubt that I could manage more than 1 or 2 trips per week( with my wife picking me up to take me home at the end of the day)

My ebike allows me to reduce the time to 1hour and 20 minutes. And, it allows me to reduce the effort level so I could handle a return trip in the same day.

I have no doubt that I'm still getting exercise, as I am sweating like crazy and its causing me to breath heavier ( but comfortably)

I hope this helps!
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Old 04-06-09, 05:06 AM
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callagga
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thanks - actually some more info on my commute (after measuring)

More info for my ride if this helps.
  • 19km each way
  • Ride time (1 way) = 55minutes
  • Max speed = 50km/hr (down hills)
  • Average speed = 21km/hr
  • Speed when climbing hills 8km/hr - 12km/hr
  • Example of worst hills is a 30% for a couple of hundred meters
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