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Can someone explain the attraction to me?

Old 04-15-09, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by GingerSpice
Hey guys,

I think ebikes are a good alternative to regular bikes for a lot of people, but could someone explain to me how they're safer? I don't quite get that part.

Thanks!

Ginger
most of my riding is on designated bike trail that follow the road much like a sidewalk. this leaves me to do the typical zigging and zagging that a pedestrian has to do when I'm at an intersection that has merge lanes.

I find it is a nice luxury to rely a bit more on the motor when I'm negotiating the bumps and turns, and to clear the intersection a bit faster.
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Old 04-15-09, 11:12 AM
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I have been watching this thread with great interest. It is time for me to chime in.

Electric bikes are very good for going to work. They are more economical than driving a car daily. Think of the money you can save by not starting your car twice a day for 5 days. You can use them either both ways and charge overnight or charge them at work if your battery does not take you both ways.

For me I like a long wheel base recumbent electric bike. If you put a full fairing on them they can move along fairly fast with little effort. Also I can’t imagine a more comfortable bike to ride.

The exercise and fresh air you are getting is hard to measure in terms of how good it is for you. I suspect if a person did this for several months he could add great health to his list of benefits.

I would recommend this to everybody. Get yourself the most comfortable long wheel base bike you can. Put a simple hub motor on it. Ride it to work daily. Your economics and health will make a remarkable improvement along with your attitude.
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Old 04-15-09, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by GingerSpice
I think ebikes are a good alternative to regular bikes for a lot of people, but could someone explain to me how they're safer? I don't quite get that part.
I certainly *feel* safer riding it, mostly because I can ride faster, especially up small hills (8mph vs 12-14 with the e-bike on one particularly long hill). This means exposure to fewer cars passing me, and more time for cars to see me since the speed differential is lower. There may be a very small increased risk because I'm riding faster, but this should be outweighed by the above factors.

That said, I may actually be in *more* danger since my e-bike eliminates many excuses for not riding so I'm riding more frequently. But that gets into a pointless discussion of the dangers of riding vs taking the bus vs driving my car vs sitting in front of the TV that we don't need to get into
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Old 04-15-09, 07:46 PM
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i think roadies are used to being the fastest bikes on the roads, and the ebikes are challenging this in a way that offends some of them.

for the common good, couldn't we all agree to get along?
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Old 04-16-09, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by SeizeTech
i think roadies are used to being the fastest bikes on the roads, and the ebikes are challenging this in a way that offends some of them.

for the common good, couldn't we all agree to get along?
Faster and in many cases, the most obnoxious riders on the roads.
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Old 04-16-09, 09:15 PM
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With summer coming, I'll be moving back to my electric bike for my commute pretty soon. I have a reverse season here in SW Florida, great riding in the winter, terrible in the summer. I got an electric bike so I could keep riding in the summer. At 20 mph with little effort I do still get sweaty, but it is not nearly as bad as on my regular bike. Even still, I'll probably be down to riding in only 2-3 times a week over the summer. If I have to go out of the office during the day, it is just too hot and humid to be on a bike.

Oh, and I usually hit the gym on my way home, so I don't think the lazy label applies! Think more "car or motorcycle alternative" and you'll get the idea.
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Old 04-17-09, 02:13 AM
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Originally Posted by GingerSpice
Hey guys,

I think ebikes are a good alternative to regular bikes for a lot of people, but could someone explain to me how they're safer? I don't quite get that part.

Thanks!

Ginger
- Because cars pass you slower since you're riding faster
- Because for a given distance, you will have less cars pass you since you get through it faster
- Because you're less likely to aggravate drivers because you're not as slows as a regular cyclist
- Because you're more likely to use the road rather than the sidewalk
- Because you can concentrate better at the faster speeds since you're not pushing yourself so hard
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Old 04-17-09, 01:55 PM
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I think ebikes are a good alternative to regular bikes for a lot of people, but could someone explain to me how they're safer? I don't quite get that part.
Besides what AdamTKI said...

-you're less likely to care that using bright lights adds a couple pounds to your bike, since the motor makes riding a heavy bike uphill easy enough.
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Old 04-18-09, 03:46 AM
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Originally Posted by GingerSpice
Hey guys,

I think ebikes are a good alternative to regular bikes for a lot of people, but could someone explain to me how they're safer? I don't quite get that part.

Thanks!

Ginger
Not sure how they are safer, as it's a cost-benefit equation. They are less safe in the sense that they allow the user to go faster than normal. For me, the speed and acceleration makes them safer at intersections. I can get out of the way faster.
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Old 04-18-09, 03:48 AM
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Originally Posted by 15rms
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I would recommend this to everybody. Get yourself the most comfortable long wheel base bike you can. Put a simple hub motor on it. Ride it to work daily. Your economics and health will make a remarkable improvement along with your attitude.
I wish I had gotten a sightly stronger motor. The simplest (250 W) isn't quite enough in terms of the knees. Still better than nothing, though.
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Old 04-18-09, 03:51 AM
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Originally Posted by SeizeTech
i think roadies are used to being the fastest bikes on the roads, and the ebikes are challenging this in a way that offends some of them.

for the common good, couldn't we all agree to get along?
We're not racing them, and they're not racing us. That's just the way it is.
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Old 04-20-09, 02:15 AM
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Why-?..ev

I personally find the future in these BIKES..
I also support Al Gore..and his dimension on our world..
I like having a PROJECT to learn new things..
I'm also 56-years old and have survived 20-years on a motorcycle..
..even riding in the snow/
===
Like anything "contraption"..
these bikes can be a burden as well as a prize..
===
I use my Scooter for my trips to photograph the community I live in..
My lifestyle does not depend on EV..
I just use EV..to transport my equipment..
I'm confident in my understanding of the process-the technology-the mechanics used..
===
Why..??..electric..
Because its is a Clean Energy(except for the battery's)..
The Speed..is very civilized..
The COST===eventually is only pennies..
===
And the Spin-Off..is a good healthy life.

Last edited by 24X18; 04-20-09 at 02:16 AM. Reason: Spelling-correction
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Old 04-20-09, 07:53 AM
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I think the attraction for me is the right to choose which vehicle I am taking for which purpose. My car when I have to make a long commute, my bicycle when I feel like riding a bicycle and my scooter style when I feel like riding my scooter style. Its about choice and alternatives. Who in their right mind would want to insure and licence a bike that maxes out at 32 km per hour? Who wants to pay to go slow? I think the government has their hands in our pocket enough without interfering with e-bikes (all styles). The puritan cyclist that is up and arms against e-bikes (all styles) really should lighten up, open up, and welcome any alternative to a car, especially for the short commutes. In my neighbourhood I have never had a problem with the cyclists here in three years. They ride pass me or I ride pass them or we ride behind each other and life is good. The problem seems to exist on the threads and blogs. The anonymity of the poster seems to bring out the worst in people. If a cyclist ever rode pass me told me how they felt about my choice, I would be forced to tell them what I think about their narrow minded, arrogant pig headed, tunnel vision attitude... and well, there would go the neighborhood...LOL
It is normal to have an opinion, but it is nicer to be able to accept others.

Last edited by dewdad; 04-20-09 at 08:00 AM.
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Old 04-21-09, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by dewdad
The puritan cyclist that is up and arms against e-bikes (all styles) really should lighten up, open up, and welcome any alternative to a car, especially for the short commutes.
Amen Brother (or Sister - sorry, I forgot to look). I'm 57, overweight, have commuted on and off by bike since 1976, start my commute at 4,980' above sea level, finish one way 11 miles later at 5,580'. I'd like to arrive in a moderately sane and dry state. The last time I did it on my Novaro Buzz non-ebike commuter was about year 2002 and frankly I was nearly dead. On my TidalForce M-750 I can arrive about 15 minutes later than I would get there by car (or 1/2 hour later following a river trail nearly the entire way), I am much happier, I have pedaled the entire way (as though I'm riding 11 miles on the flat), I'm getting exercise, ...

BTW, I love to flash past the students on their bikes during the morning! Makes me feel like I'm only 50!
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Old 04-27-09, 07:29 AM
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Professor Foo...Great Stuff! My wife loves her pedal bike for excercise and to maintain her girlish figure, my son loves the car because he is 21, and I love my scooter style e-bike. I get plenty of excercise in my job and I am in better shape at 55 than alot of 30 year olds that I know. The attraction for me is I enjoy riding my scooter style, I have never had an altercation with another cyclists or car...(except of course on forums which seems to bring out the bullies with their abusive opinions) Bill 126 has passed and no changes were made to affect the status of either e-bike. Hopefully this will restore peace on the streets. Together we can work on improving and adding bike lanes, and pursuading people to use alternatives for short commutes and make the world a better place to live. So to all my bike friends with whatever kind of bike you ride and whatever clothing you wish to wear while you are riding, lets stop the bickering and take that negative energy and convert it into positive energy and contact the proper levels of govenment to make your city more bicycle friendly for yourself, your children and their children.

Last edited by dewdad; 04-27-09 at 07:33 AM.
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Old 04-28-09, 08:55 PM
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I started a company to sell electric bike conversion kits because I heard a story on National Public Radio while driving my X5 home from work. That was on August 25, 2008. You can listen to it here: https://www.npr.org/templates/player/...541&m=93954507

As an entrepreneur I immediately realized a business opportunity and I acted on it. I got into the business of e-bikes for the money plain and simple and I had never even ridden one. I'm not here to tout my business and I should point out that I've never been a particularly "green" person either so I didn't do it for the environment.

But here's the thing...now instead of driving my X5 for my 12 mile commute each day I ride one of my electric bikes. I never planned on doing that but now it just makes perfect sense. I ride whichever bike I'm in the mood for (I now have 4) and I take the road or I ride along the towpath beside the river. It's a beautiful ride especially now that's its Spring. I do get more exercise from riding but I'll admit I usually never go less than full throttle (my personal bikes do 25-30 MPH and I like the speed).

I ride an e-bike to work now because it's more fun than driving. I feel great when I get to work and the wind blows my hair straight up the whole way but that's part of the good vibe too (I can still feel the wind in my hair when I sit down at my desk). I ride the bikes to get lunch and zoom around town during the day to get errands done quickly. People are getting to know me in town and sometimes I feel like I may be looked at like the "crazy electric bike guy" but I don't care. I zip around and get things done and after every ride I am a little less stressed. Sometimes during the day I'll take a spin around the block just to take a break. There is something exhilarating and at the same time relaxing about riding the bikes.

When I finish my work day and head home I look forward to the ride. While others sit in their hot cars in the long line of traffic to go over the bridge I zip down the street and get on the bridge crosswalk. You're not allowed to ride bikes over the bridge and you're supposed to walk them but I just hop on one pedal and use my throttle to cruise over to the other side. If the bridge cops are their I slow down or pretend I'm using my other foot to propel myself. If it's safe I go fast and all the people in cars look at me with puzzled faces(I love that). The ride home is never long enough for me. Sometimes when I reach my house I'll do a couple laps around the development just because.

The best thing about the ride home is that no matter what kind of day I've had, no matter how stress-filled it may have been, when I get home I have a much clearer and much more relaxed attitude. I'm calmer and more focused and I'm breathing a bit more easily from the fresh air. I've used my muscles and I've had a chance to decompress. Before when I drove I would immediately put my bluetooth in my ear and continue working on the drive home. But now I just ride and when I get home I'm not thinking as much about work. Now I'm smiling when I come in the house and 15 minutes after I walk through the door, I can still feel the wind in my hair.

For anyone that doesn't "get it", I would suggest taking a ride.

Last edited by E-BikeKit.com; 04-28-09 at 09:24 PM.
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Old 04-29-09, 08:14 AM
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there's an element to this discussion that is disheartening. cyclists and ebikers should view each other as friends. We enjoy much of the same thing, isn't that enough?
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Old 04-29-09, 12:22 PM
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I agree with SeizeTech 100% and I bet all e-bike riders (all styles) would agree. Unfortunately,
as I have mentioned in the past, https://bikeunion.to/ claims they don't want e-bikes banned, they just don't want them in bike lanes. Since they are not allowed of course on sidewalks, and they go way to slow to be in the car lane, where exactly do they wish we ride them. Since legislation has passed I think it is time for all cyclists and e-bikers to join forces and request wider paths, more paths, cleaner and safer paths, and educational support to help drivers understand and respect the rights of cyclists...Just to get back on topic, the attraction for me is...it's a beautiful day outside and I am off for a 1 km ride to Sobeys, park right in front of the shopping centre, grab myself something to eat, put it in my cargo bin, ride back to the office ...Life is Good!

Last edited by dewdad; 04-29-09 at 12:54 PM.
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Old 12-06-09, 04:36 AM
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You can go faster and further with less effort than on a standard bike. That's it really.

You could equally say that you don't get the bike thing when you can travel just using your feet, i.e. with a bike you can go faster and further with less effort than just using your feet.
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Old 12-08-09, 06:32 PM
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When I got back into bicycling I bought a Kona Fire Mountain and an Xtracycle Free Radical kit. I started commuting. As I am not getting any younger, after a few rides with cargo I thought a E assist might not be a bad idea.

I went ahead and ordered a E-Zee kit. I have no regrets. I find that it saves me some time on my commute, It also helps with cargo runs as well. It really helps level the hills. I have to pedal to help it up the big hill, I can ride the flats and take off from intersections without pedaling.
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Old 12-08-09, 06:52 PM
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Just so everyone knows, in California, an "electric bicycle" or "electric assist bicycle" is simply not a bicycle. I suspect it may be the same in other states, but haven't looked it up.
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Old 12-08-09, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by pacificaslim
Just so everyone knows, in California, an "electric bicycle" or "electric assist bicycle" is simply not a bicycle. I suspect it may be the same in other states, but haven't looked it up.
Here is the California code on electric bikes.

Motorized Bicycle Electric Motor: Safety and Equipment Requirements

24016. (a) A motorized bicycle described in subdivision (b) of Section 406 shall meet the following criteria:
(1) Comply with the equipment and manufacturing requirements for bicycles adopted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (16 C.F.R. 1512.1, et seq.) or the requirements adopted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (49 C.F.R. 571.1, et seq.) in accordance with the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966 (15 U.S.C. Sec. 1381, et seq.) for motor driven cycles.

(2) Operate in a manner so that the electric motor is disengaged or ceases to function when the brakes are applied, or operate in a manner such that the motor is engaged through a switch or mechanism that, when released, will cause the electric motor to disengage or cease to function.

(b) All of the following apply to a motorized bicycle described in subdivision (b) of Section 406:

(1) No person shall operate a motorized bicycle unless the person is wearing a properly fitted and fastened bicycle helmet that meets the standards described in Section 21212.

(2) A person operating a motorized bicycle is subject to Sections 21200 and 21200.5.

(3) A person operating a motorized bicycle is not subject to the provisions of this code relating to financial responsibility, driver's licenses, registration, and license plate requirements, and a motorized bicycle is not a motor vehicle.

(4) A motorized bicycle shall only be operated by a person 16 years of age or older.

(5) Every manufacturer of a motorized bicycle shall certify that it complies with the equipment and manufacturing requirements for bicycles adopted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (16 C.F.R. 1512.1, et seq.).

(c) No person shall tamper with or modify a motorized bicycle described in subdivision (b) of Section 406 so as to increase the speed capability of the bicycle.

Added Sec. 3, Ch. 804, Stats. 1995. Effective January 1, 1996.


Source = California DMV
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Old 12-14-09, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by AllenG
Here is the California code on electric bikes...
The S.F. Golden Gate Bridge just says "turn the motors off" and I think Monterey Bay bike path says the same thing. I looked through many CA. VC. sections, and one thing that kept popping up was keep it under 20 with electric motors and 35 with gas motors it is still not a motor vehicle. I have no problems at all on the bike path or street in this part of CA.
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Old 12-14-09, 10:18 PM
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The point was that an electric bike is not a bicycle. It is also not a car. But it is not governed by the laws that apply to bicycles since in the CA vehicle code a bicycle is defined as a device that is human powered. I suspect this means that e-bikes are not legally allowed in bicycle lanes or on bike paths, but I doubt you'd get ticketed for it.
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Old 12-14-09, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by pacificaslim
The point was that an electric bike is not a bicycle. It is also not a car. But it is not governed by the laws that apply to bicycles since in the CA vehicle code a bicycle is defined as a device that is human powered. I suspect this means that e-bikes are not legally allowed in bicycle lanes or on bike paths, but I doubt you'd get ticketed for it.
From the same source: Electric Bicycles are defined by the California Vehicle Code. In summary, electric bicycles are to be operated like conventional bicycles in California. There are several exceptions to this. A person must be at least 16 years old, and anyone riding an electric bicycle must wear a bicycle helmet. The e-bikes must have an electric motor that has a power output less than 1,000 watts, is incapable of propelling the device at a speed of more than 20 miles per hour on level ground, is incapable of further increasing the speed of the device when human power is used to propel the motorized bicycle faster than 20 miles per hour, operates in a manner so that the electric motor is disengaged or ceases to function when the brakes are applied, or operates in a manner such that the motor is engaged through a switch or mechanism that, when released, will cause the electric motor to disengage or cease to function.
Driver's licenses, registration, insurance and license plate requirements do not apply. A motorized bicycle is not a motor vehicle. A motorized bicycle shall only be operated by a person 16 years of age or older. Drinking and driving laws apply. Additional laws or ordinances may apply to the use of electric bicycles by each city or county
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