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I Said I Would Never EVER Buy An E-Bike...but

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I Said I Would Never EVER Buy An E-Bike...but

Old 06-19-21, 07:19 PM
  #1  
Papa Tom
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I Said I Would Never EVER Buy An E-Bike...but

I am 58 and still a very enthusiastic rider. My wife is a little older, grew up in the city (without a bike), and never really had the passion to build up the muscles needed to bicycle into old age. But I still love to ride with her and she really enjoys easy, short, flat rides in the fresh air. However, her ability to tackle even minor hills has significantly deteriorated in recent years.

When someone suggested we her get her an e-bike, I immediately got up on my high-horse, ripped this person a new butthole, and declared that I would never even CONSIDER such blasphemy. After all, bicycling means applying absolutely nothing but one's personal energy to propel a two-wheeled vehicle forward. Anything else is called MOTORcycling.

Tonight, I broke down and bought her an Aventon Pace 350, one of the most basic e-bikes on the market. I don't want to get into a debate about whether e-bikes have any right to exist, but for the sake of anyone on this group who might be sensing their riding days coming to an end, I want to suggest that, with one of these pedal-assist bicycles, you can count on being able to ride until the day you drop dead.

Until today, I wouldn't even LOOK at anything but a "real" bicycle; but when I hopped on this baby, turned the pedals half-a-revolution, and felt the motor take over, I decided right then and there that I will never again worry about growing too old to enjoy my long day rides and overnight trips. Even the type of hill that would render a route completely off-limits for her feels like nothing at all on this bike - and that's with only the minimal level of pedal-assist. Soon, SHE will be waiting for ME at the top of each climb!

For now, having one e-bike in the family means I can take my wife along to explore the places I used to just come home and talk about. But in the far-off future, having a second one for myself is going to make growing old much more palatable. So have no fear, my old folk comrades! The e-bike is your friend!
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Old 06-19-21, 07:53 PM
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I can damn sure say I do not want an E-Bike. But I will also admit when the time comes if that is what I have to do to keep enjoying riding, I'll get an E-Bike.

But the most important thing here is you did this so you can keep enjoying something you love with someone you love and there is not a thing wrong with that.
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Old 06-19-21, 08:33 PM
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And here's your ebike section. https://www.bikeforums.net/electric-bikes/
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Old 06-19-21, 09:51 PM
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So, does your E-Bike cruise at about 20 MPH.... so your wife can holler back to you... "Hurry Up Sweetie"...

I could imagine you'll get a good workout.
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Old 06-20-21, 02:45 AM
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At the opposite end of the age spectrum, my now 11 and 8 year old girls both ride e-MTBs so we can all ride together on trails that would otherwise leave them frustrated with the steep climbs. I wouldn’t ride an E-bike myself at this point, but I can certainly see the attraction.
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Old 06-20-21, 05:08 AM
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I am a couple of months short of 73 and have been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. I am still riding but my trips have gotten shorter (typically 20 miles with a snack break mid way) and any kind of hills are tough. I am keeping my eye on ebikes and expect to buy one in a couple of years. I want a light weight bike so I am eying Specialized Vado SL. With each year, the quality and choices increase so I will continue to hold out for now. I hope to start back up on VBT trips soon and will select the ebike option to make sure I can ride all the routes and can get a better feel for them.
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Old 06-20-21, 07:03 AM
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I don't look forward to the day I need an e-bike, but if it arrives, and I'm still cycling, would not hesitate. I have an 84 year old friend that is riding a not-too-light hybrid, and I'm amazed at some of the hills he still rides up! He says if the day comes, he'll get an e-bike. I think most of us have no problem with someone riding an e-bike, when it is to allow them to continue riding when pedal power no longer gets the job done. It's those who use them just to fly along, who do not use them responsibly, that causes problems. Happy you found a solution to allow her to continue riding with you!
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Old 06-20-21, 09:08 AM
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I bought a Swytch kit for by vintage Peugeot as it didn’t make sense to go thru the trouble of upgrading the gearing. Want to get a new bike with mordant gearing but picking are slim now days. I am forward thinking an will probably get a LeMond ebike when the time comes.
https://lemond.com/prolog
Just nice to have that extra help on the days when your legs fail you.
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Old 06-20-21, 09:11 AM
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There's been an explosion in ebike sales. A lot of them are going to people you guys never meet on your bike rides, mainly mainly boomers who have not ridden bikes since they were kids. I joined a facebook group for riders over 60, a year ago, and it's grown to 8000+ members in a year. Not huge, but each one of these folks is going to sell a neighbor on ebiking.

It seems like half the members do not understand shifting. Many are afraid of the throttles. For a while . all we saw were posts of riders falling down. Still, they're riding 5-10 miles every day, going to places like the Hiawatha Trail, and riding the rail-trails on week days. And they're not riding regular bikes with 700xx and 26" tires. The popular bikes are 65 pound 20" folder step-thrus with 4" tires, believed to be stable. I find the fat tires on pavement to be ponderous and taking the joy out of my biking, but that's me. They're the natural hit in America where the SUV was king of the orad,

While the bike shops are selling Treks, Giants, Specialized models aimed at grabbing the enthusiast bikers who have lost their legs, various importers are selling generic chinese fat bikes to boomers and making so much money, venture capitalists are trying to jump in. Pedego had the boomer market for a few years, and may continue to prosper, but their higher prices aren't going to draw many of the new buyers. Even though they're boomers with bucks, and I am one, ebikes are still toys.

So don't buy one, but expect to be surrounded by them,

I've been ebiking since 2015. I ride conversions of regular bikes. A small motor and battery adds 10-12 pounds, and the bike rides almost like it did prior. Ae age 72 and 70, I and my wife rode 3100 and 2400 miles last year, and rarely got more than 10 miles from home.

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Old 06-20-21, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
At the opposite end of the age spectrum, my now 11 and 8 year old girls both ride e-MTBs so we can all ride together on trails that would otherwise leave them frustrated with the steep climbs. I wouldn’t ride an E-bike myself at this point, but I can certainly see the attraction.
Hmmm... I'm a little surprised there are good E-Bikes for 8 year olds (unless you built your own).

I know how kids can get frustrated with hills.

I wonder how easy it will be to wean them onto pedal powered bikes in their mid teens.

Are the bikes smart enough that you can get in and reprogram the power curves?
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Old 06-20-21, 10:18 AM
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Don't knock it until you try it....

65 here, did an ebike conversion this spring, a geared rear hub 500W Bafang and a 48V 20Ah triangle battery on a flat bar hybrid Motobecane with 3x7 drivetrain, 180mm hydraulic discs, front shocks. It adds another dimension to cycling. I still ride my road and gravel bikes, but it's fun to take the ebike on 40 mile excursions, twice what I normally do on regular bikes. I can explore towns that are out of reach otherwise.

I prefer relaxed gravel bike rides most, then road bike rides, then ebike rides. I can definitely see a place for another ebike in the future as age gradually diminishes my abilities. But for now, it's fun to get on the ebike once a week for an excursion.
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Old 06-20-21, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Hmmm... I'm a little surprised there are good E-Bikes for 8 year olds (unless you built your own).

I know how kids can get frustrated with hills.

I wonder how easy it will be to wean them onto pedal powered bikes in their mid teens.

Are the bikes smart enough that you can get in and reprogram the power curves?
Our 8 year old rides this super-lightweight e-bike:-

https://www.ben-e-bike.net/en/ben-e-...power-pro_140/

It's lighter than a lot of kid's regular bikes and the fork actually works. You can re-program the power curve, but the default setup is already pretty well optimised for the age group.

Our 11 year old originally rode the above bike, but has since graduated to an adult e-bike (Cube Hardtail in smallest size). It's a lot heavier (I replaced the original crappy Suntour fork with a lighter Rockshox Judy) but she handles it fine and it is very stable on the downhills.

It's going to be entirely their choice when/if they move back to non-powered bikes later on. They both had normal pedal bikes before the e-bikes, so it's not like they don't have any experience. Right now they just prefer being able to keep up with the adults. The problem they face is our local trails are quite hilly and there's a steep climb straight out from the house, which they used to hate. Now they just breeze up it and wait for us to catch up at the top!

It's an expensive solution, but we wanted them to ride with us and this was about the only way it would work at their age. It wasn't much fun when they were both on regular bikes. Our youngest struggled to keep up (she's now the faster of the two on her e-bike) and they both often had to walk hills.
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Old 06-20-21, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
Our 8 year old rides this super-lightweight e-bike:-

https://www.ben-e-bike.net/en/ben-e-...power-pro_140/

It's lighter than a lot of kid's regular bikes and the fork actually works. You can re-program the power curve, but the default setup is already pretty well optimised for the age group.

...

It's an expensive solution, but we wanted them to ride with us and this was about the only way it would work at their age. It wasn't much fun when they were both on regular bikes. Our youngest struggled to keep up (she's now the faster of the two on her e-bike) and they both often had to walk hills.
Whew, a little expensive. But, it does look like it is nicely made, and has endured two kids, and perhaps can be passed to some more kids in the future.

I will be curious whether the kids evolve to 100% pedal powered as they get into their later teens and twenties. But, if both parents pedal, that will make a difference.

Do you do any flatter road riding? Commuting?
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Old 06-20-21, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Whew, a little expensive. But, it does look like it is nicely made, and has endured two kids, and perhaps can be passed to some more kids in the future.

I will be curious whether the kids evolve to 100% pedal powered as they get into their later teens and twenties. But, if both parents pedal, that will make a difference.

Do you do any flatter road riding? Commuting?
Yes, eye-wateringly expensive! But it works and better than having a bike that isn't ridden much. Having two kids 3 years apart makes it easier to justify as you get approx 6 years of use out of the bike and high quality kids bikes here in the UK actually have a decent used value.
I don't think the kids themselves actually think much about the power assistance. So when they get stronger, they may just naturally move back to non-powered bikes. I guess we will see in due course!

Our local road riding is all rural rolling hills. No really big climbs, but almost no flats at all. It actually makes riding quite tough. I'm the only one in the family that actually rides on the road. My wife hates riding in traffic and is therefore 100% mtb. The girls are the same and to be honest I would fear for their safety out on these roads. They are narrow and fast with loads of blind bends. I use a Garmin Varia for early warning, but I'm always a bit wary of road riding myself and feel much safer off-road. At least when you go off-road your accidents are all your own! Fortunately we have some nice trail rides, so road riding can be avoided if you choose.
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Old 06-27-21, 08:05 AM
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I've never understood people's aversion to ebikes.

I honestly feel anyone who truly enjoys bicycling would find a way to enjoy an ebike.

They aren't a replacement for a road bike, just another form for riding.

I would imagine when mountain bikes first came out there was a whole swarm of people talking down the bikes and anyone who rode them. Somethings just take some time to win over the skeptics.
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Old 06-27-21, 10:48 AM
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On our first ride yesterday, my wife, a cycling slow-poke until now, spent most of her time waiting for me at the top of all the hills on Shelter Island, NY.

I'm either going to have to re-think my pacing so I can overtake a hill from a full stop, or I'm going to have to get an e-bike of my own!
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Old 06-27-21, 10:55 AM
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Good for you to get her an e-bike.

As for anyone being on a high horse against e-bikes, no one here has a horse big enough to compete...


John
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Old 06-27-21, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
Good for you to get her an e-bike.

As for anyone being on a high horse against e-bikes, no one here has a horse big enough to compete...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMUKPaNuYQI

John
Very cool.
Not quite as legendary, but still a very serious ex-pro, Sean Yates also now rides a Ribble e-bike and explains in the video below why:-

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Old 06-27-21, 01:23 PM
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A couple of years ago we were walking in the New Forest and came across an old couple (well into their 70s) riding a pair of e-mtbs. We stopped for a quick chat and they were obviously really happy with their bikes. Both of them were long term cyclists, but just wanted to make it a little easier for themselves as they got older. I would do the same without any hesitation, even if I still had a non-powered bike too.
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Old 06-27-21, 01:29 PM
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Oh and e-bikes are not just for the oldies:-

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Old 06-27-21, 05:55 PM
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I am 66 , soon to be 67 and going strong. Not super fast but pretty strong and I ride a lot. My wife cannot ride a conventional bike any longer. She has health issues that limit her exertion ability . She got a cheapie ebike a few years ago and would occasionally ride with me. It had a throttle but she always pedaled when using it. At Christmas I bought he a Townie Go with a mid drive Bosch system and no throttle. She sets the mode on the bar mount control and easily keeps up with me and passes me on climbs. This bike has a Shimano internal shift hub instead of a derailleur and you have to pedal to get the assist, she loves it and is riding more frequently now. Sometimes she rides 15 or more miles on her own. She has lost weight but more importantly, she is happy .

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Old 06-27-21, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
On our first ride yesterday, my wife, a cycling slow-poke until now, spent most of her time waiting for me at the top of all the hills on Shelter Island, NY.

I'm either going to have to re-think my pacing so I can overtake a hill from a full stop, or I'm going to have to get an e-bike of my own!
Or, You may need to change some setting to "limit" the assistance to a ratio of power she puts in, like some :real" E-Assist bikes have a power meter sensor, those are a true E-Assist bike, She gets a certain ratio of assistance for a certain amount of pedal pressure and you do not go anywhere without pedaling.... Some have a rotation sensor, (fail), as you can just phantom pedal without putting in any actual pressure onto the pedals and go 28 MPH. Not an E-Assist bike IMO. Also, maybe disable the throttle, also a (fail), in an E-Assist bike, if she has one and uses it she is now riding a moped... JMO
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Old 06-27-21, 09:05 PM
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My equal half bought an e-bike advertised as "commercial build". Sturdy, but not really fast i.e the pedal assist is limited to 23 kmh. Now I have to "step on it" on inclines, It's the cat's meow on flat terrain where she keeps it to 20 - 22 kmh and I'm just along for the ride.
I promised myself an e-bike for my 80th birthday (2025), until then it will be "sweat it out"!
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Old 06-28-21, 06:44 AM
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I'm glad I'm not alone in this. It makes me really happy to see her hair blowing in the wind, smile on her face, still putting in her full effort but actually GETTING SOMEWHERE now. However, it also sucks to suddenly be the slow one. After Saturday's ride, I found myself making a million excuses not to ride with her on Sunday!
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Old 06-28-21, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by 350htrr View Post
Or, You may need to change some setting to "limit" the assistance to a ratio of power she puts in... JMO
I've done the Aventon equivalent of that. I lowered the overall maximum speed, which, if I understand correctly, also affects the maximum assist at each level.
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