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Will Human Power Cycling Sunset?

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Will Human Power Cycling Sunset?

Old 11-09-22, 12:01 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by Bald Paul View Post
It will come up when the lawyer representing the person he hits at 40MPH that suffers severe injuries sues him and Trek. Trek will send lawyers and engineers to prove he modified the bike, and he'll be in a world of doo-doo.
It's possible, I suppose, but I doubt it. He's a safe rider, I rode regularly with him before he went electric. If there was an incident I doubt the speed limiter would come up.
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Old 11-09-22, 05:15 AM
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Around here I see quite a lot of e-bikes (based on lightweight road bikes, with limited power that you have to pedal to get assistance) ridden by older guys who would have been otherwise forced to retire from cycling due to injury/ill-health etc. Sean Yates is a good example of an elite ex-pro who now rides an e-bike due to health issues. Younger, competitive riders are still very much pedalling under their own steam and I don't see that changing since it's a physical sport, like running or skiing. Cycling for transport/commuting/casual leisure/touring is another matter. For those purposes I see e-bikes dominating and becoming far more popular than conventional bikes ever were.
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Old 11-09-22, 09:40 PM
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I take a rather different view of the whole issue, if this is actually an issue. I'd rather look at the whole transportation package, esp. as relates to climate change and the continued wealth concentration we see in many industrialized countries. In my area of the country, I see many more "people on bicycles" (POBs) who ride because they must, than I see cyclists who are riding for pleasure. Many POBs are poor or have lost their licenses through DUI, though those are mostly poor also. These folks are mostly the unhoused, immigrants, and those with low-income jobs. These folks are not candidates for e-bikes, strictly because of cost. They do use ubiquitous rental electric scooters and bikes.

There are also cyclists who commute on both pedal and e-bikes and have road bikes for recreation, but I don't see as many of those around here. Those are options for those with disposable income. What I see on the street are mostly big box MTBs. They're cheap and have low gears.

I see increased pressure on transportation due to climate change. As we phase out fossil fuels and move to all-electric vehicles, certainly the cost of e-bikes will come down with mass production. I see a future where the majority of commuters will be on e-bikes in good weather and on public transportation when it's not. Those who use bikes for transportation will continue to become a larger proportion of bikes in use. Road bikes will continue to be the toys of the wealthy, as they are now, "wealthy" meaning those who have money left over after they pay for the essentials of life, which continues to become a smaller and smaller percentage of the population.
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Old 11-09-22, 10:19 PM
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Old 11-10-22, 05:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
I take a rather different view of the whole issue, if this is actually an issue. I'd rather look at the whole transportation package, esp. as relates to climate change and the continued wealth concentration we see in many industrialized countries. In my area of the country, I see many more "people on bicycles" (POBs) who ride because they must, than I see cyclists who are riding for pleasure. Many POBs are poor or have lost their licenses through DUI, though those are mostly poor also. These folks are mostly the unhoused, immigrants, and those with low-income jobs. These folks are not candidates for e-bikes, strictly because of cost. They do use ubiquitous rental electric scooters and bikes.

There are also cyclists who commute on both pedal and e-bikes and have road bikes for recreation, but I don't see as many of those around here. Those are options for those with disposable income. What I see on the street are mostly big box MTBs. They're cheap and have low gears.

I see increased pressure on transportation due to climate change. As we phase out fossil fuels and move to all-electric vehicles, certainly the cost of e-bikes will come down with mass production. I see a future where the majority of commuters will be on e-bikes in good weather and on public transportation when it's not. Those who use bikes for transportation will continue to become a larger proportion of bikes in use. Road bikes will continue to be the toys of the wealthy, as they are now, "wealthy" meaning those who have money left over after they pay for the essentials of life, which continues to become a smaller and smaller percentage of the population.
I think it's a given that e-bikes will become increasingly popular for low cost transportation (personal and commercial) and commuting. I think these new e-bikers will be largely people/companies currently using cars and motorbikes rather than bicycles. I think this is great news for the environment.

I think cycling as a sport is completely separate and I don't think e-bikes will have any effect on that at all, other than the addition of e-bike racing (as we are already beginning to see). Where I think there may be a crossover is in leisure cycling/touring. I think that market will see some people moving from conventional bicycles to e-bikes. Already seeing this happening in organised bike tours, especially Alpine tours. It will also attract new people who wouldn't otherwise consider cycle touring. It's not uncommon now to see guys riding conventional road bikes, with their partners cruising alongside on e-bikes.

Anyway I don't see e-bikes as the death of human only powered bikes. If anything they will probably make cycling as a whole more popular.
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Old 11-10-22, 08:17 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by fat biker View Post
Transportation is moving toward electrification.
Are we a dying breed?
I would suggest that human beings are a dying breed...but before they become completely extinct, there will be a (brief? or long?) dystopian post-disaster nightmare during which much of our previous technology has been rendered non-functional (think nukes and EMPs) at which point bicycles will be one of the only available forms of transportation.
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Old 11-10-22, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Bob Ross View Post
I would suggest that human beings are a dying breed...but before they become completely extinct, there will be a (brief? or long?) dystopian post-disaster nightmare during which much of our previous technology has been rendered non-functional (think nukes and EMPs) at which point bicycles will be one of the only available forms of transportation.
No, it won't take nukes or EMPs. Just loss of conventionally farmed crops, loss of drinking water, mass migration, coastal flooding (think loss of NYC & Miami), Siberia burning, the obvious stuff that's already happening. A large percentage of the human population and industrial capacity is in what will become the coastal flood zone. It's happening faster than even the pessimists thought it would. A reliable bike with few parts which will wear will be better than a fast bike. They'll be in great demand. Sellers will want your great granddaughter in payment. I'm so happy to be 77.
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Old 11-10-22, 12:48 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
I take a rather different view of the whole issue, if this is actually an issue. I'd rather look at the whole transportation package, esp. as relates to climate change and the continued wealth concentration we see in many industrialized countries. In my area of the country, I see many more "people on bicycles" (POBs) who ride because they must, than I see cyclists who are riding for pleasure. Many POBs are poor or have lost their licenses through DUI, though those are mostly poor also. These folks are mostly the unhoused, immigrants, and those with low-income jobs. These folks are not candidates for e-bikes, strictly because of cost. They do use ubiquitous rental electric scooters and bikes.

There are also cyclists who commute on both pedal and e-bikes and have road bikes for recreation, but I don't see as many of those around here. Those are options for those with disposable income. What I see on the street are mostly big box MTBs. They're cheap and have low gears.

I see increased pressure on transportation due to climate change. As we phase out fossil fuels and move to all-electric vehicles, certainly the cost of e-bikes will come down with mass production. I see a future where the majority of commuters will be on e-bikes in good weather and on public transportation when it's not. Those who use bikes for transportation will continue to become a larger proportion of bikes in use. Road bikes will continue to be the toys of the wealthy, as they are now, "wealthy" meaning those who have money left over after they pay for the essentials of life, which continues to become a smaller and smaller percentage of the population.
Going a bit further/farther/a bit more….in hilly Seattle, what keeps many from bike commuting are the hills and a lack of employer shower facilities. E-bikes are a great way to get over the hills and not get to work a sweaty mess. As transportation costs will inevitably continue to rise, in a hilly area, e-bikes make sense for commuters.

I know many former runners who enjoyed the workout it provided but the bodies can no longer take the pounding and have transitioned to conventional road biking to still get exercise. I am one of them. Then there are those whom enjoy conquering a hard fought hill on their own power, or besting a previous time, that enjoy the reward of a good downhill almost like skiing. IMO conventional bikes will always be around but may eventually be outnumbered by e-bikes by casual recreational, commuters, and former road riders with health conditions.

Just my opinion, which is likely wrong.
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Old 11-11-22, 03:15 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Bob Ross View Post
I would suggest that human beings are a dying breed...but before they become completely extinct, there will be a (brief? or long?) dystopian post-disaster nightmare during which much of our previous technology has been rendered non-functional (think nukes and EMPs) at which point bicycles will be one of the only available forms of transportation.
Bob,
Find and read a book; Dies The Fire, by S.M. Stirling.
A worldwide event occurs and two things change.
1) Electrons no longer flow
2. Gunpowder is a dud.

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Old 11-11-22, 07:50 AM
  #35  
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At 72, I have no near term plans or desire to replace my human-powered bicycles with ebikes, because I ride for a combination of exercise, enjoyment, efficiency, and economy.
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Old 11-11-22, 08:42 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by John E View Post
At 72, I have no near term plans or desire to replace my human-powered bicycles with ebikes, because I ride for a combination of exercise, enjoyment, efficiency, and economy.
Yeah, I am a year younger and I don't have any plans of getting one either. I don't say I never will, but I am not entertaining that notion. More likely if I get too old I'll just walk some hills untill I am too old to ride if I live that long. My dad managed to ride right up until the end, so maybe I'll manage that.
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Old 11-11-22, 10:57 AM
  #37  
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10-15 years ago, the local school board recommended that students not bike to school because—DANGEROUS.
This year they have added multiples of bike racks and 200 ebikes regularly are in the racks at the HS. My son was one of 3-4 kids back in the day who rode and locked their bikes to the fence. It’s over people
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Old 11-11-22, 11:11 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Classtime View Post
10-15 years ago, the local school board recommended that students not bike to school because—DANGEROUS.
This year they have added multiples of bike racks and 200 ebikes regularly are in the racks at the HS. My son was one of 3-4 kids back in the day who rode and locked their bikes to the fence. It’s over people
I've noticed that too. A lot more kids riding around ... and on ebikes. In fact, the pre-teen demographic is the primary ebike demographic in my hood.

I find that really odd, and a pretty good example of how humans believe what they want to believe.

It was pretty difficult to convince any parent to allow their kid to ride to school on a bicycle. Even with bike lanes and other changes, participation was damn small ... about zero, and the "reason" was always safety.

So now you have ebikes ... much easier to pedal and have the "cool factor" or an attached motor. (many are throttle controlled, BTW). And I see a lot of them on the streets.

So what happened to the "safety" concerns? How can it be that a powered ebike capable of sustaining 20MPH+ speeds is safer than a bicycle (which, lets face it, few go near that speed for extended periods of time)?

My guess is that the parents think it somewhat dangerous, but since the kids actually WANT an ebike, they convince the parents to let them go at it. And that is probably a good thing. I think it unfortunate that so many parents chauffeur their kids to school, even in good whether and for really short distances. A little independence and freedom to make mistakes is good for a kid.
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Old 11-11-22, 04:08 PM
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I was one of the few kids who rode their bikes to school. I lived on a homestead and had a couple miles of nasty gravel and about a mile of paved. It was all about the freedom of it. Kids seem so hemmed in now. In summer if I didn't have chores, I'd put 2 peanut butter sandwiches and a canteen in my big saddle bag and be gone all day. Civilization never quite took with me. (Old farts who complain about the modern world . . . )
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Old 11-11-22, 07:38 PM
  #40  
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News tonight reporting 200 e-bike fires in New York City from the batteries, some with people riding them.
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Old 11-11-22, 07:50 PM
  #41  
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I don't know what the future holds. But I've been involved with a youth group for the last 8 or 9 years and met some 16 year olds that did not know how to ride a bike. And a half century ago, all I had to do is ride my bike. Now the allure of video games doesn't even get many kids out of the house.
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Old 11-11-22, 08:10 PM
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When I was a kid we weren't allowed to ride bikes to school because the schools didn't want to deal with the inevitable theft issues.

Where I live now it appears that most children are driven to school, or to the bus stop, Can't recall ever seeing a kid on either a conventional or ebike.
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Old 11-12-22, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
... Where I live now it appears that most children are driven to school, or to the bus stop, Can't recall ever seeing a kid on either a conventional or ebike.
I live along a designated "safe route to school," on a residential street that is normally quiet, except when parents are ferrying the kiddies to and from school or on Sundays midday for the farmers' market. A lot of parents are loading kids on cargo bikes or Rad Powerwagon bikes, which is a big improvement over driving them in a car or truck. We also have a few golf carts and neighborhood electric vehicles. Bike racks at the school are well-used on school days and farmers' market days.
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Old 11-12-22, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by gobicycling View Post
News tonight reporting 200 e-bike fires in New York City from the batteries, some with people riding them.
As an electrical engineer, I attribute that to a few factors.
1) After Hydrogen, Lithium is the most reactive chemical element. You have to respect it.
2) Lots of cheaply, shoddily made batteries are being imported from China.
3) People do not know proper "care and feeding" (charging and discharging) of any batteries, and battery abuse accounts for many of the failures.
4) The infamous inferno in a New York City high rise apartment was probably attributable to the resident homebrew bicycle repairman not knowing enough about electrical safety and circuits. Something as simple as frayed wiring insulation can lead to a dead short, causing a battery to overheat or even explode. (This happens with good old lead-acid, as well, which is why jumpstarting a car needs to be done with care.)
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Old 11-15-22, 01:51 PM
  #45  
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Thanks to all who participated.
Much food for thought.
Always a good time here.

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Old 11-21-22, 09:02 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by fat biker View Post
Thanks to all who participated.
Much food for thought.
Always a good time here.

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Not so fast with the thanks….

Was thinking about this the other day, and it may very well be that in the future, people actually pedaling their bikes (racers excepted) will be seen as quaint Luddites as everyone else whisks around on their powered bikes. Similar to horse and buggies giving way to the automobile.

Your welcome.
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Old 11-21-22, 09:52 PM
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8 track

in a few years you will be able to buy a "bike-go-pack" . It will sit under your front derailleur, if they aren't extinct, be smaller than a cigarette pack, contain a battery and motor with no serviceable parts, be backwards compatible with your 1980's Bianchi and so easy to install a monkey could do it. At this point the price for a classic roadbike will rival that of 3 cylinder Kawasaki smoker today.
A few months later Elon Musk will debut a lighter than air device running of solar and Apple will be in the middle of a huge recall of thier cranial implants. Advertised as raising your I.Q. by 20 - 30 points it has been exploding in the heads of *choose your minority here *
Meanwhile I'll be on my sailboat in the Azores with my sextant learning the language of the Sperm Whale.
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Old 11-21-22, 10:19 PM
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Old 11-29-22, 01:08 AM
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In the sixties and into the early seventies there were so many bikes at my high school . I had to get there early to get a spot int the bike racks, otherwise it was over by the basketball courts locked to a chain link fence. Now , the local schools around here are a mess of cars with parents dropping their kids off or picking them up.
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Old 11-29-22, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Kabuki12 View Post
In the sixties and into the early seventies there were so many bikes at my high school . I had to get there early to get a spot int the bike racks, otherwise it was over by the basketball courts locked to a chain link fence. Now , the local schools around here are a mess of cars with parents dropping their kids off or picking them up.
Same in my area. What the h happened? But then I seldom see kids of any age outdoors playing other than team sports. Oh I remember…. The interweb!
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