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Need opinion from you all. Somewhat of a vent.

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Need opinion from you all. Somewhat of a vent.

Old 07-06-15, 09:10 AM
  #1  
shopkins1995
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Need opinion from you all. Somewhat of a vent.

Something happened to me while riding the other day by another rider I was passing, and it irked me.

We all started on one speed huffy/schwinn bikes when we were little. As people grew up and started ridding on the road, they bought 21 speeds, spent globs of money on 2 pound carbon frames, lightweight gears and accessories, and they switched to 1/4" wide tires to reduce rolling resistance, etc. This was to make it easier to pedal so that they could go further. They used technology to reduce the amount of effort to travel.

I don't ride a road bike, and never have. I did have a mountain bike from the big box store sitting in my garage collecting dust that had three or four rides on it.

Two months ago, my friend wanted to start riding to lose weight, so I decided to buy a new bike and put some thought into it this time. My purchase has me shunned by road bikers.

When a non-biking male wants to buy a bike they get visions of mountain biking and rip roaring through trails. They run to the big box store and buy a mountain bike (why I have one sitting in my garage). They take it to the trail and find that it's like pushing a block of concrete through mud so they give that up. They then try to ride them on pavement as a road bike and quickly find that they don't roll very well there either. The bike gets banished to the garage and the XBOX gets turned on.

Where I live (in Western Pennsylvania) I have lots of trails, lots of roads, and lots of paved/semi paved bike paths, and I wanted to ride them all. I decided to get a class I electric pedal assisted mountain bike (Haibike FS RX). This electric bike provides power to your stroke when it detects that you need it, up to a certain amount. It also cuts off after a certain speed is reached. You must pedal just like any other bike or you'll fall over.

Now this bike is 50 pounds with knobby tires and a full suspension. Without power it rides on paved roads like a tank with a misfiring engine. Coasting is minimal compared to a road bike. But as I add power, it can ride paved roads almost as good as a road bike. In other words, the power reduces the effort to pedal, just like a road bike's light weight and low rolling resistance reduces their effort to pedal.

The other day, I passed a road biker on a hill and I am sure he was pretty shocked to see himself getting passed by a mountain bike, because it just doesn't happen. I passed him slowly, I certainly did't zip by, and I was pedaling just as hard as he was. We were both putting out all we could to get up the hill. He caught up to me, and said (as I was peeling off to hit a trail), "Ohhhhhh a cheater bike."

Now I don't see the difference between him reducing weight and reducing drag to allow him to pedal further/faster and my use of electric power aid to allow me to pedal further/faster. His bike was 10 pounds with thin tires with zero tread, and mine was fifty pounds with big knobby tires at low PSI. I certainly would not have said to him as he flew by me going down a hill, "Ohhhhhh.... You have a cheater bike that rolls easier."

I think that road bikers need to accept that in today's biking environment that there's more ways and technology to increase your ability to pedal other than just dropping weight.

So if you happen to come across an electric mountain bike, don't think they have an advantage over you and shun them. They are pedaling just as hard.

So what do you think about the use of electricity to reduce the effects of the weight of a bike? Will they ever be accepted?
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Old 07-06-15, 09:14 AM
  #2  
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Originally Posted by shopkins1995 View Post
So what do you think about the use of electricity to reduce the effects of the weight of a bike? Will they ever be accepted?
No.
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Old 07-06-15, 09:18 AM
  #3  
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Originally Posted by shopkins1995 View Post

So if you happen to come across an electric mountain bike, don't think they have an advantage over you and shun them. They are pedaling just as hard.
Not even close. The light motor assisted bikes have a minimum of 100w, but most are between 250-500w. Take off the motor, put you on a road bike, and you would not be able to pass the dude.
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Old 07-06-15, 09:19 AM
  #4  
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Why get a electric bike to loose weight?
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Old 07-06-15, 09:23 AM
  #5  
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I would not have said anything to you about the bike, what you ride is your business.
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Old 07-06-15, 09:30 AM
  #6  
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I don't care what bike someone else rides as long as it makes them happy. I see the advantage of electronic assist in commuter bikes and such but the bottom lines is that based on where you want to ride, where you are actually riding and what you are trying to accomplish I think you 100% bought the wrong bike.
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Old 07-06-15, 09:33 AM
  #7  
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You should just buy a motorcycle and move your legs in a pedaling motion as you ride.
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Old 07-06-15, 09:45 AM
  #8  
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I have been passed by electric bikes on hills before. It's funny to see someone pedal by you sitting straight up and looking relaxed while I'm enjoying conquering a hill. Doesn't bother me a bit, great to see more and more people getting out and getting some exercise and fresh air on two wheels. A lot of people who ride electric bikes probably wouldn't be out with out it and maybe they'll switch over later. Hopefully they'll help shorten the lines at the Doctor's office and the gas pumps and that's good for everyone!
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Old 07-06-15, 09:47 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by shopkins1995 View Post
... I was pedaling just as hard as he was. We were both putting out all we could to get up the hill.
Please borrow a road bike, an ultra light one, and ride out that hill and tell me your working just as hard on a heavy e-bike. You were working as hard as you can, I understand, but not equal work.

I understand the riders feelings; however, I would never voice them to another riders, that's just rude.

I see more and more e-bikes around Minneapolis, I have mixed feelings about them. I think they have a place for commuting, but for fitness, get rid of the electric motor and increase the affect of the work-out. Would you go to the gym and lift weights with a motor helping you lift them?

At the end of the day, ride the bike you like. I've had many riders look down on me and my bikes, I don't really care. If the bike brings you joy and you use it, you're good.
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Old 07-06-15, 09:47 AM
  #10  
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If I had a shorter commute I'd consider one, but you sound like your fooling yourself. I rode one of them uphill for a quarter mile at over 25 mph once. Not even in the ballpark of what my speed would be on a real bike.
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Old 07-06-15, 09:57 AM
  #11  
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Yeah that guy sounds like a jerk. He was probably angry he was going slower than you I guess. But I also think you would have fun on a lightweight bike and maybe you should try that out instead of the huge bike you're riding.
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Old 07-06-15, 09:59 AM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by shopkins1995 View Post
Something happened to me while riding the other day by another rider I was passing, and it irked me.

We all started on one speed huffy/schwinn bikes when we were little. As people grew up and started ridding on the road, they bought 21 speeds, spent globs of money on 2 pound carbon frames, lightweight gears and accessories, and they switched to 1/4" wide tires to reduce rolling resistance, etc. This was to make it easier to pedal so that they could go further. They used technology to reduce the amount of effort to travel.

I don't ride a road bike, and never have. I did have a mountain bike from the big box store sitting in my garage collecting dust that had three or four rides on it.

Two months ago, my friend wanted to start riding to lose weight, so I decided to buy a new bike and put some thought into it this time. My purchase has me shunned by road bikers.

When a non-biking male wants to buy a bike they get visions of mountain biking and rip roaring through trails. They run to the big box store and buy a mountain bike (why I have one sitting in my garage). They take it to the trail and find that it's like pushing a block of concrete through mud so they give that up. They then try to ride them on pavement as a road bike and quickly find that they don't roll very well there either. The bike gets banished to the garage and the XBOX gets turned on.

Where I live (in Western Pennsylvania) I have lots of trails, lots of roads, and lots of paved/semi paved bike paths, and I wanted to ride them all. I decided to get a class I electric pedal assisted mountain bike (Haibike FS RX). This electric bike provides power to your stroke when it detects that you need it, up to a certain amount. It also cuts off after a certain speed is reached. You must pedal just like any other bike or you'll fall over.

Now this bike is 50 pounds with knobby tires and a full suspension. Without power it rides on paved roads like a tank with a misfiring engine. Coasting is minimal compared to a road bike. But as I add power, it can ride paved roads almost as good as a road bike. In other words, the power reduces the effort to pedal, just like a road bike's light weight and low rolling resistance reduces their effort to pedal.

The other day, I passed a road biker on a hill and I am sure he was pretty shocked to see himself getting passed by a mountain bike, because it just doesn't happen. I passed him slowly, I certainly did't zip by, and I was pedaling just as hard as he was. We were both putting out all we could to get up the hill. He caught up to me, and said (as I was peeling off to hit a trail), "Ohhhhhh a cheater bike."

Now I don't see the difference between him reducing weight and reducing drag to allow him to pedal further/faster and my use of electric power aid to allow me to pedal further/faster. His bike was 10 pounds with thin tires with zero tread, and mine was fifty pounds with big knobby tires at low PSI. I certainly would not have said to him as he flew by me going down a hill, "Ohhhhhh.... You have a cheater bike that rolls easier."

I think that road bikers need to accept that in today's biking environment that there's more ways and technology to increase your ability to pedal other than just dropping weight.

So if you happen to come across an electric mountain bike, don't think they have an advantage over you and shun them. They are pedaling just as hard.

So what do you think about the use of electricity to reduce the effects of the weight of a bike? Will they ever be accepted?
I don't own an E bike, but I am following their development with keen interest, as I (and all of us) are always just one injury away from never being able to pedal like we do now ever again, and because none of us are getting any younger.

So when I see an E bike out there, I usually ask interested questions about it. Since I'm pulling up on a big old fully laden commuter bike, people obviously know I'm not a recreational roadie out there. Yet almost always, the E biker will enter the conversation with obvious trepidation, as if they are expecting me to make some snide comment.

I think that's a direct result of what your post is describing, and I think that's really, really unfortunate. We should all be supporting anyone who is using bicycle power to get around rather than a car, whether that's a carbon fiber roadie, a beach cruiser, a recumbent with the ten foot tall flag waving because they sit below driver eye level, whatever, it's all good.

Fortunately, once the E biker gets that I'm genuinely interested and that I know a little bit about not just E bikes but specific models, they relax and are usually very interested in talking about their rides.

The one thing I will note, though is that when the light turns green, every one of them seems to feel compelled to demonstrate the power of instant torque and blow me away off the line ;-)
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Old 07-06-15, 09:59 AM
  #13  
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Old 07-06-15, 10:03 AM
  #14  
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Your vent is more about the perceived "rude comment" than it is about the difference in wattage that each of the two riders are throwing down.

Try to separate the two because they're not the same thing.
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Old 07-06-15, 10:03 AM
  #15  
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Not seeing how you were "shunned". A guy you passed made a comment that, without having more context (tone, body language, etc), may or may have been friendly or neutral in intent. Am I missing something?

Also if you put some slicks on your mountain bike you might not need that electric bike, and if you really are working as hard as someone else, your speed will be pretty close.
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Old 07-06-15, 10:12 AM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by Cyclosaurus View Post
Not seeing how you were "shunned". A guy you passed made a comment that, without having more context (tone, body language, etc), may or may have been friendly or neutral in intent. Am I missing something?

Also if you put some slicks on your mountain bike you might not need that electric bike, and if you really are working as hard as someone else, your speed will be pretty close.
He wasn't shunned, but to address his greater point, when someone on a 10 pound bike in full kit passes me while I'm on a 40 pound laden commuter bike, I don't feel like that guy is cheating, he's just going about his ride with a different goal in mind that particular day.

Maybe if we switched bikes, I would blow him away, maybe not, but it just doesn't matter as neither of us likely makes a living based on how fast we can bicycle.

But I don't call out, "oh, a cheater bike" and neither I think would anyone else riding a heavy commuter. OP's point is that him using an E bike is no more a "cheat" than the carbon fiber bike guy is cheating, because MY goal is NOT to be the fastest guy on the streets, and neither is the OP's. Why in the world would I ride a 40 pound bike if it were, and why would he be riding anything with knobby tires on pavement if it were for him?

Now, if the OP were on a carbon fiber bike in full kit AND had a stealth electric assist, like the Gruber Assist drive in an actual bicycle race event, THEN IMO that would qualify as "cheating" ;-)

The thing about the Gruber Assist is that it is concealed within the seat tube, so you cannot tell there is electric assist going on unless you catch the faint whining noise it makes.

But any E bike where the battery, and the mid drive or hub motor is there to be seen is in no way deception, right?

As a side note, on occasions when I have blown by road bikers, usually on climbs because they are simply geared too high to spin up, they have looked at my bike and asked if that was a battery on my downtube. No, it's just ab ABUS Bordo lock, but it kinda does look like a really small battery!

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Old 07-06-15, 10:28 AM
  #17  
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My bike is heavier than yourn.
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Old 07-06-15, 10:29 AM
  #18  
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E bike? Like a scooter with pedals? I would have said the same thing at the top of the hill. I am not that nice of a person to start out with though, so it is to be expected.
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Old 07-06-15, 11:07 AM
  #19  
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No, they will not be accepted by the majority of the biking community. Personally, I could care a less. If you are enjoying yourself with it than keep riding it. Who cares what anybody else thinks?
On a side note, whether you are pumping your legs or not, it is not the same as riding a bike unassisted up a hill. That is a far more exhaustive endeavor.
It does not require the same level of output as a regular bike does simply based on the level of resistance alone. If you are on a treadmill running with it flat it is not the same as if the treadmill is on a steep incline. The resistance makes it more difficult.
Either way, just enjoy yourself despite what others think or do.
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Old 07-06-15, 11:14 AM
  #20  
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You don't see the difference between a bike with a motor and one with out? Nice. That said, on the road, 2 pedals all good. E bike seem like a good fit for cargo bikes, people who have a really long way to pedal or the lazy types. You know, people who want the easy way out. Something for nothing. Maybe they don't want to get sweaty. Better than another car, yes. But to come here and try to get respect? Baaahhaa. That's just funny. Yuk, yuk. And road bikers shun everybody, even fellow riders. So try this, sell the lazy bike and get a hardtail 29er. Front suspension and sort of slick tires. Could ride anything with that setup. Maybe you might like it. Nice first post.
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Old 07-06-15, 11:17 AM
  #21  
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I think e-bikes serve their purpose, for getting people outside off the XBOX, sight seeing, etc... but fitness is not one of them, IMHO. A co-worker has one. He bought it because he lives on a "mountain" and found it hard to ride a regular bike up. I've rode up near where he lives, it is a "mountain" in name only. I've been up longer, steeper & harder hills. His longest rides are about 15 miles he tells me, just last week he said he did 8... I rode 60 in one day. Not even close to the same amount of exertion.
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Old 07-06-15, 11:24 AM
  #22  
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1) You clearly DO have an advantage (it's called a motor)
2) You are not pedaling as hard. If you were able to pedal as hard you wouldn't have felt the need to buy a much heavier bike with a motor attached.
3) Who cares? To each his own. You like riding a glorified moped. It's cool and if the person who called you a cheater did indeed do it in a mean spirited way he is kind of an a-hole. Doubt it's the first a-hole you have ever run into in your life though so why did you feel the need to come here and try to incorrectly imo justify your bike because of that one comment?

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Old 07-06-15, 11:40 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by therhodeo View Post
You should just buy a motorcycle and move your legs in a pedaling motion as you ride.
I do this when I drive my car. Will I be accepted by the road biking community?
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Old 07-06-15, 11:42 AM
  #24  
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There is an Electric Bikes forum here - check it out!

I tried one on a lark: a Trek Lift + STEPS e-bike on display by a local bike shop. It's a model so new it's not even on the Trek website yet. The shop just got these two e-bikes in the day before or something like that. You can pedal on it like a regular bike. There are two pedal assist buttons - the regular one and the "eco" one that uses less electricity. I really enjoyed the feeling of the motor kicking in. It's actually a more fun ride to me than a moped.

Anyway, check out the Electric Bikes forum.
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Old 07-06-15, 12:01 PM
  #25  
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Anybody have a link to a 10 pound bike? My carbon wonder bike weighs 21 pounds. I ride it up hills unassisted. No, electric assist will not be accepted.
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