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Electric Bicycles

Old 01-02-20, 01:38 PM
  #26  
UniChris
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
A fair number of the e-bike owners I have chatted with are women. Older women. Even if their bikes could go 30mph their owners would never take them up to those speeds.
Glad that's true where you are, but irrelevant to a thread that started specifically with an observation about New York City. It's anything but true here. In NYC pedal assist bikes are legal, and are not what the opposition is to - rather that's to the illegal electric motorcycles, and misguided attempts to normalize them as "bikes" rather than get the manufacturers to turn them into legitimate roadworthy light motorcycles.

Delivery riders on e-bikes are not dangerous because their bikes have motors! Amazon delivery vans are taking out way more pedestrians (and cyclists) and causing destruction to public and private property than all the e-bike delivery riders in NYC combined!
They'd be fine if they were similarly in the traffic lanes and obeying the stop lights to the same degree as other motor vehicles. Electric motorcycles make tons of sense.

But they reason they are a problem is that they're operating in places unsuited to their speeds - narrow cycle lanes with poor sight lines at intersections.

And places they shouldn't be at all, like sidewalks.

And it's not a behavioral issue alone - the reason delivery folks won't use the legal pedal assist bikes is that they're too slow - they are trying to accomplish a motor vehicle mission while abusing areas reserved for human speeds to bypass traffic.

That just intimidates the rest of society - especially those little old ladies you imagine to be the ebike market.

The basic reality is that urban density does not accommodate rapid movement - the places you might be able to safely go fast have to be shared with others who want to use them as well, and have to have traffic control devices. Meanwhile the places it's tempting to think offer a way around that aren't designed in a way that's safe for more than moderate pedal cycling speeds.

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Old 01-02-20, 02:32 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
Glad that's true where you are, but irrelevant to a thread that started specifically with an observation about New York City. It's anything but true here. In NYC pedal assist bikes are legal, and are not what the opposition is to - rather that's to the illegal electric motorcycles, and misguided attempts to normalize them as "bikes" rather than get the manufacturers to turn them into legitimate roadworthy light motorcycles.



They'd be fine if they were similarly in the traffic lanes and obeying the stop lights to the same degree as other motor vehicles. Electric motorcycles make tons of sense.

But they reason they are a problem is that they're operating in places unsuited to their speeds - narrow cycle lanes with poor sight lines at intersections.

And places they shouldn't be at all, like sidewalks.

And it's not a behavioral issue alone - the reason delivery folks won't use the legal pedal assist bikes is that they're too slow - they are trying to accomplish a motor vehicle mission while abusing areas reserved for human speeds to bypass traffic.

That just intimidates the rest of society - especially those little old ladies you imagine to be the ebike market.

The basic reality is that urban density does not accommodate rapid movement - the places you might be able to safely go fast have to be shared with others who want to use them as well, and have to have traffic control devices. Meanwhile the places it's tempting to think offer a way around that aren't designed in a way that's safe for more than moderate pedal cycling speeds.
I lived in NYC for 50 years. I left awhile ago. I've been back once since this e-bike thing became a thing. I didn't really see anything all that shocking. You CANNOT charge down a Midtown sidewalk clotted with people at 30 mph no matter what kind of e-bike you have. I'm coming back in February to take a closer look at this phenomenon. I don't think e-bikes ... the e-bikes that a Chinese restaurant is using to make deliveries ... is capable of 30 mph. I doubt any of them are being operated by people who know how to bypass the assist restrictions programmed per US law. What they do allow is a person who could never have operated a pedal only bike for hours on end uphill and down to accomplish it using electric assist. Pedal only cyclists that get passed by the electric bikes are pissed and think that the e-bike should be in the vehicle lane. In my city we have lots of young women on 50cc scooters in the vehicle lanes. Speed limits are 25 mph. Trivial for the F-150's but the scooters are maxed out at that speed. What keeps these gals alive is the ponytail hanging out from under their helmet. I don't see many e-bikes at all. I never said little old ladies were a viable e-bike market but 35 - 55 y.o. women are buying them in significant numbers. I think New Yorkers can handle their business. It's hard to knock down 5 pedestrians on an e-bike and not wind up unhorsed in the process. If I know my New Yorkers that will be the end of that delivery riders career. My comments are towards the general run of e-bike hate threads that attempt to shame, scorn and scare ordinary people out of considering them because they are some sort of gateway to a dark universe of sloth and degeneracy. NYC has a very bad legacy of overpolicing targeted demographic segments and totally turning a blind eye to the problems being caused by other groups that operate under the radar of LEO scrutiny. Fix that and you fix the e-bike terrorists problem. It is not an e-bike problem, it is a social problem.
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Old 01-02-20, 02:42 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
I don't think e-bikes ... the e-bikes that a Chinese restaurant is using to make deliveries ... is capable of 30 mph. I doubt any of them are being operated by people who know how to bypass the assist restrictions programmed per US law.
The electric motorcycles people are complaining about are not from reputable manufacturers with a presence making them subject to such laws, but from fly-by-night import sources. And it's not like an urban area wouldn't have some back alley mechanic to make any customization a market demanded.

As for the rest, spend some time on east side sidewalks. Actually talk to older residents. The opposition is well grounded in reality of the population's daily experience.

That's not to say that the life of the delivery guys isn't hard - but the problem is not the woefully insufficient regulation and infrequent enough to present as anything other than bad luck enforcement.

Rather the problem is that what they are in the business of trying to do - bring food dozens of blocks for pennies - is not something that society can actually support in a situation of unrestrained, unregulated price competition.

Fees have to go up so that productivity and speeds can come down to something safe for the workers, and surrounding society - nothing wrong with a luxury service having suitable pricing.

Delivering food to seniors and others who literally can't get out is another business entirely, and the way to accomplish that affordably is to make scheduled batch deliveries, rather than have each whim of an order dispatch a motor vehicle between a unique start and end point.

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Old 01-02-20, 06:55 PM
  #29  
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Most of the ebikes I would call electric motorcycles are $4k and up. I would be interested in seeing any build threads for something that meets that description and doesn't cost that much.
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Old 01-02-20, 08:24 PM
  #30  
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If itís powered by electricity and you donít need to pedal it to make it go, itís a motorcycle. Cost is irrelevant. Thatís what I call them.
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Old 01-03-20, 01:03 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by TheDudeIsHere View Post
30 MPH easily!

https://youtu.be/-oNKWAcBA9s

I personally know the guy and his brother. I took this pic of his bike just minutes before he smoked me doing 30 mph.



Meh, that's a lightweight - mine does 50mph in speed 5, unrestricted mode. And mine's small fry compared to some, which can hit a triple figure...

The point is here, legalities. Otherwise we may as well despute people using Harley Davidsons on the sidewalk.
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Old 01-03-20, 01:05 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
If itís powered by electricity and you donít need to pedal it to make it go, itís a motorcycle. Cost is irrelevant. Thatís what I call them.
You do have to pedal. The clue is in 'assist'.
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Old 01-03-20, 01:16 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by MikeyMK View Post
You do have to pedal. The clue is in 'assist'.
The ones people are complaining about are throttle motorcycles. No pedaling involved unless you choose to.
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Old 01-03-20, 05:00 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by MikeyMK View Post
You do have to pedal. The clue is in 'assist'.
Please see post #33 . I see them every day. Walking home last night I saw a guy riding a normal bike retrofitted with a gasoline engine. He was riding in a bike lane.
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Old 01-03-20, 06:51 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Please see post #33 . I see them every day. Walking home last night I saw a guy riding a normal bike retrofitted with a gasoline engine. He was riding in a bike lane.
Then he might as well have been riding a Honda Fireblade or driving a Ford Mustang. What's it got to do with e-bikes..?!
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Old 01-03-20, 06:56 AM
  #36  
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At the end of the day, if people are breaking the law then that's for another topic.

Or you could just drag them into a topic about e-bikes and use them as ammunition, to reinforce your personal dislike of vehicles other than yours that are being used perfectly legally..

If you have a genuine grievance regarding hooligans on your local MUPs then maybe contact your local law enforcement and request they investigate illegal activity.
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Old 01-03-20, 07:03 AM
  #37  
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Why is this not in ebikes? Thread title should have been a clue....
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Old 01-03-20, 07:22 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by MikeyMK View Post
Then he might as well have been riding a Honda Fireblade or driving a Ford Mustang. What's it got to do with e-bikes..?!
The fist two sentences were about e-bikes. The second two were for your edificfation since you present yourself as not having a full grasp of the types of vehicles that are out there posing as bikes and using bike-specifc infrasturcture, which, as UniCrhis has explained in a couple of cogent posts, is a real problem in some areas. ?Comprendes?
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Old 01-03-20, 08:00 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
Why is this not in ebikes? Thread title should have been a clue....
Yes, or A&S; see posts 2 and 5 (I think it was?) above.
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Old 01-03-20, 08:50 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by MikeyMK View Post
vehicles other than yours that are being used perfectly legally..
The devices people are complaining about, and which this thread started from an observation of, are not legal in the locality where they were observed.

Pedal assist bikes are legal there, but those are not what this thread is about.

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Old 01-03-20, 10:08 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
Why is this not in ebikes? Thread title should have been a clue....
Because it's supposed to be a discussion relating to general cyclists experience on streets increasingly inhabited by e-bikers?
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Old 01-03-20, 02:37 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by MikeyMK View Post
Meh, that's a lightweight - mine does 50mph in speed 5,
Well I wasn't starting a swinging competition here. I was merely showing a previous poster that yes, ebikes do hit 30 after he seemed to believe and ebike can do 30+.
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Old 01-03-20, 04:20 PM
  #43  
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Since I rarely ride the MUPs any longer, and ride mostly in hills and mountains, I have only seen one e-bike on Glendora Ridge Road in the past year. Older man with a spare battery who had suffered an injury but did not want to give up riding his favorite route. He did not try to buzz pass me at 20 mph riding up the incline. He just enjoyed the ride and made the most out of the assist. So there are those who do not throttle an e-bike like a motorcycle at 30 mph.

In contrast, when I rode down to Seal Beach on the SGRT MUP awhile back, there were herds of e-bikes in a Muppet Traffic Jamm. Kind of ruins the beach experience for a roadie having to share with motorcycle riders clogging the MUP. That is when I made the decision to go MUPless.

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Old 01-03-20, 06:48 PM
  #44  
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Good thread, in that I got a better appreciation of bike havoc in NYC.
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Old 01-04-20, 01:56 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
The devices people are complaining about, and which this thread started from an observation of, are not legal in the locality where they were observed.

Pedal assist bikes are legal there, but those are not what this thread is about.
A discussion about illegally-used nuisance vehicles is perfectly valid, I think it deserves its own thread, is all. Here in the UK, powered scooters are illegal. The Sedgeway was never legal here. We have electric scooters popping up all over the place, and the riders are invariably very twitchy on them, in a world of their own. Headphones and random swerves of direction - and they're completely illegal to use. And this uprising is far greater than fast e-bikes here. The police need to step up, but I don't think they are.

So I can see that things look a little different over there.
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Old 01-04-20, 04:07 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
The fist two sentences were about e-bikes. The second two were for your edificfation since you present yourself as not having a full grasp of the types of vehicles that are out there posing as bikes and using bike-specifc infrasturcture, which, as UniCrhis has explained in a couple of cogent posts, is a real problem in some areas. ?Comprendes?
No. It's been a problem since the beginning of time - age restrictions on various motor vehicles, undeclared modifications, made to look like slower vehicles, etc. Some mobility scooters are running in illegal modified form.

I'm not saying that issues shouldn't be addressed, just questioning why seemingly every e-bike topic has to be dragged down this path...
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Old 01-04-20, 05:07 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
50' is around two car lengths. Even if it was one car length that would be better than what we have now. Cars tailgate cyclists that are taking the lane and if the cyclist goes down ... ... the driver has no time to react. In Europe they go even further. A car can only overtake a cyclist at a maximum speed of 19mph. Common sense laws that either force cars to leave space between themselves and bikes and/or mandate maximum speeds that can be used when in close procimity to bikes do not require expensive separated bike infrastructure. In highly populated urban settings there shouldn't be cars anyway! None at all. First responder vehicles and commercial traffic are all that should rationally be operating in urban cores. But until that happy day the measures I've outlined while seeming onerous really wouldn't impact cars more than the overcrowding (because of too many cars!) already does.
50 feet isn't a traffic law in a crowded city, it's a restraining order.

Do the math. In Manhattan, the "standard" city block is 264 x 900 feet, with the short dimension being north south. If your buffer zone is 50 feet, then you can only have 5 cars on any given north-south block, each apparently needing to enter the intersection 50 feet behind the car in front of it. Since cars will not be able to bunch up, all 4 cars behind the lead car will have to stop where they are when the lead car has to stop in the intersection. If your goal is to make it absolutely impossible to drive, this could work. Unfortunately, it's a bit too transparent to actually get enacted and enforced.
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Old 01-04-20, 05:34 AM
  #48  
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Just out of curiosity, have there been reported incidents of the throttle ebikes seriously injuring or killing anyone in NYC? I would expect that might trigger a crackdown.

As far as the forum placement, it seems to me that OP implicates enough issues that putting it in general makes sense.

An implied question in the OP is whether ecyclists and bicyclists are "natural" allies or not. The answer that I'm taking from the NYC delegation here is that if the ebike is legal and being operated at speeds reasonable for bike infrastructure, then allies. If illegal and too fast, enemies, or to put it mildly, hazards.

I guess my question is whether NYC is special, or is it just ahead of the curve, and we're going to see these problems cropping up in other cities? Also, is this Manhattan specific?
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Old 01-04-20, 07:44 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by Doc_Wui View Post
Good thread, in that I got a better appreciation of bike havoc in NYC.
More on e-bike havoc in NYC at:E-Bike Thefts in NYC
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Old 01-04-20, 09:19 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by MikeyMK View Post
A discussion about illegally-used nuisance vehicles is perfectly valid, I think it deserves its own thread, is all.
What you are persistently refusing to recognize is the repeatedly pointed out fact that such illegal devices are exactly what this thread started from an observation of.

"There are hordes of ebikes in Manhattan. Evidently they are largely used by bicycle riding delivery guys, and gals."

By its reference to quantity and usage, that observation specially refers to a widespread illegal model - they are not bicycles as their speeds and throttles do not meet the local allowance for pedal assist, and they lack the safety features required of legally registered motorcycles.

These are the most observed not only by their huge numbers, but because they are distinctive enough in shape, weight, and the tall battery behind the seat tube that when you see one you you know you are looking at something electric, which is not necessarily the case with the small population of assist bikes (especially as the assist share bikes are not yet back on the streets)

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