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Why don't people want to pedal anymore?

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Why don't people want to pedal anymore?

Old 11-03-22, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by bykemike
A friend of mine just had an ebike experience,

This is an older, strictly old school rider that had been saving the time and money to do a few organized tours with a well known company in the US that sets up these bucket list style expensive tours where all the food and lodging needs are met and you just ride,

He had been training extra hard for this rather grueling Napa wine country tour that has a few very steep climbs coupled with a few long day ride options for stronger riders, it was a five day tour,

Everything had been thought out and planned and all good to go. When he showed up he was surprised to find he was one of three conventional bikes on the tour, the remaining riders (about a dozen) were on E-bikes. The tour made no distinction between bike types and, right from day one, he was riding alone, showing up late for lunches and lodging, no one to chat with or help finding directions. The tour operators were kind and encouraging but, really, there was little they could do.

This was not the experience he had hoped for.
Wow what a bummer. The lesson he is passing to anyone reading your post is to ask lots of questions. I know I would prefer to ride with similar non-powered riders.
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Old 11-03-22, 10:47 AM
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Never used one, but I have no issue with them. They're definitely preferable to cars. I would consider one for a long work commute (30+ miles RT)
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Old 11-03-22, 05:50 PM
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Just back from 3 weeks in Northern Bavaria. As expected, saw a lot of riders, especially evenings and wkends. Weather was very friendly, so people were out enjoying the unusually warm conditions.
My estimate is that I saw approx 250 to 300 riders/bikes. Of these 4 were on non-e road bikes, 7 were on non-e mtb or hybrid/tour type bikes. Remainder were all e-bikes.
Now I expected a high percentage - but not almost exclusively...
Went into a few larger dealers - floor space of bikes were about the same percentage - 95%+ were e-bikes.
Never had an incident or possible incident - all riders were very accommodating and observed good road manners. Very few - less than 15 or so, were wicking up the throttle to a high pace. Remainder were keeping a pace between 20 to 30+ kph. 95% wore helmets.

Bells - I used my bells on all 'passes'(have one on each bike I keep in Germany) of slower riders and upon approaching pedestrians (lots of walkers use the bike paths). I would usually ring when within 30 meters or so. They all reacted well. Only a few looked and acted surprised. Most took a quick look and then either made room or stood to the side.
ALL dog walkers immediately took control of their dogs. A few were off leash, so I moved with great caution past them - but no problems.
A smile from me always came back as a smile.
Motor vehicles were all considerate and gave space when possible - considering many small roads have width barely enough for 2 small cars (or narrower...).
Saw no broken glass on roads or paths.
Amazing how nice a day can be when everyone is mutually agreeable.
But then, this is rural Franconia/Northern Bavaria.
... I'm gonna give bells a try again, back here in Ca. (have them on the bikes, but they never seem to ellicit a 'knowing' response).
Ride On
Yuri
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Old 11-03-22, 06:10 PM
  #404  
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Originally Posted by prj71
Considering the folks on e-bikes previously didn't ride or had no interest in riding it's kind of obvious why they are riding an e-bike...It doesn't take as much physical effort.
This assumption is grossly wrong. You are painting all e-bike riders with the same brush. As I have stated several times, my wife was a dedicated recreational cyclist and used cycling as part of her fitness regimen. We would do 50-60 mile rides as well as a centuriies. She developed R.A. And riding her conventional bike was extremely painful and an e-bike got her back on a bike with better ergonomics and if the pain becomes too much, she can switch to a great level of pedal assist. We have another friend who rode from Seattle to San Diego on her regular bike with her husband (have you done that in two weeks, totally self-contained?) that also got R.A. Who also bought an e-bike. These are people who are experienced, dedicated, love cycling and still enjoy a workout.

I just got off the phone an hour ago with my male cousin, age 66 that wants to get into better shape and lose some weight. We both decided an e-bike is the way to go since he lives in a very hilly area where starting again on a conventional bike would be instantly discouraging. So heís going to drop $5K on one next week. Not a cheap proposition.

Sure there are neophytes out there that just enjoy going out and enjoying the fresh air with minimal effort, but at least they are getting out rather than sitting on a couch. Time to examine your assumptions.
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Old 11-03-22, 06:44 PM
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e-Bikes are a doomed fad because riding one doesn't proclaim social status or class.
Think carefully about that, because anyone employing a "status symbol" will almost certainly vehemently deny it and demand to remain oblivious to the fact.
Cyclists that are likely to or have long maintained participation in the culture have a high probability of cycling being a part of their identity, self-image, and social status.
The bicycles they ride are going to reflect their personal taste and their sophisticated knowledge and understanding of cycling culture.
Social status is rarely correlated to expense. Otherwise neophytes could simply "buy" their way into a higher status. Rather they are rejected just as the nouveau riche.
It is only the cognoscenti who can be esteemed if they are able to acquire the coveted.
e-bikes? Most of them are trash. They're high-margin items that many bicycle retailers have become addicted to, but for the consumer they bring about as much prestige as a Black & Decker Dust Buster.

If you're "against" e-bikes, it might be because you feel they threaten to tarnish the identity and social status you were crafting for yourself within the cycling culture by bringing the hordes of the unwashed into cycling and making it impractical for non-cyclists to distinguish you from them.
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Old 11-04-22, 05:39 AM
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The other opinion ;>)

E=bikes will be here for a long, long time. They address a need in this over crowded world and provide a relatively cheap way to get around and find parking in an urban and sub-urban environment. It would be erroneous to consider them a 'fad".

My own private view ( I expect no one to share with me): they are not bicycles but actually little,lightweight motorcycles. They, really, are no more of a bicycle than my BMW crotch rocket is a bicycle (two wheels, a seat and handlebars are you are telling me it's not?)

The ebike riders are getting out and getting a modicum of exercise surely but no comparison to grinding up the hills in WNC or pushing through the wind on coastal A1A. I am proud of the time and effort I have put in , on many levels, to be able to ride my daily 35-50 miles and climb
long hills if they are in front of me.
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Old 11-04-22, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by bykemike
The other opinion ;>

E=bikes will be here for a long, long time. They address a need in this over crowded world and provide a relatively cheap way to get around and find parking in an urban and sub-urban environment. It would be erroneous to consider them a 'fad".

My own private view ( I expect no one to share with me): they are not bicycles but actually little,lightweight motorcycles. They, really, are no more of a bicycle than my BMW crotch rocket is a bicycle (two wheels, a seat and handlebars are you are telling me it's not?)

The ebike riders are getting out and getting a modicum of exercise surely but no comparison to grinding up the hills in WNC or pushing through the wind on coastal A1A. I am proud of the time and effort I have put in , on many levels, to be able to ride my daily 35-50 miles and climb
long hills if they are in front of me.
What Iím telling you is that you donít know the difference between the two general types of ebikes. There is one type that you absolutely must pedal to make it move. Thatís not like a motorcycle.
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Old 11-04-22, 06:48 AM
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One thing I've noticed in our area is that exurban and rural area e-bike riders are mostly older while in our urban core e-bike riders are predominantly in their 20's to 30's. This is along a trail that starts downtown and extends over 50 miles into the suburbs and beyond. I was surprised at the large percentage of young people cruising along on e-bikes on what is primarily a recreational trail.

The other big explosion of e-bikes nearby has been in Amish country. Where you'd occasionally see a loaded utility bike struggling up a hill a decade ago, now the Amish zip around on every configuration of e-bike you can imagine. Pretty interesting seeing an e-bike building business right next door to the buggy builder. Times they are a changin'.
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Old 11-04-22, 09:14 AM
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In September I was riding through the Brush Valley east of State College, PA during a tour. Ended up behind 5 young Amish school kids riding scooters. All 5 were barefoot. One of the most intimate experiences I have ever had on a bike. Guess they didnít want to pedal.
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Old 11-04-22, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by bykemike
The other opinion ;>

E=bikes will be here for a long, long time. They address a need in this over crowded world and provide a relatively cheap way to get around and find parking in an urban and sub-urban environment. It would be erroneous to consider them a 'fad".

Like share bikes, electric scooters, the Seqway, and hoverboards. Fads. There was a big wave of them for a while and then they faded to a trickle. Skateboarding, on the other hand, has stuck around because it is essential to the "skater" identity and social status. e-skateboards are excluded.

As for cheap transportation in a crowded urban environment, the electric scooter floated to the top, well-above e-bikes because it does not require the rider to straddle a saddle, have their clothes touch the machine, stick part of the machine in their crotch, and pump their legs. It also fits on buses, trains, light rail, in elevators, cars, and in cubicles with less hassle than a e-bike. Bikes haul stuff better, but once a typical consumer has to haul more than their phone and a small handbag, they're going to prefer their car.

eBikes are selling overwhelmingly for recreation and not transportation. Except a few places where share schemes are viable and e-scooters dominate, most American consumers have pretty well ruled out any kind of bicycling for transportation unless they are a 'cyclist' as part of their identity and social status, in which case e-bikes are down the list of preferred rides. Just eliminating the need to peddle won't transform bicycles into practical transportation within American infrastructure.

Again, I predict e-bike sales in North America will plummet within 5 years and retailers (LBS) will feel the hurt. Admittedly, outside the US, things could be dramatically different. China, India, even Europe are very different markets and I don't know enough to predict anything. Obviously, for manufacturers, the larger markets outside the US could easily make US trends irrelevant.
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Old 11-04-22, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by greatbasin
e-Bikes are a doomed fad because riding one doesn't proclaim social status or class.
Think carefully about that, because anyone employing a "status symbol" will almost certainly vehemently deny it and demand to remain oblivious to the fact.
Cyclists that are likely to or have long maintained participation in the culture have a high probability of cycling being a part of their identity, self-image, and social status.
The bicycles they ride are going to reflect their personal taste and their sophisticated knowledge and understanding of cycling culture.
Social status is rarely correlated to expense. Otherwise neophytes could simply "buy" their way into a higher status. Rather they are rejected just as the nouveau riche.
It is only the cognoscenti who can be esteemed if they are able to acquire the coveted.
e-bikes? Most of them are trash. They're high-margin items that many bicycle retailers have become addicted to, but for the consumer they bring about as much prestige as a Black & Decker Dust Buster.

If you're "against" e-bikes, it might be because you feel they threaten to tarnish the identity and social status you were crafting for yourself within the cycling culture by bringing the hordes of the unwashed into cycling and making it impractical for non-cyclists to distinguish you from them.
good read, but imo most cyclists are "against" e-bikes simply for increased traffic on mups and local routes. If you are a road cyclist there probably isn't much interaction with e-bikes..there really is no "status" to being a cyclist, and in fact we are hated by all others who use the road
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Old 11-04-22, 09:50 AM
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so the cyclists that are against e-bikes are mup riders, and very few in number
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Old 11-04-22, 10:23 AM
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Persecution is part of your social status as a cyclist.
Road cyclists, as you say, wouldn't deign to interact with ebike riders.
Would you try to claim fixie riders don't have a social status among cyclists?
Oh, but "MUP riders", those are the lowest caste anyway, so if they have a beef with eBikes, what should the elite cyclists care about that?
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Old 11-04-22, 10:25 AM
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The bike share program in Philly is still very popular. It includes ebikes.
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Old 11-04-22, 10:53 AM
  #415  
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Originally Posted by greatbasin
e-Bikes are a doomed fad because riding one doesn't proclaim social status or class.
Think carefully about that, because anyone employing a "status symbol" will almost certainly vehemently deny it and demand to remain oblivious to the fact.
Cyclists that are likely to or have long maintained participation in the culture have a high probability of cycling being a part of their identity, self-image, and social status.
The bicycles they ride are going to reflect their personal taste and their sophisticated knowledge and understanding of cycling culture.
Social status is rarely correlated to expense. Otherwise neophytes could simply "buy" their way into a higher status. Rather they are rejected just as the nouveau riche.
It is only the cognoscenti who can be esteemed if they are able to acquire the coveted.
e-bikes? Most of them are trash. They're high-margin items that many bicycle retailers have become addicted to, but for the consumer they bring about as much prestige as a Black & Decker Dust Buster.

If you're "against" e-bikes, it might be because you feel they threaten to tarnish the identity and social status you were crafting for yourself within the cycling culture by bringing the hordes of the unwashed into cycling and making it impractical for non-cyclists to distinguish you from them.
Only time will tell if your prediction will be realized. I would not bet money on it.

As for status; for most people riding bikes there is zero status implied by the activity. Typically status is only assumed by those thoroughly immersed in the activity, whose personalities might need status to feel worthwhile, or strive to own a really nice bike to feel wortwhile, whereas people outside the sport could care less.

In my teens through my thirties, I felt that driving a nice car conferred status. Now that I am older, and maybe wiser, I have come to the realization that status is only in the imagination of user/owner or those that wish they could have what the user/owner has. As one matures, it all becomes irrelevant. Most people have far more pressing concerns in their daily lives.
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Old 11-04-22, 12:18 PM
  #416  
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Originally Posted by bykemike
The other opinion ;>

E=bikes will be here for a long, long time. They address a need in this over crowded world and provide a relatively cheap way to get around and find parking in an urban and sub-urban environment. It would be erroneous to consider them a 'fad".

My own private view ( I expect no one to share with me): they are not bicycles but actually little,lightweight motorcycles. They, really, are no more of a bicycle than my BMW crotch rocket is a bicycle (two wheels, a seat and handlebars are you are telling me it's not?)

The ebike riders are getting out and getting a modicum of exercise surely but no comparison to grinding up the hills in WNC or pushing through the wind on coastal A1A. I am proud of the time and effort I have put in , on many levels, to be able to ride my daily 35-50 miles and climb
long hills if they are in front of me.
I would agree with your view, if the bike has a motor, it is a motorbike. But alas, here we are...... I come across E bike riders almost everyday and the vast majority of riders use the bike to commute on or for pleasure, exercise is low priority
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Old 11-04-22, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by rsbob
Most people have far more pressing concerns in their daily lives.
You mean like what clothes they wear?
What and where they eat?
What neighborhood they live in?
Which house?
Where they went to school?
What their avocations are and say about them?
What their occupation is?
Income level?
Who they marry?
Who they associate with?

As a mature person, what were you concerned with today?
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Old 11-04-22, 01:12 PM
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I was concerned with completing the NYT crossword puzzle. Done. Think Iíll take a nap.
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Old 11-04-22, 01:46 PM
  #419  
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Originally Posted by greatbasin
e-Bikes are a doomed fad because riding one doesn't proclaim social status or class.
Think carefully about that, because anyone employing a "status symbol" will almost certainly vehemently deny it and demand to remain oblivious to the fact.
Cyclists that are likely to or have long maintained participation in the culture have a high probability of cycling being a part of their identity, self-image, and social status.
The bicycles they ride are going to reflect their personal taste and their sophisticated knowledge and understanding of cycling culture.
Social status is rarely correlated to expense. Otherwise neophytes could simply "buy" their way into a higher status. Rather they are rejected just as the nouveau riche.
It is only the cognoscenti who can be esteemed if they are able to acquire the coveted.
e-bikes? Most of them are trash. They're high-margin items that many bicycle retailers have become addicted to, but for the consumer they bring about as much prestige as a Black & Decker Dust Buster.

If you're "against" e-bikes, it might be because you feel they threaten to tarnish the identity and social status you were crafting for yourself within the cycling culture by bringing the hordes of the unwashed into cycling and making it impractical for non-cyclists to distinguish you from them.
This is really garbage sociology, and you've obviously constructed the argument for the sole purpose of making it irrefutable. This is not done in good faith. Yes, people employing something as a status symbol may deny that they're using it as a status symbol, but so will someone who actually isn't using the item as a status symbol.

Your analysis here is completely based on a false premise that cycling is primarily a culture of some sort (definition needed!) and that ebikes will eventually fail because they can't duplicate that culture.

I get that you think cycling is some sort of social cool kids table, but a hell of a lot of it is basically unself conscious exercise or utility. The numbers of prestige bikes being sold are tiny as to compared to the mundane cycles most of us lowlier mortals care to ride.

By the way, the world sells a lot more dust busters than it does prestige bikes.
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Old 11-04-22, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by greatbasin
You mean like what clothes they wear?
What and where they eat?
What neighborhood they live in?
Which house?
Where they went to school?
What their avocations are and say about them?
What their occupation is?
Income level?
Who they marry?
Who they associate with?

As a mature person, what were you concerned with today?

As a mature person, when I get on my bike, I'm really not attempting to impress anyone with my social status. Today or any other day.
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Old 11-04-22, 02:18 PM
  #421  
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Originally Posted by greatbasin
You mean like what clothes they wear?
What and where they eat?
What neighborhood they live in?
Which house?
Where they went to school?
What their avocations are and say about them?
What their occupation is?
Income level?
Who they marry?
Who they associate with?

As a mature person, what were you concerned with today?
You apparently have a ways to go. When you dump those concerns, you will be there.

The most important things in life are health, having a roof, food and friends. Everything beyond that are just nice to haves.
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Old 11-04-22, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by msu2001la
I ride our bike-share e-bikes for commuting all the time. They're awesome. I can ride 4 miles in 15-20 minutes during the middle of the summer through the center of the city and not break a sweat.

I don't really see a problem with e-bikes being used on MUP's, and we have plenty of them around here. Obviously if someone is riding way too fast for the situation or conditions, that's a problem, but that problem isn't exclusive to e-bikes
My emphasis added above.

Excessive speed is not exclusive to E Bikes, but they're the much, much larger part of the problem of excessive speed on bike and MUP trails. What used to be a rare or sporadic issue is becoming a common problem. Very, very few casual riders go 15-20mph, those speeds are generally limited to racer wannabees and are fairly rare (at least where I live). But anyone on an ebike can go 15-20 mph and those speeds are getting to be very common and it's a bad development, imho.

I absolutely support PEDAL ASSIST ebikes regulated to less than, say, 12 mph on non-motorized MUPs. Or faster ebikes or e-motorcycles (which i consider to be ebikes with a throttle) on the streets. Totaly support those things.

But this phenomenon is un- or poorly regulated and getting waaaay beyond that. To me a fast pedal assist ebike is not a good mix with pedestrians or pedal bikes on non-motorized MUP. A throttle ebike is a motorized vehicle and should be regulated as such.

It's the wild west regarding ebikes and causing me to move from benign acceptance and support of the concept to increasing dislike.

Last edited by Camilo; 11-06-22 at 04:41 PM.
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Old 11-04-22, 03:04 PM
  #423  
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^ Add your concern to the list of things why I seldom use MUPs.
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Old 11-04-22, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by greatbasin
Like share bikes, electric scooters, the Seqway, and hoverboards. Fads. There was a big wave of them for a while and then they faded to a trickle. Skateboarding, on the other hand, has stuck around because it is essential to the "skater" identity and social status. e-skateboards are excluded.

As for cheap transportation in a crowded urban environment, the electric scooter floated to the top, well-above e-bikes because it does not require the rider to straddle a saddle, have their clothes touch the machine, stick part of the machine in their crotch, and pump their legs. It also fits on buses, trains, light rail, in elevators, cars, and in cubicles with less hassle than a e-bike. Bikes haul stuff better, but once a typical consumer has to haul more than their phone and a small handbag, they're going to prefer their car.
eBikes are selling overwhelmingly for recreation and not transportation. Except a few places where share schemes are viable and e-scooters dominate, most American consumers have pretty well ruled out any kind of bicycling for transportation unless they are a 'cyclist' as part of their identity and social status, in which case e-bikes are down the list of preferred rides. Just eliminating the need to peddle won't transform bicycles into practical transportation within American infrastructure.
Again, I predict e-bike sales in North America will plummet within 5 years and retailers (LBS) will feel the hurt. Admittedly, outside the US, things could be dramatically different. China, India, even Europe are very different markets and I don't know enough to predict anything. Obviously, for manufacturers, the larger markets outside the US could easily make US trends irrelevant.
We're all here coming from 'opinion', since I doubt that we've really drilled deep into whatever statistics is currently available - valid or not.
And the e-bike thing is definitely variable by market - even within countries. SO comparing USA to Netherlands, or UK, or Germany or China (and so on) is not going to provide any valuable comparisons.
I too don;t believe that within the current conditions within the US, e-bikes will make a substantial difference in 'transportation' in the US. Too many roadblocks to allow a large migration to e-bike transport.
Let me note a few... Short enough commuting distances/times to make e-biking viable. Proper security, or even a space/facility at the work destination for e-bike storage. Safe commuting routes. Weather conditions which would allow some reasonable percentage for commuting use. Much more... But the 800 lb. Gorilla : Americans are likely not in a mind set to accept the limitations of e-bike/bike use, as opposed to the convenience of a car/vehicle. Can't pry people out of their cars. Motor Scooters have been an economical option for a few decades now, here in the US. And cost is quite comparable to e-bikes. Yet moto scooters are as small a segment of commuters and prolly equal to full motorcycles - both being a tiny segment of commuters.
Recreation for e-bikers, will also be limited by where to do it. Unlike most normal bikes, e-bikes are substantially heavier. Moving them to some cycling destination is more complicated by size and weight.
There will be many who can't comfortably load an e-bike onto a suitable rack (forget roof-top or trunk racks..). So how do you move even just 2 e-bikes for a riding couple?
Most 'recreational' use will be from the home base, to some destination local. E-bikes will be sold, quite a few of which will rarely see consistent road time.
Out here we have 'ride share' e-bikes available - their use seems to be mostly by tourists, visiting the area and wanting to tour through town and areas close by.
There is a strong, consistent base of commuters in our area, but number wise, that group is tiny compared to the mass who now make rush hour crawling vehicle congestion a daily thing in our area.
Something which wasn;t even on the radar 15 yrs ago.
I don;t think there will be a collapse in e-bike sales; but unless infrastructure advances are made, especially for destination 'parking' and security; there'll be a steady market, but not a boom as might be seen in other places around the world.
Ride On
Yuri
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Old 11-04-22, 08:14 PM
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Simply lazy.....
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