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Invasion of the E-bikes!

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Invasion of the E-bikes!

Old 10-07-19, 02:38 PM
  #26  
Cypress
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
You said like 2-3% grade? 4 to 5 minutes? That's still TT bike territory right there. Certainly at 2% you'd be over 20mph.

My equivalent is sending somebody an "uh-oh" notification when they got it as some part of a "team practice" ride. Having a solo guy bag your KOM.
Dead on. One of the climbs is a 5-minute effort up a ramping 2.8% at an avg of 21.3 mph.

Also, definitely gotta love clapping a segment that had a 6-way tie by the same 6 dudes on the same day
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Old 10-07-19, 03:24 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Clipped_in View Post
I'll just put this right here for your amusement... I love it that the new world champion was in on this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDa1Ns9hvho
Appropriately... it has a kickstand.
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Old 10-07-19, 04:05 PM
  #28  
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I've no problems with ebikes. Don't care about KOMs on Strava. If someone brought one out to a group ride I'd expect him to do all the pulling.😁 What I dislike is that on my commute, and this happened twice today, one on each trip, these guys are on a MUP, going in excess of 20mph where there are pedestrians and slower cyclists (me). One of these numb nuts passed me this morning very stealthily in the dark with no lights, no warning, probably going 25 mph.

These things should be on the road with the speeds they are capable of. But that's another thread. I know.😒
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Old 10-07-19, 04:56 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
What kind of charity ride was this? Century? Do e-bikes have the range to complete a hilly century with a large rider without a trailer full of batteries?
Asking for a friend.
Two friends of mine rode with me on a 50 miler (3000' climbing) last year. They both rode a 2018? Trek Verve with the Bosch Motor that has a regular-size chainring, not the motor with the 20T ring and 2.5 reduction gear. They rode in 'eco' mode and put in a fair amount of effort - but it was still easier for them than an 'analog' bike - especially hills. Their 400ah batteries each had about 50% life remaining at the end.

I would not rely on an ebike with one battery (even if its 500ah) to cover a hilly 100 mile ride. An ebike with a standard-size chainring and a rear cassette/RD can be pedaled normally if the battery dies - but you are pushing a 45 to 55# bike with your own leg power. Or, you can bring a second battery if you've got the $800+ to buy it.
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Old 10-07-19, 05:09 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Clipped_in View Post
I'll just put this right here for your amusement... I love it that the new world champion was in on this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDa1Ns9hvho
That video was in the last E bike thread. You're late to the party and get the sloppy seconds.
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Old 10-07-19, 05:12 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by FlashBazbo View Post
One of the surprises was the number of e-bikes participating. Again, none of us had ever seen one in the wild, so it was a bit of a curiosity.
We have one older gent who rides an ebike on our 'casual' Sunday morning ride. He's a very nice man and I think the social/physical aspect of the Sunday ride helps keep him going.

He seems to be aware of the 'pacing' issue - he generally hangs back behind the group by about 100 feet. If he starts getting close to us he'll back off. If there is a slow rider(s) he will pass that person to stay with the main group. He also takes the brunt of traffic approaching from behind with his bright blinky and a high-mount flag.

He's got a state-of-the art recumbent trike and I'm sure he could leave us in his rear view mirrors if he wanted to.
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Old 10-07-19, 05:15 PM
  #32  
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I'm a firm believer in N+1. I probably have 15 bikes in my garage. A week ago I had a bad bout of atrial fibrillation and am waiting to see my cardiologist after my hospital visit. I REally don't want to get an e-bike in my future, but if it's ok with Jens, I don't feel so bad.
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Old 10-07-19, 05:17 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Rides4Beer View Post
Had an e-bike with us in the front pack at a recent charity ride. Dude was in his 60s and partially disabled, the e-bike allowed him to still get out and ride and hang with a pretty fast group. I was still able to drop him, but overall he did really well. I loved that it allowed him to still enjoy cycling and stay active.
Presumably he would have had less fun under his own power and riding with the 'not pretty fast group'?
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Old 10-07-19, 05:33 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by jlaw View Post
Two friends of mine rode with me on a 50 miler (3000' climbing) last year. They both rode a 2018? Trek Verve with the Bosch Motor that has a regular-size chainring, not the motor with the 20T ring and 2.5 reduction gear. They rode in 'eco' mode and put in a fair amount of effort - but it was still easier for them than an 'analog' bike - especially hills. Their 400ah batteries each had about 50% life remaining at the end.

I would not rely on an ebike with one battery (even if its 500ah) to cover a hilly 100 mile ride. An ebike with a standard-size chainring and a rear cassette/RD can be pedaled normally if the battery dies - but you are pushing a 45 to 55# bike with your own leg power. Or, you can bring a second battery if you've got the $800+ to buy it.
If I ever take the plunge I would want a drop bar style road bike. I have a friend who has an e-bike that looks like a cruiser and he carries 3 batteries. On a 60 mile hilly ride he was well into his second battery late in the ride. His set-up weighs around 65 pounds and he is around 215.
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Old 10-07-19, 07:55 PM
  #35  
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No problem with e-bikes, as long as they don't call them bicycles.
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Old 10-07-19, 11:01 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
What kind of charity ride was this? Century? Do e-bikes have the range to complete a hilly century with a large rider without a trailer full of batteries?
Asking for a friend.
Definitely not.

Source: I know several hikers who would love to replace their car with an ebike, but can't get one that will take them 50 miles to the trail and then back home.

Best range I've seen is about 80 miles, and expensive. You're talking about a large rider on top of it.
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Old 10-07-19, 11:06 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Reynolds View Post
No problem with e-bikes, as long as they don't call them bicycles.
People get really upset if you call them motor vehicles. That's exactly what they are, wheeled vehicles powered by a motor.
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Old 10-08-19, 01:33 AM
  #38  
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When I bought my new comfort bike last year I considered buying an E-bike. Then I asked myself why?

One of the primary reasons I buy a bicycle is to increase my outdoor activity level. And since I have the time, With the proper gear (11 of my 21 are properly spaced) I can climb pretty much any hill, or fight strong wind with just moderate effort.

If I used it to comute 10 miles each way regularly I might have considered one.

Last edited by xroadcharlie; 10-08-19 at 06:31 AM.
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Old 10-08-19, 03:07 AM
  #39  
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My wife rides an ebike and has for years. Hers is a pretty low tech version rear wheel drive that doesn’t go 20mph. It does allow her to ride with me when she feels well enough. She always pedals with the electric assist and has never passed me. We average about 12.5 mph over 20 miles or so. It is a blessing given her medical challenges. It is hard for her as we grew up cycling together and now occasionally she can join me. I know some abuse the bike paths whether with an ebike or not , that is the person , not the bike. I have had more issues with large groups of racers than I have with ebikes Joe. Joesvintageroadbikes.wordpress
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Old 10-08-19, 05:39 AM
  #40  
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I was riding with one the other day for the first time (as far as I know) on a group ride for over an hour before I realized it was an e-bike. It was an Orbea Gain and the only tipoff is a fat rear hub. There were only three of us in the fast group. We had to wait for him at the top of a steep (10 to 13%) hill and I couldn't figure out if he had his motor turned off to keep things "fair," or if his battery had died or if the amount of boost is limited. It's was kind of weird and awkward, a bit like pretending there isn't an elephant in the room, but just a small elephant. When he said something about how tough that last hill was I thought of saying "Why didn't you just turn up the boost?" but decided not to.

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Old 10-08-19, 06:26 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by FlashBazbo View Post
Funny experience this weekend. In our area, I'm not sure any of us had ever seen an e-bike. But this weekend, a bunch of us traveled to a very nice organized ride through the Sequatchie Valley of Tennessee. GREAT place to ride.

One of the surprises was the number of e-bikes participating. Again, none of us had ever seen one in the wild, so it was a bit of a curiosity. No big deal. Not offended in any way. Just different. Until . . . one of our crew was having a rough day. We came up on one of the steeper climbs and he was having a hard time hanging with the group. A couple of us accelerated around a couple other bikes on the climb but, before the guy having a rough day could get around them, they accelerated away from him. It seemed effortless . . . and it blew his mind. As if he weren't having a hard enough time, this just buried him. He's not accustomed to being dropped on climbs. (He didn't realize they were on e-bikes.)

Eventually, about 10 miles later, he passed the e-bikes on a flat portion and realized they were e-bikes. He's no luddite, but after being dropped by them (thinking they were regular bikes), let's just say he didn't express appreciation for the type.

Again -- I'm not offended by people using e-bikes. But I was pretty surprised so many of them showed up for an organized metric+ bike ride. None of those riding them were geezers. In fact, most appeared to be in their 20's or early 30's. It definitely challenged my presuppositions about who uses e-bikes and how they use them.
Laziness at its best, especially at that age!

Funny story : I got passed by an elderly cyclist (70+ years) this summer during a steep hill climb, and to be honest, I didn't know it was an E-BIKE at first so my ego took a hit because I wasn't able to catch the damn guy even at full pace. It's only when I arrived on top of the mountain that I realized his bike had an electric motor attached to the crank. He looked at me (exhausted from trying to follow him) and we laughed.
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Old 10-08-19, 06:30 AM
  #42  
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They make a great intermediary step, during the transition from bicycle ... to electric wheelchair.
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Old 10-08-19, 06:32 AM
  #43  
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Meh, as for groups I say it's up to the group to say yes or no. It's wonderful folks can hang with their spouse or friend for companionship.

I think it's cool folks can stay active in a C or B group ride as they age or fight off an injury or try to manage a disability.

But there's zero place for one of these things on an A-group ride or above unless they're literally a replacement for a team car or SAG wagon.

Once you're above the B-group level, an e-bike would be all about the ego of being in the faster group.

If someone gets lazy and puts on 20 pounds over winter and starts getting dropped by the A-group are they supposed to run out and buy an e-bike because they can't hang with their buds on the group ride any longer?

No. Drop back to the B's. Have a coffee/beer after the ride with the entire group.

With the mainstream bike industry, who's going to stare the gift horse in the mouth? You've got a public demanding hidden motors on road bikes that look like a normal road bike and have crazy power and speed enhancements. Who would be dumb enough to NOT make and sell them at a handsome profit?

But, to me, there's something about the stealth road race e-bike that rubs me the wrong way. There's a fundamental difference between the e-bikes that make them super util and useful to a commuter or person with a disability..........and one designed to make you pretend you're a bike racer. You can mountain climb on a French tour with a basic touring drop bar e-bike. What's the hidden look doing other than trying to fool people. Aka.........you feel shame about riding the normal kind of e-bike.

What would happen if somebody perfected the bio-mechanical exo skeletons already in use in factories to help workers lift loads? Instead you have a person show up to the local 5k or 1/2 marathon with some souped up exo-skeleton legs that let's them suddenly run a 6-minute mile. Can you imagine the running community looking at that? Oscar Pistorius was a ****** murderer, but his bio legs were still self powered. He wasn't using external power.
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Old 10-08-19, 08:27 AM
  #44  
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Oddly, I didn't get the impression that ANYONE using an e-bike on Saturday's ride was trying to be a pretender or trying to put anything over on anyone. They were just riding an e-bike. Not superior. Not inferior. Just different.

And I could be wrong . . . but I don't think any of them felt awkward about it. It seemed to be kind of fashionable for the 20- and 30-somethings.

And that might be a scarier thought for the anti-e-bike crowd than any other. E-bikes could become popular on their own. That's how it is in Europe and that's how it seemed on Saturday. People who would never dream of riding a "real" bicycle may find e-bikes attractive. NOT an attractive alternative -- rather, attractive on their own merits. A different product for a different market. And e-bikes could very well end up selling in vastly greater quantities than actual bikes do.

Far fetched? Google bicycle / e-bike sales figures in European countries for 2017, 2018, 2019. (Hint: "Real" bikes aren't winning.)
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Old 10-08-19, 08:34 AM
  #45  
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E-Bike or bike, who cares? As long as you ride one!

The more cyclists there are, the more respect we'll get from other users of the road (such as car drivers...). They (we) tend to become a lot more respectful towards cyclists once they (we) jump on a bike and start riding it next to cars.

Love for our sport!
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Old 10-08-19, 08:53 AM
  #46  
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Personally I think they COULD serve a noble purpose... to get people on bikes (who might otherwise be discouraged due to hills, distance, etc.) I originally saw them as "power-assisted bicycles". But the reality is that their use has become somewhat distorted... to me I see them more as "motor vehicles with pedals"... case in point: I see LOTS of these being ridden in NYC; only a handful actually being pedalled...
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Old 10-08-19, 09:01 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by montclairbobbyb View Post
Personally I think they COULD serve a noble purpose... to get people on bikes (who might otherwise be discouraged due to hills, distance, etc.) I originally saw them as "power-assisted bicycles". But the reality is that their use has become somewhat distorted... to me I see them more as "motor vehicles with pedals"... case in point: I see LOTS of these being ridden in NYC; only a handful actually being pedalled...
I have no idea what it is like in "The City". Here in Southern California , I rarely see people using them without pedaling. Some use the power plus the pedaling to go very fast , they are usually going to work and back versus recreation.
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Old 10-08-19, 09:09 AM
  #48  
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Lots of people (other bike riders) think when I pass them on my velo that I am running a motor in it. Then they catch me on a hill.

To be fair, probably 75% of the velos out there have motors, and I may get a second with a motor (when I get a bigger garage), mostly for the power assist when there's snow on the ground.

There are quite a few around here that commute to work on their e-bike. I don't blame them, it's hilly, and it gets cold pretty early in the year. More power (pun intended) to them. I'll still pass them on the flats and going downhill, though.
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Old 10-08-19, 09:36 AM
  #49  
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I always fancied myself being athletic even as I advanced into my 50's.

A motor of any kind just distorts this idea. I would rather go on easier rides as I age, in keeping with my ability, than settle for a motor. I rarely see e-bikes on the hilly routes I choose.
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Old 10-08-19, 10:19 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by FlashBazbo View Post
Oddly, I didn't get the impression that ANYONE using an e-bike on Saturday's ride was trying to be a pretender or trying to put anything over on anyone. They were just riding an e-bike. Not superior. Not inferior. Just different.

And I could be wrong . . . but I don't think any of them felt awkward about it. It seemed to be kind of fashionable for the 20- and 30-somethings.

And that might be a scarier thought for the anti-e-bike crowd than any other. E-bikes could become popular on their own. That's how it is in Europe and that's how it seemed on Saturday. People who would never dream of riding a "real" bicycle may find e-bikes attractive. NOT an attractive alternative -- rather, attractive on their own merits. A different product for a different market. And e-bikes could very well end up selling in vastly greater quantities than actual bikes do.

Far fetched? Google bicycle / e-bike sales figures in European countries for 2017, 2018, 2019. (Hint: "Real" bikes aren't winning.)
This is exactly how it's going to be. And there's nothing wrong with that.

Here in Seattle, a parking space is hard to come by, and it can take an hour to drive a mile at rush hour. Bikes are a very attractive alternative. But the national pass time is sitting down looking at a screen. Most Americans don't have great fitness, and if we're honest about it, are turned off at the idea of "acoustic" bikes and lycra.

Speed is fun, whether it's "earned" or not. People can jump on a motorized bike, get free speed, and plaster a smile across their face. Most people don't see it as "cheating" any more than they see the engine in their car as cheating.

And it's getting people outdoors, forcing moderate exercise on them, and getting some folks out of cars some of the time. Overall, a net positive.
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