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Mid-Drive Electric Bike (E-Bike) For Touring?

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Mid-Drive Electric Bike (E-Bike) For Touring?

Old 10-28-18, 08:08 AM
  #51  
antokelly
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
There was a poster named BBassett who is now banned that toured on one. You can search his posts/threads for ideas.
Here's one about his bike: Tout Terrain Panamericana?
why was he banned
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Old 10-28-18, 10:08 AM
  #52  
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Short answer: He was crazy.

Long answer: He had a very aggressive and insulting posting style. I think he knew his e motor stuff and would have probably done well enough in that sub forum but he argued a lot here and then carried those arguments all over the board.
His e bike was interesting but his perspective on gear because of it was crackers. In one thread he boasted of taking 4 sleeping systems just because he could. That was ok I guess but he couldn't seem to understand that that option wasn't really available to people who manually pedaled so it would lead to a lot of disputes.

Plus.. he really hated helicopters.
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Old 10-28-18, 01:04 PM
  #53  
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Trek 520 and Trek E-bike Crossrip

One of my bikes is Trek 520, another is Trek E-bike Crossrip. When I'm doing a self supported ride, I pull a "Bob" with my 520. I'm 59, 240 pounds.​​... the trailer halls my camping gear without overloading my bike. I haven't done a credit card tour, but if I do, I will consider the e-bike. Mainly, I use the crossrip to commute. Twenty-eight miles and over two thousand feet of climbing. Also, the e-bike allows me to join group rides, fifty miles, 5000 feet of climbing, where the majority of riders are three or four decades younger. No one is offended, otherwise they wouldn't invite me. (There is a few e-bikes in the group) It isn't a competition, just people that like doing the same thing, enjoying it together.

Bike's have been evolving from the very beginning. Technology has only made them better over time, allowing more people to ride, helps all riders. I remember when there wasn't dedicated bike trails or laws to protect bikers. I've seen pictures of people on bikes before they were peddle driven.... maybe the purist should go back to that!!!
​​​​
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Old 10-28-18, 03:42 PM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by AlanK View Post
I hope I'm not staring a duplicate thread. I searched and couldn't find a thread in the touring section that addresses touring on e-bikes.

It seems like touring on a mid-drive bike would be viable, at least in relatively developed areas. Mid-drive bikes aren't all that much heavier than comparable conventional bikes (about 15 pounds), and obviously can traverse hilly terrain much more quickly. While any e-bike is more complex and therefore have more potential failure and maintenance issues, mid-drive bikes aren't overly complex and operate similarly to a standard bike.

It seems like the major limitation is range. Mid-drive bikes' typical range is typically about 50-70 miles, though this can be extended by selectively using battery power. It's also important to note since they aren't onerously heavy mid-drive bikes can still be peddled reasonably without battery power; though it requires more effort it's certainly viable occasionally.

There don't seem to be all that many mid-drive suitable for touring, but there are a few. Here are a couple possibilities. Let's have a productive discussion...
https://www.raleighusa.com/tamland-ie

https://www.raleighusa.com/redux-ie-step-over
Check out Giant Road-E. A cyclist used this on his 530 mile tour along the Pacific coast,after doing the same trip several times unassisted. He liked it !
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Old 10-28-18, 06:03 PM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by 1-track-mind View Post
Check out Giant Road-E. A cyclist used this on his 530 mile tour along the Pacific coast,after doing the same trip several times unassisted. He liked it !
Yamaha makes a great motor for E-MTB but their road stuff just isn't as good. We had a few Giants for a while but they didn't sell well. Not great support and the motor itself was just not great. Not sure why they (Yamaha) couldn't translate to road. It also could be part Giant as well.
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Old 10-28-18, 06:14 PM
  #56  
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There's a movement afoot in America to classify legal ebikes (and a few states in the United States have done so) thusly:
  • Class 1: eBikes that are pedal-assist only, with no throttle, and have a maximum assisted speed of 20 mph.
  • Class 2: eBikes that also have a maximum speed of 20 mph, but are throttle-assisted.
  • Class 3: eBikes that are pedal-assist only, with no throttle, and a maximum assisted speed of 28 mph.
A few posters have intimated that class 1 ebikes make up the preponderance of the market. Anyone have any actual sales figures?

Last edited by tcs; 10-29-18 at 06:26 AM.
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Old 10-28-18, 06:52 PM
  #57  
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All I can say is E-Bikes have made me a more fit and skilled cyclist.

I go out of my way to ride in the hills/canyons/mtns just to avoid E-Bike on the local MUPS!
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Old 10-28-18, 10:21 PM
  #58  
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Went to PAS ebike per cardiologist's recommendations

I do about 3000 miles a year, with a couple of multi-week tours in there. I never really felt like I had any problems climbing hills with a fully loaded bike (about 100 to 120 pounds). However, about every couple of years I have to get stents - I am now up to 7. Doing a lot of research for why, I came across a book on training for endurance, and the recommendations is not to exceed 180 minus your age. I do not know about others, but with wind or hills, my heart rate shoots up to the 140's, and at 67, I need to be keeping it at 113 bpm. My trip averages are always below 115 bpm, even when I did a 143 mile leg once. So when asking by cardiologist about it, he said that he did a bike trip in Europe and there's pedal assist all over the place. What that means is that I am still do most of the work, just using enough power to keep the heart rate down. Finished a 583 mile trip in late September in the Minnesota Iron range, with lots of steep grades, and a couple days of strong winds (+25mph). Longest days were around 80 miles, with most targeted for 60 miles. Never ran out of power on any day, since I would fully charge the battery each night, so you can tour with an e-bike, if you use pedal assist. I wanted to keep my "retirement" bike - Comotion Americana with Rholoff and decouplers. Also, I was concerned about durability and maintenance on a tour, which is why I popped for the Rholoff and Gates belt drive there is basic nothing to worry about on a trip; no chain to lube, or wear out. A Gates belt gives you about 10,000 miles and the Rholoff hub needs an oil change once a year. After a lot of searching, and saw a lot of comments about gears wearing out, I went with a 1000 watt direct drive front hub (no gears) from e-Bikes Canada. It does weigh about 15 pounds, but I have been touring with front panniers, so I am used to that. Added a 11.8 amp hour 52 volt battery. I figured I need the wattage for the touring load, now at 120 lb. Turns out I never used more than 300 watts on 8 to 10 per cent grades. So, if you want to take the wind and hills out of the picture, and still travel, you can do it with an pedal assist e-Bike. Also, if I want to go local with out the motor, I just swap out the front wheels, and I am back to the original setup.
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Old 10-28-18, 10:26 PM
  #59  
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One of the interesting things about ebikes for touring (in the USA) is the patchwork of laws governing their use. You can be etouring along perfectly legally, say, in Pennsylvania, cross the state line into New York and be breaking the law operating an illegal vehicle. Riding Georgia's Silver Comet Trail - great, but understand you'll violate Alabama law if you continue on the Chief Ladiga Trail. !

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_bicycle_laws

Conversely, I'm told that any country that is signature to the 1968 International Convention on Road Traffic has to accept (pedal) bicycles as legal vehicles (although local laws & ordinances can specify where they can and can't be ridden).

Last edited by tcs; 10-29-18 at 06:48 AM.
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Old 10-29-18, 09:30 AM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
One of the interesting things about ebikes for touring (in the USA) is the patchwork of laws governing their use. You can be etouring along perfectly legally, say, in Pennsylvania, cross the state line into New York and be breaking the law operating an illegal vehicle. Riding Georgia's Silver Comet Trail - great, but understand you'll violate Alabama law if you continue on the Chief Ladiga Trail. !
Hmm, that actually is an interesting consideration I don't think has been discussed here, and probably wouldn't come up in the ebike forum (how many there are ever riding that bike out of their imminent jurisdiction). It could make planning a tour more involved than a simple pedal bike, if you needed to avoid certain areas because of local prohibitions.
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Old 10-29-18, 11:28 AM
  #61  
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Im not saying you Should break the law, but I bet if you were traveling loaded at a reasonable speed, youd probably be fine anywhere.
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Old 10-29-18, 12:03 PM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by 3speed View Post
I’m not saying you Should break the law, but I bet if you were traveling loaded at a reasonable speed, you’d probably be fine anywhere.
And I bet you're correct...unless (in the highly unlikely event) you were involved in an accident and a sharp eyed insurance company/lawyer noted you were operating a locally illegal vehicle.

The answer isn't to not tour the USA on ebikes (if that's your bag, baby) but to work for uniform national laws - or at least reciprocity among states - for those useful vehicles that aren't part of the Uniform Vehicle Code: ebikes, motorized bicycles, mopeds & etc.
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Old 10-29-18, 09:13 PM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
Who are you going to call when you run out of juice in the middle of nowhere?
Ghostbusters.
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Old 10-30-18, 08:27 AM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by AlanK View Post
Did you actually read the entire original post? Crank drive bikes can be peddled without power and only weight about 15 pounds more than conventional bikes, so you can peddle them at least occasionally without power. The extra weight would be problematic for extended periods, so yes mid-drive bikes probably aren't well-suited for extended touring in remote areas. On the other hand, in this day and age there aren't many places left where electricity is completely absent.

So unless you'll be regularly peddling for days at a time without access to electricity, mid-drive bikes seem viable.
That would be a fair amount of my time, in the woods, no electricity. Keep looking for a tree to plug into though. May be better suited for an e bike forum.
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Old 10-30-18, 08:31 AM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
I saw people all over Europe touring on ebikes. Make sure you are areas you can take care of the power issue, they are fine. As stated, remote areas they may become a liability, but if I were to tour on one, I'd have limitless amount of places I could go and never worry abotu power.



Anyone who honestly makes an argument that touring on an ebike is more akin to touring on a motorcycle or a scooter than touring on a bike needs to really sit down and examine reality. If I were to stick an electronic motor and battery on my Mazama, it is still much closer to what it was than to my BMW F650GS.
Bikes don't have motors, start there.
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Old 10-30-18, 08:54 AM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
Bikes don't have motors, start there.
and end right there as it is a dead end.

If you have to pedal it to move it forward then it is a bike.
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Old 10-30-18, 08:57 AM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
Bikes don't have motors, start there.
I don't see any motorcycles with ~250w motors that cut out at ~20mph and no throttle, either. Thinking the presence of a tiny motor makes them akin to my 450#, 650cc motorcycle with three times the luggage space of my bike (with heated handgrips that would have been awesome in Iceland) is silly.

Show me the ebike that can cruise down the highway at 60MPH all day long, and I'll agree its more akin to a motorcycle. Until then, the fact remains that the motor allows a weaker rider to do nothing more than a strong rider could. Outside of some very specific use cases, they aren't going faster or further than me or you, all while still pedaling

And no, I'm not telling the eighty-something year old guy on my last group tour he wasn't really on a bike tour because the use case of a big hill he kicked up the assist and beat me on his recumbant etrike.

Last edited by jefnvk; 10-30-18 at 09:03 AM.
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Old 10-30-18, 01:05 PM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
Outside of some very specific use cases, they aren't going faster or further than me or you, all while still pedaling.
A Swedish study reported higher average speeds for e-bikes (Dozza, Werneke & Mackenzie, 2013).

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Old 10-30-18, 01:20 PM
  #69  
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That looks about right. When I'm on ebike I find I have slightly better avg speed but I'm still below the avg speed of the studs who in our area average 17-20mph. I know that on ebike I'm definitely slower than they are on the downhills, they marginally beat me on straight aways and I'm slightly better then they are on the uphills.
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Old 10-30-18, 01:26 PM
  #70  
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I think that more or less validates my point. A 14mph average puts them a bit slower than my unladen leg only pace (as I doubt those numbers were in any sort of touring environment).

From a purely selfish standpoint, I'd rather have my regular MUP traffic pretty much mirroring my speed than doing 9mph.
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Old 10-30-18, 02:03 PM
  #71  
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After 50 years of traditional acoustic bike touring I had to go electric at age 68 (now 70) due to femoral nerve damage. My display indicates an average speed of 15.2 mph for the past two years. I'll climb a hill up to 12% at 15-20 mph. Steeper than that the speed drops off considerably. On the flats my motor tops out at 20 mph and a fast conventional rider will pull ahead. That's unloaded riding in and around my town in the White Mountains of NH.

The assist, suggested by my doctor, is the only reason I've been able to continue my lifelong hobby at a restricted local level. Not something I wanted to do as it makes extended overnight camping tours difficult if not impossible to pull off. Disability happens. When Bob Dylan went electric the fans complained. They got used to it.

@AlanK, I could still tour on my retro-fit ebike but it would require careful planning with electricity at every overnight. Motel touring is not my style or budget and many campgrounds are without power. Carrying a second battery I might have a range of 40-80 miles between charges depending upon terrain.

Bruce Gordon Rock'n'Road with assist...


Last edited by BobG; 10-30-18 at 05:15 PM.
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Old 10-30-18, 02:31 PM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by BobG View Post
The assist, suggested by my doctor, is the only reason I've been able to continue my lifelong hobby at a restricted local level. Not something I wanted to do as it makes extended overnight camping tours difficult if not impossible to pull off. Disability happens. When Bob Dylan went electric the fans complained. They got used to it.

@AlanK, I could still tour on my retro-fit ebike but it would require careful planning with electricity at every overnight. Motel touring is not my style or budget and many campgrounds are without power. Carrying a second battery I might have a range of 40-80 miles between charges depending upon terrain.
I don't have an e-bike, but I do have a dream of building an electric, Big Fat Dummy, so I can carry the dogs around town, travel the greenways during our few days of snow, and way overpack for some local overnight camping trips. The set-up I most envy and would want to emulate is @Robert C (https://www.bikeforums.net/members/robert-c-67840.html), who has solar panels that keep his bike charged enough that he seems to easily get a whole day's riding out of it. It's the perpetual motion e-bike. No outlets needed.
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Old 10-30-18, 04:08 PM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
I don't see any motorcycles with ~250w motors that cut out at ~20mph and no throttle, either. Thinking the presence of a tiny motor makes them akin to my 450#, 650cc motorcycle with three times the luggage space of my bike (with heated handgrips that would have been awesome in Iceland) is silly.

Show me the ebike that can cruise down the highway at 60MPH all day long, and I'll agree its more akin to a motorcycle. Until then, the fact remains that the motor allows a weaker rider to do nothing more than a strong rider could. Outside of some very specific use cases, they aren't going faster or further than me or you, all while still pedaling

And no, I'm not telling the eighty-something year old guy on my last group tour he wasn't really on a bike tour because the use case of a big hill he kicked up the assist and beat me on his recumbant etrike.
Not going to debate semantics with you. MA rider here. The point is that there are a variety of definitions, be it state federal or local, MUP and DOT regs as to what defines a " bike" You going look at every area you pedal in to see if its legal on the mup, forest road or wherever you a motoring? ( pedaling) Sticking to only paved roads? Great. Most of my touring tends to be off road. Getting away from it all, for me does not include a motorized vehicle. If I wanted a motor, I would buy a touring motorcycle. Yes I get they are different. But it's more of a principle thing here for some. YRMV.
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Old 10-30-18, 04:16 PM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by PedalingWalrus View Post
and end right there as it is a dead end.

If you have to pedal it to move it forward then it is a bike.
Whatever lets you sleep at night. I tend to do lots of my touring( bikepacking) off road. Local conservation, state parks, and lots of federal land define anything with a motor( wait for it) as motorized and are restricted in many places. 250 watts? Tiny 160 mm cranks and 3K watts is still a bike? Whatev.
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Old 10-30-18, 04:53 PM
  #75  
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It's not a real bike if it has pedals, a Purist wouldn't use them. Anyone pedaling shouldn't be on the road!!!
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