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Electric touring bike ?!

Old 10-15-22, 06:02 PM
  #1  
francoisnewtown
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Electric touring bike ?!

Hello to all,

I am a Quebecer (Canada) who has been traveling by bike while camping for 40 years. I made my 35th trip this fall in Gaspésie. I only travel in the fall or spring, just before or after the snow here. I am completely self-sufficient on my bike (4-season tent, winter sleeping bag, pots, burner, etc.).

When I was younger, I was a "bicycle tourer", camping was secondary. Now, at 53 years old, I do camping, by bike. Important difference! I like to camp in comfort. Also, on my non-pedaling days, I like to hike and explore. For that, I often have to camp several nights in the same place to have time to rest and then discover the places.

All this to say that, with time and age, I don't have any more pleasure to force myself in the hills of the mountainous roads. I carry about 100 pounds of gear and I don't want to reduce that weight. I'm looking to buy a bike that will have a motor to help me on the hills. Just thinking about it and I'm looking forward to start traveling again to mountainous areas where I don't go anymore!

But traveling by electric bike is a big change in logistics, just in terms of having to recharge the batteries every day.

As far as I'm concerned, since the bike I want to buy is worth 15 000$, with the accessories (Reise & Mûller, Multicharger : https://www.r-m.de/en-us/bikes/multicharger/), I decided to start by adding a motor to my custom Surly Disctrucker, less heavy on the wallet !

I put a picture of my bike and one of the potential competitor to replace it one day.

Do you travel or are you about to travel with an electric bike? If so, what bikes do you have in mind?

François Villeneuve
Rimouski, Québec, Canada
Attached Files
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My Surly.pdf (1.28 MB, 12 views)
File Type: pdf
R&M Multicharger.pdf (66.1 KB, 8 views)
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Old 10-15-22, 06:31 PM
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This could get REAL interesting. 😁 I've been giving this idea some thought too, but not really seriously, yet.

The biggest issue is charging the batteries, like you say. I think someone's going to come up with a way to charge them while riding, kind of like what they do with car batteries, only improved. 👍
Probably not overnight, but things are headed that way. I hope. 😉

Funny you should mention winter camping, I'm more geared up this year, than I've ever been. But I'm in California, where the winters are supposed to be pretty mild, lol. I might have to go back North a ways, just to use my gear. 😁😉
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Old 10-16-22, 07:37 AM
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I built a fat bike for this purpose. I started with a titanium frame and built up from there. I has a BBSHD drive with 11 speed 11X46 tooth gearing. The battery system consists of four batteries totalling 2,540 watt hours @ 52 volts. I run the batteries in parallel and charge them with a 15 amp charger. My charge rate is about 1 mile per minute (800 watts output). I do have a QuietKat trailer that can haul 100LB. My range is anywhere from 60 miles in deep snow to 275 miles at a leisurely pace. I plan on doing the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route with this bike.
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Old 10-16-22, 08:35 AM
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Very interesting!

I'm also looking into a trailer of the same type.

I see you have attached 2 batteries on each side of the fork. Ingenious.

I'm going to have a Tongsheng TSDZ2 motor installed on my Surly Disctrucker soon. I have no fun on the mountain roads with my 100 pounds of gear on the 2 racks of my bike. With this engine addition, I want to start traveling again to places I don't dare go anymore!

The idea of a fat-bike rather than a mountain bike with front and rear suspension is interesting, as it's such a simpler bike. Isn't it a bit dragging on paved roads?

How do you transport your bike? Can you put it on the plane or train in the US? And you must have a very strong car bike rack!
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Old 10-16-22, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by francoisnewtown View Post
Very interesting!

I'm also looking into a trailer of the same type.

I see you have attached 2 batteries on each side of the fork. Ingenious.

The idea of a fat-bike rather than a mountain bike with front and rear suspension is interesting, as it's such a simpler bike. Isn't it a bit dragging on paved roads?

How do you transport your bike? Can you put it on the plane or train in the US? And you must have a very strong car bike rack!
You can get fat bike tires all the way from super low rolling resistance to that of a bulldozer. This bike is enormous with tires over 30" tall. With the trailer the rig is almost 12' long and weighs over 400 pounds fully loaded. Big and very comfortable to ride, has enough battery and fast charging that I don't really sweat the range much unless I am really remote with very long stretches with no power plugs.
Can't fly easily with an e bike and trains don't like fat bikes unless boxed. U haul if you are transporting for a long ride. I have a strong rack, but I can remove all the batteries and the bike is down to 50 lbs.
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Old 10-16-22, 10:53 AM
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I own a Supercharger2 Rohloff and it is a fantastic bike for touring and hauling stuff. The Multicharger has more space but I found I don't need extra space and if I do I can haul a trailer if need be.

It has really changed my life and it well worth it. Dual batteries, Rohloff, Belt Drive, Nyon so I can navigate...I just wish I had more time for touring, LOL!
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Old 10-16-22, 12:50 PM
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Adventure Cycling seems pretty hep on e-bike touring, but so far they have only travelogged e-bike day rides or inn-to-inn tours (NTTAWWT) and haven't revealed any secrets on e-bike camp-tours.

Just for fun, I mapped out a near-month-long tour here in Parts Unknown, riding from State Park to State Park and camping in sites that have an electric outlet (those costs a bit more than sites without electricity).

The biggest issue is charging the batteries, like you say. I think someone's going to come up with a way to charge them while riding, kind of like what they do with car batteries, only improved.
Charging while riding. How exactly would that work?

Fun fact: the US Patent Office will not accept applications for perpetual motion machines.

Last edited by tcs; 10-16-22 at 02:34 PM.
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Old 10-16-22, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
...
Charging while riding. How exactly would that work?

Fun fact: the US Patent Office will not accept applications for perpetual motion machines.
So, dynohub won't charge the batteries? Bummer.
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Old 10-16-22, 08:04 PM
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Ceci n'est pas une pipe!
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Old 10-21-22, 11:51 AM
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I am 70 years old. I have been touring since my teens.
I discovered electric bikes 5 years ago. The same body issues that took me to electric bikes has also taken me to sleeping in cheap motels over tents. Charging the batteries is no problem in motels.
I do carry an extra battery just in case.
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Old 10-21-22, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post



Charging while riding. How exactly would that work?

Fun fact: the US Patent Office will not accept applications for perpetual motion machines.
Sorry to be so slow replying, I just got back from the future. 😁😉

It all has to do with a certain device, called a flux capacitor. And convincing the Post Office to take over, when the Patent Office comes up short. Don't worry, stamps will still cost the same. 😋😁😉
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Old 10-23-22, 10:18 AM
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I have a novel idea. Get a small, ie 49cc moped or vespa type gas engine bike and avoid the hassle of having to search for a place to charge up at night. Carry an extra quart of fuel on the bike and there is really no worries about being stranded and it will carry all your gear with ease. When you reach your destination for the day, go hike around for 4 or 5 miles to get some exercise. You accomplish the same goal with a gasoline powered bike as you do a battery powered bike, plus I believe the gas powered machine opens up more travel options.
I have ridden x-country on a motorcycle twice and it is exactly what I did. Very pleasurable way to see the country and experience some excellent hikes and get to know cities first hand, er...first foot.
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Old 10-27-22, 07:54 AM
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I have a CrossCurrent-X that I use for commuting. They say 80+ mile range, and I think 100 is easily doable in #1 pedal assist. E-bike touring would cut down on some camping options, but I would consider it. It might be better to do in a small group to offset the costs of RV campsites w/power.

Adventure Cycling only allows class-1 E-bikes on some of their tours. Seems to me that organized e-bike tours is a huge market. I will be interested to see if they start offering organized e-bike tours.
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Old 10-27-22, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by timdow View Post
I will be interested to see if they start offering organized e-bike tours.
As long as they learn to use a bell, horn, or voice when passing, I don't mind. I just hate it when they zip past me, and I never heard them coming. 🙄🤬
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Old 10-27-22, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by timdow View Post

Adventure Cycling only allows class-1 E-bikes on some of their tours. Seems to me that organized e-bike tours is a huge market. I will be interested to see if they start offering organized e-bike tours.
Trek Travel and Backroads offer ebike tours.
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Old 10-28-22, 02:36 PM
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Three years ago, I met a group on the Erie Canal Towpath with a guy on an ebike. They had a sag wagon with a little generator if they weren't staying where there was power. The towpath has camping at locks but those have no services.
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Old 10-29-22, 02:57 AM
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Originally Posted by stardognine View Post
Sorry to be so slow replying, I just got back from the future. 😁😉

It all has to do with a certain device, called a flux capacitor. And convincing the Post Office to take over, when the Patent Office comes up short. Don't worry, stamps will still cost the same. 😋😁😉
Sorry I am a week late in replying, not actively following this thread. Is that one of these?

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Old 10-29-22, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
Sorry I am a week late in replying, not actively following this thread. Is that one of these?

Close, but yours is missing the pressure switch and pressure gauge, plus it's the wrong color. That's almost certainly why you missed today by a whole week.

Don't worry, these things take practice. No one gets it right the first time. 😁😉
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Old 10-29-22, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
I have a novel idea. Get a small, ie 49cc moped or vespa type gas engine
Even better idea: ride a motorbike (sarcasm)
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Old 10-31-22, 09:50 AM
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Stay in hotels for a couple of days per stop and charge the batteries while site seeing?

I think e-bikes can be wonderful for touring as long as you account for charging
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Old 10-31-22, 12:11 PM
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I think it is pretty simple. If You decide to tour with an e-bike then you just need to adjust your planning. Who knows maybe you already plan the way for ebikes but in my case...I like to fly by the seat of my pants so ... in my case ... if I wanted to tour with an e-bike I would

1 simply reserve my accommodations before the trip,
2 I would not push distance to compensate for bad weather
3 I would plan vacations in countries that already serve people on ebikes (Denmark etc...)
4 and I would probably carry an extra battery

Years ago - it must be 8 years right now, when ebikes were starting their perfection we purchased 2 great specimens, Specialized Turbo and Stromer ST1 and we used them extensively and I also used them to commute to work 30 miles round trip every day. I had extra battery at work fully charged, ready for lunch break or any need to jet out and back while the battery I arrived on was on a charger. All in all what made it more practical for me was owning 2 batteries and 2 chargers. The novelty slowly wore off and after a while it became somewhat annoying to be thinking about charging so after about 3 years of ownership we sold both e-bikes and moved on while just about everybody did the opposite and started using ebikes.

I went to Acadia National Park 2 weeks ago to redline their carriage trails and that day I was outnumbered by ebikes 10 to 1. No problems for me. I like it all. Every person on a bike is one less person in a car.

-------------------

To be devils advocate... alternatively if I did not want to use an e-bike but was in a physical situation of thinking I needed one I would simply cut my expected mileage by 2/3rds and keep using regular bike and just not fret that I tour 20 miles per day versus 60.
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Old 10-31-22, 12:30 PM
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oh you also asked if we traveled by ebike what ebike would we use. As of right now I believe if I wanted to tour with an electrified bicycle I would do so with a Larry&Harry Bullitt and a dufflebag


Cheers

something like this
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Old 11-01-22, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by PedalingWalrus View Post
oh you also asked if we traveled by ebike what ebike would we use. As of right now I believe if I wanted to tour with an electrified bicycle I would do so with a Larry&Harry Bullitt and a dufflebag


Cheers

something like this
Interesting Pedalingwalrus, you bring good points.

In addition to camping, it is always possible to ask a business or people for permission to use their power outlet for the night, during which you camp not far from there.

There are also Warmshowers which can allow this.

In short, as much as you often have to be imaginative to find a "wild" place to pitch your tent, you will have to be so to find a power outlet!

But let's say that I intend to keep my normal bike (Surly Disctrucker) for my wilder trips, where there won't be too many hills!
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Old 11-01-22, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by francoisnewtown View Post
Interesting Pedalingwalrus, you bring good points.

In addition to camping, it is always possible to ask a business or people for permission to use their power outlet for the night, during which you camp not far from there.

There are also Warmshowers which can allow this.

In short, as much as you often have to be imaginative to find a "wild" place to pitch your tent, you will have to be so to find a power outlet!

But let's say that I intend to keep my normal bike (Surly Disctrucker) for my wilder trips, where there won't be too many hills!
I feel like if you are nice and kind people are generally going to be that in return. I tell people when riding an electric bike further distances to stop off and have a nice comfortable lunch and ask them to charge while you are eating an hour of charging can get you a decent amount of life and I have encountered some really nice people while touring most of whom would be happy to help let you charge or do other nice things. People who aren't cyclists are often amazed by your riding. I rode up to a friends place which is 30 miles and everyone was stunned by it and I was just like it was a pretty short trip.
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