Bike Forums

Bike Forums (https://www.bikeforums.net/forum.php)
-   Touring (https://www.bikeforums.net/forumdisplay.php?f=47)
-   -   What can the E-assist option bring for bicycle touring. (https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=1071854)

elcruxio 07-10-16 01:20 PM

What can the E-assist option bring for bicycle touring.
 
Since the last thread on the subject spiralled into unpublishability I thought it might be a good idea to start a new one a bit stricter limits and a more useful subject beginning.

As some of you may know, I'm currently touring Middle Europe and have seen quite a bit of E-bikes on the way. It would seem that Europe is RIFE with e-assist bikes and a vast majority of bicycle tourists which we've passed use E-assist bikes. I'd even go as far as to say the future of bicycle touring lies with e-assist bikes. In all honesty I've already started planning the execution of a potential e-assist tourer.

I'll limit the discussion to EU-law e-assist bike specs which means:
- max motor power of 250 watts (I don't really agree with the power limit as for example for cargo bikes a high torque 500 or even 750 watt engine would be much more useful, but that's another discussion on a whole different board)
- gradual assist cutoff when the speed of 25km/h is reached
- pedal assist only so no movement or assist without pedaling.
Different parts of the world may have different specs, but in general when speaking of e-assist bikes we're talking about bikes which are roughly in the same realm of possibilities.
If you want to discuss bikes outside these limits, go somewhere else (this is mainly for luddites)

So, what can e-assist then do for touring? Some of the things I've noticed are

1) Tires
There are discussions of touring tires, tire weights, suppleness, width, aerodynamics etc. Most of it has to do with durability, speed and ride quality. Using an E-assist basically removes some of the factors completely, as in the weight and speed components. With e-assist the weight or width of the tire is a nonissue in terms of speed so one doesn't need to limit onesself to a narrower tire in hopes of more speed or a lighter tire in hopes of easier climbing or better acceleration (although in touring the whole acceleration thing is null anyways). The best example I've seen in this regard was an E-assist fatbike used for touring. I wouldn't usually even consider a fatbike for road touring, but the e-assist completely changes the game and actually makes the fatbike probably one of the best tourers out there, if the geometry allows for it.

2) other comfort gear
Building upon the above point, it would be quite plausible to tour on a full suspension fat tired mountain bike as it wouldn't matter nearly as much that some of the pedaling forces are being eaten by the suspension system. How one would mount racks on a full squish is an interesting dilemma, but I think someone would be able to think that up (they make them for motorcycles, so why not for bikes as well)

3) accessibility
This was discussed in the previous thread but from what I've witnessed on this tour, I believe I'd be seeing a lot less people touring if it wasn't for the e-assist option. It allows for comfort seeking people and older people to get out there and even ride the more challenging routes which would otherwise be completely barred for them. I see nothing but good sides to this as more tourists pretty much means more and better infrastructure as the people living off bike tourists will demand it. And make no mistake, people getting out with e-assist bikes are still getting excercize as the motor is for assist only. If you've not tried it you can't really comprehend it.

4) speed, distance and gear weight.
I'll wrap this up, quick, but who wouldn't want to travel more per day, faster, better against head winds, worry less about elevation and worry less aout gear weight. Basically pack what you want within reason and go where you want. I know some people here think that elevation and all that needs to be earned somehow and I just think "why?"

My own potential system may have to wait though as I'm not a fan of many of the current systems. The worst but somehow most popular system seems to be the Bosch BB mounted engine, which is in a good spot weight distribution wise but also creaks like the devil when putting some real force into the pedals. Also, makes the bike useless with conventional BB systems so a no vote for that. A rear wheel engine might be good, but puts the weight rearwards where there's already usually too much weight. A front wheel engine might be the ticket though.

fietsbob 07-10-16 01:27 PM

Excess Weight when the Battery is Dead.

Caretaker 07-10-16 02:16 PM

I toured in Spain this year, France in 2015, Portugal and Wales in 2014 and am always on the lookout here in Ireland for people touring. I've only ever seen two people touring (together) on E-assist bikes .

I think a lot of the people you have seen on these haven't in fact been touring.

As well as all the benefits they bring for the physically challenged they also remove some of the physical challenge of touring for the able-bodied which I would argue is a negative.

seeker333 07-10-16 02:17 PM


Originally Posted by elcruxio (Post 18901986)
Since the last...

Why don't you post this in the e-bike forum where you are far more likely to receive a number of informed responses, since this topic is more about the detail of an e-bike than conventional bicycle touring.

Robert C 07-10-16 02:27 PM


Originally Posted by seeker333 (Post 18902098)
Why don't you post this in the e-bike forum where you are far more likely to receive a number of informed responses, since this topic is more about the detail of an e-bike than conventional bicycle touring.

I am in agreement with the post above. As you know, I am on the, generally, pro side of Ebikes (but, due to range issues, I am sceptical of then for touring). That being said, this isn't the place.

fietsbob 07-10-16 02:27 PM

You Commute between charging places , where do you plan to recharge the batteries every 40 miles
or what ever the battery storage capacity max range is?

seeker333 07-10-16 02:38 PM


Originally Posted by Robert C (Post 18902117)
I am in agreement with the post above. As you know, I am on the, generally, pro side of Ebikes (but, due to range issues, I am sceptical of then for touring). That being said, this isn't the place.

I couldn't care less if one to chooses to tour on an e-bike, although I'd probably just rent a decent motor vehicle for this type of "tour" since it's probably less costly than buying an e-bike - which is exactly what the vast majority of people do as tourists on a vacation.

If there was a Spaceship forum at BF.net, and someone started a thread in Touring forum stating they were interested in the concept of touring by Spaceship, I would logically reply "no one here knows much of anything about Spaceships, why don't you ask the Spaceship folks?".

spinnaker 07-10-16 02:55 PM


Originally Posted by fietsbob (Post 18902003)
Excess Weight when the Battery is Dead.

Exactly. If you have some physical disability that requires the use of an e-bike then by all means use one. But if you are physically capable of pedaling a bicycle then by all means pedal with no assist. Even if it means you need to do shorter days.

I would have no desire to use an e-bike for touring. Part of the satisfaction of putting a hard day in the saddle is knowing I did it under my own power.

Robert C 07-10-16 03:26 PM


Originally Posted by seeker333 (Post 18902143)
I couldn't care less if one to chooses to tour on an e-bike,

Great, far too many people get too wound up about what other people choose to do.


Originally Posted by seeker333 (Post 18902143)
although I'd probably just rent a decent motor vehicle for this type of "tour" since it's probably less costly than buying an e-bike

that is a bit of a non-sequitur

The two are different activities that have little to do with one another. It is like saying, "I would rather go sailing than a High-School reunion" That is fine as a statement of preference; however, one should not pretend they they are analogous activities; other than that both are things a person might do with their leisure time.

I find it interesting that the people who claim that an e-bike* is just like a motor vehicle tend to have very little actual experience riding e-bikes*.

All that being said, many here know that I am in the process of adding two of these:
http://store.evtv.me/prodimages/140-150W_medium.jpg
from here

And this:
http://store.evtv.me/prodimages/gena...t-1_medium.jpg
from here

to this:
https://s5.postimg.org/bldllmpx3/sta...with_trike.jpg

I already have the pile of parts; so I am past the idle dreaming stage. I am waiting for school to start so the students in my engineering club can work on it. The principal loved it as a student project.

Why do it? First, for the Edmund Hillary reason of, "because it's there." Of course, I look forward to riding with a sunshade. I would also like my loaded touring bike to ride like it does empty.

That may sound like I am trying to take the pain out of touring. On that, first, touring is not an exercise in machismo. Second, yes, I am. I have a medical problem (cerebral palsy & arthritis) that severely interferes with walking long distances. It also interferes with riding, heavily loaded, for long distances. There is just a point where pain, not exhaustion, kicks in. It isn't a slow build up, it is sudden and extreme. Frankly I prefer to avoid that. I can ride, lightly loaded for extended distances; that is what I am trying to be able to do with this.


Here is a picture of one person's project, I expect mine to be similar; except that I intend to use less panels.
https://s5.postimg.org/a7oh1nx87/rsz_0502161053.jpg


Here are a couple of other, well known, and better built, solar bikes:
https://s5.postimg.org/6linp0quv/Marissa_Muller.png
https://s5.postimg.org/k69fo56nr/technique_02.jpg

Is it touring? Yes.
Is it on a bicycle? Yes.
Is it bicycle touring? Yes; but it is, admittedly, a different game while bicycle touring.


*When I say "e-bike" I am referring to low power electric bicycles, defined by federal, and most states, laws as bicycles. I am not referring to electric motorcycles and mopeds. For a better understanding of what an e-bike is, feel free to ask in an appropiately titled thread in the e-bike subforum.

seeker333 07-10-16 03:44 PM


Originally Posted by Robert C (Post 18902240)
...That may sound like I am trying to take the pain out of touring. On that, first, touring is not an exercise in machismo. Second, yes, I am. I have a medical problem (cerebral palsy & arthritis) that severely interferes with walking long distances. It also interferes with riding, heavily loaded, for long distances. There is just a point where pain, not exhaustion, kicks in. It isn't a slow build up, it is sudden and extreme...

I have health issues too, so no justification/explanation needed. I considered a recumbent trike myself a few years back when the US/UK monetary exchange rate was highly favorable and ICE Trikes sold their touring model as an economical frameset, to which I planned to affix my own collected parts.

I hope my version of a solar e-touring-trike will be a secondhand Tesla Model 3, years from now, powered by SolarCity.

Robert C 07-10-16 03:51 PM


Originally Posted by seeker333 (Post 18902272)
I hope my version of a solar e-touring-trike will be a secondhand Tesla Model 3, years from now, powered by SolarCity.

I understand that is what people want; but, a square meter of sunlight can, at near 100% efficiency, under perfect conditions, produce just under 2hp (assuming no conversion losses).


I considered a recumbent trike myself a few years back when the US/UK monetary exchange rate was highly favorable and ICE Trikes sold their touring model as an economical frameset, to which I planned to affix my own collected parts.
As far as trikes go, you will have a hard time beating the price/quality balance of performer. I ordered mine from them, a Trike-e. I am always leery of companies that do not post their price, but want me to write for a price. However, they are well priced and, pretty much, as good as many of the others.

I got a Terra Trike Rover for my wife, and I feel the performer is a better built product; but for her I wanted a store she could test ride, receive service, and I wanted a NuVinci transmission.

spinnaker 07-10-16 05:02 PM


Originally Posted by Robert C (Post 18902240)

Now something like this would be very cool to ride.

Would hate trying to take it one a plan though.

And trying to get it on an Italian Regionale train? Forget about it. ;)

http://i68.tinypic.com/zvr3hd.jpg

seeker333 07-10-16 05:14 PM


Originally Posted by Robert C (Post 18902284)
As far as trikes go, you will have a hard time beating the price/quality balance of performer. I ordered mine from them, a Trike-e.

I looked at these for a long time years ago, almost identical (or identical) product sold by some guy out of his home in USA (Actionbent IIRC); they went out of business. I've no problem buying a Taiwanese steel bike or trike. I was looking at the ICE Adventure model in 2009 when the exchange rate was 1.36USD:1 GBP. At the time, the Adventure frameset cost only ~$1,250, while a complete ICE trike was selling for $3,000. ICE quit selling their products as framesets immediately afterwards, as US sellers began complaining of sales decline.

I see the exchange rate is now at a record low, ~$1.29USD:1GBP. Good time for Americans to order bikes/parts from Wiggle/Ribble/CRC etc.

BigAura 07-10-16 05:38 PM

Bicycles are human powered vehicles and always have been (150 years).

Motor powered bicycles branched off a few years later with a steam powered motorcycle. Later development of the motorcycle included combustion engines. And then electric followed. Electric motorcycles are the most awesome IMO. Cleaner & QUIETER!

That said THEY ARE MOTORCYCLES! Enjoy them as such! PLEASE LEAVE the bicycle touring forum which is for human powered vehicles only!

Robert C 07-10-16 05:50 PM


Originally Posted by spinnaker (Post 18902419)
Now something like this would be very cool to ride.

Would hate trying to take it one a plan though.

And trying to get it on an Italian Regionale train? Forget about it. ;)

There is more information about the solar bike on this web page. It is in French; but it isn't hard to read if you just think about the words.

We have similar rail cars in Northern Utah. It is a challenge to get my wife's trike to fit.
http://i.imgur.com/OtwAc2Mr.jpg
image from here

I frequently use the rail to get to places to go on day tours from. It would be great if the AMTRAK would get a few of these cars to support cycle tourists.

350htrr 07-10-16 06:12 PM


Originally Posted by fietsbob (Post 18902003)
Excess Weight when the Battery is Dead.

Then you stop and re-charge with a solar panel...


Originally Posted by Caretaker (Post 18902094)
I toured in Spain this year, France in 2015, Portugal and Wales in 2014 and am always on the lookout here in Ireland for people touring. I've only ever seen two people touring (together) on E-assist bikes .

I think a lot of the people you have seen on these haven't in fact been touring.

As well as all the benefits they bring for the physically challenged they also remove some of the physical challenge of touring for the able-bodied which I would argue is a negative.

You got's' to start somewhere, and as for what is touring, who cares, some people tour 400 KM at a time, "holidays" and others tour for 40,000KM 3 years... :rolleyes:


Originally Posted by fietsbob (Post 18902119)
You Commute between charging places , where do you plan to recharge the batteries every 40 miles
or what ever the battery storage capacity max range is?

Solar panels, ever heard of them? ;)


Originally Posted by seeker333 (Post 18902143)
I couldn't care less if one to chooses to tour on an e-bike, although I'd probably just rent a decent motor vehicle for this type of "tour" since it's probably less costly than buying an e-bike - which is exactly what the vast majority of people do as tourists on a vacation.

If there was a Spaceship forum at BF.net, and someone started a thread in Touring forum stating they were interested in the concept of touring by Spaceship, I would logically reply "no one here knows much of anything about Spaceships, why don't you ask the Spaceship folks?".

E-Bikes (European legal E-Assist) and motor bikes are not in the same category... When touring and how to do it you ask in the touring forum, and hope to get real answers by people who have done it the way you want to do it... Be it, "normal" touring, "ultralight" touring, "supported" touring, "E-Assist" touring.... and so on. :rolleyes:


Originally Posted by spinnaker (Post 18902172)
Exactly. If you have some physical disability that requires the use of an e-bike then by all means use one. But if you are physically capable of pedaling a bicycle then by all means pedal with no assist. Even if it means you need to do shorter days.

I would have no desire to use an e-bike for touring. Part of the satisfaction of putting a hard day in the saddle is knowing I did it under my own power.

Good for you :thumb:, and many others it seems around here... You know what? "Maybe" people who tour on Legal European E-Assist bikes, actually put in more "effort" for their "condition" than regular people who ride un-assisted would....:rolleyes:

350htrr 07-10-16 06:15 PM


Originally Posted by BigAura (Post 18902507)
Bicycles are human powered vehicles and always have been (150 years).

Motor powered bicycles branched off a few years later with a steam powered motorcycle. Later development of the motorcycle included combustion engines. And then electric followed. Electric motorcycles are the most awesome IMO. Cleaner & QUIETER!

That said THEY ARE MOTORCYCLES! Enjoy them as such! PLEASE LEAVE the bicycle touring forum which is for human powered vehicles only!

And as for You, Sir. You, Needs to edumacate yourself... Some people just need a bit of help, and life is good. Putting down/excluding people from a certain activity, is ... wrong... :crash:

350htrr 07-10-16 06:34 PM

Oh, Yea, The what can the E-assist option bring for bicycle touring question... :p Well now, It can expand the horizon, or it can reduce the prestige... It all depends on How much Assist is/becomes, acceptable I guess... Just like the difference between ultra light touring, regular touring, supported touring... and hopefully E-Assist touring in the future... :thumb:

BigAura 07-10-16 06:48 PM


Originally Posted by 350htrr (Post 18902574)
And as for You, Sir. You, Needs to edumacate yourself... Some people just need a bit of help, and life is good. Putting down/excluding people from a certain activity, is ... wrong... :crash:

It's bicycling, sorry, but the entire world is full of motorized vehicles GO THERE and enjoy. You can do do whatever you want I don't care.

BUT...

The 250watt motorbikes are motorcycles as far as I'm concerned. Not to mention the 750watt legal eBike limit:

The pedals are a TOTALLY BOGUS subterfuge: The fact that you have to rotate your legs is A LIE.

Recreational cyclist regular power output in watts: 170-220 watts.*

Tour de France racer regular power output in watts: 405-450

Nobody posting here is any away truly disabled...get off the backs of the truly disabled.

*source Bicycling.com

350htrr 07-10-16 07:05 PM


Originally Posted by BigAura (Post 18902642)
It's bicycling sorry but the entire world is full of motorized vehicles GO THERE and enjoy. You can do do whatever you want I don't care.

BUT...

The 250watt motorbikes are motorcycles as far as I'm concerned. Not to mention the 750watt legal limit:

The pedals are a TOTALLY BOGUS subterfuge: The fact that you have to rotate your legs is A LIE.

Recreational cyclist regular power output in watts: 170-220 watts.*

Tour de France racer regular power output in watts: 405-450

Nobody posting here is any away truly disabled...get off the backs of the truly disabled.

*source Bicycling.com

You obviously don't understand E-Assisted bicycles. (European speck E-Assisted bicycles) for sure... 250 to 350 watts is the MAX allowed. So what does that mean?

I shall endeavor to educate you and any others that may want to know...

I have a 48V 350 watt, 8.8 AHr system... If I used 350 watts of power every time I use the system, I can go about 30 KM per charge...

But I want to go 100 Km in a day, so... What does that mean? Well it means that I need to pedal/MUST actually pedal, 70KM to go 100 Km every day... If I "over use" my E-Assist and don't pedal, I get to go 30 Km a day, But, remember I actually do go 100Km a day, so... It is, an "Assist" but not a motorbike type of assist...:rolleyes:

BigAura 07-10-16 07:21 PM


Originally Posted by 350htrr (Post 18902683)
You obviously don't understand E-Assisted bicycles. (European speck E-Assisted bicycles) for sure... 250 to 350 watts is the MAX allowed. So what does that mean?

I shall endeavor to educate you and any others that may want to know...

I have a 350 watt, 8.8 AHr system... If I used 350 watts of power every time I use the system, I can go about 30 KM per charge...

But I want to go 100 Km in a day, so... What does that mean? Well it means that I need to pedal/MUST actually pedal, 70KM to go 100 Km every day... If I "over use" my E-Assist and don't pedal, I get to go 30 Km a day, But, remember I actually do go 100Km a day, so... It is, an "Assist" but not a motorbike type of assist...:rolleyes:

Please go to Electric Bicycles sub-forum where there are other motor-heads who enjoy your BS.

Plus you are NOT disabled...wake up!!!!

BigAura 07-10-16 07:27 PM

Have $5K and Hate Exercise? This Gorgeous Electric Bike Is for You.

https://www.wired.com/images_blogs/a...on-e-flyer.jpg

Wake UP!!!!!!

350htrr 07-10-16 07:27 PM


Originally Posted by BigAura (Post 18902727)
Please go to Electric Bicycles sub-forum where there are other motor-heads who enjoy your BS.

Plus you are NOT disabled...wake up!!!!

I know this may be a bit personal, but what kind of education do you have? To not understand my point, that one does "actually have to pedal" 70Km to go 100KM even if one uses ALL the assist available in the system? :innocent:

bradtx 07-10-16 07:31 PM

elcruxio, I can understand when people need the extra help of an electric motor...I've wished for one a couple of times in the past. ;) There is also a percentage of riders that just want the motor. If it is a way for someone to keep riding, it's all good to me.

For now I'll keep the motorcycle for assisted touring and the bike for unassisted touring. I like both. I also like sailboats and power boats. Different skills, different thrills.

Brad

Robert C 07-10-16 07:37 PM


Originally Posted by BigAura (Post 18902642)

The pedals are a TOTALLY BOGUS subterfuge: The fact that you have to rotate your legs is A LIE.

For those who are not clear, this video shows what fake pedaling looks like.



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:55 AM.


Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.