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Do you commute with an electric bike?

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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.
View Poll Results: Do you commute with an electric bike?
Yes, always.
17
11.26%
Yes, often.
11
7.28%
Yes, but only sometimes
10
6.62%
No, but I'm considering to start.
38
25.17%
No, never!
75
49.67%
Voters: 151. You may not vote on this poll

Do you commute with an electric bike?

Old 02-11-19, 07:05 AM
  #101  
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Originally Posted by robertorolfo View Post
With all of the people talking about how much they enjoy the E-bikes, it makes me wonder again why scooters (proper, combustion engine scooters, or mopeds) never caught on here. I think anyone that has visited the European or Asian countries where they are widely used has also wondered the same.
49 cc scooters are pretty popular here. I suspect their popularity is why I don't see any e-bikes in these parts.
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Old 02-11-19, 01:48 PM
  #102  
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Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
49 cc scooters are pretty popular here. I suspect their popularity is why I don't see any e-bikes in these parts.
That's cool, and 49cc scooters are a great displacement for zipping around urban areas efficiently (and on regular roads). I'd love for them to reach the popularity seen in some European cities. That would mean a healthy market for new and used options, but more importantly it would mean drivers were more aware of them and paid closer attention.

Originally Posted by physdl
I'm confused - how is a roadie going 25 mph different than an e-bike going 25 mph? You can make an argument that throttles should be regulated differently but whether power comes from a battery or from your legs won't impact what happens if you ride dangerously. If you want to ban e-bikes from going over 10mph, then all bikes should be banned likewise. We don't have different speed limits for sports cars than we do for "normal" cars, and we shouldn't for bikes either.
Well, because you have to work for 25mph on a regular bike, and work relatively hard in most cases. Without a good tail-wind or downhill, riding at 25mph (average over a distance) is only going to be managed by someone pretty dedicated to riding. And that generally means that they have spent a fair amount of time on their bike, and they likely have a decent amount of bike control. Plus, a regular bike with no motor is going to be lighter and probably stop better than any non-human powered bike (and if it comes down to it, the lighter bike will hurt less if it hits something).

But yeah, any Joe Schmo can hit those speeds on a regular bike going down a hill, but that won't be happening too often, and the surrounding traffic (other bikes) should be moving a little faster as well, since they are all aided by gravity. But you can't compare this to a guy riding an e-bike that gets up to 25 mph relatively quickly from a dead stop, and/or is able to manage that speed in conditions that actually slow other riders down.

The big danger comes from differences in speed. That's why driving 15mph on the highway is just as dangerous as driving 105mph. Having these E-bike riders flying past (and sometimes weaving in and out of) regular riders is dangerous.
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Old 02-11-19, 10:38 PM
  #103  
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Originally Posted by robertorolfo View Post
Well, because you have to work for 25mph on a regular bike, and work relatively hard in most cases. Without a good tail-wind or downhill, riding at 25mph (average over a distance) is only going to be managed by someone pretty dedicated to riding. And that generally means that they have spent a fair amount of time on their bike, and they likely have a decent amount of bike control. Plus, a regular bike with no motor is going to be lighter and probably stop better than any non-human powered bike (and if it comes down to it, the lighter bike will hurt less if it hits something).

But yeah, any Joe Schmo can hit those speeds on a regular bike going down a hill, but that won't be happening too often, and the surrounding traffic (other bikes) should be moving a little faster as well, since they are all aided by gravity. But you can't compare this to a guy riding an e-bike that gets up to 25 mph relatively quickly from a dead stop, and/or is able to manage that speed in conditions that actually slow other riders down.

The big danger comes from differences in speed. That's why driving 15mph on the highway is just as dangerous as driving 105mph. Having these E-bike riders flying past (and sometimes weaving in and out of) regular riders is dangerous.
Depends on where you live. I'm in the Seattle suburbs and I hit 25 mph 10 seconds after leaving my house (without any motor or pedaling). And then again a mile later or so, and then again a mile after that (and again several times after that on my 10.5 mile commute). In Seattle, if you can't deal with hills, you won't survive long riding here.

Limiting speeds in NYC makes sense. Limiting speeds in the country does not. Even with an e-bike traveling at 20ish mph, it's rare for me to pass someone (and we have a decent number of bikers in this area). If anything, the extra power availability makes me feel safer as I can go on a few roads without bike lanes with less speed differential compared to cars. For example, one of the easier roads for me to go on has no bike lane, an incline, and a decent amount of traffic. Traveling at 20 mph means a lot of cars will wait until its safe for them to pass me. Traveling at 10 mph and people are passing me non-stop with much less regard for safety.

Enforce laws for aggressive biking and the like. But limiting everyone's speed shouldn't be the answer.
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Old 02-12-19, 10:16 AM
  #104  
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I too very rarely pass anyone riding my E-Assist, as I got it to help up hills, not riding on flat ground, thus about to only place I go faster than the average bicyclist is up hills...
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Old 02-12-19, 03:53 PM
  #105  
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Originally Posted by physdl View Post
Depends on where you live. I'm in the Seattle suburbs and I hit 25 mph 10 seconds after leaving my house (without any motor or pedaling). And then again a mile later or so, and then again a mile after that (and again several times after that on my 10.5 mile commute). In Seattle, if you can't deal with hills, you won't survive long riding here.

Limiting speeds in NYC makes sense. Limiting speeds in the country does not. Even with an e-bike traveling at 20ish mph, it's rare for me to pass someone (and we have a decent number of bikers in this area). If anything, the extra power availability makes me feel safer as I can go on a few roads without bike lanes with less speed differential compared to cars. For example, one of the easier roads for me to go on has no bike lane, an incline, and a decent amount of traffic. Traveling at 20 mph means a lot of cars will wait until its safe for them to pass me. Traveling at 10 mph and people are passing me non-stop with much less regard for safety.

Enforce laws for aggressive biking and the like. But limiting everyone's speed shouldn't be the answer.
Of course every area is different, and that's why every state and/or local municipality has their own traffic laws. If I'm not mistaken, the speed limit in NYC is 25mph for all vehicles, which is obviously ridiculous for most other places.

And indeed the limit should apply to bike lanes only. If someone wants to ride an e-bike in the streets with traffic, they should be allowed to go as fast as everyone else. Mandatory lights for e-bikes would be nice as well.
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Old 02-13-19, 10:10 AM
  #106  
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[QUOTE=physdl;20788517]I'm confused - how is a roadie going 25 mph different than an e-bike going 25 mph? You can make an argument that throttles should be regulated differently but whether power comes from a battery or from your legs won't impact what happens if you ride dangerously. If you want to ban e-bikes from going over 10mph, then all bikes should be banned likewise. We don't have different speed limits for sports cars than we do for "normal" cars, and we shouldn't for bikes either.

Motor bikes are to bicycles as sports cars are to "normal" cars? My students are preparing for the SAT. I will not use that one as an example.
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Old 02-13-19, 01:17 PM
  #107  
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Originally Posted by Classtime View Post
Motor bikes are to bicycles as sports cars are to "normal" cars? My students are preparing for the SAT. I will not use that one as an example.
Ha, agreed
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Old 02-13-19, 02:47 PM
  #108  
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As sports cars are to sports cars without an engine?
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Old 02-13-19, 04:37 PM
  #109  
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What does it matter where the power is coming from? Any extremely fit person will be able to ride substantially faster than any casual biker. They can ride just as fast (at least for a short amount of time) as an e-bike. You'll climb hills much faster on a $5k ultra-light bike than on a $300 heavy bike loaded with panniers. And a person weight 250 lbs is going to be much heavier even on a super light bike than a 100 lbs person on a heavy bike.

If you're worried about injury for heavier bikes, then ban all heavy riders. If you're worried about skills, then everyone should have a license to have a bike. If you're worried about aggressive behavior, then ticket that. But what does it matter if someone uses a motor or has more powerful legs except that you assume they have more experience, which is not necessarily true.
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Old 02-13-19, 05:14 PM
  #110  
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Originally Posted by physdl View Post
What does it matter where the power is coming from? Any extremely fit person will be able to ride substantially faster than any casual biker. They can ride just as fast (at least for a short amount of time) as an e-bike. You'll climb hills much faster on a $5k ultra-light bike than on a $300 heavy bike loaded with panniers. And a person weight 250 lbs is going to be much heavier even on a super light bike than a 100 lbs person on a heavy bike.

If you're worried about injury for heavier bikes, then ban all heavy riders. If you're worried about skills, then everyone should have a license to have a bike. If you're worried about aggressive behavior, then ticket that. But what does it matter if someone uses a motor or has more powerful legs except that you assume they have more experience, which is not necessarily true.
Most often true. Very few riders can sustain 28mph. Anyone who has spent enough time on a bicycle to sustain even 20mph has spent enough time on a bike to realize that it is stupid to ride a bike that fast among less skilled riders, walkers, children, etc. E-bike industry rationales are ridiculous. Show me a 250 pound person, pedaling 28 mph on a MUP and I will show you someone on an electric motorbike who likely has no regard for the safety of his fellows.

Last edited by Classtime; 02-13-19 at 05:17 PM. Reason: clarity
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Old 02-13-19, 06:25 PM
  #111  
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Originally Posted by Classtime View Post
Most often true. Very few riders can sustain 28mph. Anyone who has spent enough time on a bicycle to sustain even 20mph has spent enough time on a bike to realize that it is stupid to ride a bike that fast among less skilled riders, walkers, children, etc. E-bike industry rationales are ridiculous. Show me a 250 pound person, pedaling 28 mph on a MUP and I will show you someone on an electric motorbike who likely has no regard for the safety of his fellows.
Yep, this pretty much nails it.

Sure, a fit rider can challenge an e-bike for speed, but it's the access to speed, and the ease with which it is reached that very much matters. Not only will a regular rider think twice about working up to 25mph with a lot of obstacles around, but it will be difficult to do so without interruption, and take a while. Compare that to the e-bike rider that has gotten used to the power assist and just rips at that throttle as soon as possible. And believe me, I see it just about every single day.

My solution would be a sensible speed limit for e-bikes on a bike path (perhaps 15mph, depending on location), and no limit for an e-bike ridden on a regular street.
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Old 02-13-19, 07:54 PM
  #112  
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E-bikes are cool.


My wife won't let me ha ve a motor cycle. Maybe she will let me get an e-bike.
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Old 02-21-19, 02:49 PM
  #113  
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Originally Posted by Classtime View Post
Most often true. Very few riders can sustain 28mph. Anyone who has spent enough time on a bicycle to sustain even 20mph has spent enough time on a bike to realize that it is stupid to ride a bike that fast among less skilled riders, walkers, children, etc. E-bike industry rationales are ridiculous. Show me a 250 pound person, pedaling 28 mph on a MUP and I will show you someone on an electric motorbike who likely has no regard for the safety of his fellows.
This has been my observation too.
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Old 03-14-19, 12:03 PM
  #114  
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I need the exercise

I'm getting up there in years but I still would not use an e-bike. I need and want the exercise, so an e-bike defeats the purpose.
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Old 03-14-19, 08:24 PM
  #115  
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My first post here. I joined this forum because we recently moved and now it's possible for me to commute by regular bike at least some days. Where we lived before, I just didn't have the time and so was motorcycling to work. Sold the motorcycle and got a Stromer ebike. For a lot of people, an ebike is not a step away from a conventional bnike, it's a step away from a much bigger, more energy-consuming vehicle. Why should it require 400 lbs of vehicle to move 170 lbs of person? With an ebike it's more like 70-170.

Now instead of being 30 miles from work, I'm 15. I commute by regular bike whenever possible. Sometimes it's not.

But the Stromer hasn't been trouble-free, and unfortunately when your 70-lb ebike can't assist you, you're kind of stuck.
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Old 04-02-19, 01:13 PM
  #116  
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I'm in the "no, never" camp. There are four overriding reasons for this.

1. Fun. I really like to ride my bike. Really. I like everything about bicycling and see no need to change. I love the way it makes me feel after a ride, and even during a ride. This is particularly true of hilly rides.

2. Thrift. I have no need for a several thousand $ assistant for my bicycle. It's an expense that I could not justify (for now), because it would fall purely under the "entertainment" expense category. For that kind of money, I'd take a vacation with my wife.

3. Pride. There, I said it. I'm basically insecure, and I mask this by excelling at everything that I undertake. This affords me access to the bully pulpit of "expertise", from which I can condemn the e-bike as not a bicycle, and as an affront to cyclists. I believe that I'm on good moral ground on this one.

4. Self Preservation. I would go nuts with a nimble powered vehicle. Oh, sure, it would start as harmless clowning and experimentation. Then it would become more reckless stunts to which I would become increasingly desensitized. It would end as I blandly accelerated into cross traffic and got flattened by a Mack truck.

So, for me, no.
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Old 04-02-19, 04:28 PM
  #117  
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I'd like to make the point again that you can't assume that people on ebikes are just too lazy to ride a regular one. Possibly they are. But possibly, the ebike is what convinced them to leave their car at home. I'd say that "morally," that's a step in a good direction that should be applauded. Eventually, as their fitness and confidence increases, they might transition to a purer form of bicycling. I wouldn't judge someone without knowing their circumstances.
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Old 04-15-19, 11:22 AM
  #118  
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Yes, I'm 76 years old and have been dealing with a chronic leukemia for 10 years. My pedal assist ride lets me commute to some volunteer jobs downtown and across several impressive hills. Anybody got a problem with that?

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Old 04-19-19, 02:59 PM
  #119  
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reasonably well

Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
no e-bike for me.

but on mornings like this one when i'm battling a cruel headwind on a chilly snowy winter day, sometimes my mind does ponder......



does anyone have experience/info on how well e-bikes stand up to the grinding abuse of daily winter riding in nasty, salty, slushy conditions?

are the electical systems (battery, wires, motor, etc) robust enough to withstand daily salt exposure?
I've been riding a Stromer as my primary (and for the last two years, my only) commute vehicle. Denver isn't overly salty; I've broken 12,000 miles. The first battery was replaced under warranty, there was no evidence of water/salt damage, but it wasn't quite meeting spec (shop didn't provide the details) so they swapped it out.

Some brake replacements, couple of chains, a cassette .... pretty normal stuff.
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Old 04-19-19, 06:15 PM
  #120  
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Originally Posted by Khb View Post
I've been riding a Stromer as my primary (and for the last two years, my only) commute vehicle. Denver isn't overly salty; I've broken 12,000 miles. The first battery was replaced under warranty, there was no evidence of water/salt damage, but it wasn't quite meeting spec (shop didn't provide the details) so they swapped it out.

Some brake replacements, couple of chains, a cassette .... pretty normal stuff.
Lucky, or what... JMO as far as the minimal info provided for the batteries "failure"... IMO, any battery that lasts 12,000 miles is a pretty good battery... What it comes down to is,... how far, did you take the battery down to every ride.. ??? anything below 20% and , guess what, the battery will start to fail. Way earlier than "specified".. as I understand it...
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Old 04-21-19, 11:20 AM
  #121  
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Originally Posted by Lurch View Post
Yes, I'm 76 years old and have been dealing with a chronic leukemia for 10 years. My pedal assist ride lets me commute to some volunteer jobs downtown and across several impressive hills. Anybody got a problem with that?
I have a problem if you are going 20mph in the bike lane or on a bike path. But if you stay on the roads with other motor vehicles, go as fast as you want. If you are uncomfortable sharing the road with cars, and ride the bike paths, please limit your speed to 12-13mph.
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Old 04-21-19, 06:20 PM
  #122  
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Originally Posted by Classtime View Post
I have a problem if you are going 20mph in the bike lane or on a bike path. But if you stay on the roads with other motor vehicles, go as fast as you want. If you are uncomfortable sharing the road with cars, and ride the bike paths, please limit your speed to 12-13mph.
You are preaching to the choir brother. And the local MUPs have a 10 mph speed limit that is rarely observed by anyone else from what I see. Seriously, you do come across as more than a little preachy.
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Old 04-21-19, 10:02 PM
  #123  
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Originally Posted by Classtime View Post
I have a problem if you are going 20mph in the bike lane or on a bike path. But if you stay on the roads with other motor vehicles, go as fast as you want. If you are uncomfortable sharing the road with cars, and ride the bike paths, please limit your speed to 12-13mph.
I'd just point out that e-bikes are not the only ones doing 15-20 mph on bike paths. In my area, we have 15 mph speed limits and that's routinely broken (mostly by people training). And before someone says that they have more experience, if they had more experience they wouldn't ride that fast in areas with kids.

As for bike lanes, what's the problem riding fast in them? They're single file anyway. If you need to pass someone, pass in the road when you can. Otherwise keep your distance.
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Old 04-22-19, 07:49 AM
  #124  
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Salt Lake also has a very nice MUP system with a 15mph speed limit. The people I see going fast, on a regular basis, are the riders of conventional bikes (well, excepting one fat old guy on a recumbent, but like many of you, he's so awesome that the rules shouldn't apply to him ). To add to it, they are frequently working hard and focused on nothing but their front wheel.

The e-bike riders seem to be commuters (and I agree with the consensus here on the just-drive-a-car forum, the immediate goal needs to be getting those people back in their cars, e-bike are not a transportation alternative, they are a transportation abomination. . . oh, wait, except me, I am the exception ). There are also a number of e-bike riders riding along with others on conventional bikes. As an aside, last summer I was with the VA riding group Continuing Mission. And there was one guy winded, and unable to continue after about a mile, and he was on an e-bike.

I have posted this elsewhere on this forum, but it seems apt here too:
Even though people here on the just-dive-a-car forum try to pretend otherwise (attempting to equate e-bikes with mopeds and motorcycles), e-bikes are nowhere near the performance level of motorcycles, or even mopeds (here I am discussing legal e-bikes and mopeds, not homebrew high-performance devices). E-bikes cannot be quickly refuelled at a petrol pump after an hour, or more, at 30mph.

On this forum, people talk about sustained 28mph (the legal limit for no-throttle e-bikes in enough places that it is becoming the standard). They forget that is the maximum speed for assist, not the sustained speed.

I have owned motorcycles, and in the late 70s'/early 80s' moped boom I even had a moped. At this point, I have had all three popular types of e-bikes: throttle, cadence sensor, and torque sensor. The reality is that if you are looking for high performance, the legal e-bike market isn't where you will find it. E-bikes will not give the performance level of even a 50cc scooter or moped. If you want to ride a bicycle and feel that you just need a bit of help with the wind, or hills, or whatever, then an e-bike may be for you.
For the sake of clarity, the recumbent is not an e-bike, it is conventionally powered, my commuter is an e-bike.

Last edited by Robert C; 04-22-19 at 07:52 AM.
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Old 04-22-19, 09:49 AM
  #125  
Khb
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Bikes: Stromer ST-1; Gary Fisher SAAB edition; Dahon Speed D7; Motobecane Grand Touring 1972

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luck?

Originally Posted by 350htrr View Post
Lucky, or what... JMO as far as the minimal info provided for the batteries "failure"... IMO, any battery that lasts 12,000 miles is a pretty good battery... What it comes down to is,... how far, did you take the battery down to every ride.. ??? anything below 20% and , guess what, the battery will start to fail. Way earlier than "specified".. as I understand it...
Well, the original battery was replaced early, around 5500 miles. I normally charge at the office, so more than 50% SoC almost always. But I do commute in the snow, and cold takes a toll on battery capacity and life as well. Assuming the Stromer SoC algorithm (for the display) is doing a credible job, I should still be able to do 30 miles with some headroom (say 10% SoC). I don't try to experimentally verify ;> As temps warm, and when I remove the studded tires, I hope it goes back up a bit ;>
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