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Roadies, not on board with assist - prepare to be C&V'd

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Road Cycling ďIt 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.Ē -- Ernest Hemingway

Roadies, not on board with assist - prepare to be C&V'd

Old 07-29-19, 02:50 PM
  #176  
flyerguy
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I mostly just lurk around these forums but this thread was interesting from the perspective of someone who started e-biking three years ago. I see a lot of bad assumptions and misconceptions about e-biking and why people do it, so I thought I'd share my thoughts. Here in Minneapolis (which is a leader in the US for % of workforce bike commuting), I see multiple e-bikes every day during my commutes and the year-over-year change in e-bike presence has been very noticeable.

A common misconception I experience is that people assume someone on an e-bike is attempting exercise. This doesn't reflect the reality I've observed at all. I find that at least in my experience, the vast majority of e-bike riders are doing it vs. being in a car, not vs. being on an unassisted bike. Almost all of the people I know who ride e-bikes are doing it to get to work/school/errands. I do know a few people who were avid bikers and as they aged and slowed down, they added an e-bike to the mix to help them keep doing the longer rides they loved. But they are the exception; the majority I know are doing it as a car alternative. If you think of the proliferation of e-bikes as getting people out of cars rather than a transition from unassisted biking for fitness purposes, it hopefully will be seen more regularly as a positive trend.

I have an 11-mile one-way trip to work. On my unassisted bike, the ride at a reasonable commuting pace takes me about 50-55 minutes (12-13MPH). I arrive rather sweaty, so tack on another 10 minutes for the shower/change at work - unassisted biking is a bit over an hour commitment each way. Because of the time required, my schedule only allows for this about 1 day a week. The other 4 days, I drove. After a couple of years of this, I was frustrated that I couldn't bike more, and drive times crept up over 30 minutes on more mornings. That's when I started seriously looking at an e-bike. The e-bike gets the time down to 37-40 minutes, and no shower required on any but the hottest of days. Plus, it's doable even if I'm not feeling 100% or I have to lug a lot of stuff to work one day because I can tailor the assist. With it being only a few minutes more than the car ride, I found myself gravitating to the biking option a lot more. I now bike an average of 3 days a week and use the car only 2 days a week.

I don't think of my e-bike as a fitness device, it's a transportation device. I'm out of the car a lot more, which is good for my stress level, my wallet, and the environment - and yes, I get a mild fitness benefit vs. sitting in a car (I estimate that I am putting in 1/4 to 1/3 of the total work). I still ride my unassisted bike for exercise and leisure purposes, sometimes for commutes if I have the time and lots on the weekend or when riding with others if they're not e-enabled. :-) I find this to be a very typical story/pattern.

I honeslty don't encounter too many e-bike naysayers out on the trails (maybe Minneapolis is just more enlightened ;-) but on the rare occasion I do they generally respond better once I explain the alternative is not an unassisted bike but another car on the road. I feel the false dichotomy of unassisted bike vs. e-bike is damaging to the cycling community. There's room and purpose for both forms of bicycle, and I doubt very much that e-bikes are just a passing fad. As a car alternative (and yes also as an enabler of letting more people enjoy cycling as a hobby longer) they make a ton of sense.
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Old 07-29-19, 03:04 PM
  #177  
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Originally Posted by flyerguy View Post
I mostly just lurk around these forums but this thread was interesting from the perspective of someone who started e-biking three years ago. I see a lot of bad assumptions and misconceptions about e-biking and why people do it, so I thought I'd share my thoughts. Here in Minneapolis (which is a leader in the US for % of workforce bike commuting), I see multiple e-bikes every day during my commutes and the year-over-year change in e-bike presence has been very noticeable.

A common misconception I experience is that people assume someone on an e-bike is attempting exercise. This doesn't reflect the reality I've observed at all. I find that at least in my experience, the vast majority of e-bike riders are doing it vs. being in a car, not vs. being on an unassisted bike. Almost all of the people I know who ride e-bikes are doing it to get to work/school/errands. I do know a few people who were avid bikers and as they aged and slowed down, they added an e-bike to the mix to help them keep doing the longer rides they loved. But they are the exception; the majority I know are doing it as a car alternative. If you think of the proliferation of e-bikes as getting people out of cars rather than a transition from unassisted biking for fitness purposes, it hopefully will be seen more regularly as a positive trend.

I have an 11-mile one-way trip to work. On my unassisted bike, the ride at a reasonable commuting pace takes me about 50-55 minutes (12-13MPH). I arrive rather sweaty, so tack on another 10 minutes for the shower/change at work - unassisted biking is a bit over an hour commitment each way. Because of the time required, my schedule only allows for this about 1 day a week. The other 4 days, I drove. After a couple of years of this, I was frustrated that I couldn't bike more, and drive times crept up over 30 minutes on more mornings. That's when I started seriously looking at an e-bike. The e-bike gets the time down to 37-40 minutes, and no shower required on any but the hottest of days. Plus, it's doable even if I'm not feeling 100% or I have to lug a lot of stuff to work one day because I can tailor the assist. With it being only a few minutes more than the car ride, I found myself gravitating to the biking option a lot more. I now bike an average of 3 days a week and use the car only 2 days a week.

I don't think of my e-bike as a fitness device, it's a transportation device. I'm out of the car a lot more, which is good for my stress level, my wallet, and the environment - and yes, I get a mild fitness benefit vs. sitting in a car (I estimate that I am putting in 1/4 to 1/3 of the total work). I still ride my unassisted bike for exercise and leisure purposes, sometimes for commutes if I have the time and lots on the weekend or when riding with others if they're not e-enabled. :-) I find this to be a very typical story/pattern.

I honeslty don't encounter too many e-bike naysayers out on the trails (maybe Minneapolis is just more enlightened ;-) but on the rare occasion I do they generally respond better once I explain the alternative is not an unassisted bike but another car on the road. I feel the false dichotomy of unassisted bike vs. e-bike is damaging to the cycling community. There's room and purpose for both forms of bicycle, and I doubt very much that e-bikes are just a passing fad. As a car alternative (and yes also as an enabler of letting more people enjoy cycling as a hobby longer) they make a ton of sense.
I have thought for a while that a lot of the city bike shares would have done better (and there would have been less room for the scooters to slip in and litter our sidewalks), if the bikes had been pedal assist e-bikes. Not throttled things, but that maybe double whatever effort you put in up to a top speed of some sort.
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Old 07-29-19, 03:18 PM
  #178  
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I'm fine with e-bikes as long as they:

- Stay off Strava etc.
- Stay out of races (see Bianchi's line-up of e-bikes)
- Don't crash all over me (so maybe stay away from the A-rides)
- Don't make people hate cyclists even more (probably not possible)
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Old 07-29-19, 03:19 PM
  #179  
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
I have thought for a while that a lot of the city bike shares would have done better (and there would have been less room for the scooters to slip in and litter our sidewalks), if the bikes had been pedal assist e-bikes. Not throttled things, but that maybe double whatever effort you put in up to a top speed of some sort.
Funny you mention that, Minneapolis' bike share rolled out their e-assist bikes TODAY. Officemates that took a couple for a spin today say it feels like it's governed around 18mph.
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Old 07-29-19, 04:37 PM
  #180  
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
I have thought for a while that a lot of the city bike shares would have done better (and there would have been less room for the scooters to slip in and litter our sidewalks), if the bikes had been pedal assist e-bikes. Not throttled things, but that maybe double whatever effort you put in up to a top speed of some sort.
Seattle's two bike share companies have been doing that for over a year now and they are doing great in our hilly terrain
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Old 07-29-19, 04:38 PM
  #181  
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Originally Posted by flyerguy View Post

A common misconception I experience is that people assume someone on an e-bike is attempting exercise. This doesn't reflect the reality I've observed at all. I find that at least in my experience, the vast majority of e-bike riders are doing it vs. being in a car, not vs. being on an unassisted bike. Almost all of the people I know who ride e-bikes are doing it to get to work/school/errands. I do know a few people who were avid bikers and as they aged and slowed down, they added an e-bike to the mix to help them keep doing the longer rides they loved. But they are the exception; the majority I know are doing it as a car alternative. If you think of the proliferation of e-bikes as getting people out of cars rather than a transition from unassisted biking for fitness purposes, it hopefully will be seen more regularly as a positive trend.
As a car alternative, I don't really have an issue, but maybe take a look at how Trek and Specialized are marketing them.. their commercials are linked in above posts. The hackles are up here in the "road cycling" (ie. not 'commuting') forum, as the big bike manufacturers are not presenting these bikes as commuter purposed. The Spesh commercial ran all through the Tour de France airing.. maybe not your typical bike commuter's demographic?
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Old 07-29-19, 09:04 PM
  #182  
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Car Alternative is not my experience

I donít live or even visit cool cosmopolitan cities. I was in Portland Oregon (painfully uncool place to ride IMHO) and saw a few e bikes just being ridden around by young adults obviously not on their way to work (I think). I have seen two e bikes on group rides with traditional bikes, all participants were over 50 years old. In Paradise and Redding California I have seen a dozen or so on the MUP , ridden by folks who were not interested in pedaling and breaking a sweat (I think). I donít mountain bike much and have never seen one in the dirt. I guess if you donít ride at commute hours and routes you wonít see commuters? I would love to see e bikes make an impact in any significant way commute wise. Most drivers could care less and will never get out of their cars.
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Old 07-29-19, 09:09 PM
  #183  
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post

Simple logic tells you that the ebike rider is getting less of a workout than on a non assisted bike. Otherwise, there would be no reason for the electrical assist.

If you go to bentrider.com and do a search in the recumbent trike forum postings you will see that actual experience with an e-assisted trike beats your "logic." I rode non e-assisted trikes for years. My average speed over the mildly rolling terrain where I live never exceeded 10mph. Some of the hills slowed me down to 3mph in a 15" gear. I wear a heart monitor to satisfy my curiosity as to how hard I'm working. I got a torque sensing $10,000 ICE trike with the Shimano Sprint motor and aerobically speaking my workouts are more intense because I can keep a steady higher cadence and I'm just more motivated to work harder because of the speed. So now my average speed is 15mph. (I'm 81 with dual knee replacements.)
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Old 07-30-19, 04:38 AM
  #184  
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I think I need to get one of these just to piss off the MAMIL roadies at the next club ride....definitely worth the $7000.....

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Old 07-30-19, 06:46 AM
  #185  
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185 posts in this thread and e-bikes (or ebikes) have been mentioned 224 times..

One would almost think this thread belongs in the e-bike forum.

Of course there it would get the attention it deserves..which is not much.
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Old 07-30-19, 05:00 PM
  #186  
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Originally Posted by berchman View Post
If you go to bentrider.com and do a search in the recumbent trike forum postings you will see that actual experience with an e-assisted trike beats your "logic." I rode non e-assisted trikes for years. My average speed over the mildly rolling terrain where I live never exceeded 10mph. Some of the hills slowed me down to 3mph in a 15" gear. I wear a heart monitor to satisfy my curiosity as to how hard I'm working. I got a torque sensing $10,000 ICE trike with the Shimano Sprint motor and aerobically speaking my workouts are more intense because I can keep a steady higher cadence and I'm just more motivated to work harder because of the speed. So now my average speed is 15mph. (I'm 81 with dual knee replacements.)
it would only be a valid comparison if 1) we knew your watts in both situations, and 2) you did a field test on the unaided bike before you started riding the assisted bike and after you went to the assisted bike.

81, with knee replacements, it's great you're out riding and it sounds like the ebike works for you.

My point in all this, is that IMHO, ebikes are not and should not be a mainstream substitute for pedal bikes.

Your situation appears to be a good example of a good use of electircal assist, but in no way shows that going to an ebike would be a good idea, or a good workout for most road riders.
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Old 07-30-19, 05:02 PM
  #187  
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Still going??

I was hoping the batteries on this thread would be dead by now.
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Old 07-30-19, 09:11 PM
  #188  
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
You donít see a problem with motorized access to places like that?

also I donít understand why you canít ride a pedal powere gravel bike for that?
We have hundreds of thousands of acres of legitimate wilderness in my state - no roads, human powered bikes illegal to possess - that no I don't have any problem with motorized bicycles being on a road. If the parking lot where the trail begins was that environmentally sensitive there wouldn't have been a road in the first place.

Why would I want to ride a gravel bike when I'm going hiking or climbing? I want to save my energy for what I came for. I mean, you and I both have cars, I drive mine to trailheads regularly to go hiking. How is using an ebike less ok to you than using a car for the same purpose?
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Old 07-31-19, 07:25 AM
  #189  
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Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
There are 2 types of e-assist bikes. Some top out at 20mph, and some at 28mph.

Who is selling throttle operated e-bikes? I'm not saying they don't exist, but I haven't seen them.
Throttle operated e-bikes were the first ones to appear IIRC. They basically look like scooters but have pedals that can be used as a backup.

https://www.toronto.ca/services-paym...g-and-the-law/

You can see a picture of one compared to a e-assist bike in the "Power Assisted Bicycles" section in the above link.
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Old 08-01-19, 11:52 AM
  #190  
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I look at it like an equalizer of sorts.

I have a full time job, and if I had the same amount of time to ride around all day I would be just as fast, if not faster than the A Group riders. Jumping into an A Group ride on the weekend with the new Trek flagship E-bike is fine. Deep down, I know that I would be leading the pack if I had more time to train.

Same thing goes for Strava. Just because I am training disadvantaged, that doesn't make me any less capable. I should be able to enjoy a KOM like anybody else.
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Old 08-01-19, 12:09 PM
  #191  
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Nice

I encountered a guy cruising around a local park on some gnarly all-mountain e-bike earlier this week. He was going really fast, but I was all "whatever, that's neat." Then I ran into some little kid with his derailleur jammed in the back wheel, so I was helping him out. Just as I'm wrapping up the repair (hanger bent, poor kid) Voltron rolls up on us real slow and then roosts us with walking path crushed limestone as he passes. I'm like "do you know him?" and the kid is like "no."

why

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Old 08-01-19, 12:24 PM
  #192  
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
I have thought for a while that a lot of the city bike shares would have done better (and there would have been less room for the scooters to slip in and litter our sidewalks), if the bikes had been pedal assist e-bikes. Not throttled things, but that maybe double whatever effort you put in up to a top speed of some sort.
You are correct. When Lime Bike added ebikes in Seattle, use exploded. People were actually hiding them so they could use them later on.
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Old 08-01-19, 12:58 PM
  #193  
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Originally Posted by fredzyn2 View Post
Voltron rolls up on us real slow and then roosts us with walking path crushed limestone as he passes.
Really? I can't imagine that they've got that kind of torque.
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Old 08-01-19, 01:49 PM
  #194  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Really? I can't imagine that they've got that kind of torque.
I mean it wasn't much, but it was enough to get my old fist shakin' in the air at him. Rude. Also of note is that he didn't pedal at all when that happened, so potentially the bike was modified (if I read some of the earlier posts correctly that throttle-operated shouldn't be a thing.)
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Old 08-01-19, 02:25 PM
  #195  
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Maybe the dude was on his smallest gear combo. When he jumped on the pedals, it was enough to throw some gravel.
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Old 08-01-19, 03:24 PM
  #196  
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Just got back from Mammoth Lakes, CA. Business is Ah-Booommin for e-bikes going up the trail to the Lakes Basin. However, once you get off the tourists bike paths, it was rare to see one. Rode up to 10K on Rock Creek Rd and did not see one e-bike.
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Old 08-01-19, 09:09 PM
  #197  
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Originally Posted by Erzulis Boat View Post
I look at it like an equalizer of sorts.

I have a full time job, and if I had the same amount of time to ride around all day I would be just as fast, if not faster than the A Group riders. Jumping into an A Group ride on the weekend with the new Trek flagship E-bike is fine. Deep down, I know that I would be leading the pack if I had more time to train.

Same thing goes for Strava. Just because I am training disadvantaged, that doesn't make me any less capable. I should be able to enjoy a KOM like anybody else.
I hope this is sarcastic
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Old 08-02-19, 03:44 AM
  #198  
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Originally Posted by Erzulis Boat View Post
I look at it like an equalizer of sorts.

I have a full time job, and if I had the same amount of time to ride around all day I would be just as fast, if not faster than the A Group riders. Jumping into an A Group ride on the weekend with the new Trek flagship E-bike is fine. Deep down, I know that I would be leading the pack if I had more time to train.
You really want to hang about 20ft in front of the peloton just to reinforce what a bunch of losers they really are.
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Old 08-02-19, 04:27 AM
  #199  
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Originally Posted by znomit View Post
You really want to hang about 20ft in front of the peloton just to reinforce what a bunch of losers they really are.
Or even leave the bike at home, jump in the pickup and 'roll coal' 20ft in front of the peloton
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Old 08-02-19, 03:28 PM
  #200  
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Originally Posted by Digger Goreman View Post
Absopositively nailed it! The second greatest disease in this country is "the cult of conveinence": to the extent you give in, you weaken and are controllable.... It is also at the root of why gasholes hate: we "un-groove" their conveinence and remind them of their "inconvenent" connection to humanity and environment.

A resurgence in bicycling MUST be derailed, or Americans might turn away from conveinence

One should havevto qualify for disabled status to ride an e-bike. Perhaps an age exemption....
Please tell all the mountain bike parks that have ski lifts to the top - they must close immediately. They are condemning Americans to inactivity and laziness by 'assisting' riders to the top. No e-bikes for downhillers either, to be true blue Americans, they have to grind up to those summits. Real mountain bike downhillers enjoy miles of climbing in a 22/42 gear up snowmobile trails. Gotta earn those descents.

It's a big, diverse cycling world.
Get over it.
You feel marginalized, be ready to face minority status. It's coming fast, from the great un-cycled hordes of un-fit humanity with their un-earned speed. How dare they claim to be cyclists, instead of wimpy motor cyclists.

Grow a beard, get SPD sandals, brag about a 15pound racer, the good old days, dialing up 400 human powered watts, PRs/KOMs on Zwift/Strava/Peloton/etc - all before those dang e-bikes swamped our shores.
Your grandchildren will gather for your tales of cadence capability, athleticism and noble pursuits/sprints.

C&V is cool, you can now relax and stop chasing down those un-deserving new fancy wannabe racers in full kit - on overpriced e-bikes, since their technology gives them an edge over that un-assisted 'clunker'.
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