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E-bike helping with conventional biking

Old 09-20-22, 10:07 PM
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Polaris OBark
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E-bike helping with conventional biking

My wife got a class 1 road e-bike a bit more than a year ago, after some rather severe knee problems and general arthritis. She was no longer able to ride a conventional road bike to any significant extent.

The e-bike, in addition to enabling her commute and helping us ride together, allowed her to recover to the point where she is now able to ride a (new) conventional road bike with more confidence and ability than she could 10 years ago, including 60 mile rides and climbing a 19% grade.

It really can cut both ways. It is definitely worth considering if or when recovering from an injury or other setback.

[I've posted this in the general forum rather than the e-bike forum because this observation is mainly relevant to the non-e-bike folks.]

Last edited by Polaris OBark; 09-20-22 at 10:11 PM.
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Old 09-21-22, 02:42 AM
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TBH I don't understand the collective bunched panties of the bike internet with e-bikes, I pass and get passed by e-bikes daily it doesn't effect my ride or mental state.

I don't care for Corvettes but I don't go to car forums and spout 'vettes r dumb smh" and that's what the entire e-bike subject feels like all over
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Old 09-21-22, 05:09 AM
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Yeah. There are a lot of bruised egos out there. On Saturday I was struggling up some long, steep climb riding fully loaded when a woman came zipping past me riding an assisted bike. Didnít phase me one bit.
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Old 09-21-22, 06:00 AM
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I ride for the exercise so an e-bike makes little sense for me. But the OP makes an excellent case for e-bikes. And for others itís great for commuting, fun, sightseeing, etc.

Whatever makes you happy (as long as itís operated in a safe manner).
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Old 09-21-22, 06:10 AM
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I've never actually heard anyone complain because someone on an ebike passed them. Most of what I read are complaints of inexperienced riders going too fast in crowded spaces.
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Old 09-21-22, 06:44 AM
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Motor pacing behind old folks riding up right mid day during the work week has accelerated my comeback from a 3 year hiatus, what's not to like...
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Old 09-21-22, 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
I've never actually heard anyone complain because someone on an ebike passed them. Most of what I read are complaints of inexperienced riders going too fast in crowded spaces.
About 5 years ago, a older woman who was a mentor for a youth non-profit cycling organization I help run had switched over to an ebike due to double knee replacements. She had 2 of em actually, a hybrid style and trike style. Multiple times that year she would climb hills with full assistance and call out to everyone climbing slowly that they needed to pick it up and push harder. That frustrated more than a few people.
...but thats really the only time I have personally seen/heard an issue and it was 5 years ago. To your point, its been extremely rare.
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Old 09-21-22, 08:13 AM
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Glad to learn that this has helped your wife, Polaris OBark . Another counterpoint to the crowd who believe that eBikers are all just lazy.
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Old 09-21-22, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
About 5 years ago, a older woman who was a mentor for a youth non-profit cycling organization I help run had switched over to an ebike due to double knee replacements. She had 2 of em actually, a hybrid style and trike style. Multiple times that year she would climb hills with full assistance and call out to everyone climbing slowly that they needed to pick it up and push harder. That frustrated more than a few people.
...but thats really the only time I have personally seen/heard an issue and it was 5 years ago. To your point, its been extremely rare.
Even that case doesn't sound like much to complain about (not that you're making a big deal, I just think it's interesting she'd do that and why).
Kinda sounds like her role was basically coaching, and coaches constantly tell people to do things they're no longer capable of. It's often the job description. Was she supposed to be mentoring on these rides?
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Old 09-21-22, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
Glad to learn that this has helped your wife, Polaris OBark . Another counterpoint to the crowd who believe that eBikers are all just lazy.

Frankly, even if the motor is on there because of "laziness", so what? I don't get the apoplexy about it just because the motor is on a bicycle rather than a car or a motorcycle. Selfishly, I want there to be more bicycle traffic because it creates political pressure to serve and protect that population so if it's getting people who otherwise wouldn't ride to ride, it's all good.

And yeah, stories like the OP are really important reminders for a lot of reasons, it's being a happy thing just one of them.
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Old 09-21-22, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Germany_chris View Post
TBH I don't understand the collective bunched panties of the bike internet with e-bikes, I pass and get passed by e-bikes daily it doesn't effect my ride or mental state.
Getting passed by an ebike affects mine for about a second, then I feel embarrassed for the childish impulse. This confession is basically the only outward expression of it because I know it's completely irrational and silly.
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Old 09-21-22, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by wheelreason View Post
Motor pacing behind old folks riding up right mid day during the work week has accelerated my comeback from a 3 year hiatus, what's not to like...
LOL! I'll plead guilty to multiple infractions of bike etiquette this one time. On monday, after a particularly hard, long, tough climbing day on Sunday, I was just small-ringing it to get some recovery. Most of the ride was really easy, and as always, the return leg of my loop felt way better than the tough start miles.... Somewhere around the 15 mi mark, A rider on e-bike passed me very leisurely. He seemed well composed, not cranking his throttle, just motoring along. I thought twice, then said to myself "Oh Hell, I'm gonna hop on that wheel ! " He kept a very comfy 22-23 mph for the 4 mi I hung behind (about 1.5 to 2 bike lengths). I was able to jump around in gears, spinning wildly to just an easy big gear. Was one of the most fun, short sections of wheel sucking I've done in a while. It was as though he had trained to be a motorpacer. LOL! ... don;t know if he even knew I was back there...
A time I had some personal appreciation of an ebike... They are out of Pandora's box, and we need to adapt and also help with providing the 'herd' social envelope and boundaries.
Ride On
Yuri

Last edited by cyclezen; 09-21-22 at 08:53 AM.
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Old 09-21-22, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark View Post
It is definitely worth considering if or when recovering from an injury or other setback.

I will second this. My wife is recovering from breast cancer. It will be months before she has the strength and stamina to get back on her regular bike, but she loves riding and misses it. I set her up with an ebike so she can start to get out again much sooner. She considers it cheating and looks forward to the day when she can set it aside and get back to her regular bike. In the meantime, it's a great option.


We looked at some nice factory built ebikes from Trek, Gazelle, and others. Prices for these were a bit out of our budget, so I opted for a DIY kit from Bafang, which I installed on an old mountain bike we had in storage. So far, it's been great. It has a 750 Watt mid-drive motor. Its max speed is somewhere above 20 MPH, so it's probably a Class 2. It has both pedal assist mode and a throttle, giving her some options to respond to the terrain and her physical energy on a given day. She always tries to at least contribute some effort from her own muscles, although I think it's often minimal.


I don't understand the animosity toward ebikes, unless people are being impolite and riding them recklessly around other bikes and pedestrians. When we get on a popular MUP, I'll ride my conventional bike, my wife and others are on ebikes, there are kids on electric scooters, maybe a teenage girl on rollerblades, some dude who appears to be commuting on a one wheel board, a whole family walking with strollers, wagons, dogs, tricycles and whatnot... everyone seems to get along fine 99% of the time.
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Old 09-21-22, 09:18 AM
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Best wishes to her (and you) for her full and complete recovery.
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Old 09-21-22, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Broctoon View Post
I will second this. My wife is recovering from breast cancer. It will be months before she has the strength and stamina to get back on her regular bike, but she loves riding and misses it. I set her up with an ebike so she can start to get out again much sooner. She considers it cheating and looks forward to the day when she can set it aside and get back to her regular bike. In the meantime, it's a great option.
...
.
All the Best for strong recovery to both the OP's and your spouse. Both situations are long term projects to deal with. And it's great for you both to be able to assist in their response.
Hopefully, cycling can continue to be something both of you can enjoy together with your SOs !
Ride On
Yuri
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Old 09-21-22, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Even that case doesn't sound like much to complain about (not that you're making a big deal, I just think it's interesting she'd do that and why).
Kinda sounds like her role was basically coaching, and coaches constantly tell people to do things they're no longer capable of. It's often the job description. Was she supposed to be mentoring on these rides?
Yeah, she was a mentor at the time. It really wasnt a big deal, in the moment the kids recognized the obvious difference and complained. I was climbing too and just laughed quietly. She had both knees replaced and still races BMX- the woman is clearly strong and determined and her presence there was easily a net positive.

Below are a couple cool stories about her.
https://www.cnn.com/videos/health/20...ton-knauer.cnn
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Old 09-21-22, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Yeah, she was a mentor at the time. It really wasnt a big deal, in the moment the kids recognized the obvious difference and complained. I was climbing too and just laughed quietly.
Reminds me of the Cross Country coach who rode a bike alongside the runners, yelling at us to pick up the pace.
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Old 09-21-22, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Yeah, she was a mentor at the time. It really wasnt a big deal, in the moment the kids recognized the obvious difference and complained. I was climbing too and just laughed quietly. She had both knees replaced and still races BMX- the woman is clearly strong and determined and her presence there was easily a net positive.

Below are a couple cool stories about her.
https://www.cnn.com/videos/health/20...ton-knauer.cnn
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vq7TpBlUqC0
It is interesting psychologically that the kids would complain because I don't think anyone would complain about a running coach on crutches telling people to push themselves harder. I suspect that's related to the general hostility some cyclists have to ebike riding--externally, riding with assist looks so much like riding without assist that people assume the ebike rider is somehow "taking on airs". That, and kids just like to complain.
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Old 09-21-22, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark View Post
My wife got a class 1 road e-bike a bit more than a year ago, after some rather severe knee problems and general arthritis. She was no longer able to ride a conventional road bike to any significant extent.
This scenario and commuting to work are the only reason I see a need to own an e-bike.

Why there are perfectly capable and physically fit 20, 30 and 40 somethings on e-bike leaves me scratching my head.

Just my opinion though.
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Old 09-21-22, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
That, and kids just like to complain.
This.
No more analysis needed as they are simple creatures.
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Old 09-21-22, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
This scenario and commuting to work are the only reason I see a need to own an e-bike.

Why there are perfectly capable and physically fit 20, 30 and 40 somethings on e-bike leaves me scratching my head.

Just my opinion though.
Perhaps because they want to go farther and/or faster for the same effort, or go the same pace with less effort and sweating to arrive at their destination without needing to shower or change clothes.

I don't own an e-bike but can definitely see the appeal and the enjoyment people get riding them. Sure they could ride a 100% human powered bike, but all of us on bikes could also be walking or running and not using the mechanical advantages provided by a bike which allow us to go farther and faster with less effort than using only our own two legs.
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Old 09-21-22, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
YDidnít phase me one bit.
OK, but did it faze you? Or were you just out of phase?
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Old 09-21-22, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by KerryIrons View Post
OK, but did it faze you? Or were you just out of phase?
Coffee hadn't kicked in. And I was tired as I am recovering from a kidney stone that hit me in the middle of the night on Monday. Likely brought on by dehydration during the last couple of days of my tour.
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Old 09-21-22, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Getting passed by an ebike affects mine for about a second, then I feel embarrassed for the childish impulse.
I recently saw a rider a good distance behind me. My competitive nature was to not let him pass. I rode well beyond my comfort zone but he caught up then passed me. When I saw he was on an e-bike I laughed at myself (after I caught my breath).
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Old 09-21-22, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by bikehoco View Post
I recently saw a rider a good distance behind me. My competitive nature was to not let him pass. I rode well beyond my comfort zone but he caught up then passed me. When I saw he was on an e-bike I laughed at myself (after I caught my breath).

I just had a similar experience on the Minuteman. I was riding fast than everyone else on the path so I was passing in the opposite lane quite frequently. I kept hearing the unmistakable sound of big knobby tires behind me, I don't have a mirror, and it was just far enough back that I couldn't see by turning my neck. It all seemed incongruous until he passed me barely pedaling and I saw the big honking motor on his bike.
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