Discussion in 'Electric Bikes' started by very-near, 16 Mar 2009.
Yeah. Anything with two wheels that takes no effort is just plain lazy.
A small distinction, but no. They can't be considered cycling if they are never ridden without pedalling. Just because the option is there, doesn't mean people use it all the time. Ok, you've met someone who does that - plenty of people don't.
I'm with threefingerjoe on this.
Well, actually, I see a few of these round my way and I don't mind them. They've still got the not-too-fast, looks-kinda-like-a-bike vibe about them. Sooner share a cycle path with an electric bike than a 50cc scooter anyday.
If they could be "ridden without any physical effort", I'd have to agree that it's not cycling. But, these new "Electric Assist" bikes won't do ANYTHING if you don't pedal. They only assist. You MUST PEDAL them.
The bike my colleague has is the http://www.wisper.kellsoft.net/905se-City-S.phpWisper 905 se City.
This according to him is the cutting edge of the electric bikes and operates either 3 modes of electric assist (according to the amount of effort the rider wants to put in), motor off and full rider effort, or full motor control through a twist grip throttle like a scooter.
This wisper is a £1200 bike, but the electric bike of my other colleague cost him about £350 IIRC and operates in the same way http://www.bikes-electric.co.uk/eclassic.php
They both operate all modes and leave it up to the rider as to how much effort they want to put in.
Both riders are using the full electric drive more than the electric assist, and only use the assist and pedal if they are running late, or they have been caught out and are running out of battery power.
You need to add a third option to your poll.
I'd have a job. It has closed, and wasn't able to change it after a few minutes
What was the 3rd option ?
So cycling is only for those wanting to wear lycra and get hot and sweaty? It is just a way of getting around, seeing a bit more, doing a bit more. Exactly what the penny farthing was invented for. And I bet they wouldn't consider the latest fancy cycles real cycling either.
Holy thread resurrection!
I think the original poll must have disappeared as I voted on this one then started reading and discovered I'd apparently voted back in 2009!!!! Luckily I still voted the same way.
Since then I've tried them, seen them rise in popularity and more than one friend has one. One got hers for health reasons, was a keen cyclist but unable to cycle daily cure to her underlying health conditions, the electric assist has meant that she can vary how much help she needs and has returned to commuting by bike most days. The other friend has a keen cycling husband but she can't keep up. Bought the bike and within a week she did a 20+ mile round trip to visit me by bike which she wouldn't have done in the past.
I still think some of the modified ones are dangerous, and if they are going that fast they shouldn't be on cycle paths. And that some of those who have got on them are going faster than their skills suggest they should be going.
There are 2 here, Maz's Dawes Geneva and my Kentex Trike both fitted (by me) with 250W front wheel kits (Cyclotricity)
Neither have any form of cadence or speed sensor fitted although both are capable of having an 'assist' controller fitted (they cost £50 for the basic one and £100 for the advanced type) There were a few reasons why I chose not to fit the assist.
Cost- Didn't need to purchase the crank mounted sensor array or the handlebar mounted console
Simplicity - Less to go wrong.
Easier to fit - The crank needs to be removed to fit the sensor.
Appearance - The handlebar mounted 'Assist Controller' is fugly
Wiring - With Maz's set-up all the gubbins plug into the motor controller (mounted with the battery in the rack) with separate cables, a problem addressed by my slightly later set up which uses a single 'umbilical' cable that runs to the controller and that the other components plug into at the stem.
Ease of use/range. There are occasions when I don't want to waste battery power and I don't want to have to mess around adjusting the 'assist' level on the handlebar unit, I just don't use the throttle.
Both are configured 'thumb throttle' only and the speed is governed by the motor/speed controller only running up to a certain number of revs (Whether this is due to the motor running to its maximum speed or the 3 phase 'Hall effect' converter in the controller being limited to a maximum frequency I don't know)
Neither could be built legally today but as they were built before the regulations in the UK were changed they're OK and if the regs change again they can both be 'retro-fitted' with the necessary bits, they just plug in to the existing system..
Reliability, something I was worried about but in 4yrs for Maz's bike and just over 3yrs for my Trike I haven't had to touch them.
My two pence - Pedal Assist is still cycling but throttle controlled is an electric moped so not.
It is nice to be looking forward to extending the time I'm still physically to get out cycling by a number of years due to electrical assist.
I am 60 and a former smoker and got back into cycling about 2 years ago. I rode a Specialized Diverge but my average pace was about 12 mph. I wanted to be able to ride with some group rides that averaged 16 mph. Then I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with a heart murmur and a small issue with my heart. I had planned on improving myself to the 16 mph pace but it was going to involve some harder intense workouts. The doctor advised against it.
I looked at (and bought) a Giant Road E. What I liked about it was that you HAD to peddle in order to get any assist. I have found in experimenting that I still exert the same amount of energy as I did on the Diverge - I just go faster. And this is in "Eco" (lowest assist) mode. I have ridden charity rides and had the system off for about 75% of the ride. Despite it's hefty weight, it's an excellent road bike with the system off. I don't commute with it - purely recreational. I live in Kansas and my town is not particularly bicycle friendly. It allows me to get out and enjoy the bike and yes, get a decent workout.
I've had an e-bike for just over a year now and have found it brilliant for getting me out and about the rather hilly area where I live . I'm 71 now and I was struggling a bit to keep up with my younger friends when out for a bimble. I can now do a 30/40 mile run without any problems.
There seems to be a misconception about e-bikes that they're just stripped down electric mopeds! You actually have to pedal with pedal assist, which still takes some considerable effort, particularly when going up a steep hill. If you don't pedal, the battery will not get you very far. While on the flat you have the option of switching off the pedal assist to conserve you battery, and you cycle along like a "proper cyclist".
I would recommend any cyclist who hasn't ridden an e-bike, to give it a go. You may be pleasantly surprised!
My friend I mentioned earlier in the thread, messaged me proudly today to tell me she had done 2000 miles total on her bike.
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