thoughts on e-bikes?

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6/27/2018 9:56 AM

admittedly I've never been much of a cyclist. Tried the road thing years back and its just not my thing, too long and boring. Always wanted to get a good mtn bike since it seems way more fun and more like moto... but just never pulled the trigger.

got invited by a buddy to ride some e-bikes yesterday and holy shit how fun! I rode a Specialized Turbo Levo. We did some gnarly steep switch backs with some big sized rocks and ledges that had me maxed out and huffing and puffing. I still got a pretty good workout.

But i got the general consensus that they're not very well accepted. As a surfer i guess i can equate it to riding an SUP?

what does everyone think of these things? I've already peeked on craigslist for a decent used one haha

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6/27/2018 10:02 AM

You are right that they are not very well accepted and they are getting banned in a lot of bicycle areas. Coming from the moto side, I don't understand the hate. Then again, they do have a "motor," so some people automatically call it a "motorized bike."
Really the Turbo Levo and others like it are "pedal-assist" motorized bicycles. They do not throw roost and accelerate hard; just give you super-human leg strength, really. It's cheating, but who cares? If you're having fun, go for it. I want one someday for certain purposes. (Going many more miles than usual, being able to loop more climbs/downhills, etc.)

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Braaapin' aint easy.

6/27/2018 10:25 AM

yes - pedal assist for sure! I should have been more clear thats what we were on. It's still human powered, just assisted. I would't consider a true motorized bike with a throttle. But it is a slippery slope

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6/27/2018 10:45 AM

I warming up to them since i am getting sick of peddling up.. and its just ride assist as mentioned.. only helps when you are peddling. check out what Sam can do on his..

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6/27/2018 11:51 AM

another one Sams vids from Whistler.. And having just returned from 3 days in the park myself i am still buzzing..

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6/28/2018 12:55 AM

Pretty well accepted in the Alps in Europe. Back home theyre getting popular to do longer rides quicker, perfect for the shorter evenings. I'm not far away from jumping on board.
I'd say get on it

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6/28/2018 10:30 AM

If you're interested you might want to pull the trigger soon. Hopefully this doesn't go in effect but the way things are going I'm afraid it will.


Ebike 25% tariff

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6/28/2018 2:11 PM

Just to be a grammar nazi....

Peddle, V - To sell one's wares, usually in a public marketplace or on the street.

Pedal, V - To power a bicycle by pushing on the pedals with one's feet.


I have similar corrections for Braking vs. Breaking, if anyone is interested. wink cool laughing

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Braaapin' aint easy.

6/28/2018 7:11 PM

Are the batteries easy enough to remove that you need to worry about them getting stolen if you chain your bike up outside the bar?

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6/28/2018 7:19 PM

My dad has one and it's awesome! It's been one of the best things he's ever bough, it's gotten him outside and active again during the week and in the summer months when he's not riding dirtbikes, and everyone who tries it comes back with a huge smile. I have a ton of fun on it, it's amazing how smoothly it interfaces with your peddling and moderates how the power is put out, anyone who thinks these will do more damage to a trail than a standard mtb is either incredibly dim or hasn't ridden one. I don't care what reputation they have or how accepted they are, I live my life for me not to please other douche bags.

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6/29/2018 4:41 AM

Thoughts on ebikes...

If pedal assist becomes the norm, would racing without a motor on the bike be considered "vintage racing"?

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6/29/2018 7:18 AM

I don't have them but don't really have a problem with them. I had a bit of purist attitude at first but I've talked to several people (some out of shape and intimidated to just full on get into exercise) and they got e-bikes. That is a positive thing.

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6/29/2018 2:06 PM
Edited Date/Time: 6/29/2018 2:07 PM

Environmentalist hate everyone, bikes, horseback riders, motorcycles, side by sides,4X4s you name it they hate it so E bikes will be next. I want a full on Electric bike cause I don't want to pedal it.

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Ed Johnson

7/1/2018 7:11 AM

I hadn't thought about it until reading the Doug Henry interview on the RacerX site, but I can see pedal assist really changing the ability of hand cyclists being able to cover longer distances than is practical now. It doesn't sound like Henry's project is a hand cycle, though.

Those hand cyclists who are doing centuries with their arms versus the large leg muscles of a standard bicycle rider are amazing athletes, but it's such a small percentage of them that can complete that distance compared to standard cyclists. This could be a real game changer for those that want to do multi day tours, etc.

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7/1/2018 9:10 PM

Jrewing wrote:

Pretty well accepted in the Alps in Europe. Back home theyre getting popular to do longer rides quicker, perfect for the shorter evenings. I'm not far away from jumping on board.
I'd say get on it

Hurry up!

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Cheers, Crush
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7/2/2018 5:08 AM

Lazy ass people. What's the point? Just get a fking motorcycle.

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7/2/2018 5:34 AM

DoctorJD wrote:

Lazy ass people. What's the point? Just get a fking motorcycle.

I haven't ridden one to work, but I think the point is that these have the potential to make commuting to work much more practical for lots of people. A 10 mile commute in the Seattle area might have several climbs that just make it take too long or would end up requiring a shower after arriving for most. That may not be as many, now. That's just one point.

It seems that most people that I know around here who talk about riding to work (when it isn't snowing, of course!) mention "that one hill" either going to work or heading home that makes it seem undoable for them.

Pedaling an assisted bike may be easier than a standard bike, but it still has to be more of a workout than hopping in your car for those short trips or sitting on the couch instead of getting out and active!

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7/2/2018 6:46 AM

DoctorJD wrote:

Lazy ass people. What's the point? Just get a fking motorcycle.

It's the same point of riding a bike in the first place, fun. And you get more of it in less time, so...

And it's only less work if you ride at the same pace as someone on a normal bike, if you are working as hard as you can work, your overall speed is higher, but you're still putting out your max effort.

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Cheers, Crush
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7/2/2018 7:08 AM

As a direct answer to the OPs question.

The first issue is that some people view using motors as cheating even if it's not a competition.

The second issue is that putting down more power on the same tread creates a higher psi on the ground leading to higher rates of wear on the trail. With pedal assist on a dry trail this is probably minimal.

The third and largest issue is that most "trails" for bikes are actually multi-use with lots of walkers/runner/hikers. Bicycles are already the fastest heaviest things on the trails (excluding horses where applicable) and the powerful contingent of non-bicyclists would love to ban all forms of wheels on these trails. Adding ebikes is hard to regulate and opens the door for bad accidents that could jeopardize trail access. This applies to everything from backcountry touring to the local Greenway that is full of joggers, families and commuters.

Personally I think that trails should be designated for ebikes or not on an individual basis and cyclists should be aware of if they are allowed and respect that.

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7/2/2018 7:47 AM

We ride trails all over SoCal that traditional mountain bikes simply rarely go due to the grade and difficulty. The dudes I ride with are gnarly, and I definitely wouldn't classify them as lazy....lol.

It's like the 4 stroke vs. 2 stroke argument they're both fun but different, so who cares.

Nicest thing for me is I can click it up a notch from Eco to Sport and keep up with my buddies that ride 3-4x a week (I'm a desk jockey, and they're all contractors, so there's even more of a fitness gap).

Hadn't thought about people with significant disabilities, but that's a great point. They could be the diff between sitting at home and riding. I could see them being a massive blessing for Phil Smage a ways down the road....?

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7/2/2018 9:25 AM

DoctorJD wrote:

Lazy ass people. What's the point? Just get a fking motorcycle.

APLMAN99 wrote:

I haven't ridden one to work, but I think the point is that these have the potential to make commuting to work much more practical for lots of people. A 10 mile commute in the Seattle area might have several climbs that just make it take too long or would end up requiring a shower after arriving for most. That may not be as many, now. That's just one point.

It seems that most people that I know around here who talk about riding to work (when it isn't snowing, of course!) mention "that one hill" either going to work or heading home that makes it seem undoable for them.

Pedaling an assisted bike may be easier than a standard bike, but it still has to be more of a workout than hopping in your car for those short trips or sitting on the couch instead of getting out and active!

I totally see it for commuting, and I'm actually a huge proponent in that regard. But for recreational use? To me, this is simply another way to cater to the instant gratification needs of this society. What? You have to have fitness to ride a bike? Well, that's not fair, I want to ride NOW.

Here's a novel idea: Take time and get in shape. The better condition you're in, the further and faster you can ride. If you need a motor to help you with that, then maybe you picked the wrong sport.


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7/2/2018 10:57 AM

You don't run a bike shop, do you? I can see you as the door man. "NOPE. You are too fat for me to allow you into this bike shop." LOL How dare anyone not in "shape" get to have the fun of riding a bicycle!

Go back in the moto section and berate all the fatties that own MX bikes.

Do you all know why there are as many roads as there are? It is to support how many autos there are. Do you know why there are as few bike trails / paths / bike lanes as there are? It is because there so few bikes. More bikes out there means more bike paths, etc.



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7/2/2018 11:28 AM

The way I see it, I'll stick to the pedal bike until I just can't do it anymore. After that I'll go e-bike so I can stay outdoors and continue to ride. (I'll probably be in my 70s though!)

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Braaapin' aint easy.

7/2/2018 12:21 PM

I've noticed a marked increase of E-Bikes here in Kent WA on the Green River and Interurban bike trails. There is a speed limit on those bike trails and many of the E-Bike riders are cruising well above that limit. On the weekends during the summer there is much foot traffic, joggers, people walking their dogs. I'm expecting soon to start reading about accidents on these bike trails as the higher speed E-Bikes sweep around the foot traffic and slower regular bike traffic.

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“Adhering to 1970’s Standards of Political Correctness”

7/2/2018 2:26 PM

DoctorJD wrote:

I totally see it for commuting, and I'm actually a huge proponent in that regard. But for recreational use? To me, this is simply another way to cater to the instant gratification needs of this society. What? You have to have fitness to ride a bike? Well, that's not fair, I want to ride NOW.

Here's a novel idea: Take time and get in shape. The better condition you're in, the further and faster you can ride. If you need a motor to help you with that, then maybe you picked the wrong sport.


I think you may need to go chase a couple of kids off your lawn!

Seriously, though, I don't think that the growth of ebikes means that you have to give up your unassisted bike. But then again, there were probably folks who thought that freewheels were "cheating", and others that were ready to burn down shops that sold bikes with those satanic derailleurs.......

Recreationally, whatever gets people out spinning seems like a win to me. It isn't a competition to simply go out and ride a bicycle.

Now if you are talking about racing, I can see the need for some regulations, obviously.

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7/2/2018 3:15 PM

APLMAN99 wrote:

I haven't ridden one to work, but I think the point is that these have the potential to make commuting to work much more practical for lots of people. A 10 mile commute in the Seattle area might have several climbs that just make it take too long or would end up requiring a shower after arriving for most. That may not be as many, now. That's just one point.

It seems that most people that I know around here who talk about riding to work (when it isn't snowing, of course!) mention "that one hill" either going to work or heading home that makes it seem undoable for them.

Pedaling an assisted bike may be easier than a standard bike, but it still has to be more of a workout than hopping in your car for those short trips or sitting on the couch instead of getting out and active!

DoctorJD wrote:

I totally see it for commuting, and I'm actually a huge proponent in that regard. But for recreational use? To me, this is simply another way to cater to the instant gratification needs of this society. What? You have to have fitness to ride a bike? Well, that's not fair, I want to ride NOW.

Here's a novel idea: Take time and get in shape. The better condition you're in, the further and faster you can ride. If you need a motor to help you with that, then maybe you picked the wrong sport.


APLMAN99 wrote:

I think you may need to go chase a couple of kids off your lawn!

Seriously, though, I don't think that the growth of ebikes means that you have to give up your unassisted bike. But then again, there were probably folks who thought that freewheels were "cheating", and others that were ready to burn down shops that sold bikes with those satanic derailleurs.......

Recreationally, whatever gets people out spinning seems like a win to me. It isn't a competition to simply go out and ride a bicycle.

Now if you are talking about racing, I can see the need for some regulations, obviously.

Ha ha! I actually was going to put that in the last line of my post. Yea, I'm old school, I put this right up there with participation trophies.

Seriously. Keep them TF off of my trails and I could care less about what people do with them otherwise. A lot of people (myself included) have fought like hell for trail access for mountain bikes. The minute you add a motor to a bicycle you have blurred the line between bicycle and motorcycle. Trail nazis are looking for every bit of ammo they can get to kick us out of some areas. If e-bikes start to break down that access, then I'm going to have an even larger burr in my ass about this.

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7/2/2018 10:23 PM

DoctorJD wrote:

Lazy ass people. What's the point? Just get a fking motorcycle.

APLMAN99 wrote:

I haven't ridden one to work, but I think the point is that these have the potential to make commuting to work much more practical for lots of people. A 10 mile commute in the Seattle area might have several climbs that just make it take too long or would end up requiring a shower after arriving for most. That may not be as many, now. That's just one point.

It seems that most people that I know around here who talk about riding to work (when it isn't snowing, of course!) mention "that one hill" either going to work or heading home that makes it seem undoable for them.

Pedaling an assisted bike may be easier than a standard bike, but it still has to be more of a workout than hopping in your car for those short trips or sitting on the couch instead of getting out and active!

DoctorJD wrote:

I totally see it for commuting, and I'm actually a huge proponent in that regard. But for recreational use? To me, this is simply another way to cater to the instant gratification needs of this society. What? You have to have fitness to ride a bike? Well, that's not fair, I want to ride NOW.

Here's a novel idea: Take time and get in shape. The better condition you're in, the further and faster you can ride. If you need a motor to help you with that, then maybe you picked the wrong sport.


I bought my wife a Specialized E bike this year. She has ridden over 500 miles this year with me. These 500 miles were ridden at my pace and argument free. If it wasn’t for the e-bike we wouldn’t have done this together civilly, if at all.

I’m all for it... Live and Let Live!

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7/3/2018 6:51 PM

Falcon wrote:

The way I see it, I'll stick to the pedal bike until I just can't do it anymore. After that I'll go e-bike so I can stay outdoors and continue to ride. (I'll probably be in my 70s though!)

Same for me. I’m mid 50’s and the thing I worry about is when I’ll physically have to stop riding. This will give me about 10 more years, when that time comes. I hope ?

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7/5/2018 11:50 PM

I got the chance to do a parking lot demo on the new Rocky Mountain Altitude Powerplay yesterday, man was that thing fun. I was blown away. It sure is heavy pushing it around or lifting it up but I couldn’t feel it while riding.

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7/6/2018 9:48 AM
Edited Date/Time: 7/6/2018 9:49 AM

Coolest part about these e bikes is....if ya go out on a club ride and you’re spent 40 miles out, that e assist will definitely get ya home with the pack! Trail the pace line with some assistance....

Of course that’s road application. Or it allows you to to ride with multiple skill levels. Thinking about getting one for my wife so she can go on longer rides with me.

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GP740
Since 1987