Thinking of getting an e-bike

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
dave28
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Re: Thinking of getting an e-bike

Postby dave28 » 16 Jun 2015, 12:10pm

As I understand it, it's a question of differing design philosophies.
The British market and design, unlike the European one, has been almost totally driven by the idea of cycling as primarily a competitive/club/end in itself/activity; and so we part time cyclists, for no very good reason, have had to suffer uncomfortable riding positions, to reduce drag, which in turn requires desperately uncomfortable seats, and the results of an overarching drive to reduce weight at all costs.
In Europe, on the other hand, as well as competitive cycling, there has always been an accepted place for comfortable bikes; with a sit up and beg riding position reflecting an interest in what's going on around one, a comfy seat that doesn't require special shorts to be bearable, and rims and tyres where the emphasis is on maximising ride comfort and minimising punctures, rather than minimising weight and drag.
And, of course, the step through frame (so easy on the groin as one gets older) requires a sturdier build to give rigidity.
Ebikes, which by definition are for getting about and quiet recreation, rather than competition, are evolving from this European tradition. As a result they look a little strange and cumbersome to British eyes, and will do so until they usurp competitive cycling as the mainstream activity (!).
It's horses for courses. I always saw cycling as a means to an end, rather than an end in itself. Now I can enjoy the pleasures of cycling, without the previously inescapable pain.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Thinking of getting an e-bike

Postby [XAP]Bob » 16 Jun 2015, 1:13pm

Because comfort is the primary selling point.

I like the look of the disc/cassette hub show above, doesn't seem to have a torque arm though
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

pete75
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Re: Thinking of getting an e-bike

Postby pete75 » 16 Jun 2015, 1:40pm

dave28 wrote:As I understand it, it's a question of differing design philosophies.
The British market and design, unlike the European one, has been almost totally driven by the idea of cycling as primarily a competitive/club/end in itself/activity; and so we part time cyclists, for no very good reason, have had to suffer uncomfortable riding positions, to reduce drag, which in turn requires desperately uncomfortable seats, and the results of an overarching drive to reduce weight at all costs.
In Europe, on the other hand, as well as competitive cycling, there has always been an accepted place for comfortable bikes; with a sit up and beg riding position reflecting an interest in what's going on around one, a comfy seat that doesn't require special shorts to be bearable, and rims and tyres where the emphasis is on maximising ride comfort and minimising punctures, rather than minimising weight and drag.
And, of course, the step through frame (so easy on the groin as one gets older) requires a sturdier build to give rigidity.
Ebikes, which by definition are for getting about and quiet recreation, rather than competition, are evolving from this European tradition. As a result they look a little strange and cumbersome to British eyes, and will do so until they usurp competitive cycling as the mainstream activity (!).
It's horses for courses. I always saw cycling as a means to an end, rather than an end in itself. Now I can enjoy the pleasures of cycling, without the previously inescapable pain.


Sounds like a man who's never heard of cycle touring nor of the traditional British touring bike which offers much comfort and reliability.

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Mick F
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Re: Thinking of getting an e-bike

Postby Mick F » 16 Jun 2015, 1:51pm

I agree.
The E-bikes I saw were HUGE.

I reckon a 20stone pro wrestler could have fitted on them.

The 'bars must've been 6" higher than the tops of my bike, and they were maybe a yard wide. The grips were huge and the saddle equally so.
Yes. the saddle could be lowered very low, but the frame was long, so not suitable to a small person.

It appeared to me to have been aimed at very overweight adults.
(I'm being kind here)
Mick F. Cornwall

dave28
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Re: Thinking of getting an e-bike

Postby dave28 » 16 Jun 2015, 10:07pm

Don't worry, Mick, you'll get used to them in time!
(and for the record, I may be old and decrepit but I'm certainly not very overweight)

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Mick F
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Re: Thinking of getting an e-bike

Postby Mick F » 17 Jun 2015, 10:34am

:lol: :lol:
I wouldn't suggest you were a pro wrestler!

The bikes I saw would have had difficulty getting into a standard shed, and I reckon the 'bars were too wide for a standard front door.
Mick F. Cornwall

ferdinand
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Re: Thinking of getting an e-bike

Postby ferdinand » 17 Jun 2015, 1:43pm

I'd suggeet finding a way to try both out in your circumstances for your journeys, if necessary by hiring it for a couple of days.

As far as I can tell, tgey are not yet developed to the point where you can just buy one and go without defining your need carefully. The key points on choosing seem to be to identify:

a What type of riding you will be doing?
b Over what sort of terrain, range and distance?
c To try the ones you are considering over the type of terrain and range you will be riding, or for second best negotiate a send back option if you make the wrong choice.
d. What position you are taking on the dot and tittle of the e-bike law.
e. Kit or pre-built.

Then choosing one according to durability, support required and budget. There is a full range of sizes for all people sizes.

At one end they can be used as a sort of 2 wheeled mobi!ity scooter, at the other end something like this chap who has converted a £500 road bike to make his 20 miles each way commute more manageable and practical for 5 days a week.

One thing I have noticed is that the quality of components can be lower than a push bike forna similar task, which may or may not be a problem.

Pedelecs.co.UK might be. Good place to ask detailed questions, as it has a concentration of dealers and users.

I'm in the throes of adding a refurbished Gruber Assist to one of mine, so I can go out in civvies and be less sweaty when I arrive. In my case the weight of the kit is identical to the weight of the pannier and trunk bag I will be removing, so the bike will handle identically but with a boost button. It will still weigh around 13kg in riding trim.

Ferdinand

andrewk
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Re: Thinking of getting an e-bike

Postby andrewk » 17 Jun 2015, 3:03pm

3 things to concentrate on when selecting an ebike:
1. Drive system, crank motor or hub motor. Bosch, Panasonic and Impulse crank motors are good with Bosch probably being the best. Hub motors mounted in the back wheel are preferable to those mounted in the front wheel as they provide better traction uphill.
2. Battery size in Watt hours and recharge lifecycle (ie how many recharge cycles it can go through before its capacity is significantly degraded). Avoid no name or unknown name batteries, they will be Chinese generic products with a short service life. Battery size dictates range...if the bike is to be only used for short trips to the shops this isn't an issue but if you envisage day rides then clearly battery size will be important.
3. Quality of bike frame and components...some can be shocking (mainly the "British" brands which merely put their name on generic Chinese Tat). Others can be well made with good components. The Germans, Dutch and French make good ebikes, prices generally ranging from £2k to £3.5k.

andrewk
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Re: Thinking of getting an e-bike

Postby andrewk » 17 Jun 2015, 3:07pm

Mick F wrote:I agree.
The E-bikes I saw were HUGE.

I reckon a 20stone pro wrestler could have fitted on them.

The 'bars must've been 6" higher than the tops of my bike, and they were maybe a yard wide. The grips were huge and the saddle equally so.
Yes. the saddle could be lowered very low, but the frame was long, so not suitable to a small person.

It appeared to me to have been aimed at very overweight adults.
(I'm being kind here)


Ebikes are available in the same range of sizes as normal bikes....they are made by the same companies.

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Mick F
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Re: Thinking of getting an e-bike

Postby Mick F » 17 Jun 2015, 3:17pm

One of the ones I saw was a Raleigh.
The electronic pack battery etc was in a large pod on a rear rack. The drive system was a large bulky unit fitted to the BB area.
This one maybe?
http://www.raleigh.co.uk/ProductType/Pr ... 8&pg=11389

The thing that struck me almost immediately I saw it, was how huge and tall it was. It must be heavy too.
Mick F. Cornwall

dave28
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Re: Thinking of getting an e-bike

Postby dave28 » 17 Jun 2015, 5:35pm

It is heavy - it's also very comfortable to ride, and I'm not planning on running anywhere with it on my back. The step-throughs tend/need to be chunkier simply because of their geometry. Trust me, though, it's lighter than a moped!

ferdinand
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Re: Thinking of getting an e-bike

Postby ferdinand » 17 Jun 2015, 6:23pm

They tend to be about 20-28kg including batteries.

So chunky but manageable, like a tourer with a few kg of luggage.

Ferdinand

pete75
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Re: Thinking of getting an e-bike

Postby pete75 » 17 Jun 2015, 7:41pm

Mick F wrote:One of the ones I saw was a Raleigh.
The electronic pack battery etc was in a large pod on a rear rack. The drive system was a large bulky unit fitted to the BB area.
This one maybe?
http://www.raleigh.co.uk/ProductType/Pr ... 8&pg=11389

The thing that struck me almost immediately I saw it, was how huge and tall it was. It must be heavy too.


And why the suspension fork - or do people actually buy them for off road work.


Not necessarily all huge though - if you click on the geometry/size guide it appears they do them down to a 14" frame size. Even Tyrion Lannister could ride that.

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squeaker
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Re: Thinking of getting an e-bike

Postby squeaker » 18 Jun 2015, 11:15am

pete75 wrote:And why the suspension fork - or do people actually buy them for off road work.
Same reason as the suspension seat post, I suspect?
"42"

dave28
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Re: Thinking of getting an e-bike

Postby dave28 » 18 Jun 2015, 12:41pm

Pave and metalled tracks, mostly; tho' I must admit I tend to forget to enable my front suspension on such surfaces. The crucial concept to get one's head round is "pleasure with minimal pain and discomfort", all the rest flows from there.