Touring on an electric bike?

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LittleGreyCat
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Touring on an electric bike?

Postby LittleGreyCat » 11 Aug 2019, 10:53am

This is not something that I am contemplating immediately, just prompted by my recent trip across the Netherlands to Germany.

We cycled around 40 miles per day (give or take) with about 6 hours in and out of the saddle. For first time tourers this was manageable enough to be enjoyable. Average speed around 10 mph.

One thing that we noted was the prevalence of electric bikes.
Nearly every hotel had hire bikes, and many had electric hire bikes.

Many of the cars at the hotels had rear racks carrying a couple of electric bikes.

We met a lot of people out for day rides on their electric bikes. They would drive to a spot then ride a big circular route of 40 km or more. Then do a different route the next day. Charging the bikes overnight.

Given the range and recharge time, an electric bike should be able to more or less match our touring pace and distance especially if the rider was diligent about pedaling.
If a spare battery was also carried (I haven't seen any mention of this so far) then there would be a safety net against being out of power at the end of the day five miles from the hotel in the pouring rain with a head wind.

I am assuming relatively flat terrain such as the Netherlands. Following the TdF climbs would be a different matter.

I also don't recall seeing electric bikes pulling trailers, but then again I saw only a couple of trailers on the trip. I am wondering about an electric bike and trailer as a support vehicle for conventional touring, though.

Is this already a thing?

If not, what is the hidden flaw?

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cyclemad
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Re: Touring on an electric bike?

Postby cyclemad » 11 Aug 2019, 11:00am

we have a couple of ebikes for use on our hols as a general mode of transport -- car stays put !

the idea is ---- I go out on my roadie in the morning or a particular day for my ''cycle fix'' as the family call it :D

then we use the ebikes just to get about and do the tourist / sight seeing bit.

we cover about 40 miles a day and they charge up in less than two hours ..

We have the Bosch system and can recommend that - with ebikes its ''you get what you pay for''. Buy cheap QVC Chinese rubbish and they fall apart and spares are non existent . Our bikes have full Shimano kit.

you may find more info on an ebike forum called PEDELECS....

:D :D

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Cunobelin
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Re: Touring on an electric bike?

Postby Cunobelin » 11 Aug 2019, 11:12am

The only issue is charging.

If you get a bike with a detachable battery and off-bike charging, take it into your accommodation and charge. Camping can be more troublesome.

Oldjohnw
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Re: Touring on an electric bike?

Postby Oldjohnw » 11 Aug 2019, 11:13am

I tour on an electric assist bike. I also carry camping kit and do hills. In May I did the Hadrian's Cycleway over 4 days and next month am cycling from Pitlochry to Inverness.

I mix my camping between wild and site based and always check in advance that I will be able to charge the battery. Never had a problem. Often I top up at a cafe/pub/visitor centre.

I get between 40 and 80 miles depending on wind, terrain and my own fitness.

I didn't pay big bucks and simply upgraded my old hybrid. I did my first tour at age 67.
Last edited by Oldjohnw on 11 Aug 2019, 11:52am, edited 1 time in total.
John

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LittleGreyCat
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Re: Touring on an electric bike?

Postby LittleGreyCat » 11 Aug 2019, 11:15am

Just found this on Evans website.
https://www.evanscycles.com/coffeestop/news/riding-the-world-by-e-bike
So touring with a trailer is already a thing.

I now have serious trailer envy.

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al_yrpal
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Re: Touring on an electric bike?

Postby al_yrpal » 11 Aug 2019, 11:23am

Splendid idea! Move from place to place by car and explore the local hinterland by EB. Or, just a conventional tour, many campsites seem to have electric points for charging batteries.

Purists will no doubt object but having fun is whatever floats your boat.

Al
Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. CTC gone but not forgotten!

reohn2
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Re: Touring on an electric bike?

Postby reohn2 » 11 Aug 2019, 11:24am

I suspect the two e-bike policepersons may be along shortly :roll:

IMO if e-bike touring suits you and you can charge batteries at accomodation stops,whether that be hotels,hostels or campsites then go for it :D
Last edited by reohn2 on 11 Aug 2019, 11:31am, edited 1 time in total.
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reohn2
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Re: Touring on an electric bike?

Postby reohn2 » 11 Aug 2019, 11:29am

LittleGreyCat wrote:Just found this on Evans website.
https://www.evanscycles.com/coffeestop/news/riding-the-world-by-e-bike
So touring with a trailer is already a thing.

I now have serious trailer envy.

The only time I'd use a trailer is if I couldn't fit everthing on the bike comfortably.
Trailers add the weight of themselves,add another wheel or two to add risk of punctures,and encourage carrying more stuff than needed.They also need more room to park and manoeuvre.
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simonhill
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Re: Touring on an electric bike?

Postby simonhill » 11 Aug 2019, 11:30am

I've seen a few people touring on electric bikes. Two in Europe and one in Burma. The latter one was going the opposite way to me and he was flying along so didn't get a chance to chat. He looked like quite an old guy who was enjoying himself.

One of the Euro ones, a young Belgian guy, was carrying a spare battery. However, I believe the batteries are the most expensive part of the bike so there is quite an added cost.

One problem with electric bikes is that you can't fly with them (or rather you can't fly with the battery).

reohn2
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Re: Touring on an electric bike?

Postby reohn2 » 11 Aug 2019, 11:46am

If I were in the market for a doall/workhorse/touring/utility/replace the car bike,the Reise and Muller Multicharger Rohloff with two batteries would take some beating.I had the opportunity to test ride on one earlier in the year and was very impressed with it's pulling power,handling and overall design.It just didn't feel heavy to handle or ride either on or off it.
There's a good review here:- https://youtu.be/hE7IdqOwsEs
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al_yrpal
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Re: Touring on an electric bike?

Postby al_yrpal » 11 Aug 2019, 12:17pm

That Riess and Müller bike is practically identical to my £1500 Ortler Bozen Pedelec, including the Bosch Performance drive but with the exeption of the belt drive and CVT. I wouldnt pay an additional £2500 for that and a spare battery. The Ortler has a normal 9 speed Shimano derriallier which is just fine. The weight of the Ortler is 22kg, but thats without the additional battery. The longest ride I have done in this extremely hilly spot was 27 miles which used 50% of the battery.

If I went proper touring I would gladly pay the £550 for a spare battery to increase my daily range. My Altura Arran Panniers fitted straight on the bikes supplied rack. The Ortler has LED lighting too. They even supply a frame mounted pump and a brilliant kick stand.! The only accessories I have had to buy are a stem mounted waterproof housing for my phone and I have fitted a Dutch bike lock. As an impulsive purchase I am very pleased with my Ortler Electric Bike, inexpensive but nicely made.

Al
Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. CTC gone but not forgotten!

reohn2
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Re: Touring on an electric bike?

Postby reohn2 » 11 Aug 2019, 12:23pm

Al
It's nothing like your Otler,and that's not putting your bike down in anyway,infact I think your bike is an extremely good value for money e-bike TBH,but you're comparing eggs with apples.
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cyclemad
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Re: Touring on an electric bike?

Postby cyclemad » 11 Aug 2019, 12:51pm

Cunobelin wrote:The only issue is charging.

If you get a bike with a detachable battery and off-bike charging, take it into your accommodation and charge. Camping can be more troublesome.



we were on a camping / caravan site and there was a couple who ebikes - they were in a tent and it was their first weekend away....hadnt realised there was no hook up available - so we ran an extension from out external Elec point on our caravan and they used that to charge up there bikes.....elec wasnt metered so didn't cause any issues

It may be worthwhile for potential ebike campers to ring ahead and see if they can get their batts charged on the site...or if ''wild camping '' the nearest shop which may assist ?

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al_yrpal
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Re: Touring on an electric bike?

Postby al_yrpal » 11 Aug 2019, 1:26pm

reohn2 wrote:Al
It's nothing your Ortler.?.but you're comparing eggs with apples.


The R and M uses exactly the same Bosch drive and control as the Ortler, it doesnt even offer a more advanced or more powerful model like the CX. For the extra 2 grand you probably get stronger wheels, better hubs and headset and a fancy drive system that might prove troublesome compared with a simple tried and tested derriallier. The R and M does give you a couple of nice racks and fat tyres, but thats not too relavent for touring. What I am trying to point out is that good quality suitable EBs are available for only a battery cost more than a decent quality conventional tourer. One shouldnt be put off by a £4.5 k price tag, it just isnt necessary. Thats in contrast to the BSO EBs offered by QVC etc which probably wouldnt be reliable for touring. A close look at a £1500 Ortler, Cube or similar would be convincing.

Al
Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. CTC gone but not forgotten!

Oldjohnw
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Re: Touring on an electric bike?

Postby Oldjohnw » 11 Aug 2019, 1:41pm

cyclemad wrote:
Cunobelin wrote:The only issue is charging.

If you get a bike with a detachable battery and off-bike charging, take it into your accommodation and charge. Camping can be more troublesome.



we were on a camping / caravan site and there was a couple who ebikes - they were in a tent and it was their first weekend away....hadnt realised there was no hook up available - so we ran an extension from out external Elec point on our caravan and they used that to charge up there bikes.....elec wasnt metered so didn't cause any issues

It may be worthwhile for potential ebike campers to ring ahead and see if they can get their batts charged on the site...or if ''wild camping '' the nearest shop which may assist ?

Exactly what I do as explained above. An hour or so charge at breakfast and lunch and a couple on the pub at night. At House of Briar on A9 last year I left the battery by arrangement in the office all afternoon while I had lunch then climbed the Falls of Briar.

Using hookup on a site might be problematic as I believe you need a special lead and waterproof plug as well as your charger. A lot of extra weight.
John

Cycling and recycling