Should You Install E-Assist On Your Trike/Bike?

DIscuss anything relating to non-standard cycles and their equipment.
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WIGHTDIAMOND
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Should You Install E-Assist On Your Trike/Bike?

Postby WIGHTDIAMOND » 24 Mar 2019, 9:13pm

This article is my take on whether or not people should install e-assist and the much debated cardio benefits of with or without.

Lodge
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Re: Should You Install E-Assist On Your Trike/Bike?

Postby Lodge » 24 Mar 2019, 11:38pm

Absolutely spot on. I've recently had a motor fitted to my ICE Sprint to enable me to get up the many 10%+ hills in the Peak District and Staffordshire Moorlands where I live. Now my mileage is increasing again. I used to do over 10,000 km/year (unmotorised) before retiring (commuting in the Rhine valley Alsace-Basel area) but this decreased to less than 5000 due to the ridiculous hills round here. The motor really makes me want to get out again and enjoy the scenery. Hills have benefits: good views! Now they are just a morning or afternoon ride away. Simples.

And, by-the-way, I'm still hot and sweaty when I get back. It's just that I'm not limited to crawling uphill at 2-3 mph getting bored for 90-95% of the journey. Most of the time it's set to eco, i.e. +50% assist. Just that bit extra to take the edge off the slope. Boost/Turbo (+250%) is fun but the battery doesn't last long enough for a decent (40 mile+) ride at that power level. That said, boost is great for the quick 30 min run into town (i.e. avoid using the car).

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horizon
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Re: Should You Install E-Assist On Your Trike/Bike?

Postby horizon » 25 Mar 2019, 12:32am

AIUI, the bicycle emerged as a super-efficient way to get from A to B (or a fun way of getting to B even if you didn't actually need to). It's best on the flat of course (downhill implies having to have gone uphill first). I don't know what the first bicycle riders thought when they met their first hill (and that was in the days before gears were invented). I presume they got off and walked at 2 mph up the hill.

There must have been a point though when cyclists realised that getting from A to B by bike had a health and fitness spin-off. My knowledge of cycling history isn't great but I'm guessing that that would have been around the time of the car - even going to the station would have involved a walk. Nowadays sport and fitness and a passion for hills seems to dominate cycling. But that might be for a good reason: we are wedded to our cars, obesity is rampant and old age starts to creep in at 50. So exercise is required, the bike is a good way of getting it and hills provide it in spades. But at the heart of it is (initially unpleasant) physical effort. Take that away and you've lost some or all of the health benefit. But where does that leave the people who just want a super-efficient way of getting from A to B or just want to explore the countryside? Well, probably in the electric bike shop.

On our ride today, Mrs H and myself only saw one other bike - an electric one. And the hilly coast of Cornwall did limit how far we could go. I wouldn't swap with the e-bike rider but I do know that I have to but can walk up the hill, pushing the bike, that he was riding up. I simply don't know the answer to the OP's question: it all depends on what you want. The only point I might make is that the motor kicks in at the point of maximum need/effort. Experts tell us that that is when we benefit most from a fitness POV. For many people, that exertion is too much. From my own point of view, the way I solve the problem of distance is to take the bike on a train. The rest of the time I value the physical challenge even if I find it difficult and frustrating.

It may be that the early cyclists compared their speed with walking (they travelled on the same roads) and were mightily pleased. Nowdays we compare our speed with that of cars (we travel on the same roads) and are mightily p----ed off. But I console myself with the thought that if we take away my bike and his car, I would beat most other 65 year olds to the top of the hill. I need my two legs to get there - he needs a V8 engine to assist him.
Let's just get Brexit done so that we can get on with the important job of re-joining the EU!

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WIGHTDIAMOND
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Re: Should You Install E-Assist On Your Trike/Bike?

Postby WIGHTDIAMOND » 25 Mar 2019, 8:02am

Absolutely! I've installed dual 48v 13Ah batteries on my ICE QNT. I can probably do around 80 miles at of high assist on high elevation ground.

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Cunobelin
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Re: Should You Install E-Assist On Your Trike/Bike?

Postby Cunobelin » 25 Mar 2019, 6:00pm

My decision was simple.....

One of these carried in the box and you have a few problems with hills, E-assist sorts that

Image

LowdownRider
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Re: Should You Install E-Assist On Your Trike/Bike?

Postby LowdownRider » 4 Apr 2019, 6:17pm

I have just ordered my first (ever) recumbent trike, and I had the chance to test ride an "ordinary" ICE trike and also an electric ICE trike - before placing my order. Despite being the wrong side of 60, not in great health and coming back to biking after 40+ years, I have opted for the NON electric version.
Yes, it was easier on the e-trike, and maybe at some point in the future I will get one, but for the here and now I feel (health-wise) I need to use my own power as long as I'm able. I've grown lazy and progressively less fit for years. I believe going electric will not help me improve my health (or at least slow it down from getting worse).
One other factor in my decision was that the electric version was not a retro fit on the new ICE trikes that I looked at and, although I'm told Shimano promise at least 10 years support, what happens to the resale value of my trike when it needs a new (VERY expensive) replacement battery which is no longer produced? Does my trike become beyond economic repair/junk?
I've had to trade up SO many old mobile phones over the years, that were all still 100% perfectly usable, purely because batteries were no longer stocked! "Built in obsolecence" the yanks used to call it, and a dreadful waste of Earth's ever shrinking resources in my humble opinion.
Anyway, that's my input on the subject. I'll get my coat... (a Fast Show moment!) :oops:
The older I get, the more I know, the less makes sense! :lol:

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horizon
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Re: Should You Install E-Assist On Your Trike/Bike?

Postby horizon » 4 Apr 2019, 6:52pm

LowdownRider: thanks for your post. It's great to get a view from someone who has tried both. I have ridden an ICE trike (and have visited the factory in Falmouth) and I think they are terrific. But I cannot give a valid opinion on e-bikes, just my own surmising which I have outlined above. I think it is a discussion worth having (the OP started it, not I) but I don't join in with the aim of dampening anyone's enthusiasm - far from it, it's just to get a better idea of how man and machine inter-relate.
Let's just get Brexit done so that we can get on with the important job of re-joining the EU!

LowdownRider
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Re: Should You Install E-Assist On Your Trike/Bike?

Postby LowdownRider » 4 Apr 2019, 7:06pm

horizon wrote:LowdownRider: thanks for your post. It's great to get a view from someone who has tried both. I have ridden an ICE trike (and have visited the factory in Falmouth) and I think they are terrific. But I cannot give a valid opinion on e-bikes, just my own surmising which I have outlined above. I think it is a discussion worth having (the OP started it, not I) but I don't join in with the aim of dampening anyone's enthusiasm - far from it, it's just to get a better idea of how man and machine inter-relate.


I may have to alter my posting - once I've had some real experience with my new trike. I hope not, as it's quite an investment. However the electric version would have been a considerably bigger investment :lol:
The older I get, the more I know, the less makes sense! :lol:

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Re: Should You Install E-Assist On Your Trike/Bike?

Postby PH » 4 Apr 2019, 7:33pm

I haven't given this thread much thought -
Should You Install E-Assist On Your Trike/Bike?
Who is the question addressed to? me? OK, no thanks.
I feel no need to explain or justify that choice anymore than I expect anyone who has made a different choice to do so.
If the question is "Should anyone Install E-Assist On Your Trike/Bike? then the answer is if they want to and that's it.

Oldjohnw
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Re: Should You Install E-Assist On Your Trike/Bike?

Postby Oldjohnw » 5 Apr 2019, 4:22am

Prior to getting e-assist I could barely get into town. Now I regularly have 60km day trips and also several multi day camping trips each year. As soon as you exceed 22kph you no longer get e-assist anyway: you are on your own but it is there when you need it in the hills. So plenty of physical exercise.
John

Cycling and recycling

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horizon
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Re: Should You Install E-Assist On Your Trike/Bike?

Postby horizon » 5 Apr 2019, 11:46am

Oldjohnw wrote:Prior to getting e-assist I could barely get into town. Now I regularly have 60km day trips and also several multi day camping trips each year. As soon as you exceed 22kph you no longer get e-assist anyway: you are on your own but it is there when you need it in the hills. So plenty of physical exercise.


Oldjohnw: thanks for that. The OP asked "should you" so there is a sort of moral question here. Does it have a downside for the person or humanity? So are you saying you should?
Let's just get Brexit done so that we can get on with the important job of re-joining the EU!

Oldjohnw
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Re: Should You Install E-Assist On Your Trike/Bike?

Postby Oldjohnw » 5 Apr 2019, 12:23pm

horizon wrote:
Oldjohnw wrote:Prior to getting e-assist I could barely get into town. Now I regularly have 60km day trips and also several multi day camping trips each year. As soon as you exceed 22kph you no longer get e-assist anyway: you are on your own but it is there when you need it in the hills. So plenty of physical exercise.


Oldjohnw: thanks for that. The OP asked "should you" so there is a sort of moral question here. Does it have a downside for the person or humanity? So are you saying you should?


I must admit, I never thought about morality in this situation.

I cannot think of a downside in my situation. I now do the shopping with my bike: no car used. So plus loads.
John

Cycling and recycling

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horizon
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Re: Should You Install E-Assist On Your Trike/Bike?

Postby horizon » 5 Apr 2019, 1:13pm

Oldjohnw wrote:
I cannot think of a downside in my situation. I now do the shopping with my bike: no car used. So plus loads.


The practical downsides are:

1. Expense
2. A heavier bike (lifting it etc even if not riding)
3. Mechanical complexity
4. Battery replacement
5. Possibly more difficult to repair at home but I am sure this is arguable.
6. Restricted range (at the extreme)

Obviously these are known negatives and counter-balanced by the benefits that an ebike confers.

The "moral" downsides are:

1. An ebike mitigates the need for severe exertion thus reducing the health/fitness benefits (so we are told).
2. An ebike produces potentially more electronic waste.
3. An ebike will require electricity production (however you feel about that)
4. Lithium batteries AIUI are difficult to recycle and present a future problem
5. Lithium extraction may have consequences

The "moral" upside of course is that an ebike might replace car use. Whther this is generally true I'm not sure as it might just replace non-powered bike use.

Anyway, whatever you think of the "moral hazards", there is at least IMV something to be discussed and the OP was right to pose the question in the way he did.

NB Moral in this context means anything to do with our health and environmental well-being and consequences for other people.
Let's just get Brexit done so that we can get on with the important job of re-joining the EU!

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Tigerbiten
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Re: Should You Install E-Assist On Your Trike/Bike?

Postby Tigerbiten » 5 Apr 2019, 9:03pm

My experience with people who have an E-Assist is mostly cases of "I wouldn't have if I still could but I can't anymore so I have".
I'm getting on towards this point with my knees on hills, they hurt after a lot of climbing, so I'm beginning to think towards this approach.

Not living in a city means I don't see a lot of people who do it to just make it quicker.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Should You Install E-Assist On Your Trike/Bike?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 5 Apr 2019, 11:00pm

I have, I added it when after a few months of no commuting Ingot a job 15 miles away. Only needed it a couple of times, but it is a nice thing to have at various points.

Absolutely nothing wrong with them, road legal ones aren’t going to provide a ‘no effort’ ride of any quality - they do make a given effort go further/faster.

So if you go out for an hour, probably no change, if you go for a specific journey - makes it easier.
If you go on a short journey there is no obligation to turn it on.
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.