Electric Bikeitis.... a condition to be avoided

Electrically assisted bikes, trikes, etc.
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al_yrpal
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Electric Bikeitis.... a condition to be avoided

Postby al_yrpal » 21 Mar 2020, 10:39am

After 8 months of riding my Electric Bike everywhere I went out on my tourer, a Salsa Vaya which has some very low gears (18"). I found the going very hard even on modest hills. Coupled with that after a recent visit to the bloodsucker I got a Fatwa from the Quack because my type 2 diabetes reading had gone up.
There is no chance of me being able to ride the unassisted tourer around here without frequent walking on the abundance of 1 in 4s and 1 in 5s. In my 70s I no longer have the leg strength or lungs to manage the steepest hills which are often quite long. I hate having to walk, hence the electric bike, its a Bosch assisted Ortler Pedelec with four assisted settings - ECO, TOUR, SPORT and the highest TURBO
So, yesterday I went out on the Ortler choosing the hilliest 20 mile route with a few sightseeing jaunts along the way. Instead of tackling it all on TOUR the second setting I chose OFF on the flat and ECO, the lowest electric setting on hills only selecting the SPORT or TURBO momentarily when absolutely necessary. The bike is heavy it weighs about 25 kg and I always carry a panier with tools, lock, water, perhaps another 3 kg so it is a lump.
I was quite surprised what I could actually manage without the motor and with what the lowest ECO setting did to help me cope with gradients. I seldom needed to select higher settings and then only for very short periods. I decided that SPORT or TURBO assistance levels were like eating a bar of Chocolate, pure indulgence with no beneficial effects.
I now believe that riding an electric bike its all too easy to be lazy and select too much assistance and thus ruin your fitness. This is obviously what has happened to me. In future I am going to use the assistance very sparingly. The tourer will get used more for flat routes like the canal and seafronts, or perhaps I will use the Ortler unassisted with its extra weight to perk up my flabby muscles.

Al
Last edited by al_yrpal on 27 Mar 2020, 8:59am, edited 1 time in total.
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Cugel
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Re: Electric Bikeitist.... a condition to be avoided

Postby Cugel » 21 Mar 2020, 1:48pm

al_yrpal wrote:(snip)
I now believe that riding an electric bike its all too easy to be lazy and select too much assistance and thus ruin your fitness. This is obviously what has happened to me. In future I am going to use the assistance very sparingly. The tourer will get used more for flat routes like the canal and seafronts, or perhaps I will use the Ortler unassisted with its extra weight to perk up my flabby muscles.

Al


Ha ha - quelle surprise, your "lazy ole scrote" was released by the technological helpmeet known as a motor. Just think what a shock to the system it must be for the car-addicts to have to walk the 100 yards to the shop for their fags! (And crisps). Some technologies ruin a human.

Of course, what you bought is an electric motorbike in disguise. Shoulda got a real bike with a minimum-assist motor system that demands you work just as hard as it does. I could send the ladywife over there to educate you with her Fazua e-bike but who knows what ills she would meet on the way - perhaps gangs of loons on electric motorbikes looking for toilet rolls they don't need. Or owls! There might be owls!

Cugel, still motorless but with ever lower bottom gear.

Chargeriderepeat
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Re: Electric Bikeitist.... a condition to be avoided

Postby Chargeriderepeat » 21 Mar 2020, 5:23pm

Yup
And Im not bothered, Im in in for the thrills and run full boost with a spare battery, I just take on stupid steep tracks, probably get 25 miles at the most out of two batteries.

I'd say it was still a good burst workout, but Ive got no miles in my legs...yes I treat it like a superlight dirtbike and very few manual riders could take on the tracks I use.

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al_yrpal
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Re: Electric Bikeitist.... a condition to be avoided

Postby al_yrpal » 21 Mar 2020, 6:48pm

Of course, what you bought is an electric motorbike in disguise


There is a lot of ignorance about Pedelecs which demand that you make a variable %age of pedaling effort depending on the mode you select, you just demonstrated it.

Al
Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. What do you do to make a difference?

neilob
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Re: Electric Bikeitist.... a condition to be avoided

Postby neilob » 21 Mar 2020, 8:54pm

I think the important point of your post is that you buy the ebike that suits your requirements be they determined by health, fitness, or desire.
Using a car to take an adult on a three mile journey is the same as using an atomic bomb to kill a canary.

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al_yrpal
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Re: Electric Bikeitist.... a condition to be avoided

Postby al_yrpal » 21 Mar 2020, 10:00pm

neilob wrote:I think the important point of your post is that you buy the ebike that suits your requirements be they determined by health, fitness, or desire.


Absolutely, agree. I am 100% satisfied with the Bosch drive which is evidently very sophisticated. You can put in just the level of effort that you want to using the bikes gears and it responds perfecty. I am going to change my behavior on the bike and the drive will respond accordingly. The whole point of my post was to observe where I had gone wrong in using my electric bike as a fitness machine by getting too much unecessary assistance
I dont need lectures from Gadget Show educated folk about how other bikes are so much better, that is irrelavent.

Al
Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. What do you do to make a difference?

Antbrewer
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Re: Electric Bikeitist.... a condition to be avoided

Postby Antbrewer » 22 Mar 2020, 9:58am

Hi Al.
If you remember I think I was instrumental in your buying the Ortal ebike you have. I wrote about having hired one in Austria a few years back and said how solid and reliable it was. I think it you ordered one partly on my post.
Well I now have an ebike too. I picked it up last Saturday at my LBS. I eventually came down to wanting one that looked and felt like my Ridgeback Voyger touring bike but with a motor. I chose at considerable expense the Cannondale Synapse Neo 1. I had mudguards and a rack put on and apart from a close inspection it looks pretty much like a solid touring bike.
It has a Bosch Active Line plus motor and a 500Whr battery.
Having had a couple of short rides locally I intend to go out today with my wife ( she has a Pendelton ebike) to do a slightly longer ride with small hills to see how the various modes function in the real world.
As I mentioned in an previous post I intend to use the bike with it's 22 gears in the normal way I ride any other bike but with the motor kicking in when needed. Without using any power I haven't noticed any drag whatsoever. It glides along very smoothly and the riding position suits me as it is fairly upright even with drops.
Very excited about it.
The main drive for getting one was my last tour over the Alps in Austria last September where I realised my age and health needed a little boost. I cycled over the Radstatt pass which nearly killed me. Cycling for me is the best way to exercise and the see the countryside and to be fun and enjoyable . My new ebike is going to make that possible.
Anthony

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Re: Electric Bikeitist.... a condition to be avoided

Postby Grandad » 22 Mar 2020, 10:35am

Having recorded my mileages for the last 70 years (sad really :D ) I wanted to carry on after getting an Orbea Gain last September. I only bought it for hills that I was finding too strenuous. 90% of my rides involve a final ¾ mile climb to our house and this was the deciding factor as I was sometimes arriving home totally shattered.

Each time I use the motor on a new hill I make a note of the distance and now have a list of all the local ones. I use this to deduct the motorised distance from the total ride and so can still record the "proper" miles.

Current figures for the 25 Orbea rides are 988 proper miles and 86 motorised. The cost per motorised mile is more than compensated by being able to get over a range of hills to lanes that had become out of reach plus arriving home in comfort.

I have definitely got the right horse for my course :D
Last edited by Grandad on 27 Mar 2020, 12:40am, edited 1 time in total.

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al_yrpal
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Re: Electric Bikeitist.... a condition to be avoided

Postby al_yrpal » 22 Mar 2020, 4:23pm

Anthony thank you sincerely for posting your hire experience of an Ortler EBike which caused me to buy mine. I had never heard of Ortler but bike is truly a quality product. My Ortler Bozen has been faultless and enabled me to tackle the hilly countryside around here in Mid Devon with ease. I had let myself be seduced into using the motor too much and am cutting back severely because what my cycling ventures are for is to maintain a high level of fitness. Since I wrote the original post on this thread I have been out using the motorised assistance very sparingly. Riding a 25kg lump without the motor has been good for me. This morning I did a 15 mile loop along with a friend who is recovering from a ruptured artery condition and consequently we chose a pretty flat loop. I never used the motor at all. Unpowered the Ortler is a very capable comfy quality bike. I can envisage the Ortler becoming a very capable tourer when I am able to go out on tour again without any range anxiety. Reading the spec again I was a little shocked that even Eco mode can deliver up to 40% assistance. I shall be using the motor very sparingly in future to see what sort of range I can achieve in practice.

Your new Cannondale looks great and reading about the Bosch Active Line drive is very interesting. I had a hand built Cannondale prototype MTB until last year it just oozed quality. Please post your experiences and impression of the Synapse Neo when you are further into it.

Best

Al

Grandad, that is very interesting, you are definately on the right track...
Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. What do you do to make a difference?

Antbrewer
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Re: Electric Bikeitist.... a condition to be avoided

Postby Antbrewer » 22 Mar 2020, 6:26pm

Al,
As I said I was off out this afternoon on my new Neo1...
Wow! Wow! Wow! What and incredible purchase I have made. Although my wife ( Alex on her Pendleton ebike) and I only did about 22 miles I found the whole experience great. Having ridden this particular loop a number of times on my tourer and finding some of the hills an ever increasing 'grunt' each time I literally sailed up them this afternoon.
I stuck to my guns and and only turned on the Bosch as and when it was needed. Even the Eco mode which is the lowest was fantastic. As soon as I reached the point where I could carry on I turned it off and glided along. The actual bike without the Bosch kicking in is a delight to ride. It freewheels for ever and handles like a much much lighter bike would. The disc brakes are superb though my Ridgeback has cantilever brakes which will stop but there is often an amount of praying involved when hurtling down a mountain side with two heavy panniers on the back.
The balance of the frame is perfect for me and having a double chain wheel on the front affords a massive degree of flexibility with 22 gears. I tried to use these judiciously today to find the smoothest transition as to when to click on the Purion computer into the Eco mode and then the Tour. I did use the sport and for a few seconds the Turbo but there was no need as the tour mode was so efficient. I arrived home so elated feeling completely justified in forking out a large sum of money for this bike.
It looks good. It feels good and by Jove it does you good.
Even though we now have this very strange and surreal world with many restrictions due to the coronavirus I feel I will get out there as much as possible. I am abiding by the social distancing and not getting any where near anyone else. Getting plenty of fresh air in my lungs with all the other well known benefits of being on a bike.
Another little known fact....... We know a virus can travel fast but I reckon when I turn on the ''Turbo'' mode on my Bosch Active Line Plus I can out run the bugger!

All in all a very good ride on a beautiful machine.
Anthony

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al_yrpal
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Re: Electric Bikeitist.... a condition to be avoided

Postby al_yrpal » 22 Mar 2020, 10:43pm

Anthony thanks for that. I had a look at the Active Line plus and was amazed to see its maximum torque is 50 less than the torque delivered by the Performance Line on my Ortler, 65. Immediately I thought that it's because the Neo's weight is much less than the 23kg Ortler? Then I looked to see what the Neo' s weight is but can't find it? It's evident that the electronics on the Active line is more sophisticated because it delivers smoother gear changes. When changing up on my bike you do have to back off the pedals when changing up to avoid a clunk. There also seems to be some sort of smartphone connection to record performance etc...The Purion display seems to be identical. Does yours have the Walk feature? I think that is for the MTBers pushing the bike uphill unmounted.

Al
Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. What do you do to make a difference?

Antbrewer
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Re: Electric Bikeitist.... a condition to be avoided

Postby Antbrewer » 22 Mar 2020, 11:22pm

Just off to bed now Al but to answer your two questions very briefly.
The weight of the Neo 1 is a little over 18 kg and yes it does have a walk mode. This I understand is quite unusual as lots of makes no longer have one
Certainly the gear changes are smooth and clunkless!
A dream to ride and now I must away to dream .
Cheers
Anthony

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Re: Electric Bikeitist.... a condition to be avoided

Postby Antbrewer » 26 Mar 2020, 10:44pm

I am getting more used to my cannondale ( I think) after a few more rides. This forced exercise outing each day has seen so many of us out there on our bikes. Whilst riding the local lanes I have seen many cyclists , the mamils naturally but also many folk who probably wouldn't normally venture out to these places on their mountain bikes etc. All excellent stuff though. Also it seems in this surreal atmosphere that we are much friendlier as we pass whether on bikes or jogging or walking. There is more effort in saying 'hello' and such. Long may this continue afterwards.

I think there is a little learning curve in using an ebike. There must be a tendency for many to switch to Eco mode and ride off into the sunset. However for me at this stage I am still wanting the best of both worlds. An ordinary bike with the associated effort and then the ability to switch to that extra 'gear' that cost all that money. I haven't got this right yet. In think it is a mental thing as well as physical. I have naturally been looking at the battery readout on the computer on my bars. After 68 miles I saw a reduction of the first bar on the graphic. Aprrox 20% of the battery I believe. I was beginning to wonder if this indicator was in fact working.
The mental thing!........ I know I have a crazy desire to save as much of the power as possible. So I probably sweat a little too much on the inclines before I go to Eco. This is barmy I know because I will never use the whole battery on one outing.
Having a kitkat on a bench in a deserted village this afternoon I started off only to find an immediate hill. This would have caused me some breathing issues normally so I turned on the Tour mode and 'boy' I shot up the hill. I then felt slightly guilty. How stupid is that ? So I have to adapt mentally and physically to this new machine.
However there is no doubt that this is the way forward for me. I have some serious health issues which would mean I would ride my ridgeback less and less .This bike is very smooth and after the Bosch cutting out at one stage because I was pedalling over the magic 15mph I felt no drag or resistance to my cadence. How cool is that?
Anthony

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Re: Electric Bikeitist.... a condition to be avoided

Postby Grandad » 27 Mar 2020, 12:46am

Antbrewer, we are both singing from the same hymnsheet :D

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al_yrpal
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Re: Electric Bikeitist.... a condition to be avoided

Postby al_yrpal » 27 Mar 2020, 8:04am

Andrew, sounds like you are riding it correctly like I didn't :D

Al
Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. What do you do to make a difference?