e-bike

 

Any Factory members into electric biking? I recently traded in my conventional 24 speed Giant bike for a Gazelle Arroyo e-bike with a Bosch electric assist motor. I ride mostly on urban streets, paved trails and packed limestone trails. As I get older and experience shortness of breath and generally decreasing stamina for endurance, I found myself avoiding hills, long rides and windy days. My worries about getting stranded have been mostly unfounded, but sometimes stopped me from going as far or to places that my riding partners wanted to go. So I am hoping the e-bike will actually give me more exercise by increasing my confidence to ride more often and on longer and more difficult trails.

The Bosch Performance Line motor is mounted on the crank. It still requires you to pedal at all time. There are 4 levels of assist that increase your peddling power from about 50% to 260%. The maximum speed is 20 MPH. The battery range, depending on weight, wind, terrain and assist level, is from 25 miles up to about 90 miles.

So far the only ride I have taken on the Gazelle is to the drug store to pick up a prescription ... about a 10 mile round trip. It sure was fun being able to kick up the assist when coming to a hill or heading into the wind. I hope the weather warms up soon so I can get it out the the trail and give it a real test.

My wife has an e-bike that she bought last summer. Hers is a Blix Aveny which has a hub mounted motor with a throttle, so you can actually ride it without peddling. It also has a max speed of 20 MPH, but the range on battery is considerably less (15 to 35 miles).

On my old Giant bike that I traded in, I had my Garmin Oregon 550 mounted on the handle bar. This not only told me where I was on the trail map, but also gave me a speedometer, odometer, trip distance, elevation changes, etc. The Gazelle display has its own speedometer. odometer, and trip meter, but I will probably still use the Oregon for the map and elevation. It is too bad that Bosch doesn't include a GPS chip and barometric altimeter in their control system.

I would like to hear about the experiences other Factory members have with e-bikes.

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Alan - Android Auto, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra
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Just Getting Started

I've been trail riding for many years and like you, I'm starting to have health issues. I find I can't ride as far as I use to and also worry about getting stranded.

I've looked at dozens of Ebike models and test rode a few but so far, I haven't been able to find one that suits my needs. My wife and I presently ride Trek Shift 4 mountain bikes customized to our personal preferences. No Ebike I've seen comes close to meeting our requirements.

Right now, I'm looking at conversion kits. The ones at the top of my list include:

https://www.ebikekit.com/collections/bicycle-kits

https://www.nycewheels.com/electric-motor-kits/

https://www.amazon.com/AW-Electric-Bicycle-Conversion-Contro...

Most are simple to install, cost about 1/3 the price of a complete bike and lets you use the bike you've become accustomed to riding. The only down side I see is the exposed wiring which can look a bit "messy".

I particularly like the front wheel models. Some of the trails we ride prohibit ALL motorized bikes, even those that are pedal assist. This is also true in some states for on road riding without a license and insurance. It is a simple task to swap the motor wheel with the original when this is an issue.

Thanks for posting Alan. I hope you're enjoying the Ebike experience. Hopefully, other members will share their thoughts.

Thanks.

Thanks for the post bdhsfz6. Your conversion project sounds very interesting. Let me know what you decide to get and how it works out. How do you plan to mount the battery? It seems like weight distribution might be an issue with a front hub motor. But I certainly don't know much about this. I am sure you have thoroughly researched it.

The mountain biking you are into is certainly a whole different biking category than the urban/paved trail leisure riding that I do. It sounds like fun and if I was a few years younger might be willing to try it. In Iowa our legislature passed a bill a few years ago that defines Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes as "bicycles", so they have the same regulations, riding privileges and restrictions as non motorized bikes including access rules for bike trails, urban bike lanes, sidewalks, etc. I know this varies considerably by state. I read that in NYC they actually impound any class 2 e-bike (that has a throttle).

I decided to get a step-thru frame instead of the diamond frame. My son who I often go riding with will have a lot of fun teasing me about riding a "girls" bike, but it helps eliminate the sharp hip pain I sometimes got when swinging my leg up and over the seat to mount my old bike. Although the Gazelle bike is very well built, this type of frame, lack of suspension and relatively narrow tires will keep me off any rough trails. I do hope though to spend more time than I did with my old bike on packed limestone trails in parks, as I no longer feel the need to avoid hills. smile

Thanks again for your post and I look forward to hearing more as you modify your mountain bike into an electric bike.

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Alan - Android Auto, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra

Mountain Bike in Name Only

I gave up riding mountain trails many years ago (LOL). Even though I still ride a mountain bike, it's been modified for comfort. I turned 71 last December and can't risk the rough ride anymore.

I had a hip replaced 7 years ago and am having the other done next month. I know what you mean about the convenience of the step through bike frame design. Were I to get a new bike, it would certainly have that feature, girls bike or not. I actually see many men riding this type of bike on the trails I frequent.

These days, my wife and I mostly ride relatively smooth, level rail and canal trails. There are an abundance of them here in the northeast. I have over 20 of the more notable ones in .gpx files available for download here at the factory. One of them is the Katy Trail which you might find interesting.

http://www.poi-factory.com/node/42537

It's about 4 hours south of your location and runs 238 highway free miles from St Louis almost to Kansas City. It follows the Missouri River for some distance with spectacular views of the Missouri Bluffs.

I haven't ruled out buying new E-bikes if the right one should come along in the near future. Our existing Trek bikes lend themselves well to the conversion though. We already have rear racks with large storage bags which would easily hold The battery and controller. The front wheel motor weighs 4.6 pounds and is not supposed to affect handling.

From what I've seen and read, the popularity of E biking is increasing rapidly. Since I first started looking 4 years ago, The number of E-bike manufacturers has quadrupled. Every year, there are improvements in L-ion battery technology and motor efficiency.

The Gazelle was one of the models I looked at. it's 13.8 AH battery is advertised to give an impressive 100 mile range using pedal assist. I'll be interested in hearing your results after you get some serious mileage on yours.

Range.

There is no way I will get 100 miles unless I turn the assist off! And then my stamina will prevent it. laugh out loud

I turn 71 next month, so we are about the same age. I weigh over 200, so I am guessing I might be able to get 50 or so miles if I stick to eco mode. After my 10 mile ride, the display showed I still had a range of 62 miles in eco mode, but I expect it will continue to go down as it learns my riding habits.

The Gazelle Arroyo was definitely beyond my price range. I was looking at a Raleigh Detour, but my local bike shop had one 2017 Arroyo at a close out price. Once I saw the elegance of this bike I just couldn't pass it up, The only complaint I have so far is that Gazelle disabled the walk assist mode. For this heavy of a bike, I can see how that could come in handy. I am still getting used to the internal gears of the Shimano hub. It is nice in that you can downshift when stopped. But I did find on my short ride that I somewhat missed the higher gears of my old 24 speed when going down hill.

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Alan - Android Auto, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra

Be Wary of Front-Wheel Conversion Kits...

bdhsfz6 wrote:

...

I particularly like the front wheel models. ...

bdhsfz6 wrote:

... The front wheel motor weighs 4.6 pounds and is not supposed to affect handling.

...

Be fully cognizant of the impacts associated with front-wheel drive in your consideration for a conversion kit--i.e., stability, steering and ridability characteristics. There are practical reasons for no commercially-available FWD motorcycles. Good luck, and have fun!

I saw a friend's new FiField Jetty last summer which piqued my curiosity in e-bikes. I looked at e-bike conversion kits briefly in the fall. From what I've seen so far, I'm a bit leery of these kits' component quality and long-term reliability, along with their lack of warranty and support infrastructure. Caveat emptor; buyers are on their own in getting the mail-order kits to work. Buying an OEM e-bike might be more worthwhile as they seem to be better designed, better made, and more readily serviced by qualified dealers if there's any problem.

E-Bike

alandb wrote:

Any Factory members into electric biking?...I would like to hear about the experiences other Factory members have with e-bikes.

Not yet, but my wife and I took some for a test ride last year. We both seemed to like them. I haven't seriously decided which would be the best one for me, but I think I will eventually. I look forward to seeing other posts on this!

Weight is Definitely a Factor

alandb wrote:

There is no way I will get 100 miles unless I turn the assist off! And then my stamina will prevent it. laugh out loud

I turn 71 next month, so we are about the same age. I weigh over 200, so I am guessing I might be able to get 50 or so miles if I stick to eco mode. After my 10 mile ride, the display showed I still had a range of 62 miles in eco mode, but I expect it will continue to go down as it learns my riding habits.

The Gazelle Arroyo was definitely beyond my price range. I was looking at a Raleigh Detour, but my local bike shop had one 2017 Arroyo at a close out price. Once I saw the elegance of this bike I just couldn't pass it up, The only complaint I have so far is that Gazelle disabled the walk assist mode. For this heavy of a bike, I can see how that could come in handy. I am still getting used to the internal gears of the Shimano hub. It is nice in that you can downshift when stopped. But I did find on my short ride that I somewhat missed the higher gears of my old 24 speed when going down hill.

Rider weight does make a big difference in the E-bike range one can expect. Manufacturers differ widely in their claims based on load for the same wattage motor. I'm 6' 2" and at 250 lbs, this is a concern for me.

I have several requirements in a bike that I'm not willing to sacrifice. I won't give up the 27 speeds my Trek has. I need a high stem (handlebar) height relative to the seat so I can ride mostly upright. The days of riding hunched over the handlebar is over for me. I need front and rear (or seat tube) suspension. The motor must be freewheeling for riding without assist or walking the bike. So far, I haven't found an E-bike that meets these requirements. Several dealers I've talked to say none exist at this point.

Unfortunately, keeping our Trek's and getting separate E-bikes isn't an option. My wife and I travel from Maine to the Carolina's and west to Missouri riding noteworthy trails. Carrying more than two bikes would be a problem. This is why I'm looking at conversions.

Tli's comments about front wheel motors are well taken although I've not seen any complaints about handling so far. Buying from a reputable company is always a good idea but even then, there is no guarantee their E-bike products will continue to be supported.

There are rear wheel conversion kits available and I'm not ruling those out. So far however, I haven't found one that will work with the 9 speed Trek cassette.

There is a LOT to talk about on this subject and I'm hoping others here will share their experiences.

Again, thanks for starting the thread Alan.

Lot of Factors to Consider...

By adding rotational force and torque of a motor to the front wheel, the bike's handling will be affected via the basic laws of physics (i.e., gyroscopic effect, angular momentum, etc.) Counter-steering will take more force to the handlebar in order to change the bike's direction of travel, and turning will not be as nimble and responsive--especially in emergency avoidance maneuvers. Braking characteristics will also be noticeably impacted.

Converting and retrofitting a regular pedal bike into a motorized bike, requires altering the frame most of the time, changing its drive train configuration, changing its load carrying distribution/center-of-gravity, and possibly compromising the frame's strength/integrity. Whereas an OEM e-bike is intentionally designed and built with a sturdier frame and better weigh distribution characteristics to better integrate/accommodate the motorized components for both practicality and esthetics. The savings from the piecemeal conversion kits might not be as much when the required additional costs of batteries, charging, custom mounting, sturdier kickstand and thief prevention systems--securing the various components so a passerby couldn't walk off with the batteries for example--are taken into account. A lot of factors to consider with a conversion kit... most interested in your final decisions as I've a spare mountain bike that I'm considering for conversion too. smile

e-bike battery.

One interesting thing I have been reading about on the e-bike lithium ion batteries is that you should not top them off when the bike will not be used during the off season. They should be stored with a 50% and not more than 80% charge. Even when the bike is used regularly, it is best to put it away with a 50% to 80% charge and top it off just before use. That advice goes against what I thought I knew about lithium batteries, and tells me I did the wrong thing with my wife's Blix bike this winter. I charged her battery about every 6 weeks to keep it topped off ... live and learn.

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Alan - Android Auto, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra

You might want to look into a good light motorcycle helmet

Regular bike helmets probably won't cut it at e-bike speeds, especially in an urban environment.

Uber

Just keep an eye out for Uber self driven cars they are not bicycle friendly.
http://abcnews.go.com/US/woman-killed-driving-uber-car-ident...

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Garmin 38 - Magellan Gold - Garmin Yellow eTrex - Nuvi 260 - Nuvi 2460LMT - Google Nexus 7 - Toyota Entune NAV

Good point ... but ...

scott_dog wrote:

Regular bike helmets probably won't cut it at e-bike speeds, especially in an urban environment.

Max assisted speed on my e-bike is 20 MPH, and with it's lower gearing and higher weight (58#) it is unlikely that I will be able to get it anywhere close to 20 MPH with pedal power alone (except down hill of course). On my previous 24 speed bike I could pedal it up to 20 MPH, and of course even faster going down hill. smile

No argument from me that bike riding has it dangers, and of course in an accident with a vehicle, the vehicle always wins.

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Alan - Android Auto, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra

Wise Sancho

alandb wrote:

No argument from me that bike riding has it dangers, and of course in an accident with a vehicle, the vehicle always wins.

It reminds me of Sancho speaking to Don Quixote: And you know what they say, whether the stone hits the pitcher or the pitcher hits the stone, it's going to bad for the pitcher.

That is a standard rule for

That is a standard rule for any lithium batteries.
The problem is when the usage is intermittent, like my GoPro or Lumix cameras. I like to have them ready, but I am not constantly using them.
18650 flashlight batteries are the same.
A bike is a lot easier to conform.

Another Approach

For those potential E-bikers who don't want to buy an E-bike or convert an existing one, here is an interesting idea:

https://electricbikereport.com/electric-cargo-trailers-guide...

I've seen bikes pulling trailers on many occasions but never being pushed by one!

The down side is they are designed for paved surfaces and don't perform well on dirt and gravel trails.

I picture ...

I picture one of those pushing me and my bike into the ditch, then running over me! grin

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Alan - Android Auto, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra

AAA and bikes.

I just learned over on the EBR forum (electric bike forum) that if you are a AAA member and your bike is disabled, they will transport you and your bike back home or back to your vehicle. You would still have to push your bike to the nearest road or parking lot, but that is a lot better than the thought of leaving your bike unattended while you walk or hitch a ride back to your vehicle. I am a AAA member and never would have thought about calling them for help if I get stranded with my bike, so this was good information to find out about. I did note in their exclusions that the emergency transport only covers you if your bike is disabled, not for fatigue or other reasons.

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Alan - Android Auto, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra

Good to Know

alandb wrote:

I just learned over on the EBR forum (electric bike forum) that if you are a AAA member and your bike is disabled, they will transport you and your bike back home or back to your vehicle. You would still have to push your bike to the nearest road or parking lot, but that is a lot better than the thought of leaving your bike unattended while you walk or hitch a ride back to your vehicle. I am a AAA member and never would have thought about calling them for help if I get stranded with my bike, so this was good information to find out about. I did note in their exclusions that the emergency transport only covers you if your bike is disabled, not for fatigue or other reasons.

Thanks for the information Alan. I'm also an AAA member and am seriously considering a pair of Pedego Interceptor E-bikes for my wife and I.

https://pedegoelectricbikes.com/shop/platinum-interceptor/

I may consider the "step through" model if the frame size suits me. It's interesting they are getting away from calling them "girls" bikes now since a lot of baby boomer males are buying them.

Pedego Interceptor

That looks like a really great premium eBike bdhhfz6. It has a lot of features I really like ... the powerful motor, high capacity battery, suspension components, comfortable seat and swept back handlebar. I bet it is a really comfortable ride. I especially like the fact that it uses a torque sensor and still has a throttle. That should give it a very natural feel when pedaling.

While modding a bike with a kit sounds like fun, I suspect you might be happier in the long run with the Pedego. Let us know what you decide.

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Alan - Android Auto, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra

Roadside Assistance

AAA stipulations regarding bicycle services: two free service calls per year up to 10 miles each. The covered distance is shorter than my typical riding range, and that's rather short for e-bikes, but having AAA on speed-dial is still better than walking the full distance back if a lift is unavailable. Hopefully, AAA doesn't start making distinctions between motorized and standard bicycles, as they do offer roadside service coverage for motorcycles and scooters at additional costs. Unlike a vehicle, dead batteries on an e-bike are likely not covered and won't qualify for a service call?

BTW, I'm also a member of the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) besides being an AAA Plus member. Roadside service is one of the AMA membership benefits. Vehicles including motorcycles, cars, trucks, trailers and RVs, except commercial vehicles or commercial trailers, are covered. Unlimited service calls for covered motorcycles, and three service calls a year for covered non-motorcycle vehicles in household, up to 35 miles each. With an extra $35 per year, their Plus service assistance provides unlimited service calls for all covered vehicles. Commercially available electric motorcycles have been available for a few years now, and gaining popularity as their design and performance improve. Most major motorcycle manufacturers have announced plans for new releases in the next few years. Wonder if AMA considers e-bikes as motorcycles now... The distinction is somewhat blurred with e-bikes like this:

https://www.wallpaper.com/lifestyle/the-fastest-bike-in-the-...

AAA Plus

I have AAA Plus and my coverage states: "Get up to four transports within a 100-mile radius of the bicycle breakdown." I suspect a dead battery would not be covered and would fall within the "fatigue" exclusion, as the bike is not disabled (although it would be pretty easy to pop off the chain or let the air out of a tire if you wanted to be dishonest). That said, it has been my experience that the local service companies that AAA hires don't ask very many questions on service calls. They just do the service so they can be paid by AAA.

The coverage may vary in different AAA regions. I am in what AAA calls the "Minnesota-Iowa" region.

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Alan - Android Auto, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra

Varying AAA Bike Coverage...

That's quite a big disparity! I'm in the Northeast region:

https://northeast.aaa.com/membership/benefits/bicycle-covera...

Just noticed the following provision in that webpage:

Bicycle service is not available to members of other AAA clubs.

So if you're visiting, there's no coverage for you then?

Time Factor

alandb wrote:

While modding a bike with a kit sounds like fun, I suspect you might be happier in the long run with the Pedego. Let us know what you decide.

From what I've learned in this post and others on a couple of E-bike forums, a conversion takes time to do properly. Yes, you can save some $$ but my wife and I would like to start this season.

E-bikes aren't cheap but considering the enjoyment we get from the sport, we feel it's worth the investment.

I may still convert one of our existing bikes as an experiment but by buying ready made, we'll have something to ride in the mean time.

Absolutely Worthwhile!

bdhsfz6 wrote:

... considering the enjoyment we get from the sport, we feel it's worth the investment.

...

Well worth it!! You and your wife will have a blast! smile

AAA Plus Bicycle Coverage

tli wrote:

That's quite a big disparity! I'm in the Northeast region:

https://northeast.aaa.com/membership/benefits/bicycle-covera...

Just noticed the following provision in that webpage:

Bicycle service is not available to members of other AAA clubs.

So if you're visiting, there's no coverage for you then?

The coverage has this clause for "Out of area coverage":

"Bicycle Service is only provided in The Auto Club Group coverage area. Reimbursement is available when service is provided to AAA members who travel outside The Auto Club Group coverage area. Please download the form below to begin the reimbursement process."

It wouldn't surprise me if AAA makes it difficult to get reimbursed outside your coverage area ... better have good documentation for the incident.

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Alan - Android Auto, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra

Better Than No Out-of-Area Coverage...

There's no mention of out-of-area coverage regarding bikes on the Northeast AAA website. I suspect there'll be reciprocating support between AAA clubs via submission of the reimbursement request forms. However, my regional stipulations of 2 calls per year up to 10 miles each still apply though... which is not great, but better than no coverage. Good to know before service is actually needed... thanks Alan!

Bicycle gender.

bdhsfz6 wrote:

I may consider the "step through" model if the frame size suits me. It's interesting they are getting away from calling them "girls" bikes now since a lot of baby boomer males are buying them.

My local bike shop (Northtowne Cycles) is definitely getting away from gender designation on their bikes. Of the 72 eBike models they have listed, only 2 are classified as "Men's", 4 as "Women's" and 66 as "Not Designated". The sales manager who helped me with my Gazelle Arroyo told me that they are selling about as many step-thru eBikes to men as women and also selling some diamond frames to women. The 2 Arroyo step thru's they had in stock were both sold to men (me being one of them). If I still had the nimble physique I did when I was young, I would probably go for the sturdier bar frame, but I am glad I picked the step thru.

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Alan - Android Auto, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra

Frame Size

alandb wrote:
bdhsfz6 wrote:

I may consider the "step through" model if the frame size suits me. It's interesting they are getting away from calling them "girls" bikes now since a lot of baby boomer males are buying them.

My local bike shop (Northtowne Cycles) is definitely getting away from gender designation on their bikes. Of the 72 eBike models they have listed, only 2 are classified as "Men's", 4 as "Women's" and 66 as "Not Designated". The sales manager who helped me with my Gazelle Arroyo told me that they are selling about as many step-thru eBikes to men as women and also selling some diamond frames to women. The 2 Arroyo step thru's they had in stock were both sold to men (me being one of them). If I still had the nimble physique I did when I was young, I would probably go for the sturdier bar frame, but I am glad I picked the step thru.

While the step through design is definitely appealing to me, all the bikes I've looked at have smaller frame sizes than the cross tube models. The frame size is usually measured from the crank shaft center to the seat post clamp or the seat post clamp to the ground.

You can compensate for the difference by simply raising the seat height. The rub is that more than 5" of exposed seat tube is considered unsafe.

Most major conventional bike manufacturers offer a variety of frame sizes for both step through and cross tube. For some reason, this is not true for E-bikes.

Seat tube.

I definitely have more than 5" of exposed seat tube. I will have to measure it some time, but I am still adjusting to find the most comfortable combination of seat and handlebar configuration. I guess I am not too worried about the seat tube as my riding is on fairly smooth surfaces ... paved or packed limestone. The potholes make the paved streets in my neighborhood bumpier than the trails I ride on.

My seat tube is 27.2 mm, but the frame will accommodate 31 mm as it has a reducing insert. For increased strength, I may replace the stock tube with the larger diameter and longer tube to increase the insertion depth.

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Alan - Android Auto, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra

Not ......

alandb wrote:

I definitely have more than 5" of exposed seat tube. I will have to measure it some time, but I am still adjusting to find the most comfortable combination of seat and handlebar configuration. I guess I am not too worried about the seat tube as my riding is on fairly smooth surfaces ... paved or packed limestone. The potholes make the paved streets in my neighborhood bumpier than the trails I ride on.

My seat tube is 27.2 mm, but the frame will accommodate 31 mm as it has a reducing insert. For increased strength, I may replace the stock tube with the larger diameter and longer tube to increase the insertion depth.

Not much of an issue for me either. I rode an old Diamond Back mountain bike for years with 9" of tube exposed and never had a problem. I'm not sure where the 5" rule came from but most dealers seem to quote it.

What's the cost for one of

What's the cost for one of those? Sounds quite intriguing.

Wide range of cost.

There are eBikes priced as low as $500 to $800, but the "good" ones tend to be more like $1800 to $5000.

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Alan - Android Auto, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra

Range calculator for e-bike.

https://www.bosch-ebike.com/us/service/range-assistant/

I found this interesting page on the Bosch web site that estimates the range you can expect with your electric bike on a battery charge. It lets you set several variables such as type of bike, riding speed, weight, battery capacity, wind, terrain, assist level, etc.

Since my Gazelle bike has a Bosch drive system, I suspect it will give me a pretty good estimate. Plugging in what I think are reasonable values for the various variables, it says I should be able to go 40 to 70 miles on a battery charge.

I sure wish spring would come so I could get out on the trail and give it a real trial. But it looks like low 40's is the best we are going to get for next week.

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Alan - Android Auto, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra

Great Information

alandb wrote:

https://www.bosch-ebike.com/us/service/range-assistant/

I found this interesting page on the Bosch web site that estimates the range you can expect with your electric bike on a battery charge. It lets you set several variables such as type of bike, riding speed, weight, battery capacity, wind, terrain, assist level, etc.

Since my Gazelle bike has a Bosch drive system, I suspect it will give me a pretty good estimate. Plugging in what I think are reasonable values for the various variables, it says I should be able to go 40 to 70 miles on a battery charge.

I sure wish spring would come so I could get out on the trail and give it a real trial. But it looks like low 40's is the best we are going to get for next week.

Thanks Alan. This is a valuable tool for E-bikes with mid drive motors.

I placed an order for two Pedego Platinum Interceptors with step through frames. Unfortunately, these bikes use a rear hub motor, not the mid drive system.

Taking your lead, I searched out another E-bike range calculator which is more generic and less motor specific.

http://www.electricbikerange.info/Electric_bike_range.html

It has an interesting feature which lets you plot a trip on a map and gives battery details based on distance and topography.

A newer version is available here:

https://www.ebikemaps.com/en/#

This one allows you to save trip files in .GPX format and export to a GPS. It requires registration via Facebook to access many of it's features.

I'm hoping the snow will be gone by the time the new bikes arrive. It doesn't look likely though since it's snowing here now with 6" predicted.

Thanks.

Thanks for the links to the trip planner/range calculator. It looks like an interesting site. I am not a Facebook user but it looks like they have a traditional login registration. I will have to give a try sometime. I do have a handheld GPS mounted on my bike so I can track the rides and elevation. The GPX file transfer feature could be useful. I have never really found a good map for BaseCamp that has routable bike trails, so this application using Google maps looks promising.

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Alan - Android Auto, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra

Do you have your new ebikes yet?

bdhsfz6 wrote:

I placed an order for two Pedego Platinum Interceptors with step through frames. Unfortunately, these bikes use a rear hub motor, not the mid drive system.

This is exciting, but I bet waiting for them to be delivered is hard. When do you expect to get your new ebikes? I will be anxious to hear your report after you have taken a ride or two with them.

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Alan - Android Auto, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra

In About a Week

alandb wrote:
bdhsfz6 wrote:

I placed an order for two Pedego Platinum Interceptors with step through frames. Unfortunately, these bikes use a rear hub motor, not the mid drive system.

This is exciting, but I bet waiting for them to be delivered is hard. When do you expect to get your new ebikes? I will be anxious to hear your report after you have taken a ride or two with them.

I got the best price from an out of state dealer who claims the bikes will arrive on or around 4/13. My wife and I drove down to look at the Pedego bikes last week and placed the order. It's a 3 hour drive one way to his location but the price made it worthwhile. I'm in the process now of modifying my bike rack to handle the heavier weight.

BTW, do you transport your E-bikes often and if so, what type rack do you use?

Wouldn't you know, the year I decide to spring for these bikes is the year with a winter that just won't end. We're expecting more snow here tomorrow.

Cost Prohibative

alandb wrote:

There are eBikes priced as low as $500 to $800, but the "good" ones tend to be more like $1800 to $5000.

You can buy a small used car for $5,000. Why buy a bike instead?

--
romanviking

Bike rack.

bdhsfz6 wrote:

BTW, do you transport your E-bikes often and if so, what type rack do you use?

i have this rack for my Ford Ranger 2" hitch: https://www.discountramps.com/wheel-mount-bike-rack/p/BC-358.... I really love it because it is easy to install and remove, is infinitely adjustable for different bike configurations and it is super easy to load and unload the bikes. They are very stable when mounted and never bounce around or scrape together to cause sratches or damage.. That said, I bought it when I had regular (much lighter) bikes, so i know I am over its stated capacity with the ebikes. Looking at the way it is constructed/welded, I think it is safe for the short trips on paved roads to the trails where I regularly take my bikes, but I do worry a little about it. Since I have a pickup, I may get a bed rack, especially if I decide to go on a longer trip with the bikes.

--
Alan - Android Auto, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra

A Good Question

romanviking wrote:
alandb wrote:

There are eBikes priced as low as $500 to $800, but the "good" ones tend to be more like $1800 to $5000.

You can buy a small used car for $5,000. Why buy a bike instead?

This is a valid question which has several answers.

First, you can easily spend the same $800 to $5000 or more on conventional bikes. The mid range mountain bike I ride now for example, cost just under $1000. Yes, you can get a Walmart mountain bike for $69 but as any serious bicyclist knows, it won't last more than a season or two under heavy use. It could also strand you in an inconvenient location. As the old saying goes, "you get what you pay for"

Second, the aging baby boomer generation, including myself, is slowing down. I find I can't ride as long or as far as I did just a few years ago. Biking has been a big part of my recreational life for many, many years. The PAS or pedal assist systems on these new E-bikes allows me to extend the range and duration of my rides. I have friends who say they get more exercise on their E-bikes than they ever did with their conventional ones.

The third and most important reason for an E-bike, for me anyway, involves the type of riding I do. I love to ride the ever increasing number of rail and canal trails here in the eastern U.S. They take you to beautiful secluded places far from roads and populated areas. I hope to be able to enjoy the scenery more without the distractions of over taxing my strength or worrying about getting back.

I've met many people who commute daily on their E-bikes. Yes, you could buy a car for a few $$ more but then you have gas, oil, vehicle maintenance, insurance, license and registration costs to consider not to mention traffic. With the proper clothing, E-bike commuting is a viable option.

I think it all comes down to your individual situation and point of view. Serious bikers don't seem to mind the cost if it expands their enjoyment of the sport.

One gets what One pay for...

bdhsfz6 wrote:

... As the old saying goes, "you get what you pay for"

...

So true... here's a recent offering on the low-end of the e-bike spectrum for comparison:

https://electrek.co/2018/03/23/ancheer-250w-review

[Be sure to read the Amazon Customer Reviews.]

Here's another example of the higher-end models, again for comparison:

https://www.geeky-gadgets.com/ridge-warrior-rb1000-fat-elect...

Quite different e-bikes, targeting different market segments...

Bike Rack

alandb wrote:
bdhsfz6 wrote:

BTW, do you transport your E-bikes often and if so, what type rack do you use?

i have this rack for my Ford Ranger 2" hitch: https://www.discountramps.com/wheel-mount-bike-rack/p/BC-358.... I really love it because it is easy to install and remove, is infinitely adjustable for different bike configurations and it is super easy to load and unload the bikes. They are very stable when mounted and never bounce around or scrape together to cause sratches or damage.. That said, I bought it when I had regular (much lighter) bikes, so i know I am over its stated capacity with the ebikes. Looking at the way it is constructed/welded, I think it is safe for the short trips on paved roads to the trails where I regularly take my bikes, but I do worry a little about it. Since I have a pickup, I may get a bed rack, especially if I decide to go on a longer trip with the bikes.

I have a similar rack made by Yakima:

https://www.yakima.com/holdup-2-1

I use it for short local trips with my minivan. As in your case, the rack would be slightly overloaded with two E-bikes mounted. I suspect the weight would be within design failure limits though.

Most bike damage occurs during transport. Properly secured in the bed of a pickup is definitely the best place to carry a bike IMO. There are many pickup racks out there but few make it easy to load and unload without climbing up into the bed.

Out of frustration, I came up with this idea which uses 2 Yakima roof racks mounted on a PVC pipe "sled". With a plastic bed liner, the sled easily slides in and out of the pickup bed. I've been using it for the last 12 years with my last two pickups.

http://s61.photobucket.com/user/6zfshdb/library/

(Please excuse the Photobucket ads)

Two folding legs support the rack while loading. For the heavier E-bikes, I added a simple ramp which lets you roll the bike up onto the rack instead of lifting.

WINTER! Arrrrgh!

Winter just won't go away this year! Snow last weekend. Windy and mid 30's today and tomorrow, then possible snow on Wed. Supposed to be gradual warming up to only upper 40's by the weekend.

I have had my e-bike for 5 weeks now and the odometer still has only 49 miles on it. The bike shop put 20 of those miles on during setup. We had better weather back in early March when I got the bike than we do now .... very frustrating! Maybe I will be able to take a (chilly!) trail ride on Saturday or Sunday if it isn't too windy.

--
Alan - Android Auto, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra

Same Here

alandb wrote:

Winter just won't go away this year! Snow last weekend. Windy and mid 30's today and tomorrow, then possible snow on Wed. Supposed to be gradual warming up to only upper 40's by the weekend.

I have had my e-bike for 5 weeks now and the odometer still has only 49 miles on it. The bike shop put 20 of those miles on during setup. We had better weather back in early March when I got the bike than we do now .... very frustrating! Maybe I will be able to take a (chilly!) trail ride on Saturday or Sunday if it isn't too windy.

I picked up our bikes a week ago. Actually drove home with them in a snowstorm! We've had one decent afternoon since which let us put all of 1.5 miles on them just riding near the house. We had 100+ miles on our mountain bikes by this time last year.

Now its turned cold and windy with a chance of snow showers thru mid week. I go in for hip surgery tomorrow, 4/18 and it will likely be 6 weeks before I'm able to ride again. Hopefully, the weather will break by then but the way it's going, I'm not so sure!

Finally Able to Ride!

alandb wrote:
bdhsfz6 wrote:

I placed an order for two Pedego Platinum Interceptors with step through frames. Unfortunately, these bikes use a rear hub motor, not the mid drive system.

This is exciting, but I bet waiting for them to be delivered is hard. When do you expect to get your new ebikes? I will be anxious to hear your report after you have taken a ride or two with them.

It's high biking season now and I thought I would revive Alan's 4 month old E-bike thread.

Between the late season snow and the current oppressive heat, my wife and I managed to put over 300 miles on our Pedego Platinum Interceptor E-bikes. We journeyed to five states and rode 10 different trails over the last 6 weeks. Here are a few notes on our experiences so far.

The ads promoting E-bikes for the most part seem to be true. They certainly are a lot of fun to ride. I find we are getting more exercise now than we did with our conventional bikes.

I know this seems to be counter productive since the pedal assist does at least some of the work. In reality, we ride more than twice as far on our E-bikes than we did on the conventional bikes during a typical outing. More calories are burned but over a longer period of time.

Without the periods of heavy up hill peddling, we are noticing scenery we missed during previous trail rides and are able to ride farther without stopping to rest.

With the 5 stage pedal assist or PAS system, you can get as much or as little exercise as you prefer. Our longest single ride so far, using mostly PAS 3, was 36 miles and the battery showed 25% charge remaining. We have yet to fully exhaust a battery on any ride. The ads that claim the battery will last longer than you do appear to be true.

Although our bikes have throttles, we rarely if ever use them. I got that out of my system during my motorcycling years. The only use I see for the throttle is to help get started on an uphill incline. E-bikes are often 20 to 30% heavier than conventionals and can be more difficult to get going. Even with the government approved 750 watt max motor, having a throttle can limit use on some city streets.

I was skeptical of the claims the E-bike would handle a 14% grade but the Pedego does that easily with only moderate pedal assist.

The only down side I see so far are the lithium batteries. They are expensive at almost $1000 for the Platinum Interceptor. The advertised lifespan is estimated to be only 2 - 4 years. Time will tell on this.

I'll post more observations over time if interest in this thread continues.

E-bikes are healthy fun.

Thanks bdhsfz6 for the follow up. I have been thinking about you and wondering how your e-bike experience was going. It sounds like the your e-bikes are measuring up to your expectations and you are having lots of fun. Glad to hear it.

In my case, I haven't been able to ride this spring/summer as much as I wanted. My wife had some serious health issues this spring when the weather was cooler and that kept us off the trails. Now that we are in to the 100+ heat index days, we only ride when a cooler day comes along.

That said, we have also had a lot of fun when we were able to get out. I have 115 miles on my new Gazelle Arroyo and so far have been very happy with it. Our longest ride was 21 miles. It was on a paved converted rail trail, so was smoothe and relatively flat. I rode the entire route on the lowest assist level, which Bosch calls "Eco". I started with a fully charged battery, and the range estimate showed 90 miles. After the 21 mile ride, the battery meter still showed a full 5 bars, and the range estimate showed 79 miles. I have taken three similar 15 to 18 mile trips with similar results, so I think the Bosch range advertising (up to 92 miles under ideal conditions) seem to be pretty accurate. I have noticed the range estimate drops pretty dramatically on long uphill stretches, especially if I bump up the assist level.

Like you, I feel I am getting more and better exercise with the e-bike than I did with my conventional bike. I am willing to take longer rides and have confidence to keep going instead of turning around when approaching a more challenging part of a trail. On my old bike I was always worried when approaching a down-hill stretch that I would have problems on the return trip, so I would turn back rather that making the attempt. Now I know I can just increase the assist level if necessary and won't get stranded by exhaustion.

And there is no getting around it ... riding an e-bike is simply more pleasurable (at least for old folks like me) than struggling with a conventional bike. I am glad I got the step thru also, as I haven't had a single episode of a sore hip from swinging my leg over the seat. It also makes for more stable stops and starts, as my balance isn't as good as it used to be.

I am so glad I invested in the e-bike, and I look forward to more rides this fall when the weather cools down a little, Fun! Fun! Fun!

--
Alan - Android Auto, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra

Sorry to Hear..

I'm sorry to hear your wife has been ill. I hope she's on the mend now.

Your point is well taken about riding in this extreme heat. While I'm a nut on biking, I'm not foolish enough to do it when the heat index is close to 100. Us old folk need to be mindful of heat stress.

I do find that I'm comfortable E-biking in temperatures as high as the mid and sometimes the upper 80's as long as the relative humidity is low. I used to give up riding the conventional bike when the temp hit 80 degrees.

I think this is due to the lack of periods of heavy exertion when riding uphill. I also pick shaded trails when possible.

In any case, I hope you and your wife are back in the saddle very soon!

Rick

e-bikes

Thanks for your post. I was thinking about buying a new bike this year but will look at the ebikes. The only concern that I have is that they are so much heavier than the regular bikes.

No Question

bsp131 wrote:

Thanks for your post. I was thinking about buying a new bike this year but will look at the ebikes. The only concern that I have is that they are so much heavier than the regular bikes.

There is no question that E-bikes are heavier than conventionals. In some cases, as much as 30%. While the battery represents most of the increased weight, some is due to heavier gauge material for increased strength in key areas of the frame.

There is a bit of a learning curve associated with the heavier E-bikes especially when starting and stopping. In my case, I find the step through frame design to be a big help here.

Another problem with the added weight is transport. You must be sure the bike rack you're using is up to the task. I've found that the weight of the average E-bike is within the design limits of most name brand quality racks. The exception here are racks designed to carry more than 3 bikes.

For us older folks, this added weight can be a factor in lifting the bike onto the rack. My advice here is to look at E-bikes with removable batteries. Some weigh more than 10 pounds and it's a big help to remove it from the bike before loading.

Too hot to ride.

I took a ride to a local park today ... mostly city streets and sidewalks. It had cooled down to 86 today, so I thought it would be OK. But after a 13 mile round trip ride I was worn out and dripping with sweat, so I had to stop, drink some water and cool off. Checked the local weather and the heat index is still 98 ... much too hot for me. On the trip home, i bumped the assist up to the second level (Sport setting) on a couple of hills. I was glad to have the extra boost as I was pretty well worn out by then.

Who says e-bikes are cheating? It still gives you one heck of a workout.

I have gone 42 miles on this charge cycle now ... still shows 3 of 5 bars on the battery meter, and display shows I still could go 38 miles more in eco mode. I am pretty satisfied with the range I am getting on a battery charge. I realize as the battery ages this will go down.

--
Alan - Android Auto, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra
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