Why ebikes are good / bad

Positive discussion on ebikes and pedal assist bicycles

Re: Why ebikes are good / bad

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Sun Dec 22, 2013 11:03 am

Xenon wrote:if you are upset because you are no longer at the top of the food chain on the bike path, then I can't be bothered arguing with you.


I guess you are talking of self righteous "serious" riders that make it so easy for others to hate all cyclists as a class. :?
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by BNA » Fri May 02, 2014 12:18 pm

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Re: Why ebikes are good / bad

Postby Ebike Reviews » Fri May 02, 2014 12:18 pm

Hi All,

Really like seeing open minded discussions like this on Australian forums, especially ones dating back to 2010.

My names Mark, and like many in Australia, I hated the idea of electric bikes.

Back in 2011, i wanted a non-electric full suspension mountain bike and so began doing a bit of research on what to buy. The bike would have been mainly used for trails, helping me get fit while having some fun. It was going to be my 5th bike I purchase over the course of 15 years. The previous bikes were usually sold anywhere from 8-18 months after I stopped using them. Selling them was definitely from a combination of a lack of laziness, and the enthusiasm slowly dying off, similar to people who sign up to the gym, but stop going after 6 months.

Just when I was about to spend a decent amount on my next bike, my brother introduced me to an electric bike. I thought he was a cheat, lazy, and took away from what riding was all about. Eventually my mind opened up to the idea, and I gave it a go. Late 2012, there wasn't really any information, or electric mountain bikes for that matter, available in Australia.

To cut a long story short, I ended up with a great quality FS electric bike, and dropped from 112kg to 96kg, still eating what I would normally eat, with the only change in lifestyle being the bike. I've gone on to sell it, but not because I wasn't using it, but to upgrade.

For me, an electric bike was used mainly offroad, and it still improved my fitness more so then a non-electric bike would have over the same amount of time. I didn't sell it! I could hit trails my skill and health level would have never allowed me to on a non-electric bike. Knowing I could go hit the trails, put in a good amount of effort, then use a higher assist setting when I'm completely buggered going home was very very encouraging. Seeing more of the track/natural environment, and covering at least 3 times the distance I normally would was the absolute best.

We constantly get emails from all different types of people, such as those who have lost weight from commuting to work or cut down in fuel costs, those who have more confidence hitting the trails over such a short time frame, and those who are getting out of the house and seeing things they would have never seen sitting in front of the PC. There's a lot more...

Electric bikes in Europe and China are mainly used for commuting, and we're seeing similar trends on the rise here. Using an ebike for commuting has it's own benefits such as saving on fuel costs if you drive to work, avoiding congestion on the trains, arriving to work without sweating or needing to shower, and the list goes on.

I'm completely against the idea of overpowered bikes on public roads, or the purchase of high powered kits on eBay fitted to cheap frames that could be deadly in an accident or if bottom brackets or chainstays fail under load they won't intended for.

Electric bikes definitely a long list of benefits compared to negatives, and like me, unless you get on one and give it a chance, it'll be difficult to understand the improvement it can bring to your life, more so then riding a non-electric bike.
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Re: Why ebikes are good / bad

Postby Aushiker » Sat May 03, 2014 12:21 am

Welcome to the forums Mark. Really impressed with your reviews ....

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Re: Why ebikes are good / bad

Postby darylcheshire » Sun Jun 01, 2014 5:31 am

Hi,
I bought an electric bike to get me off my arse.
I am 56 overweight and lost approx 8kg since Feb 2014.
I also suffer from asthma and struggle up hills and headwind.
My only excuse now is if it pouring rain.

I got a BH Neo Jet and things were harder at first but got easier over time. The bike is a pedelec and now I ride in eco mode or turned off. In the earlier days I used the higher settings.
It is my aim to get fit enough not to require the electric bike at all.

I also bought a Kona 2013 Dew Plus to prove to myself that I can ride a normal bike and I love it to bits. I try and ride it as a first preference unless it's windy. Ironic to think I was going to get an extra battery at $750 for the rail trails but the Kona bike is cheaper than another battery.

I reckon I would not have kept up a gym membership.

Another curious thing is that I can continue to ride even if I have severe asthma as cycling doesn't put me out of breath like running etc. I don't think I can continue in a gym with asthma. Probably something to do with the low impact nature of cycling. The electric bike does the difficult hills and headwinds and I can keep it moving in eco mode the lowest power setting.

Best advice I can offer is that things get easier over time.
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Re: Why ebikes are good / bad

Postby Mububban » Thu Jun 26, 2014 3:26 pm

e-bike sale on the rise in the USA, and globally I believe:
http://bicyclingaustralia.com.au/2013/0 ... 9000-units

I'm creeping towards my first 1000km on my MTB I had converted to e-assist at the end of January, it's over 10 years old and if I'm honest, I'll do more kms by the end of this year than in the previous 10 years combined. I try and use the e-assist as little as possible as a personal challenge, but having the boost available for headwinds and hills has got me back on the bike.
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Re: Why ebikes are good / bad

Postby Joeblake » Thu Jun 26, 2014 3:31 pm

Good one, mate. :D

Glad it's all coming together for you.

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Many people feel their lifestyle has a high price, but they're quite cool with that .. as long as somebody ELSE pays the price.
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Re: Why ebikes are good / bad

Postby diventare » Thu Jun 26, 2014 8:34 pm

Great thread!
First hand experiences from those that have used ebikes for all manner of reasons with some great insights into the benefit
First hand dogma from the cycling right who can not under any circumstances accommodate that somebody might enter their domain with a motor!
Such insights into the cycling landscape.
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Re: Why ebikes are good / bad

Postby softy » Thu Jul 03, 2014 8:49 pm

I have really looked at a ebikes and at present I can't see any that fit my bill, except for the purpose built ones that are many grands for a bike.

I currently ride road race bikes and my commute average ranges between 24 and 30km depending on wind traffic etc.
If a pedlec cuts out at 27 or something clicks, I don't have a problem as long as the bike remains fairly light, so you can ride it above this amount quite easily. Quite often I ride in the thirties, I don't want the bike to feel sluggish and heavy.
Some manufactures are bringing out these type of bikes, but I believe still to expensive. The kits although allow you to build something approaching this, they are just one big comprimise and still work out fairly expensive.

Im keeping an eye on the market, prices will drift downwards and build finish and integration will get better. The specialised turbo is an example of what ebikes can be, but are just to pricey at the moment.
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Re: Why ebikes are good / bad

Postby geebee » Thu Jul 03, 2014 9:02 pm

This is like you are asking for, ask the seller the weight it should be low as reef do a !!! Spammer !!! on it around 11 kg all up
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Electric-Bik ... eeb&_uhb=1

The reef bike.
http://www.reefbikes.com.au/invisitron- ... ad-racing/

The cheap option would be to buy a Q100 (2.1 kg) and fit a small light weight battery, the Q100 comes in front and rear with cassette or free wheel.
http://www.bmsbattery.com/rear-driving/ ... e-kit.html

A geared hub will not add noticable drag.
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Re: Why ebikes are good / bad

Postby softy » Thu Jul 03, 2014 9:29 pm

geebee wrote:This is like you are asking for, ask the seller the weight it should be low as reef do a !!! Spammer !!! on it around 11 kg all up
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Electric-Bik ... eeb&_uhb=1

The reef bike.
http://www.reefbikes.com.au/invisitron- ... ad-racing/

The cheap option would be to buy a Q100 (2.1 kg) and fit a small light weight battery, the Q100 comes in front and rear with cassette or free wheel.
http://www.bmsbattery.com/rear-driving/ ... e-kit.html

A geared hub will not add noticable drag.


I have looked at these, the reef bike is tempting. To buy the motor alone the distributors will not let you fit. You have to send your bike. Problems come with gears on racing bikes and if you want to use a light frame, well other issues arise.

I love the concept of ebikes, im not as young as I use to be and I can't commute my whole distance everyday. My body can't take it so I commute alternative days or use public transport +bike. I can see a ebike for me in the future. The lady next door uses her ebike for all her commuting, she doesn't go far, but uses it alot. It is a pupose built ebike unit but has been made from bits and pieces the manufacture has sourced. The front motor has already broke the front forks and she was lucky she was going slow.

Build quality needs to be better and integrated. Its a ebike not a bike with a electric motor. Weight needs to come down from above 20kg, ebikes are to heavy. Not because of being hard to pedal. They became difficult to lift up down stairs and manoeuvre. Less weight means better run time and performance. Ebikes could be the way to get people riding again in a hot climate like oz. BUT they need to be more like a normal bike and be cheaper. They are coming, but not here quite yet at a price to entice large numbers.
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Re: Why ebikes are good / bad

Postby geebee » Thu Jul 03, 2014 9:41 pm

I am looking at fitting a crankdrive a Bafang BBS01 to my recumbent trike, I will use hobbyking LiPos and all up weight will be 18 to 19 kg dependent upon which battery I use.
Thats starting with a 13 kg trike so if you use an 8 kg bike.....
Plus side with a crank drive is zero drag, original wheels, centralised weight, but without DIY a single front ring.

If you go with a hub motor used the Q100 that only adds 2.1 kg, say 2 kg for batteriies, 12 kg bike?

There are some superb ebikes in Europe that are slowly starting to make it here that nicely intregrated.
Have a flick through this mag, the back half has so many well done ebikes.
Sorry posted wrong link, fixed.
http://issuu.com/extraenergy/docs/magaz ... 80/8479551
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Re: Why ebikes are good / bad

Postby softy » Sat Jul 05, 2014 6:31 pm

Hey guys,
Can I bother you for some info?
Just been doing some research and have found the "grace easy bike" seems light and good for the money. It runs a bionX system which has some mixed reviews about reliability.

I searched the forum with no results on "grace easy" anyone have one or can give some feedback? It is a pricey bike and compares close to the BH emotion neo carbon on weight and price.

How does the 3 speed compare? And these two bikes compare.

Any feedback would be appreciated.

Cheers
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Re: Why ebikes are good / bad

Postby geebee » Sat Jul 05, 2014 6:36 pm

Try these threads, its more common over there I thnk, these are on uk pedelec forum http://www.pedelecs.co.uk/forum/search/ ... asy&o=date
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Re: Why ebikes are good / bad

Postby softy » Sun Jul 06, 2014 10:48 am

Started to look seriously again at ebikes after looking at this thread.

As before, my head is starting to spin......

I can see a number of bikes that look lovely.
Specialized turbo s
Grace easy
Pomovec rush
Bh emotion neo carbon
Stromer st1 (if available in aus)

I do want a bike that is sharp and agile on the steering, as this is what I am now riding.

All look good but what is the best for road only commuting?

I'm looking at a 70km round trip, would be able to charge at work if I had a second charger. Does anyone own any of these bikes?

I am leaning towards the specialised due to this company makes bikes and knows how geometry works, my second is the grace and stromer.
I read a few english reviews on the bhs and they have had a number of small problems in build quality.

Anyone can they stop my head spinning??
Cheers
They all have their advantages and disadvantages, problem is reviews are few and in perth it is not possible to test ride (only the specialized and agents are here for warranty and back up).
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Re: Why ebikes are good / bad

Postby Mububban » Tue Jul 08, 2014 1:08 pm

softy wrote:Started to look seriously again at ebikes after looking at this thread.

As before, my head is starting to spin......

I can see a number of bikes that look lovely.
Specialized turbo s
Grace easy
Pomovec rush
Bh emotion neo carbon
Stromer st1 (if available in aus)

I do want a bike that is sharp and agile on the steering, as this is what I am now riding.

All look good but what is the best for road only commuting?

I'm looking at a 70km round trip, would be able to charge at work if I had a second charger. Does anyone own any of these bikes?

I am leaning towards the specialised due to this company makes bikes and knows how geometry works, my second is the grace and stromer.
I read a few english reviews on the bhs and they have had a number of small problems in build quality.

Anyone can they stop my head spinning??
Cheers
They all have their advantages and disadvantages, problem is reviews are few and in perth it is not possible to test ride (only the specialized and agents are here for warranty and back up).


Hey softy

I got my old MTB converted by my LBS using a kit from Solar Bike ( http://www.solarbike.com.au/conversion_kits.php ). The standard kit with installation cost me I think $1350, could have saved $100 if I installed it myself.
With me pedalling all the time and using the battery maybe 50% of the time as a boost, the standard battery will work for about 40-50km total on one charge, I've never run it flat but that's a guess based on percentage left when I finish my 26km round trip. I'm also a skinny lightweight.
You can buy bigger capacity batteries for longer range. A second charger costs $90 I think.

The LBS owner suggested I sell my chunky old MTB and go for a new flat bar roadie, he had a sale on a Malvern Star FBR he could have done converted for $1600 total. In hindsight, this would have been the way to go for me. Faster bike, with the e-boost, without breaking the bank like that gorgeous but scarily prices Specialized would do.
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Re: Why ebikes are good / bad

Postby softy » Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:45 pm

All true, but

Price gets high when you look at the dedicated manufactured built bikes. Although this is true the reviews are awesome that they give them. Example: The specialized is pricy, but all the reviews I have read say this bike is very good, and where it is outstanding, it feels just like a normal bike, it is very well balanced, power comes on beautifully and is a really fun bike to ride. The motor is actually 750 watts max output which they say gives it a real kick when selecting the max boost. They have also increased the batt capacity on the 2014 model. Build quality of the hub motor is excellent and quality of parts outstanding.

Stromer st1 is another that get great reviews but not available here.
The grace get good reviews also but the battery is small.
Bh do a couple of bikes which im considering as well.
I also saw a dillenger?? Which appears to be a local manufacturer. Couldn't find any reviews on these, they seem exceptional well priced. Anyone know about these?

I am leaning towards the specialized as I know someone who can give me a good deal. So will have to see what eventuates
It also has agents everywhere and is extremely well finised bike.
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Re: Why ebikes are good / bad

Postby Mububban » Wed Jul 09, 2014 1:52 pm

The motor is actually 750 watts max output


Aren't you limited to 250W to be legal though? Okay if you want to use it on private property but you want a commuter don't you?
Edit - just read the other thread:

[quoteThe specialized turbo can deliver 750w instant output, although electronically limited to 25km 250w supposedly.[/quote]

I reckon a converted FBR or good quality MTB with semi slicks could do a great job as a commuter for much less money. But I guess if money is no object, the Specialized would be an awesome beast to get around on :)
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Re: Why ebikes are good / bad

Postby AUbicycles » Tue Jul 15, 2014 12:58 am

The specialized turbo is one of the most expensive ebikes out there, I understand 7 - 8 grand. It is a nice bike but worth considering if money is no object.

Grace are an interesting brand, I have met a few of them and love their original Grace One in terms of style - although it was not legal. The Grace Easy doesn't have the style and looks but is made as an e-bike from a comparatively small dedicated team.

Promovec are nice looking bikes from Denmark (I believe). If you are in Sydney, you can take a look and probably test ride first hand at Mr Ebikes who looks after both Grace and Promovec.

Dillenger are generally petrol powered. I didn't know they did electric.

Gazelle are very reliable - worth browing and while they often have the classic dutch step-over, the model range is good with gentlemens bikes as well.
Also, Gepida are new on Australian soils, but have a long tradition in Europe and have the Bosch motor. (available through [url-http://euro-cycles.com.au/]Euro Cycles[/url]) The E-Bike Review team have taken a look at a few of these already.
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Re: Why ebikes are good / bad

Postby softy » Sun Jul 20, 2014 8:57 pm

I have done all my research and it is between........ (drum roll).

Specialised turbo
Grace easy (leaning this way)

Why these two;
Both very well finished bikes that don't look like ebikes.
Fitted with quality parts (specialised slightly better)
Both have gearless hub motors
Both units are quality hub motors, with the grace esay running the bionX kit.
Specialised 750watts
BionX 350 watts
Both limited electronically to 250 watts.

I'm leaning towards the grace easy, it is lighter by about 3 kg and is at least 2grand cheaper. The parts for the kit are more easily accessible, but I am finding it hard sourcing a large frame with the optional sram X9 9 speed (it normally comes with an internal 3 speed hub and gates belt drive).

So seems I'm stuck again by availability. I know the specialised is easily available, but is a premium.

I have enquired about a grace easy special order, but the supplier didn't sound to keen or that it was promising. Waiting for him to get back to me.

Will report back with more info when it arrives.
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Re: Why ebikes are good / bad

Postby clackers » Mon Jul 21, 2014 4:55 pm

softy wrote:I have really looked at a ebikes and at present I can't see any that fit my bill, except for the purpose built ones that are many grands for a bike.


If you've got an alloy or steel roadie, do a front wheel conversion, Softy.

We did that to my wife's CX.
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Re: Why ebikes are good / bad

Postby softy » Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:55 pm

clackers wrote:
softy wrote:I have really looked at a ebikes and at present I can't see any that fit my bill, except for the purpose built ones that are many grands for a bike.


If you've got an alloy or steel roadie, do a front wheel conversion, Softy.

We did that to my wife's CX.


I will not do a front wheel conversion, the ladie next door had a purpose built ebike with a front wheel 8fun and it broke the forks, down she went. Luckly she was going slow.

The horror of this happening at speed is something I don't want to contemplate or have to worry about. Any bike I buy will be a rear drive or mid drive.

Plus I don't have a alloy bike to start with.

Thanks for the advice but knowing a person this has happened to has put me off front hubs.
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Re: Why ebikes are good / bad

Postby Mububban » Tue Jul 22, 2014 12:54 pm

Fair enough, it's you on the bike of your choice so you have to feel safe and happy with whatever you're riding. But I'd guess a very large percentage of e-bikes on the road are front wheel conversions, so I imagine if there was a problem with them collapsing we'd have heard about it?

If you get the Specialized be sure to post some pics :) What colour are you thinking of getting? Do they come in anything other than red and black?
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Re: Why ebikes are good / bad

Postby clackers » Tue Jul 22, 2014 3:18 pm

softy wrote:.

Thanks for the advice but knowing a person this has happened to has put me off front hubs.


With respect, I think you're being irrational, Softy. :)

Probably most e-bikes are front wheel.

Your neighbour presumably didn't have a torque bar on her alloy fork - law suit material!
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Re: Why ebikes are good / bad

Postby Aushiker » Tue Jul 22, 2014 4:23 pm

clackers wrote:Your neighbour presumably didn't have a torque bar on her alloy fork


+ 1 and/or was using a fork clearly not appropriate for a motor ... Personally I wouldn't fit a motor to an aluminium fork for example but each to their own.

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Re: Why ebikes are good / bad

Postby softy » Tue Jul 22, 2014 7:22 pm

clackers wrote:
softy wrote:.

Thanks for the advice but knowing a person this has happened to has put me off front hubs.


With respect, I think you're being irrational, Softy. :)

Probably most e-bikes are front wheel.

Your neighbour presumably didn't have a torque bar on her alloy fork - law suit material!


I don't think I am being irrational, this is a problem, search the web, especially with motors that have a bit of power and anything other than a steel fork. My neighbour is a elderly lady and the forks are aluminium, but the bike is a purpose built ebike. No kits or mods.

Some say like the other poster, aluminum is suspect and use a torque bar. I have tried to fit a 8fun torque bar to my neighbours bike, but I found this motor has no flats on the threads so couldn't. This is probably because it is a 200w motor. Still, broke the drop outs.

This configuration is not for me.
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