Why ebikes are good / bad

Positive discussion on ebikes and pedal assist bicycles

Re: Why ebikes are good / bad

Postby Joeblake » Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:11 am

I think the position of e-bikes' spokesperson has already been filled.

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by BNA » Fri Nov 02, 2012 4:40 pm

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Re: Why ebikes are good / bad

Postby rcmkII » Fri Nov 02, 2012 4:40 pm

ColinOldnCranky wrote:
rcmkII wrote:A month and a bit down the track and she now regularly rides 20-40km round trips on her ROAD bike (although the ebike is still getting occasional use.) The ebike odometer is on 1500km but the road bike has just reached 1000km.

12 months ago she firmly believed a 6km round trip was her maximum. That's quite a turnaround.


That's great to hear.

I do not know if your wife is riding road or not. But over the years at work many wannabe cyclists asking for my advice come from a position of being far to uncomfortable to tackle traffic. 9MHL comes a distant third.) Mostly I cannot give them any satisfaction because I live elsewhere and there is little rationale that is effective in getting someone who fears the road to get onto it. I wonder if some may find it a little less intimidating i, for a time, f they had a bike that they could just steer at those times of maximum insecurity.



Yes, she rides on the road, as do I. It's just a case of picking the right streets to ride on - no point pedalling down a busy 4-lane highway if there's a quiet parallel street.
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Re: Why ebikes are good / bad

Postby ChrisRider » Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:29 am

A major problem in the E Bike market at the moment is all of these noname cowboy brands trying to sell electric bicycles at dirt cheap prices.

It seems as though alot of people are buying the cheaper bikes from these flyby night companies that shut down after 6 months. Because their prices are so cheap they cannot afford to honor the warranties.

I really recommend only buying from a large company or proper brand name, and pay that extra for a quality bicycle, and good after sales warranty servicing.

There are hundreds of extra parts that can fail on an e bike, and they are expensive to replace........so if you want something good, pay for it
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Re: Why ebikes are good / bad

Postby geebee » Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:51 am

Yes and no :), most bits are repaired by replacing the failed assembly, so basically you have a hub motor, battery, speed controller, throttle and charger.
Most of these are pretty reliable and easily swapped out, wiring is one area that causes issues but is very easily checked.
So if you get the bike or kit cheap enough to be able to fix it yourself if the seller disappears then buy it, some of the proper name bikes are very expensive for what you get, especially if one is not sure that E-bikes are for you.
The above only applies if you can DIY or have a mate who can do the work.

Crank drive bikes I would only buy where I could get long term parts support due to their propriety parts.

Other than very occasional wiring or blown fuse (usually fixed once and then fine) I have had superb reliability out of several cheap bikes/ kits.
Having said that I now ride a "brand" name bike that I bought new relatively cheaply through a 3rd party but still have access to parts if ever required.

As to whether and E-bike is good or bad, they are obviously good as they get more bums on bikes, increase fitness, cut down on congestion, allow noobies to ride even in hilly areas and those with injuries or disabilities to ride still.
Yes you will get the idiots on illegal bikes flying down multi use tracks etc., but far more common are the idiots on normal bikes doing similar, singularly or in pelotons.
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Re: Why ebikes are good / bad

Postby rider007 » Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:52 am

I don't understand this thread - in what sense electric bikes can be bad? Compared to what? Conventional bikes? Cars?
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Re: Why ebikes are good / bad

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:30 pm

rider007 wrote:I don't understand this thread - in what sense electric bikes can be bad? Compared to what? Conventional bikes? Cars?

Good when used as motor assisted bikes where the motor is just an accasional supplement to the rider. As they were intended to used in the first place (in an legislative sense).

Not so good when used as cheap motorcycles that do not have to comply with various safety standards. Especially on bike paths (where is illegal in most states anyway).

Not so good if ridden on regular shared use paths at speeds upwards of the prevailing speeds of others. I only see two semi-regular riders that fit in this category, powering along the Riverside PSP a bit fast and leaning in and across the centre line a lot. (I can level the same critcism about some regular pedal-cyclists along the same stretch though. And there are quite a few more than two of those.)
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Re: Why ebikes are good / bad

Postby SmellyTofu » Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:18 am

That has nothing to do with the type of bike and everything to do with the bit between the seat and the handlebar.
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Re: Why ebikes are good / bad

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:15 am

SmellyTofu wrote:That has nothing to do with the type of bike and everything to do with the bit between the seat and the handlebar.

And I could say the same thing about turbo-charged v8 muscle cars. But there is still reason to discuss them, question and consider.

Indeed, the National Rifleman's Association in the US runs a similar line all the time. "Guns don't kill people. People kill people." :roll:

I only regularly see two powered bikes on paths that I use regularly. They are both running at higher than the prevailing speeds, one a little too recklessly even for me. And while I see many idiot cyclists a bit the same way, most are fine. While two is not decent statistical sample, two out of two is not a good look and leads me to wonder what it would be like if there were more.

And though a little less concerning, in both cases they are breaking the law.

Yes, there are good things about e-bikes. But that does not mean that there are no issues with them - some real, some imagined. A thread like this at least lets people who do NOT ride them to get some exoosure to the thinking of e-bikes and what is appealing to users. And it gives e-bikers a chance to change some of the negative stereotypes that are out there.
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Re: Why ebikes are good / bad

Postby Comedian » Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:03 am

I got passed at 30 kph going up a steep hill yesterday by an ebike. There aint no way that thing was legal under either standard...
Once you can climb hills on a bike it's all downhill. :mrgreen:

Hopefully I'll know what that's like..... one day. :shock: :lol:

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Re: Why ebikes are good / bad

Postby Howzat » Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:18 am

Yes, if it's more powerful than the "e-bike" standard, it's essentially a light motorbike, and ought to comply with the relevant standards for a light motorbike.
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Re: Why ebikes are good / bad

Postby ozebikes » Sun Mar 10, 2013 8:55 am

Hi guys, new member, and I am in the e-bike bus' on a small scale so I will be careful what I say :) I have been cycling since school bike club, done the MAD rides in vic, and used to do 50-100km rides every weekend until life got in the way. Recently back into MTBing and while I have both electric and conventional bikes on hand I do enjoy being out on x country trails and bike tracks on the conventional bike more.

But, I have met a few people sinc estarting the e-bike business who are injured or have bad joint problems that has stopped them from being able to ride a bike, one who could not ride at all anymore due to knee issues, he just couldnt put any force into climbing hills period. The electric conversion has allowed him to get out on trails and enjoy riding again, even if he is not doing that much of the work.

Its all well and good to argue about overpowered bikes, but reckless riding happens regardless what the bike is, when I was at my peak my friend and I could sit on 30kmh easily, we were young and fearless and while we were very good riders there was always the possibility of someone walking straight out in front of us or another bike drifting into our path, never mind a car!

As for cost, I think conversions are pretty affordable these days, there are good quality kits out there and lithium technology has come leaps and bounds over the last 7 years. I started importing lithium batts about 7 yrs ago for various applications and what we can get today at a reasonable price and size is simply amazing.

200 or 250w is never going to give you a race machine, but it certainly will help those who want to ride but simply cannot due to health, age etc.
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Re: Why ebikes are good / bad

Postby Comedian » Mon Mar 11, 2013 10:20 am

ozebikes wrote:200 or 250w is never going to give you a race machine, but it certainly will help those who want to ride but simply cannot due to health, age etc.

Speaking personally I am a great fan of ebikes. We recently bought an eu standard bike for the wife which I ride occasionally.

Also speaking personally I've no objection to legal ebikes. IMHO legal ebikes are a good fit with the median traveling speeds of most conventional bikes. However I, like many others do object to high powered illegal ebikes.

I think they are a bad idea, and I object to them just as I object to people riding scooters and motor bikes on the bike path.

Many people say that there is some reason why they can't ride a legal ebike, and if you object to them having a 1000w monster then they enviro blackmail you by saying "I'll just drive then". Fine IMHO. Or better sill just buy a motorbike or electric scooter of you care as much as they claim to. :)
Once you can climb hills on a bike it's all downhill. :mrgreen:

Hopefully I'll know what that's like..... one day. :shock: :lol:

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Re: Why ebikes are good / bad

Postby winstonw » Sun Mar 17, 2013 8:46 pm

Comedian wrote:Many people say that there is some reason why they can't ride a legal ebike, and if you object to them having a 1000w monster then they enviro blackmail you by saying "I'll just drive then". :)


How about cyclists who expend 1000 Watts on bike paths! :shock: :D

Seriously though, I support ebikes too, esp in Brisbane, which is just too hilly for many boomers with cr@p knees,hips, backs,hearts.
Would rather see them leave the 2 tonner at home, and pedal on the flats, even if some of the time.
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Re: Why ebikes are good / bad

Postby geebee » Thu Dec 19, 2013 5:17 pm

The usual reason people say they can't ride a legal ebike is that it won't climb their local hills, which is no longer true any decent crank drive will climb 99.9% of sealed roads with close to zero rider input albeit at low speed, with rider input they will do so at a decent clip.

The truth is more likely they want a motor bike with out rego or licence.
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Re: Why ebikes are good / bad

Postby jimsheedy » Thu Dec 19, 2013 6:14 pm

When I see an older person out on an e bike I think good idea. They are probably not up to riding too far and this thing at least gets em out of the house and stops them listening to angry person radio. Yesterday morning two middle aged "men" on ebikes went past me in the opposite direction on the ANZAC bridge. They were probably doing about 40kmh and weren't pedalling. They were dressed as in training type clothes and looked as if they thought they were taking seriously the advice of their respective doctors and "getting fit". Although obviously not athletes they didn't look too overweight and certainly could've ridden a real bike without too much trouble. The temptation to chase them down and administer a good slap was nearly overwhelming. I was left with a real sense of dread for the future.

Conversely the sight of an extremely overweight woman ( easily 150kg possibly more) I passed riding a real bike up the ramp from ultimo gave me a huge boost. She was really struggling but obviously determined to improve her self. I slowed down and gave her a bit of encouragement and had a bit of a chat with her.

On the whole I would say E bikes are a pox. Don't get me started on E scooters, if thats what they are called.
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Re: Why ebikes are good / bad

Postby eldavo » Thu Dec 19, 2013 6:26 pm

My electric assist is a car substitute, I cycle commuted every day for the past two tears without public or other personal transport cycling 10kkm+ each year daily pedal commuting, with a toddler and new baby becoming 2 in February, electric assist kept my total pedal only routine going strong. I have a lot of bikes mostly pedal only amd some real lovely variety of riding experinces. A dash of electric assist in the fleet has been great for me, roll on 2014, happy summer riding whatever your poison :)
Last edited by eldavo on Thu Dec 19, 2013 9:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why ebikes are good / bad

Postby geebee » Thu Dec 19, 2013 8:50 pm

jimsheedy wrote:When I see an older person out on an e bike I think good idea. They are probably not up to riding too far and this thing at least gets em out of the house and stops them listening to angry person radio. Yesterday morning two middle aged "men" on ebikes went past me in the opposite direction on the ANZAC bridge. They were probably doing about 40kmh and weren't pedalling. They were dressed as in training type clothes and looked as if they thought they were taking seriously the advice of their respective doctors and "getting fit". Although obviously not athletes they didn't look too overweight and certainly could've ridden a real bike without too much trouble. The temptation to chase them down and administer a good slap was nearly overwhelming. I was left with a real sense of dread for the future.

Conversely the sight of an extremely overweight woman ( easily 150kg possibly more) I passed riding a real bike up the ramp from ultimo gave me a huge boost. She was really struggling but obviously determined to improve her self. I slowed down and gave her a bit of encouragement and had a bit of a chat with her.

On the whole I would say E bikes are a pox. Don't get me started on E scooters, if thats what they are called.


Ignoring the not pedalling as my bike is PAS only, I am a middle aged male with an athletic build and no sign of any disability but I can't walk 60 meters, if I tried riding a non assisted bike I wouldn't be able to do anything for the next month (it took years to learn that lesson:) ), so it probably pays not to make assumptions.
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Re: Why ebikes are good / bad

Postby jimsheedy » Thu Dec 19, 2013 9:04 pm

Why can't you walk 60 metres ?
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Re: Why ebikes are good / bad

Postby geebee » Thu Dec 19, 2013 9:20 pm

Not relevant, just be happy you are not me.
I did write out the reason but deleted it, I think the above is sufficient.
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Re: Why ebikes are good / bad

Postby jimsheedy » Thu Dec 19, 2013 9:33 pm

It is sort of relevant because if you're athletic with no disability why can't you ride a bike ? Anyway never mind happy to leave it at that. I'll amend my opinion.

Apart as a mobility aid for old 2GB listeners and the rare otherwise healthy person who isn't able to ride a real bike, ebikes are a pox. There is absolutely no excuse to ever ride an escooter.
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Re: Why ebikes are good / bad

Postby eldavo » Thu Dec 19, 2013 11:24 pm

AUbicycles wrote:Electric bicycles is a controversial topic for some cyclists ... but the ebike market is growing internationally.

This is the first post.. and a sticky and is the section for dialogue for discussion the Pros and Cons.

Be friendly, be open and be positive.


Just a friendly reminder of the intention of the thread.
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Re: Why ebikes are good / bad

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Fri Dec 20, 2013 1:16 pm

geebee wrote:The usual reason people say they can't ride a legal ebike is that it won't climb their local hills, which is no longer true any decent crank drive will climb 99.9% of sealed roads with close to zero rider input albeit at low speed, with rider input they will do so at a decent clip.

The truth is more likely they want a motor bike with out rego or licence.

I am not really keen to see e-bikes beign used as a cheap and less regulated substitute for mopeds, especially when also granted rights to share paths. Nevertheless, I'd strongly dispute your premis on riding conditions.

Climbing a decent hill, even with the best bike in the world, can still be unacceptable in many situations. For example, arriving at work or a meeting in a fit state - not at all possible ona bike for many in the heat of a Perth summer, while the Freo doctor is blowing or in a muggy Brisbane. And I am sure that there are many places that are nowhere near flat as you state - Australia is a big place. Like e-bikes or hate them, there are still situations that are not suited to biking.
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Re: Why ebikes are good / bad

Postby geebee » Fri Dec 20, 2013 1:46 pm

A crank drive runs through your gears, so that in low gear you can climb 20% grade with a 250w legal bike and NO rider input, a 250w bike actually will put out around 600w under load.
To ride home I have to climb a roughly 15% grade hill and have ridden a 20% hill to test it, you can imagine how much better it climbs with rider input. Southern Tasmania does not have a reputation for being flat, plus we are in the roaring 40's. :)

If you have steep hills buy a crank drive, if you have moderate hills buy a geared hub or crank drive, if your area is flat buy any including direct drive hubs. This assumes we are talking about legal power levels.
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Re: Why ebikes are good / bad

Postby Marx » Fri Dec 20, 2013 1:59 pm

E-bikes are a good thing, but have to be done right by the user.
Some e-bike riders are a great example of right tool-wrong application, which is why they come out all wrong.
It's almost like some users are not mature enough to understand what they need to be doing with e-bikes.
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Re: Why ebikes are good / bad

Postby Xenon » Fri Dec 20, 2013 9:51 pm

It really depends on what you consider a bike is for:

If you think of a bike as a piece of sporting/exercise equipment, then an ebike is bad and I can't disagree with the sentiment.

If you think of a bike as a means of transport, then an ebike is awesome.

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.
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